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#USA BeMyEye acquires Streetbee, a Russian crowdsourcing and image recognition provider


London-headquartered BeMyEye has made another acquisition, its third in a little over three years. This time the retail execution monitoring service is purchasing Russian crowdsourcing and image recognition provider Streetbee.

The acquisition will see BeMyEye launch “Perfect Shelf,” which will use image recognition technology to lower the cost for consumer goods companies wanting to get “objective and actionable” in-store insights. These will typically include share of shelf and planogram compliance (the specific placement of products on a store shelf).

More broadly, BeMyEye offers a platform to enable companies and brands to crowdsource various in-store data. This can include checking availability (i.e. stock levels) of a particular product, how prominently an item is displayed, or whether or not it is being marketed or sold in the way retailers and staff have been instructed.

Tasks are sent out to paid members of the public via the BeMyEye app, which could include taking a photo and ‘checking in’ using geolocation as proof that it has been carried out, with the results anonymised and passed on to BeMyEye’s clients. One way to think about the proposition is as a much more scalable version of employing ‘secret shoppers’.

Augmenting these human data gatherers with image recognition technology can speed up data processing and, presumably, make a proposition like BeMyEye even more scalable.

Luca Pagano, CEO of BeMyEye, comments: “Field forces should not be burdened with data collection tasks, instead they should be empowered with action orientated in-store insights so they can focus 100 percent on selling and taking remedial action when and where it is needed. Perfect Shelf enables consumer goods companies to adopt a lean go-to-market strategy, progressively eliminating waste and enhancing field performance at a time when they are under huge pressure to find growth and demonstrate a positive ROI on their field force investments”.

The acquisition also extends BeMyEye’s reach to Russia and the CIS countries. With existing coverage in Europe, the combined companies claim aggregate crowd of more than 1.5 Million data gatherers, which will enable consumer goods companies to get a consistent view of in-store performance in 21 countries.

Meanwhile, BeMyEye isn’t disclosing the exact terms of the acquisition, although I understand it is an all-stock deal. The entire Streetbee business is being acquired, including the 50-person team, IP and technology. As part of this, the Streetbee founders will be joining BeMyEye in senior roles: Andrey Elisev is joining as CMO, Kirill Nepomnyashchiy is joing as VP Sales Russia and CIS, and Vladimir Lyzo is joining as Head of Image Recognition Development.

This news comes after BeMyEye’s acquisition of its largest French competitor, LocalEyes, in 2016, and U.K. operator Task360 in 2017.

from Startups – TechCrunch https://tcrn.ch/2RP8cGk

#USA Doctolib details how telemedicine appointments work


French startup Doctolib announced back in September that it would open up telemedicine appointments on its platform in 2019. The company is taking advantage of recent legal changes that finally make telemedicine legal in France.

Doctolib is a marketplace matching patients with health practitioners — 70,000 practitioners and 1,400 medical institutions use it in France and Germany. Each health professional pays €109 per month to access the service ($124).

By replacing your calendar with Doctolib, you save a ton of time. You no longer have to pick up the phone constantly and say when you’re available and not available. Everything stays in sync between the public website and your calendar.

And now, all practitioners can go beyond face-to-face appointments. If they start accepting telemedicine appointments, patients will be able to book a remote appointment. The company has been testing the new service with 500 practitioners.

After configuring the service, patients can start a video chat when it’s time to talk with their doctor. Once the call is done, patients pay on Doctolib’s website. They can then access prescriptions in their user accounts.

Doctolib won’t take a cut on each transaction. The startup is selling this services as an add-on instead. Practitioners can choose to pay €79 per month ($90) on top of their standard Doctolib plan to start accepting remote appointments.

This is a great way to boost the company’s bottom line and also a seamless experience for everyone involved. Practitioners can accept video calls from Doctolib’s interface and patients don’t have to use another service.

Those appointments comply with France’s national healthcare system. Patients get reimbursed just like a normal appointment. But there are some legal restrictions.

In particular, you can’t book a remote appointment and get reimbursed if the doctor doesn’t know you already. So Doctolib only lets you book remote appointments with practitioners you’ve physically seen over the last 12 months. But that feature could still be particularly useful to renew your prescription and other minor medical stuff.

from Startups – TechCrunch https://tcrn.ch/2AKNQnS

#Blockchain Review: HTC’s Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto Wallet

HTC's Blockchain Smartphone Can Be Ordered With Bitcoin

After weeks of delays and hundreds of frustrated customer messages in its Telegram channel, HTC finally shipped its “blockchain phone” on Jan. 14. The HTC Exodus 1 promises an array of features for cryptocurrency users, but the manufacturer couldn’t keep its promise to ship the devices in December. With the phones finally rolled out, news.Bitcoin.com unboxed one of the semi-transparent devices and put it through its paces.

Also read: These Developers Claim They Can Crack Any Hardware Wallet

The Exodus 1 Is a Big Phone With Grand Aspirations

There’s no mistaking the Exodus 1 when it slips out of its protective wrapping and into the palm of your hand. Even if you’ve hands like baseball mitts, you’ll struggle to operate this phone with one paw. Thankfully it’s got a feature called Edge Sense 2 which enables one-handed convenience by shrinking the visible screen when you double tap on the side of the phone. At 157 x 74 x 9.7 mm, 188 grams, and $750, the Android O-powered Exodus 1 is a phone that’s as hard on the pocket as it is on the wallet. For that $750, however (or rather its BTC, LTC, or ETH equivalent), you’re getting a whole lot of smartphone.

Review: HTC's Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto Wallet
Big phones come in big boxes

While this review will focus on the cryptocurrency elements of the phone, we’ll start with the basics. Given that you’ll be using the Exodus 1 as a smartphone a lot more than you’ll be using it to send or receive crypto, it’s imperative that you can abide what it has to offer when compared to flagship Android phones such as the Goggle Pixel 3 ($799) or the Samsung Galaxy S9 ($720). The Exodus 1’s features include:

  • 6.0” Quad HD+ display with 18:9 aspect ratio
  • 3500mAh battery
  • 12MP + 16MP main camera with high quality zoom
  • 8MP+8MP dual front camera with natural bokeh
  • 4k/60fps 3D audio recording quality
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • 6GB – DDR4x RAM
  • 128GB storage

The Exodus 1 has twice as much internal storage as the Galaxy S9, the same processor, and same resolution cameras. The Exodus 1’s battery is the same size as the larger S9+ and has the same 6GB of RAM, while both phones are of similar dimensions. Samsung’s S9 and S9+ are both 1.2mm slimmer than the HTC however. The Google Pixel 3 only has 4GB of RAM, a smaller battery and the same processor as the Exodus 1. The Pixel 3 does have some things in its favor though: its main camera, while lower resolution, is arguably better than the Exodus 1’s, it’s slimmer, at just 7.9mm, it has an eSIM, which some users may prefer, and runs a newer version of Android.

Review: HTC's Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto Wallet
Unboxing the Exodus 1

With the Exodus 1, you’re getting a phone that can match Samsung and Google’s leading models pound for pound in most areas. Aside from being a little bulkier, there’s not much between the handsets performance-wise. The question, then, is whether the HTC’s exclusive feature – a built-in cryptocurrency hardware wallet, with the key stored in a secure enclave – justifies choosing the Exodus 1.

Take a Trip to Zion

Review: HTC's Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto Wallet
Zion crypto wallet

Zion is the name of the wallet app that comes pre-loaded on the Exodus 1 and, while limited in functionality, it works just fine. It is beyond the scope of this reviewer to determine whether the “secure enclave,” separated from the rest of the phone’s operations, makes Zion more secure than the average crypto wallet app. “Theoretically” is the likeliest answer, though that’s probably a matter for the Wallet Fail team to resolve. The Zion wallet supports BTC, LTC, ETH, some ERC721 tokens, and ERC20s such as BAT, the latter the native token of the Brave browser, which also comes installed.

Sending and receiving cryptocurrencies is easy, and the UX is reasonable. The collectibles section of the wallet is less scintillating though; import a Cryptokittie and all you’ll get is a small thumbnail of the cat, with no ability to view it full-screen or read its “cattributes.” It’s all very meh. From a privacy perspective, the Zion wallet isn’t great either. There’s no ability to create new addresses, for instance, so you’re stuck with the same three wallets for BTC, LTC, and ETH unless you chose to create an entirely new 12-word seed and install a fresh wallet.

Review: HTC's Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto Wallet
Crypto collectibles viewed in the Zion app

The social recovery option, enabling you to select trusted friends to help restore the wallet in the event of phone loss, is a welcome touch. While this presents an additional attack vector, it’s a trade-off cryptocurrency users may be willing to make in return for having access to crypto on the go. There are clear drawbacks to owning a blockchain phone of course. The very fact that you have one suggests you have crypto stored on it, which instantly makes you a target. If you’re lazy and have enabled fingerprint access to your wallet, a physical attacker or law enforcement could gain entry without too much trouble.

A Solid Phone That’s Likely to Get Better

iPhone owners are unlikely to swoon over the Exodus 1, but if you’re an Android user who’s due an upgrade, the mere act of switching to a new handset running a current OS and that’s fully equipped with the latest spec makes the Exodus 1 a pleasure to use. Features such as squeeze force, which will open the camera or shrink the screen when you grip or tap the side of the phone, are very nifty. Edge Sense will also ensure the phone doesn’t time out when held in your hand, and the rear fingerprint sensor is responsive and well positioned.

The biggest drawback to the Exodus 1 – the lackluster cryptocurrency wallet – could and likely will be improved through software updates. Even if advanced features were to be added, and the number of supported cryptocurrencies was to increase, however, you’re unlikely to hold much funds in the Zion wallet. Secure enclave or otherwise, it’s debatable whether the Exodus 1’s wallet is any more robust than the leading crypto wallet apps it’s competing against.  

Review: HTC's Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto Wallet
The back of the Exodus 1 is fully transparent

While a little industrial in places, the Exodus 1 is a significantly slicker device than Sirin Labs’ “Finney” blockchain phone and can stake a claim for being the leading smartphone in what is still a very small vertical. Whatever the fate of the Exodus 1, it’s likely this won’t be the last time we see a hardware manufacturer targeting the crypto crowd. In fact, with Samsung’s trademark filings suggesting it’s thinking of following suit, blockchain phones could soon go from being niche to the norm.

What are your thoughts on the Exodus 1 phone? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service.

Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

The post Review: HTC’s Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto Wallet appeared first on Bitcoin News.

from Bitcoin News http://bit.ly/2Dcp3uu Review: HTC’s Exodus 1 Is an Impressive Phone With a Basic Crypto Wallet

#Africa How your tech startup can collaborate with the Gates Foundation


Emerging market fintech investor and accelerator DFS Lab will host a bootcamp in Tanzania in April designed to assist startups in building on the Mojaloop infrastructure created by the Gates Foundation.

The recent announcement of the MTN/Orange Mowali partnership is the first public deployment of Mojaloop, which was built to create interoperable payments systems for mobile-first emerging markets.

DFS Lab is offering a group of leading technology and financial service companies an opportunity to work with the Gates Foundation team behind the Mojaloop platform in a closed-door session in Dar es Salaam to explore how Mojaloop can be used.

The five-day event will offer participants an in-depth look at the Mojaloop stack, an opportunity to build solutions in collaboration with the Mojaloop platform developers, and the opportunity to prototype products and features built on the Mojaloop stack.

Applications are open here.

The post How your tech startup can collaborate with the Gates Foundation appeared first on Disrupt Africa.

from Disrupt Africa http://bit.ly/2sD1Agd

#Africa Togolese startups invited to apply for Djanta Tech Hub support


Togolese tech startups have been invited to apply for assistance from the newly-established Djanta Tech Hub in the heart of the capital city Lomé.

The first technology campus in Togo, the 3,000m2 Djanta Tech Hub aims to be a West African centre of excellence and a key location for supporting tech entrepreneurship.

It is designed to promote entrepreneurship, creativity and economic development through digital technology, innovation and research, and will support the development of solutions for key sectors of the Togolese economy, such as education, agriculture, health and financial inclusion.

Startups in the tech space looking for an environment in which to develop their ideas and grow their businesses are now being invited to apply to relocate to Djanta Tech Hub via this online form.

Djanta Tech Hub includes digital training centre Djanta Academy), a FabLab, and co-working space Djanta Space. Its NanaTech space is dedicated to female entrepreneurship, while it also host an incubator, an accelerator, a connected café area, and meeting and conference rooms.

The post Togolese startups invited to apply for Djanta Tech Hub support appeared first on Disrupt Africa.

from Disrupt Africa http://bit.ly/2TUwY5s

#Africa How Cameroon’s MooExams is gamifying education


Cameroonian startup MooExams is aiming to positively impact educational outcomes in Africa by gamifying the process of learning and preparing for examinations.

A subsidiary of gaming startup SDK Games Africa, MooExams is an interactive, gamified and innovative educational tool.

“It capitalises on young people’s love of technology to boost engagement in education, improving skills while having fun,” co-founder Christian Yves Fongang told Disrupt Africa.

MooExams’ interactive content includes a directory of courses, questions and answers on different subjects consistent with the local educational curriculum. Students are motivated to improve their skills through online competitions, and all content for games is provided by teachers, who refer the app to students and are rewarded based on the performance of the students they refer.

“The teachers enrich the platform with content by using an interactive and gamified system. Through that gamified platform, they are not just submitting content, they are also able to anonymously review content provided by others,” Fongang said. “Parents are also welcome to follow their children’s progress through MooExams.”

The platform was conceived in 2016, when members of the SDK Games team were, as parents, concerned about the level of interest their children were taking in school and realised that was the same for many others.

“In Cameroon, according to the Baccalaureate Office board, more than 50 per cent of students failed their national exam and up to 72 per cent are failing in other African countries,” said Fongang.

“Meanwhile, children are attracted to games, and they are also very enthusiastic about technologies and smartphones. Having discovered the power of gamification in the learning process while building a gamification campaign for a corporation, we applied this knowledge to the MooExams project. We strongly believe this should be used the make the learning process easier and more fun for our children.”

In Cameroon, a bilingual country, MooExams is ahead of the curve, but though there are competitors in other African countries, none of them use the platform’s unique gamification features for students and teachers. The self-funded startup, which makes money through subscriptions and targeted advertising, has already registered more than 3,000 students in Cameroon, and is looking further afield.

“We signed a contract with Orange Burkina Faso to launch the same product there under the name “S’Cool”, and plan to reach out to other Francophone African countries in 2019/2020 and then to Anglophone countries later in 2020,” Fongang said.

Making the platform affordable is key to MooExams scaling.

“For MooExams to be successful as a tool to help our youth it must be accessible and used often. Therefore, our goal is to make the product price reasonable. We believe that the large sums that families are spending on tutoring and special tools serve to make the reasonably priced MooExams attractive,” said Fongang.

“So we are combining sponsorship from companies willing to support youth education, targeted advertising so universities and higher institutions can enhance their message to students, and direct outreach to potential students and families directly through our platform.”

All in all, though, he sees great potential for these types of applications.

“The field of education is an ideal environment for the application of gamification. It can be applied to both solitary and interactive learning, across various subject matters,” he said.

The post How Cameroon’s MooExams is gamifying education appeared first on Disrupt Africa.

from Disrupt Africa http://bit.ly/2FvLkpF

#Blockchain How Indian Cryptocurrency Users Avoid Banks Closing Their Accounts

How Indian Crypto Users Avoid Banks Closing Their Accounts

Banks in India have been closing the accounts of customers they believe have made transactions involving cryptocurrencies. The majority of crypto users in the country, however, have reportedly found a way to avoid their accounts being closed by their banks which are complying with the crypto banking ban imposed by the country’s central bank.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Avoiding Problems With Banks

Reports of banks in India closing customer accounts with cryptocurrency-related transactions have been on the rise. Banks cite compliance with the circular issued by the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), that bans them from providing services to customers and businesses dealing with cryptocurrencies.

How Indian Cryptocurrency Users Avoid Banks Closing Their Accounts

A spokesperson for local cryptocurrency exchange Instashift told news.Bitcoin.com that banks have been closing the accounts of customers when they find any cryptocurrency-related words such as “bitcoin” in transaction remarks. He clarified that if a customer’s bank account “comes under scrutiny and the bank officers read the crypto keywords in remarks” then the bank account will be closed.

The CEO of crypto exchange Wazirx, Nischal Shetty, shared with news.Bitcoin.com on Tuesday that the:

Majority of the people understand not to enter such terms in the remarks. So simply avoiding entering anything related to crypto in the payment remarks is more than enough to avoid any problems from banks. There’s no other way for banks to know if a P2P transaction was done to transact in crypto.

Other Indian crypto users agree with this strategy. Twitter user Cryptomaniac advised, “Use P2P without writing anything related to crypto in remarks. And don’t do heavy transactions.” P2P is the exchange-escrowed peer-to-peer style of trading which has been growing in popularity since the RBI ban. Most crypto exchanges in India offer this type of trading. Another Twitter user, Vivekmacha, agreed and wrote that “If we use P2P they can’t track us,” emphasizing the importance of not writing any crypto-related terms such as bitcoin or BTC in remarks when making transactions.

The Instashift spokesperson explained that crypto users that have their bank accounts closed just “open a fresh account in another bank” and continue to trade without “using any crypto terms for transactions,” emphasizing:

It’s easy to open a new account for a person in India & banks also welcome people to open accounts.

He noted that “no matter how many accounts you open, all bank accounts get linked with your PAN card” which he said is similar to the social security number used in the U.S.

More Banks Closing Accounts of Crypto Users

Many banks in India have been closing customer accounts showing evidence of cryptocurrency transactions. Two major banks in the country — Kotak Mahindra Bank and Digibank — have recently gained more attention for doing so when Twitter user Indiancryptogirl posted letters she claimed to have received from them. Digibank is powered by DBS, a major Asian financial services group. “We have observed few transactions in your account with brokers / traders, dealing in virtual currencies,” the letter reads, adding:

Since these types of transactions are not permitted in India, we are constrained to place a credit freeze in your account. Further as per the extant guidelines, we are required to exit such relationships where transactions with brokers / traders, dealing in virtual currencies are observed.

A credit freeze, the bank explained, means that customers “will not be able to deposit any funds” into their accounts. The bank proceeded to inform that “Hence 30 days from the date of this communication your account will be closed by the bank.”

How Indian Cryptocurrency Users Avoid Banks Closing Their Accounts

Kotak Mahindra Bank and Digibank are not the only ones taking a hostile approach toward customer accounts showing crypto transactions. Twitter user Pushpendra Singh wrote, “So many Indian banks doing the same thing,” claiming that one of them is UCO Bank. Another Twitter user, Bluecrypto, said the “same happened with me and my HDFC account got closed.”

Another bank with a similar policy is Standard Chartered bank which requires customers opening an account in India to agree to this statement: “I confirm that this account will not be used for settling transactions or dealing in virtual currencies, including but not limited to bitcoins.”

However, Twitter user Yatharth Vashishth pointed out that banks are only following RBI’s order. “Kotak Bank is acting as per regulations by the RBI. All banks are instructed to shut accounts of all entities dealing in crypto. Not a big deal.”

What do you think of how Indian crypto users respond to banks closing their accounts? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post How Indian Cryptocurrency Users Avoid Banks Closing Their Accounts appeared first on Bitcoin News.

from Bitcoin News http://bit.ly/2DefStP How Indian Cryptocurrency Users Avoid Banks Closing Their Accounts

#Blockchain Venezuelan President Raises Petro’s Value Again in Bid to Create ‘New System’

Venezuela President Raises Petro's Value Again in Move to Create 'New System'

For the second time in a little over a month, Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro has hiked up the value of the national cryptocurrency, the petro, this time to 36,000 sovereign bolivars. The move has again been met with criticism. 

Also read: Russia Not Ready for the Petro, Proposes Plan to Aid Venezuela Without It

‘A New Monetary System’

President Nicolas Maduro introduced a “new monetary system” on Jan. 14 which included another increase in the country’s cryptocurrency and a higher minimum wage in a bid to combat the “criminal dollar.” As the country continues to struggle with the world’s highest inflation – around 2 million percent – the leader of the South American nation said the move would protect the national bolivar.

“I want us to create a great alliance to produce and create new formulas of investment and financing,” Maduro told the Constituent Assembly in a video broadcast by local media. President Maduro said he would up the the minimum wage by 300 percent to 18,000 bolivars per month, around $6.70, and increase the value of the petro fourfold. His new monetary system will be based on the petro and he said he would stabilize the economy with his new measures.

Venezuelan President Raises Petro's Value Again in Bid to Create 'New System'

But this isn’t the first time President Maduro has made such pledges. In December he hiked up the price of the petro, with experts and civilians alike expressing their skepticism, while the minimum wage was raised a total of five times last year. There is still no sign of a crypto wallet for the petro, the links to download it don’t work, and the Venezuelan government still strives to sell the digital currency and issue certificates of purchase to buyers. Venezuelans, meanwhile, are still fleeing the country’s dire economic situation in the hundreds of thousands.

The Reaction

Previously, when Nicholas Maduro hiked up the value of the petro and increased the minimum wage, he was slammed. It was the same story on this occasion. Henkel Garcia, director of the Caracas consultancy Econometrica, wrote on Twitter: “The announcement will exacerbate both hyperinflation and economic downturn. The monetary restriction that continues, both for banking and for companies, is very dangerous.” He added: “They try and try to give the petro circulation. They ignore that the use of a coin is a voluntary act and in which confidence plays an essential role.”Venezuelan President Raises Petro's Value Again in Bid to Create 'New System'

Asdrubal Oliveros, director of Ecoanalitica, a Caracas-based economic research organization, told news.Bitcoin.com: “There is no intention to rectify the direction of the economy so it will continue on its deteriorating path in 2019.” Elsewhere, the leader of the opposition, Juan Guaido, said: “Today, Nicolas Maduro mocks the Venezuelan people, once again, after taking economic measures that only bleed more in the pocket of Venezuelans,” adding:

The Venezuelan economy does not improve with an increase of the salary.

Other Venezuelans told news.Bitcoin.com that they had little faith in the petro improving the economy. One law student, Rafael Gutierrez, 23, opined: “It’s not even worth speaking about it. The whole thing is a sham – and the economy is doomed.” Fabian Camacho, a 28-year-old software developer and systems engineer, added: “No one has and no one ever will have faith in the petro, nor Maduro’s economic knowledge.”

What do you think about President Maduro upping the value of the petro again? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post Venezuelan President Raises Petro’s Value Again in Bid to Create ‘New System’ appeared first on Bitcoin News.

from Bitcoin News http://bit.ly/2RuLiVu Venezuelan President Raises Petro’s Value Again in Bid to Create ‘New System’

#Blockchain Cashshuffle Developer Says Privacy Project Nears Completion

Cashshuffle Developer Says Privacy Project Nears Completion

One of the Cashshuffle development team contributors, Josh Ellithorpe, revealed on Jan. 14 that the BCH-focused privacy shuffling protocol is near completion. The developers are planning to run a security audit on the code and have launched a fundraiser on the Bitbacker.io platform to help secure funding for the audit.

Also read: Crypto Luminary Impersonation Scammers on Social Media Raked in Millions in 2018

Cashshuffle Crowdfunds Security Audit on Bitbacker.io

Cashshuffle Developer Says Privacy Project Nears CompletionThe Cashshuffle protocol is an open source project being developed by the Electron Cash programmers and other well-known BCH developers. Cashshuffle is a client-server mixing application that allows servers to coordinate with users in order to shuffle bitcoin cash (BCH) UTXOs. After the coins are shuffled it is difficult for law enforcement and blockchain surveillance entities to track coin movements. News.Bitcoin.com has reported on the project’s roadmap on multiple occasions, and the project is nearing completion according to Cashshuffle contributor Josh Ellithorpe. A few hours ago, Ellithorpe launched a Bitbacker.io fundraiser to help raise BCH for the security check. So far there’s a slew of people who have donated $5-10 increments of BCH over the last 24 hours.  

“Getting ready for the Cashshuffle security audit from Kudelski Security — Can’t wait to finally release a mature privacy solution for BCH,” reads Ellithorpe’s fundraiser post.

The Cashshuffle concept was first announced back in 2017 and has seen steady development since then. Initially, there was the pre-release version launch and people experimenting with the plugin for the BCH wallet Electron Cash. “Privacy and fungibility go hand in hand and are vital for cryptocurrency — free people living in a free society should have a right to privacy without fearing the state peering into their personal finances,” Electron Cash developer Jonald Fyookball told news.Bitcoin.com at the time. Once the funds are raised, Ellithorpe believes Kudelski’s audit may take anywhere between three weeks to a month to finish.

Cashshuffle Developer Says Privacy Project Nears Completion
The free and open source protocol has its own website, Cashshuffle.com, which hosts the current plugin repository, the Cashshuffle server specification, and other documentation.   

Cashshuffle and Protocols Like It Will Increase Privacy

After the audit and a further code polish, the Cashshuffle protocol will likely become a default installation on the Electron Cash wallet, in contrast to the plugin available today, and it may see the light of day on mobile versions of the light client as well. The Cashshuffle team has been upfront about the project’s progress and development since the protocol’s plugin was launched. Last summer Ellithorpe and Fyookball detailed that Coinshuffle testing was going very well and they couldn’t wait to release it to the public.

Cashshuffle Developer Says Privacy Project Nears Completion
The Cashshuffle plugin.

At the time developers were working on solving a critical issue with cryptocurrency-centric tumbling and shuffling platforms — liquidity. Cashshuffle engineers designed a proof-of-concept automated liquidity bot that could provide shuffles if insufficient participants are online. The team had also discussed developing some kind of incentivization program similar to the join market protocol. Further, because the shuffle platform is open source, the Cashshuffle protocol can be implemented into other BCH light clients like the Bitcoin.com Wallet. Lots of Bitcoin Cash community members were thrilled to hear about the fungibility concept getting closer to being finished. A few BCH supporters also commented on Ellithorpe’s Bitbacker page.  

“Love fungibility features and building onchain — Thank you guys, keep up the great work,” the anonymous person wrote, while donating $5 in BCH to the security audit fundraiser.

What do you think about the Cashshuffle developers planning a security audit for the platform? Let us know what you think about this project in the comments section below.

Images credits: Shutterstock, Electron Cash, Cashshuffle website.

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The post Cashshuffle Developer Says Privacy Project Nears Completion appeared first on Bitcoin News.

from Bitcoin News http://bit.ly/2FAFzGi Cashshuffle Developer Says Privacy Project Nears Completion

#Blockchain French ATM Glitches and Bank Closures Reported After Scheduled Bank Run

The grassroots yellow vest movement in France has been participating in protests for weeks on end. Just recently, high profile yellow vest members have been promoting a “bank run” on financial institutions and automated teller machines in Paris. According to reports, the scheduled bank run began in phases, the first of which started on Jan. 12 and since then a few ATMs have been shut down due to “glitches” while some banking offices have allegedly closed shop temporarily.

Also Read: Embracing Utility in 2019: Unreliable Crypto Networks Will Lose to Hyperbitcoinization

Reports of ATM Glitches and Bank Closures Spread After Yellow Vest Movement’s Bank Run Begins

Over the last nine weeks, Gilets Jaunes, otherwise known as the yellow vest movement, have caused quite a stir in regions like Bordeaux and Paris, France. The political movement has been upset about high taxes, fraudulent banking practices, and a higher cost of living. Protesters specifically blame bureaucrats like the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, and the French banking system. A few high profile yellow vest leaders have been promoting a run on French banks and ATMs in order to show the opposition they mean business. A bank run occurs when a large number of customers of a bank withdraw their deposits simultaneously, which can easily threaten a bank’s solvency.

For instance, the bank run proposals have been called the “Tax Collectors’ Referendum” and French activists Tahz San and Maxime Nicolle, also known as “Fly Rider,” have been telling protestors in videos to withdraw their funds on Saturday. The activists say people should continue to “scare the banks” without any violent provocation. One of the videos has since been scrubbed from the Youtube platform.

A bank run occurs when a large number of customers of a bank withdraw their deposits simultaneously which can threaten a bank’s solvency.

“For Act IX, we will scare this state legally and without any violence and through the Référendum des percepteurs [Tax Collectors’ Referendum],” explained one of the yellow vest members on Youtube. “We all know that the power of a country is not in the hands of the government but in those of the banks — If the banks weaken, the state weakens immediately.” 

Maxime Nicolle added:

On Saturday, at 8 a.m. we will all vote by withdrawing our money.

A dismantled ATM in Bordeaux, France.

News.Bitcoin.com spoke with a correspondent residing in France, who wished to remain anonymous, who said the Gilets Jaunes have been pressing people to run on the banks. “They [yellow vest participants] said to scare the government and go to the ATMs and withdraw the most money as possible,” a person familiar with the matter told our newsdesk Tuesday. Interestingly enough on Saturday reports of ATMs having “glitches” and alleged “bank closures” were described by the journalist Gilbert du Motier. The reporter explained that the glitches were similar to the situation in Greece a few years ago when banks implemented withdrawal limits of 60 euros per person. According to the report, the French government is also planning to implement withdrawal restrictions as well as laws to make sure the protests end.

Photo of an out of service ATM in France after Saturday’s scheduled bank run phases.

While discussions of a massive bank run heat up, many Bitcoin proponents have been vocally supporting the run on these financial institutions and hope the money will funnel into the crypto economy. High profile cryptocurrency advocates like Max Keiser and many others have been telling their Twitter followers the French should buy bitcoin.

One thing for certain is that if thousands or millions of French activists simply removed their funds from their bank accounts then the “fractional reserve” banking scheme used in France would be exposed, along with many of its EU extensions. Bitcoin, on the other hand, cannot be stopped by a central banking system as financial executives and bureaucrats like Macron are powerless to limit withdrawals or produce systemwide technical glitches on account of the cryptocurrency’s decentralized design.

What do you think of the yellow vest movement’s proposed bank run phases? Do you think they should move funds into cryptocurrencies? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Lucas Barioulet, Gilbert du Motier, and Pixabay. 

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The post French ATM Glitches and Bank Closures Reported After Scheduled Bank Run appeared first on Bitcoin News.

from Bitcoin News http://bit.ly/2QReC38 French ATM Glitches and Bank Closures Reported After Scheduled Bank Run