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Dubai’s First Bitcoin ATM Let’s You Buy With Cash, No ID

If you’re in the UAE and want to buy some bitcoin, you can do so without KYC from the first Bitcoin ATM in Dubai. Don’t get too excited, though. You can’t make withdrawals yet–and you’ll need to show ID when you do.


The First Bitcoin ATM in Dubai

The good news is that Bitcoin ATMs are gaining traction around the world. Now there’s an operational machine in Dubai hotel and wellness center Rixos Premium Dubai JBR. However, the functionality of the machine is pretty limited for now.

For those looking to venture into the world of digital currency without having to undergo KYC or even show an ID Card, this is the path forward.

Users can simply purchase bitcoin with cash, no questions asked. They can’t sell them though, not through this machine anyhow. According to Anhad Dhingra CEO of Amhora, the company that owns the ATM, that option will be available in a couple of months.

Not All Good News for Anonymous Bitcoin Buyers

If you thought that using a fat wad of cash to purchase bitcoin was a great way to stay anonymous, think again. Remember, that you’ll need some sort of wallet to send your bitcoins to and an existing exchange to sell them afterwards. 

Moreover, when the Dubai Bitcoin ATM rolls out the sell option, users will have to swipe their Emirates ID card or passport.

Buy Bitcoin at Just Five Percent Commission

Amhora is fully licensed by the Department of Economic Development and will charge users a five percent commission on the total purchase. While this may sound steep to regular users who shrink from Coinbase and its high fees, the average Bitcoin ATM charges around 7.5 percent.

Dhingra enthused:

The commission is very attractive because you can buy bitcoins instantly. Otherwise people have to go through a number of procedures which take a lot of time. At this kiosk, you just insert cash and you get bitcoins instantly. It is possible to purchase bitcoins through banking platforms and debit cards already but since we accept cash, it is very different.

While there have been several prototype projects for Bitcoin ATMs, none of them is currently functioning. This makes Amhora’s ATM the first of its kind in the emirate.

Have you ever bought bitcoin from a BTM? Share your experiences below!


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Binance CEO: No Profit-Sharing With Users Due To BNB Security Status

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance will not share profits with holders of its in-house token due to regulatory hurdles.


‘You Don’t Want That’

That was the decision from CEO Changpeng Zhao (known as CZ), who shed light on the issue during an informal social media Q&A session on March 4 hosted by UK-based trading platform eToro.

Asked whether the exchange, which has seen phenomenal success in its short lifespan, would recycle its profits back to investors in its Binance Coin (BNB) token, Zhao said the drawbacks outweighed any advantages.

“No, that would make (BNB) a security, and you don’t want that,” he responded to an eToro user on Twitter.

As with Binance more generally, BNB has seen its value soar as the cryptocurrency is used, among other things, to offer discounts to traders on fees.

Currently the eighth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, BNB has so far avoided the issue of securities regulation in countries such as the US — where the topic has become a major talking point in the face of shifting regulatory stances.

As Bitcoinist reported, an ongoing debate over whether the number-three cryptoasset, Ripple’s XRP, is a security has long enveloped industry commentators.

binance coin BNB

Exchanges Dodging Bullets

Zhao’s desire to avoid any exposure to potential securities rules thus speaks to a broader trend among cryptocurrency exchanges to circumvent jumping through unnecessary regulatory hurdles.

Platforms such as Bittrex— like Binance’s expansion to multiple overseas jurisdictions — have, at the same time, sought to segregate the US and non-US traders by offering different tokens on each with an eye to simplifying regulatory obligations and minimizing complications.

BNB, meanwhile, continues to attract attention beyond the question of security status. As Bitcoinist reported, Zhao himself described a report analyzing its value last month as “almost scary” in its thoroughness.

Authored by Kyle Samani of Multicoin Capital, the report concluded the token’s value is underrated. BNB/USD currently trades around $11.50, with the pair’s all-time high in January 2018 reaching just under $25.

What do you think about Binance’s position on profit-sharing? Let us know in the comments below! 


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Cluck the Banks: Bitcoin Lightning Network Powers Remote Chicken Feeder

A new and decidedly niche consumer product for Bitcoin’s Lightning Network has launched, allowing anyone to use the payment protocol… to feed chickens.


A Different Breed Of Blockchain Supply Chain

Currently circulating on social media, Pollofeed.com facilitates automated feeding of the birds, powered by Bitcoin Lightning Network payments.

“Pollo Feed is a automated chicken feeder powered by bitcoin lighting payments,” the service’s description reads.

Users use the website to generate a payment invoice and send funds. After, Pollo Feed automatically dispenses a small amount of feed to a chicken in an enclosure in a hitherto unknown location.

The chicken is visible via a stream from within the enclosure, and developers promise that each successful payment will result in video evidence of receipt.

There is as yet no data concerning how many times the chickens have profited from Bitcoiners’ generosity, or exactly how automated the setup is.

Doing More With Lightning

Despite its relatively small appeal as a tool, the reaction to Pollo Feed further demonstrates the rapidly increasing mainstream popularity of Lightning, which just months ago remained all but unknown beyond technical circles and enthusiasts.

As Bitcoinist reported, multiple new services designed to make using the network easy and attractive for the lay consumer have launched this year alone.

In February, these included Lightning Pizza, delivering Domino’s to any US resident and soon elsewhere, and Tippin.me expanding Bitcoin micropayments to Twitter users.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO, further stated that it was a case of “not ‘if’ but ‘when’” regarding Bitcoin Lightning implementation in his own payment network Square.

Lightning continues growing hit new records on a daily basis, with currently capacity topping 715 BTC ($2.8 million) according to monitoring resource 1ML.com.

What do you think about Pollo Feed? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, pollofeed.com

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Coinbase Neutrino Acquisition Reveals History Of Spying and Gov’t Data Selling

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is facing an increasing publicity nightmare after it emerged the CEO of a company it took over sold private user data to governments.


Coinbase: Neutrino ‘Will Help Prevent Theft’

Announced February 19, Coinbase now owns Italian blockchain surveillance startup Neutrino, having acquired the company for an undisclosed sum.

“By analyzing data on public blockchains, Neutrino will help us prevent theft of funds from peoples’ accounts, investigate ransomware attacks, and identify bad actors,” engineering director Varun Srinivasan wrote in an accompanying blog post.

It will also help us bring more cryptocurrencies and features to more people while helping ensure compliance with local laws and regulations.

Neutrino’s staff will now relocate to Coinbase’s London office and will continue working as before without redundancies.

Neutrino CEO Worked For ‘First Police Spyware Sellers’

No sooner had Coinbase revealed the takeover did cryptocurrency industry participants immediately sound the alarm over Neutrino’s roots.

Giancarlo Russo, its CEO, previously worked as COO of HackingTeam, a Milan-based outfit with a scandalous reputation. Described by Verge as “the first sellers of commercial hacking software to the police,” HackingTeam’s spyware enables clients to engage in a huge number of surveillance activities.

These include the covert collection of emails, SMS messages, call history and address book data, as well as keystroke logging, phone tapping of Skype calls and even data about cryptocurrency wallet usage.

A further article in UK newspaper the Telegraph in 2015 saw the company’s founder David Vincenzetti confirm such capabilities were being sold to governments and other entities in 20 countries.

Social media commentators picked up the HackingTeam connection with the Coinbase acquisition, while others appeared to quickly catch on.

“[G]oodbye (Coinbase)… not interested in having my data, identity, and crypto ownership data served to every government agency on a silver platter,” CoinShares CSO Meltdem Demirors added in her own response.

As Bitcoinist reported, Coinbase has felt the pressure from elsewhere this month. In another questionable security move, the exchange now allows users to store the private keys to wallets in the cloud.

What do you think about Coinbase acquiring Neutrino? Let us know in the comments below!


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Bitcoin Obituaries ‘Graveyard’ – Pay Your Respects via Lightning Network

Bitcoin users can now fight the naysayers and expand their knowledge of the Lightning Network – by purchasing flowers to leave at the ‘Bitcoin Graveyard.’


Bitcoin Obituaries 2.0

A project from cryptocurrency education platform Niffler.co, the Graveyard takes a popular talking point, the Bitcoin obituary, one step further, providing an actual place of rest for the largest cryptocurrency.

Users can lay a virtual flower at any of the virtual tombstones within the Graveyard, along with a message of condolence.

Each tombstone relates to an obituary which has appeared in the cryptocurrency or mainstream media.

“The Bitcoin Graveyard was created for two reasons,” Niffler explains:

  1. Dispel FUD on the notion that Bitcoin is dead.
  2. Show the world the power of the Lightning Network ⚡️ by allowing people to buy flowers to lay next to any tombstone and also leave a note of condolence.

Each flower costs 1000 satoshis ($0.034) and users require a Lightning Network wallet in order to complete the purchase.

Bitcoin has died over 90 times in 2018 alone and at leat 342 times in total, based on mainstream press headlines.

Lightning Comes Out Of The Closet

As Bitcoinist reported, usage of Lightning continues to expand apace in recent weeks. Another community gesture aimed at increasing uptake of the technology, Bitcoin Torch, also continues to make the rounds on social media.

Lightning aims to scale in both capacity and usability to prepare the Bitcoin network for a future influx of users.

Despite deploying only a year ago, the network has grown considerably, this week passing the milestone 600 BTC ($1.95 million) capacity for the first time.

For novice users, Lightning remains a challenging tool to understand, with developers concentrating on technical reliability over aspects such as user interface.

Third parties continue to improve the situation, however, with various user-friendly apps now available for Lightning payments.

At the Graveyard meanwhile, the tombstone, which has attracted the most decoration, appears to be an obituary from the European Central Bank.

Earlier in January, one policymaker at the institution described cryptocurrencies in general as a “complete load of nonsense.”

What do you think about the Bitcoin Graveyard? Let us know in the comments below!


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