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Blockstream’s New Green Wallet Is ‘Probably the Most Secure’ On the Market

Bitcoin HODLers rejoice. Now there’s an even safer, easier way to store your private keys–the all-new Blockstream Green Wallet for iOS and Android.


Blockstream Releases Green Wallet

Rebranded from the GreenAddress Bitcoin mobile wallet, this all-new version promises to offer a more seamless UX and heightened security. It’s arguably one of the safest, sleekest, and most convenient mobile wallets for storing and tracking Bitcoin transactions.

Like its predecessor, this wallet uses 2-of-2 multisig by default. Perhaps one of it’s most impressive features, though, is that the Blockstream Green keeps one key on your device and the other on the company’s servers.

This means that if you lose your mobile device or it gets stolen, no one can get their hands on your funds.

There’s also a host of 2FA methods available within the app from Google Authenticator to email, phone call, or SMS, depending on your preference.

According to the company post, there are “too many features” to mention. However, it reassures current users that:

We’ve retained the same multisig security that our existing users know and love, while packing in a whole host of advanced features that should get our power users excited.

Support for Trezor and Ledger

For those of you used to using the Trezor One or the Ledger Nano S, the good news is the Blockstream Green wallet works like a charm with both.

If you’ve already ordered a Ledger Nano X, you’ll have to wait a little longer until the Green is compatible. The company is currently working on support for later models.

Developed by original cypherpunk and Hashcash inventor Adam Back (one of the most respected names in the space), you don’t need to undergo KYC to use this wallet. In fact, all you need is an email address for wallet recovery purposes only.

Let’s be clear. If you’re looking to store and trade a host of altcoins, this isn’t the wallet for you. But if you’re looking for the best in cryptographic security for your Bitcoin, it doesn’t get much better than this.

According to Back:

As a cypherpunk, cryptographer, and pioneering Bitcoin miner whose technology is still used today, you couldn’t ask for a more qualified person to design your wallet security.

Back’s creation Blockstream is a pioneer in the industry with the mission of “creating the financial infrastructure of the future”–all based on the most secure blockchain there is–Bitcoin.

Will you be trying Green Wallet? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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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!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Silvergate Bank Adds 59 Crypto Clients, But Deposits Down $123 Million

Silvergate Bank, one of the few U.S. financial institutions that actively serve cryptocurrency businesses, added 59 such clients in the fourth quarter, but its deposits from the industry shrank 8 percent.

According to an updated IPO prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as of Dec. 31, the San Diego-based bank had 542 clients in the industry, including crypto exchanges, institutional investors in digital assets, and others. That’s up from the 483 crypto clients as of Sept. 30 that Silvergate counted when it first filed to go public last year.

Among the new crypto clients signed in Q4 were two exchanges, 24 investors and 33 firms in a miscellaneous category that includes blockchain protocol developers, miners and service providers, according to the updated prospectus.

For the first time in an SEC filing, Silvergate identified some of these clients, a few of which were previously not publicly known to be bank customers: market maker Genesis Trading and investment funds Kenetic and Polychain Capital.

Earlier published reports have noted that the bank worked with bitcoin wallet provider Xapo, diversified crypto startups Paxos and Circle, and exchanges Gemini, bitFlyer, Kraken, Coinbase, Bitstamp and Bittrex.

Deposits decline

Despite the growth in crypto clientele, the amount of U.S. dollars these customers held in their Silvergate accounts declined by $123 million in the fourth quarter, from $1.593 billion on Sept. 30 to $1.470 billion on Dec. 30.

This shrinkage came entirely from the exchange category, where account balances declined by $174.4 million, to $618.5 million. while deposits from the other two groups grew. Crypto investors’ deposits increased $4.8 million to $577.5 million and other startups’ balances grew $46.4 million, to $273.9 million.

Crypto-related businesses not only make up the main customer base of Silvergate but also own 13.1 percent of the bank’s stock. Silvergate’s 10 largest clients had $843.6 million of deposits at the bank – roughly 47.3 percent of the total – and nine of them are crypto businesses, the latest filing said. Further, the 37 cryptocurrency exchanges using Silvergate account for 34.7 percent of its total deposits.

For the full year, Silvergate noted, deposits from digital currency clients increased $150.4 million, or about 11.4 percent – even as the price of bitcoin crumbled from over $13,000 to less than $4,000 over the same period, suggesting that the bear market didn’t impede this bank’s growth in 2018 as a whole.

Image via Silvergate Bank.

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UK Parliament Presented Showcase of Real-World Blockchain Applications

The U.K. Parliament has been presented demonstrations of real-world blockchain applications designed to educate policymakers.

Organized by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Blockchain (APPG Blockchain), the Monday event featured live presentations from four firms working in the blockchain industry: IOTA, Oracle, Everledger and Lloyd’s of London. Among the audience were members of parliament, government officials and industry leaders, according to a statement from organizers.

The live demonstrations highlighted the potential of blockchain in real-life applications in supply chains for olive oil and diamonds (Oracle and Everledger, respectively), international trade (IOTA) and insurance claims and transactions settlement (Lloyd’s).

Fernando Santiago, blockchain research and project manager at Big Innovation Centre, suggested the event could mark an important step for the U.K.’s blockchain industry, saying:

“This is a pivotal moment for UK, which could define our future leadership in governance, commerce and competition.”

In the run-up to the event, the group also published the Online Blockchain Showcase, featuring videos of 10 companies working in the space.

The 10 firms also took to the floor at the live showcase, undertaking a “One-Minute Challenge” proposing how government could drive the use of blockchain, including in the healthcare and education sectors, as well as finance and industry.

According to its organizers, the event was inspired by the positive results of a 2018 analysis of the U.K. blockchain industry, presented by APPG Blockchain on its website along with associated organizations.

APPG Blockchain was set up by cross-party members of parliament to help ensure that the U.K. plays a “key role” in the potential opportunities that blockchain can provide for the nation’s economy, society, governance and provision of public services, according to its parliamentary web page.

U.K. Parliament image via Shutterstock; event images via APPG Blockchain

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Anti-Euro Bitcoin Art Pops Up in Paris Amid Protests

The French are nothing if not expressive. In the country of the language of love, free speech, and Charlie Hebdo, Pascal Boyart has revealed his third piece of revolutionary street art in Paris with a Bitcoin QR code hidden inside.


The Bitcoin Revolution in France

Onlookers around the world, especially from the Bitcoin clan, watched excitedly as Bitcoin became a part of the Paris protests.

One of the Yellow Vest protesters wore a sign on his back saying ‘Buy Bitcoin,’ and the movement became associated with more than just unemployment, taxation woes, and various other social unrest issues.

For many, they believed it to be more about cryptocurrencies, a movement to run the French banks, topple the Euro, and spark the Bitcoin revolution.

In all likelihood, the percentage of yellow vest protestors who actually know about cryptocurrency is pretty slim. Ledger’s CEO Eric Larchevêque previously told this author in an interview:

The yellow vests do not really know about Bitcoin… They do not really think that cryptocurrency will solve their problems.

However, the fact remains that the Bitcoin movement is taking to the streets in France. This is now the third piece of street art from Pascal Boyart spreading the word about Bitcoin.

In the same vein as other pieces, the mural is provocative and radical in nature. It depicts French painter and Impressionist Eugène Delacroix burning a $100 euro note.

The piece signals the end of a reign of centralized institutions devaluing people’s savings and controlling their financial independence.

The significance of using the French romantic artist in his moral will not be lost on artists, historians, or literature aficionados. Delacroix is famous for his use of expressive brushstrokes and for shaping the movement of the Impressionists.

PBoy Pascal Boyart Is a Legend in Himself

Now the third piece of street art he’s created to spread awareness about Bitcoin, a quick glance at his website or Instagram account is enough to leave you breathless. Pascal Boyart is one really, exceptionally creative and hard-hitting artist with strong political views.

He’s also staunchly anti-centralist, sells his artwork through OpenBazaar, and accepts donations in cryptocurrencies.

Boyart’s work has been featured not only by several cryptocurrency outlets including Bitcoinist, but also in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Le Monde, and Reuters, among many others.

Bitcoin may be smaller than Amazon in terms of market value. We may still be in the nascent stages, and perhaps most French people don’t know about cryptocurrencies. But with activists like Pascal Boyart spreading the word, at least there are sparks starting the fire.

What do you think about the latest Bitcoin-inspired mural in Paris? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, pboy-art.com