Crypto Blog – Bitcoins & Other Virtual Currencies

News & Opinion on Bitcoins and Alt Cryptocurrencies

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Bitpay introduces test payments for developers

Bitcoin payment processor Bitpay has announced new testing capabilities for developers wanting to explore the payment system in a sandbox or none live data environment.

Bitpay recently acquired over $30 million in stage one funding with investors including the likes of Richard Branson.

English: Industrialist Richard Branson at the ...

English: Industrialist Richard Branson at the Time 100 Gala, May 3, 2010. Photo by David Shankbone. 

Andy Philipson described the feature on the bitpay blog as

‘The BitPay test environment is a scalable, production-like environment that exactly mirrors our world-class payment-processing platform.’

The BitPay test server exposes all of the features of the BitPay payment processing platform including:

Merchant payment processing
Bitcoin Payment Gateway API interaction
Billing
Mobile checkout
Hosted checkout
Catalog items
Donations
Payroll payment processing
Bitcoin Payroll API interaction

Read more at the Bitpay blog

By

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What is Namecoin?

Many Crypto users have Namecoins in their portfolios. But what are they and how to use them? Mining pools like cex.io and bitminter mine namecoins as a ‘bonus’ to their users. Most users we have spoken to simply exchange their Namecoins for Bitcoins but could you be missing out on their real value?

Why not use your namecoins to buy a .bit domain? You do need to use a special server though. A popular public DNS provider OpenNIC supports the .bit TLD so with with just a small amount of namecoins you can be up and running quickly. See the Reddit thread for more details.

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Major Miners Altcoin Mining Pools

beatlecoin

For the first in our series of Mining Pool reviews we’re looking at a newcomer to the scene. Major Miners offer (from what i can gather) – 5 alt coin mining pools:

http://hkc.majorminers.com/ HongKongCoin (SHA256)

http://pcn.majorminers.com/ ProCoin (Scrypt)

http://bea.majorminers.com/ Beatlecoin (Scrypt)

http://lyc.majorminers.com/ Lycancoin (Scrypt)

http://vmp.majorminers.com/ Vampirecoin (Scrypt)

The homepage at Majorminers.com is a simple wordpress blog and the first thing i noticed was an absence of links to the mining pools. You can find them by rummaging around but a simple menu or category list would certainly help.

The pools cater to some of the lesser known ‘fun and profitable’ altcoins. All the pools look fairly stable although could do with a few more miners, so point your equipment at some of the pools listed above and give them a try.

They have a 1-2% fee and offer 10% block finder rewards on some coins. Data centres are located in Europe, Asia and East + West Coast USA.

About the currencies:
Beatlecoin – (BEA)The main appeal seems to be the limited number available. Only 1 million coins will be issued. More info at the Beatlecoin website.

HongKongCoin – Following the success of Auroracoin (the cryptocurrency of Iceland) HongKongCoin (HKC) is a SHA256 algo coin designed for quick business transactions in Hong Kong. There is also a specially designed App on the website to facilitate trading use.

ProCoin – (PCN) – Is limited to 1 Billion coins and claims to be a business friendly coin. 2% of the coins are being given away in a pre-mine during March/April 2014. More details here.

And whether you choose to call them fun, ridiculous or bizarre we have Lycancoin & Vampirecoin. Lycancoin is a cryptocurrency for lycanthropy & werewolf enthusiasts. It was designed as part of a 3 coin set which includes Vampirecoin and Zombiecoin. The danger of the ‘wacky’ crypto’s is that they really need a reason to exist. We’ve seen with Flappycoin how quickly alt crypto’s can start to devalue and struggle.

For the remainder of 2014 I think we’ll see a thinning out of the multitude of cryptocurrencies with only the strongest business models surviving. There’s always a chance, however, that something will survive against the odds. Dogecoin is living proof of that!

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CEX.IO introduces Multipool

One BTC coins

One BTC coins (Photo credit: zcopley)

Cloud BTC and conventional Scrypt (ghash.io) mining site CEX.IO have introduced multipool mining alongside their existing offering of Litecoin, Auroracoin, Feathercoin and Dogecoin.

Unlike other multipools the ghash.io system allows users to convert their block rewards profits to BTC on the fly, thus avoiding the need to exchange on cryptocurrency exchange sites.

Currently in beta, the pool has had some teething troubles with zero payouts on certain coins although the community forum explains that the beta stage will not be 100% trouble free and they are asking for bug reports.

We tried the system and liked the automatic conversion to btc. Multipools have been criticised as damaging the real world possibilities of certain coins and creating havoc with valuations but while they exist it makes sense for miners to make the most from their equipment.

Find out more at CEX.IO or read the support article.

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QoinPro offers free bitcoins and alt coins – What’s the catch?

A 26 segment × 3 exposure (78 frames in total)...

Hong Kong (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

QoinPro.com launched at the end of January 2014 and is growing rapidly. So what is it?
Well erm… you simply register with them and they give you free coins. So there must be a catch then?
Well anything that looks too good to be true usually is but in this case we couldn’t find anything.

The company is based out of Hong Kong and has full transparency. They admit to being backed by private investors and have a ‘fully thought out business plan’. The aim of the game at the moment seems to be compiling a large user database so the plan could be to ‘convert’ these ‘members’ to users of (for example) a new currency exchange.

It’s a fascinating yet simple model and – as the company advertises – you can sign up and get Free Bitcoins every 24 hours.

We signed up and were immediately rewarded with Bitcoins, Litecoins and Feathercoins. Further coins are unlocked after 2 days membership. You get coins on a daily basis and can get bonus coins by referring further users. There is also a credit system that you can use to ‘unlock’ other features using an SMS service. All intriguing stuff!

Find out more at the QoinPro website.

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CEX.IO Bitcoin commodity exchange announce trade fee

cex.io trade fee introduction graphic

In preparation for it’s expanded currency exchange features (including USD/BTC), CEX.IO the cloud mining and commodity exchange has announced that a trade fee will become applicable in the next 2 weeks.

Up until now it has been possible to exchange BTC and LTC etc for Hashing power with no transaction fee. CEX.IO have only charged a fee for maintenance of their mining facility and hardware.

CEX.IO argue that their new exchange features will negate the need for it’s user base to use 3rd party exchanges such as Cryptsy and Coinbase to convert alt coins and FIAT currencies into BTC before being able to use their services.

Their discussion forum has had a few complaints from some users who think that the existing hardware fees can make the system prohibitively expensive for the smaller miners. Others point out that these fees are already imposed by third party exchanges and so the convenience of having the new features on-site will outweigh the new charges.

The charge will be implemented as a 0.2% flat fee and then later will vary between 0.2 and 0.5% based on the number of transactions being made by each user.

Full story at the CEX.IO blog

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Dogecoin raises $55,000 to sponsor NASCAR driver

Dogecoin Nascar Sponsorship

Nascar fans have donated 65 million dogecoins to enable driver Josh Wise to compete at the Talladega Speedway. Fans on Reddit picked out Josh as a driver in need of support.

Over 1200 donations of around $41 were made and converted into dollars with a special rate from Moolah the online crypto exchange.

The car will now be called #98 Moonrocket and will make it’s debut on May 4th in a Sprint Series Cup Race. Dogecoin continues to defy it’s critics with practical real world examples of the value of having a community supported alt coin.

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NXT – An alt cryptocurrency for everyone?

nxt crytocurrency logo

‘Mining’ on your smartphone? Yes you heard right, Nxt is not based on Bitcoin’s source code (like all other altcoins). It is faster than Bitcoin (10x) and cheaper (3000x) – you can run Nxt on smartphones and small devices like the Raspberry Pi.

To ‘earn’ Nxt coins you don’t actually have to do any mining. You simply run a client that becomes part of the network to validate blocks and facilitate transactions (a pure proof of stake currency).

Nxt is decentralized, meaning that it has no owners, corporations or accountability. It is owned by it’s users and seeks to avoid traditional regulation. Furthermore, nxt allows for the development of applications and services on top of it’s decentralized network.

Stakeholders and the Genesis block?

Nxt was created when stakeholders donated small amounts of bitcoins to create the Genesis block. The creation of the genesis block was fully public: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=303898.msg3652710#msg3652710

If you are confused or worried that Nxt maybe a scam to reward the stakeholders, take a look at this article on Yahoo finance. It should be pointed out that you have to somehow acquire some Nxt coins to get started. You can easily trade existing alt coins to do this. Then you’ll need a client and cloud wallet (nothing to download).

To find out more or get involved visit the official Nxt site.

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Vircurex Battles Against Insolvency

Bitcoin Wallpaper (2560x1600)

(Photo credit: PerfectHue)

Another virtual currency exchange Vircurex is battling to stay afloat following 2 large hacks and heavy withdrawals.

Following the news that Mt. Gox had filed for Bankruptcy, Vircurex has locked down accounts to try and find a way out of the situation. A statement on the Beijing based firm’s website reads:

1. We will introduce an additional balance type called “Frozen Funds”. Funds in this balance type cannot be used to trade or withdraw. Those are the balances that the exchange will gradually pay back and hence transfer back to the available balance over time.
2. We will move all current balances for BTC, LTC, TRC and FTC to the “Frozen Balance”, i.e. your balance will be set to 0.
3. We’ll take the current available cold storage balance and distribute it based on the below described distribution logic.
4. Monthly we will take the net profit of the exchange and credit back that amount distributed to the users based on the described distribution logic.

We are possibly seeing an end to vulnerable first phase exchanges with the new breed of exchanges paying more regard to security and transparency. Let’s hope so!

As ever, please exact due diligence before you place funds with any third party. See our security guide for more information.

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