Bitfury’s Coffee Machine Accepts Bitcoin Via Lightning Network 1148

Blockchain firm Bitfury has come up with a novel product aimed at making it easier to pay for products with bitcoin. A specialized engineering team within the company has developed a coffee vending machine capable of connecting to the Lightning Network, a second-layer transaction protocol designed to make bitcoin more scalable by processing transactions off the main bitcoin blockchain.

As a result, the vending machine can accept bitcoin payments without charging high fees or requiring long transaction times, according to a press release. LightningPeach, the team behind the new vending machine, added a device capable of joining the network to a coffee machine that already sported some built-in smart components. The device is composed of a small Raspberry Pi computer and a unique circuit board designed by the team to process transactions.

Vasyl Grygorovych, LightningPeach’s head of community, told CoinDesk that the team’s strategic goal is to develop a real-world infrastructure for faster bitcoin payments.

“With a small computer and a chip, which is assembled by us or is easy to reproduce … it is much easier to pay with cryptocurrencies than with credit cards, because you don’t need your credit cards at all, you just need your mobile device,” he said.

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River Financial raises $12M Series A to continue explosive growth of its Bitcoin financial services for traditional investors 21058

San Francisco-based Bitcoin financial services provider River Financial closed a $12 million Series A equity financing round to continue growing its financial service offerings for traditional investors. The investment round was led by Goldcrest Capital with participation from Craft Ventures, Polychain Capital, M13, Castle Island, Slow Ventures, and The Kraft Group.

River Financial previously announced a $5.7 million seed round in June 2020. In the nine months since the company’s seed round announcement, River’s client base has grown by almost 600%, and order volumes have increased by 3,500%. River’s recent iOS app has accelerated the company’s growth, already accounting for over 30% of all River’s order volume within five weeks of launch. River Financial continues to experience exponential growth in new customers and order volume month-over-month as global interest in Bitcoin continues to grow rapidly. Social unrest, inflation fears, and recent elections are driving droves of traditional investors to Bitcoin and River.

River is investing heavily in team growth and product development. According to Co-Founder and CEO Alex Leishman, “Bitcoin is on a trajectory to becoming a global reserve asset, and we are building the financial services that our clients will need for that future.” River’s focus on premium client services and traditional financial tooling, including tax lot tracking and account statements, is attracting increasing numbers of high-end clients who find incumbent solutions intimidating and confusing.

The majority of volume on River is driven by clients over the age of 50, but Co-Founder and COO Andrew Benson believes there is still a large underserved segment of the population, “River’s mission is to bring Bitcoin to investors around the world. Even as global interest in Bitcoin grows rapidly, most Americans over the age of 45 who want Bitcoin still don’t own any. River is helping to fix that by creating familiar, high-end financial solutions for investors who are new to Bitcoin.”

Max Dilendorf Serves as a Bitcoin Expert Witness in USCIS EB-5 Green Card Adjudication Proceedings 19850

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has frequently denied EB-5 applications that list Bitcoin exchange-traded-funds as a legitimate “source of funds”. Yet, in an unprecedented approach that included forensic reporting analysis, attorney Max Dilendorf provided an expert legal opinion and due diligence report proving that a green card applicants’ source of funds met the standards to be qualified under this program.

Because USCIS only requires a “preponderance of evidence” showing the legal acquisition of investment funds in EB-5 petitions and offers little guidance for applicants whose funds originated in cryptocurrency, Dilendorf’s confirming evidence was a significant achievement.

The Dilendorf Law Firm, NYC’s top law firm for the digital age, represented several clients in EB-5 matters with the USCIS concerning the clients’ EB-5 investments funded with cryptocurrencies. By submitting blockchain and cryptocurrency expert reports in these cases, the firm has provided evidence to support the legitimate “source of funds”.

The firm’s clients were software engineers and early cryptocurrency adopters who, in the opinion of the crypto compliance law firm, are legally qualified for obtaining EB-5 investor green-cards, as there was little doubt on the legality of the source of the clients’ cryptocurrency funds.

Dilendorf’s legal opinions and blockchain forensic reports, as submitted to the USCIS, included an expert assessment of the following:

  • legality of the specific digital assets and regulatory framework for the involved financial institutions dealing with cryptocurrencies;
  • origin and flow of cryptocurrencies funding the EB-5 investments;
  • mechanism and sufficiency of digital wallets, private cryptographic keys, crypto trading platforms and accounts establishing ownership of the clients’ cryptocurrency funds;
  • KYC/AML compliance measures taken at each point of the funds’ journey by clients and third parties, including crypto exchanges and OTC traders.

Max Dilendorf, Esq. is also a top forensic Bitcoin and crypto expert witness. His expertise has also made him one of the top cryptocurrency consultants for Fortune 500 companies.  Mr. Dilendorf’s recent speaking engagements have included the Thailand SEC, IBM, Berkshire Hathaway, and New York University, to name a few.

Pastel Network Announces the Listing of PSL on the Bitcoin.com Exchange 19048

Pastel Network, the first truly decentralized and scalable blockchain project designed specifically for rare digital art, has officially announced its pending listing on Bitcoin.com, scheduled for March 5, 2021. Pastel Network is a blockchain for rare digital art (also known as “NFTs”) that is built on the secure, battle-tested codebases of the Bitcoin, Dash, and ZCash cryptocurrency projects. Pastel introduces several important innovations to the world of blockchain art, such as the decentralized storage of art image files natively in the network, as well as a decentralized validation process for registering new artworks that prevents near-duplicate images from being added to the system. Pastel’s novel near-duplicate detection algorithm is based on robust image fingerprints that are generated using state-of-the-art deep learning image models and introduces a new form of digital scarcity which makes pixel patterns themselves “rare.”

Pastel takes a different technological approach than competing digital art blockchain projects, which are primarily built on top of the Ethereum platform. Because Pastel is an integrated platform specifically designed for the application of rare digital art, it has its own native Bitcoin-like currency (called the PSL coin). Having a native currency token makes the Pastel Network’s fees for registering, storing, and trading rare artwork very low, which makes it affordable to artists and collectors all over the world. Furthermore, the system includes a native mechanism based on changes in the mining difficulty of Pastel’s proof-of-work algorithm for maintaining these fees at affordable levels long into the future — even if PSL appreciates significantly in value. This is in stark contrast to Ethereum-based art projects, where the cost to create new artworks is currently hundreds of dollars, creating unnecessary financial risks for artists and making these other platforms out of reach for all but the wealthiest artists and the most expensive digital artworks. Even if an artist can afford to pay these egregious fees, the cost of simply transferring the artworks to users is prohibitively high. Pastel offers digital artists a secure and robust environment for registering their rare digital artworks with very low transactional costs, making digital art accessible to artists from anywhere in the world, and allowing a different business model for artists where they can sell larger numbers of their limited-edition digital art “prints” at a price point of under $5, while still making a healthy profit margin.

At the same time, Pastel allows art collectors and fans to purchase rare digital artworks directly from their favorite artists — with most of the value going to the artist instead of being wasted on unproductive network fees and overhead. This allows fans to participate in the long-term success of their favorite artists, creating a reciprocal relationship that transforms an artist’s fans into partners that have a financial stake in promoting the artist’s work. Furthermore, buyers of rare artworks on Pastel are able to trade their owned artworks with other Pastel users in a decentralized exchange that is native to the platform, all while paying modest trading commissions and transaction fees that are closer to the ~2% charged by payment processors such as Paypal and Stripe than the 15% or more charged by art dealers and auction houses, and other NFT platforms. Pastel Network’s low trading fees will lead to a much more dynamic and liquid marketplace for rare digital artwork that has the potential to radically transform the way art is created and collected. Best of all, the trading fees are sent by buyers and sellers to an unspendable PSL address, thus, “burning” them and removing them permanently from circulation. Over time, this natural deflation will offset the new PSL created through the mining process, making PSL scarcer and more valuable.

As Pastel Network’s founder Jeff Emanuel explains, “Today marks an exciting milestone for our project, which has been under continuous development since 2018 with the singular mission of serving the world’s artistic community. We have created an open platform that frees artists from the restrictions of the traditional art market, with its outrageous commissions and dealer fees, as well as its elitist ‘gatekeeping’ mentality that excludes the vast majority of talented artists around the world from earning a living as an artist. With the listing of Pastel on the Bitcoin.com exchange, as well as the public launch of our wallet software for artists and collectors in the next months, Pastel is now poised to disrupt the NFT space with a radically better network design that solves the high transactional fees and scalability issues that plague existing Ethereum-based NFT marketplaces and platforms.”

Pastel Network originated as a fork of the Animecoin blockchain project originally introduced in 2014. Animecoin was based on a modified version of the Bitcoin code and was fairly distributed with zero “pre-mine” to thousands of users around the world. After the fork, the Pastel team raised over $3 million from Innovating Capital and other blockchain investors to fund the development of the Pastel software and to further the goals of the project through community engagement and exchange listings, culminating in Pastel’s pending listing on Bitcoin.com.

Blockchain Wave is waiting for you in Antalya in 8 Apri 21819

Blockchain-Wave

The wave of international blockchain innovation is coming to the shores of the Mediterranean. In April this spring, Antalya is the place to be for Crypto enthusiasts, Crypto investors, IT specialists and trailblazers in the field of Blockchain IT technology and Cryptocurrencies. Come to Rixos Downtown for networking and recreation!
The organizers are German agency Lead Volume and Turkish blockchain-platform Centex, experienced online-market players.

Blockchain Wave at Rixos Downtown Antalya is a lounge style conference for 1,000 participants with a themed networking after-party on the Mediterranean coast. Listen to speakers from different regions of the world in a relaxed environment. At the exhibition, guests can find new partners and hold discussions in the comfortable networking lounges. Later on, Blockchain Wave participants will go to a themed after-party show, where you have the chance of getting to know partners and clients better in an informal party atmosphere. The mystery theme of the show is to be announced a month before the event.

  • 14  speakers from Europe, Asia and the CIS
  • 2 panel discussions
  • 8 hours of useful content
  • 30  promo stands at exhibition
  • 3 networking lounges with drinks and snacks
  • 1 unique costumed after-party show!

The main goal – the organization of a meeting place on the Mediterrenean coast where IT, blockchain and crypto currency specialists and influencers can to network and relax at. Antalya is an ideal location, with convenient international connections allowing guests from Europe and Asia to come together to negotiate partnerships, socialise and enjoy luxurious resort facilities and warm climate. logistics for the meetings, negotiations and leisure of guests from Europe and Asia. Here, the leaders of innovative projects can share their international experience, establish new business connections and enjoy their leisure time, before celebrating their deals at the impressive after-party.

For whom:
Blockchain start-ups, crypto funds, investors, crypto exchanges and wallets, traders, miners, developers and visionaries.

Topics include:

  • Crypto trading in 2021
  • Investing in blockchain projects in current conditions
  • New trends: DeFi, crowdfunding and tokensale-Mining in 2021
  • The legal aspect of crypto-currency regulation in different countries.
  • Decentralised solutions for the modern world-Blockchain and crypto-trading training schemes.

You are welcome!

Crypto Broker AG, the brokerage division of Crypto Finance Group, receives the FINMA Securities House Licence 20796

The Crypto Finance Group brokerage, Crypto Broker AG, has been granted a licence as a securities house with a bilateral trading facility by FINMA, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. The licence is recognition of the group’s consistently professional approach to crypto asset trading, liquidity provision, and innovation in financial services, making it a business-to-business partner of choice for institutional investors and leading financial players. This significant milestone caps a successful previous year for the group, with the brokerage trading over USD 1 billion in assets in 2020.

Crypto Finance is one of the few crypto brokers worldwide fulfilling the licencing requirements that securities firms active in the established financial markets do. Once effective, this licence also brings new business potential in trading security tokens.

“Getting the securities house licence for our brokerage is a pivotal moment for us. It means that we will be able to offer our professional – and regulated – services to even more financial institutions, enabling them to enter this new asset class. The licence also recognises our team’s dedication and expertise,” says Jan Brzezek, founder and CEO of the Crypto Finance Group.

Rupertus Rothenhaeuser, CEO of Crypto Broker AG adds, “Today’s announcement marks a milestone in achieving the Crypto Finance Group vision: providing professional products and services for the evolving digital asset universe. Given last year’s exponential growth in digital asset operations with our clients, we expect continued business expansion in 2021.”

Multichain Ventures Secures Public Sector Contract with Nevada to Supply Tokenized Financial Ecosystem for the Legal Cannabis Industry 20616

Multichain Ventures Inc., a pioneer in blockchain, tokenized ecosystems and digital financial infrastructure, utilizing their proprietary patent pending commerce solutions, is pleased to announce that alongside another vendor, has secured a public sector contract with the State of Nevada to fulfill the requirements of Assembly Bill 466. The Bill creates a Pilot Program and legal framework within which legal cannabis entities and supporting businesses can eliminate the necessity of transacting exclusively in cash, through the implementation of blockchain-based financial technology services.

Multichain Ventures was an early participant in roundtable discussions which ultimately culminated in the AB466 proposal, contributing feedback during two events over the course of 2018. Early discussions centered on a variety of potential alternative solutions to issues facing cannabis operators. Co-founders Michael Wagner, CFA and Gabriel Allred, PhD consulted directly with more than twenty five public officials on the fundamentals of tokenized ecosystems, and the inherent advantages of speed, functionality, and transparency of such systems.

FEDERAL OUTLOOK

Cannabis remains a Schedule I federally controlled substance by the DEA in the United States. As a result, federally regulated entities, such as banks and payment processors, are reluctant to provide services to marijuana businesses, despite some form of legal status across 35 states.

The Cannabis 2021 outlook for federal reform is staging for major strides due to the new U.S. Senate revamp. Recent Democratic victories in Georgia give the Democrats 50 seats along with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris holding the tiebreaking vote.

Recent cannabis public market activity increased, with investors feeling inclined to activate investment vehicles in response to Washington’s projected approval of policies and legislation opening commerce to increase business across the nation.

Without a Republican-anchored Senate, cannabis reform efforts stand a chance in congress. But not without grit, perseverance and time. The U.S. economy and the coronavirus pandemic are at the forefront of our Nation’s priorities. Historically, President-elect Joe Biden’s marijuana agenda includes a moderate approach:

  • Legalizing medical marijuana federally
  • Rescheduling marijuana
  • Supporting states’ rights

Cannabis banking reform would enable more marijuana enterprises to use not only traditional banking sources but to also tap into additional sources of capital for business operations and expansion. However, we see a long road ahead until dispensaries and other industry supply chain operators can transact safely with our Nation’s biggest banks.

“Supply chain and financial managers struggle to implement strategic decisions, arrested by a regulatory environment characterized by commerce restrictions. Despite continuous obstacles the cannabis industry continues to see year over year growth driven by global demand. As we look forward into the cannabis economic mechanics we have the opportunity to build this industry with a best in class financial infrastructure benefiting the consumer experience, operator value chain and government regulatory mandates. ” Pablo Quiroga, Chief Operating Officer, Multichain Ventures, Inc.

PILOT PROGRAM

The AB466 Pilot Program represents a first-of-its-kind solution to the rapidly growing cannabis sector, which continues to see expansion in state legalization. It is a major step in reinventing how cannabis operators conduct business. AB466 specifically calls for a tokenized, closed-loop financial ecosystem. Operators and supporting businesses will have the opportunity to optionally participate in the pilot. The system is designed such that cash deposits are converted to a fully collateralized stable token, which can then be freely transacted with other participants. Ecosystem parties are able to remove cash from the ecosystem through the redemption of stable tokens, and withdrawals to external facilities.

“The Pilot Program presents a tremendous opportunity for Multichain Ventures to demonstrate the enormous potential of blockchain and decentralized technology to solve problems facing the world today. Cannabis institutions have long faced stigma and have lacked access to financial infrastructure most businesses take for granted.” Michael Wagner, CFA – Co-Founder and CEO, Multichain Ventures, Inc.

The Bill saw considerable support from both legislators and local law enforcement during the legislative process in 2019, during which it passed without opposition at both the committee level and on the floor of both houses. Crime related to cash held at dispensaries and cultivation facilities has been problematic for operators. With large volumes of cash transacted daily, and no banking facility to deposit, they are a considerable target for criminals.

“We are very excited to launch this innovative pilot program to provide the legal cannabis industry a safe and efficient way to engage in financial transactions. It is our hope that this pilot program will not only increase public safety in Nevada, but will also provide government entities with a streamlined process to collect tax revenue.” Zach Conine, Nevada State Treasurer.

CUSTOM TAILORED TECHNOLOGY SOLUTION

Multichain Ventures developed a custom solution to satisfy the requirements of the Bill. Leveraging its established digital currency financial infrastructure (patent pending), and integrating the Solana Blockchain Protocol for smart contract deployment, they further developed a software suite dedicated to operators within the Nevada market. Functionality exists to view token balances, review invoices, conduct business-to-business transactions, and mint and redeem stable tokens. All processes are encapsulated in a robust compliance process that factors marijuana retail business (MRB) reporting requirements. Supply chain transparency and seed-to-sale tracking on blockchain will be implemented in the future. The platform is currently capable of integrating with METRC, a standardized government and regulatory reporting platform utilized in Nevada, and numerous other states.

The solution initially targets licensed cannabis operators, including dispensaries, cultivators, and production facilities. However, Multichain Ventures sees a great opportunity to expand into surrounding businesses, such as utility companies, landlords, payroll companies, ancillary service providers, and with the Nevada Department of Taxation for tax remittance. This ecosystem could further provide value to existing popular canna-tech companies, such as Distru and Akerna, as an enhancement to their platforms.

Operators should encounter little disruption to existing business procedures, as the onboarding process was designed from the ground up with the end user in mind. During the initial rollout, operators will continue accepting cash from the consumer as they do today. However, post-consumer transaction, the operator is presented with the ability to deposit reconciled cash with a federal bank facility provided as a resource within the Pilot. Cash becomes tokenized upon deposit, and can then be transacted electronically throughout the ecosystem. Upon completion of the lifecycle of the digital token, it will be redeemed for cash at a one-to-one value with dollars collateralizing the token.

Early feedback from the industry has been positive, with several operators interested in participating in the beta program. TapRoot Brands, a vertically integrated Nevada-based operator, sees the potential for such a system to resolve safety and security issues they face in cash handling and management.

“The strong growth that the cannabis industry has seen nationwide over the last year further reinforces the need for a solution to minimize or eliminate cash transactions and develop banking solutions ahead of federal legalization. Not only does the current cash-only system lead to public safety vulnerabilities for employees, dispensary customers and regulators, but it ties up valuable resources due to the time commitments of cash handling and documentation. TapRoot is excited to participate in the development of this pilot program, and assisting both the Multichain Ventures team and the Nevada State Department of Taxation implement a much needed solution for the industry.” Shane Terry – TapRoot Brands, CEO

FORWARD LOOKING

While the immediate benefits of safe asset custody and electronic transactions are obvious, the long-term potential remains robust. Transactions globally are naturally trending towards electronic services, and digital currency itself is seeing increasing rates of adoption. The solution presented provides an optimal customer experience, convenience, safety, and security for both consumers and businesses alike. With near-instant settlement on transactions, and none of the fees typically associated with payments, the framework for global adoption of blockchain now exists.

Multichain Ventures continues expanding its service offerings within the financial technology suite. Portfolio management, exchange integrations, investment management, DeFi (decentralized finance) and yield generating opportunities are presently under development, in partnership with companies such as Brave New Coin. Multichain Ventures has positioned itself as the single source of financial infrastructure for businesses and consumers alike to access the rapidly expanding blockchain ecosystem.