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Pineapple Fund: why is an anonymous bitcoin millionaire giving away $86m? | Technology

What would you do if you had $86m? It’s a welcome dilemma for some of bitcoin’s early adopters thanks to the cryptocurrency’s meteoric rise, from less than $1,000 last year to a peak of almost $20,000 in December.

One generous bitcoiner has decided to follow the lead of Bill Gates and establish a philanthropic purse, the Pineapple Fund, because “once you have enough money, money doesn’t matter,” they say.

The founder, known only as Pine, declared in mid December “I’m donating 5,057 BTC to charitable causes!” and since then has given away $7,550,000 in bitcoin to charities and causes around the world, with a view to dispersing the remaining bitcoin over the next several months.

“I’m happy that I can help change the world for the better,” Pine says in a phone conversation on condition of anonymity. “I have a great deal of faith in humanity, but I wish more people could live with love and respect for each other.”

Early adopters of the currency who had the foresight to hold on to their coins, are now reaping the rewards. In a world where most high net-worth individuals are hoarding their wealth as inequalities widen, Pine is bucking the trend.

Pine explains that they look for three things when choosing who to donate to: “How impactful their work is (especially on an international scale), what new innovative skills they are bringing to the table, and how efficient and sustainable they are.”

“But to be honest, the biggest factor is my gut. I only fund charities that I trust, and with trust, I believe they are best posed to answer the more micro questions and do good in this world,” Pine adds.

The nine recipients of the largest bitcoin charitable donations are a collection of nonprofits including medical researchers, those providing poverty-stricken communities with basic necessities, and technology-related causes such as advocacy and open-source projects. Naturally, they are all delighted with the new influx of funds.

“It was a wonderful surprise,” says Karen Gullo, a spokesperson for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organisation that defends people’s rights online. “The $1m donation will support the work we do standing up for user privacy and free expression, and defending civil rights in the digital world — work that is critically important during these challenging times.”

The collection of charities also includes Watsi, a platform committed to taking the US towards universal healthcare, the SENS Research Foundation that works to develop cures for degenerative diseases, and the Water Project which helps to establish safe water sources in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Another $1m gift will help fund advanced clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder in an upcoming study sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (Maps).

“The Pineapple Fund’s outstanding generosity exemplifies how the growth of cryptocurrency can be leveraged for profound social change,” said Rick Doblin, the founder of Maps that applied to the fund at 5.30pm one day last week to wake up to almost 60BTC in their wallet.

“The blockchain community is helping to lead the way, not only in decentralised technologies and currencies, but in giving the gift of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to the world in order to heal trauma and bring greater compassion to psychiatry and medicine.”

After making news of the Pineapple Fund donation public, Maps recieved a further anonymous donation of almost $1m in bitcoin, Doblin said.

Another recipient is the BitGive Foundation, a charity building projects that leverage bitcoin and blockchain technology for global philanthropy, a similar venture to their own.

“This gift is a game changer for us. This single contribution is more than the total amount of funding BitGive raised in the past 4.5 years,” says Connie Gallippi, founder of BitGive. “We did our due diligence on the funds, and they were legitimate and clean, so it was happily welcomed.”

The continuing Christmas presents are likely to challenge the already-shifting narrative that Bitcoin is only a currency used by criminals. However, it does little to convince doubters that the bubble isn’t going to burst one day.

“I think we are overvalued right now and due for a crash,” says Pine, although they are not surprised at bitcoin’s valuation today. “However, I think in the very long term it will continue to rise in value as a deflationary currency [since there is a fixed supply of around 21m bitcoin, 4m of which are yet to be mined].”

With the vast majority of the fund still up for grabs, Pine is inviting applications from other worthwhile causes for consideration. They say their other main areas of focus are mental health, environmental conservation and combating domestic violence and sexual abuse.

But why is the war-chest coined the Pineapple Fund? “I’ve always liked Pineapple but since it contains bromelain [an enzyme that digests protein] your mouth becomes tender if you eat too much of it,” they say, referring to an occasion where overindulgence caused a temporary allergy. “Then, like now, is a good time to share the pineapple. I have too many bitcoins for the life I would like to live, so I am sharing them.”

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Onegold Customers Can Now Purchase Digital Bullion With Bitcoin

Online bullion marketplace Onegold announced on Tuesday that its customers can now purchase precious metals with bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin core (BTC). Onegold’s digital silver and gold products are fully allocated physical metals stored at the Royal Canadian Mint and can be redeemed at any time through Apmex.

Onegold Now Accepts Cryptocurrencies

Onegold Customers Can Now Purchase Digital Bullion With Bitcoin Cryptocurrency proponents can now purchase digital gold and silver bullion products on the Onegold platform using BCH and BTC. Onegold is a blockchain-based platform that stores precious metals and allows customers to redeem their digital bullion holdings at any time. The concept was created by the precious metals e-retailer Apmex and alternative asset manager Sprott. Their recent decision to support BCH and BTC is due to a partnership with Bitpay which already has a prior relationship with Apmex.

“Bitpay and Apmex have worked together for years, making it easy for Apmex to accept cryptocurrency — When they started Onegold, we were ready to help them accept bitcoin and bitcoin cash through Bitpay,” explained the chief commercial officer at Bitpay, Sonny Singh.

Singh continued:

Cryptocurrency is an ideal payment method for e-commerce and precious metals where the risk of chargebacks, fraud and identity theft with traditional credit cards is high.

International Bullion Buyers Are Interested in Alternative Payment Methods

Onegold Customers Can Now Purchase Digital Bullion With Bitcoin Ken Lewis, chief executive officer at Onegold, explained that credit card chargebacks were one of the big reasons the company chose to accept BCH and BTC. Because the digital assets act like cash and are a “push transaction” system, users need to pay for products up front, making traditional fraud cases much harder to accomplish. Lewis also detailed that blockchain payments provide greater accountability and some international buyers are more apt to purchase Onegold’s collateralized assets using cryptocurrencies.

“We anticipate a large number of cryptocurrency buyers from international markets, where accepting credit cards is not always practical,” Lewis explained during the announcement. “In addition to helping protect our own interests, adding bitcoin and bitcoin cash to the payment options for Onegold also increases our payment transparency and efficiency.”

Onegold Believes Cryptographically Secured Metals Are Better Than Exchange-Traded Funds

Onegold believes that its digital bullion is far superior to gold-backed paper like exchange-traded funds (ETF), such as the gold trust Comex and LBMA Gold. Both products are similar because they can be electronically traded, but Onegold is cryptographically secured by a distributed ledger and has 100 percent physical metal backing.

Onegold Customers Can Now Purchase Digital Bullion With Bitcoin
The Onegold system.

Onegold customers can redeem their stored assets with the click of a button, and have physical metals shipped to their door by Apmex. Quite a few gold and silver ETFs cannot be redeemed so quickly and some cannot be traded for physical assets at all, making customers settle for fiat. Onegold believes adding the ability to purchase digital metals with cryptocurrencies was the company’s next logical step.

What do you think about Onegold adding BCH and BTC support for digital bullion purchases? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Onegold, and Pixabay.


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The post Onegold Customers Can Now Purchase Digital Bullion With Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Xsolla Adds MobileGO (MGO) as New Payment Method for Developers and Gamers Globally

OCTOBER 22, 2018 — LOS ANGELES — Xsolla, which provides game developers with a comprehensive suite of flexible tools and services to help launch, monetize and scale their games globally, today started accepting made-for-gaming cryptocurrency — MobileGO (MGO) — for its PC and mobile games partners.

For the first time ever, developers are able to receive royalty payouts in a cryptocurrency, MGO, on a sliding scale percentage of their choice. As more and more digital entrepreneurs move their savings and retirement investments to the blockchain, Xsolla is there to help its clients cash out in whatever currency is most convenient for them.

“Xsolla’s mission is to always be at the forefront of innovative technology, continuously adding tools and services that enable developers to grow and monetize their games globally,” said Aleksandr Agapitov, founder and CEO of Xsolla. “MGO will accelerate transformative opportunities for our community. Game developers will now receive their royalty payouts much faster, and owners of MGO will soon be able to engage in peer-to-peer match play and organize decentralized gaming tournaments in a way never before possible. MGO is essentially the Bitcoin of the gaming industry, the most trusted cryptocurrency that Xsolla is making available to more than half a billion gamers today.”

Gamers now have more choice to pay for games and in-game transactions with the addition of MGO to Xsolla’s over 700 payment methods. With a current roster of over 500 games — and more added daily — that can accept the tokens, the audience continues to grow. Xsolla’s tools and services operate in over 200 countries and territories, more than 20 languages, and 130 currencies. It is the only payment platform and end-to-end product suite focusing solely on the game development community worldwide.

In addition to gaining popularity with gamers, preparing for this massive adoption MGO tokens have managed to secure their position on major exchanges such as Bitfinex, DigiFinex, BitForex, HitBtc and GateCoin.

About MGO
MGO is Etherium based ERC223 token created to foster a new era in the gaming industry. Its ultimate goal is massive adoption becoming a universal currency for 2.6 billion gamers worldwide, and help both large and small game developers to grow their business as well as to provide gamers with benefits of smart contracts and transparency. For more information, visit https://www.mobilego.io or watch this video.

About Xsolla
Xsolla gives video game developers, publishers, and platform partners access to the flexible tools, services, and collaboration needed to launch, monetize, and scale their games and products globally. Serving only the video game industry, the Xsolla product suite caters to businesses from indie to enterprise, with: Pay Station and its #1 Anti-fraud solution, Partner Network, Site Builder, Store, Login, and Launcher. Headquartered in Los Angeles, with offices worldwide, Xsolla operates as a merchant and seller of record for major gaming entities like Valve, Twitch, Ubisoft, Epic Games, and PUBG Corporation. For more information, visit www.xsolla.com.

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Japanese Regulated Exchange Zaif Hacked – Nearly 6000 BTC Stolen

Japanese government-approved cryptocurrency exchange Zaif has confirmed that it has been hacked. After a preliminary investigation, the exchange says at least 5,966 BTC have been stolen, with an estimated total damage of $60 million. Some of the stolen coins belong to the exchange but the majority belong to customers.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

Zaif Hacked

Japanese Regulated Exchange Zaif Hacked – Nearly 6000 BTC StolenJapanese crypto exchange Zaif has been hacked, its operator announced on Wednesday, Sept. 19. Tech Bureau Inc., which operates Zaif, explained that the exchange “detected server abnormality” on Monday and immediately suspended several services, including deposit, withdrawal, and merchant payment services.

The company revealed that unauthorized access to its hot wallet was detected between 17:00 and 19:00 on Sept. 14, elaborating:

Some of the deposit and withdrawal hot wallets were hacked by unauthorized access from the outside, and part of the virtual currencies managed by us was illegally discharged to the outside.

Japanese Regulated Exchange Zaif Hacked – Nearly 6000 BTC StolenThe exchange believes that three cryptocurrencies may have been stolen: BTC, BCH, and MONA. While it has confirmed that 5,966 BTC were stolen, the theft of the other two cryptocurrencies is still being investigated. Tech Bureau explained that the extent of the damage is currently unknown because the exchange’s server will not be restarted until it is confirmed to be secured in order to prevent further damage. Nonetheless, the company clarified:

It is estimated that the total loss due to the damage…is equivalent to about 6.7 billion yen [~US$60 million] (including MONA and BCH) in Japanese yen.

Out of the total damage, the company says 2.2 billion yen (~$19.6 million) belong to the exchange and 4.5 billion yen (~$40 million) belong to customers. Tech Bureau said it has asked for 5 billion yen (~$44.6 million) in assistance from a subsidiary of Fisco Ltd. to help repay affected customers, Kyodo News described.

Investigating and Rebuilding

In its announcement, Tech Bureau stated that it reported the breach to the Treasury Department on Sept. 18. “This case is a criminal case,” the company wrote, adding that it has requested an investigation into the breach. The company detailed:

Currently, we are checking and strengthening security, rebuilding the server, etc., in order to restart the system of depositing / withdrawing virtual currency.

The Osaka-based exchange, established in 2014, is one of the 16 government-approved crypto exchanges in Japan. The country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) issued the company two business improvement orders: the first was on March 8 and the second on June 22. The agency ramped up its oversight of crypto exchanges after hackers stole 58 billion yen (~$534 million) worth of the cryptocurrency NEM from Coincheck in January.

What do you think of Zaif’s hack? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Zaif.


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The post Japanese Regulated Exchange Zaif Hacked – Nearly 6000 BTC Stolen appeared first on Bitcoin News.



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