Agodacom Teams Up With Travalacom To Add Crypto Payment Option

Agoda.com Teams Up With Travala.com To Add Crypto Payment Option

By RTTNews Staff Writer | Published: 8/4/2020 10:42 AM ET

Online travel agency Agoda.com, a subsidiary of Booking Holdings, has teamed up with U.K.-based crypto-friendly travel booking platform Travala.com for providing seamless payments in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin for customers in addition to traditional payment methods.

Rivals in the field, Expedia and Bookings.com have already signed similar deals with Travala.com since late November 2019. Booking.com only sells hotels, while Expedia is a full service, online travel agency selling hotels, car, flights, tours as well as packages.

Digital travel platform Agoda.com has grown to offer a global network of over 2.5 million properties in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, offering travelers easy access to a wide choice of luxury and budget hotels, apartments, homes and villas, to suit all budgets and travel occasions.

Following the partnership with Agoda.com, travelers can now use Travala.com to book more than 600,000 Agoda hotels worldwide, with the option of paying in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC).

This brings the total number of accommodation listings available on the leading blockchain-based travel booking platform to over 2.2 million, covering 90,124 destinations in 230 countries and territories, where cryptocurrency can be used for payment.

"We can safely say we are the world's largest blockchain-based online travel agency by number of accommodation options available with over 2,200,000 options to book covering 90,124 destinations," said Juan Otero, CEO at Travala.com.

Backed by cryptocurrency exchange Binance, Travala.com provides option to make payments on their site using more than 30 cryptocurrencies, including their own native Travala (AVA) token, and also stablecoins. They also accept payments in Fiat and through Paypal.

In May 2020, Travala.com merged with Binance-backed crypto-friendly flight booking portal TravelbyBit to create one of the largest blockchain-based online travel agencies in the world. Travala utilizes the Binance Chain, which is the new blockchain from Binance.

For comments and feedback contact: editorial@rttnews.com

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SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Returns To Earth Safely

SpaceX's Crew Dragon Returns To Earth Safely

By RTTNews Staff Writer | Published: 8/3/2020 10:56 AM ET

SpaceX capsule carrying two U.S. astronauts safely landed in the Gulf of Mexico Sunday after completing a historic mission.

It was the fist commercially built and operated American crew spacecraft.

Astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley returned from the International Space Station to complete a test flight that marks a new era in human spaceflight.

SpaceX's Crew Dragon splashed down under parachutes in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida at 2:48 p.m. EDT Sunday and was successfully recovered by SpaceX.

After returning to shore, the astronauts flew back to Houston, where they were welcomed by their families.

It was the first splashdown for American astronauts since the final outing of an Apollo-Soyuz Test Project 45 years ago.

The Demo-2 mission is the final major milestone for SpaceX's human spaceflight system to be certified by NASA for operational crew missions to and from the International Space Station.

Once the Demo-2 mission is complete, and the SpaceX and NASA teams have reviewed all the data for certification, NASA astronauts Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins, Shannon Walker, and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi will fly on Dragon's first six-month operational mission (Crew-1) in late September, SpaceX said.

"Welcome home, Bob and Doug! Congratulations to the NASA and SpaceX teams for the incredible work to make this test flight possible," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 test flight was launched on May 30 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. After reaching orbit, Behnken and Hurley named their Crew Dragon spacecraft "Endeavour" as a tribute to the first space shuttle each astronaut had flown aboard.

Crew Dragon docked to the forward port of the International Space Station's Harmony module the next day.

Behnken and Hurley participated in a number of scientific experiments, spacewalks and public engagement events during their 62 days aboard station.

Behnken conducted four spacewalks while on board the space station with Expedition 63 Commander and NASA colleague Chris Cassidy. He now is tied for most spacewalks by an American astronaut with Michael Lopez-Alegria, Peggy Whitson, and Chris Cassidy.

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ChainLink LINK Launches Grant Program to Support Developers

ChainLink (LINK) Launches Grant Program to Support Developers

John P. Njui   •   CHAINLINK (LINK) NEWS   •   AUGUST 1, 2020

In summary:

  • Chainlink (LINK) has launched a community grant program to accelerate development on the platform.
  • The ChainLink ecosystem is growing rapidly and it is important to support the growth.
  • One goal of the Chainlink grant program is to accelerate the adoption of smart contracts.

The team at ChainLink (LINK) has announced the launch of its community grant program that aims at accelerating development on the network. The team explains that ChainLink network is growing at a rapid pace and it is vital to support the teams helping build on ChainLink.

ChainLink Grant Program to Accelerate Smart Contracts

The ChainLink network already plays a vital role in the DeFi industry through the use of smart contracts. The ChainLink project is already pushing the use of smart contracts into new industries as seen through the following two examples.

To begin with, ChainLink recently announced that the award-winning medieval strategy game of BlockLord was integrating ChainLinkVRF to power the game’s reward system. Through this ChainLink integration, gamers will be able to move up the ranks, access rare items as well as be rewarded in crypto for their performance and achievements.

Secondly, the top Korean banks of Hana, Shinhan, Nonghyup and Industrial Bank of Korea will be using ChainLink oracles to bring their forex data on-chain. This means that developers of DApps will now have access to real-time foreign exchange rates powered by Chainlink.

ChainLink Community to Aid in the Adoption of Smart Contracts

ChainLink’s goal is therefore to accelerate the adoption of smart contracts to the point of being the dominant digital agreement for contracts everywhere. To achieve this, the ChainLink community is a vital cog that will need constant support. The team further elaborated on this point as follows.

It is Chainlink’s goal to accelerate the adoption of smart contracts to the point where they are the dominant form of digital agreement for all contracts everywhere. This is a goal that we can only achieve together with our amazing community, their amazing ideas, the diligent development of those ideas into reality and a community wide commitment to creating an economically fair world powered by universally connected smart contracts.

How to Apply for the ChainLink Grant Program

Interested ChainLink developers are encouraged to apply for the Grant program via this online form.

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Authorities Arrest 17-Year-Old Mastermind Behind The Twitter Hack Dubbed Bit-Con

Authorities Arrest 17-Year-Old Mastermind Behind The Twitter Hack Dubbed “Bit-Con”

By Erie Maxwell – July 31, 2020

The recent Twitter hack echoed through the social media universe. Scammers made off with more than a hundred thousand dollars by taking over the accounts of celebrities, politicians, and even tech giants like Apple. Twitter’s stock dropped as much as 4% after the news and the social media world was thrown into disarray.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responded in near disbelief. 

“Tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible this happened,” Dorsey tweeted. “We’re diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened.”

Now we know that the chaos was all caused by a teenager.

Florida State authorities have arrested 17-year-old Graham Ivan Clark and have charged him with 30 felonies as the mastermind of the great ‘Bit-Con’.

According to the Department of Justice, Graham Ivan Clark didn’t act alone. 22-year-old Mason Sheppard, of the United Kingdom, and 19-year-old Florida resident, Nima Fazeli were also arrested for their participation in criminal actions.

Florida State Attorney Andrew Warren issued a statement on the investigation and the charges. 

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice conducted a complex nationwide investigation, locating and apprehending the suspect in Hillsborough County.”

Warren went on to say that the true victims were not Twitter or the celebrities, but the folks who handed over their money to the sammers. 

“These crimes were perpetrated using the names of famous people and celebrities, but they’re not the primary victims here. This ‘Bit-Con’ was designed to steal money from regular Americans from all over the country, including here in Florida. This massive fraud was orchestrated right here in our backyard, and we will not stand for that.”

Bitcoin has long been associated with crime and other unsavory acts, but as the technology continues to develop, the crypto space has been moving towards projecting a more professional tone.

Although Bitcoin has been the asset of choice requested by criminals, the real issue at hand is the breach of security at a major social media company and the fraud that occurred as a result.

When one crypto enthusiast suggested that Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson should hire the young hacker, he responded promptly and negatively.

“You don’t hire criminals. If you are looking for skilled hackers, then hire the ones who get access to such powerful systems and then show the world without harming people,” Hoskinson replied.

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DISCLAIMER

The views expressed in the article are wholly those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, ZyCrypto. This article is not meant to give financial advice. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the various cryptocurrencies available.

The original article written by Erie Maxwell and posted on ZyCrypto.com.

Article reposted on Markethive by Jeffrey Sloe

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UAE Implements Country-wide Blockchain-based Ecosystem For Data Sharing

UAE Implements Country-wide, Blockchain-based Ecosystem For Data Sharing

By RTTNews Staff Writer | Published: 7/31/2020 10:28 AM ET

The United Arab Emirates has partnered Swedish blockchain KYC technology firm Norbloc AB to become one of the first countries in the world to implement a country-wide, blockchain based ecosystem for data sharing. Dubai Economy and banking group Emirates NBD announced the go-live of the UAE KYC Blockchain Platform.

The UAE KYC Blockchain Platform is an initiative which facilitates secure digital customer onboarding, instant bank account functionality and sharing of verified KYC (Know-Your-Customer) data between licensing authorities and financial institutions via advanced distributed blockchain technology.

Companies can now choose to share their data, in real time, with the financial institutions of their choice, thus significantly reducing time and cost.

The initiative, which was first announced in February 2020, establishes a UAE-wide ecosystem for exchange of verified KYC data and instant digital onboarding of companies by financial institutions. The project is fully supported by Smart Dubai and the Central Bank of UAE who play a key regulatory role in the initiative.

Apart from Dubai Economy and Emirates NBD, Commercial Bank of Dubai, ADCB, HSBC, and RAKBANK are also set to go live very soon. More than 120 companies are already instantly onboarded by Emirates NBD with active and operational bank accounts.

This initiative is part of the Agenda Number One of Dubai Model which focuses on improving customer experience. It also aligns with the UAE government's vision around digitization and paperless as crucial strategies that enable continuation and sustainability.

Emirates NBD is the first banking group to go live on the platform with its initial use case covering E20, its digital business bank. This will enable SME customers to open accounts instantly through the E20 Digital Business Bank app.

Meanwhile, Dubai Economy has also migrated all active trade licenses onto the blockchain platform, representing over 40 percent of all active trade licenses in the UAE.

All participating financial institutions can leverage the blockchain platform to seamlessly pull data of their customers and receive real time updates made to customer data.

The launch of KYC Blockchain Platform, along with the Unified Business Registry (UBR) in Dubai, shows the blockchain ecosystem growing to build a seamlessly integrated paperless government framework.

Dubai Economy, leading financial institutions such as Emirates NBD, Dubai Government, and the UAE Government are currently taking significant measures towards creating a digital low touch economy with simplified processes ensuring that business can continue to thrive in the post-COVID environment.

For comments and feedback contact: editorial@rttnews.com

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2020 is Possibly the Last Year Bitcoin BTC Will Be Below 10k

2020 is Possibly the Last Year Bitcoin (BTC) Will Be Below $10k

John P. Njui   •   BITCOIN (BTC) NEWS   •   July 31, 2020

In brief:

  • Bitcoin managed to brush off news of a shrinking US economy.
  • Bitcoin has firmly regained the $11k price level.
  • A previous Bloomberg report had concluded that active BTC addresses point to $12k.
  • Using Metcalfe&'s Law, 2020 might be the last time Bitcoin trades below $10k.

On the last day of July, Bitcoin has shrugged off yesterday's alarming news of the US economy contracting by 32.9% in the second quarter of 2020. The lack of growth of the US economy has been linked to job losses and low consumer spending brought about by the economic effects of COVID19.

Bitcoin Firmly Regains $11k After Positive Earnings from Amazon, Apple and facebook

When news broke of a contracting US economy, the automatic response was one of caution as such information had the ability to drop the value of Bitcoin in an instant. Also yesterday, the big tech companies of Amazon, Apple and facebook released their quarterly earnings reports that propped back the stock markets. The positive news from the big tech companies also had a direct effect on Bitcoin which has since firmly regained the $11k price level. At the time of writing, Bitcoin is valued at $11,160 – Binance rate.

Bitcoin Active Addresses Point to $12k

Also to note, is that Bitcoin price is following a price prediction postulated by the team at Bloomberg in early July. According to the research team at Bloomberg, the number of active Bitcoin addresses point at BTC hitting $12k. They explained:

The number of active Bitcoin addresses used, a key signal of the 2018 price decline and 2019 recovery, suggests a value closer to $12,000, based on historical patterns.

2020 Might Be the Last Time Bitcoin is Valued Below $10k

In addition to all the positive news surrounding the crypto markets, 2020 might become the last year Bitcoin is ever valued at under $10k as shall be explained.

According to Bitcoin analysis done by Timothy Peterson of Cane Island Alternative Advisors, BTC’s value can be modeled using Metcalfe’s law. As earlier explained, Metcalfe's Law is primarily used in the Telecoms industry and Mr. Peterson has expanded on it in his analysis of Bitcoin.

Furthermore, Mr. Peterson has a very elaborate and simple chart that gives mid-November 2020, as possibly the last time Bitcoin will be valued at under $10k. Below is one of his Tweets proposing such a possibility for Bitcoin.

Money Printer Going Brrr Will Benefit Bitcoin's Value

With the Fed and European Central Bank continually printing fiat, more investors are flocking to safe-haven assets such as Gold, Silver and Bitcoin. This fact coupled with the recent bullish news of Visa, Mastercard and Paypal finally embracing crypto, it can be concluded that Bitcoin's general trajectory is up henceforth.

As with all analyses of Bitcoin, traders and investors are advised to do their own research and use adequate stop losses when trading Bitcoin.

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Original article posted on the EthereumWorldNews.com site, by John P. Njui.

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Crypto Hardware Wallet Maker Ledger Warns Customers Of Data Breach

Crypto Hardware Wallet Maker Ledger Warns Customers Of Data Breach

By RTTNews Staff Writer | Published: 7/29/2020 10:32 AM ET

Crypto hardware wallet maker Ledger has warned its customers about a data breach on the Ledger website in June and July, which has compromised contact and order details of 9,500 customers as well as 1 million email addresses.

Meanwhile, the company confirmed that payment information, passwords or credentials and crypto funds are safe as the data breach has no link with its hardware wallets or Ledger Live security and crypto assets.

Ledger was informed about a potential data breach on July 14 by a researcher participating in their bounty program. A week after patching the breach, the company came to know about an earlier breach in late June by an unauthorized third party.

This breach had compromised e-commerce and marketing database used to send order confirmations and promotional emails, These consisting mostly of email addresses, but with a subset including also contact and order details such as first and last name, postal address, email address and phone number.

The unauthorized third party had access to a portion of the e-commerce and marketing database through an API Key. The API key has been deactivated and is no longer accessible.

The company said it was able to fix issue immediately after a detailed internal investigation with third party experts as it was limited to ecommerce and marketing contact information.

The company is also actively monitoring online marketplaces for evidence of the stolen database being sold on the internet, but it has found none so far.

Ledger had notified the French Data Protection Authority, CNIL, about the data breach on July 17. It then partnered Orange Cyberdefense on July 21 to assess the potential damages of the data breach and identify potential data breaches.

Following the assessment, it was concluded that the ecommerce and marketing database has been breached. The company said it has already informed all affected customers through an email.

For comments and feedback contact: editorial@rttnews.com

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Bitcoin Retakes 11k Further Reinforcing Analysts Take That 20000 Is In Sight

Bitcoin Retakes $11k — Further Reinforcing Analysts Take That $20,000 Is In Sight

By Adrian Klent – July 28, 2020

At the time of this writing, Bitcoin is trading at a price of $11,026, which was first attained in the last 24hrs. The entire cryptocurrency community, especially Bitcoin users on Twitter have been tweeting tirelessly about the long-awaited price rally.

At present, Bitcoin is among the global Twitter trends with more than 100,000 tweets from the community. Regardless of the constant dips, analysts are still very confident that the big bull will make a crossover, and this is reflected in the live Bitcoin trading chart.

The one-day candlestick chart conveys Bitcoin’s sloppy movement from when Bitcoin hit $10,000 on the 27th of July, at 16:00 (UTC), and crossed over to $10,300. For the next two hours, the bears tested their luck but couldn’t hold strong as the mild bullish reversal steered the rally.

On the 27th of July, Bitcoin crossed the $10,600 and $10,800 resistance levels and hit $11,000. The daily all-time high was at $11,256, a mid dip sent Bitcoin below that price but the $11,000 price range was still maintained up until 8:00 am (UTC).

The momentum was lost shortly after and another dip to $10,700 was witnessed. Since then, the bulls have been struggling to stay afloat but power has been exchanged severally between bulls and bears. While bears’ impulse isn’t strong enough to pull the big bull below the $10,000 price mark, at least within the next few hours, the bulls will need to maintain the $10,500 mark as the minimum support level or Bitcoin might retest previous support. Hitting the $11,500 high could happen anytime soon. The next 24hrs could set Bitcoin in motion for $12,000 or prices could trade within the $11,000 and $10,000 if the market goes sideways.

Meanwhile, analysts are firmly stating that a $20,000 price may be attained sooner than later. As July comes to close, analysts are more bullish than ever. Popular analyst MoonCarl tweeted earlier today saying the bear market was over. If this is the case indeed, Bitcoin may trade above $10,000 through the rest of the year.

The editor at Kraken, Pete Rizzo also said that the ongoing bull run during this time translates to Bitcoin entering an “uncharted territory.”

MoonCarl wrapped up with another bold tweet that is being echoed by many. But whether or not Bitcoin hits $20,000 in the coming months, the bulls are once again largely in control of the market and new all-time highs may be attained from here on out.

DISCLAIMER

The views expressed in the article are wholly those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, ZyCrypto. This article is not meant to give financial advice. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the various cryptocurrencies available.

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Cellebrite Launches CipherTrace-powered Crypto Tracer Solution

Cellebrite Launches CipherTrace-powered Crypto Tracer Solution

By RTTNews Staff Writer | Published: 7/28/2020 10:17 AM ET

Digital intelligence firm Cellebrite teamed up with blockchain security firm CipherTrace to launch a Crypto Tracer solution to provide investigators with visibility to track illicit cryptocurrency movement by offering cryptocurrency tracing and blockchain analytic capabilities.

The solution will help accelerate investigations involving blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. It will help investigators to lawfully obtain evidence and trace criminals who use bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for illicit activities, including money laundering, terrorism, drug and human trafficking, weapon sales, and ransomware schemes.

The CipherTrace Inspector-powered solution encompasses powerful and easy-to-use tools, investigation services, and training programs designed for investigators, analysts and non-technical agents. It helps investigators to aggregate and curate millions of open source and private references, deception data and human intelligence, providing full visibility into the lifespan of cryptocurrency transactions.

The graphic mapping and color-coded threat level transactions enhance the visualization and understanding of the activities and accelerate investigators' abilities to pinpoint primary and associated criminal activity and its perpetrators.

It is estimated that about $76 billion of illegal activities involve Bitcoin every year. Also, nearly all darknet market transactions involve cryptocurrencies, due to their ease of transacting online and across borders.

There has been a misconception and has long been assumed that blockchain and cryptocurrency transactions remain untraceable and unknown. The essence of blockchain is to indelibly keep a record of each step of every transaction and this helps to identify illicit blockchain activity by interpreting the data.

The perceived anonymity has encouraged criminals to use cryptocurrencies for illicit activity. All the transactions are recorded on the blockchain, which is a public ledger, enabling anyone to see the transactions, but they cannot see the identities of those executing the transactions.

For comments and feedback contact: editorial@rttnews.com

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Bitcoin Breaks 10K and 3 Weeks Before One BTC Prediction

Bitcoin Breaks $10K and 3 Weeks Before One BTC Prediction

John P. Njui   •   BITCOIN (BTC) NEWS   •   JULY 26, 2020

Quick take:

  • Bitcoin has bulldozed the $10K psychological price level before dropping back to $9,900.
  • This move by Bitcoin had been predicted by Timothy Peterson of Cane Island Alternative Advisors.
  • His prediction had set a mid-August date for Bitcoin breaking $10K.
  • BTC has achieved this feat 3 weeks ahead of schedule.
  • The VISA, Mastercard, Paypal and OCC news could be behind Bitcoin’s bullishness.

Sundays are usually slow days in the crypto markets with many traders expecting sideways movement from Bitcoin (BTC) or a catastrophic dip. However, Bitcoin has done the opposite only moments ago when BTC wicked hard from the $9,700 price level to $10,115 – Binance rate.

With this quick move, Bitcoin has broken the psychological price level of $10,000. However, the King of Crypto has since dropped down to $9,970 as crypto traders attempt to figure out BTC’s next move.

A $10K Bitcoin Had Been Predicted, But by Mid August

The exciting move by Bitcoin above $10,000 had been predicted by Timothy Peterson, an Investment Manager at Cane Island Alternative Advisors. Mr. Peterson had predicted that BTC would retest $10,000 by mid-August. His prediction was based on his use of Metcalfe’s law. He made this prediction on July 1st via the following tweet.

#Bitcoin #10KCountdown is inspired by this price prediction from a popular (but not knowledgeable) bitcoiner. Using Metcalfe's law, I will show how predictable bitcoin's price is (within statistical margins). We're 49 days away. pic.twitter.com/VBnvNzsB0i

— Timothy Peterson (@nsquaredcrypto) July 1, 2020

Metcalfe’s law is usually used in the telecommunications industry and states that the effect of a telecoms network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system. Mr. Perteson has expanded this law to analyze Bitcoin and has even published a research paper about it.

He has since provided a glimpse of how he uses it to calculate Bitcoin’s value via the following tweet only hours ago.

#bitcoin #10KCountdown demonstrating that Metcalfe's Law determines bitcoin's value (and #ethereum, and #chainlink, and #twitter, and #facebook, and #google, and the internet, and #apple…) pic.twitter.com/BH4WsLXrVW

— Timothy Peterson (@nsquaredcrypto) July 26, 2020

What Next for Bitcoin (BTC) in the Crypto Markets?

Bitcoin’s surge above $10K has returned BTC to pre-Covid19 levels last seen in late February. To note is that the CME Bitcoin futures are still paused at Friday’s price of $9,600. Additionally, the CME futures expire this Friday, 31st July. Therefore, judging by past situations where there is a CME gap, Bitcoin will eventually dip down and fill it. To get a feel as to when this might happen, it is worth looking at the daily BTC/USDT chart.


(Click image for larger view)

From the daily Bitcoin chart, the following can be observed.

  • Bitcoin’s price at $9,970 is above the 50-day, 100-day and 200-day moving averages, thus pleading the case for a bullish environment.
  • MACD has crossed in a bullish manner around the baseline pointing that Bitcoin could continue pushing higher to retest $10,115.
  • However, the daily MFI is high at 80 pointing to future sideways movement or a retracement.
  • The mentioned moving averages provide adequate support at $9,300, $9,050 and $8,600 respectively.

Furthermore, Bitcoin could remain in bullish territory as a result of the news of VISA, Mastercard and Paypal planning on supporting crypto transactions. Additionally, the news of US banks being greenlighted to offer crypto custody solutions will provide much-needed fuel for BTC to rebound if it drops to fill the CME gap.

As with all analyses of Bitcoin, stop losses and low leverage are advised when trading BTC during volatile times.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to give financial advice. Any additional opinion herein is purely the author’s and does not represent the opinion of EWN or any of its other writers. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the numerous cryptocurrencies available. Thank you.

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