Reddit no longer accept BTC for payments

Reddit no longer accepts BTC for payments

It would appear that Reddit is moving away from legacy Bitcoin (BTC). The ability to use the cryptocurrency has been removed as an option for users wanting to make payments for their Reddit Gold accounts, as well as send payments as gifts to other Reddit Gold members. While it would seem that the move wasn’t officially announced in advance by Reddit staff, it was later confirmed by a Reddit forum moderator.

A post by Reddit user BitcoinXio pointed out the absence of the payment option on March 23. He had uploaded a video walking through the steps of sending money to another Reddit Gold user, only to find options for sending the money with either a credit card or a PayPal account. In posting the video, the user asked if Reddit had removed the option, to which a forum moderator, emoney40, confirmed the removal. The moderator, who is active in other Reddit forums expect for /r/btc, commented, “The upcoming Coinbase change, combined with some bugs around the Bitcoin payment option that were affecting purchases for certain users, led us to remove Bitcoin as a payment option.”

Payments with BTC were marginal on the site, so its deletion as an option won’t impact the community greatly. However, emoney40 mentioned that Reddit will monitor the forums and could bring it back in the future.

The move is in preparation of the launch of Coinbase Commerce. To prepare for the launch, Reddit has made the decision to do away with the Coinbase Merchant Tools. As of May 31, any merchants that are using Coinbase Merchant Tools will have to make the jump to Coinbase Commerce.

Coinbase Commerce is a payment system that allows businesses to easily accept cryptocurrency payments. Due to its nature, it’s available for use by any establishment, anywhere around the world.  It also integrates easily into the eCommerce site Shopify for any retailer using the platform.

Reddit is an online forum platform where virtually any topic is available for discussion. Any member can post topics, called communities, which are moderated by volunteer users. Reddit Gold is Reddit’s premium membership program and costs $3.99 per month or $29.99 per year. It gives subscribing users the ability to visit the site ad-free, as well as personalize options such as an avatar or the site them, and a slew of other benefits.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.


Coinbase finds a friend in Barclays bank

Coinbase finds a friend in Barclays bank

There’s a little bit of possible good news for the cryptocurrency community after the most recent drop in trading. Coinbase has inked a deal with Barclays bank out of the UK. In a world where most financial giants are turning their noses up at cryptocurrencies, Barclays allowed Coinbase to open an account with the bank, making it easier for British traders to move their crypto to fiat and vice versa. Bank transfers through Barclays will be available within the next couple of weeks.

In an interview with CNBC, Coinbase UK CEO Zeeshan Feroz  said the initial rollout will involve “giving a small number of institutional users access to Faster Payments,” followed by a launch to all UK customers to make “the Coinbase experience increasingly easier.” Due to the announcement, analysts have predicted an increase in trading from crypto fans in the UK.

Despite still dealing with a couple of litigious headaches, Coinbase had another boost recently. The British Financial Conduct Authority gave the exchange its blessing for an e-money license, which will enable Coinbase to add support for the Faster Payment Service (FPS). FPS transactions can be completed in less than a day, provided both the sending and the receiving banks subscribe to the service. The license will also give Coinbase access to an additional 23 countries across Europe.

Coinbase is a popular platform for buying and selling several cryptocurrencies. It also operates the GDAX crypto exchange. Coinbase has supported legacy Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum and Litecoin for some time, and added Bitcoin Cash as an asset in December 2017. Almost as soon as it was launched, Bitcoin Cash was pulled over rumors of insider trading. Those rumors have led to at least one pending lawsuit, with the possibility of more to follow.

Barclays bank is a multinational financial institution headquartered in London. It operates in more than 40 countries and offers four types of businesses and has assets of more than $1.5 trillion. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange. Its largest shareholder is Qatar Holdings, an investment vehicle of the State of Qatar.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper. Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Coinbase introduces tax tool for cryptocurrency earnings

Coinbase introduces tax tool for cryptocurrency earnings

The largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, Coinbase has introduced a tool wherein one can calculate tax due in relation to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidelines regarding virtual currency earnings. Coinbase has also provided a step-by-step guide to calculate taxes with this tool, which is a very useful way of simplifying the often cumbersome and laborious procedure.

The first step is to establish a relatively complete view of trading activities so that the cost basis may be determined. You may click a button on the website that creates a detailed report which has all the transactions in the buy, sell, send and receive departments. These are associated with the Coinbase account and will provide a good snapshot of what needs to be submitted to the IRS.

Additionally, the report also provides a cost basis for purchases and proceeds for all the sales made through Coinbase with fees also included. This information is important to determine what gains or losses have been made. Coinbase also warns that payment reversals and refunds are usually not reflected in the report. The report is only created for Coinbase transactions so for a complete picture, one needs to create a similar report from other exchanges.

The second step would be to calculate the gains and losses, and Coinbase advises that it would be better for a tax professional to carry out this procedure. Relative gains and losses are calculated by subtracting the costs from each sale or exchange.

Since there is no standard guide from the IRS on how to file these taxes with regards to costs, Coinbase recommends two procedures that it calls FIFO (First in First Out) and SpecID or Specific Identification. The former assumes that the first assets that were purchased were also the first assets that were sold and exchanged. Apparently this is the most common approach used for traditional investments. With SpecID, the investor needs to specify what assets were sold and exchanged by informing a tax professional.

Adding the gains and losses from all of your sales and exchanges will give you your gain or loss for the year. Once the gains or losses for the year have been calculated, you are ready to file your taxes.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

Coinbase launches Index Fund, won’t be adding Ripple support

Despite coming under pressure lately for alleged insider trading, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is moving forward with its plan to conquer the world.

It recently announced the launch of an Index Fund for cryptocurrencies designed to give investors a clearer picture of major trends in the industry, much the same way as the Dow Jones Industrial Average provides projections.

In an interview with CNBC “Fast Money,” Coinbase President and COO Asiff Hirji said, “It’s a very simple to use, easy way to get exposure to the crypto-assets that we offer on our exchange.” Accredited U.S. investors will now have exposure to all assets on Coinbase’s GDAX exchange, with the currencies being weighted based on market capitalization.

Coinbase is the U.S.’s primary exchange for buying most major digital currencies. Users can find legacy Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin on Coinbase’s GDAX exchange, but not Ripple. That marks a perfect segue into the next topic: Coinbase won’t be adding Ripple anytime in the near future.

Being the third most popular cryptocurrency does not necessarily equate to more privileges. Coinbase has come out, quite emphatically, to say that it won’t be bringing the digital currency to its trading exchange anytime soon. In fairness to Ripple, it has to be said that Coinbase also stated that other coins won’t be added, either.

Coinbase released a statement this week after rumors began to circulate that it could be adding Ripple to the exchange. It referenced a previously-released announcement from January, in which the company detailed its position on accepting new coins.

According to the statement, “A few months ago we released our Digital Asset Framework which highlights our criteria for supporting new assets…A committee of internal experts is responsible for determining whether and when new assets will be added to the platform…As of the date of this statement, we have made no decision to add additional assets to either GDAX or Coinbase. Any statement to the contrary is untrue and not authorized.”

The pre-denial rumors sparked a slight increase in Ripple trading. It gained about 6% to reach almost $1.07. After Coinbase refuted the rumors, Ripple began to drop and, at the time this article was written, is worth $0.85, a drop of a little more than 7% on the week.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Reversal in cryptocurrency markets as Coinbase rumours sink Ripple

Reversal in cryptocurrency markets as Coinbase rumours sink Ripple

The recovery in the last three days in cryptocurrency markets was short lived and, once again, the gains made in the days before were wiped out in a matter of hours on Monday afternoon and evening. This situation has been occurring regularly in the past months, an indication that the bear market is continuing to affect almost all larger market cap cryptocurrencies which are struggling to recover at anything near their all-time highs.

After having gained around 20% in 24 hours, Ripple (XRP) sunk to lose half those gains on Monday due to the fact that Coinbase announced it was not adding any new currencies to its portfolio anytime soon. XRP has been struggling to go above the $1 mark of late and has languished for weeks around $0.85 to $0.90 with very little movement apart from the wild swings of the last 48 hours.

Another currency which lost considerably after having surged previously was Stellar Lumens (XLM). The price of the token had shot up to almost $0.40—a gain of well over 20% since it had been flirting with the $0.30 mark for some days. However although a conference between the founders of Stellar and currency exchange Etoro was supposed to have boosted prices, these went into freefall and XLM was trading at $0.35 at press time—a 15% drop. It seems that positive news has a reverse effect these days although the issue of pumping and dumping is also extremely worrying.

Legacy Bitcoin (BTC) was the only currency not to suffer any drop since it was actually up to $11,700 at one point before falling back slightly at the end of the day to around $11,300. Still, the cryptocurrency is holding quite strongly above the $11,000 mark and appears to be quite well supported at those levels. Bitcoin Cash was also quite stable throughout the day and suffered only minor losses of around 1-2% resulting in the price oscillating around the $1,200-$1,250 mark although turnover is very low and there does not seem to be any kind of strong movement expected anytime in the short term.

Of the currency with larger market caps, Litecoin was mired in the $200-$210 mark where it has been for the past weeks whilst Ethereum was also disappointing trading between the $820 and $850 mark. Ethereum Classic continued dropping and is currently trading below the $27 mark—almost 40% down from its recent highs of $41. Dash dropped again below $600, whilst NEO also suffered heavy losses and shed over 10% to trade at around $110 at one point before recovering slightly to the $112-$113 mark.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
LinkedIn's Emilie Choi joins Coinbase

LinkedIn’s Emilie Choi joins Coinbase

As the cryptocurrency market continues to grow and create opportunities, companies are looking to consolidate a strategy through mergers and acquisitions to take advantage of the explosive growth in the technology underpinning blockchain.

Coinbase, which has recently been in the news due to its non-adding of the Ripple currency to its portfolio, has achieved quite a coup in another direction when it was announced that the largest U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange poached one of LinkedIn’s top executives to work in corporate and business development.

Emilie Choi began working at Coinbase on Monday as the new vice president of corporate and business development—a position which should certainly see the exchange grow substantially based on her experience. It’s no secret that the high flier oversaw over 40 acquisitions during her time at LinkedIn amongst which was the purchase of the online educational startup Lynda in 2015, a deal that was worth in excess of $1.5 billion

Asiff Hirji, chief operating officer of Coinbase, was bullish about the appointment, telling Fortune that Choi’s “absolutely top of her field in business development.”

“Given how rapidly the [cryptocurrency] space is unfolding, given the breadth of opportunities in front of Coinbase, we feel very fortunate having someone like Emilie with us and helping us figure out how to get those deals done,” Hirji told the news outlet.

It’s worth noting that the cryptocurrency market is still in its initial stages and there is a lot yet to be done but Bitcoin, which was launched just nine years ago, has a current value of $11,500 or so—a pretty explosive growth considering that it has also reached the $20,000 mark in December. This growth is leading to more mergers and acquisitions, such as the recent purchase of Poloniex by Circle for $400 million.

Coinbase is looking at a number of potential acquisitions and it appears that Choi will be kept very busy with deals that are potentially on the table, according to Hirji. This engagement is seen as another huge coup for the crypto exchange which is already worth $5 billion after only five years since it first started.

In January, Coinbase also hired Tina Bhatnager as vice president of operations and technology, an executive who played a very important role in the company’s customer service crisis last month, when many Coinbase customers were double charged for BTC transactions.

Choi compares the current opportunities in the cryptocurrency industry with those in front of Google in 2004, when the search giant bought what would become Google Maps.

“There were just a bunch of really interesting startups that helped Google take things to the next level,” she said. “So it feels like that kind of an atmosphere. We’re seeing so much, so many interesting startups and entrepreneurs in the space…and Coinbase wants to make the most on that.”

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Class-action lawsuit accuses Coinbase of insider trading

Class-action lawsuit accuses Coinbase of insider trading

Last week, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Coinbase, accusing the popular cryptocurrency exchange of insider trading. The allegations stemmed from the inclusion of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in December of last year. In the suit, the plaintiff was looking for a jury trial to argue for the recuperation of losses he and other investors incurred in conjunction with the launch.

First, a little background for those that may have missed it. When Coinbase announced that Bitcoin Cash trading was live, the digital currency’s price skyrocketed. Investors jumped on both Coinbase and its sister exchange, GDAX, and BCH jumped to $8,500 in four minutes. Coinbase then turned off the lights on BCH and trading was suspended. Those that had already put their money into the coin had no way to exit prior to Coinbase’s move, and were left taking a hit as BCH’s price normalized to that found on other exchanges.

This was when the accusations of insider trading started to fly. Coinbase was accused of allowing its inner circle to win big on the announcement of the trading, which it vehemently denied. Since an entire team of people was required to facilitate the launch, it’s impossible to keep the move a secret. Most weren’t buying the rebuttal, though, and talks of a lawsuit began to make their way through crypto circles on social media.

The newly-submitted, 18-page lawsuit alleged that Coinbase tipped its employees a full month prior to the official launch. The complaint stated that customers who placed trade, purchase or sale orders on the BCH launch date incurred significant financial losses. An excerpt from the suit reads: “On December 19, 2017, a month after tipping off its own employees as to when it would commence fully supporting BCH, Coinbase suddenly announced that it was opening up its books to the buying and selling of BCH within minutes after its announcements.”

Coinbase Inc., GDAX, David Farmer and Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong were all named as defendants in the lawsuit. It was filed in California and led by Jeffrey Berk, an investor who claimed to have lost a substantial amount of money as a result of the debacle. Berk was represented by Green and Noblin P.C. and the Grant Law Firm. There was no information available regarding how much money was potentially lost by the investors.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
IRS vs 'the dollar': A case for 13

IRS vs ‘the dollar’: A case for 13,000 Coinbase customers

The actions by the pirates at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) against the 13,000 customers of Coinbase amounts to no less than an attempt to make them walk the proverbial plank. But the cornering of their victims like they have and leaving them with no recourse other than to stand and fight might prove, however, to be akin to the IRS stepping upon a Bouncing Betty of their own setting. They may have lit the fuse to a series of powder kegs towards their own demise and which concludes the path they chose when they ruled that cryptocurrency like Bitcoin was a commodity (and not a currency).

As a commodity, their own regulations stipulate that the tax filer calculate the value “in dollars” at the time of the conversion out of the commodity. What that means is that the IRS left it up to the filer while simultaneously opening itself up to a legal challenge of what, exactly, do they mean by “dollar” in their regulations and forms. I offer this idea for a legal defense to the 13,000 Coinbase customers (and/or their attorneys) now backed into a desperate corner with the belief and hope that its foundation upon simple rules of grammar, jurisprudence, honesty and truthfulness will be sufficient to sway any jury of their peers that the IRS may muster.

Dr. Edwin Vieira, renowned attorney with four PHDs from Harvard and who has also successfully argued cases before the U.S. Supreme court provides an in depth look into both the historical and legal basis of the DOLLAR standard that the laws and economy of this country is built upon.

Yes, I say the “Dollar standard” because, as Dr. Vieira so effectively demonstrates in his paper, titled “What Is A Dollar?,” there never has been a “gold” standard nor was there a “silver” standard. A dollar was the standard and it was established to be a silver coin of a certain weight and purity. Dollars were even in existence and in wide circulation before the founding of the country and before the Coin Act of 1789 establishing the country’s first mint.

The term “dollar” is found in two separate locations in the Declaration of Independence (1776) 13 years before the first U.S. dollars were minted. The IRS, the Federal Reserve Bank and corrupt politicians have colluded to deceive the American public that the Federal Reserve Note (FRN) replaced the dollar (which it has not neither in a legal sense nor a physical one).

The IRS should be aware of the legal definition of the dollar since they are, after all, the drafters of their own regulations and of their own forms requiring taxpayers to declare their incomes in “dollars.”

I’m confident they, indeed, are but they are also partners in crime and accessories after the fact with the fraudulent Federal Reserve Note and are not going to admit that a Federal Reserve Note is not a dollar nor has it ever been. This fact that an FRN is not a dollar can be proven with some basic rules of grammar involving the definitions of nouns and adjectives and the rules involving pluralities.

A one dollar FRN is a singular item (i.e. one “thing”). A 5, 10, 20, 50, or 100 FRNs are each, respectively, also singular items. Therefore, a “twenty dollar bill” cannot also simultaneously be 20 things and one thing at the same time! It is, in fact, a “note” or a promise to PAY 20 dollars (which it doesn’t do and which means it is a fraud). The word “dollars” on all the higher denominations grammatically are adjectives describing the note (the “thing” and thus the noun). They are also singular indicating a loan, single thing, that being a note.

So what is the value of Bitcoin in real dollars then (i.e. the silver and legal one)? The U.S. Mint still issues them and “sells” them for approximately $20 FRN so if one were to take the current price of Bitcoin (let’s round it off to $10,000 in FRNs to keep it simple) then the value of Bitcoin IN DOLLARS would be approximately 1/20 of that amount (5%) or only $500 (quite a tax savings).IF a jury can be persuaded of its correctness, the ramifications of a loss in court are huge. It would mean all the wages that employers and employees report as income in “dollars” are also grossly overstated. That could open the IRS to three years’ worth of re-filing by taxpayers entitled to huge refunds. And it exposes the fraud of the Federal Reserve Note.

What possible defense could the IRS offer? One that comes to mind is the idea that the FRN “became” the dollar with the passage of the Legal Tender laws. Unfortunately, the real silver dollar circulated side-by-side with the FRN for over 50 years after the F.R.N. was introduced and it was redeemable for real dollars during most of that time as well so it could not possibly be one and the same as the thing it was redeemable for. No, Legal Tender didn’t cause the FRN to become the thing it promised to pay. Instead, what it did was to force creditors to accept it IN LIEU OF (i.e. instead of) real dollars or they would lose the creditor would legal standing to collect the debt (the legal tender clause itself states “for all debts public and private”). Another long-shot defense might be that it became “the dollar” by public acceptance and usage but I would argue it became publicly used only as a result of fraud, deception and coercion and not by way of law.

But that is really just the tip of the iceberg (1% of it) because there are two kinds of FRNs: One is the paper version with signatures, serial numbers, etc. and the other type (99% of the “dollars” in circulation) exists solely in digital form. Granted, there has been legislation passed to enable commerce to keep up with technology changes and making accommodation for things such as digital signatures in documents but I doubt strongly there is anything remotely hinting that a digital token of a worthless IOU also became “the dollar.”

To summarize, the IRS (a government agency) who has drafted its own regulations and forms including the legally defined word “dollar” knows or should know the meaning of the word “dollar”. It also knows or should know that a note is a promise to pay an item and is not one and the same as the item. It should definitely know the difference between a noun and an adjective and between singular and plural. It is also the agency that spent considerable effort to study Bitcoin and itself concluded that it wasn’t a currency and was, instead, a commodity despite the fact that the Bitcoin community refers to Bitcoin as a currency. The burden is on the IRS to defend their own writings, regulations, and forms.

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, the Federal Reserve Bank is a private enterprise (a corporation) while the IRS is a government agency. The “Fed” can be sued (good luck) but government agencies charge citizens with crimes. Courts are responsible to enforce laws but are also required to insure laws and regulations use precise and concise definitions and meanings of words. Words are, in effect, the very foundation of law and without those clear definitions we are no longer a nation under law but of despotism and tyranny. May God please bless the United States of America with honest and fair laws.

Robert Lefebvre is a Bitcoin user since 2012 when he invested a meager amount of savings accumulated while teaching at a special needs school. He is currently involved in three of his own Bitcoin startups involving Bitcoin education, a Bitcoin ad network for website operators to earn Bitcoin and a Bitcoin-real estate investment strategy.

His Bitcoin Cash tip address is 1KaiNZBXLfhT7UFKnsfPHcU5W1JdVQ1Vry

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Coinbase users hit with unauthorized charges

Coinbase users hit with unauthorized charges, Visa takes blame

Several complaints regarding multiple charges on Coinbase customers’ credit and debit billing statements have made waves on Reddit and other social media platforms, prompting the cryptocurrency exchange company to investigate and issue an official statement.

At r/Coinbase, users complained that they’ve lost amounts ranging from a random hundred dollars to multiple charges amounting to $17,000. While some of the users were merely worried, some users based in the U.S. have taken to calling for a class action lawsuit, filing official complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

In the wake of these complaints, Coinbase immediately issued a response via a Twitter thread. In the official statement, Coinbase said that the erroneous credit and debit charges were the result of Visa’s reversal and recharging of transactions. Visa has since issued a joint statement (published through the Coinbase blog) with its partner payments processor Worldpay, which handles all Coinbase transactions in Visa’s network. In the statement, Visa admitted responsibility and cleared Coinbase of any liability regarding the matter.

The issue had precedence, given how over the previous months, “large banks and card issuers requested that card networks change the MCC for purchases of digital currency,” according to Coinbase, adding that “Visa changed the MCC for digital currency purchases to a code that allows large banks and card issuers to charge consumers additional fees.”

MCC, or merchant category code, is a standard used to classify a certain business or purchase based on the kind of service it renders. In the U.S., merchant category codes are mandated by the Internal Revenue Service to determine how the purchases are taxed.

While all the charges to Coinbase users appeared to be valid and legitimate, they were duplicated without authorization from the user. The duplications (or multiple charges, in some cases) appeared to be caused by faulty code between Visa’s network and Worldpay’s payment facility.

The two companies assured Coinbase users that all reversal transactions have been issued and should reflect on their credit and debit card accounts within the next few days. It’s worth noting that Coinbase has faced issues with unauthorized charges and fund mishandling before, but the exchange company has resolved these professionally. At the time of writing, several users are still posting at r/Coinbase, complaining that their issuing banks still won’t accept their requests for refunds.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
New Coinbase Commerce plugin lets merchants accept Bitcoin Cash

New Coinbase Commerce plugin lets merchants accept Bitcoin Cash

Coinbase has launched a new plugin that would enable merchants to integrate payments made in crypto to their websites. The plugin is called Coinbase Commerce, and works like embedded payment plugins from PayPal and Stripe.

This new plugin brings wider accessibility for trading goods and making transactions online, with merchants and buyers now able to directly interact with the Coinbase Commerce plugin, even without a Coinbase account logged into the browser. The plugin wasn’t launched to much fanfare, with a simple login page providing no further information. The extended feature, however, isn’t available for new merchants—only existing merchants with verified Coinbase accounts can use the plugin, possibly due to security reasons.

The new plugin follows the standard checkout process for purchasing online goods and services, with features similar to that of Litepay, Bitpay, and UTrust. When a buyer goes through the checkout process, a new window is opened to complete the transaction, which is summarized with cost details and cryptocurrency addresses for the user or buyer to confirm. Scanning a QR code is optional, but also works seamlessly. At the moment, Coinbase Commerce only accepts Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and legacy Bitcoin (BTC). Here’s a sample screenshot from, comparing the plugin with the traditional methods:

New Coinbase Commerce plugin lets merchants accept Bitcoin Cash

Previously, fees for Coinbase merchants have indicated a sales limit, with Coinbase support stating that “Receiving bitcoin payments is completely free on Coinbase. If you decide to cash out your bitcoins to a bank account we charge a 1% fee — but only after your first $1,000,000 in sales.” This might be subject to change with Coinbase Commerce, and it remains to be seen if server backlog issues in the BTC network might affect the process’ overall reliability for both merchants and consumers.

User-facing improvements in the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem are steadily making their way into the broader cryptocurrency community. With mass adoption of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash comes the responsibility of exchanges and services providers like Coinbase to provide clear and adequate information for their users.

[UPDATE] Coinbase Commerce has officially launched. Merchants preferring Bitcoin Cash may now sign up on their platform.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Damage control: Coinbase set for full SegWit activation amid BTC crash

Damage control: Coinbase set for full SegWit activation amid BTC crash

Coinbase announced over Twitter that their engineering team has begun the final testing phase of SegWit for legacy Bitcoin (BTC) on their platform. Users in the exchange will be able to use sends/receives compatible with the feature once it activates within the first quarter of 2018.

Segregated Witness (SegWit) is soft fork implemented in August 2017 after an intense debate on scalability. It sought to bring down the size of data consumed by transactions within the BTC network, in a bid to ease the worsening mempool congestion at the time.

SegWit is a separate structure off the propagating chain which only contains signatures and scripts for signing the transactions. The implementation was meant to mitigate the issues caused by the BTC network’s 1MB block size limit. Instead of scaling the block size, the Bitcoin Core development team instead exposed user’s signatures to an off-chain solution in order to provide transaction malleability.

Coinbase has shown resilience to unsecure, off-chain solutions like SegWit, instead prioritizing the stability of its platform. Dan Romero, vice president and general manager at Coinbase, said in a blog post that their company prioritized “securely storing customer funds” while simultaneously ensuring “that our platform remains performant during periods of peak volume.”

Despite a number of BTC users requesting the feature, the engineering and development teams behind Coinbase hesitated implementing the consensus layer, citing “significant planning and consideration for the security and stability of our platform” as a reason.The recent announcement by credit card companies Visa and MasterCard that they will be placing an additional 5% processing fee for cryptocurrency transactions will result inBTC users shouldering  more fees on top of the 4% that Coinbase already charges for credit card payments.

With the recent crash of BTC values reaching record lows, the announcement by Coinbase comes late, given how BTC competitors like Litecoin, Vertcoin, and DigiByte have already been implementing the feature since 2017. The decision to finally implement it on the exchange within the year may have been influenced by a petition made in January, with at least 12,000 BTC users signing to force the company to upgrade.

Many in the legacy Bitcoin community have transferred or diversified their investments to better-performing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash which does not need an unsecure off-chain solution like SegWit, or a centralized second-layer solution like the Lightning Network to facilitate a seamless user experience.

Today, the BTC network exists as a settlement layer, with its cryptocurrency now considered a digital asset instead of a practical, usable fund. The Bitcoin Cash network continues the vision of the Satoshi Nakamoto white paper with almost-instant transactions supported by reliable confirmations at negligible fees. These features are opening the way to a future of unrestricted growth, global adoption, permission less innovation, and decentralized development working towards the empowerment of ordinary people through technological disruption.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Coinbase prompts US customers to pay taxes on crypto gains

Coinbase prompts US customers to pay taxes on crypto gains

Coinbase customers in the United States, better check your emails. There may be an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax form waiting for you.

On Wednesday, the San Francisco-based digital currency exchange sent out 1099-K tax forms to clients in the U.S. who have made “plenty of transactions” in 2017. On its website, Coinbase said it files the 1099-K form for customers who have made at least 200 cryptocurrency-related transactions or received at least $20,000 cash for cryptocurrency sales in a year. Qualifying customers also include “business use” accounts and GDAX accounts with sale volumes exceeding the applicable threshold.

The form does not report the customer’s actual tax payment owed to the IRS, but the aggregate, gross value of certain transactions—virtual currency-related in this case—for qualifying customers over a calendar year, according to Coinbase. Customers based in Massachusetts and Vermont will only receive a 1099-K form if the total value of their virtual currency sale is at least $600.

Accounts marked for “business use” cover those that accept cryptocurrency payments in exchange for goods and services. Mining proceeds and virtual currency transfers into a Coinbase account are excluded from the 1099-K form because they are not considered payments from customers.

“We use the best data available to us to determine whether your account activity qualifies as Business Use, including but not limited to factors such as completion of a merchant profile or enabling merchant tools,” Coinbase explained on its website.

Coinbase’s move should not come as a surprise given the results of its year-long battle to stop the tax agency from getting its hands on customer transaction records. That legal battle ended in November, when a court ruled that Coinbase had to report the personal data of 14,355 account involved in at least the equivalent of $20,000 in any cryptocurrency-related transaction during the 2013-2015 period.

Nevertheless, clients of the cryptocurrency startup are advised to consult with a tax professional to clear up any FUD related with the filing of the 1099-K form. And if you see an error in your tax form, send Coinbase the information regarding the involved transactions via their support email immediately. The IRS has given taxpayers until April 27 to file and pay their taxes.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.