Daily Archives: May 21, 2018

nChain Acquires Majority Stake in HandCash Wallet for Bitcoin Cash

LONDON, May 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — nChain Group, the leading blockchain research and development group, has closed deal terms to acquire a majority stake in HandCash.  HandCash is a Bitcoin Cash mobile wallet which uses near field communication (NFC) technology to make it as easy for users to send Bitcoin Cash to someone as if they were handing cash.  The deal was made through nChain Group’s investment entity, nChain Reaction Ltd.

HandCash was co-founded in Spain by Alejandro Pascual Agut and Rafael Jiménez Seibane. With NFC technology, the mobile application allows mobile wallets to complete instant transfer of Bitcoin Cash funds with each other through “contactless” means once users’ mobile devices are in close proximity to each other (similar to contactless credit card and Apple Pay functionality).

HandCash co-founder Alex Agut explains:  “Bitcoin was conceived to be peer-to-peer electronic cash.  We wondered why Bitcoin was not being used like cash.  That gave us the idea to create a wallet application that allows you to send Bitcoin in a way that resembles handing someone cash, by merely placing a sender’s mobile device close to the recipient’s device.  That’s why we named our project HandCash.  We also knew the application could only work on Bitcoin Cash, with its low fees and instant confirmations.”

HandCash also makes it easier to send Bitcoin Cash without having to ask for a complicated receipt address or even a QR code, as most current Bitcoin applications require.  Instead, users can identify and send funds to each other using “handle” names.  In addition, users can keep their funds safe with easy ways to back up their wallets on the cloud or inside any NFC chip.

HandCash also supports growth of Bitcoin Cash for merchant payments, with plans to create easy “contactless” payment mechanisms at the retailer point-of-sale. Its anticipated payment features will ignite greater merchant adoption of Bitcoin Cash.

HandCash co-founder Rafa Seibane remarks: “In addition to financial investment, nChain will provide us access to its research, intellectual property and deep Bitcoin Cash expertise.  We believe this technical support will give HandCash advantages in becoming a leading Bitcoin Cash wallet and payment system.”

nChain Group CEO Jimmy Nguyen comments: “For Bitcoin Cash to grow, user interfaces need to become better and easier to use.  We are impressed with HandCash and its vision for simplifying the Bitcoin Cash transaction process to a contactless approach.  nChain is thrilled to support HandCash on its journey to make Bitcoin Cash wallets and payment systems easy to use around the world, and to ignite global adoption of Bitcoin Cash.”

nChain’s deal with HandCash follows just days after the May 15, 2018 protocol upgrade for the Bitcoin Cash network.  This recent upgrade implements two key changes:

  • Increasing the default size of blocks on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain from 8MB to 32MB; and
  • Restoring certain OP_Codes for advanced functionality.

The BCH 32 MB default block size is significantly larger than Bitcoin Core (BTC)’s small 1 MB block.  This larger block size allows BCH network capacity to be over 8 million transactions per day, which is more than PayPal processes.   This ensures usage of BCH can rapidly grow while maintaining the capacity needed to process greater transaction volumes, at fast speeds, but keeping fees very low.   The upgrade validates HandCash’s vision in creating its wallet product for Bitcoin Cash.

Website:  nChain.com
Twitter:  @nChainGlobal

ABOUT NCHAIN GROUP: The nChain Group is the global leader in research and development of blockchain technologies.  Its mission is to enable massive growth and worldwide adoption of the Bitcoin network – focusing on Bitcoin Cash as the true Bitcoin.  The nChain Group includes these business units:  1) nChain Limited – a blockchain research and development service provider in London, United Kingdom; 2) nChain Holdings Limited – a intellectual property holding and commercialization company; 3) nChain Reaction – an investment entity which supports ventures that have Bitcoin Cash products or applications; 4) nCrypt – a Bitcoin wallet and exchange in Canada; and 5) BMG Operations – a Bitcoin Cash mining operation.

Logo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/694400/nChain_HandCash_Logo.jpg

Burundi Commission: Voters Backed Constitutional Changes

Voters in Burundi have approved changes to the constitution that could allow the president to stay in office until 2034.

The country’s electoral commission said Monday that 73 percent of voters backed the changes in last Thursday’s constitutional referendum.

The amendments extend presidential terms from five to seven years and effectively allow President Pierre Nkurunziza to run for two more terms after his current term expires in 2020.

They also create the position of prime minister and enable the government to do away with power-sharing agreements between Hutus and Tutsis.

In a statement Monday, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the referendum process “was marred by a lack of transparency, the suspension of media outlets, and attempts to pressure voters.”

Burundi suspended broadcasts by Voice of America and the BBC ten days ahead of the vote.

Nauert also said some of the amendments “run counter to the power-sharing principles of the Arusha Agreement,” which ended Burundi’s civil war.

Supporters of the changes argued they are necessary for stability in the central African country, which is still recovering from a civil war and political unrest in 2015 that prompted hundreds of thousands to flee the country.

Opponents said the changes are anti-democratic and designed to keep Nkurunziza in power. The 2015 unrest was sparked when the president chose to seek a third term, defying critics who said he was violating term limits.

Source: Voice of America

Burundi Commission: Voters Backed Constitutional Changes

Voters in Burundi have approved changes to the constitution that could allow the president to stay in office until 2034.

The country’s electoral commission said Monday that 73 percent of voters backed the changes in last Thursday’s constitutional referendum.

The amendments extend presidential terms from five to seven years and effectively allow President Pierre Nkurunziza to run for two more terms after his current term expires in 2020.

They also create the position of prime minister and enable the government to do away with power-sharing agreements between Hutus and Tutsis.

In a statement Monday, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the referendum process “was marred by a lack of transparency, the suspension of media outlets, and attempts to pressure voters.”

Burundi suspended broadcasts by Voice of America and the BBC ten days ahead of the vote.

Nauert also said some of the amendments “run counter to the power-sharing principles of the Arusha Agreement,” which ended Burundi’s civil war.

Supporters of the changes argued they are necessary for stability in the central African country, which is still recovering from a civil war and political unrest in 2015 that prompted hundreds of thousands to flee the country.

Opponents said the changes are anti-democratic and designed to keep Nkurunziza in power. The 2015 unrest was sparked when the president chose to seek a third term, defying critics who said he was violating term limits.

Source: Voice of America

Over 30 Killed as Cyclone Hits Horn of Africa

More than 30 people were killed and dozens of others are still missing after a tropical cyclone and heavy rains hit the Horn of Africa over the weekend.

Cyclone Sagar slammed into the Horn Saturday and Sunday, and local officials say Sagar was the strongest storm ever recorded in the area.

Mogadishu Mayor Abdirahman Omar Osman told VOA Somali that the storm killed at least six people. More than than 300 homes in the Somali capital are under water following heavy rains.

Authorities in the self-declared republic of Somaliland confirmed at least 25 people in the Awdal, Sahel and Salal regions. Most of the victims were be swept away by flash floods, residents said.

An official in the Salal region, Abdi Abdullahi Elmi, told VOA Somali that the death toll could rise as rescue teams try to reach remote areas of the region affected by the rains.

A statement from the office of Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi said 12 people were injured and 27 are still missing.

The statement said 669,000 people have been affected by the cyclone, large numbers of crops were destroyed and 80 percent of the livestock in Somaliland were killed. It appealed to the international community for humanitarian support to help those affected.

The Norwegian Refugee Council said more than 10,000 people were displaced in Somaliland, and homes and fishing boats were destroyed in Puntland. The NRC also reported the deaths of two people in Djibouti, where it said 20,000 people are affected by flooding.

Mohamed Aw Ahmed Ateye is the head of the district council in Baki, Somaliland where six people were killed. “There is a huge loss of lives and destruction of properties, he told VOA Somali. He reported the collapse of 41 homes in the town, while another 30 homes were destroyed in Harirad town.

He also said 140 farms were destroyed. The floods destroyed the crops, farm equipment and bridges… after 17 hours of rains, he said.

The Somali government and United Nations have appealed for $80 million to provide immediate help for people affected by recent flooding in the country’s south-central regions.

According to United Nations, the heaviest rains in three decades continue to fall across Somalia. There is also heavy rainfall in the Ethiopian highlands where two rivers that pass through Somalia originate. It says 772,500 people have been affected by flooding in Somalia with more than 229,000 displaced.

Source: Voice of America

Over 30 Killed as Cyclone Hits Horn of Africa

More than 30 people were killed and dozens of others are still missing after a tropical cyclone and heavy rains hit the Horn of Africa over the weekend.

Cyclone Sagar slammed into the Horn Saturday and Sunday, and local officials say Sagar was the strongest storm ever recorded in the area.

Mogadishu Mayor Abdirahman Omar Osman told VOA Somali that the storm killed at least six people. More than than 300 homes in the Somali capital are under water following heavy rains.

Authorities in the self-declared republic of Somaliland confirmed at least 25 people in the Awdal, Sahel and Salal regions. Most of the victims were be swept away by flash floods, residents said.

An official in the Salal region, Abdi Abdullahi Elmi, told VOA Somali that the death toll could rise as rescue teams try to reach remote areas of the region affected by the rains.

A statement from the office of Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi said 12 people were injured and 27 are still missing.

The statement said 669,000 people have been affected by the cyclone, large numbers of crops were destroyed and 80 percent of the livestock in Somaliland were killed. It appealed to the international community for humanitarian support to help those affected.

The Norwegian Refugee Council said more than 10,000 people were displaced in Somaliland, and homes and fishing boats were destroyed in Puntland. The NRC also reported the deaths of two people in Djibouti, where it said 20,000 people are affected by flooding.

Mohamed Aw Ahmed Ateye is the head of the district council in Baki, Somaliland where six people were killed. “There is a huge loss of lives and destruction of properties, he told VOA Somali. He reported the collapse of 41 homes in the town, while another 30 homes were destroyed in Harirad town.

He also said 140 farms were destroyed. The floods destroyed the crops, farm equipment and bridges… after 17 hours of rains, he said.

The Somali government and United Nations have appealed for $80 million to provide immediate help for people affected by recent flooding in the country’s south-central regions.

According to United Nations, the heaviest rains in three decades continue to fall across Somalia. There is also heavy rainfall in the Ethiopian highlands where two rivers that pass through Somalia originate. It says 772,500 people have been affected by flooding in Somalia with more than 229,000 displaced.

Source: Voice of America