The increasing ability to pay for products and services using cryptocurrency debit cards is a physical representation of the rise in crypto popularity. However, they are still relatively rare and at times complex; with so many cryptocurrencies available in conjunction with market volatility, it can be difficult for traders to know how best to utilize the contents of their cryptowallets when making purchases. Amon is a financial cryptocurrency platform that looks to solve this issue using their unique payment card which utilises artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure that users get the best value from their cryptowallets with every purchase. Their whitepaper claims that they are the only platform which enables users to use their most valuable cryptocurrencies for purchases in real time. Amon also offers their own unique Amon tokens (AMN). Amon card holders will have three purchase methods to choose from. The simplest is to instruct the wallet to allows pay with a single currency (for example, someone who is only interested in Bitcoin). The second is to personally select which of your currencies to use after swiping the Amon card. The third brings into play the unique Amon Artificial Intelligence Aystem (AAIS) which will select the best currency to use in real-time on a per transaction basis. Amon’s whitepaper uses the scenario of buying a coffee using the Amon card as an example. The AAIS algorithm will analyze the user’s cryptowallet and decide the current best performing cryptocurrency, taking into account factors such as historical data and user risk profile. The algorithm displays to the user the crypto with the highest value to them at that point. The user can then decide to accept the suggestion or pick another currency to purchase the coffee with.
Patrick Byrne, the CEO of Overstock, which was the first major retailer to accept Bitcoin (BTC) back in 2014, has said that he is “not really interested in cryptocurrencies per se,” but revealed a little-known Blockchain project his company has invested “millions of dollars” into in an interview with Business Insider Friday, Feb. 23. When asked if he’s interested in “everything cryptocurrency” or “really interested in the Blockchain [sic]”, Byrne prefaced his answer by saying he is “really letting something big out of the bag”, going on to reveal both Overstock’s and his personal interest in a virtually unknown Blockchain project called Ravencoin, which launched very quietly on Jan. 3, 2018. The Ravencoin project’s single blog post, published Nov. 1, 2017, opens with a sentence designed to pique the interest of a Game of Thrones-loving crypto investor.
Hagan Homes, one of Northern Ireland’s biggest residential property developers, will now be accepting Bitcoin (BTC) as a payment method, the Belfast Telegraph reported Feb. 22. Jamesy Hagan, the managing director of Hagan Homes, said there is both an increasing international interest in working, living, and investing in Northern Ireland, as well as a “significant growth in the use of Bitcoin worldwide:” The Belfast Telegraph writes that Hagan Homes is reportedly the first house-building firm in the Republic of Ireland to accept BTC payments. Hagan did recognize the challenges in accepting Bitcoin as payment. He noted the current volatility in the crypto markets, with BTC’s price going from $20,000 to $7000 in the span of just a few months.
Laszlo Hanyecz, the man that completed the world’s first documented Bitcoin (BTC) transaction for a physical item in 2010 — 10,000 BTC for two pizzas — has now bought two more pizzas using the Bitcoin Lightning Network. Hanyecz posted on the Lightning-dev mailing list today, Feb. 25, that he had to get his friend in London to “sub contract” out the pizza delivery to a local pizza place in order to pay on the Lightning Network, because “pizza/bitcoin atomic swap software” is yet unavailable. However, according to Hanyecz, the transaction still “demonstrates the basic premise of how this works for everyday transactions. It could just as well be the pizza shop accepting the payment directly with their own lightning node.” The original BTC-pizza transaction took place on May 22, 2010 and has been celebrated as Bitcoin Pizza Day ever since. There is a Twitter feed dedicated to a daily posting of what 10,000 BTC equals according to that day’s market value — today’s value is tweeted as $97,560,750. This time around Hanyecz paid 649000 satoshis, or 0.00649 bitcoins, which equals around $62 for both pizzas. In order to receive the pizza, Hanyecz decided that the best way to prove he had paid for it was to show the driver the first and last four characters of the hex string of his Lightning payment hash preimage, and if it matched with what the driver had, he would get his pizza.
Icelandic information technology service Advania has confirmed with their security footage that the police have apprehended the right two men for the three burglaries at data centers in Iceland last December and January, local news outlet Visir reported Feb. 21. Visir had earlier reported that there were three burglaries in total, from a period of Dec. 5, 2017 to Jan. 16., 2018, and that 600 graphics cards, 100 power supplies, 100 motherboards, 100 memory discs, and 100 CPU processors had been taken from a house in the municipality of Reykjanesbær. The burglars also broke into data centers in municipality of Borgarbyggð, with a total of 600 PCs stolen from both places. Advania announced that the thieves had broken into a new building under construction in Reykjanesbær in mid-January, but that the building had fortunately been well-covered with security cameras. Advania told Visir that what was stolen was “not a device that stores data and there was only a financial loss,” but that they cannot specify what kind of equipment was stolen due to the ongoing investigation. Several of Advania’s data centers are designed specifically for Bitcoin (BTC) mining, and Iceland as a country has become a hotspot for crypto miners drawn to the naturally cold climate and access to renewable sources of energy.