Blockstream to Roll Out C-Lightning v0.6

New version brings cool new features and improvements
26 June 2018   1496

The developer of bitcoin and blockchain solutions, Blockstream, presented a beta version of c-lightning (v0.6), which is one of the main implementations of the Lightning Network protocol.

The company blog says that the new version of the c-lightning solution is based on a new architecture that is modular, as well as more flexible and scalable.

In particular, in version 0.6 c-lightning implemented:

  • Lightweight nodes: Previous releases required a full bitcoind node running alongside c-lightning, to provide access to the Bitcoin network. This release still requires the bitcoin-cli utility to be present, but it can now talk to remote nodes as well, including some lightweight nodes such as spruned.
  • The gossip protocol has been updated to use a more lightweight bandwidth mechanism that asks for specific information, rather than exchanging full network views as the previous release did. This is particularly important for low-powered and mobile devices that would otherwise spend a lot of bandwidth and energy downloading and verifying information they already have.
  • API stability: The c-lightning JSON-RPC interface and supporting libraries have been redesigned in order to minimize changes in future releases. This API stability should make it easy for other projects to build on top of c-lightning because we will support this version of the API for the foreseeable future, maintaining backward compatibility, should we introduce any changes.
  • Wallet and sync: c-lightning now includes a full-fledged wallet that manages both on-chain and off-chain funds. There is no more raw transaction handling! All funds are automatically tracked and returned to the internal wallet as soon as possible, with no user interaction required. In addition the blockchain tracking now maintains an internal view of the blockchain, ending long blockchain rescans.
  • TOR support: c-lightning now supports connecting to nodes over the TOR network, auto-registering as a hidden service, and accepting incoming connections over TOR.
  • The payment logic has undergone a major overhaul to support automatic retries for routing failures, randomization of route selection, and better feedback about the current state of a payment.

Director for Strategic Development Blockstream Samson Moe noted that to date there are already three beta versions of the main implementations of the Lightning Network protocol - Eclair, lnd & c-lightning.

He also stressed that since the launch of the Blockstream Store in January, the Lightning Network has grown by more than 16 000% and currently it has 7,800 payment channels.

Israeli BTC Investors to Face Catch 22

They need to pay taxes from Bitcoin investing in order to avoid their property arrest, but banks don't take their money due to AML issues
06 August 2019   168

Bitcoin investors in Israel are faced with the impossibility of paying taxes, as local banks refuse to accept funds received from the sale of cryptocurrencies because of the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing. About this writes the local edition of Haaretz on August 6.

Bitcoin is not recognized as a currency in Israel, therefore, individuals must pay 25% of the income from cryptocurrency trading to the treasury, and legal entities - 47%.

Investor Ron Gross told the publication that he acquired bitcoins in 2011 and reported his income to the tax office. In 2017, the bank that served Gross began to refuse to accept funds received from the sale of bitcoins. The investor met with representatives of the bank to demonstrate to them a 70-page history of bitcoin transactions as confirmation of the origin of the funds, but failed to convince them.

The tax authority is aware of the problem, but they say the ball isn’t in their courts. I’ve tried working with almost all the banks, but the minute they hear the word ‘Bitcoin’ they freeze up.
 

Ron Gross

Bitcoin investor from Israel

 

Since Gross was unable to pay taxes on time, his bank account, home, and even scooters were arrested. According to the investor, the tax authorities know about the problem, but can do nothing.

According to Haaretz, the tax office is aware of $ 86 million in unpaid taxes on income from cryptocurrency trading. It is possible that the real amount may be significantly higher.

Roy Arav, another Bitcoin investor, kept the proceeds from trading Bitcoin in an account with Israeli bank Discount under the control of the Bit2C exchange. The bank refuses to transfer money to Arava’s personal account under the pretext that its politicians forbid it to transfer funds related to virtual assets to client accounts due to the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing.

Arav also could not pay taxes and was forced to sue the bank. According to the investor, the authorities entered his position and granted him a deferral of time for the consideration of the claim.