London Taxi Driver Sells Bitcoin (BTC) to Passengers From Back of His Cab

Siamak Masnavi

One London taxi driver loves Bitcoin (BTC) so much that not only has he been accepting bitcoin for his taxi services since 2017 but he also sells bitcoin from the back of his cab to his passengers.

According to an article in DecryptMedia, black taxi driver "Dave Jenkins" (his pseudonym, not his real name), who has been given the nickname "crypto cabbie", carries in the back of his cab a small point-of-sale (PoS) terminal that is distributed and sold by UK company AAO Technologies Ltd (with "FastBitcoins.com" as one of its trading names). 

This touchscreen device reportedly "can process cash-based transactions in exchange for bitcoins in real time, then print a paper receipt, much like a credit card reader at your local coffee shop." Jenkins, who calls himself "a one man band", may in fact be the only cab driver in a major world capital to offer this kind of service.

Ben Munster, a reporter for DecryptMEdia, tried this service by buying 10 British Pounds' (around $13) worth of bitcoin. Jenkins told him that this might be one of the easiest ways of buying Bitcoin:

“You can’t get a lot easier than that, can you? If you try and mess about registering with Coinbase or Bitstamp or whatever, you know all these different things, it’s a lot of aggravation to send off your passport blah blah blah. Even a lot of bitcoin ATMs—they want your phone number and all that.”

Jenkins charges a 6% commission for selling you bitcoin, which he says is less than what a Bitcoin ATM would charge you. You can pay for your bitcoin using cash (pounds or euros).

Once you have bought some bitcoin, you need to visit the website FastBitcoins.com to redeem your voucher. Here, after you have entered your voucher code, the fiat value of your voucher, your email address, and your Bitcoin wallet address, the bitcoin you purchased earlier will get delivered (either the regular way or via the Lightning Network, depending on your choice):

FastBitcoins 1.png

You can also use the same website to sell bitcoin (with a 3% commission). 

The company, which apparently has PoS terminals in around 20,000 retail locations around the world, says that if you register and verify an account with them, you will pay lower fees.

 To get a ride from the crypto cabbie, you need to "hail" him by sending him a message (specifying your location) via Twitter (@fastbitcoinscab), but remember that he only works 9-5. 

Cab Photo via Pexels.com; Other Image Courtesy of FastBitcoins.com

CZ Explains How Binance Dealt With Aftermath of $40 Million Theft

On Sunday (May 19), Changpeng Zhao (aka "CZ"), the Co-Founder and CEO of digital asset exchange Binance, told the crypto community what he and his team had been up to since the May 7 security breach that resulted in a theft of over 7,000 BTC from their Bitcoin hot wallet. 

What Happened on May 7?

According to CZ, the hackers involved in the security breach somehow managed to get control over a number of user accounts and structured large withdrawals from these accounts in such a way thay managed not to be detected/noticed by Binance's "pre-withdrawal risk management checks." Their "post-withdrawal risk monitoring system" only noticed something was wrong after the hackers had moved the stolen BTC off of the exchange via a single transaction, at which time it immediately suspended all "subsequent withdrawals." 

At first, the Binance team was not exactly sure what had happened, and so they decided that the safest course of action was for CZ to send out a tweet to say that the "withdrawal servers" were in "unscheduled maintenance mode" while the team was investigating the incident. 

Communication With the Crypto Community

Once the team had confirmed that the exchange had been hacked, information about the security incident was broadcast to the outside world via all of Binance's communication channels (such as Telegram, Twitter, and Medium). 

Since the team could not be sure which user accounts the hackers had access to, it was decided that it would be too risky to allow further withdrawals to be made until the team had the chance to make "significant changes" to the platform (to make it more secure). Binance's announcement on May 8 estimated that the exchange needed to do "a thorough security review" and estimated that this would take about "ONE WEEK," and that during this period, "deposits and withdrawals" would need to "REMAIN SUSPENDED."

By being fully transparent in their communication with Binance users, they were able to receive "tremendous support" from them.

CZ's Periscope AMA Session on May 8

Seeing CZ live put much of the Binance community "at ease." Unfortunately, because CZ had been up all night, he was not in an ideal mental state when he did the AMA. Just before the AMA, his team told him that a Bitcoin Core developer had suggested that it would be technically possible to roll back the single Bitcoin transaction carried out by the hackers by "hugely incentivizing the miners." CZ made the unfortunate mistake of mentioning this "reorg" idea (which he now realizes is a "taboo topic") during the AMA, for which he took a heavy beating (especially from hardcore Bitcoin maximalists) on Twitter (and elsewhere). 

CZ's Mental State Right After Being Told About the Bitcoin Theft

Although he was in a "F***, F***, F***” state" for around 10 seconds, a few moments later, he "began to come to terms with it," and a quick mental calculation told him that the theft of around 7000 BTC (equivalent of around $40 million at the time) could be fully covered by their SAFU fund. Meanwhile, his team had already gone into "War Mode", and their professionalism and support cheered up CZ. 

Support From the Crypto Community

Binance received support from many sources: people defending him and Binance on social media platforms, and helping to answer questions; the Binance Angels (who are all volunteers) "addressing questions" and "reassuring" users on "multiple communities"; analytics firms helping with the tracking of the stolen funds; exchanges and wallet services offering to help by blocking "any deposits associated with the hacker addresses"; and "numerous offers for help from law enforcement agencies around the world."

A Blessing in Disguise?

"Speaking with various team members, and as correctly analyzed by community members, such as Gautam Chhugani, this incident may actually be a good thing for us in the long run. Security is a never-ending practice. There are always more things to do in security, and we have implemented many of them in this last week and will continue to implement more in the future. Given this incident, Binance has actually become far more secure than before, not just in the affected areas, but as a whole."