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Updated: 22 min 44 sec ago

Coinmall Hopes to Build an Ebay for Digital Goods Powered by Cryptocurrency

59 min 38 sec ago

This week we looked at a new cryptocurrency-based marketplace called, Coinmall.io, a platform that allows users to purchase digital goods with bitcoin and litecoin. Further, news.Bitcoin.com discussed the marketplace platform with its founder, Yousef Abdulhassan, who explains the project recently launched its alpha version this month.

Also Read: Increased South African Bitcoin Adoption Highlights Need For Taxation Clarity 

Coinmall Launches Alpha Marketplace Offering Digital Goods for Cryptocurrencies

Coinmall’s founder Yousef Abdulhassan explains that his new marketplace is a global, pseudonymous, and free market where users can buy and sell digital goods for cryptocurrencies. Abdulhassan and the Coinmall team hope the platform becomes the “eBay for digital goods, powered by cryptocurrencies.” Abdulhassan founded and incorporated the startup in October of 2016 and launched a bare-bone MVP version of Coinmall in January of 2017 to see if there was any interest in the service. The marketplace operator explains there was interest stemming from both the bitcoin and litecoin communities, so they launched the alpha release this month.

“Our users are able to transact any type of digital product on Coinmall, such as: downloadable products, licenses/keys, digital services, off-site products and anything in between,” Abdulhassan explains to news.Bitcoin.com. “We currently accept bitcoin and litecoin, with more cryptocurrencies being added soon. But this depends on the community’s demand in regard to which cryptocurrency they’d like to see implemented.”

          Coinmall Believes It’s Better Positioned Than Decentralized Alternatives

Coinmall does think it is a competitor to decentralized alternatives like Openbazaar. Abdulhassan says by using Coinmall, it’s easier to access due to the fact that you don’t have to download any programs and resolve complex errors. In Abdulhassan’s opinion, Coinmall’s target audience and reach is bigger than alternatives that he believes are difficult to access.

“Our marketplace is also a lot more convenient to use thanks to the fact that it is centralized,” Abdulhassan details. “For example, we are able to perform off-ledger transactions, and as such are able to support the purchase and sale of extremely low-value products.”

These low-value products can’t be sold on decentralized platforms since the transaction fees or moderator fees would be too high.

Free Listings, No Vendor Restrictions, and Escrow

Additionally, Abdulhassan thinks with cryptocurrency his startup skips over a lot of friction as ordinary centralized marketplaces have to invest a lot of money on fraud-prevention. Moreover, payment processors and traditional marketplaces can restrict a particular vendor’s account, and Coinmall says they aim to put a stop to vendor discrimination.

“We solve all of these problems by providing a freely accessible marketplace which doesn’t restrict users, and we completely remove the risk of fraud and chargebacks by utilizing non-reversible cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and litecoin. Alongside having an escrow system in place, we protect buyers on Coinmall in case of malicious vendors or products not being delivered.”

With the Alpha release finished, Coinmall’s founder says most of the hard work is done. The startup does plan to add more features and also aims to develop services not seen on any other marketplace platform.

“One such example is ‘Community Escrow,’ a system where users apply to become an escrow and mediate in disputes in exchange for a small compensation,” Abdulhassan explains to news.Bitcoin.com.

What do you think about Coinmall? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service.
Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

Images via Shutterstock, and Coinmall.io.

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Star Jets International Now Accepts Bitcoin Payments

2 hours 59 min ago

Star Jets International LLC now accepts bitcoin payments for private jet flights. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Advanced Defense Technologies, Inc. Customers who use Star Jets get to leverage all the advantages of using a corporate jet, according to an Econotimes article

Also read: Bitcoin Cash Developers Propose New Address Format

Furthermore, customers have access to over 5,000 jets domestically and roughly 15,000 across the globe. The company allowing bitcoin transactions may now open up a new realm of possibilities for the company along with a new customer base.

Bitcoin is Becoming Increasingly Accepted

The CEO of Star Jets, Ricky Sitomer, mentioned bitcoin is becoming a more widely adopted method of payment and their company would be remiss not to get involved. He elaborated:

Bitcoin is becoming an increasingly accepted method of payment and we want our customers to have the flexibility to pay via that medium of exchange.

The company also unveiled they are removing the “stop sign” on their stock. They are doing this partly by changing their company name to Star Jets International, Inc.

Along with accepting bitcoin, these steps seem geared toward increasing the profitability of the company and keeping it competitive in the digital age.

Aviation and Bitcoin Acceptance

Overall, there have not been many large players in the aviation or commercial flights industry to begin accepting bitcoin. The mood appears to be changing, though. Back in May, Japanese airlines Peach Aviation began accepting bitcoin payments. News.bitcoin.com covered the story.

“Bitcoin is surging in Japan in regards to popularity and trade volume, since the country legitimized the digital currency as a legal form of payment this past April. Now one of Japan’s largest discount airline providers Peach Aviation Ltd. has announced it will be the first Japanese service to accept bitcoin for airline tickets.”

As for private jet companies, Star Jets is one of the few that accept bitcoin. Prior to them, privatefly.com out of the UK also began accepting it. Hopefully, more private flight businesses will began allowing customers to transact with the digital currency.

What do you think about Star Jets accepting bitcoin? Is it good that more private jet companies are getting involved with bitcoin? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Images via Shutterstock and Star Jets

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Tezos Founders Enter Legal Battle for Control of $400m in Raised ICO Funds

6 hours 29 min ago

Founded by husband and wife, Kathleen and Arthur Breitman, Tezos is a decentralized platform that hosts smart contracts that seeks to compete with ethereum. Tezos’ initial coin offering (ICO) did not have a cap on investment and raised approximately $232 million – at the time comprising the largest ICO crowdsale to date. The 65,703 bitcoins (BTC) and 361,122 ETH raised by the company is now worth more than $400 million USD.

Also Read: Russian Regulators Consider Establishing a ‘Crypto-Detective Agency’

The Breitmans Are Reported to Be Attempting to Attain Greater Control Over Tezos’ Finances

The Breitman couple has become embroiled in a legal dispute with Johan Gevers – the president of a Swiss foundation that was set up by the Breitman’s and an independent body that would manage the funds raised through the ICO. Both parties accuse one another of having a conflict of interest which render them unsuitable for managing the funds. It has been reported that the Breitmans are now seeking to create a new foundation, which, if they are successful, will allow the Breitmans to exercise greater control over the management of Tezos’ funds.

Reuters has reported that an attorney representing the Breitmans sent a letter to the two other members of Tezos’ board threatening that if Gevers is not removed from his position then the Breitmans will then remove their support for the project. The letter accuses Geevers of “self-dealing, self-promotion and conflicts of interest.” According to Reuters, Geevers has been asked to “step aside for a month” while the board investigates the matter further. Gevers described the Breitmans’ actions as “attempted character assassination,” and referred to the accusations laid against him as “a long laundry list of misleading statements and outright lies.”

There Is Currently No Date Set for the Launch of the Tezos Network

Gevers alleges that the Breitmans have been attempting to bypass the legal structure in order to exert control over operations, with Gevers’ lawyer describing the Breitmans’ involvement in Gevers’ work as having been “incompatible with the needed independence of the foundation.” Gevers blames delays in the development and release of the Tezos network on the Breitmans’ actions, stating that “they’re unnecessarily putting the project at risk.”

Reuters reports that the Breitmans have contacted the publication regarding the dispute, stating that they have acted “in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations,” and that their priority “remains the successful launch of the Tezos network.” In an interview quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Kathleen Breitman stated “we made a lot of mistakes. The best I can do is put my head down and work on the code.”

What do you make of the legal dispute between the Breitmans and Gevers regarding the management of Tezos’ finances? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Tezos

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The post Tezos Founders Enter Legal Battle for Control of $400m in Raised ICO Funds appeared first on Bitcoin News.

A Look at Five Different Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallets and Prices

7 hours 29 min ago

As bitcoin and alternative digital currencies grow more valuable, the demand for  hardware wallets has grown significantly. Currently, there are a lot more options than when the first bitcoin hardware wallets came out and a lot more features. Here’s a look at some of the most popular cryptocurrency physical storage devices out on the market today.

Also read: CEX.io and Unocoin Announce Fork Arrangements

Hardware Wallet Advantages

A cryptocurrency hardware wallet is a physical device that stores private keys in a protected area within the device. People appreciate hardware wallets because they act similarly to a paper wallet but are far more functional for spending and receiving purposes. To date, there really hasn’t been any major incidents of large-scale hardware wallet vulnerabilities or verifiable incidents of funds stolen by hackers. Hardware wallets are also resistant to viruses, and private keys cannot be removed from these devices in plaintext. Although no method is 100 percent secure, Bitcoiners believe there are many significant advantages of using a hardware wallet, and there’s a bunch of devices to choose from on the market.

Ledger Wallet

The well-known brand Ledger Wallet has one product currently available for customers; which is the Ledger Nano S. The firm is releasing a product called the Ledger Blue, but the device is only available for pre-order at the moment. The Nano S is a reputable hardware wallet with lots of good reviews on the web since it was created. The device holds crypto-assets like bitcoin, ripple, ethereum, bitcoin cash, and others. When using the Nano, a user tethers a wallet to a Chrome plugin, and the device connects with a standard micro-USB connection. The Nano embeds an OLED display for users on the device for PIN verification, seed restoration, sending confirmations, and more use the physical wallet’s buttons located on the side.

Ledger says shipping takes about two weeks, and most people would agree you should purchase the wallet from the company but the wallet is also sold by third-party retailers like Amazon. One of the biggest security risks for hardware wallets is a compromised shipping process, but people still order from third parties as prices can be cheaper. Purchasing the Nano S through ledger the price is $69 USD or 0.123 BTC at the time of writing.

Trezor Wallet

Trezor is also a popular hardware wallet brand created by the company Satoshi Labs. The wallet offers private key storage for bitcoin, altcoins, and ERC-20 tokens as well. The Trezor wallet also can perform 2FA functions, act as a password manager, and offers document signing and encryption with GPG. Trezor has been around for years, and the device also has a solid reputation in the review department.

The hardware wallet also uses its physical screen and two buttons for PIN verification, sending confirmations, and firmware updates. Trezor connects with a micro-USB connector and has a solid plastic case. Right now Trezor says a new device can be shipped in 1-2 business days with priority shipping. Without shipping fees, the device costs around $106 or the bitcoin price equivalent. Further, the company will be releasing the second version of its device called the Trezor 2, so some enthusiasts may want to wait for that release.

Keepkey

Keepkey is a hardware wallet manufacturer owned by the cryptocurrency startup Shapeshift. The Keepkey is bigger than the Ledger or Trezor and offers an anodized aluminum case. Like the others, it offers a micro-USB connection, and a 3.12″ OLED screen display for verification and confirmation procedures. One unique option Keepkey offers is its ability to connect with the Shapeshift exchange in a more secure fashion. Keepkey also stores private keys for multiple cryptocurrencies, and users can create custom firmware on the device as well.

Keepkey hasn’t been around as long as Trezor or Ledger but has maintained a solid reputation and the product has decent reviews. The device costs $129 using bitcoin, Paypal, or credit card and can be shipped out either standard mail (3-9 business days an extra $15) or priority shipping (Fedex 2 Day an additional $47.98).     

Digital Bitbox

The hardware wallet Digital Bitbox is a new product created by the Swiss-based company, Shift Devices AG. The Bitbox is smaller than all of the hardware wallets available on the market as it connects directly to a computer with a USB connection. Additionally, the device comes with a recovery micro SD card, and it can store keys for multiple digital assets as well. One interesting feature Bitbox has is the ability to process “out-of-the-box” multi-signature sending features. Bitbox, however, does not have a screen like the other devices and doesn’t have many physical interface procedures.

When we first reported on the Digital Bitbox, the shop was closed due to high demand, but currently, the Bitbox shop is now open. The Bitbox costs around $54 but requires an extra $30 for Fedex Priority Express unless you are a Swiss resident. As we mentioned the device is a fairly new hardware wallet on the market, and there are only a few reviews online.

Bitlox

Bitlox is another relatively new hardware wallet product manufactured by the Hong Kong-based company Bitlox Limited. Bitlox is bigger than most hardware wallets being roughly the same size as the Keepkey but offers three different types of wallets. Users can choose from the Advanced ($98), the Ultimate ($148), and the Extreme Privacy set ($198). Bitlox can be connected with a standard USB, and the wallet offers BIP32 and BIP39 seed phrases. The device also has a display screen and multiple buttons on the device’s face.

One unique offering from the Bitlox product is its Bluetooth functionality which can tie it to a mobile phone. Bitlox doesn’t have many reviews online detailing whether or not customers enjoy the product. Although there are a couple Youtube videos and written Bitlox reviews. Those who want to purchase the Bitlox must also use the International Courier Express option which is extra $26. Customers can buy the device with either bitcoin or Paypal and it can be shipped worldwide.    

Peace of Mind

Hardware wallets continue to grow in popularity as cryptocurrency adoption grows more fervent. These devices are considered a reliable investment because, in the long run, they can prevent theft from malicious actors online and peace of mind that your cryptocurrencies are safe. As the digital asset phenomenon continues, its likely more improvements will be made to these devices, and more manufacturers may come out of the woodwork.

What do you think about these hardware wallets? Do you own any of these brands? Let us know what you think and your experiences with these products in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse these products/services.
Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned companies or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

Images via Shutterstock, Bitlox, Digital Bitbox, Trezor, Ledger, and Keepkey. 

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Gold Versus Bitcoin, Goldman Sachs Prefers Metal to Crypto

11 hours 59 min ago
Bitcoin’s creator patterned his digital commodity money after history’s most famous analog store of value for currencies, gold. Debate rages as to whether bitcoin will overtake gold’s place.  Also read: Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein Latest Exec to Flirt with Bitcoin Gold Remains Goldman Sachs’ Refuge Recent volatility analysis of bitcoin’s “exchange rate means that merchants accepting Bitcoin (who do not, implicitly, want to become Bitcoin speculators themselves) should demand large volatility premia to hedge” against their assumed risk in accepting the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, Goldman Sachs’ Michael Hinds, Mikhail Sprogis, and Jeffrey Currie urge. Their report, provocatively titled Fear and Wealth, stressed how “a 3-day USD/BTC put option at historical average volatility results in a premium of around 2.3%.” Mr. Hinds, et al, find such a premium to be prohibitive, concluding their outlined barrier “clearly illustrates that Bitcoin as a unit of account and medium of exchange is nowhere near as favourable as it first appears.” Fiat to bitcoin volatility this year stands at more than six times its gold counterpart. Metcalf applied to bitcoin transactions and market cap. Goldman’s Fear and Wealth examines four fundamentals: durability (bitcoin is forever subject to hacks, be they personal, network, institutional), portability (gold weight exposes it to high expense and need for security measures, while bitcoin moves relatively undetected), intrinsic value (existence of alternative cryptocurrencies mean an oversupply), and unit of account (gold’s four-millennia track record means it has conquered volatility). For these reasons “gold wins out over [bitcoin].” Bitcoin’s Metcalf Future Business Insider‘s affable Executive Editor, Sara Silverstein, mentioned to news.Bitcoin.com she “wouldn’t say I use bitcoin.” Ms. Silverstein has some, but is “not interested in using bitcoin for transactions right now.” In her new weekly video program, The Bit, she snagged Wall Street bitcoin bull Tom Lee of Fundstrat. Their conversation quickly turned to valuing bitcoin versus gold. Ms. Silverstein knew Mr. Lee “modeled bitcoin’s price based on two different methodologies, and [I] wanted to dig into both of these and talk about the question more generally,” she told news.Bitcoin.com.

Expanding on his use of Metcalf’s Law, Mr. Lee explains to Ms. Silverstein “if you build a very simple model valuing bitcoin as the square function number of users times the average transaction value, 94% of the bitcoin moved over the past four years is explained by that equation.”

Sara Silverstein Also known as the network effect, it can help to understand “Facebook, Alibaba, and Google,” Mr. Lee cited as examples, and their respective increases in utility value. He explains “bitcoin represents a store of value because it’s an encrypted, personal encrypted database, that for seven years hasn’t been hacked.” That “is a way to store value,” Mr. Lee insists. The nine trillion USD gold market “was [the previous] store of value. I think this next generation of young people view bitcoin as their store of value. And if it captures 5% of the gold market, it’s worth at least $25,000 per unit.” Calling his price “conservative,” he said it “really reflects the assumption that investors will allocate in their blended portfolio only 5% to alternative currencies. Today, that allocation is much greater,” he explained. It might be the case investors and adopters will use both gold and bitcoin, revealing either/or debates to be more about blackening bitcoin’s reputation than substantial analysis. Legacy banks usually prefer status quo to radical innovation. Are you hedging in preference to bitcoin over gold? Tell us your reasoning in the comments below!

Images courtesy of: artsfon, reddit, Business Insider.

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CEX.io and Unocoin Announce Fork Arrangements

12 hours 59 min ago

This week two more exchanges revealed their plans for the upcoming Segwit2x fork this November. The London-based exchange CEX.io explains that whether the company supports the split or not customers will receive split tokens if the fork takes place. Further, the Indian exchange Unocoin has revealed it will be supporting the chain with the most “mining/community” support.

Also read: Bitfinex Launches Segwit2x ‘Chain Split Tokens

The Trading Platform CEX.io Closely Observes the Ongoing Transformations and Considers the Measures Taken Under Emerging Conditions

The exchange CEX.io revealed its position towards the Segwit2x fork on Tuesday, October 17. The trading platform’s official statement details that there has been a lot of rumors and concerns about this particular fork. With all that aside, CEX.io believes the security of customer funds should never be at risk “no matter how the market evolves.”

“As for now, we are still closely observing the ongoing transformations and considering the measures to take under the emerging conditions — While tracking the further development of the situation, we will take action to secure the profit and ensure the safety of our existing and future customers,” explains CEX.io’s Helga Danova. “Currently, our team works on the technical side of every expected outcome, including the rejection of the protocol change.”

Whether we support the split or not, add new pairs for trade or not, our existing customers will receive new coins if Segwit2x hard fork happens. We will inform you later about the payout details and the time when additional options will be available on CEX.io.

Unocoin: ‘Only Tokens From the Majority Chain Will Be Supported After a Successful Split’

Following the CEX.io announcement, the well-known bitcoin exchange based in India, Unocoin, also disclosed its Segwit2x contingency plan. First and foremost Unocoin says there is no action required from customers in regard to the upcoming event of fork or split. Additionally, the trading platform will only support the chain that captures a majority of “mining/community support,” in order to utilize trading with INR.         

“All our customers holding any amount of bitcoin in their Unocoin wallet before the event of the fork would be entitled to an equivalent amount of coins on both the chains after the split — There is no action required from customers in this regard either before or during the fork as long as the replay protection is available,” explains Unocoin’s announcement.

However, only tokens from the majority chain would be supported for further trading on the Unocoin platform after the successful split — On determining the stability of each chain after the fork, users will be encouraged to submit their addresses to redeem their coin balance on the minority chain starting within two weeks after the split.

Both Unocoin and CEX.io join the growing list of exchanges who are announcing contingency plans for the Segwit2x fork. The trading platforms both say they will update their customers with a more definitive fork timeline down the road. Over the past two weeks, businesses have also had contrasting differences to how they will handle this particular fork. It will be particularly interesting to see how the entire industry cumulatively deals with the Segwit2x event as it unfolds.

What do you think about CEX.io and Unocoin’s statements about the upcoming fork? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Images via Shutterstock, Bitcoin.com, CEX.io, and Unocoin. 

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Calvin Ayre Declares Bitcoin Cash “The Only Bitcoin”

13 hours 59 min ago

In a statement addressing the upcoming the bitcoin (BTC) fork that is scheduled for mid-November, Calvin Ayre has stated it’s belief that Bitcoin Cash [Bitcoin (BCC)] is “the only bitcoin.”

Also Read: Fork Debate Drops to New Low, Outspoken Developer Lopp’s Home Surrounded by Police

“When We Say Bitcoin, We Mean Bitcoin Cash”

With the number of chains forked from the original bitcoin blockchain expected to increase, a number of companies and media organizations are seeking to provide clarification regarding the specific nomenclature referring to each chain.

Calvinayre has issued a statement clarifying that when using the term ‘bitcoin’, the website will be referring to the bitcoin (BCC) chain. The statement expresses Calvinayre’s belief that “bitcoin cash is the true remaining bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper. The release states that although “the Segwit chain may have inherited the name “BTC” largely due to history but it is bitcoin cash that much more closely resembles the bitcoin that sparked the entire digital currency boom.”

Calvinayre states that it will refer to the respective bitcoin chains as “Segwit1x (currently BTC, and likely SW1 after the Segwit2x split), Segwit2x (planned BTC, but likely SW2 after the fork if it fails to achieve majority miner support), and Segwit Gold (SWG).”

Calvinayre Describes the Distinct Bitcoin Chains As “Relatives Sharing a Common Ancestor”

The release states that “cryptocurrency was created to solve the problems brought by traditional banking. For the online gambling industry, the appeal lies in its promise to cut out the middlemen, along with their outrageous fees, and help secure transactions with the distributed ledger system.” As such, Calvinayre advocates that “the entire gambling industry… move across to [bitcoin (BCC)].”

Calvinayre advances that the comparatively high fees associated with bitcoin (BTC) compromise the fundamental utility of bitcoin, and deter non-speculative user adoption.

“We define an electronic coin as a chain of digital signatures” – Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin Whitepaper

Calvinayre’s website describes bitcoin (BTC)’s segregated witness protocol as defining “a new transaction type… that removes the digital signatures from the transaction and places them in a separate data structure.” By contrast, bitcoin (BCC) is described as having “increased the capacity limit of each block… and preserved a version of bitcoin with digital signatures intact.” It is largely on the basis of preserving digital signatures that Calvinayre argues bitcoin cash (BCC) is the chain that most resembles the original vision as laid out in the bitcoin whitepaper.

Which chain do think is most deserving of the title ‘bitcoin’? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, CalvinAyre.com

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Bitcoin Cash Developers Propose New Address Format

14 hours 58 min ago

This week the lead Bitcoin ABC developer, Amaury Séchet, proposed to add a Bech32 address format to the Bitcoin Cash (BCC) network. Currently, the BCC community has been discussing modifying the bitcoin cash address format, alongside preparing to fix the protocol’s Emergency Difficulty Adjustment (EDA).

Also read: Meet the New Bitcoin Cash P2P Exchange Localbitcoincash.org

The Bitcoin Cash Community and Developers Propose Changing the Protocol’s Address Format

On October 14, Amaury Séchet proposed to implement a new address format to the bitcoin cash network. The subject of changing the BCC address format has been debated for a few months now, but even more so after Bitpay released a new address format for the company’s BCC integration in its Copay wallet. The discussion initially started on the Bitcoin ABC Github repository back in July. A few weeks ago Bitpay stated it had created “new conventions to ensure users don’t accidentally send BTC to a BCC wallet or vice versa.” However, Bitpay’s new address format wasn’t received well by the BCC community and developers.

Electron Cash Wallet Developer Weighs In

For instance, the Electron Cash wallet developer, Jonald Fyookball, detailed on the Yours network, that “Bitpay’s new bitcoin cash address format breaks wallet compatibility and requires community discussion.” Fyookball explains he’s a “fan of Bitpay,” but he believes releasing a new format without community discussion creates issues. The “main problem” Fyookball details, is that unless every single BCC user within the entire community upgrades to this new software there will be address “incompatibility between the new (Bitpay format) and the existing format for addresses.”   

“Newer wallets theoretically should still be able to support sending to old addresses unless those wallets intentionally stop supporting legacy addresses,” Fyookball explains. “But actually, it appears that Bitpay has done just that on their own platform.”

This may be a matter of design choice if the idea is to prevent a user from sending to a BTC address — Yet, since many users still use old addresses, it breaks backwards compatibility.

Amaury Séchet Favors the Bech 32 Address Format

The community believes it is essential for bitcoin cash addresses to be distinguished from bitcoin addresses, but think Bitpay’s method may not be the best answer. Bitcoin ABC’s Amaury Séchet explains on the team’s developer mailing list that maybe BCC programmers “have been moving too slowly and that is why Bitpay has gone ahead.” But Séchet also says he thinks they should have discussed the move as address upgrades can be “disruptive.” Séchet also revealed at the time he is in favor of Bech 32 address styles, a proposal first introduced by bitcoin developer Pieter Wuille.         

“At this point, I am in favor of the Bech 32 style addresses as they have a number of advantages — The most notable one, is that the format can be extended to support new features in the future,” Séchet’s developer mailing list post details. “The current address format or the variation proposed by Bitpay doesn’t, which means we’ll likely have to change it again in the future.”

As a result, I think we should adopt an extensible address format rather than doing a quick fix that makes us feel better now but fails to anticipate needs down the road — We are in this for the long run.

Lots of Bitcoin Cash Proposals and Ideas Being Tossed Around

The Github proposal pushed forward by Séchet seems to be favored by other developers who assist with the BCC protocol. One reviewer writes, “very elegant proposal, I like it,” and the pull request was also sent to the Bitpay/Copay code repository. The developer who recommends the address format changes to Bitpay asks, “Would you remove your new address format starting with C and add the Bech32 format (described here: Bitcoin-UAHF/spec#21) if some wallets start using it? It is more useful.”  

Bitcoin Cash development and infrastructure seems to be moving along with the recent EDA proposals and the latest address format idea. Further, the community has been greeted by another plan to create color coins on the BCC network. Bitcoin Unlimited developer, Andrew Stone recently proposed bitcoin cash scripting applications on October 16, in order to issue representative tokens on the network. 

What do you think about the proposal to change the bitcoin cash address format? Which development proposal do you think should be a priority right now for the BCH chain? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Images via Shutterstock, Bitcoincash.org, Electron Cash, and Bitcoin.com.

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Kazakhstan Set to Launch National Cryptocurrency Backed by Fiat

16 hours 29 min ago

Kazakhstan’s Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) and Exante have announced a partnership regarding the development of a national cryptocurrency. The Kazakhstan government intends to launch a state-issued cryptocurrency that is backed by fiat.

Also Read: Kazakhstan Seeks to Become Regional Hub for Cryptocurrency Industry

The AIFC has announced a partnership with Exante, in which the company’s ‘Stasis’ platform will be used as the foundation for Kazakhstan’s national cryptocurrency. Exante is a Malta-based investment company that that was founded in 2011.

The governor of the AIFC, Kairat Kelimbetov, has expressed the institution’s belief that “blockchain and cryptocurrencies are entering the mainstream of today’s economic reality.” Kelimbetov emphasized the AIFC’s desire to become an international frontrunner in the development and adoption of distributed ledger technology. “Astana’s leading financial regulators have already commenced their work and are laying the foundation for Kazakhstan’s fintech-ecosystem. We believe that the AIFC can become an international hub for blockchain operations and the development of the digital assets market is our key priority in the near future,” he stated.

Kazakhstan Will Host an Upcoming Expo for Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Technologies

Kelimbetov recently discussed an upcoming expo that the AIFC hopes will bolster international perceptions of the fintech and distributed ledger technology industries in Kazakhstan. As reported by local media, the AIFC governor stated “we assume that the territory of the expo will become a kind of crypto valley or crypto harbor. The whole world is very interested in this. Some central banks are supporting this direction, others are looking [at cryptocurrencies] closely.”

During the discussions, Kelimbetov emphasized the AIFC’s desire to balance the fostering of innovation and adoption of cryptocurrency technology with the ensuring of financial stability. “The United States and Singapore want to equate the activities of crypto-economic with ordinary activities in the financial sphere. In Switzerland, this direction is strongly encouraged and Japan supports some cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. We want to say that in this direction AIFC will be on the ‘edge’ concerning understanding the processes that are taking place. But on the other hand, we are responsible for issues of financial stability and regulation of certain financial institutions.”

Kazakhstan Is Working to Develop Its Emerging Fintech Sector

Kelimbetov stated that “the head of state has instructed making AIFC a leading expert center in the development of new financial technologies.” In order to achieve such, the AIFC is expected to soon “join a consortium of international hi-tech hubs which include leading global banks which are currently searching for appropriate solutions, including national and regional cryptocurrencies and in the field of blockchain technologies.”

Earlier this month, the AIFC signed a memorandum of cooperation with Microsoft for the establishment of the country’s Blockchain Innovation Centre – which is intended to foster innovation within the distributed ledger technology start-up space. In July, the AIFC announced that it would work in partnership with Deloitte and Waves to develop a permissive regulatory apparatus for cryptocurrency, blockchain, and fintech businesses.

Do you think that Kazakhstan will become a competitive force within the international blockchain and cryptocurrency arenas? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Ukraine’s New Bill Treats Bitcoin as Financial Asset and Encourages Mining

17 hours 29 min ago

Two bills to provide legal frameworks for cryptocurrencies including bitcoin have now been submitted to the Ukrainian parliament. The latest one proposes recognizing them as financial assets. It also defines cryptocurrency derivatives, as well as proposes simplifying taxation and reducing electricity tariffs for mining activities.

Also read: Putin Orders the Issue of Russia’s National Cryptocurrency – the Cryptoruble

Two Bills Submitted to Parliament

Following the first bill on cryptocurrency which was submitted on October 6, the second bill has been submitted to the Ukrainian parliament. Entitled “On the stimulation of the market of cryptocurrencies and their derivatives in Ukraine,” Bill No. 7183-1 was submitted last week.

In the new bill, the head of the Parliamentary Committee on Financial Policy and Banking, Serhiy Rybalka, proposes to recognize cryptocurrency as a “financial asset,” The Financial Club reported. “It makes no sense to reinvent the wheel and invent new rules for it. The most effective model is the adaptation of cryptocurrencies to the already existing legislation,” the publication quoted him saying. “That is why we propose to recognize cryptocurrency as a financial asset.”

Ain publication elaborated:

According to this document, state bodies are responsible for monitoring cryptocurrency exchanges. Cryptocurrency exchanges will be required to obtain a license for their activities. They have the right to open accounts in cryptocurrency both for citizens of Ukraine and for non-residents.

Taxation and Other Terms

The second draft law also calls for “reduced tariffs for electricity and the simplest taxation” in order to “stimulate the ‘extraction’ and turnover of cryptocurrencies,” The Financial Club detailed. Rybalka further “proposes not to tax cryptocurrency investments,” the publication added, noting that the bill proposes a 2% fee when cryptocurrencies are exchanged for hryvnia.

In addition, the bill calls for the National Financial Services Commission to be the primary regulator of cryptocurrencies. In the first bill, it was proposed for the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) to act as the regulator of the crypto market.

While the second bill contains the definition of cryptocurrency derivatives, neither bill contains references to initial coin offerings (ICOs), explained Orlovsky Maxim, Head of Bitcoin Foundation Ukraine. Furthermore, the first draft law does not mention AML and KYC procedures for cryptocurrency operations, while the second one suggests for them to be determined by the central financial regulator as part of their licensing requirements, he added.

Cryptocurrencies Not Prohibited

Even though there is not yet a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in Ukraine, cryptocurrencies including bitcoin are not prohibited by law. The Ukrainian finance minister Oleksandr Danylyuk wrote on his Facebook page on Monday that his ministry is working with the NBU and other financial regulators to formulate the right regulation for them. He wrote:

There are many open issues and in Ukraine the status of cryptography is not defined by law, but this does not mean that cryptocurrency is prohibited. Ukraine should monitor world trends and not miss a chance to use new technologies and innovations in the financial sector.

What do you think of this bill’s proposals? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Russian Regulators Consider Establishing a ‘Crypto-Detective Agency’

18 hours 58 min ago

At a recent State Duma Financial Market Committee meeting, an initiative to create a “crypto-detective agency” in Russia was proposed. This specialized agency will primarily collect all information on Russian companies planning to launch an initial coin offering (ICO) as well as create a registry of them.

Also read: Putin Orders the Issue of Russia’s National Cryptocurrency – the Cryptoruble

Proposal for Crypto-Detective Agency

At the State Duma Financial Market Committee meeting of the expert council on the legislative support of financial technologies last week, the issue of cryptocurrency regulation in Russia was discussed. Representatives from the regulators and major domestic banks attended, reported Izvestia Russian Daily.

The Internet Development Institute (IRI) is an organization whose goal is to develop and operate the industry of modern technologies in Russia. IRI Foundation president Alexei Fyodorov proposed an initiative at the meeting “to create a specialized crypto-detective agency,” the news outlet detailed and reported him explaining:

To protect investors in cryptocurrencies in Russia, it is planned to create a specialized crypto-detective agency. It will collect information on Russian companies intending to launch an ICO. Information will be stored in a special register.

This registry will contain all of the information about these companies that can be found, he described.

“Our agency will be able to extract information about their beneficiaries and their real state of affairs. Is this a startup or an attempt to solve the company’s current problems with the help of the ICO,” he asked, before detailing the need for this agency. “Our task is to protect investors. When a company that has attracted funds from a large number of people fails, its investors will seek protection from the state.”

Ineffective Method

Russia’s internet ombudsman, Dmitry Marinichev, acknowledged the need to collect such data.

In August, news.Bitcoin.com reported about him building a mining infrastructure in Russia to challenge China’s bitcoin mining supremacy. His company, Russian Miner Coin (RMC), recently held an ICO which raised 1,205 BTC, 4,022 ETH, and $37 million, according to the company’s website. The RMC tokens “have rights to 18 percent of the revenue earned with the company’s mining equipment, according to a presentation posted on its website,” Forbes described.

Regarding a registry of companies planning an ICO, Marinichev said “to force a company to register on the register is pointless,” Izvestia wrote and quoted him saying:

Mechanisms for controlling ICOs are needed…But the registers are ineffective.

Eugene Gordeev, Managing Partner at Russian Ventures, believes that “any initiative to register companies is not needed by the market,” the publication wrote.

“It’s like trying to create an agency that evaluates startups at the seed stage when the project has only an idea and a team,” he said. “At this stage, the project has a lot of data that cannot be analyzed. But investors, in case of success, will receive a thousand times more than they invested.”

What do you think of this “crypto-detective agency”? Let us know in the comments section below.

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KYC Bill to Regulate Bitcoin Exchanges Green Lighted by Australian Senate Committee

19 hours 59 min ago

A bill to regulate Australia’s digital currency exchanges has gained support from the Senate committee tasked to review it. The committee recommended for the bill to be passed. However, public comments from the industry’s participants suggest that some provisions in the bill are unclear and could reduce competition in the payment industry.

Also read: Australia Introduces Bill That Regulates Bitcoin Exchanges

Crypto Exchange Bill Receives Support

The Australian Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee published a document last week recommending the “the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Amendment Bill 2017” be passed.

This bill was first introduced in August by the Senate and was referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry. It contains measures to amend the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act of 2006 (AML/CTF Act) in order to strengthen the act and increase the powers of the Australian Transactions and Reporting Analysis Centre (Austrac).

The bill also contains provisions to regulate digital currency exchange providers. For example, it “seeks to introduce a new designated service and register in order to regulate digital currency exchange, to be introduced within six months of the bill’s commencement,” the document read, adding that:

The bill amends the AML/CTF Act to establish a number of civil penalties in relation to an unregistered person providing digital currency exchange services, which are all subject to strict liability.

Comment Submissions

During the review period, the committee called for public comments. “Submitters to the inquiry were generally supportive of the bill’s measures to implement the reforms,” the document detailed.

Nine submissions were received, as shown on the Parliament of Australia website. Two of them were related to digital currencies. One was from a leading Australian criminal law firm, Nyman Gibson Miralis. The firm asserted that “the proposed legislative amendments do not seem to contemplate for the likely scenario that an individual can simply choose to exchange with a digital currency provider outside of Australia’s national jurisdiction.” In addition, the firm wrote:

What is unclear is whether the legislative amendments capture a person who exchanges with a digital currency provider outside of Australia. The very nature of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are that they transcend Australia’s national jurisdiction.

Hindrance to Small Businesses

The other submission concerning digital currency provisions was from an Australian fintech company that enables customers to pay bills with bitcoin, Living Room of Satoshi. CEO Daniel Alexiuc wrote, “the proposed legislation will have the effect of requiring KYC procedures of our customers for even very small transactions.”

He noted that most of his company’s transactions are under AUD$1,000 and that any amounts over $1,000 are subject to full KYC procedures. “Adding KYC requirements to low-value payments like this would add unnecessary friction and make this payment system far less attractive than using incumbent payment systems, even if they are more expensive,” he detailed and then elaborated:

The legislation will impact our current business and stifle future innovation in the area of small payments, since many of our customers will feel KYC is unwarranted and too much of a hassle for small amounts. This will also reduce competition in the payments industry.

Subsequently, he proposed for the legislation to include “an exemption from KYC requirements for low-value payments,” and suggested for the same threshold of $1,000 for Low-Value Non-Cash Payment Facilities to be used.

What do you think of this bill? Will it help or hinder bitcoin adoption in the land down under? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Nyman Gibson Miralis, and Living Room of Satoshi.

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Slotland Online Gaming Site Now Offers Bitcoin Deposits and Withdrawals

20 hours 34 min ago

Popular online gaming site, Slotland, just announced they are offering deposits and withdrawals in bitcoin for gaming purposes. The company processes bitcoin deposits immediately, withdrawals by the next business day. Furthermore, it is the site’s 19th birthday and they added a new game along with other bonus features. 

Also read: Bitmex Exchange and Samourai Wallet Details Plans on How to Handle Upcoming Forks

Slotland manager, Michael Hilary, elaborated: “Bitcoins are perfect for online transactions. We can process Bitcoin transactions really quickly – players have their withdrawals by the very next business day. For many players, Bitcoins are the easiest, safest and quickest way to get their winnings!”

How Bitcoin Deposits Work, Games Available

Bitcoin deposits are immediately converted to USD in a person’s Slotland account. The Slotland page also provides its customers with the best possible bitcoin exchange rate. Their system takes the average of the top 3 exchanges. It is also updated every 15 minutes, according to Hilary.

Slotland is also offering bonuses for depositing in bitcoin. “To introduce the convenient new banking option to players, Slotland is offering a choice of Bitcoin deposit bonuses with a variety of wagering requirements.” Customers can use these deposited bitcoin funds to play a variety of games.

After this month’s debut of the new Chinatown slot, Slotland now offers 60 unique games.  Chinatown is a 21 pay line real-money video slot with an expanding Wild symbol and chances to win up to 15 free spins.

Online Gaming with Bitcoin

Overall, playing games online is a popular way to spend bitcoin. There are many different kinds of casinos just like Slotland (right here to; casino.bitcoin.com). One site, Bitcoin Game List, provides abundant information on various bitcoin gaming sites.

Slotland itself has been around for 19 years and has a history of being a respectable online gaming site. According to an Igamingbusiness page, it is one of the most trusted and reputable places to play games. Now that it has bitcoin banking options, its appeal may even increase and more gaming sites could follow its lead in accepting bitcoin.

What do you think about this popular gaming site adding bitcoin deposits and withdrawals? Will more online gaming sites like Slotland follow suit? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Here’s Bitcoin.com’s Updated Stance on Specific Bitcoin Chain Symbols and Monikers

21 hours 29 min ago

A lot has changed in the cryptocurrency space, and things are entirely different than they were when bitcoin was launched by its anonymous creator back in 2009. One of these changes has affected the entire ecosystem, as the bitcoin scaling debate has caused significant strife between bitcoin proponents.

Also read: Bitcoin Cash is Bitcoin

This summer on August 1 the bitcoin cash fork took place, but fundamental differences between bitcoiners remain, and there is still a fierce debate concerning the upcoming hard fork(s). At Bitcoin.com we have decided to clarify our position on the naming of each chain associated with the original protocol design created by Satoshi Nakamoto based on technical associations.

At present, there are two blockchains that have derived from the original bitcoin protocol design released to the world in January of 2009. On August 1 the bitcoin cash blockchain split away from the network, due to a long and ongoing debate concerning the technology’s key principles. Since the bitcoin cash network started, the foundations of each chain have shown underlying differences. For instance, the bitcoin cash chain did not adopt the controversial Segregated Witness (Segwit) protocol. The protocol had also increased the base block size limit to 8MB, and the development team removed the tendentious Replace-by-Fee (RBF) protocol as well. The bitcoin cash chain operates now with significantly lower fees than its sister chain, and confirmation times are faster with more room for transactions.

Segwit coins remove signature data from a transaction. Source: Peter Rizun, Segwit Coins are not Bitcoins.

The other chain which we will refer to as “Segwit Core” has adopted Segwit and continued to utilize RBF. Further, the chain still has problematic issues with fees and network congestion as the Segwit protocol change hasn’t shown much difference. At the moment this chain is called BTC, but the network is expecting another fork this November that may change that moniker, if “Segwit Core” survives. As stated above, the scaling debate’s flames did not stop when bitcoin cash split away. There is now escalated drama between Core supporters and Segwit2x supporters.

Segwit2x is a protocol that has also adopted Segwit and RBF but aims to raise the block size limit from 1MB to 2MB. Additionally, there is another fork this October called bitcoin gold that plans to change the consensus mechanism, proof-of-work, into a GPU mineable algorithm called Equihash. The bitcoin gold fork will also have Segwit implemented, and RBF as well, alongside a large pre-mine for the founding developers.

With all the chaos and confusion concerning this summer’s fork and the forks approaching in the next few weeks, Bitcoin.com has decided to clarify how we will respectively name each chain and price ticker. News.Bitcoin.com will be reverting to these symbols within our articles that mention price tickers, and certain bitcoin sister chains.   

  • The Bitcoin Cash Chain: Ticker symbol will be “BCC.”
  • The Segwit Chain/Segwit1x: Ticker symbol is currently “BTC,” but our suggested is symbol “SW1,” post Segwit2x split.
  • Segwit2x (Planned Fork): Ticker symbol could be “BTC” (planned), but we suggest potentially “SW2” as this is no longer perceived as Bitcoin.
  • SegwitGold (Planned Fork): Ticker symbol suggestion is “SWG.”

Read this link here for more information concerning Bitcoin.com’s stance on this subject and why we decided to choose these specific names and symbols.

Images via Shutterstock and Bitcoin.com.

At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, check out our Tools page! Be sure to share this article, and help spread the word about bitcoin. Thanks. 

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Markets Update: Bitcoin’s Pre-Fork Price Rollercoaster Begins

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 22:00

Bitcoin markets tumbled during the early hours of October 18 dropping roughly 6-7 percent to a low of $5,101 per token. Bullish optimism seemed to be stepping off to the sideline today as the decentralized currency struggled to capture the $5,640 zone again.

Also read: Preparing for the Bitcoin Hard Forks: A Step-by-Step Walkthrough

Bitcoin Markets See Some Short-Term Sell-Off

Bitcoin markets had a bit of sell-off today, as the currency has dropped from yesterday’s high of $5,640 to a low of $5,101 per BTC. At press time the value has rebounded as the price per bitcoin is hovering slightly above the $5,600 range, with around $2.3B in 24-hour global trade volume. At the moment, buyers seem to be waiting for better positions as the sell-off might not last, and the uptrend may pick up again in the short term. Surpassing the $6K range is still the ‘talk of the town’ among traders, and even though two forks are approaching, these traders are still optimistic. Today, bitcoin markets might stick around its current territory and consolidate between the $5,580-$5,650 zone; unless further support breaks down when Japanese markets open.   

Japan still captures the lion’s share of bitcoin trade volume.

Japan is still dominating the world’s trade volume at 57 percent with the U.S. trailing slightly behind. South Korean bitcoin markets are still red hot as this region is currently capturing the third highest BTC trade volume. This week’s top five exchanges by volume are Bitfinex, Bithumb, Bitflyer, Hitbtc, and Bitstamp. The top five exchanges command over $652M worth of bitcoin trade volumes, or 121908 BTC swapped over the past 24-hours. The price has broken key levels of support below the $5,150 range earlier today, but we are looking to see if it drops below the $5,100 zone which could lead a more substantial sell-off.   

Technical Indicators

Technical indicators show the 100 Simple Moving Average (SMA) has crossed paths with the 200 SMA and is sinking below the longer term trendline. This means the path to the upside might take longer to achieve and further dips could be in the cards. Both the Stochastic and Relative Strength Index (RSI) are also heading south as the oscillators show overbought conditions and likely a touch more correction. Fibonacci retracement levels indicate this particular dip could follow to price ranges between $5,450-5,600. As we stated in our last markets update, we are watching to see if the Displaced Moving Average (DMA) support breaks $5,100. If this happens, markets could break support below the sub-$5K zone following the typical 30 percent pullback pattern that takes place every few weeks.

At press time the price per bitcoin is hovering above the $5,630 range. After a swift rebound, the short-term 100 SMA is still below the long-term 200 SMA. The Top Five Digital Asset Market Overview

In general cryptocurrency markets, the top five digital assets are also seeing price dips today between 5-12 percent. Ethereum (ETH) markets had dropped 8 percent in value today after a quick pump before its 5th fork. The price per ETH is now $315, while the third highest market ripple (XRP) is down 11 percent at $0.21 per XRP. Bitcoin cash (BCC) markets had seen a significant uptrend in value yesterday on October 17, reaching close to $400 per BCC. The price per BCC at the time of writing is $345 after markets dipped 11 percent. Lastly, litecoin (LTC) is still holding the fifth highest market cap at $60 per LTC but has seen prices slashed by 9 percent this morning. The entire cryptocurrency market capitalization of all the digital assets combined is still a whopping $169B.

The Verdict

Bitcoin markets are commanding an $87B market cap, and BTC dominance compared to other digital asset shares is 54 percent right now. Again traders still seem confident that bitcoin markets could reach new highs before the upcoming forks. Many individuals believe money from alternative digital currencies will be sold for bitcoin to get in on the possible split(s). However, this means cheaper altcoins may get some buyers as some of these tokens haven’t seen lows like this in months. The trade-offs between altcoins and bitcoin before the fork may be a zero-sum game. Probably the most prominent thing people in crypto-land are thinking about right now is their upcoming plans for the possibility of a chain split. At this vantage point from now until the fork(s), prices could easily vary between $4800-$6K+ with extreme price swings going both ways. 

Bear Scenario: Sellers have control at the moment as buyers have definitely stepped away from overbought conditions. There are strong floors between the $4,800-5,100 zone for the short term, as buyers are waiting in this area in great number. If the bearish sentiment continues prices below $5K could very well be in the playbooks, which would likely lead to some panic selling for a short period. If DMA support breaks $4800, the averages of around $4,400-4,600 could very well happen too.

Bull Scenario: As stated above bitcoin markets have followed a consistent cycle of 30 percent corrections followed by an upside trend pushing its value to new all-time-highs (ATH). This bearish period right now may not lead to a substantial correction, but it could be the start. When the bottom is found, it’s likely bulls will take the lead again and prices could reach $5,800-5,900 soon. Further, there are expectations from some traders who envision the price wave spiking to $6K or $6,500 during the pre-fork(s) period. Bulls have a lot of work to do to obtain these levels again, and for now, it’s going to take a bit longer.

Where do you see the price of bitcoin heading from here? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”

Images via Shutterstock, Bitstamp, Pixabay, and Crypto-Compare.

At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, check out our Tools page! 

At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even look up the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post Markets Update: Bitcoin’s Pre-Fork Price Rollercoaster Begins appeared first on Bitcoin News.

PR: Spectiv – Major Virtual Reality ICO Receives over $1 Million in Presale

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 21:56

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

Spectiv VR

Virtual reality streaming platform Spectiv has just closed its private early supporter presale, where Signal Tokens were sold for a total of 3,548 ETH, 32 BTC, and $58,000 USD. Spectiv is a dedicated VR media platform where users can stream their VR video experiences to the world, and where others can enjoy those experiences from the comfort of their homes. It is a niche streaming platform similar to Twitch, but with a focus on VR content. Learn more about it here: www.spectivvr.com.

Signal Tokens

Signal Tokens will be used on Spectiv’s platform to directly connect
advertisers with attention influencers. This is achieved through Spectiv’s “Ad Campaign Smart Contracts” which advertisers can use to directly reward viewers, publishers, and curators for driving attention to their ads. Every ad view and click that occurs on the ad is communicated to the Ad Campaign Smart Contract which then autonomously rewards Signal Tokens.

The Signal Token Protocol is not limited to the Spectiv platform; it is open-source. The protocol is designed for any media platform to adopt and implement. Spectiv brings integral value to this protocol by acting as the pioneer and first use case, providing a foundational layer for other media platforms to benefit from and build upon. This pragmatic approach to token creation could bridge the gap between blockchain theory and real-world utility.

Successful Presale

The Spectiv presale was executed in partnership with Sutton Stone exclusively for early supporters of the project. Presale participants were required to pass qualification screenings in compliance with OFAC and other KYC checks. All presale participants engaged in a personalized SAFT with Spectiv, LLC. All presale transactions have been audited and verified by global public accounting firm, Baker Tilly. This presale was conducted with a pioneering standard for security and regulatory consciousness. Proceeds from the token presale have recently been released and are being used to build the platform alpha and raise awareness for the project. The open token sale period is set to start on December 8th, 2017.

Spectiv Platform Alpha Release

Spectiv is currently focused on developing its VR streaming platform which is expected to roll out in early November. The alpha V1 will support VR content upload, viewing, user accounts, and more. This means token purchasers will have an opportunity to use the platform far before the sale on December 8th.

Business and Legal Structure

Since the presale, Spectiv has hired an additional developer, an external CFO, and moved into an office space directly across from their crypto venture partners Sutton Stone. In preparation for the open sale, Spectiv is structuring the relevant business entities to comply with existing/undeclared governmental regulations. This includes setting up a Mauritian corporate vehicle used to support the token sale in that jurisdiction. Spectiv will be the second large project to undergo this process in partnership with Sutton Stone.

Token Purchasing Opportunities

Signal Tokens can be purchased at a fixed price of $0.50 each, with early bird bonus opportunities for qualifying participants. The sale will have a maximum expected receipt of $40 million in Signal Tokens. This open sale will be hosted on December 8th, 2017. Sign up for the email list on the homepage of their website at www.spectivvr.com.

Reach out to info@spectivvr.com for private token purchasing inquiries and bonuses.

Contact Email Address
Dylan@spectivvr.com
Supporting Link
https://spectivvr.com

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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Bitfinex to Terminate Services for U.S. Retail Customers by November 9

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 07:58

Bitfinex has announced its plan to terminate all services for U.S. individual customers by November 9th 2017. Their announcement comprised a follow-up to a statement issued in August, which indicated the company was suspending all new requests for account verification from U.S. individuals.

Also Read: The Controversy Surrounding Tether’s USD “Backing” Continues

Bitfinex Will Suspend Trading, Deposits, and Withdrawal Services to U.S.-Based Customers

Bitfinex will be terminating “trading, deposits and withdrawal functionality for all U.S. customers”, which will come into effect “no later than November 9, 2017.” The announcement urges all U.S.-based customers to withdraw their cryptocurrency tokens before the deadline.

On August 11, Bitfinex first revealed that it would be moving away from U.S. retail customers. The move appeared to be in direct response to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s warning that initial coin offering (ICOs) deemed as securities would be subject to existing financial regulations, with Bitfinex barring all U.S-based customers from trading ERC20 tokens that were issued through an ICO within a week of the announcement.

Despite comprising the largest market for USD/BTC trading, Bitfinex stated that it had “for some time considered pulling away from the retail marketplace in the U.S.,” stating that “a surprisingly small percentage of [Bitfinex’s] revenues come from verified U.S. individual accounts while a dramatically outsized portion of our resources goes into servicing the needs of U.S. individuals, including support, legal, and regulatory.”

U.S.-Based Customers Are Unable to Access Financing via Bitfinex’s Platform, and Will Be Barred From Providing Liquidity by November 9th

In light of Bitfinex’s barring of U.S. retail customers, Bitfinex states that “U.S. individuals holding Recovery Right Tokens (RRTs)… may, starting on October 27, 2017, sell all of their RRTs on the exchange.” Bitfinex’s recovery rights tokens were distributed to a group of “BFX token holders [who] have converted their BFX tokens to shares of iFinex.”

BFX tokens were issued to Bitfinex customers following a devastating hack that took place during August of 2016. The fall-out from the attack saw Bitfinex socialize losses by converting 36% of all customers’ holdings into BFX tokens – which were repaid through irregular and unannounced installments at the discretion of the exchange. Bitfinex states that “any RRTs remaining in the hands of U.S. individual verified customers after the November 9th deadline may be sold through Bitfinex on an OTC basis through special arrangement with us.”

Bitfinex has come under increasing scrutiny in recent months for the sharp increase in the number of ‘Tether’, or ‘USDT’, tokens that have been issued. Following Wells Fargo’s suspension of U.S. dollar wire transfers processing services on behalf of Taiwanese banks servicing Bitfinex, speculations have surfaced that the exchange may have used ‘Tether’ as a means to circumvent liquidity problems – with the number of USDT tokens in circulation having increased by approximately 500% since Bitfinex’s banking issues began.

Are you a U.S based trader who trades on Bitfinex? What exchange or exchanges will you use after November 9? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitfinex

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Fork Debate Drops to New Low, Outspoken Developer Lopp’s Home Surrounded by Police

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 07:00

Debate is a central part of the cryptocurrency community at large. Open forums such as Bitcoin.com have fostered mostly healthy fork debate about Bitcoin’s future. It appears at least one participant wished to stifle debate, and in a horrible way. 

Also read: Preparing for the Bitcoin Hard Forks: A Step-by-Step Walkthrough

Fork Debate Turns Ugly and Dangerous

Online forums were bursting with outrage over a new low in the fork controversy popularly known as Segwit2x or the scaling debate.

“They essentially tried to get him or his family killed, only takes a simple mistake and [you’re] dead, happens regularly with [SWAT]. Essentially attempted murder, IMO. Whoever did that to him you are scum of the earth,” one poster characterized the event.

Another commenter on a rival forum added “this is dangerous and a very low move,” while yet another agreed and stated plainly, “Anyone who supports [either side in the fork debate] should absolutely condemn such tactics.”

Monday around 9 in the morning, Durham, North Carolina police were dispatched to Jameson Lopp’s house in an effort to address a hostage situation.

The caller’s voice was obviously disguised, saying someone had already been shot fifteen times in the house, and that the caller was holding hostages.

Explosives, the call claimed, were at the home’s door. The caller demanded something like a ransom, threatening “If I see any police coming toward the front door who aren’t handling a bag full of money, I’ll shoot them on sight.”

“By my voice, you can tell I’m not in a mental health state,” the caller claimed.

Emergency medical services, mobile command, and bulletproof vested police cordoned off Mr. Lopp’s neighborhood.

As police surrounded his home, Mr. Lopp apprised authorities of the real situation.

“I am not intimidated by this,” Jameson Lopp, Bitgo engineer and vocal Twitter personality  in the fork conversation, stared into the camera defiantly. “This is actually, from my perspective, evidence that the people who want to do this do not have the guts to say anything to my face. They don’t have the guts to come here and actually tell me what their problem is with me.”

Screen shot of Mr. Lopp’s Tweet, reacting to the false report. A Sad History, Unfortunately

There’s no doubt some in the niche debate will use Mr. Lopp’s experience to score political points.

The truth is far more nuanced, as prominent bitcoiners are targeted for extortion regardless of their opinions. Perhaps the best-known, and saddest, case involved that of the then-dying Hal Finney, an icon in the Bitcoin community long rumored to have been behind the Satoshi Nakamoto pseudonym.

Hal Finney and his wife.

Mr. Finney, who at the time suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease and was completely dependent on his wife, was the victim of a similar extortion attempt involving false reports to police. It went on for a year, and some even believe it continues to the present day in various forms against family who survives him.

Surely cryptocurrency advocates on either side of the fork debate do not need any more popular media associations with violence nor criminality.

As the latest hard fork nears, estimates put the triggering block height 494,784 to occur around mid-November, it’s important discussions remain uncensored and within bounds of basic civility.

To the community’s credit, all sides have come to Jameson Lopp’s defense.

Considering the nonsense above, should the bitcoin community be proud of its united defense of Jameson Lopp? Tell us in the comments below!

Images courtesy of: CSOR, Wired, Twitter, Durham PD.

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PR: Secure Identity Ledger Corporation Goes Direct to Consumer with Initial Coin Offering: New Blockchain Platform to Put Consumers in Control of Their Online Identities

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 05:30

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

FALLS CHURCH, Va., /PRNewswire/ — Secure Identity Ledger Corporation (SILC) ℠, the first digital identity platform for every person, business and machine, announced the opening of its Initial Coin Offering (ICO). The ICO is currently ongoing.
Unlike other ICOs this year, SILC did not offer its tokens to institutional investors in advance in what is called a pre-sale; instead, it is targeting consumers and, in particular, millennials, who the company says will be the most affected by identity fraud.

A limited supply of tokens are available to purchase during the ICO, with more being released with each product and application launch from SILC. To purchase tokens in this ICO, please click the ‘Buy Now’ button on the SILC homepage: http://www.secureidentityledger.com

To download the white paper, please visit: http://www.secureidentityledger.com/whitepaper

“Our mission is being seeded with this ICO but is much bigger and not all monetary. We aim to put users back in control of their online lives,” said Danny Lee, co-founder, SILC. “We created our own blockchain because we wanted to establish the rules, take advantage of core elements of blockchain architecture, create trust and establish a framework for a new data-drive business model.”

SILC provides the first-ever turnkey digital ID system for consumers, including registration, authentication, verification and personal monitoring. The platform will provide individuals with a unique digital token that enables them to prove their identity to third parties. And unlike other Blockchain solutions that operate on a Proof-of-Stake or Proof-of-Work basis, SILC operates through a Verified Existence Algorithm℠ in which both parties can exchange and confirm information through the SILC dashboard without it being recorded. SILC’s One Digital ID is cryptographically secure, unalterable and legitimate.

“SILC is the only ICO with a finished, private and permissioned blockchain,” said Quang Trinh, co-founder, SILC. “And the result is like an email address that is private and that you only share with friends and family or businesses you trust.”

Since the dawn of the personal computer age (1980s) and increasingly during the Internet age (1990s), consumers have given up control over their personal information. Our online identities today are comprised of a swath of personal data and scattered across the Internet under multiple usernames and passwords. Banks, online shopping destinations, social networks and hackers, among others, are in control of our ID. And as the physical and digital worlds merge – from online grocery shopping to virtual doctor’s visits – it’s more important than ever that users take back control.

By building its own blockchain platform, SILC is removing roadblocks such as miners dictating fees or forking the chain. Consumers can be confident the SILC blockchain will always be accessible and supported and the impending bloat of the existing blockchains won’t impact their accounts.
The SILC blockchain will be the
entry point for individuals, government and companies to learn how digital ID data can be recorded, managed and distributed in a more equitable way.

The company is also running a social media contest and will be giving away to the winners two event tickets and airfare to attend the Ultra Music Festival in Miami March 23-26, 2018. For more information on how to participate, please visit: https://www.secureidentityledger.com/giveawaylanding/

About Secure Identity Ledger Corporation 

Secure Identity Ledger Corporation (SILC) is the first digital identify platform with One Digital ID for every person, business or machine. We enable consumers and businesses to enter into and be empowered by the Blockchain Age through a scalable, accessible, interoperable, private and secure platform. Please join us in this revolution, whether you’re a consumer securing your One Digital ID or businesses and entrepreneurs who want to develop exciting applications on the proven SILC blockchain platform. http://www.secureidentityledger.com

Additional Resources
“Blockchain could help us reclaim control of our personal data.” – Michael Mainelli of Harvard Business Review


Link: https://hbr.org/2017/10/smart-ledgers-can-help-us-reclaim-control-of-our-personal-data

“The virtual you may know more about you than you do.” – Blockchain expert Don Tapscott in his TED talk identifies digital ID as one of the five ways blockchain will improve prosperity.
Link: http://dontapscott.com/

“Designing a solid digital ID system may be the biggest problem of the digital age.” – Conor O’Higgins of CryptoInsider
Link: https://cryptoinsider.com/digital-identity-part-storing-sovereign-identities-blockchain/

Secure Ledge Identity Corporation is a new company. SILC is not registered with the United States SEC, or any other regulatory agency. SILC is not subject to any public reporting or filing, and has no operating history for My Secure Ledger ℠ users to review. SILC is not offering any securities, or interests in the company. Users are advised to carefully review the whitepaper (including risk factors), company website, and any purchase agreement before purchasing SILC tokens.

United States Media Contact 

Jennifer Cloer

reTHINKit PR 

503-867-2304 

jennifer@rethinkitpr.com

EMEA Media Contact 

John McLeod 

JEA Associates 

john@jeaassociates.com

SOURCE Secure Identity Ledger Corporation

Supporting Link
http://www.secureidentityledger.com

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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Dutch Bank Flustered Over the Amount of Electricity Bitcoin Consumes

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 03:30

Dutch bank ING is flustered over the fact bitcoin consumes so much energy. Recently, the bank released a report saying bitcoin transactions consume as much electricity as a house does in a month. They seem to believe this is problematic, since traditional electronic payment methods do not use near as much energy, according to the bank. They went on to say fiat cash will still be how people get paid and pay taxes. 

Also read: Bitmex Exchange and Samourai Wallet Details Plans on How to Handle Upcoming Forks

How Much Energy Bitcoin Consumes

An ING senior economist, Teunis Brosens, explained why power usage is so high. “By making sure that verifying transactions is a costly business, the integrity of the network can be preserved as long as benevolent nodes control a majority of computing power.”

The economist then went on to compare bitcoin energy consumption to his household appliances. A Business Insider article captured his thoughts:

This number needs some context. 200 kWh is enough to run over 200 washing cycles. In fact, it’s enough to run my entire home over four weeks, which consumes about 45 kWh per week costing €39 of electricity (at current Dutch consumer prices).

Trusted Third Parties Equals Less Energy Consumption

The ING banker went on to mention that bitcoin’s energy usage model stands in “stark contrast” with legacy financial systems’ energy consumption. He said bitcoin consumes an “exponentially larger” amount of energy. The banker made it seem as if Bitcoin were going to drain all the world of electricity if people do not continue to use the old, “trusted” payment gateways.

The Business Insider article provided the banker’s quote: “Bitcoin’s energy costs stand in stark contrast to payment systems that have the luxury of working with, trusted counterparties. E.g. Visa takes about 0.01kWh (10Wh) per transaction which is 20,000 times less energy.”

Fiat Money is Here to Stay, Say the Bankers

The ING banker concluded by saying that fiat money is here to stay. People will still continue getting their salaries paid in fiat, and they will continue paying tax in fiat. The banker seemed to imply that innovation was unnecessary and legacy financial systems were here to stay, because government and central banks said so. It will be interesting to see what people think about the energy consumption of bitcoin compared to legacy system electricity usage.

Do you agree with the bankers? Does bitcoin power consumption cause a problem? Should people rely on centralized, trusted third parties since energy consumption is so high? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Business Insider

At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

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