Bitcoin Magazine

Subscribe to Bitcoin Magazine feed Bitcoin Magazine
Updated: 53 min 25 sec ago

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Long and Short Squeezes Shape a Weakening All-Time High

4 hours 1 min ago

This morning, BTC-USD pushed a new all-time high on several exchanges. However, this time, the momentum to continue higher seems to be waning. Shortly after establishing the new all-time high, there was a $150 flash crash that sprang a series of account liquidations across several exchanges in a move that would ultimately “long squeeze” the market. A long squeeze is a term used to describe the sudden cascade of long positions getting stopped out of their positions, causing market orders to propel the price even lower:

Figure 1: BTC-USD, 5-Minute Candles, Bitfinex, Long Squeeze

The figure above shows the price movement correlated to the volume during the $150 drop. Halfway through the drop we see a sudden spike in sell volume. This spike in volume is the beginning of the “long squeeze” that initiated the cascade of market sell orders caused by traders in long positions being forced out of their positions via their stop-loss market orders.

Figure 2: BTC-USD, 15-Minute Candles, Bitfinex, Short Squeeze

Yesterday, at around 12 pm EST, the exact opposite thing happened in a market event known as a “short squeeze.” You can think of a short squeeze as literally the opposite of a long squeeze: People who are anticipating a great short entry are suddenly forced out of their positions via their stop-loss orders, and market buy orders propel the market higher, thus triggering more stop-loss orders until the market equalizes.

Today the BTC-USD market has begun a series of long squeezes that pulled the price down by $300 in a matter of hours, and it doesn’t show much sign of letting up at the moment. Let’s take a look at the macro trend and see where the market is likely heading:

Figure 3: BTC-USD, 3-Day Candles, Bitfinex

For the fifth candle in a row, the 3-day candles have managed to puncture the Bollinger Bands in a move that indicates an overbought market. We have yet to see an attempt to move within the Bollinger Bands and provide some relief for the high price range.

Zooming in a little closer, we can see that clear signs of bullish exhaustion formed as we began to push the most recent set of all-time highs:


Figure 4: BTC-USD, 2-Hour Candles, Bitfinex, Bullish Exhaustion

The first thing that pops out about this trend is the decrease in volume (shown in pink) leading into this morning’s all-time high. Upon reaching that high, sell volume began to pick up considerably (labeled in blue) and has continued to remain strong during the push into the $4300 and $4200 prices. The previous all-time highs (labeled in yellow) are currently paired with a decreasing MACD moving average/signal line trend that indicates the market is losing bullish momentum across the macro trend.

The BTC-USD market seems to be running on fumes at the moment, but I would not  be surprised at all to see an all-time high squeezed out of this market. However, I would be VERY surprised if that all time had any notable follow-through. The market volume on the macro levels has steadily declined, and there are key market indicators that hint toward the need for sustained sideways consolidation. Alternatively, a strong market pullback might be in the cards for BTC-USD. Each push toward the new highs has been greeted by strong sell volume. In the event of a market retracement, your key support levels on the macro exist along the Fibonacci Retracements shown below:

Figure 5: BTC-USD, 4-Hour Candles, Bitfinex, Key Support Levels

When the market begins to struggle to push new all-time highs, it is important to keep a close eye on the volume and see how it interacts with the price movement. Consistent price growth on decreasing buy volume is a signal that the bears, although losing the battle in price currently, are gathering as the market nears its final top before ultimately correcting or consolidating. And given the price growth over the past 30 days, I would be inclined to lean toward the former rather than the latter.

Summary:
  1. Short squeezes and long squeezes have begun to shape the current market trend.

  2. On the macro and micro scale, the market is showing a highly overbought market and is beginning to lose upward steam.

  3. Key support levels lie on the Fibonacci Retracements shown in Figure 5.

Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin, bitcoin cash and ether is highly speculative and comes with many risks. This analysis is for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice. Statements and financial information on Bitcoin Magazine and BTC Media related sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BTC Media and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

The post Bitcoin Price Analysis: Long and Short Squeezes Shape a Weakening All-Time High appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Sony and IBM Join Forces to Put Student Achievement on the Blockchain

4 hours 30 min ago

On August 9, IBM announced the firm’s cooperation with Sony Global Education — a subsidiary of Sony, providing global educational services — with the objective to develop a learning platform for students implementing blockchain technology.

According to IBM, the blockchain-based educational platform would allow school administrators to manage and consolidate the educational data of students at multiple schools in addition to recording and referring their “learning history and digital academic transcripts with more certainty.” The platform will use the IBM Blockchain, which is based on the IBM Cloud, to establish “transparency and accountability of scholastic achievements between students and schools,” allowing both professors and students to track the latter’s learning progress.

The tech giant pointed out that it is often difficult for employers to verify student records of potential hires. According to IBM, there are multiple reasons for this issue, including students taking online courses and attending universities abroad. Such “non-traditional methods” can create confusion for the employers; however, IBM believes implementing blockchain technology will resolve the issue. The learning platform will give both the teachers and the students a digital, trusted record showing their accomplishments, which can be — thanks to the nature of blockchain technology — easily verified by future employers or educational institutions.

“Blockchain technology has the potential to impact systems in a wide variety of industries, and the educational sphere is no exception when educational data is securely stored on the blockchain and shared among permissioned users. We are pleased that we have worked together with IBM to build a new system which can help effect real change in the education sector,” Masaaki Isozu, President of Sony Global Education, said in a statement.

The system’s work is simple: student data will be recorded by the platform and shared with “need-to-know parties,” including future employers and school administrators. Since the learning platform will be using the IBM Blockchain, every piece of data can be verified by the parties.

Schools, colleges and universities can also share the data to help teachers identify and implement unique teaching methods for each student based on the information on the blockchain. The learning platform will also collect all related information and place it in a single repository, which will allow the reliable sharing of digital transcripts. Students will be able to create certain networks on the blockchain, which can’t be altered or changed by any party.

In addition, the platform will help specific vendors target offerings based on verified needs. Representatives from IBM Japan confirmed to Bitcoin Magazine that these vendors include private preparatory schools and cram schools (institutions specialized in training students to reach certain goals). The only data provided to the vendors are the study results of the students. The students or their parents will maintain access control for the students’ study results.

“Blockchain [technology] offers a new approach to how the lifetime history of data related to a person, place or thing is shared and managed. In effect, data tracked on a blockchain becomes a single source of truth. We are delighted to have supported Sony Corporation and Sony Global Education to build up a new blockchain-based platform for innovations in education,” said Yoshiki Minowa, Vice President and partner of Cognitive Process Transformation, Global Business Services, IBM Japan.

The platform will be powered by Hyperledger Fabric 1.0, a blockchain framework and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation.

The post Sony and IBM Join Forces to Put Student Achievement on the Blockchain appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Presearch Uses Ethereum Blockchain and AI to Challenge Google on Its Own Turf

7 hours 14 min ago

Presearch, a software development startup specializing in information search engines, is challenging Google on its own turf with a double-barreled approach, using both blockchain technology and AI.

Presearch’s search engine, already in use internally since 2013, is launching in beta this September. Blockchain technology and AI will be supplemented with curation by subject matter experts.

Founder and project lead Colin Pape, who previously launched the e-commerce site ShopCity.com, said:

“While Google is generally thought of as a neutral entity for search, the company answers to Wall Street and operates very secretively.

“They’ve become known for promoting themselves at the expense of alternatives and appropriating others’ information, blaming it on ‘the algorithm.’ The reality is that they manipulate results and justify changes as being best for the user.”

Pape wants to provide a community-driven, decentralized, open and transparent alternative to Google, in contrast to what he calls the “manipulated algorithm-driven methods standard among today’s industry giants.”

Pape told Bitcoin Magazine:

“Presearch will use a combination of human curation by subject matter experts who are rewarded with tokens, and machine learning technology and APIs from other search providers (particularly for long-tail searches).”

Pape told us they will be using the Ethereum Blockchain ERC20 standard to start but may build their own blockchain technology at some point down the road.

Openness, Accountability and Community Participation

The company’s white paper emphasizes that never in the history of the world has so much information been concentrated in so few hands. It also points out that Google makes $100 billion in annual revenue from search engine searches.

Presearch estimates that 77 percent of global desktop searches and 96 percent of mobile searches, more than 5 billion queries per day, go to Google.

The white paper states that Google has built up an unprecedented degree of trust with users with “their simple interfaces, lightning-fast response times and utter reliability, combined with what appear to be amazingly accurate results.”

A Search Engine Wikipedia

Presearch believes that a decentralized, community-based decision-making process ensures everyone’s interests are considered. By rewarding members for using, promoting and contributing to the Presearch platform, the company wants to create a scalable “Wikipedia for search” to allow members to curate the best content for each inquiry.

The Presearch community can also vote on and fund new development projects, continually upgrading the platform.

Pape added: “With Presearch, I wanted to flip that business model on its head and put power over information back into the hands of all internet users.”

Search is the gateway to the web. The world deserves an alternative search engine that is open, transparent, and that involves the community in product development, consensus and quality control.Funding

Presearch’s curation and overall development of the platform is incentivized with the Presearch Token (PST).

Presearch has run three separate crowd sales for $1 million, $1.5 million and $3 million in token revenue. There are three more sales to go that are targeted to generate more than $30 million in total revenue.

The startup is headquartered in Midland, north of Toronto, Canada. A “distributed” team is located in Silicon Valley, Boulder, Colorado and the Atlanta area, and the company is planning to expand internationally.

Advisors to Presearch include internet innovator, Rich Skrenta, who sold his search engine Blekko to IBM Watson; open-source search innovator Trey Grainger, SVP of Engineering at Lucidworks; and technology lawyer Addison Cameron-Huff, whose experience includes working with Ethereum’s founding team.

Bitcoin Magazine contacted Google for comment but has not yet received a response.

The post Presearch Uses Ethereum Blockchain and AI to Challenge Google on Its Own Turf appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Blockchain and Bitstamp Customers Can Now Use Ether

8 hours 10 min ago

Ethereum fans got a bit of a boost today from two different companies in the crypto space. UK-based cryptocurrency firm Blockchain and Luxembourg-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp have each added ether to their platforms for the first time.

Blockchain says its customers can simply toggle between bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) to manage and transact funds quickly and easily. Additionally, Blockchain has also integrated ShapeShift’s API so trading bitcoin to ether and vice versa can happen all from one place.

In an earlier, separate announcement to its customers, Bitstamp said it will allow full trading functionalities of ether today. Ether deposits and withdrawals opened at 9 a.m. (UTC) and began to allow full trading functionalities at 1 pm (UTC).

Nejc Kodrič CEO of Bitstamp said: "We've been encouraged by ether's potential and the demand shown for its inclusion among our trading pairs.”

Ether now joins USD, EUR, bitcoin, litecoin and Ripple among the coins for which Bitstamp allows deposits and withdrawals. In July the company announced a strategic partnership with Swissquote, the Swiss leader in online banking. Swissquote launched BTC/EUR and BTC/USD trading on its platform, with Bitstamp providing full-stack services for their two new BTC trading pairs.

Kodrič added: ”Since starting out in 2011, Bitstamp's mission has been to be the safest and most reliable digital currency exchange on the market. Our careful approach has created a market reputation for prudence which has served us well as we continue to expand and give our customers the trading options they desire."

Peter Smith, CEO of Blockchain said in a statement that the popularity of Ethereum has grown and so has the desire from Blockchain customers to have the option to manage multiple digital assets within their Blockchain wallets. Smith said: “We are thrilled to introduce this new functionality to our community and will continue to find ways to make interacting with digital assets even easier.”

One of the earliest bitcoin companies, Blockchain was founded in 2011 and provides a non-custodial consumer wallet for digital assets, with over 16 million wallets created across 140 countries. The company has focused on creating products that make storing, transacting and hedging digital currency a frictionless experience.

Smith was recently quoted saying: “I predict that by 2037 a complete global computer fabric will make interacting with goods, services and people easier than ever. Citizens of the world will be more closely connected through technology, communication and networks."

Second in market cap, ether has seen its price soar as much as tenfold since the end of April, while its number of transactions quadrupled. Ether has since settled at about $300 at the time of publication.

The post Blockchain and Bitstamp Customers Can Now Use Ether appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Crypto Exchange Shapeshift Acquires KeepKey Hardware Wallets

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 12:12

Today, Shapeshift.io announced its acquisition of hardware wallet manufacturer KeepKey. According to the cryptocurrency exchange, by pairing the KeepKey hardware wallet with ShapeShift, users will be allowed to safely store their coins on a secure physical device while trading their assets directly over the ShapeShift API, which can be reached from KeepKey’s interface.

“Security is of critical importance when it comes to holding and trading digital assets. One of our priorities has always been to make the exchange experience as safe and easy for users as possible, and our pairing with KeepKey enables us to provide an unmatched customer experience. Users can hold their coins on the hardware device and exchange them on demand within the wallet, without even visiting a website. When you pair the KeepKey hardware wallet with ShapeShift’s exchange, the experience is magical,” Erik Voorhees, CEO of ShapeShift, said.

KeepKey already had integrated ShapeShift’s API a year ago, allowing it to supporting the most popular cryptocurrencies. The firm’s objective is to support all leading digital assets providing the users with the “most secure storage wallet available.”

“This partnership will not only guarantee the future success of the KeepKey brand and product line, but joining the ShapeShift team will enable us to focus on continuing to work on developing better technology and security for crypto-holders,“ said Ken Hodler, Chief Technology Officer at KeepKey.

ShapeShift confirmed that the company will preserve KeepKey’s brand and product line. Furthermore, the acquisition of KeepKey will allows ShapeShift to “provide increased capital for inventory and security expertise.”

“Amid heightened interest in the concept of digital currencies, a simple, user-friendly cold storage wallet with native exchange functionality is one key to wider adoption,” said Voorhees.

The combination of ShapeShift and KeepKey reflects both companies’ commitment to security and privacy. ShapeShift does not collect any personal information on its users. Furthermore, customer funds are not collected on the company accounts and users maintain control of their keys at all times.

The KeepKey drive is physical hardware device that protects users’ funds from “hackers and thieves.” It uses wallet software located on the user’s computer. The device takes over the management of private key generation and storage along with the signing of transactions. The hardware has a built-in random number generator for private keys, which works in combination with the “randomness” provided by the user’s computer. After the private key is generated, the user is given a twelve-word recovery sentence, which can be used to recover the device without compromising its private keys.

The post Crypto Exchange Shapeshift Acquires KeepKey Hardware Wallets appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Bank of Canada Report: Imagining a “Bitcoin Standard” Financial System

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 10:51

In a 37-page long research paper, Warren E. Weber, research consultant at Bank of Canada who is also a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina, speculated about a financial system where bitcoin would be the standard currency (referred as the “Bitcoin standard”) instead of fiat currencies.

In the study, Weber explored the similarity between the Bitcoin standard and the gold standard. The research consultant chose to compare bitcoin to gold since the two have many similarities. The two most prominent resemblances include the lack of control of central banks or monetary authorities and the limit in the supply: Bitcoin’s algorithm only allows the circulation of 21 million BTC while gold can be found in finite quantities on the planet. If the Bitcoin standard becomes real, there will be three distinct media of exchanges, just as there was under the gold standard. Bitcoin will serve as the main currency while there will be fiduciary currencies issued by countries’ central banks, and fiduciary currencies (banknotes or deposits) issued by commercial banks.

Issuing fiduciary currencies will be one of the very few abilities central banks can do as part of a monetary policy where banks will act as lenders of last resort. Bitcoin’s “virtually costless arbitrage” on an international scope will deprive the central banks of their ability to impose interest rate policies to affect their domestic economies, Weber detailed.

Should Bitcoin serve as the standard medium of exchange, there would be a moderate increase in deflation; however, according to Weber, once a certain level is reached, the rate of deflation will be minimal. Price levels will become highly or perfectly correlated under Bitcoin’s dominance in various countries, just as they did for those countries that adopted the gold standard. Despite the fact that the cryptocurrency would become the standard, Weber believes that economic crises could still happen since “they can occur under any fractional reserve financial system.”

According to Weber, the Bitcoin standard will benefit the economy in two ways. Due to the “known, deterministic rate” at which new BTC is created, people would be able to predict the price level of the cryptocurrency more easily. The second benefit would be that investment resources which are currently devoted to hedging against fluctuations in the currency exchange rates would free up and could be used in “more productive ways.”

On the other hand, Weber thinks that the Bitcoin standard will never come into existence since there will be heavy opposition by central banks and governments. If the Bitcoin standard becomes real, neither the governments nor the central banks will be able to implement interest rates to affect their economies, neither could they generate seigniorage revenues obtained from their ability to “almost costlessly create money,” the Bank of Canada research consultant explained. Since the governments don’t want to lose these powers, they will do anything to prevent Bitcoin from becoming the standard medium of exchange.

Weber is also skeptical about the longevity of the Bitcoin standard. According to him, the financial system is advancing so rapidly that there would likely be another (crypto)currency that can provide the same or greater benefits as Bitcoin, possibly at lower costs. Furthermore, if a financial crisis occurs, an opposition is likely to emerge that would seek to replace the “old” financial system, rather like the way that Bitcoin is challenging today’s status quo.

The post Bank of Canada Report: Imagining a “Bitcoin Standard” Financial System appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Blockstack Partners with VCs to Launch $25 Million Blockstack Signature Fund

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 08:23

New York-based decentralized internet and developer platform Blockstack has partnered with a number of venture capital groups to launch the $25 million Blockstack Signature fund.

The Blockstack Signature fund is backed by Lux, OpenOcean, VersionOne, RisingTide, and Compound, and funding will go toward apps being built in the Blockstack ecosystem.

Patrick Stanley, growth partner at Blockstack, explained to Bitcoin Magazine that “Blockstack is not launching the VC fund but facilitating.” That is, the company’s role in the fund has been to gather the venture capital groups, attract the developers and facilitate the partnerships that will result in quality app development on the Blockstack platform.

According to Blockstack, the VC fund will dedicated to “rapidly accelerating startups building decentralized applications on the platform, and tools for developers to bootstrap their apps, with tokens on the Blockstack network — just like you see with Ethereum.”

Muneeb Ali, co-founder at Blockstack, told Bitcoin Magazine: “We are at a stage where some of the developers are incredibly excited about building apps and usually get in touch with us. If developers get in touch with us with an app that they are excited about, this is one funding channel we can point them to.”

Ali added: “The VCs involved in the fund will take a look at that application and make a independent decision to fund that company or now. Our intention here is to bring together sophisticated investors, people who have been thinking a lot about decentralization and can do their due diligence.”

VC investing is a type of private equity, a form of financing that is provided by firms or funds to small, early-stage, emerging firms that are deemed to have high-growth potential, or which have demonstrated high growth in terms of number of employees, annual revenue or both.

Ali explains: “If you look at this space in general we feel that there are a lot of low quality apps which are raising an insane amount of capital from token sales, for example. We want to bring some quality and sanity to the picture. We feel that VCs can still have a seat at the table … we want to open up that channel as well.”

Blockstack was formerly known as Onename and passed through its young company status in the summer of 2014 as a startup looking to streamline bitcoin transactions.

Watch the video here.



The post Blockstack Partners with VCs to Launch $25 Million Blockstack Signature Fund appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Expands Legal Industry Working Group

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 14:45

On August 14, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance announced the addition of more than a dozen organizations to its blockchain collaboration under the umbrella of its Legal Industry Working Group, responsible for creating enterprise-grade applications on the Ethereum blockchain. The new members include law schools, legal departments of universities, academic institutions and leading global law firms.

According to the EEA, the swift expansion of the Legal Industry Working Group is due to the fact that an increased number of legal professionals are showing interest in blockchain technology. The Ethereum blockchain consortium believes this working group will serve as a base for the success of “various efforts taking place within the organization.”

“We are thrilled to see robust interest in blockchain technology by forward-looking law firms and institutions. Lawyers are poised to serve as the catalysts for blockchain technology, and the Legal Working Group will serve as a neutral space to explore blockchain-based legal technology, develop standards for “smart” legal agreements, support emerging enterprise use cases and tackle important policy issues raised by this new impactful technology,” Aaron Wright, Chair of the EEA Legal Industry Working Group, Associate Clinical Professor and Co-Director of the Cardozo Law School’s Blockchain Project, and co-founder of the smart contract project OpenLaw, said in a statement.

The Legal Industry Working Group isn’t the only part of the blockchain collaboration to be experiencing a rapid growth in new members. On July 18, 2017, the EEA announced that the alliance had onboarded 34 new organizations, bringing the number of the participants to more than 150 members. The newly joined participants included Mastercard, Cisco, the Government of Andhra Pradesh (one of the 29 states of India), Scotiabank and many others.

Formed in late February 2017 by founding members such as Intel and J.P. Morgan, the EEA strives to create, promote and support open standards, best practices and open source reference architectures on the Ethereum blockchain. The consortium serves as the major research and development body of the Ethereum blockchain, helping Ethereum to evolve into an enterprise-grade technology. In terms of development and research, the EEA focuses on multiple areas, including privacy, confidentiality, scalability and security, as well as investigating hybrid architectures and industry-specific, application-layer working groups.

The 14 new members of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance include:

Cooley, Debevoise & Plimpton, Goodwin, Hogan Lovells, Holland & Knight, Jones Day, Latham & Watkins, Morrison & Foerster, Perkins Coie, Shearman & Sterling, Cardozo Law School, Duke Center on Law & Technology, and the Department of Legal Studies and Business Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

In addition, existing members of the consortium will be joining the EEA Legal Industry Working Group, including BNY Mellon, ConsenSys, ING and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The post Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Expands Legal Industry Working Group appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Blockstream Satellite: Broadcasting Bitcoin from Space

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 10:52

Yesterday a video teaser from blockchain technology company Blockstream created waves of excitement among enthusiasts of both cryptocurrencies and space. Most participants speculated that Blockstream was about to implement the idea, promoted by Bitcoin developer Jeff Garzik (among others), of a satellite system that streams the Bitcoin blockchain to the whole planet from space. The speculations were, indeed, correct.

Today, the company is announcing Blockstream Satellite, a new service that broadcasts real-time Bitcoin blockchain data from satellites in space to almost everyone on the planet. Blockstream Satellite covers across two-thirds of the Earth’s land mass and, according to the company, additional coverage areas will soon come online to reach almost every person on the planet by the end of the year.

“Bitcoin is a powerful and transformative internet native digital money that has blazed a trail of disruption, with its full potential yet to unfold. Because it’s permissionless, Bitcoin enables anyone to freely create new financial applications and other innovations that use the blockchain that haven’t been possible before,” said Blockstream co-founder and CEO Adam Back.

“Today’s launch of Blockstream Satellite gives even more people on the planet the choice to participate in Bitcoin. With more users accessing the Bitcoin blockchain with the free broadcast from Blockstream Satellite, we expect the global reach to drive more adoption and use cases for Bitcoin, while strengthening the overall robustness of the network.”

The Blockstream Satellite network currently consists of three geosynchronous satellites at various positions over Earth that cover four continents: Africa, Europe, South America and North America. Blockstream is leasing bandwidth on existing, commercial, geosynchronous satellites: Galaxy 18 (covering North America), Eutelsat 113 (covering South America) and two transponders on the Telstar 11N satellite (one covering Africa and one covering Europe).

Ground stations, called teleports, uplink the public Bitcoin blockchain data to the satellites in the network, which then broadcast the data to large areas across the globe. Additional satellites and teleports are being added to achieve worldwide coverage by the end of the year.


The Blockstream service is expected to be especially useful to people in remote regions of developing world with poor internet connectivity.

"When I first heard of Blockstream Satellite, I immediately recognized its great potential to bring Bitcoin to regions of the world where internet access is either unavailable or expensive,” said Tim Akinbo, who runs the only bitcoin node in West Africa. “Not to mention providing redundant access when internet access is temporarily unavailable."

Blockstream Satellite uses GNU Radio, an open-source software development platform for Software-Defined Radio (SDR), expected to reduce costs and streamline development by eliminating the need for specialized hardware. Blockstream Satellite utilizes the Fast Internet Bitcoin Relay Engine (FIBRE), an open-source protocol backed by several years of history operating and studying the Bitcoin Relay Network. “Together, these open-source technologies power the Blockstream Satellite network enabling Blockstream to provide this free service reliably and cost effectively,” noted the Blockstream press release.

“Anyone can receive the signal with a small satellite dish (similar to a consumer satellite TV dish) and a USB SDR (software-defined radio) interface,” notes the Blockstream Satellite FAQ. “The total equipment cost for a user is only about $100. The software is free. The software interface is the open-source GNU Radio software, which is the receiver. GNU Radio will send data to the FIBRE protocol, which is the Bitcoin process and is where the blocks reside.”




The post Blockstream Satellite: Broadcasting Bitcoin from Space appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Still More Room at the Top, For Now

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 17:35

While many fear BTC-USD is entering bubble territory, others are calling for even higher price targets.  Politics aside, there is a clear push for higher BTC-USD prices and it’s creating market uncertainty.

Here are the facts:

  1. 30 days ago, BTC-USD was $1800.

  2. Today the price of BTC-USD has risen 130% and has managed to establish an all time high at $4300.

  3. In 5 days alone, the price of BTC-USD has increased its market value by 30%.

Taking a look at the macro trend since the rise post-$1800s, we see clear lines of support along the Fibonacci Retracements:


Figure 1:  BTC-USD, 6-Hour Candles, Bitfinex, Macro Fib. Lines

Across the length of the bullish push from the $2700s (the 61% line) there are signs of sustained momentum in the RSI and MACD.  Looking at the volume profile, there is no clear decline in volume and it appears to show market interest in higher values as the volume’s moving average has remained mostly flat.  However, since the bullish push from the $3200s (the 38% line) we can see signs of bullish exhaustion in the form MACD and RSI divergence.  

Zooming in on a smaller timescale, we see evidence of a higher push to new all time highs:

Figure 2:  BTC-USD, 1-Hour Candles, Bitfinex, Potential Bull Pennant Breakout

At the top of BTC-USD’s strong run from the $3200s stands a classic bullish continuation pattern called a “Bull Pennant.”  The pennant is characterized by price consolidation within a convergent pattern and has decreasing volume throughout the length of the pennant body.  To accompany this pattern is a 1-hour RSI and MACD that began to consolidate toward its centerline.

At the time of this article, BTC-USD appears to have broken out of this pennant with a sharp increase in volume.  Currently, based on typical price projections for Bull Pennant breakouts, this pennant breakout has a price target of $5000.

Although this is a rather aggressive price target for this bull pennant, there are some considerations on a macro scale that should be addressed and discussed.

Figure 3:  BTC-USD, 1 Day Candles, Bitfinex, Bollinger Bands

For the fourth day in a row, BTC-USD continues to push outside the Bollinger Bands.  Historically, this sort of push has led to market pullback or consolidation.  Even on high timescales, the current 3-day candle (not shown above) is fully formed outside the Bollinger Bands and shows, on a macro scale, that the market is overbought.  To accompany this push of the Bollinger Bands, a clear decrease in volume is seen on the moving average that shows, since the rise from $1800s, there has been waning bullish sentiment.  

While there is a lot of hype surrounding BTC’s recent rise, it is paramount to remain objective and skeptical of market activity and to view the market soberly.  The price target of $5000, on a micro level seems plausible.  However, on a macro level the bullish market appears to have slightly bearish divergence.  To remain a reliable price target, the market needs to see a push to newer all time highs accompanied by increase in volume to sustain the next $800 of price movement.

Summary:
  1. BTC-USD has broken out of a bullish continuation pattern called a “Bull Pennant” with a price target of $5,000.

  2. On a macro scale, there are signs of bullish momentum loss in the form of bearish divergence and overbought signals on the Bollinger Bands.  

  3. While the market can remain overbought for days and weeks, it’s important to keep in mind that the higher the market pushes into overbought zones, the more necessary market consolidation becomes in order to prevent a market pullback.  So far, there has yet to be any considerable market consolidation during this 130% rise.

Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin, bitcoin cash and ether is highly speculative and comes with many risks. This analysis is for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice. Statements and financial information on Bitcoin Magazine and BTC Media related sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BTC Media and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.


The post Bitcoin Price Analysis: Still More Room at the Top, For Now appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Last Week on LTB Network: Factom's Paul Snow Shares Thoughts on Bitcoin Cash

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 15:28

Some confusion still exists around Bitcoin Cash (or Bcash), the new token that resulted from a split in the Bitcoin network on August 1. Many bitcoin (BTC) holders are still wondering how to safely remove the new tokens (BCH) from exchanges (and wallets) without putting their BTC at risk.

In a recent episode of the Crypto Show, Paul Snow, the founder of the blockchain-based data management solution Factom, offered some suggestions. He also talked about the potential benefits of holding onto BCH a little while longer.

First, while some exchanges may be offering to extract BCH for some users, Snow firmly advises people not to hand over their private keys to exchanges. He thinks sharing private keys is a bad policy in general. “Don’t do it,” he said.

“It is kind of like, you don’t wear underwear on the outside of your pants; you don’t give people your private keys,” he said. But for those anxious to cash in on their BCH right away, he describes a safe way to do it.

Create New Addresses

Snow suggests users separate their BTC from their BCH first, as follows:

If you had any number of addresses holding BTC before August 1, then you will now have an equal amount of BCH on those same addresses.

Snow recommends you go into your BTC wallets and move the entire amounts of BTC in those addresses, (imagine three addresses we’ll call A, B, C) to three new addresses (D, E, F). Now, the second set of addresses (D, E, F) will have BTC in them, but no BCH because those addresses did not exist before August 1. The first set (A, B, C) will have BCH in them, but no BTC.

“To reiterate,” Snow said, “move your Bitcoin addresses from where they were on August 1 to new addresses. Step two, input those private keys into your Bitcoin Cash wallet. Step three, profit,” he said.

For more info on how to handle your BCH safely, read A Beginner’s Guide to Claiming Your Bitcoin Cash (and Selling It).

Neutral on Bcash

Bitcoin Cash has, in a sense, divided the community. Some like Bitcoin Cash because it raises the Bitcoin block size limit to 8MB, while others are appalled at how the new chain is attempting to usurp users and hashpower from the main Bitcoin network.

Snow maintains a neutral stance. “I’m not sure I have an opinion on any particular blockchain out there,” he said.

After all, Bitcoin is not the only game in town. He pointed out that right now there are nine cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin with a market cap of $1B or more. Those are the facts. “I don’t care whether you think Bitcoin should be the only blockchain or not. They [those other coins] exist,” he said

Moveover, he thinks Bitcoin Cash played fair and square in launching an alternative currency. Everyone who had BTC got their share of BCH in the airdrop. Nevertheless, nearly everyone he hears from is looking to reinvest that money back into BTC.

“I am seeing a lot of people who are going to cash out on the Bitcoin Cash as fast as they can and buy Bitcoin with it,” he said. 

“Hodling” Bcash

Of course, there is another option. People could hold onto (or “hodl”) their BCH just like they hold on to their BTC and see if the price goes up.

After all, Snow said the market for BCH won’t hit its stride until mid September when the mining difficulty on the new chain eases up to the point where Bitcoin miners consider it economically viable to redirect their hash power over to it.

“Right now, anyone mining on Bitcoin Cash now is effectively donating their power,” he said. “That [Bitcoin Cash] bandwagon doesn’t leave town until September 18th. Until then, it is just kind of puddling along and not quite getting anywhere.”

Dropping Anchor

But, say the Bitcoin Cash chain were to beat all odds and become super successful. If that were to happen, would Factom anchor onto the Bitcoin Cash chain instead of the Bitcoin chain?

To explain Snow’s business, Factom is a protocol that runs on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. By doing so, it allows any kind of data to be time-stamped and secured using the Bitcoin blockchain. So hashrate is essential to Factom’s security.

“We are anchoring into a chain for its proof of work,” Snow said. “But if proof of work is largely in Bitcoin Cash, then we will anchor onto Bitcoin Cash.”

He added that if the hashrate between the two chains were to split 60/40, Factom could anchor on both chains and still get 100 percent of the hashpower.

“We can anchor as many chains as we want,” he said, but added that he doesn’t think Bitcoin Cash will ever capture that much hashpower. With BCH currently only valued at less than one tenth of BTC, the economic rewards for miners just aren’t there.

But as Snow pointed out, all of this plays into Bitcoin’s security. “Bitcoin is designed so that it is very, very hard to split off and be successful,” Snow said.

During the course of the interview, Snow also discussed the mechanics of how Factom anchors onto the Bitcoin network and the third annual Texas Bitcoin Conference, which he founded and helps organize. The conference will take place from October 28-29.

Listen to the entire podcast here.


The post Last Week on LTB Network: Factom's Paul Snow Shares Thoughts on Bitcoin Cash appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Op Ed: Cryptocurrencies, ICOs and the Untapped "Family Office" Group

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 14:46

With cryptocurrency investing becoming increasingly mainstream, it’s important to understand the types of potential investors waiting on the sidelines. One largely untapped investment group would be a “family office” (FO), which is a private wealth manager of investments and trusts for ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs). In 2015, UHNWIs included almost 173,000 individuals whose wealth accounted for $20.8 trillion. FOs can represent a single-family office (SFO) or multi-family office (MFO), with the former being the largest group that represents one extremely wealthy single family.

The Family Office Databases reports that most FOs reside in the United States.


According to UBS and Global Wealth, the top three investments of an average FO portfolio are in the developed market, real estate, or venture capital and private equities.

Cryptocurrencies would be classified as a commodity, whereas initial coin offerings (ICOs) would represent venture capital. Furthermore, most ICOs are deemed securities based on the parameters of the Howey test. Cryptocurrencies themselves are still very new and highly complex, and innovation is happening every day. Few people understand them deeply due to the intense learning curve.

Being decentralized and transparent on a blockchain with low transaction fees means cryptocurrencies have attractive properties for UHNWIs. Cryptocurrencies provide FOs with diversification from traditional assets usually in an average portfolio. However, the risk of investing remains high, especially if there is a lack of understanding around how cryptocurrencies work or how to secure them properly.

The recent explosion of ICOs and ICO funding represents a growing percentage of investors backing the creation of software or companies that are building the technology and infrastructure. David Drake, managing partner of LDJ capital, whose focus is on compliance and underwriting for ICOs, said to Bitcoin Magazine, “These ICOs need to have a real team and business structure behind them before anyone is willing to invest.”

Drake added that many investors he speaks with “are afraid that they will not understand what is happening with cryptocurrencies, but this is changing very quickly as they become curious about the subject.”

Projects that will be able to cut through the noise and hype with a clear message and identifiable use cases will likely acquire more investors through an ICO. Two such examples of successful ICOs with straightforward use cases include Civic, a project focused on providing proof of identity, which raised $33 million; and Filecoin, a decentralized storage network, which raised $252 million.

Generally, ICOs accept funds through cryptocurrencies only, although this may change to bring in more investors. Kamil Przeorski, co-founder of Experty.io and ReactPoland, told Bitcoin Magazine that “many people I talk with are very interested in my project, but don’t always understand the process and would rather use USD.”

Ultimately, the better the cryptocurrency community can communicate and explain the complexities, intricacies and possibilities, the more potential investors will flock to this space.

This guest post is by Josh Olszewicz, an advisor to Experty.io. The views in this piece are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Bitcoin Magazine or BTC Media.




The post Op Ed: Cryptocurrencies, ICOs and the Untapped "Family Office" Group appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Ethereum Classic Forges Its Own Identity With New Mantis Client

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 13:26

A group of Ethereum Classic developers wants Ethereum Classic to be known as more than a “cut-and-paste” version of the Ethereum blockchain. So they spent seven months building Mantis, a unique Ethereum Classic client, from scratch.

And it is not hard to understand their motivation.

Since Ethereum Classic split away from Ethereum as a result of the DAO hard fork last summer, the two smart contract platforms have shared the same codebase, the same smart contract development tools and more.

In fact, aside from a few protocol changes, like defusing the difficulty bomb and capping the monetary policy on the Ethereum Classic chain, for all intents and purposes, the two networks have been nearly identical.

But now Ethereum Classic is striking out on its own in a move developers behind the effort hope will position the platform as a viable alternative to Ethereum. Earlier this week, Alan McSherry, Ethereum Classic developer and Mantis project lead, announced the beta version of the new Ethereum Classic client in a blog post.

Built in the functional programming language Scala, Mantis represents a serious effort by the Ethereum Classic community to gain recognition for having its own team of developers on par with those of Ethereum. Mantis also sets the foundation for future innovations in Ethereum Classic.

“This is a good starting point for our influence in the Ethereum Classic community,” said McSherry, in speaking with Bitcoin Magazine. “We are able to say we have built from the ground up a client in Scala. And, when it comes to the future direction of Ethereum Classic, we have a pretty good handle on what we are talking about.”

But before getting into why the developers of the project chose to build a client in Scala, first, what is a client?

A Blockchain Client

In a distributed ledger, a client refers to the software that runs on a computer, or “node,” connected to the network. A blockchain client is responsible for downloading and keeping up to date an entire copy of the blockchain. In a sense, it also acts like a server in that it also serves the other nodes in the network by doing things like verifying blocks, checking that transactions include signatures and so on.  

In that respect, Mantis essentially represents a full end-to-end copy of Ethereum. It contains the mining verification algorithm, the consensus algorithm, all the network logic, the cryptography that allows users to spend their coins and the logic to verify smart contracts.

As a client, Mantis also provides interfaces for creating transactions. Still in beta, Mantis supports a command-line interface version of a wallet for making transactions. Users can also access the client from the Mist browser over HTTP.  

To be clear, Mantis is not the only client available to Ethereum Classic users. Other groups may be working on other clients, said McSherry. And the Ethereum Classic community maintains two other Ethereum clients: Geth, written in Go, and Parity, written in Rust. But McSherry explained that the hope is that Mantis will eventually become the flagship client for Ethereum Classic.

Functional Language

Mantis is different from existing Ethereum clients in that it was written in Scala, a functional programming language.

Scala is touted for benefits that include ease of testing and predictability, characteristics that allow developers to audit the code for bugs and security flaws more easily than other languages. “If you have more predictable code, that will leverage itself up to the overall quality of the product,” McSherry said.   

But there are levels of functional languages. Scala is more of a hybrid language that sits between heavyweight functional languages, like Haskell and OCaml, that draw the academic and science crowd and the user-friendly world of Java.

And this means that while Scala allows developers to write in a functional style, it still has a fairly easy learning curve, making it accessible to a broad community of developers who may want to contribute to the open-source code.

McSherry explained that because Scala is a functional language, it is also open to applying frameworks, such as Stainless, that use rigorous mathematical proofs to check that the code performs as intended. It is a theme that plays well in the Ethereum Classic community’s stance on immutability and the idea that if “code is law” then smart contracts need to run in a more secure environment.

“The ultimate goal is a much higher-quality code, and obviously, that means much higher security for the funds that are controlled,” McSherry said.

Moving Forward

In terms of a road map for Ethereum Classic, Mantis is a stepping stone to bigger things and perhaps a greater technical divergence from Ethereum.

For instance, plans are to eventually connect Mantis to IOHK’s cryptocurrency wallet platform Daedalus, giving Mantis a graphical interface. “That’s the next focus,” McSherry said.

But for now, Mantis is being made available to other developers who are willing to try out the code in a testnet environment and provide their feedback.

“We are delighted to have gotten to this stage where we have the functionality out the door,” says McSherry. “The next phase is to polish the functionality, look at the performance of it, go back and clean up, and make it a top, top client.”

He said he expects the next release of Mantis as soon as September.

The post Ethereum Classic Forges Its Own Identity With New Mantis Client appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Who Created Ethereum?

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 15:22

While working on a number of Bitcoin projects, a 19-year-old programmer from Toronto, Vitalik Buterin, conceived the idea for Ethereum. Ethereum was intended to be a robust platform that allows developers to build blockchain applications. Buterin was inspired by some of the shortcomings he faced when trying to build applications on the Bitcoin blockchain. He believed that the potential of blockchain technology was not limited to financial applications and quickly set out to create a blockchain that could support more common computations.

Vitalik Buterin was first introduced to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in 2011. That same year he co-founded Bitcoin Magazine and wrote many articles explaining his views on the digital currency’s future. He later worked on Mastercoin and some alternate coins based on the Bitcoin codebase. This work led him to believe the Bitcoin blockchain was limited in scope.

The Ethereum white paper was released in 2013, and it documented a new open-source protocol for creating decentralized applications.   

Ethereum was officially announced on the Bitcointalk forum in 2014. In addition to Buterin, Ethereum was co-founded by Mihai Alisie, Anthony Di Iorio and Charles Hoskinson. Buterin also announced that he was working with developer Dr. Gavin Wood and Joseph Lubin. Wood soon released the Ethereum yellow paper, which covered the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), the runtime environment that executes all of the smart contracts on the network. Lubin would go on to found ConsenSys, a venture studio focusing on decentralized applications.

The Ethereum Foundation held an ether crowdsale in July 2014 during which they sold 60 million tokens. 12 million ether (ETH) tokens were created so the Ethereum Foundation could expand its development and marketing efforts. The Frontier was the first release of the Ethereum network. It was released a year after the crowdsale and provided a bare-bones mechanism for developers to interact with and build apps on the network.  

Both the Ethereum network and community have grown substantially over the last year. The Ethereum Enterprise Alliance, an initiative working to connect the world’s largest companies to the Ethereum network, recently announced 86 new partners including Microsoft, Intel and BP. Similarly, a multitude of new blockchain projects leveraging the Ethereum blockchain have gained attention and capital.

Ethereum broke into the mainstream in early 2017 when the price of ETH increased by 1000 percent over the course of a couple months. This led to a similar rise in the price of alternative blockchain tokens, dubbed “altcoins.” A slew of new investors quickly entered the space as Ethereum was covered by large media outlets including CNBC, Reuters and Quartz. Investors and developers are awaiting the release of Metropolis, the next update to the Ethereum network promising to abstract a lot of functions and pave the way for user-friendly application designs.

The post Who Created Ethereum? appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

What Is an ICO?

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 15:14

An Initial Coin Offering, also commonly referred to as an ICO, is a fundraising mechanism in which new projects sell their underlying crypto tokens in exchange for bitcoin and ether. It’s somewhat similar to an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in which investors purchase shares of a company.

ICOs are a relatively new phenomenon but have quickly become a dominant topic of discussion within the blockchain community. Many view ICO projects as unregulated securities that allow founders to raise an unjustified amount of capital, while others argue it is an innovation in the traditional venture-funding model. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently reached a decision regarding the status of tokens issued in the infamous DAO ICO which has forced many projects and investors to re-examine the funding models of many ICOs. The most important criteria to consider is whether or not the token passes the Howey test. If it does, it must be treated as a security and is subject to certain restrictions imposed by the SEC.

ICOs are easy to structure because of technologies like the ERC20 Token Standard, which abstracts a lot of the development process necessary to create a new cryptographic asset. Most ICOs work by having investors send funds (usually bitcoin or ether) to a smart contract that stores the funds and distributes an equivalent value in the new token at a later point in time.

There are few, if any, restrictions on who can participate in an ICO, assuming that the token is not, in fact, a security. And since you’re taking money from a global pool of investors, the sums raised in ICOs can be astronomical. A fundamental issue with ICOs is the fact that most of them raise money pre-product. This makes the investment extremely speculative and risky. The counter argument is that this fundraising style is particularly useful (even necessary) in order to incentivize protocol development.

Before we get into a discussion over the merits of ICOs, it is important to have some historical context for how the trend started.

History of ICOs

Several projects used a crowdsale model to try and fund their development work in 2013. Ripple pre-mined 1 billion XRP tokens and sold them to willing investors in exchange for fiat currencies or bitcoin. Ethereum raised a little over $18 million in early 2014 — the largest ICO ever completed at that time.

The DAO was the first attempt at fundraising for a new token on Ethereum. It promised to create a decentralized organization that would fund other blockchain projects, but it was unique in that governance decisions would be made by the token holders themselves. While the DAO was successful in terms of raising money — over $150 million — an unknown attacker was able to drain millions from the organization because of technical vulnerabilities. The Ethereum Foundation decided the best course of action was to move forward with a hard fork, allowing them to claw back the stolen funds.

Although the first attempt to fund a token safely on the Ethereum platform failed, blockchain developers realized that using Ethereum to launch a token was still much easier than pursuing seed rounds through the usual venture capital model. Specifically, the ERC20 standard makes it easy for developers to create their own cryptographic tokens on the Ethereum blockchain.

Some argue that crowdfunding projects might be Ethereum’s “killer application” given the sheer size and frequency of ICOs. Never before have pre-product startups been able to raise this much money and in this little time. Aragon raised around $25 million in just 15 minutes, Basic Attention Token raised $35 million in only 30 seconds, and Status.im raised $270 million in a few hours. With few regulations and such ease of use, this ICO climate has come under scrutiny from many in the community as well as various regulatory bodies around the world.

Are ICOs Legal?

The short answer is maybe. Legally, ICOs have existed in an extremely gray area because arguments can be made both for and against the fact that they’re just new, unregulated financial assets. The SEC’s recent decision, however, has since managed to clear up some of that gray area. In some cases, the token is simply a utility token, meaning it gives the owner access to a specific protocol or network; thus it may not be classified as a financial security. On the other hand, if the token is an equity token, meaning that it’s only purpose is to appreciate in value, then it looks a lot more like a security.

While many individuals purchase tokens to access the underlying platform at some future point in time, it’s difficult to refute the idea that most token purchases are for speculative investment purposes. This is easy to ascertain given the valuation figures for many projects that have yet to release a commercial product.

The SEC decision may have provided some clarity to the status of utility vs security tokens; however, there are still plenty of room for testing the boundaries of legalities. For now, and until further regulatory limits are imposed, entrepreneurs will continue to take advantage of this new phenomenon.

ICO Resources

Research:

Communities:

Calendars:


The post What Is an ICO? appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Bitcoin and Taxes

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 15:01

Tax season can be confusing enough with complicated rules about what types of income are taxable and which are not; what can be written off and what can’t; and which assets need to be listed and which do not. Add to that the confusion around digital currency and its status in the eyes of governments, and there are bound to be questions about how Bitcoin relates to taxes.

In the United States, for example, “taxable income” encompasses anything received as payment for goods and services. There is no reason that this would exclude payment in bitcoin. Bitcoin received from another person in the exchange counts as gross income, which is subject to income tax. Bitcoin earned through trade or by running a bitcoin exchange could fall under the “capital gains” category, like gold, and will be taxed. Bitcoins that are mined are counted as income received from the act of mining and are taxable with the expenses accrued (such as computing power) being deductible. When miners sell their bitcoins, they are taxed on any increase to the value of the bitcoins between when they were mined and when they were sold.

The Internal Revenue Service of the U.S. drafted a 2014 notice on “virtual currency” providing some guidance on its views of bitcoin as capital assets that are subject to taxes. However, users will have to look into the tax requirements for whichever country they are paying taxes in and sort out how their home countries classify cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

To prepare for tax season, it’s important that bitcoin holders make a note of how much the digital asset is worth in relation to their local fiat currency. It is also advised to keep a detailed Bitcoin expense report and record the value of bitcoin when it was spent, in case any of these expenses can be written off.

Hiring an experienced accountant is a great way to ensure your Bitcoin-related tax filings are accurate. Several services exist to help users figure out how to pay their Bitcoin taxes, including CoinReporting and Bitcoin Taxes.

While nobody is promising that it will be fun, accurately recording and reporting Bitcoin income is a crucial aspect of the digital currency economy.

The post Bitcoin and Taxes appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Ether Price Analysis: All Signs Point Onward and Upward

Wed, 08/09/2017 - 18:01

In case you hadn’t noticed, ETH-USD markets have been on a very strong bull run for the past week. In a matter of five days, ETH-USD managed to increase by $100 — nearly a 50 percent market value increase — with very little pullback or consolidation. After ETH-USD’s multi-week-long bear run from $420 to the $130s, ETH spent over a month consolidating and forming a very solid support level before ultimately launching into its most recent bull run. Let’s take a look at some support and resistance levels, and see where ETH is likely heading in the next few days.

Looking at the macro view of this trend, we can see significant levels of support and resistance that have proven time and time again to be especially relevant throughout the life of the market:

Figure 1: ETH-USD, 12-hr Candles, Bitfinex, Macro Trend

After consolidating between the 50 percent and 61 percent retracement values, ETH-USD managed to gather enough of a foundation to break out and climb in a very strong bull run. The trend was so strong, in fact, that throughout the run, it traced the upper Bollinger Bands for several days.

Zooming in a little closer to our current candles within this trend, we can see a couple signs of slight market exhaustion that could lead to some minor pullback or possible consolidation:


Figure 2: ETH-USD, 12-hr Candles, Bitfinex, Closer View of Current Trend

Although not a guarantee of market trend reversal, the doji candle is a sign of market uncertainty as the bearish and bullish traders attempt to gain dominance over the market. Essentially, dojis represent an opportunity for market reversal as the price movement becomes stalemated between buyers and sellers. Whether the market will actually reverse requires the confirmation of the next candle in the market. Currently, we are forming the confirmation candle to decide if we will actually reverse the 12-hour candle trend.

Zooming in even further, we can see very clear support and resistance lines not only on the macro Fibonacci Retracements shown above, but also on the Fibonacci Retracements for the current bullish breakout:

Figure 3: ETH-USD, 1-hr Candles, Bitfinex, View of Current Breakout

This breakout has managed to find support along all the major Fib lines. Currently, there is strong support between $275 (the macro 38 percent line) and $268 (the micro 50 percent line). Should a further retracement occur in this market, I would highly expect it to be short-lived and most likely rally off the 50 percent micro Fib line, ultimately making new ETH-USD highs in this bullish market. Currently, there are two things in this market that are catching my eye:

  1. During highly bullish markets, it is really common to retrace to the 38 percent line and bounce to a continuation of the bullish trend. Currently, we are in the process of bouncing off the 38 percent bullish trendline.

  2. If we zoom in to the 15-minute candles, we see a potential ascending wedge forming — a bearish continuation pattern.

Figure 4: ETH-USD, 15-min Candles, Bitfinex, Ascending Wedge

If this ascending wedge breaks to the bottom with high volume, we can expect a price target of approximately the 50 percent retracement line — the $270s. A retracement to the 50 percent values would be a very healthy event and would most likely see a pretty substantial bounce and subsequent rally leading to new highs. To further support the thesis of an ascending wedge, we can see clear MACD divergence paired with decreasing volume as the price continues to climb.

Overall, our current ETH-USD seems to be strongly bullish and doesn’t appear to show any signs of macro bullish momentum loss. Right now, it is doing healthy retracements that commonly lead to trend continuations. If you’re investing in ether, this is exactly what you want to see in a healthy bull market.

Summary:
  1. ETH-USD is showing healthy signs of bullish continuation for this rally.

  2. Although there may be some retracement along the way, overall ETH-USD looks on track to continue the bull market.

  3. Keep an eye out in the immediate future for a break to the bottom of the ascending wedge — a possible test of the 50 percent values (the $270 range) may be possible before continuing onward and upward!

Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin, bitcoin cash and ether is highly speculative and comes with many risks. This analysis is for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice. Statements and financial information on Bitcoin Magazine and BTC Media related sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BTC Media and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

The post Ether Price Analysis: All Signs Point Onward and Upward appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

NEO Completes Rebranding; Announces Blockchain Partnerships

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 23:05

On June 22, Bitcoin Magazine reported that Antshares was embarking on a new rebranding strategy as part of its effort to lead blockchain development in China and around the world.

Now, on August 8, NEO Blockchain, China’s first original public chain project, has announced the completion of rebranding efforts from its former Antshares identity. Furthermore, NEO has upgraded its blockchain nodes, technical documents, social media, official site and exchange name worldwide, representing the transition from Antshares 1.0 to the NEO smart contract system 2.0.

NEO now is the top 10 cryptocurrency in terms of market value. It hopes to capitalize on its Chinese connections by calling to mind the success stories of other Chinese behemoths like Alibaba and Tencent. Whereas a month ago NEO may have been trying to “steal the spotlight from Ethereum,” it now seems to be trying to carve its own path forward.

Compared with Ethereum, NEO claims its smart contracts perform better in terms of determinism, high scalability and compatibility. The developers of smart contracts can use JAVA, C/C# and GO to write smart contracts without the need to learn new languages like Solidity, making it attractive to the global developer community.

Powered by the Community

In the press conference held on June 22, Antshares announced its rebranding of “NEO” with an emphasis on upgrading itself to a smart economy platform with an integration of digital assets, digital identity and smart contracts. It has also introduced notable new features like a cross-chain protocol, quantum-resistant cryptography, a distributed storage protocol and a secure communication protocol.

Other new additions include PC web and mobile apps, as well as an introductory video about the project.

Da Hongfei, the founder of NEO, told Bitcoin Magazine:

“NEO’s development hinges on two important teams: one is the Shanghai-based development and management team, while the other is an international team called “City of Zion,” purely supported by the community, thanks to a huge number of volunteers for NEO.

“The community just volunteered to translate the video and other materials into multiple languages. Furthermore, the technical white paper has also been translated by the community into English, Spanish, Japanese and Korean. We are especially grateful to the community, which will remain the core of NEO’s development in the future.”

New Partnerships Underway

SInce its successful upgrade, NEO has added full smart contract support, attracting a range of blockchain startups to work with its platform. Bancor, Coindash and Agrello are among some of the first to have reached agreements for technical cooperation with NEO.

Meanwhile, Red Pulse and other projects have announced that they will join the NEO ecosystem and adopt its smart contracts.

Red Pulse, an event-driven Chinese market research company, will build a research sharing platform built on the NEO 2.0 smart contract platform. It will allow readers to guide market research and to use digital currency to reward analysts and contributors directly and fairly, disrupting the current financial research market models. The project will also release a new token, $RPX, powered by the NEO platform.

Elastos, launched by Rong Chen, Jihan Wu and Feng Han, is a new blockchain-powered operating system. According to an announcement made in July of 2017, in cooperation with NEO, Elastos will “explore the technological values and applications of blockchains in the new internet operating systems to further the development of a Smart Economy.” Elastos plans to become an “OS for the blockchain,” while NEO will enable developers to create blockchain applications quickly and easily.

Furthermore, the Nest Smart Fund, based on NEO smart contracts, will be a brand-new form of investment fund that will eliminate (as much as possible) the high thresholds, high risks, inefficiencies and moral hazards often associated with traditional fund intermediaries. Backed by blockchain technology, Nest will allow anyone to participate transparently and easily in the Nest fund.

As NEO Council Secretary General Tony Tao told Bitcoin Magazine:

“The core of the platform-level blockchain lies in the establishment of the ecosystem. For the next step, we will launch the NEO Seed Project, hoping to inspire the global community and to encourage traditional technology developers to use the NEO Smart Contract platform.”

The post NEO Completes Rebranding; Announces Blockchain Partnerships appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

The Point of No Return: Segregated Witness Will Lock In on Bitcoin

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 14:39

Segregated Witness (SegWit), the highly anticipated protocol upgrade proposed by the Bitcoin Core development team, just reached the point of no return for lock in. This means that SegWit will be live on the Bitcoin network in a little more than two weeks from now.

“It's been a long and hard process, but we've learned tremendously along the way. I look forward to the next generation of use cases and applications this will enable and to watching the ecosystem mature”, said Eric Lombrozo, Ciphrex CEO, Bitcoin Core contributor, and one of the authors and main advocates of Segregated Witness.

Lock In

Segregated Witness, defined by Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 141 (BIP141), was deployed using an activation mechanism (BIP9) that requires 95 percent of all miners (by hash power) to signal support for the upgrade within the span of a two-week difficulty period. That’s at least 1916 blocks within 2016 blocks, to be exact.

This threshold has just been reached. While the current difficulty period will not end until tomorrow, all blocks in this difficulty period are signaling support for the upgrade so far. This now totals over 1916 of them.

It took a while to achieve this threshold, largely in part because bigger mining pools on the Bitcoin network were refusing to adopt the upgrade, regardless of their technical readiness.

"In hindsight, it’s become clear that miner activation of soft forks cannot be relied upon when there exists a divergence of interests between miners and users. In the cooperative case, it is a tried and tested mechanism which, if done correctly, is known to work smoothly. However, in the adversarial case it simply does not work,” Lombrozo wrote in an article about SegWit activation.

This is why SegWit was eventually adopted through a couple of slightly complex “kludges.”

Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 91 (BIP91), a (mostly) miner-enforced soft fork, had already activated a little over two weeks ago. This soft fork requires all blocks to signal Segregated Witness support for an entire difficulty period, triggering the lock-in on SegWit-ready nodes — all blocks that do not should be rejected by the network. So far, this has indeed been the case.

On top of that, BIP148, an activation mechanism enforced by users, started rejecting all blocks not signaling support for Segregated Witness over a week ago, on August 1st.

SegWit

A viable way to deploy Segregated Witness on Bitcoin via a soft fork was discussed in the Bitcoin development IRC chats and subsequently presented by Blockstream engineer and Bitcoin Core contributor Dr. Pieter Wuille in late 2015 at the Scaling Bitcoin workshops in Hong Kong. It was subsequently adopted as a centrepiece in the scaling roadmap endorsed by the Bitcoin Core development team. The technology was implemented and officially released in Bitcoin Core 0.13.1 in October of 2016.

In short, this upgrade allows for the separation of transaction data and signature data within Bitcoin blocks. This solves the long-standing “malleability bug” in the Bitcoin protocol, which in turn allows for more flexibility when programming new features on top of Bitcoin and offers additional benefits like a modest block-size limit increase.

“Most importantly, SegWit means a drastic simplification in how we can design protocols that can work atop Bitcoin without having to change consensus rules,” Lombrozo noted. “But it also affords the introduction of new features at the consensus layer to support better cryptography and more sophisticated smart contracts.“

Lombrozo added:

“And, of course, it also increases raw capacity by allowing for bigger blocks and making future block size increases more feasible.”

It will now take another two-week difficulty period for the soft fork to actually activate. At that point, all SegWit-enforcing Bitcoin nodes, which almost certainly represents the majority of the Bitcoin ecosystem, will start rejecting any transactions and blocks that do not follow the new rules. As a backwards-compatible soft fork, however, this should not affect non-upgraded nodes much: These will continue to function as normal.

The post The Point of No Return: Segregated Witness Will Lock In on Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

How the Blockchain Could Become an Image Dataset Repository for AR/VR

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 12:29

Lampix, an augmented reality (AR) startup, is building the world's first blockchain-based "image mining" network. The company has embarked on the ambitious mission of developing one of the largest image databases.

The database, which will be available for all to use, intends to be the backbone of AR and machine-learning training. It seeks to suppress startups and developers' dependency on proprietary image datasets owned by tech giants.

"Existing databases are controlled by the company who built them: Google, for example, has made such a database. However, there are two problems with this approach: Google controls this database and can, at any moment, forbid their competitors from using it, remove access to it, etc. Second, this database includes only the data Google thinks is needed," George Popescu, CEO and co-founder of Lampix, told Bitcoin Magazine.

Instead, Lampix is electing to offer a database where "no single company, and not Lampix neither, will control who has access to the data, and what data should go in the database."

"No centralized control. This is why we are working on the blockchain," he said.

Leveraging blockchain technology, Lampix is building a network that rewards users with Lampix tokens, called PIX, to take pictures, describe them and assemble open-source, curated image datasets. Miners can use any device that has a camera with the sufficient resolution, including the company's Lampix device, to submit datasets.

Datasets submitted will consist of an image and description. To make sure the image and description match, voters will either upvote or downvote a dataset and will be compensated with PIX tokens if their vote aligns with the consensus.

Third-party developers will be able to access these datasets to train their own computer vision applications by paying a small fee using PIX.

Lampix is planning to include a hash of each picture on the blockchain once it is approved and added to the database. This will increase security and address two main concerns: ensuring that a picture hasn't been tampered with and ensuring that a user is using a full dataset, meaning that no picture has been removed or added.

"Developers will be able to tap into this database for their own product, such as Google Glass, Holo Lens or our Lampix product and create applications," he said. "This is exciting, as for any application, a lot of data is necessary to make it accurate and work properly."

Lampix plans to create a total of 1.1 billion PIX tokens. It will sell 50 percent of its tokens in a crowd sale over a period of three days. At launch, one PIX will cost $0.12. The company aims to raise roughly $50 million.

Popescu said the team is currently working with exchanges to list the PIX tokens in as many platforms as possible. "We expect it will be listed on Gatecoin, Bittrex, Kraken, Yunbi and a few more quickly," he said.

New York-based Lampix builds and sells hardware devices and software that bring augmented reality to any flat surface, turning these surfaces into interactive displays. Using machine learning and computer vision, Lampix recognizes objects and projects context-relevant buttons and menus for different actions.

The company serves the likes of Bloomberg and PwC, as well as large retail chains. It claims it has a pipeline of about 200 famous companies inquiring about its Lampix device.

The database will allow Lampix to improve its technology and make it more accurate as computer vision and machine learning need a lot of images for training and testing.

"Our plan is simple: to map the world inside. Not the room, but actual objects on desks, tables, the surfaces themselves. Or even objects on the floor, on the kitchen counter, on your bathroom counter," he said. "Google Maps changed the world, but they only have access outside. Imagine what will happen if we map the interior world."

Much of the business world's interest in blockchain has been centered on financial and banking services. Yet, possible applications of the technology go well beyond financial services.

"There is a lot of opportunity with user content which is not being explored very much. Many people focus on blockchain in finance," Popescu said. "However, I think that sourcing user content, and using the technology to manage license and access, is a huge opportunity. AR/VR is just a small piece of this."

The post How the Blockchain Could Become an Image Dataset Repository for AR/VR appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Pages