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What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital crypto-currency with no single point of failure due to its decentralized peer-to-peer architecture. The source code is publicly available and changes to the reference Bitcoin client are made via concensus within the community. Advantages of Bitcoin include irreversible transactions (i.e. no possibility of chargebacks as with credit cards), pseudo-anonymous, limited and fixed inflation, near instant transactions, multi-platform, no double-spend and little to no barriers to entry and more. It was created by an anonymous person known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Find out more at WeUseCoins.com.

Bitcoin Latest News

Swiss Telecom Giant Launches New Blockchain Business

A major state-owned telecommunications provider in Switzerland has created a new blockchain business.

Posted on 20 September 2017 | 3:05 pm

How To Profit From a Bitcoin Crash - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

How To Profit From a Bitcoin Crash
CoinTelegraph
Every time there is a crash in cryptocurrencies, the alarm bells ring out and panic often ensues. People predict the end, see the bubble popping and sell off for a loss. However, there is another way to look at it, and that is to see a significant drop ...

and more »

Posted on 20 September 2017 | 2:59 pm

Joint Report by Stellar and Luxembourg Fintech Platform: Approach ICOs with Caution

Joint Report by Stellar and Luxembourg Fintech Platform: Approach ICOs with Caution

 Stellar, a nonprofit decentralized financial network, and the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (LHoFT), the country’s dedicated fintech platform, have published a joint report on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

According to the report, organizations have raised over $1.8 billion through ICOs since January 2017. As this popular new fundraising method provides a simple and fast method to acquire serious funding, there has been “tremendous momentum” growing around ICO launches among new businesses in the blockchain industry, the report said.

On the other hand, the report also detailed that there are high risks associated with ICO investments. Since there is still a lack of regulation and control surrounding the industry, Stellar and LHoFT compared the current ICO sphere to the “Wild West” — a term that has become rather popular of late in reference to ICOs.

“ICOs raise issues for consumer protection, combating money laundering, and other regulatory compliance goals. Complications may arise from several sources, including the mechanism through which ICOs are conducted, the teams spearheading ICOs, the identities of contributors to ICOs, the quantity of money that is raised, the validity of ICOs’ technology and processes, marketing claims, and the impact that ICOs have on the greater cryptocurrency markets. All these factors must be scrutinized so that the heralded benefits of ICOs are balanced against market and legal risks as the model matures and gains broader acceptance,” the report states.

LHoFT and Stellar addressed both the upsides and the downsides of ICO fundraising. Organizations launching ICOs benefit from a built-in customer base, a committed group of customers that will stay with the product or service until it officially launches. Furthermore, according to the report, the fundraising method has positive effects on the network, can target global investors (or donors) in a non-discriminatory manner while providing a fast and easy fundraising mechanism. Additionally, retail investors are keen on participating in ICOs, and open-source projects can benefit from the fundraising method too.

Similarly, investors can benefit from the high liquidity of the tokens (sold during ICOs), in addition to being able to sell them through cryptocurrency exchanges or over-the-counter (OTC) transactions, which would allow the investors to transfer the tokens easily without the authorization of the token issuer (the organization launching the ICO).

Token holders are often offered bonuses, such as “gift cards” or “licenses” that will incentivize them to support the growth and the development of the project. ICO investors also benefit from the lack of “geo-lock” — they can invest in the project no matter the location (unless specified otherwise). Most importantly, ICOs have a high potential for big gains.

On the other hand, there are plenty of risks associated with ICOs, according to the report. Firstly, ICOs lack the formal process for auditing the organizations.The writers of the study highlighted a potential problem with smart contracts: If the contract is not programmed correctly, it could lead to unexpected transfers without the authorization of the token owner. Some tokens are not based on any fundamental value, thus, may facilitate bubbles and Ponzi schemes.

Furthermore, Stellar and LHoFT emphasized the issue of “investor education” — some investors are not informed well enough about an ICO project before investing in it. The report also detailed security problems, such as phishing scams and the loss of private keys, which can result in the investors losing their tokens.

As with most cryptocurrencies, tokens also tend to be volatile. According to the report, ICO cashouts may create price distortions on the market. Furthermore, the market can be subjected to manipulation, such as the “Whales” method, in which the token issuer organization holds back a percentage of the tokens and distributes them between the team members. Both investors and organizations can experience network lag during popular ICOs, while some token distribution mechanisms can cause unpredicted difficulties for both parties.

The lack of regulations within the ICO space presents various problems for both the investors and the organizations, such as being subject to the financial regulations of multiple jurisdictions. The anonymous nature of the cryptocurrency sphere can result in many of the investors being seen only as pseudonyms, which could cause issues for law enforcement and regulators. Since there is uncertainty about the taxation of tokens, both investors and organizations could face legal issues, such as tax evasion charges. Furthermore, the report discusses that there is an increasing concern that ICOs can be used by criminals for money laundering or terrorist financing purposes.

The post Joint Report by Stellar and Luxembourg Fintech Platform: Approach ICOs with Caution appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 20 September 2017 | 12:35 pm

Banks Are 'Afraid' of Bitcoin, Says Wealth Advisor

This wealth advisor believes banks are afraid of bitcoin, according to a new interview.

Posted on 20 September 2017 | 11:30 am

Five Bitcoin Crashes and What You Can Learn From Them - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

Five Bitcoin Crashes and What You Can Learn From Them
CoinTelegraph
After April, Bitcoin price hovered around $120 until later in the year when prices suddenly skyrocketed to a high of $1,150 in late November. However, by mid-December, the price had tumbled back down to less than half of that, and that's where it would ...
A New Digital Currency, AML Bitcoin, Makes Landfall In PanamaInvestor's Business Daily

all 2 news articles »

Posted on 20 September 2017 | 10:43 am

Japanese Billionaire: ICOs 'Democratize Venture Financing'

Japanese billionaire Taizo Son believes ICOs will significantly impact how startups raise capital.

Posted on 20 September 2017 | 10:30 am

OmiseGo's ICO Token Is Tops in Market Cap, But Heavy On the Charts

A notable ICO token appears to be weathering regulatory concerns, bouncing back this week on a relatively positive newsflow and new developments.

Posted on 20 September 2017 | 9:35 am

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Litecoin: Price Analysis, September 20 - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Litecoin: Price Analysis, September 20
CoinTelegraph
However, after consolidating for three days, if Bitcoin breaks out of this resistance zone, we expect it to gain momentum on the upside. Though there is a minor resistance at $4,210 - the 61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement level - we expect this ...

and more »

Posted on 20 September 2017 | 9:29 am

Australia's Securities Watchdog Might Run Its Own Blockchain Nodes

Australia's securities markets regulator is weighing the use of blockchain as part of broader data strategy.

Posted on 20 September 2017 | 9:05 am

Decred Adds Atomic Swap Support for Exchange-Free Cryptocurrency Trading

Decred Adds Support for Atomic Swaps for Direct Cryptocurrency Trading Without Exchanges

Decred is announcing support for on-chain atomic swaps, which will allow cryptocurrency holders to trade directly, without having to rely on external exchanges. The cryptocurrencies initially supported are Decred (DCR), Bitcoin (BTC) and Litecoin (LTC).

“Support for on-chain atomic swaps is extremely useful,”Jake Yocom-Piatt, Decred Project Lead said in a statement. “Thanks to the foresight of the Lightning Network authors and developers, and the dedication of our own developers, it is our pleasure to deliver an important capability that has been discussed since the concept of cross-chain atomic transfers was proposed in 2013.”

Users can already begin performing exchanges between DCR, BTC and LTC using tools that the Decred developers have created. The tools are text-based at the moment, but will be integrated into the Decrediton GUI wallet in a future release.

According to the Decred team, this advancement disintermediates the exchange process, allowing for greater market fluency. It also delivers on the market desire for improved interoperability between currencies and the demand for new efficiencies that drive investor value.

"This is the first step in a progression toward high-utility, non-Turing complete smart contracts,” Yocom-Piatt told Bitcoin Magazine. “We look forward to a new generation of greater fluency between projects. It was a pleasure collaborating with the dev teams at Litecoin and Lighting Labs."

The concept of atomic swaps (or atomic cross-chain trading) were first described by Tier Nolan back in 2013. A previous Bitcoin Magazine article provides a step-by-step explanation of a simple example where two users agree to swap agreed amounts of BTC and LTC and use the multisig and time lock features available in both Bitcoin and Litecoin basic scripting to synchronize two transactions on two independent blockchains without having to trust each other.

Yesterday I did an on-chain atomic swap of 1.337 LTC for 2.4066 DCR w/ @_alyp_ of @decredproject. (See txns: https://t.co/BlxU1QBK2U) ⛓️⚛️💱🚀 https://t.co/wPqzdw40Gp

— Charlie Lee (@SatoshiLite) September 20, 2017

It’s worth noting that Lightning Network payment channels, now enabled by SegWit, make atomic swaps more powerful and easier to implement, and permit adding support for off-chain swaps.

“The addition of LN support allows for both on-chain and off-chain atomic swaps, meaning that trustless cross chain exchanges can occur,” noted Yocom-Piatt. “Since supporting LN does not break any existing functionality and only adds to Decred’s capabilities as a system of value storage and transmission, it is a very attractive target for addition to Decred.”

“On-chain atomic swaps are an important step towards enabling peer-to-peer cryptocurrency trading,” said Laolu Osuntokun, Lightning Network Daemon (LND) lead developer. “We are excited for this process to continue with off-chain atomic swaps over the Lightning Network in the near future. By taking this process off-chain, substantial latency and privacy improvements can occur.”

Decred (DCR) describes itself as “digital currency for the people,” completely independent, community funded and community owned. The project wants to build an open and progressive cryptocurrency with a system of community-based governance integrated into its blockchain,  including a hybrid consensus system to ensure that no group can control the flow of transactions or make changes to the currency without the input of the community.

“Decred is Bitcoin as it should have been,” noted crypto-investor Jon Creasy. “Bitcoin would be of the people, for the people. As great an idea as this was, however, Bitcoin soon became controlled by an ‘oligarchy,’ so to speak.”

It’s important to note that some countries, such as China, are attacking cryptocurrency exchanges as the weakest links in the crypto ecosystem. The Decred move shows that, at least for crypto-to-crypto trading (for example, exchanging bitcoin for litecoin), it’s perfectly possible to operate without exchanges. However, it doesn’t solve the problem of crypto-to-fiat and fiat-to-crypto trading, which is arguably of top concern for cryptocurrency users.

The post Decred Adds Atomic Swap Support for Exchange-Free Cryptocurrency Trading appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 20 September 2017 | 8:14 am

Big bitcoin-friendly companies like Microsoft and Expedia hedge their bet - Yahoo Finance


Yahoo Finance

Big bitcoin-friendly companies like Microsoft and Expedia hedge their bet
Yahoo Finance
Businesses that accept bitcoin have a unique problem: How do they deal with the currency's wild fluctuations? This year has marked bitcoin as an investment more than a usable currency, the new disaster hedge alongside gold. With values surging close to ...

and more »

Posted on 20 September 2017 | 8:03 am

Tokens for Climate Change? How We Can Rise Above ICO Mania

Tokens for climate change? While you might scoff at the idea, CoinDesk advisor Michael Casey argues it's a question worth taking seriously.

Posted on 20 September 2017 | 7:00 am

Raiden Release: Simpler Micropayments Go Live on Ethereum's Testnet

The developers behind Raiden Network have launched an early, simplified version of the scaling solution on the ethereum test network.

Posted on 20 September 2017 | 5:45 am

Optimizing SegWit: How Bitcoin's New Software Is Giving Scaling a Boost

Bitcoin Core's latest software includes optimizations designed to boost SegWit, a scaling upgrade that's still slowly rolling out across the network.

Posted on 20 September 2017 | 4:00 am

Wait, I can get Bitcoin at that ATM? - CBS News


CBS News

Wait, I can get Bitcoin at that ATM?
CBS News
You may know Bitcoin is a controversial digital currency that makes news for falling or rising -- a lot. Less widely known is that consumers can acquire the cryptocurrency through ATMs, just like regular cash. The number of machines installed worldwide ...

and more »

Posted on 20 September 2017 | 3:45 am

Malaysia's Central Bank Is Close to Drafting New Cryptocurrency Rules

Malaysia's central bank could introduce rules around cryptocurrencies by the end of this year, according to statements by its governor.

Posted on 20 September 2017 | 3:00 am

Bitcoin's Parimutuel Problem (Or Why Shorting Doesn't Pay Today) - CoinDesk


CoinDesk

Bitcoin's Parimutuel Problem (Or Why Shorting Doesn't Pay Today)
CoinDesk
When the price of bitcoin plunges — as it did last week — seasoned investors are caught in a market that doesn't exactly have the mechanisms they're used to. Case in point, hedging long positions, is today a difficult prospect. Unlike most ...

Posted on 20 September 2017 | 2:05 am

Bitcoin's Parimutuel Problem (Or Why Shorting Doesn't Pay Today)

Parimutuel betting pools in the cryptocurrency grant traders short exposure, but there are plenty of limitations to this new type of exchange.

Posted on 20 September 2017 | 2:00 am

US bank CEOs are likely 'very afraid' of bitcoin, says wealth advisor - CNBC


CNBC

US bank CEOs are likely 'very afraid' of bitcoin, says wealth advisor
CNBC
Some financiers have said the cryptocurrency is an unwise investment because of its volatility or supposedly weak store of value, but bank chiefs have another reason to dislike bitcoin, said Rainer Michael Preiss, executive director at Taurus Wealth ...
Bitcoin, Ether stabilize after September selloffMarketWatch
Banks Are 'Afraid' of Bitcoin, Says Wealth AdvisorCoinDesk
Here's why the crackdown on bitcoin in China is 'not a real problem' for the digital currencyBusiness Insider
TheStreet.com -Money Magazine -BBC News -CNBC
all 322 news articles »

Posted on 20 September 2017 | 1:12 am

Bitcoin Is Likely to Split Again in November, Say Major Players - Bloomberg


Bloomberg

Bitcoin Is Likely to Split Again in November, Say Major Players
Bloomberg
Major industry players, including the bitcoin investor Roger Ver known as “Bitcoin Jesus” for proselytizing on behalf of the digital currency, say consensus between opposing camps looked increasingly unlikely. That opinion was echoed by some of the ...
Another split likely coming for BitcoinSeeking Alpha
Bitcoin Cash Price Eyes $500 Target but Will Likely Retrace SoonThe Merkle

all 15 news articles »

Posted on 19 September 2017 | 10:16 pm

Pick n Pay Double Take? The Supermarket Chain Isn't Accepting Bitcoin, It Tested It

South Africa's second-largest supermarket chain tested bitcoin payments earlier this year, but is thus far declining to roll out a broader option.

Posted on 19 September 2017 | 4:00 pm

GoldMint and the Future of Gold Ownership

GoldMint Header

Reflecting gold’s historical repute as a scarce and valued resource, Bitcoin has become known in many investment circles as “digital gold.” With its unprecedented rise, Bitcoin’s worth is now estimated to be about twice that of an ounce of physical gold.

On August 7, 2017, the startup GoldMint was launched with the intent of ushering in a new digital era of gold as a store of value. This project aims to provide a unique set of gold ownership solutions for cryptocurrency investors and enthusiasts worldwide. It is holding an initial coin offering (ICO) that starts in less than 12 hours. 

The GoldMint project reaffirms the notion that physical gold is a respected method of payment and wealth preservation, all tied to its value and scarcity. Gold ownership, however, requires expensive security, safekeeping and insurance. GoldMint’s innovative approach seeks to address these inherent issues.

GoldMint purchases, sells and repurchases their native digital asset called

“GOLD,” which is 100 percent backed by physical gold. It features an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) which can be utilized as a payment and investment tool for both companies and individuals in hedging risk.

Capitalizing off of the inherent advantages of its physical counterpart,

GOLD tokens offer a stable, transparent, non-volatile means of buffering one’s crypto portfolio from wild market swings. Here, GoldMint is committed to ensuring that GOLD delivers consistent value through paper assets like ETFs and futures as well as through physical assets. Moreover, GOLD owners will be able to use their tokens to secure guarantees, loans and escrow services, all at a modest 5 percent purchase and 3 percent sale fee.

GoldMint will also deliver a utility token known as “MNT” to facilitate operations, implement smart contracts and incentivize block creation and transaction confirmation.

During the early stages of this project, MNT will be sold and distributed on the Ethereum blockchain. After the MNT distribution has taken place, Goldmint will launch its own Graphene -based Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain that offers a safer, more productive and faster experience.

Minting the Blockchain

GoldMint utilizes a blockchain ledger to execute trades, loans and investments for profit. The following are what make the GOLD crypto asset unique:

  • 100 percent information transparency relative to all GoldMint GOLD. The company discloses its gold reserves, fostering the opportunity to buy back GOLD at its current trading price.
  • GoldMint utilizes the decentralized blockchain for smart contracts and for its crypto assets.
  • ETFs are used for liquidity and elasticity facilitating gold trades which are far faster than those of physical gold.
  • Secured loans can be leveraged with GOLD, like jewelry or coins. GoldMint assists in the storage of this collateral through its unique Custody Bot, a blockchain-connected robot used for inspection, temporary and long-term storage and the transfer of physical gold, jewelry, coins or gold bullion.
  • Members have the ability to earn passive income as the market price of GOLD rises.
  • An option which allows for the buyback of GOLD for fiat according to the current price of GOLD.
  • A fast and efficient user registration and identification system.

To support merchants and developers, GoldMint is in the process of releasing an application programming interface (API) for the development of third-party apps and other interfaces. Use of this API will allow online stores to accept GOLD as a payment method, enable loans to be secured by banks and provide access to services such as escrow accounts and financial guarantees.

The Goldmint Team

Goldmint is led by CEO Dmitry Plutschevsky, who co-founded Lot-Zoloto — a gold trading company based in Russia with trading transactions totaling $100 million in 2017 — with former banker Konstantin Romanov. Serg Umansky, head of portfolio management at Whiteridge Investment Funds, Alex Butmanov, managing partner at DTI and Julian Zegelman, managing partner at Velton Zegelman, are among the advisors of the company

GoldMint founders predict that its unique value proposition will disrupt the billion-dollar gold market, allowing GoldMint to establish itself as a market leader in the coming cryptocurrency revolution.

To learn more about GoldMint and participate in its token sale, visit its website, read the white paper and follow the company’s social media channels on Facebook and Twitter.

The post GoldMint and the Future of Gold Ownership appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 19 September 2017 | 3:51 pm

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Amid Continuing China Rumors, BTC Fails to Break Key Resistance

China BTC price.jpg

When it rains, it pours. Last week, news began to hit the crypto community that China was taking harsh measures to reign in their various cryptocurrency exchanges. Several exchanges closed down and others were given a deadline to properly cease trading operations. This news came hard on the heels of recent directives that banned ICOs in China, leading to dramatic drops in cryptocurreny prices across the board.

After this latest news settled, bitcoin managed to slightly rally before topping out around $4100. However, early this week, rumors began to circulate that executives associated with Chinese exchanges are being prohibited from leaving China. At the time of this article, BTC-USD is sitting just at $3900 and is showing signs of further pullback:

Figure_1 (8).JPGFigure 1: BTC-USD, 12-Hour Candles, GDAX, Macro Fibonacci Retracement Values

The figure above shows the whole, macro bull run from the $1700s. One important feature of the trend shown above is the 61% retracement down to the $2900s. The retracement down to such a low value shows that sell pressure is very strong in the current market and hints toward bullish exhaustion within the macro trend. Another key feature to note is the following:

Figure_2 (8).JPGFigure 2: BTC-USD, 2-Hour Candles, GDAX, Failed 100% Retracement

An important test of this rally was the 100% retracement of the bear run, post-China news. Sitting just below the 23% Fibonacci Retracement lies the bear run. The test of the 100% retracement is important because that resistance line marks a strong shift in market sentiment. A failure to break through those values shows that, even though there was a strong rally, the market is still bearish in nature and is likely to continue.

Figure 2 also shows several tests and rejections of the 2-Hour 200 EMA (Exponential Moving Average). The 200 EMA is a common tool used among traders to objectively view the state of the market compared to the prior trends. A trend existing below the 200 EMA is bearish in nature, and trends that show support on top of the 200 EMA are bullish in nature.

At the time of this article, the BTC-USD is displaying two failed tests of key resistance levels and its showing little sign of upward pressure. Currently, the trend is sandwiched between the 200 EMA and the 50 EMA. Both moving averages can used in conjunction to gauge just how strong the market is. Like the 200 EMA, the 50 EMA shows short-term bullish and bearish trends relative to the EMA line: Trends above are showing bullish traits, and trends below are showing bearish traits.

Right now, we are in the middle of a crucial test of both support and resistance lines as the market decides where it will go next. A break below the 50 EMA will ultimate show the long-term bearish intent of the market and will lead to tests of the low support values:

Figure_3 (9).JPGFigure 3: BTC-USD, 1-Hour Candles, GDAX, Support Levels for Current Rally

At the moment, BTC-USD is making its third test of the current rally’s 23% retracement values. A break below this line will have bitcoin testing the macro 38% retracement values in the $3700s. If bitcoin manages to break the 38% retracement values somehow, there will be strong support around the $3400s as the 50% macro Fibonacci Retracement values (shown in Figure 1) have historic significance and support.

If bitcoin is going to see any significant price growth within this rally, it will have to pick up some major buy volume and break through very strong, historic resistance values. It’s extremely unlikely that, given its repeated failures to break resistance and the inherent bearish news looming over the Bitcoin community, BTC-USD will shove to new highs without strongly testing lower macro support.

Summary:

  1. BTC-USD had a strong rally, but ultimately topped out around $4100.

  2. At the moment, BTC-USD is testing macro support levels and shows very little, significant upward strength.

  3. Should we break support in the $3900s, we can expect a test of the macro 38% Fibonacci Retracement values in the $3700s.


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: Amid Continuing China Rumors, BTC Fails to Break Key Resistance appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 19 September 2017 | 3:31 pm

Uncertainty Dominates as China Continues to Clamp Down on Cryptocurrencies

Uncertainty Dominates as China Clamps Down on Cryptocurrency

China is clamping down on cryptocurrency, that much is clear. But while the developing story dominates headlines, a notable trend is the lack of official information. Chinese officials seem to systematically decline requests for comments, local sources are willing to provide information on condition of anonymity only, while leaked documents remain unverified.

Despite this lack of clarity, here’s what’s known so far.

Effects on Trading

The most important thing we know for sure is that Chinese bitcoin exchanges will be closing down, or at least exiting China.

BTCC — the oldest bitcoin exchange in the world — was the first exchange to announce they’d be closing shop within the Asian country, by the end of this month. The exchange cited guidelines published by the Chinese central bank (the People’s Bank of China; PBOC), which initially appeared to only affect ICOs, as its reason for closing down.

Other exchanges quickly followed BTCC's lead. ViaBTC and Yunbi both announced that they’d be ceasing operations by the end of this month. Huobi and OKCoin, the two other major Chinese exchanges, announced they would be shutting down too, though not until the end of October. And BitKan, a big over-the-counter (OTC) trading service rather than an order-book exchange, announced it would be shutting down as well.

While the cited guidelines initially did not seem to concern bitcoin, it is likely that Chinese officials have made it clear through separate channels that they do apply to the cryptocurrency. Bloomberg (among others) reports that exchange operators decided to close down after in-person meetings with PBOC officials, and the Wall Street Journal reports — based on anonymous sources — that the PBOC has prepared a set of “draft instructions” that would ban cryptocurrency trading altogether. These draft instructions have also been leaked (translation) but have so far not been verified for authenticity.

The content of the leaked documents is also consistent with warnings issued by a Chinese quasi-regulatory body — the National Internet Finance Association of China (NIFA) — regarding cryptocurrency trading, published shortly before exchanges announced that they would be shutting down.

According to the NIFA, Bitcoin exchanges lack “legal basis” to operate in the country. Additionally, NIFA official Li Lihui told a technology conference in Shanghai on Friday that a goal of China’s monetary regulation is to ensure that “the source and destination of every piece of money can be tracked.”

The Status of Bitcoin

As far as official statements go, Bitcoin itself is not banned in China. Owning, using, and — most importantly — mining bitcoin should technically not be affected by the published guidelines.

However, more unverified reports (translation) consistent with reporting from the Wall Street Journal, claim that Bitcoin itself will be blocked by the so-called “great firewall of China.” Specifically, seed addresses, which help to bootstrap any new Bitcoin node, and Bitcoin blocks, necessary to construct the blockchain, would be filtered from internet traffic into China, using deep packet inspection.

Additionally, major foreign Bitcoin exchanges like Coinbase, Bitfinex and LocalBitcoins would be added to the list of banned domains, which already includes sites like Google and Facebook. And even private trading of cryptocurrency arranged through chat-apps like Telegram and WeChat, for example, could fall under scrutiny, according to the Wall Street Journal.

This much stricter stance on Bitcoin, beyond just exchanges but also concerning Bitcoin itself, seem consistent with comments from PBOC Counselor Sheng Songcheng, as reported by local news sources like Shanghai Securities News. Songcheng was quoted to have said that Bitcoin poses a challenge to China, mentioning money laundering and its potential to curb the nation’s economic policy.

Furthermore, very recent reports indicate that cryptocurrency exchange operators are currently not allowed to leave Beijing. Local news outlet BJ News writes:

“[According to] a number of informed sources, the current special currency trading platform executives and so on are not allowed to leave Beijing, [in order] to cooperate with the investigation. In accordance with regulatory requirements, the trading platform shareholders, the actual controller, executives, financial executives [must] fully cooperate with the relevant work in the clean-up period in Beijing.” (Rough translation.)

What This Means…

Trading bitcoin via dedicated exchange platforms in China is off the table for now — that is clear.

But it’s not yet clear how successful a full Chinese Bitcoin blockade could be. It would technically only require a single Bitcoin block of a maximum of four megabytes to make it into China about once every 10 minutes, potentially even through satellite, for the entire country to be able to access the blockchain. As such, banning individual Chinese citizens from owning and using bitcoin might prove difficult, even if exchange platforms close down.

Perhaps an even more important question is what will happen to Bitcoin mining: It’s likely that most of Bitcoin’s hash power is currently situated in the Asian country. While miners should able to connect to the rest of the world, according to ViaBTC CEO Haipo Yang, it’s unclear if this connection will be allowed for much longer. If Chinese authorities indeed intend to ban Bitcoin from the country entirely, some Bitcoin mining operations — both mining pools and hash power data centers — will be easy targets to shut down.

On the other hand, this is not the first time that fears of China “banning Bitcoin” have been raised. In the past, such concerns have simply been a prelude to stricter regulations by local authorities.

It has been suggested by Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu, perhaps a bit optimistically, that exchanges will simply require a new license to continue operation. Similarly, it’s been speculated that the PBOC may introduce a national digital currency as a sort of gateway to cryptocurrency: This would allow the central bank to better track the flow of funds in and out of bitcoin in order to counter money laundering and capital flight.

Then again, it could make more sense to introduce such a national digital currency as a substitute for Bitcoin, once Bitcoin is effectively banned, as suggested by ZeroHedge.

For now, uncertainty prevails.

The post Uncertainty Dominates as China Continues to Clamp Down on Cryptocurrencies appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 19 September 2017 | 2:40 pm

Bull Signal? Bitcoin's Price Breaks Above 50-Day Moving Average

The bitcoin price is showing new signs of life – even while it appears to have entered a period of sideways trading after last week's crash.

Posted on 19 September 2017 | 11:00 am

Mexican Law Would Give Central Bank Oversight of Cryptocurrency Startups

Mexico's government is close to introducing legislation that would regulate fintech firms, including those that work with cryptocurrencies.

Posted on 19 September 2017 | 10:00 am

Snip and the Future of Distributed, Online Content

Snip Header/Footer

Over the years, the world of online content has become increasingly convoluted and disjointed.

The best articles get lost beneath an avalanche of biased pieces, clickbait and content that’s too lengthy to read. All of this adversely impacts the average person’s ability to access credible media outlets that allow them to remain informed in today’s ever-changing world.

In the digital age, the biggest issue confronting the news industry is verifiability. In other words, how can readers be certain that what they’re reading is true? Moreover, how do they know whether a particular media source is trustworthy?

The growing lack of credibility within the media industry became the impetus for Ran Reichman and Rani Horev to create a fresh alternative to today’s prevailing media model. Known as Snip, this innovative news site delivers short, to-the-point summaries of the day’s most important stories and events. Through the use of state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms, Snip allows readers to tap into targeted news feeds on topics customized around their interests.

“I founded Snip in May 2016 with machine learning and data science specialist Rani Horev, a co-graduate of the elite Talpiot program of the Israeli Defense Forces,” said Reichman. “Both Rani and I were frustrated by the low quality of news and how hard it was to find high-quality, interesting and brief content. Basically, there was a lot of long and good content and a lot of short and bad content, but almost no high-quality short content. We started Snip as a small Facebook page for friends and family and it gradually grew to more than 30,000 users and 1,400 paying subscribers.”

When asked for a basic overview of Snip’s value proposition, Reichman was succinct: “Snip is a news platform which keeps you updated on things that are happening in the world, personalized to you and in a short and concise format,” he said. “The headlines are anti-clickbait, allowing you to understand what the story is about before clicking on it and wasting your time. Snip quickly learns what you care about and provides you with stories on those topics, in addition to enlightening stories on other topics.”

The platform’s core model, Reichman said, is predicated on a distributed system where a worldwide collective of content generators curate short news submissions, or “snips,” that are then read by others on the site. Snips can be accessed in a number of different mediums, including audio and video, in addition to traditional, text-based posts. At its core, the site is censorship resistant — a characteristic generally viewed as a key element in the democratization of journalism.

In gathering and curating online content, site curators are incentivized and rewarded for their efforts. The Snip online community connects writers to readers directly, mitigating the risk of censorship and bias inherent in the legacy news industry.

This entire process is seamless, with end users able to take in their own collection of snippets which are personalized through machine learning algorithms. The ultimate goal is to ensure that users can have a quality site experience without needing to understand the intricacies of the distributed technology and cryptocurrency systems undergirding the site.

Writers can generate income from their efforts. Currently, those rewards are in the form of fiat currency with plans to transition to the site’s native cryptocurrency, SnipCoin, an ERC20 token secured by the Ethereum blockchain.

Readers will have the ability to utilize SnipCoin to purchase premium services such as ad-free news feeds, audio snips and customized written content. Additionally, advertisers will eventually be able to use SnipCoin to purchase ad space to increase their visibility on the platform.

SnipCoin distributions will begin in late September with the commencement of Snip’s token sale, where a total of 3 billion coins will eventually be released. The initial coin offering (ICO) is valued at $8 million. Upon completion of the ICO, the project will launch in a closed, invite-only alpha format for the purpose of testing critical features germane to the site such as comments, voting, customized news feeds and spam protections.

Reichman, for one, has strong opinions about ICOs, noting that project developers often launch ventures without any credible evidence of a functional product or service model. Snip, he added, transcends this as a result of already having tens of thousands of active users, as well as over a thousand paying subscribers.

This proven functionality, he said, should give “our ICO participant confidence that the Snip team will create a product people will actively engage with and enjoy.”

A New Era of Blockchain-Driven Content

Blockchain-based news delivery offers immense possibilities in terms of how news could be digested, whether on social media or mainstream media feeds. This nascent technological movement has the potential to decentralize control, remove third-party intermediaries from public news access, prevent censorship and promote bias-free content.

According to Reichman, Snip is uniquely positioned to capitalize on three major trends that are currently reshaping the media landscape:

Tokenization and Cryptocurrencies: Tokens allow companies to turn their users and contributors into real stakeholders of the ecosystem, making them ambassadors of the product. This is especially important in news, where distribution is a huge challenge.

Machine Learning: Snip uses machine learning to find the best content online, then offers it to writers and subsequently personalizes the content to users with additional machine learning technology.

The Rise of the Millennial Generation: As opposed to previous generations, millennials never got used to reading print newspapers and expect an online-first news outlet — ideally, one which is smart, interactive and to the point.

When asked about his greatest hope and vision for Snip over the next 12 to 18 months, Reichman laid out his thinking.

“Our vision for Snip is to become the go-to place for news, a household name which everyone can rely on for information on what's going on, and also to discover new and interesting topics of conversation,” he said. “In 18 months we aim to reach more than a million daily users.”

To learn more about Snip and its token sale this month, read the white paper, follow Snip on Twitter or contact the team via Telegram.

The post Snip and the Future of Distributed, Online Content appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 19 September 2017 | 9:48 am

Bullish Breakout: Is Ethereum's Price Heading Back Above $300?

The ether-U.S. dollar [ETC/USD] exchange rate has responded positively following the market shocks caused by recent regulatory actions in China.

Posted on 19 September 2017 | 9:12 am

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Op Ed: How Blockchain Technology Will Disrupt Digital Content Distribution

gp digital content.jpg

The way we consume media content has been on a continual overhaul for the past two decades. Every aspect of media distribution has become more streamlined from the razor-thin devices we use to consume media to the manner in which we purchase and store our coveted content. Books, music and movies have all seen their physical bodies and storage locations dissolve, to be replaced with on-demand downloads and digital copies.

The digital content revolution has done a lot for increasing access and visibility for artists and authors, but the current publishing giants have failed to adequately adjust to the times in a few crucial areas. While it's true that platforms such as YouTube and Medium have granted publishing access to the greater public and eliminated gatekeeping middlemen like talent agents and PR people, the current digital content sharing platforms have built their empires on the skeletons of the publishing giants’ templates that existed before and, unfortunately, have continued operating in ways that fundamentally undermine the artistic control and profits of their contributors.   

YouTube, for example, recently announced they will not allow users to earn any money until they reach 10 thousand views. Medium was recently very candid about the moral dilemmas and growing pains they have faced while trying to balance the selling of advertising space as well as respecting their contributing authors and readership. And it's no secret that Amazon and iTunes take a chunk out of authors’ and artists’ earnings, with iTunes currently pocketing 30 percent of its artists’ profits and Amazon taking a hefty 30–75 percent.

Though it’s easy to be critical, I am more interested in looking for a viable alternative to disrupt the existing system. This will require harnessing the decentralizing nature of emerging blockchain content distribution technologies. Here’s why:

Blockchain could be the solution to making micropayments a reality.

As media consumption has gone digital, a cost-effective way to charge per article or per song has been a limiting factor. Many platforms and publications have opted for subscription-based charging as high transaction costs make pay-per-use charging impossible. Amazon, for example, passes on its internal transaction costs to their clients, which currently equal 2.9 percent of the total transaction as well as a flat fee of 0.30 cents for every transaction.

The pricey transactions make processing small charges inefficient and not cost-effective, which has led many experts, such as editor of TechCrunch John Biggs, to predict that the future of digital publishing will depend on the adoption of micropayments.

Blockchain technologies allow for an incredible number of transactions to be processed at a low cost. Decentralized blockchain systems distribute the collective payment history across the entire network and don’t favor any single “auditor.” The network is maintained by all blockchain nodes as a whole.

Emerging blockchain transaction processing speeds have also recently shot past the leading blockchain currency, bitcoin, and would be capable of processing on a large scale. Where Bitcoin's transaction speeds average 7 transactions per second, new blockchain-based currencies are already approaching thousands of transactions per second; Bitshares claims they can process 100,000 per second.

In fact, a newspaper in Winnipeg, Canada, has already begun to use a micropayment system to charge per article for its news content and projects earning over $100,000 in digital revenue.

Blockchain could tilt the balance of power towards individuals, not publishing powerhouses.

As mentioned previously, YouTube and Medium have dramatically increased content creators’ access to audiences and established a more democratic, popularity-based promotional scheme. Unfortunately, they are both still centralized content distribution entities that can make arbitrary and unilateral decisions. YouTube and Medium both have the right to remove comments, content or entire channels or profiles without leaving a trace.

In contrast, a blockchain content distribution platform preserves an unchangeable record of all actions. The record produced by blockchain systems creates an environment of total transparency for both content creators and media consumers, and it also ensures that all views, comments and ratings reflect the real interactions the content has experienced, leaving no room for subjective, inflated ratings or deleted bad reviews.

With nothing deleted, content producers can create and post with the security that their work and reputation will remain intact, trolls can’t hide their past bad behavior and can easily be spotted via their comment history, and all content fairly reflects its actual popularity.

Blockchain technology could provide instant payouts and security.

Today, freelancers, authors and artists working with publishing platforms are accustomed to waiting multiple months to receive payment for their work. For big-name artists, this is just part of the business. But for smaller artists, it can be difficult to wait for reimbursement without any idea of how much they will eventually be paid. The financial uncertainty, prolonged waiting periods and lack of payment transparency in current digital content media sharing platforms could be discouraging potential artists and authors from seeing content creation as a viable source of income. Instead, the system encourages content creators to seek payment, not for the quality of their content, but through product sponsorships, PR and ad-focused content.

With blockchain-based content distribution, content creators can be paid within seconds of a consumer paying for a download. Consumers would also know their purchase was directly supporting the content creators they enjoy and effectively cut out the publishing middlemen eating up the content producer’s profits.

Though blockchain technology may, at times, sound a bit hard to conceptualize, digital media distribution really shouldn’t be rocket science. While the zeros and ones behind publishing platforms get more complex, the process for content creators and consumers has simplified and should continue to do so.

The bottom line is content creators who make good quality content that people are willing to pay for deserve a simple and transparent digital media sharing platform that fairly compensates them according to the consumer demand for their work. Media consumers equally deserve the ability to directly support the content creators they enjoy. And blockchain technologies may be the disruptive technology that digital media content distribution needs.

This is a guest post by Matej Michalko, founder and CEO of DECENT. The opinions expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Media or Bitcoin Magazine. 

The post Op Ed: How Blockchain Technology Will Disrupt Digital Content Distribution appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 12:40 pm

Blockchain Technology Plays a Critical Role in U.S. and International Open Government Initiatives

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On September 8, the U.S. government’s General Services Administration (GSA)’s program “Emerging Citizen Technology” hosted a workshop titled “Emerging Technology and Open Data for a More Open Government.” The participants in the workshop were directed to draft proposals that specifically use Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain technology and open data.

“Open data and emerging technologies — including artificial intelligence and distributed ledgers, such as blockchain — hold vast potential to transform public services held back by bureaucracy and outdated IT systems,” said Emerging Citizen Technology program manager Justin Herman. “We are opening the doors to bold, fresh ideas for government accountability, transparency and citizen participation by working with U.S. businesses, civil society groups and others to shape national goals for emerging technologies and open data in public services.”

At the workshop, several government agencies have indicated a strong government backing behind the development of blockchain technology. In particular, a representative of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) stated that the Trump administration was serious about and committed to this technology, and would not be deterred.

The initiative is related to the fourth National Action Plan (NAP 4), which the U.S. government is releasing this year in the the framework of the multinational Open Government Partnership (OGP) and its Open Government Declaration. It is aimed at empowering citizens and advancing the ideals of an open and participatory government.

The September 8 workshop follows the first U.S. Federal Blockchain Forum, organized by the Emerging Citizen Technology program on July 18 to discuss blockchain use cases, limitations and solutions. Financial management, procurement, IT asset and supply chain management, smart contracts, patents, trademarks, copyrights, royalties, government-issued credentials, federal personnel workforce data, appropriated funds, federal assistance, and foreign aid delivery were among the government blockchain use cases discussed at the July 18 workshop. Participation was restricted to federal agencies’ managers.

The Government Blockchain Association participated in the September 8 workshop and shared details, reported by ETHNews, on the topics discussed. In particular, three priority areas were examined: a national identity system based on blockchain and biometric technologies and interoperable across different agencies; an open government innovation initiative aimed at improving the internal operations of government agencies through blockchain technology; and a blockchain open-interface framework to connect government blockchain pilots with external data systems.

The Government Blockchain Association, open to all interested individual, corporate and institutional members, was formed to explore blockchain-based solutions to problems typically faced by government entities.

"We are currently seeing deep and informed interest in blockchain [technology] across many levels of the public sector,” said Gerard Daché, Founder and President of the Government Blockchain Association. “This time next year, I would not be surprised to see dozens of pilots, legislative resolutions, and even funding spread across the various states and high up in the U.S. Federal Government specifically for piloting blockchain based innovation.”

The Association believes that blockchain technology, Bitcoin, distributed ledgers and cryptocurrencies will fundamentally transform how the government interacts with its constituents.

"We don’t believe blockchain adoption in the public sector needs to take over ten years as some suggest it might,” Daché added. "There is an excitement that is palpable so, our goal is to harness this enthusiasm and direct it into working groups that actually influence national, state and large city governmental policies."

The post Blockchain Technology Plays a Critical Role in U.S. and International Open Government Initiatives appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 12:34 pm

Bitcoin Price Analysis: How Rumblings From China Play Into Wyckoff Distributions

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Unless you’ve been in a crypto-free cave for the past week, you might have noticed the crypto-wide market drop.

Last week, rumors of China’s crackdown on BTC to fiat transactions began to spread across the crypto-world. On Monday, mainstream news sources such as The Guardian, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg further supported or confirmed these rumors by releasing articles with the news of a Chinese crackdown on exchanges.

According to Chinese state newspaper Securities Times, “All trading exchanges must by midnight of 15 September publish a notice to make clear when they will stop all cryptocurrency trading and announce a stop to new user registrations." 

Within a day and a half, BTC-USD saw a 15% markdown as the price dropped from $4400 to $3750. After all was said and done, BTC-USD managed to squeeze out one last push before bottoming out around $3000. The bottom was immediately greeted by a strong rally that propelled the price upward by $900.

The price shot down, the price shot up — where does this leave us now?

Figure_1 (7).JPGFigure 1: BTC-USD, 6-Hour Candles, GDAX, Macro Bull Run

Since the beginning of this bull run from $1800, we have established very clear, very strong support and resistance levels along the Fibonacci Retracement set shown above. At the time of this article, BTC-USD is testing the macro 38% retracement line where strong, historic support will prove quite tough to penetrate. With such a large growth in such a short period of time, BTC-USD managed to climb about 150% in market value within the span of about a month.

One idea I’ve been considering during the climbs to toward the ATH is the the Wyckoff trading range schematic shown below:

Figure_2 (7).JPGFigure 2: Wyckoff Trading Range (A great breakdown of schematic details are found here)

Historically, as markets progress through time, they go through phases of accumulation (a phase where investors and traders begin to buy and accumulate assets) and distribution (a phase where traders and investors begin to sell off their accumulated assets). In order words, the market goes up and a bull rally begins, the market begins to top out, and then a bearish rally will bring the prices back down to a comfortable level. It’s a sort of give-and-take in the market as traders begin to place their bets on the future market direction.

In our current case, over the last couple months bitcoin has formed a very similar pattern to Distribution Schematic #1 shown above. The above schematic represents one of the possible ways a market can rise, find its top, and distribute assets to market.

Comparing the schematic above to the the current BTC-USD market pattern, we can see a lot of striking similarities:
Figure_3_again.JPGFigure 3: Wyckoff Schematic Within BTC-USD Trend

The nomenclature for this schematic is found here and is vital to understanding the upcoming discussion.

While a bearish continuation has yet to be confirmed, the most recent price hike this morning seems to fit the last test of the Wyckoff schematic LPSY (Last Point of Supply). The last point of supply is essentially a false rally where those who didn’t have an opportunity to sell on the previous LPSY now have an opportunity and will begin to sell into the more bullish traders who fall victim to a false breakout.

The SOW (sign of weakness) is marked by high sell volume that leads into an AR (automatic rally) where the sell pressure lets up and bullish traders assume a bottom has been hit. The automatic rally is marked by a bullish climb with great ease before finding its top near the previous lines of support shown above in green.

The LPSY is most notably described as a series of peaks and valleys on a fairly narrow spread as the bulls and bears exchange positions. During this LPSY, we will expect to see diminishing volume as the market pushes to new highs and becomes more and more difficult.

A closer view of the current trend reveals we have begun the process of weakening rallies with the LPSY:

Figure_4 (3).JPGFigure 4: BTC-USD, 5-Minute Candles, Bitfinex

Throughout the length of this small trend, we can see diminishing volume on each consecutive push toward new highs. If we manage to continue downward, expect turbulence at the $3000 levels and a possible secondary bounce as the $3000 level offers very strong, historic support.

It should be noted however, even though this current trend has a strong resemblance to the Wyckoff schematic, it is always important to confirm the trend before trading it. As with any market, it is entirely possible that this Wyckoff distribution pattern will fail and bitcoin will manage to continue onward and upward to new highs. A market reversal should definitely not be ruled out as the current market trend is showing a strong sign of uncertainty between the bulls and bears.

Whether the market breaks upward or downward, always confirm the move with strong volume to support a strong move in the direction the trend. Volatility is to be expected, but we approach the market with a level head and objectivity, seeing the proper positional entries and exits will much easier to spot.

Summary:

  1. Strong, bearish news hit the crypto community this week as China announced harsh regulations on the BTC to fiat transactions on exchanges.

  2. Currently BTC is seeing a strong rally off the $3000 levels but is showing signs of waning strength in the upward direction.

  3. A possible macro distribution pattern is unfolding and new lows could be in store for  bitcoin over the next few days and weeks.

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: How Rumblings From China Play Into Wyckoff Distributions appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 15 September 2017 | 4:17 pm

Bitcoin reaches new all-time high: $ 3,000

Posted on 12 June 2017 | 1:06 am

CRYENGINE now accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 29 March 2017 | 1:24 am

Consulting firm EY Switzerland accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 26 November 2016 | 12:47 am

Bitcoin Trading Bots

There have been a wide variety of situations in which algorithmic trading programs have proven to be beneficial for investors. However, investors who only trade a cryptocurrency can also take advantage of bitcoin trading bots. Through bitcoin bot trading, traders can become more flexible and prompt, minimize errors and process information more rapidly. At this… Read More »

Posted on 8 November 2016 | 6:20 pm

Steam accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 29 April 2016 | 1:09 am

Microsoft accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 11 December 2014 | 5:06 am

Mozilla accepting Bitcoin

Posted on 20 November 2014 | 1:55 pm

PayPal and Virtual Currency

Posted on 23 September 2014 | 9:52 pm

Wikimedia Foundation Now Accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 30 July 2014 | 3:14 pm

German Newspaper "taz" accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 22 July 2014 | 1:32 pm

airBaltic - World’s First Airline To Accept Bitcoin

Posted on 22 July 2014 | 11:03 am

Expedia to accept Bitcoin payments for hotel bookings

Posted on 12 June 2014 | 12:41 pm

September 20, 2017 -
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