What Bitcoin Watchers Are Saying After the Surge Past $10,000

Inside The La Maison du Bitcoin Bank As Cryptocurrency Emerges As Zimbabwe's Crisis Currency

What Bitcoin Watchers Are Saying After the Surge Past $10,000

Bitcoin entered uncharted territory on Wednesday after breaching $10,000 for the first time, leaving investors to wonder how long the rally will go — and whether it will end in tears.
 

The digital currency climbed as much as 4.4 percent to a record $10,379.53 during Asia trading hours, capping a more than 10-fold increase this year. Its market value has surpassed $176 billion, according to Coinmarketap.com.
 

Here’s what bitcoin watchers are saying about the dizzying rally.

 

Arthur Hayes at BitMEX

“They said it was a bubble at $1,000, they said it was a bubble at $5,000 and they said it was a bubble at $10,000,” said Hayes, chief executive officer and co-founder of Hong Kong-based BitMEX, a cryptocurrency derivatives venue. “Shorting anything is a very dangerous game, especially if you’re shorting into a transformational monetary system. These transformational experiences happen once every few hundred years and are extremely chaotic.”

What Bitcoin Watchers Are Saying After the Surge Past $10,000

Hayes, who was speaking on the phone from New York after attending the Consensus: Invest cryptocurrency conference, said he saw more people wearing suits than jeans and hoodies — a sign of growing interest on Wall Street.

“The fear of missing out is becoming stronger and stronger,” he said. “The traditional asset manager or investor, banker who has probably poo-pooed bitcoin the past few years is now paying upwards of thousands of dollars to hear about how they can get involved in this new industry.”

Hayes said bitcoin may reach $50,000 by the end of 2018.

 

Stephen Innes at Oanda
 

“I’d be a little bit worried on a falling knife scenario,” said Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at Oanda Corp. in Singapore. “Are current investors prepared for this? No, of course not.”

Longer term, cryptocurrencies will gain more credibility as CME Group Inc. starts selling bitcoin futures and other mainstream institutions get involved, Innes said. For now, he sees a short-term pullback of 3 percent to 6 percent as investors take stock of how much they’ve gained.

“When we’re starting to get into these crazy numbers, I’m a little bit fearful that retail traders are jumping in under the false guise of this will run on forever,” he said. “We know things never go in a straight line.”
 

Jehan Chu at Kenetic Capital
 

“If you look at the kind of trajectory not just of the currency and the price, but really of the mind share among influencers, among governments, among central banks, among enterprises — that’s actually where I see the real guideposts of where the price will go,” said Chu, managing partner at cryptocurrency fund Kenetic Capital in Hong Kong, who first bought bitcoin at about $1,100 in 2013.

“One of the main factors is the settling down of the civil wars that have been raging on,” Chu said, referring to intense debate within the industry over technology upgrades that resulted in the formation of a rival coin called bitcoin cash. “There’s much less drama at the moment at least. One side has disarmed and that has really provided a clear path ahead to show that the ecosystem can grow in a more predictable manner.”

Chu sees some risk of a correction, but not a major one, and said that high prices will ironically serve to draw more institutional interest.
 

Dave Chapman at Octagon Strategy
 

“Now, you’re getting an enormous amount of legitimacy and credibility in the bitcoin protocol,” said Chapman of cryptocurrency trading firm Octagon Strategy in Hong Kong. “Admittedly, there is an element of FOMO (fear of missing out). That’s not entirely healthy for the current market. There is a sizable amount of people investing in bitcoin purely on speculation.”

Chapman sees a correction coming, but is unsure how large it will be.

“I see possibly a correction but then also an immediate bounce-back just owing to the size of the market. People will double down and see it as a buying opportunity.”
 

Gavin Yeung at Cryptomover

“Owning a whole bitcoin is now a status symbol,” said Yeung, CEO of Hong Kong-based investment company Cryptomover. “We are coming to see that bitcoin itself is a Veblen good. The higher the price, the more desirable the product is to the general public.”
 

Lewis Fellas at Bletchley Park Asset Management
 

“The principal driver has been the proposed CME futures contract, which has really woken up Wall Street,” said Fellas, chief investment officer at Bletchley Park Asset Management, which invests in cryptocurrencies. “The secondary driver is media coverage. It’s fueling a fear-of-missing-out as we set successive new highs, luring people in for a quick profit ahead of the futures contract.”

The risk of a near-term retreat is real as regulators could still block or delay the proposed futures, Fellas said. “A delay or ‘no’ could easily trigger a 30 to 40 percent correction.”

Authors: Eric Lam and Justina Lee 29 November 2017, 04:42 GMT
With assistance by Andrea Tan

 

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Bitcoin nears $10,000 mark as hedge funds plough in

Bitcoin nears $10,000 mark as hedge funds plough in

Bitcoin nears $10,000 mark as hedge funds plough in

  • Cryptocurrency now worth seven times an ounce of gold, with market cap higher than IBM, McDonald’s or Disney – but analysts warn of ‘a huge bubble’
  • Bitcoin mining consumes more electricity than Ireland

Bitcoin has hit a record high after passing $9,000 (£6,700) and is close to reaching five figures as investors in the cryptocurrency shrug off warnings of a bubble.

The cryptocurrency rose to an all-time high of $9,721 on Monday. It is now worth more than seven times an ounce of gold, which is seen as a haven in times of turmoil.

In a remarkable rally, bitcoin started the year at $1,000 and smashed through $5,000 in October.

Analysts said the decision by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) to launch bitcoin futures in December had fuelled buying, but also warned of the dangers of a speculative bubble building. The digital currency has gained more than 50% since the CME announced its decision on 31 October.

Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital, said: “The legitimacy this gives bitcoin as a tradeable asset is very important. The market cap of bitcoin now exceeds that of IBM, Disney [or] McDonald’s.”

The value of the 16.7m bitcoin units in circulation has exceeded $160bn.

screenshot-www.theguardian.com-2017-11-28-07-56-19-584

Warning of looming pain for bitcoin buyers, Wilson added: “But for traditionalists, it’s hard to fathom. Rather than a commodity or currency, bitcoin is like owning stock in a company that will only ever issue 21m shares and never pay a penny in dividends.

“The only way it has value is if the next guy is willing to pay you more for it – the greater fool. With no intrinsic value to bitcoin, it’s hard to see this as anything other than a giant speculative bubble.”

Bitcoin is a virtual currency that emerged in the aftermath of the financial crisis. It allows people to bypass banks and traditional payment processes to pay for goods and services.

Banks and other financial institutions have been concerned about bitcoin’s early associations with money laundering and online crime, and it has not been adopted by any government.

The price has been volatile. Bitcoin plunged below $3,000 in mid-September after the Chinese authorities announced a crackdown. To help rein in some of that volatility, CME will not allow the trading of bitcoin futures at prices 20% above or below the settlement price from the previous day.

screenshot-www.theguardian.com-2017-11-28-07-58-59-094

Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at the online foreign exchange broker FXTM, said bitcoin was showing no signs of slowing.

It is not just retail investors buying the cryptocurrency. Many hedge funds have also decided to include it in their portfolios and, according to CNBC, the financial news service, there are more than 120 funds investment devoted to cryptocurrencies.

Sayed said it was almost impossible to give the cryptocurrency a fair value based on fundamentals, but added that there had been a strong correlation between the price of bitcoin and number of users opening new wallets.

He added: “Given that number of users haven’t exceeded 0.1% of the global population, there’s still more potential for this momentum trade to continue. Whether the price will be justified in the foreseeable future, depends on the adoption and the application of the new currency, but so far it still looks unstoppable.”

The starkest warning has come from the JP Morgan chief executive, Jamie Dimon, who said bitcoin was a fraud that would ultimately blow up.

There has been a boom in initial coin offerings (ICOs), in which new cryptocurrencies are launched into the market – often backed by a celebrity, such as the American socialite Paris Hilton and the boxing champion Floyd Mayweather.

ICOs have come under increased scrutiny from regulators, owing to fears that investors are not properly protected. David Futter, a partner in the digital economy at the law firm Ashurst, predicts that scrutiny will intensify.

Source Gaurdian Business UK

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Bitcoin cracks $9,600 just hours after breaking $9,000 level

Bitcoin cracks $9,600 just hours after breaking $9,000 level

Bitcoin cracks $9,600 just hours after breaking $9,000 level

  • Bitcoin surged to yet another new record high on Monday
  • The cryptocurrency jumped to an all-time high of $9,671.84 hours after cracking the $9,400 level on Sunday
  • The digital currency has risen some 869 percent year-to-date
  • Bitcoin surged to yet another new record high on Monday, breaking a record set during the Thanksgiving weekend stateside.

The cryptocurrency jumped to an all-time high of $9,671.84 hours after cracking the $9,400 level on Sunday, according to industry site CoinDesk. It later pared some gains to trade at $9,631.21 at 10:00 a.m. HK/SIN, rising some 3.27 percent on the day.

"The move appears to be retail driven," said Brian Kelly, a CNBC contributor and CEO of BKCM, which runs a digital assets strategy.

The largest bitcoin exchange in the U.S., Coinbase, added about 100,000 accounts between Wednesday and Friday — just around Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday — to a total of 13.1 million. That's according to public data available on Coinbase's website and historical records compiled by Alistair Milne, co-founder and chief investment officer of Altana Digital Currency Fund. Coinbase had about 4.9 million users last November, Milne's data showed.

The surge in interest also comes on the back of CME's announcement that it will list bitcoin futures in the second week of December. The launch of a derivatives product for the digital currency will mark another step in establishing bitcoin as a legitimate asset class.

Still, with the digital currency having risen by some 869 percent year-to-date, plenty have taken to pointing out the potential pitfalls of what they see as a price bubble.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon in October warned that those "stupid" enough to buy bitcoin will ultimately "pay the price for it." He added that he did not comprehend the value of currencies that were not backed by a government and that "[t]he only value of bitcoin is what the other guy'll pay for it."

Still, many others have offered a more moderate assessment for bitcoin and its ascent. Khaldoon Al Mubarak, the head of Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment Company, said people ought to be open-minded when looking at the digital currency.

More recently, a poll among chief financial officers on CNBC's Global CFO Council showed 27.9 percent of 43 respondents thought bitcoin was "real but in a bubble" while 27.9 percent thought the cryptocurrency was a "fraud." Just 14 percent of the executives said bitcoin was "real and going higher."
 

Author: Evelyn Cheng

 

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Rise of Bitcoins causes stir but questions linger

Anthony Mburu and his fiancée Elizabeth John at Nation Centre on November 22, 2017 for an interview. Mburu paid part of his dowry using Bitcoin

Rise of Bitcoins causes stir but questions linger

Anthony Mburu and his fiancée Elizabeth John who recently attracted curiosity when he paid part of his dowry using Bitcoins, a form of digital currency, in Naivasha Kenya,considers himself a non-conformist.

Having quit university in 2010 after just one semester of his engineering course, 26-year-old Anthony Mburu does not fancy formal education, for instance.

“Formal education is good. It will give you an average life. You’ll eat, have your mortgage, car loan and all that — live an average life; struggle through life to the end,” he opined.

WALUBENGO: Kenya's uneasy dance with Bitcoin

DOWRY

He currently makes a living out of “mining” Bitcoins and he says that is the source of income that has enabled him buy a parcel of land in Naivasha, stay in a rented house and has given him something to buy and maintain his car among other fortunes.

“Everything is Bitcoin. Where I live, Bitcoin; what I drive, Bitcoin; investment, Bitcoin,” he said.

The computer-generated currency, he says, enabled him pay part of his dowry.

On November 11, as he headed to the home of his fiancée Elizabeth Chege in Naivasha, he had already negotiated with his in-laws that the goats portion of his dowry be settled with Bitcoins.

MOBILE APPLICATION

There are some components of the dowry process he paid for in hard cash.

His father-in-law, John Thion’go Chege, a retired KenGen employee, bought the idea.

They helped him download a mobile phone application that works as a Bitcoin wallet.

“We told him, ‘You just receive this and keep it. In a few months, you will have double the dowry. And if you keep [real] goats, they’ll still be the same goats,’” Mr Mburu said.

Ms Chege, the 6th born in a family of nine children, said her parents did not ask many questions despite the fact that Bitcoin is not a well-known concept in Kenya.

“They can’t refuse because they believe in me,” she said.

CBK

Mr Mburu’s unprecedented action has drawn mixed reactions since Bitcoin is a currency the Central Bank of Kenya has told the public to eschew because it is not backed by any regulator.

In a recent interview, Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge reiterated his disdain for Bitcoin, saying the way the currency’s value has shot up is proof that it could be a Ponzi scheme.

“Our point is that there is risk and it is important that everybody knows that those risks can come back to haunt us and have financial stability concerns,” Dr Njoroge said.

VALUE

Those who are in Dr Njoroge’s school of thought have been criticising the Bitcoin dowry deal.

“Ikicollapse nayo? Give back the bride…” a commentator on NTV’s YouTube channel joked.

Another viewer wrote: “That family better cash in on those Bitcoins. The Bitcoin bubble will burst… Eventually.”

But the currency is fast gaining prominence in Kenya as many people try their luck with this fortune whose value has been sharply rising, much that by Saturday , one Bitcoin was selling for close to Sh900,000 locally.

The value was barely Sh10,000 a year ago.

On the global scale, one Bitcoin was selling at $8,480 (Sh875,984).

SELLERS

On Saturday afternoon on localBitcoins.com, one of the platforms where Bitcoins are sold by Kenyans to other Kenyans, there were at least 10 active sellers.

One in Nairobi was selling 0.150544 of a Bitcoin for Sh140,000, which they wanted to be sent to him via M-Pesa.

Another one in Nakuru wanted Sh250,000 sent to his bank account before he could load any willing buyer’s Bitcoin account with 0.26153363 of Bitcoin.

There are many ways of making money though Bitcoin, and Mr Mburu’s preferred way is through “mining”.

PURCHASE SHARES

He is a member of Bitclub Network, which helps Kenyans and other people across the globe buy shares in the Bitcoin enterprise.

The Kenyan chapter of the club, which has more than 1,000 members, meets in Nairobi every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Asked what one needs to do to get into mining, Mr Mburu replied:

“Just buy shares. The company dealing with that is Bitclub Network. And one unit is going for $599 (Sh61,876).

"So, you buy Bitcoins worth that much and buy that mining capacity; like you buy a machine. It’s a real machine called Antminer S9.”

He adds: “Once you buy it, it’s stored in our facility in Iceland, and there’s a 30-day period of paying that you’ll not be earning.”

GOATS

Ever since he discovered Bitcoin — which he says brings him at least $5,000 (Sh515,500) per month — he has not looked back and he is planning for a wedding in April 2018. “It will be a Bitcoin wedding,” he said.

Mr Mburu was also dismissive of those who say he might have taken his in-laws for a ride.

“They don’t know what it is. Bitcoin has been there, and it’s going nowhere,” he said.

The Bitcoins he paid were and equivalent of 25 goats. He still has 75 to go “which are yet to be paid in Bitcoins” as he put it.

GROWTH

His fiancée runs a clothes shop in Nairobi and she has also been accepting payment via Bitcoin, though the mode of exchange is yet to gain ground in Kenya.

Mr Michael Kimani, the chairman of the Blockchain Association of Kenya, has been dealing with cryptocurrencies since 2012 and says the field will grow exponentially.

“A lot of opportunities are going to emerge from this and I’m trying to position myself with this industry because I honestly think in the next five years, this is going to be so big that people will forget how we used to live without cryptocurrency,” he said.

 

Author: ELVIS ONDIEKI

 

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Holding Strong – Failed Price Breakdown a Boon for Bitcoin Bulls

Holding Strong - Failed Price Breakdown a Boon for Bitcoin Bulls

Holding Strong – Failed Price Breakdown a Boon for Bitcoin Bulls

Bitcoin has witnessed decent two-way business in the last 24 hours.

A drop below $8,000 during the Asian day was quickly undone and the world's largest cryptocurrency by market value once again approached record highs, hitting $8,333 this morning.

At press time, bitcoin is changing hands at $8,228, according to CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index.

As per CoinMarketCap, the bitcoin-U.S. dollar (BTC/USD) exchange rate has appreciated by 1.13 percent in the last 24 hours. Meanwhile, the total trading volume in the last 24 hours was $5 billion, the highest since Nov. 16.

The price action analysis indicates the failed breakdown below $8,000 may be costly for the bears.

4 hour Chart
Holding Strong - Failed Price Breakdown a Boon for Bitcoin Bulls
The chart above shows:

Failed breakdown: BTC witnessed a solid rebound from the upward sloping 50-MA and is back in the rising channel.

The relative strength index (RSI) holds above 50.00 (bullish territory).

1-hour chart
Holding Strong - Failed Price Breakdown a Boon for Bitcoin Bulls

The descending trend line seen on the chart above has been breached as well, suggesting there is scope for a rally.

View

The charts suggest a rally to new all-time highs around $8,600 (rising channel ceiling) is possible. The 10-day moving average (MA) is sloping upwards, suggesting dips below the same could be short-lived. Currently, the 10-day MA stands at $7,949 levels.

However, multiple 4-hour closes below $7,900 levels would warrant caution on the part of the bulls. In such a case, a deeper pullback to sub-$7,600 could be seen.

 

 

Author Omkar Godbole Nov 24, 2017 at 12:15 UTC

 

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The current state of Bitcoin and Ethereum

The current state of Bitcoin and Ethereum

The current state of Bitcoin and Ethereum

While Bitcoin currently bears more resemblance to digital gold than digital cash — with its congested pending transactions log rendering it practically useless as a currency since the cancelled fork two weeks ago — the Ethereum network is looking healthier than ever and in a good position to come out of the ongoing currency war successful.

Bitcoin has been dominating both crypto and mainstream news lately, even more so than usual, with mad volatility due to its continuous fork drama and rumours of free money for anyone holding it. Bitcoin breaking new all-time highs almost on a daily basis certainly doesn’t do anything to decrease the attention.

With this one-sided media coverage, it’s no wonder no one outside the small crypto community knows that Ethereum is regularly handling around twice the daily transactions of Bitcoin, and more than most other leading cryptos combined, that Ethereum’s transfers are extremely fast compared to Bitcoin’s, or that its median transaction fees are nearly 59 times cheaper.

Some Bitcoin maximalists are calling the high transaction fees a feature. Some also say that the fact that BTC collects $1.5 million a day in fees, against ETH’s measly $200,000, is a clear indicator of real world value as it shows that people are willing to spend more money to get onto the BTC blockchain.

However, there is a difference in being willing to spend more money and being forced to. Lately, Bitcoin has lived up to its name as a great store of value, although not for the right reasons. Since the cancellation of Segwit2x, people have simply been unable to move their funds in or out. With a ridiculous number of transactions constantly waiting to be mined, you better be prepared to pay up if you want to get your transaction through in reasonable time.

In its current state, Bitcoin isn’t much more than a speculation vehicle, something to be bought and sold on exchanges (whose trades happen off-chain and therefore aren’t affected by the long confirmation times). Few people need to use it. There aren’t many companies building on it. It’s not even useable as payment anymore. But maybe it doesn’t have to be either. Maybe we should be looking at Bitcoin and other coins and tokens as an entirely new asset class, something we don’t fully understand the implications of yet.

While there are many other blockchains claiming to be able to supersede Ethereum on all of the above areas, with EOS being most vocal about it, personally I’m a bit tired of hearing about what all the projects out there could revolutionize some day.

The discussion should no longer just be about which blockchain can handle more transactions faster and cheaper, but also about which one is actually seeing the numbers required to prove its capabilities right now. There’s currently no other project competing with Ethereum when it comes to the sheer number of use cases, and developers and companies building cool stuff on top of it. Some of these teams will be building the new backend of the internet, nothing less.

The current state of Bitcoin and Ethereum
After months of poking Etherium with a stick it’s finally showing signs of life again.

If Metcalfe’s law and the high activity levels on the Ethereum platform can be used as any reference, the Ether price is currently heavily suppressed. Over the past week it has finally started to see some upwards movement though, moving from the safe haven that has been $300 for so long now, and just passed $400 at the time of writing.

Over the last few months, investors speculators have found comfort in the fact that price stability, consolidation, and steady long term gains are usually signs of strong fundamentals, however the past few days have regained confidence in the platform, bringing back the optimism from Ether’s last bull run back in May.

Considering that public Ethereum doesn’t have any major dapps live yet, it’s going to be interesting to see how the network scales with the increase in transactions that will come as more and more applications launch in 2018 — especially if traffic really starts picking up before Casper and other scaling measures get implemented. Right now though, the beloved and hated ICO is still arguably Ethereum’s killer app and ETH’s value is, just like BTC’s, purely a speculative one.

 

Author: TROND VIDAR BJORØY

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
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Bitcoin and Etherium Miner

 

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Crypto bull sees bitcoin at $11 500

Crypto bull sees bitcoin at $11 500

Crypto bull sees bitcoin at $11 500

The bitcoin bulls are charging. A day after hedge fund manager Mike Novogratz said the cryptocurrency will end the year at US$10 000, Fundstrat’s Thomas Lee doubled his price target to $11 500 by the middle of 2018 — a 40% gain from current levels.

Lee, who heads research at Fundstrat, said a 10% pullback earlier this month triggered by the controversial cancellation of an upgrade to bitcoin’s underlying software has set the stage for the coming surge.

The November slump “cleaned up weak hands”, Lee wrote Wednesday in a note to clients that almost doubled his last forecast. The strategist had warned earlier in the month that bitcoin’s rally to $7 000 from $3 500 raised the likelihood for a short-term pullback. “We no longer feel caution is warranted,” he said.

Bitcoin rose 1.2% to $8 230.12 as of 11.05am in New York, about $100 short of its all-time high set on Tuesday after Novogratz’s comments. The most popular cryptocurrency has surged more than seven-fold since December, surpassing $8 000 for the first time this week.

The ride to records hasn’t been straight up for the virtual asset, with three separate slumps of more than 25% all giving way to subsequent rallies this year.

“We recommend steady buying of bitcoin at these levels,” Lee said in the Wednesday report. Fundstrat also boosted its price target for the Bitcoin Investment Trust, an over-the-counter security that offers investors exposure to bitcoin. Lee predicts it will trade at $1 300 by mid-2018, up from his prior target of $800.

Reported by Lily Katz, (c) 2017 Bloomberg LP

 

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Warning Signs About Another Giant Bitcoin Exchange

Phil Potter is the chief strategy officer of Bitfinex, an unregulated virtual currency exchange. Its size and impact worry even advocates of virtual currencies.CreditChristopher Goodney/Bloomberg

Warning Signs About Another Giant Bitcoin Exchange

SAN FRANCISCO — As the price of Bitcoin has soared, the virtual currency has edged toward the mainstream.

Square, the fast-growing payments company run by the Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, has begun selling Bitcoins to ordinary consumers, and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange will soon allow banks to trade on the value of Bitcoin.

But if you want to see where the price of Bitcoin is actually determined in round-the-clock bidding, you have to go to a number of unregulated exchanges that often fly in the face of American and European laws.

These days, no exchange is bigger than Bitfinex, an opaque operation that provides no information on its website about where it is or who operates the company.

Bitfinex, which is officially incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, has been fined by regulators in the United States and cut off by American banks, and it has lost millions of dollars of customer money in two separate hackings, leading critics to question whether it even has the money it claims to hold.

In the latest blow, on Tuesday, an alternative virtual currency that is owned and operated by the same people as Bitfinex, known as Tether, announced that it had been hacked and lost around $30 million worth of digital tokens.

None of that has been enough to stop customers from pumping billions of dollars worth of virtual currency trades through Bitfinex in recent weeks — on some days, the exchange claimed to be doing more trades, by dollar value, than some stock exchanges in the United States.

Even many people who believe in virtual currencies worry that the mixture of loose controls and booming trading at the world’s largest exchange is likely to cause trouble for all the investors piling into virtual currencies, even those who don’t go near Bitfinex.

22BITFINEX-2-jumbo
On some days, Bitfinex claims to carry more transactions, in dollar volume, than major stock exchanges.Credit

 

“I’m worried about the systemic risk that this centralized company poses, and I’m worried that if they go down, they will take down the space with them,” said Emin Gün Sirer, a computer science professor at Cornell University, who has a track record of successfully predicting problems in the growing virtual currency industry.

The chief executive of Bitfinex and Tether, Jan Ludovicus van der Velde, said in an email on Tuesday that “the financial position of the company has never been stronger.”

Concerns over virtual currency exchanges are nothing new. The first and largest Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, collapsed in 2014 after losing $500 million of customer money to hackers.

This year, law enforcement took down another large Bitcoin exchange, BTC-E, which was accused of being a way station for many of the Bitcoin flowing through online black markets and ransomware attacks.

Regulators in the United States and a few other countries have tried to tame the business, and the largest exchanges in the United States and Japan are now under official oversight.

Those regulated exchanges, though, are dwarfed by unregulated ones like Bitfinex and several that have popped up in South Korea, where regulators have been slow to act.

The liquid nature of the Bitcoin markets, flowing around national borders and laws, is a product of the virtual currency’s unusual structure. Bitcoin is stored and moved through a decentralized network of computers that are not under the control of any single company or government.

 

Author: Nathaniel Popper Nov. 21, 2017

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
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Bitcoin vs. Bitcoin Cash – Can Both Survive

Bitcoin vs. Bitcoin Cash - Can Both Survive

Bitcoin vs. Bitcoin Cash: Can Both Survive?

Industry leaders comment on which will dominate the market: Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash.

You could be forgiven for thinking Bitcoin Cash was dead; the currency had slumped to about $600 before a sudden revival last week caused the price to soar to $2,600 while simultaneously knocking Bitcoin down a few notches.

As a brief recap, Bitcoin recorded a new all-time high of about $7,800 on Wednesday, November 8 followed by a downward trend, which saw Bitcoin fall by nearly 30 percent to under $5,630 by Sunday, November 12. The root of this was that the Bitcoin community couldn’t reach a consensus to proceed with the proposed SegWit2x hard fork. However, it didn’t take long for Bitcoin to return to its previous values and seek new highs.

The discussions of a hard fork finds its root in the one megabyte block size limit that the original developer of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, set to make the digital currency more secure. Given the limit of only 21 million Bitcoins, Satoshi most likely didn’t envisage that Bitcoin will be as huge and valuable as it is today. That’s certainly understandable since nothing like it had ever existed.

However, now that the digital currency has become more popular than Satoshi probably envisaged, the currency is dealing with the modesty of its original design. Bitcoin’s lack of capacity has led to the growing amount of time it takes to process Bitcoin transactions. Those who would like to have their transactions confirmed in a timely manner have to pay relatively more transaction fee as an incentive for transaction validators (miners) to prioritize their transactions.

According to a website that tracks Bitcoin fees, the current “fastest and cheapest transaction fee is currently 770 satoshis/byte.” For reference, a comment on BitcoinTalk pointed out that the recommended fee (same as the fastest and cheapest fee) as of January 2017 was 120 satoshis. That’s over 500 percent increase in the recommended transaction fee since the beginning of the year.

This is contrary to the promise of speed and affordability that has been publicized as one of the advantages that Bitcoin offers over the traditional ways of conducting financial transactions.

The aim of the shelved SegWit2x hard fork was to solve these challenges by increasing the amount of transaction data that each block can handle to two megabytes. Once this fork was cancelled, some investors grew weary and pulled out of Bitcoin and moved into Bitcoin Cash, a digital currency that resulted from a Bitcoin hard fork in August.

Bitcoin Cash recorded an all-time high of over $2,500 when Bitcoin was falling on November 12. Considering that the scaling limitations inherent in the Bitcoin system still lie unfixed, coupled with the social buzz around Bitcoin Cash, investors are likely to be worried about what the future holds for Bitcoin. Here are some thoughts from industry experts.

 

The Lack of Consensus Makes Bitcoin Vulnerable To Big Money Manipulation

According to DNX Community CEO Conradie Graeme, the failure to push the SegWit2x hard fork through is a setback for Bitcoin.

“Everyone is focused on scalability issues, but I believe there’s a bigger vulnerability issue about Bitcoin Think about it, as it stands, if you can afford to pay more in transaction fee, you can have your transactions confirmed quickly and there is no limit to the amount of Bitcoin you can buy or sell. And in reality, it’s only the big money investors/traders who can afford to pay more in transaction fees. So in theory, big money can pump and dump Bitcoin using the unfair advantage of being able to get their transactions confirmed quickly by paying more. They can dump before anyone else to take profits. This could mean that Bitcoin will remain highly volatile and high volatility could hinder it from ever becoming huge in the digital payment space.”

 

Bitcoin’s Value Will Decline

Maksim Balashevich, CEO and Founder of Santiment, believes that Bitcoin will drop in value.

There is always time to accumulate and then also time to reduce the risks. #bitcoin is risky now more than rewardy #cryptocurrency pic.twitter.com/FC2PnhX3bZ

— Santiment (@santimentfeed) November 7, 2017

Santiment believes Bitcoin’s value will drop, being redistributed among other ‘cash payments protocols’ such as Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Dash, Monero and Ripple. He adds:

“The Bitcoin Core [developers] (and Blockstream) should feel the real pressure and pain for what they’ve been denying for too long time. Once this pain is obvious and on all discussion boards, we might find the way for relief.”

 

There’s Room for Coexistence

Eric Jackson, CEO and Co-Founder, CapLinked, on the other hand, believes that Bitcoin’s widespread institutional support and adoption means that it will likely be here to stay, adding that its recent price rebound confirms that. That doesn’t mean Bitcoin Cash has no chance. Here are his words:

“I also believe that it is possible for Bitcoin Cash to coexist with Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s appreciation over the past half-decade has turned it into a store of value more comparable to gold than a currency. The very notion that Wall Street is developing derivatives of Bitcoin also suggests that it is on its way to becoming the world’s first digital commodity. Bitcoin has smaller block sizes and higher transaction fees compared to [Bitcoin Cash], making [Bitcoin Cash] mechanically better suited as a payment option than Bitcoin. Thus, assuming the rise of [Bitcoin Cash] is in part due to the need for a more flexible digital payment mechanism, I think there is room in the world for both.”

Clem Chambers, CEO of global stocks and shares website ADVFN also shares the view that several digital currencies can coexist:

“There is room in the market for both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, and for that matter many other coins including eccentric issues like Bitcoin Gold. In classic coinage, there are many denominations for the very same reason that there will be many different cryptocoin denominations. There are also many different currencies on top of denominations and for that matter an infinite set of designs. Cryptocurrency will follow a similar path.”

At press time, Bitcoin is trading at an all time high of just under $8300.
 

Author: Craig Adeyanju 11/21/2017 – 04:39

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Roger Ver Declares Bitcoin Cash to Be True Bitcoin, Market Forces Bring More Attention

Roger Ver Declares Bitcoin Cash to Be True Bitcoin, Market Forces Bring More Attention

Roger Ver Declares Bitcoin Cash to Be True Bitcoin, Market Forces Bring More Attention

Earlier this year, divergent groups within the original Bitcoin community could not agree on a particular protocol to be implemented in scaling the platform. Those who sought bigger blocks therefore hard forked away from Bitcoin and created Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

Battle for supremacy

Since the creation of Bitcoin Cash in August 2017, there has been a tug on both sides of the divide and many key players and stakeholders have publicly taken sides based on reasons that are peculiar to them.

After the hard fork, Bitcoin Cash followed a general downward trend following its initial surge post-creation, while Bitcoin continued to smash the roof and set new record-highs repeatedly. Recently, Bitcoin retraced significantly over a short period of time – about $2,300 in just a few days. The difference between this dip and previous corrections was the corresponding surge in value of Bitcoin Cash which many people see as a direct rival to Bitcoin.

This Bitcoin Cash surge has caused formerly-neutral trading platforms like eToro to add Bitcoin Cash to their platform, with members paying a closer attention to developments around the cryptocurrency.

Which is the real Bitcoin?

Roger Ver is known as ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ due to the fervour with which he preached the Bitcoin gospel in its early days, but now appears as the main face behind Bitcoin Cash. He insists that his version of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin Cash, is the future of Bitcoin.

Ver tells Cointelegraph:

“Bitcoin Cash is the real Bitcoin and will have the bigger market cap, trade volume and user base in the future.”

Currently, Bitcoin Cash has a market cap that is just about one-fifth that of Bitcoin, a daily trading volume of over half and a circulating supply that is slightly higher when compared to Bitcoin. Following the recent price fluctuations, the crypto community is beginning to pay closer attention to Bitcoin Cash.

Challenges are essential for growth

The CEO of Netcoins, Michael Vogel, sees Bitcoin and cryptocurrency as the world's largest and most ambitious open source project. The closest parallel, according to Vogel, is the open source nature of Linux, which is notorious for the sparring that happens between the backers of different versions of the software. Vogel believes that the rivalry between different camps of the Bitcoin community is just a temporary roadblock that will lead to a more robust and resilient technology.

Vogel says:

“I do not think the challenges and in-fighting between various crypto camps are a bad thing. In another way we're effectively witnessing democracy in action. These are, in part, simply growing pains of a new technology, but by blasting through these roadblocks Bitcoin also becomes more robust and resilient. This is why, in my opinion, Bitcoin continued to rally to all-time highs after the Bitcoin Cash fork during the summer; Bitcoin users have realized that "Bitcoin is still Bitcoin" any time a new fork occurs.”

Deliberate market influence

Dana L. Coe, Director at BitLox, sees the current situation as a deliberate action of market makers who are taking advantage of the tender stage of the crypto ecosystem. Coe tells Cointelegraph that the activity between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash is pure market volatility driven by rumors and speculation, which essentially drives all markets. However, he notes that in this case one can easily observe the market makers as they are quite obvious. This is especially so, as we have seen Bitcoin recover fully from the fall in price and subsequently break the $8,000 mark.

Coe says:

“The cryptosphere has come a long way, but let us not forget that compared to the economy as a whole, it is still small. Therefore, when actors from the larger national economies take an interest, crypto prices are most certainly to be subject to outsized influences. In the end, Bitcoin will stand or fall on the faith of it’s users and it’s users alone.”
 

Still more to come

Apparently, there is genuine attention being paid to the two most expensive cryptocurrencies at the moment. Most proponents have taken to social media to show support or criticize either Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash, depending on which one they support.

Immediately after the hard fork, exchanges such as Bittrex, Kraken, ViaBitcoin and Bter all listed Bitcoin Cash on their platforms, after which its adoption seemed to have reached a plateau. But with more trading platforms listing Bitcoin Cash in the wake of its biggest push since creation, it is only normal to expect more developments around the community as time goes on.
 

Author: Iyke Aru

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member