Tag Archives: Cryptocurrency

Analysts Blame Gold’s Fall On Bitcoin’s Rise

Analysts Blame Gold’s Fall On Bitcoin’s Rise

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As bitcoin’s price has surged, gold has suffered. Some market analysts see a correlation. Gold and bitcoin have both been viewed as safe havens for capital during periods of uncertainty for asset values. 

GDX price for the last three months. Source: Ycharts.com

As bitcoin’s price has soared, some analysts think investors are favoring bitcoin as an investment, causing gold to lose value.

Gold Hits Low Point

GDX, an exchange-traded fund for gold miners, has lost 15% of its value since September while gold prices have fallen to its July low point.

Larry McDonald, who oversees U.S. macro strategy at ACG Analytics, said gold’s declines have been accompanied by lower bond yields, a situation the strategist calls unusual.

McDonald told CNBC that every time rates have declined in the last two years, gold has increased. There has been an 82% correlation between bonds and gold prices, he said, but this past week, that correlation dissolved. He pointed to bitcoin as the cause for this.

The growth of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies could bring an even greater downside for gold, McDonald said.

Also read: 51% of respondents choose bitcoin over gold and fiat; Ron Paul survey

Bitcoin Eats Into Gold

Cryptocurrencies currently have a market capitalization equal to 23% of liquid tradeable gold, McDonald said. That figure has increased 2% or 3% over a year ago, so cryptocurrencies are definitely eating into the gold.

While gold has declined more than 2% in the last month, bitcoin has more than doubled its value.

Sunday’s launch of the CBOE bitcoin futures took bitcoin to close to $16,800 by Monday morning. Gold, meanwhile, has remained near its July lows.

Phillip Streible, a senior market strategist at RJO Futures, said bitcoin futures contracts will hold a key indicator for gold’s future. If bitcoin futures collapse, gold will gain, he said on CNBC’s “Power Lunch.” Gold will regain its attraction as a safe haven store of value.

CME, another exchange, will launch its bitcoin futures on Dec. 18.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Chris Corey CMO Markethive.com

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Contributor: Lester Coleman on 12/12/2017

 

 

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Traditional Money on the Decline Amid Rising Interest in Digital Currencies

Paying with traditional banknotes is on the decline as interest in contactless payments and digital currencies rises.

That’s according to the co-founder of the Sohn Conference Foundation. Speaking with CNBC on the sidelines of the Sohn Conference in London, Evan Sohn said that a world without fiat money is quickly approaching, adding:

How far are we from a restaurant that says we only take online payment? If you eat here, you have to download this application and we only take electronic payment, no cash here, no check.

Even though most payments are still conducted with cash, Sohn thinks that we’re not far away from facing a reality that doesn’t include traditional banknotes.

These feelings similarly mimic those of venture capital investor Tim Draper, who believes that digital currencies, such as bitcoin, will replace fiat currency in five years time. At a conference in Portugal, last month, Draper explained:

In five years, if you try to use fiat currency they will laugh at you. Bitcoin and other cryptocurriences will be so relevant … there will be no reason to have the fiat currencies.

According to Draper, the fiat system will eventually disappear as more people turn to bitcoin and ethereum. He also believes that at some point all the digital currencies – currently numbering 1,025 – will interrelate making it simple to use them across borders compared to traditional money.

With the digital currency market increasing in value more interest will naturally turn to investing in them. At present, bitcoin’s is trading around $10,700, recovering from an earlier dip in price that saw it drop to $9,200 earlier this week, amid volatile trading. Whereas, ethereum is hovering around $461, according to CoinMarketCap.

Yet, even though bitcoin is rising in value, its acceptance at retail stores or even restaurants remains limited. Not only that, but with bitcoin’s value continuing its upward trajectory people are more than likely going to hold on to their coins rather than spend them.

One country that has embraced bitcoin payments is Japan. In May, it was reported that around 300,000 retailers and companies in the country may accept the digital currency in 2017. Earlier in the year, Japan imposed legislative changes accepting bitcoin as a legal form of payment, further highlighting bitcoin’s growing popularity in the country.

Sohn adds, though, that while he believes fiat currency will be replaced, he’s not sure if that will be by bitcoin, ethereum, Mastercard or something else, adding:

Chris Corey CMO Markethive Inc

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Contributor: Rebecca Campbell

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin hits record high after developers call off plans to split digital currency

Bitcoin hits record high after developers call off plans to split digital currency

  • Bitcoin was scheduled to upgrade around Nov. 16 following a proposal called SegWit2x, which would have split the digital currency in two.
  • However, more and more major bitcoin developers dropped their support for the upgrade in the last few months.
  • Developers behind SegWit2x announced Wednesday they are calling off plans for the upgrade until there is more agreement in the bitcoin community.

 

Bitcoin developers call off SegWit2x upgrade, avoiding hard fork  2 Hours Ago | 00:49

Bitcoin jumped Wednesday after the developers behind an upcoming split in the digital currency through an upgrade called SegWit2x announced they were suspending plans for the upgrade.

The digital currency hit a record high of $7,879.06, according to CoinDesk. Bitcoin gave up much of those gains Wednesday afternoon to trade near $7,212 after hitting a session low of $7,078.96.

The SegWit2x upgrade was scheduled to take effect around November 16 in an effort to increase the speed and cost of bitcoin transactions. However, more and more major bitcoin developers dropped their support in the last few months.

Bitcoin in the last 24 hours

Source: CoinDesk

"Our goal has always been a smooth upgrade for Bitcoin," a group of leaders in bitcoin development told members of the SegWit2x mailing list Wednesday. "Unfortunately, it is clear that we have not built sufficient consensus for a clean blocksize upgrade at this time. Continuing on the current path could divide the community and be a setback to Bitcoin's growth. This was never the goal of Segwit2x."

As fees rise for bitcoin transactions, the developers said they hoped the digital currency community could find agreement on how to solve the problem. "Until then, we are suspending our plans for the upcoming 2MB upgrade."

The statement ended with the names of six major figures in the bitcoin business community:

BitGo CEO Mike Belshe, Xapo CEO Wences Casares, Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu, BloqInc co-founder Jeff Garzik, Blockchain CEO and co-founder Peter Smith and ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees.

For most of this year, investors have had a negative view on bitcoin splits out of uncertainty over the digital currency's future. However, since bitcoin rose to record highs after its August split into bitcoin and bitcoin cash, investors began betting that subsequent splits would send the price of the original bitcoin higher. Investors at the time of a split also technically receive an equivalent amount of the offshoot currency.

Bitcoin cash traded mildly higher near $619 Wednesday, according to CoinMarketCap. Another digital currency, ethereum, rose about 4.5 percent to $307.55, according to CoinDesk.

Chris Corey CMO MarketHive Inc

Author: @chengevelyn

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Vietnam Becomes the Latest to Ban Bitcoin, but in China, the Rules May Be Changing

Vietnam Becomes the Latest to Ban Bitcoin, but in China, the Rules May Be Changing

Vietnam Becomes the Latest to Ban Bitcoin, but in China, the Rules May Be Changing

Vietnam became the latest nation state to launch an attack on cryptocurrency, as regulators sided with the alarmists without providing much of a rationale.

Vietnam Issues Ban

The ban, which applies to all cryptocurrencies not deemed legal tender, was issued via formal statement by the State Bank of Vietnam. The punishment for accepting or offering payments in bitcoin can run more than $8,000 USD.

Vietnam’s central bank says only traditional forms of payment are accepted within its borders. This includes cash, checks, credit cards and other electronic payments.

The state-run bank has issued the following statement, according to Mirror:

“Bitcoin virtual currency and other similar is not lawful means of payment in Vietnam; The issuance, supply, use of bitcoin and other similar virtual currency as a means of payment is prohibited in Vietnam.”

The announcement, whenever it was made, had very little impact on cryptocurrency trading. At press time, bitcoin (BTC/USD) was trading at $6,162 for a gain of $57.

The bulls blew the door wide open this weekend, sending bitcoin north of $6,300 for the first time ever.
 

Chinese Ban? Let’s Move to Hong Kong

Now that China’s Communist Party gathering has come and gone, sanity appears to be returning to public discourse. That is, according to a recent report from CNLedger, which our pals at CCN.com recently covered. The trusted news sources have revealed that OKEX is expected to launch its peer-to-peer OTC bitcoin trading platform shortly.

As it turns out, OKEX and several other leading blockchain companies like BTCC and Huobi-Pro are located in Hong Kong. Theoretically, their presence in the Special Administrative Region allows them to circumnavigate the mainland’s recent ban on everything crypto-related.

It should be noted that OKEX is offering a bitcoin-to-crypto trading platform. Regardless of what Beijing thinks, it might not be a good idea to launch this platform on the mainland. That’s because the Chinese government recently blocked a major port for MetaTrader4, which is the engine of the online forex community.

Regulators have apparently shut down port ‘443’, which is used for secure web browser communications. The port also happens to be the one MT4 brokers use to connect to their trading server.

The port probably inhibits the government’s ability to spy on traders, or at least monitor their data flows (like that’s different?). There’s reason to believe this ban could extend to other trading platforms that utilize a similar standard.

Last month, China broadened its online censorship by blocking WhatsApp, the popular messaging platform acquired by Facebook for way too much. The ban was another blow to the social networking giant, as it too is banned on the mainland.

 

Author: Sam Bourgi

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

$11 Billion – 24-Hour Cryptocurrency Trading Volume Hits New Record

$11 Billion - 24-Hour Cryptocurrency Trading Volume Hits New Record

$11 Billion – 24-Hour Cryptocurrency Trading Volume Hits New Record

Cryptocurrency trading volume reached a new milestone on Friday, crossing $11 billion for the first time amid regulatory uncertainty in China.

Crypto Markets Post Record Volume

According to data obtained from CoinMarketCap, the combined 24-hour trading volume of all cryptocurrencies rose to $11.5 billion shortly after 16:00 UTC. The only other time daily trading volume has surpassed $10 billion was on August 19, when it briefly spiked to $10.5 billion


Cryptocurrency Trading Volume & Market Cap Chart from CoinMarketCap

Bitcoin topped the charts with $4.2 billion in volume, while ethereum and litecoin posted $1.9 billion and $1.5 billion, respectively. In all, 10 different currencies posted volume greater than $100 million.

$11 Billion - 24-Hour Cryptocurrency Trading Volume Hits New Record
Chart from CoinMarketCap

Bithumb and Bitfinex each handled about $1.5 billion in trades while Chinese bitcoin exchange OKCoin accounted for $750 million. Altogether, at least seven exchanges, including GDAX, Bittrex, Poloniex, and Huobi surpassed the $500 million mark (Volume had tapered off a bit by the time of writing, so it is possible Kraken and Coinone crossed $500 million earlier in the day).

Friday’s trading volume surge was caused by market volatility stemming from China’s crackdown on bitcoin exchanges. Yesterday, the markets crashed following reports that a bitcoin exchange ban was “certain” and BTCC’s subsequent announcement that it would shut down all trading services at the end of September. The markets continued to plunge Friday morning as Huobi and OKCoin were rumored to be meeting with regulators and two smaller exchanges–Yunbi and ViaBTC–also announced September closures.

However, later in the day OKCoin and Huobi issued concurrent statements that suggested they might continue providing cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency trading services. Both exchanges announced that they would close CNY trading pairs on October 31, but–unlike BTCC, Yunbi, and ViaBTC–they did not announce the suspension of “all trading.” Moreover, they indicated that they “expect to continue to provide Chinese users with [compliant] digital asset services.”

These announcements led to an immediate rally, and trading volume soared to a record level as the markets climbed back to $120 billion after dipping below $100 billion earlier in the day.

 

Author: Josiah Wilmoth on 15/09/2017

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

SEC Warns Public to Avoid ICO Scams Manipulating Stock Prices

SEC Warns Public to Avoid ICO Scams Manipulating Stock Prices

SEC Warns Public to Avoid ICO Scams Manipulating Stock Prices

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued an investor alert intended to warn the public about companies using claims about initial coin offerings (ICO) to manipulate their stock prices.

SEC: Avoid ICO-Related Microcap Scams

The alert, which was published by the SEC Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, specifically focuses on publicly-traded companies who claim to be involved with or investing in ICOs. They allege that companies use the lure of cutting edge technology like ICOs to manipulate their stock price and facilitate pump-and-dumps.
 

From the alert:

Fraudsters often try to use the lure of new and emerging technologies to convince potential victims to invest their money in scams. These frauds include “pump-and-dump” and market manipulation schemes involving publicly traded companies that claim to provide exposure to these new technologies.

 

The SEC had previously issued an investor alert regarding direct ICO participation, but they have found that companies may be “publicly announcing ICO or coin/token related events to affect the price of the company’s common stock.” This is particularly a problem with microcap companies, whose stock price can be manipulated in the same way that traders can artificially pump up the price of a cryptocurrency with a small market cap and then dump their coins to secure a profit.

SEC Cracks Down on Public Bitcoin Firms

The Commission says this type of fraud is often rampant within the emerging technologies sector. For this reason, they have been cracking down on publicly-traded bitcoin firms in recent months. In August alone, the SEC has suspended securities trading for CIAO Group (OTC: CIAU), First Bitcoin Capital Corp. (OTC: BITCF), and Bitcoin Crypto Currency Exchange Corporation (OTC: ARSC). All of these companies had seen dramatic increases in the price of their stock, leading the SEC to want to take a closer look at their operations.

According to the release, the SEC issues trading suspensions due to the following occurrences:

  • “A lack of current, accurate, or adequate information about the company – for example, when a company has not filed any periodic reports for an extended period;
  • Questions about the accuracy of publicly available information, including in company press releases and reports, about the company’s current operational status and financial condition; or
  • Questions about trading in the stock, including trading by insiders, potential market manipulation, and the ability to clear and settle transactions in the stock.”
  • A suspension does not necessarily mean a company is acting nefariously, but the SEC warns investors to take caution when considering an investment in a company whose stock has been suspended.

The SEC has been monitoring the cryptocurrency industry with an increasingly watchful eye. Last month, they issued a report concluding that DAO tokens are a security, which implies that smart contract tokens may also fall under securities regulations. This is one reason why Filecoin restricted its record-setting $250 million ICO to investors willing to submit to SEC accreditation.

 

Author: Josiah Wilmoth on 29/08/2017

 

Posted By David Ogden Entrepereneur

DAvid Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Estonia could offer ‘estcoins’ to e-residents

Estonia could offer estcoins to e-reidents

Estonia could offer ‘estcoins’ to e-residents

The proposal to issue crypto tokens would make the Republic of Estonia the first country with an Initial Coin Offering (ICO).

What would happen if a country, such as Estonia, issued its own crypto tokens?

This radical question is at the heart of an ambitious new proposal that, if implemented, has the potential to benefit both the country and its fast growing community of e-residents.

‘Estcoins’ could be managed by the Republic of Estonia, but accessed by anyone in the world through its e-Residency programme and launched through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO).

First though, I want to tell you how we got to this point because it’s the result of another question that we asked almost three years ago, which seemed even more radical at first:

‘Estonia has just 1.3 million residents, but what would happen if our country had 10 million digital residents too?’

At that time, every citizen and resident could already obtain a secure digital identity that enabled them to access Estonia’s public services entirely online. This minimised bureaucracy and made every day life easier, especially for entrepreneurs.

So then we wondered — why stop there? Our digital infrastructure can handle far more ‘users’ than the current population.

If anyone, anywhere could also apply for a digital identity issued by the Estonian government then they too could access our public e-services and our business environment. They could then enjoy many of our same advantages online, especially when it came to starting and running a company, no matter where in the world they are.

E-residents and service providers gathered offline in Tallinn for an e-Residency roundtable

As a result, Estonia became the first country to launch e-Residency.

At first, we didn’t exactly know who would apply and what these people would want most from the programme, but it quickly became clear that e-Residency offered huge value to entrepreneurs seeking trust, location-independence, minimal bureaucracy, low business costs and access to a wider range of fintech services.

The latest statistics show that there are now more than 22,000 e-residents signed up from 138 countries and they make an enormous contribution to Estonia in return for the opportunities that we deliver to them. In fact, the weekly application rate is currently higher than Estonia’s weekly birth rate!

The ability to start a location-independent company is now the main ‘product’ that’s driving the growth of e-Residency. If we left it at this then it is likely that we could still achieve a respectable rate of growth (especially among the fast growing ‘digital nomad’ community) while solving a major problem facing our world, which is how to ensure everyone has the opportunity to benefit from entrepreneurship and rising e-commerce. Even the United Nations has now partnered with e-Residency to launch eTrade For All, which is helping tackle financial exclusion in developing countries.

But as more people discover e-Residency, more uses for e-Residency are being discovered.

The private sector is investing in products and services specifically for e-residents and there is a tremendous amount of excitement in how the secure digital identities offered by e-Residency can enable easier KYC and onboarding, therefore making the e-Residency community an attractive customer market for new online services. It’s incredibly exciting that so much of the fintech industry shares our vision for a borderless digital world with opportunities for all. In recent months for example, Holvi has invested in e-Residency business banking that can be accessed entirely online, TransferWise has unveiled their new borderless account, Change is creating the first decentralised bank for e-residents and Mothership is launching a cryptocurrency exchange.

As a result, e-Residency is now creating a new borderless digital nation where many opportunities provided by traditional nations can be offered entirely online to anyone, anywhere. As Estonian President Kaljulaid recently explained, we must keep innovating to ensure that governments remain relevant in the digital era.

Right now for example, Estonia is planning the world’s first ‘data embassy’, which will support Estonia’s digital infrastructure in a location abroad with the same protections granted to traditional embassies. Just as Estonia’s digital society has become location-independent, this development forms part of Estonia’s broader plan to ensure its state can function entirely independent of its own territory too.

The rise of cryptocurrencies and ICOs

It’s clear that there is strong interest in cryptocurrencies and other blockchain-based solutions among our growing community of e-residents.

Just like e-Residency, cryptocurrencies have evolved from a niche idea into an increasingly normal part of modern life for people everywhere in the world because they offer real solutions to real problems.

Several countries have begun experimenting with the introduction of their own digital currencies and China has even developed a prototype cryptocurrency that could one day be put into circulation.

However, Estonia has a clear advantage in this area due to its advanced digital infrastructure and its e-Residency programme. No other country has come close to developing both the technology and the legal frameworks that would enable them to introduce and securely manage tradable crypto assets globally.

It has understandably taken time for all governments to understand and embrace cryptocurrencies as they have a duty to address major challenges, such as the risk of money laundering. In the long term, however, governments may have no option but to (literally) accept cryptocurrencies.

Fortunately, the secure digital identities used by e-residents (as well as citizens and residents of Estonia) are now the ideal mechanism for securely trading crypto assets in a trusted and transparent digital environment. The tokens can not be counterfeited and the government oversight means they can not be used for illegal activities.

The rise of cryptocurrencies has led to another interesting blockchain-based innovation in the private sector called an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), which enables companies to crowdfund their finance and incentivise a wide range of people to help grow their business.

So could a government support an ICO too?

After all, people do already talk about ‘investing in a country’, but what they really mean is investing in opportunities related to that country — such as companies, property or bonds. You may believe in the future of the country and want to help it succeed, but you can only invest in it indirectly at present.

We already know that many people become e-residents simply because they are fans of our country, our technology and our ideas, and being an e-resident enables them to show their support.

A government-supported ICO would give more people a bigger stake in the future of our country and provide not just investment, but also more expertise and ideas to help us grow exponentially.

How could ‘Estcoins’ work?

This why we are proposing the introduction of estcoins, which could enable anyone to invest in a country for the first time.

Investing in any crypto asset can come with high risks and high rewards, but holders of estcoins would have the added incentive of supporting the development of our digital nation.

There are several ways that the initiative can be structured, but it is important that Estcoin investors gain only when all of Estonia gains.

Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin has a keen interest in Estonia's development as a digital nation and has provided valuable feedback for the estcoin proposal.

He believes estcoins could be used to incentivise investors to support the success of a country in a way that is not currently possible through existing means of raising international finance.

"An ICO within the e-Residency ecosystem would create a strong incentive alignment between e-residents and this fund, and beyond the economic aspect makes the e-residents feel like more of a community since there are more things they can do together,” says Buterin.

"Additionally if these estcoins are issued on top of a blockchain (they could possibly be issued in multiple formats at the same time, nothing wrong with this) then it would become easy and convenient to use them inside of smart contracts and other applications."

For a good example of how the additional money could be managed on behalf of the Estonian people, the Norwegian state pension fund (more commonly known as ‘the oil fund’) is a good example. It is regarded as one of the smartest investors on the planet and has achieved an impressive rate of growth.

The funds raised through estcoins could be managed through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) and only used as described in the agreement to actually help build the new digital nation. This would enable Estonia to invest in new technologies and innovations for the public sector, from smart contracts to Artificial Intelligence, as well as make it technically scalable to benefit more people around the world. Estonia would then serve a model for how societies of the future can be served in the digital era.

In addition, a large proportion of the funds could be used as a community-run VC fund on behalf of investors. The money could then be used to support Estonian companies, including those established by other e-residents.

As an investment opportunity, estcoins could benefit Estonia and be attractive to investors from the day it is launched. As with e-Residency however, the longer term opportunities could be far greater and possibly beyond anything we can currently comprehend.

In time, estcoins could also be accepted as payment for both public and private services and eventually function as a viable currency used globally. By using our APIs, companies and even other countries could accept these same tokens as payment. It will also be possible to build more functions on top of the estcoins and use them for more purposes, such as smart contracts and notary services.

‘Estcoin’ might make sense today as a name, but it might not be the right one long term because its use could grow far bigger than Estonia. The same thing is happening to e-Residency as a whole, which was initially thought of as a way to be part of the Estonian nation but is now creating a new global digital nation, powered by the Republic of Estonia.

If there is support for this proposal, then the next stage before the ICO would be to provide a white paper that outlines the value of estcoins and how the investment will be used to develop our digital nation. It is likely to begin as a pilot project that can be scaled up based on demand.

 

Kaspar Korjus

Managing Director at e-Residency Aug 21st

 

Posted by David Ogden
                Entrepreneur

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Cryptocurrency Mining – What It Is, How It Works And Who’s Making Money Off It

Cryptocurrency Mining - What It Is, How It Works And Who's Making Money Off It

Cryptocurrency Mining – What It Is, How It Works And Who's Making Money Off It

 

NVIDIA Corporation's second-quarter earnings released earlier this month, though exceeding expectations, elicited cautionary reaction from the investor as well as analyst communities. Traders bid down the stock by over 5 percent on Aug. 11.

One of the reasons cited for the negative reaction was cryptocurrency contributing to much of the outperformance.

Why should it be a cause for alarm?

Analysts Blayne Curtis and Christopher Hemmelgarn of Barclays believes revenue stream from cryptocurrency is fickle. Therefore, the analysts were not in favor of assigning a multiple to it, as it has the potential to become an eventual headwind.

Rival Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Also had a similar tale to tell. The company indicated that cryptocurrency demand remains strong, while also suggesting that the demand might not last forever.
 

What Is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency, as the name suggests, is a form of digital money designed to be secure and anonymous in most cases. It uses a technique called cryptography — a process used to convert legible information into an almost uncrackable code, to help track purchases and transfers.

Giving a simple definition, Blockgeeks says it is just limited entries in a database no one can change without fulfilling specific conditions.

Cryptography is a technique that uses elements of mathematical theory and computer science and was evolved during the World War II to securely transfer data and information. Currently, it is used to secure communications, information and money online.

Cryptocurrencies allow users to make secure payments, without having to go through banks.

Some cryptocurrencies include bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, DigitalNote, LiteCoin and PotCoin.

Bitcoin has the distinction of being the first cryptocurrency, having been introduced in 2009. Since then, this class of cryptocurrencies mushroomed, with more than 900 currently active.

How Cryptocurrencies Work

A cryptocurrency runs on a blockchain, which is a shared ledger or document duplicated several times across a network of computers. The updated document is distributed and made available to all holders of the cryptocurrency.

Every single transaction made and the ownership of every single cryptocurrency in circulation is recorded in the blockchain.

The blockchain is run by miners, who use powerful computers that tally the transactions. Their function is to update each time a transaction is made and also ensure the authenticity of information, thereby ascertaining that each transaction is secure and is processed properly and safely.

As payment for their services, miners are paid physically minted cryptocurrency as fees by vendors or merchants of each transaction.

The value of the cryptocurrency fluctuates based on demand and supply, although there is no fixed value for it. Buyers and sellers agree on a value, which is fair and is based on the value of the cryptocurrency trading elsewhere.

Since there is no intermediary like bank involved in the transaction, as it is a peer-to-peer transaction, the transaction fee that is associated with credit cards is eliminated. The identity of the buyer and seller are not revealed. However, each and every transaction is made public to all the people in the blockchain network.

One can acquire a cryptocurrency through exchanges found online or trade it for traditional currencies.

Assume X wants to buy an item valued at $10,000 and he realizes that the seller Y accepts cryptocurrency, say bitcoin, as a form of payment. X scouts around to find the prevailing exchange rate, say $1,000 per currency. X gets Y's public Bitcoin address from Y's website, although both parties remain anonymous to each other.

X can now instruct his Bitcoin client or the software installed on his computer to transfer 10 bitcoins from his wallet to Y's address. X's Bitcoin client will electronically sign the transaction request with his private key known only to him. X's public key, which is a public information, can be used for verifying the information.

When X's transaction is broadcast to the Bitcoin network, it would be verified in a few minutes by miners. The 10 bitcoins will now be transferred to Y's address.

 

Mining
 

Cryptocurrency mining includes two functions, namely: adding transactions to the blockchain (securing and verifying) and also releasing new currency. Individual blocks added by miners should contain a proof-of-work, or PoW.

Mining needs a computer and a special program, which helps miners compete with their peers in solving complicated mathematical problems. This would need huge computer resources. In regular intervals, miners would attempt to solve a block having the transaction data using cryptographic hash functions.

Hash value is a numeric value of fixed length that uniquely identifies data. Miners use their computer to zero in on a hash value less than the target and whoever is the first to crack it would be considered as the one who mined the block and is eligible to get a rewarded.

The reward for mining a block is now 12.5 bitcoins.

Earlier, only cryptography enthusiasts served as miners. However, as cryptocurrencies gained in popularity and increased in value, mining is now considered a lucrative business. Consequently, several people and enterprises have started investing in warehouses and hardware.

As enterprises jumped into the fray, unable to compete, bitcoin miners have begun to join open pools, combining resources to effectively compete.
 

Bank of New York Mellon Corp has been running an internal blockchain platform for U.S. Treasury bond settlements since early 2016, a Marketwatch report quoting Morgan Stanley said. The private nature of the platform has kept it out of the regulatory purview. Once the bank decides to roll it out to clients and use it commercially, regulatory oversight might come into the picture.

A complete mining kit consists of graphics cards, a processor, power supply, memory, cabling and a fan, which would cost between $2,400 and $3,800 on Amazon.com, Inc. According to Bloomberg.

The top three mining hardware, according to 99bitcoins.com, are Avalon6, AntMiner S7 and AntMiner S9.

Given that existing GPUs aren't powerful enough, now miners are flocking to application-specific integrated circuits, or ASICs. To circumvent this shortcoming, Nvidia and AMD are said to be working on GPUs, which could be used specifically for the purpose.

The two companies who are dominant in consumer-grade mining hardware are Canaan and Bitmain. Bitmain, based in Beijing, does mining as well as manufactures mining hardware.
 

Mining Pools And Their Share Of Mining

Mining pools including bitclub network

Mining pools are concentrated in China, which boasts of 81 percent of the network hash rate.

 

Why Mining Chips Are A Fickle Revenue Stream

For companies such as AMD and Nvidia, which have dominant positions in the gaming chip market, a focus away from their core business may not be a prudent course of action.

As seen, these companies may have to bring out new GPUs designed exclusively for this purpose to pose a real threat to the ASIC chips, which are predominantly manufactured by the Chinese, who are notorious for their low-cost market positioning. How viable is the spend on such exclusive chips is a moot point.

Additionally, national governments and exchanges are mulling over regulation of the whole realm of cryptocurrencies. Japan has recently introduced legislation to protect users after Tokyo-based Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox collapsed in 2014. Similarly, introducing taxation such as capital gains tax on Bitcoin sales may also impede the cryptocurrency industry.
 

Author: Shanthi Rexaline , Benzinga Staff Writer

August 21, 2017 8:59am

 

Posted by David Ogden
                 Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Understanding Cryptocurrency – How It Works, What Drives It, Should You Buy It

Understanding Cryptocurrency - How It Works, What Drives It, Should You Buy It

Understanding Cryptocurrency – How It Works, What Drives It, Should You Buy It

 

Cryptocurrencies have caught on in the mainstream and have made thousands of people millions of dollars. The most recent boom of Bitcoin now means that if you had invested just $500 8 years ago, you would now be a multi-millionaire. This meteoric rise in the biggest cryptocurrency by market cap has drawn a lot of attention. However, to the everyday man who is used to dealing with hard cash and actual value, cryptocurrencies can seem like an unknown and often unintelligible world. With terms like hash rates, data mining, market capitalization, and ultimately the fear of instability, there’s a little bit of a harsh learning curve to the technology.

In this article, I’m going to try to give a beginner’s guide to cryptocurrencies, explain how they work, what moves the prices, and whether you should invest.

What are cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrencies are essentially digital mediums that can be exchanged, just like government currencies, that use cryptography, or digital security measures, to secure the exchange of digital information and control the creation of new units. Explained even more simply, cryptocurrencies are digital coins that fluctuate in value similar to stocks with their exchange being backed by digital security measures.

Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies or money that is then exchangeable for physical money, like dollars. They’re comparable to how most apps have some form of digital money, like “orbs” in a mobile game that cost some amount like ” $10 for 1000 orbs.” In this instance, each in-game “orb” would be worth 1/1000th of a dollar. Even though these orbs are just data on your mobile device or on some server, they have some inherent worth equatable to dollars. In an extremely general context, this is what a cryptocurrency is.

So, how do they work?

In essence, cryptocurrencies provide a viable method of owning a unique digital currency which presents some ever fluctuating value. Each coin or currency, like Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Litecoin, are fully self-contained digital systems that both track and control each unit of cryptocurrency.

Each individual coin of a cryptocurrency acts like data moving through a network. Some cryptocurrencies can be valued as small as just 1 cent and others as big as 1 billion dollars. Some currencies are controlled by one entity, which is referred to as a centralized currency, and others are controlled by the public, which are decentralized. There are positives and benefits to each variation, but the stress should be placed on the fact that no cryptocurrency is identical to the next.

What drives them?

One of the most prominent aspects of cryptocurrencies is the fact that there isn’t a third part that verifies the transaction of crypto coins. To avoid this, cryptocurrencies use timestamping methods to verify each transaction. Bitcoin, which is the most popular crypto and largest by market cap, uses a proof-of-work scheme, which is commonly referred to as mining. In essence, mining Bitcoin means tasking a computer with solving some complex problem. When the problem is solved, the computer account is rewarded with a portion of Bitcoin relative to the amount of work it put in to solve the problem. This verification network gives Bitcoin value and backs up transactions. By having this in place, someone couldn’t just write code and give themselves x amount of bitcoins.

In many ways, cryptocurrencies are like stocks. Positive news about a certain coin’s security or general acceptance can drive the price up. The same is inversely true if coins are deemed unuseful in certain applications. Part of what has played into Bitcoin’s rise is that many retailers accept Bitcoin as currency. This makes the cryptocurrency easily translatable to physical value, thus influencing the price per Bitcoin accordingly.

The true answer to what drives cryptocurrencies is obviously much more complex due to the number of factors that go into the “value” of a currency.

Should you invest?

The answer to this question is likely the same for whether you should invest in stocks. While cryptocurrencies have experienced astronomic growth in recent years, these gains aren’t necessarily guaranteed to continue. You should only invest in cryptocurrency if you are willing to take on some risk. With that said, there are currencies that are more stable than others.

Litecoin, which is often regarded as the silver to Bitcoin, has been found to be a very stable currency of growth in recent months. Whereas Bitcoin, currently trading at all time highs, is known to make corrections of 30%, represents a large loss if you were to invest now.

The volatility of cryptocurrencies presents opportunities for day traders, and the significant long term growth of cryptos present great opportunities for long term investors.

You should do a significant amount of investigation into what cryptocurrency you want to invest in, just like any stock, before you buy. Buying can be done on many secure mobile apps or other online platforms. A quick Google search of where and how to buy cryptocurrencies can yield you with this information with ease.

To summarize, cryptocurrencies are often decentralized digital currencies that draw value from security, anonymity, and authentication measures that fluctuate much like stocks that can be traded and exchanged for “true value” currencies. While it may still sound hard to understand, a little bit of research into crypto can go a long way. Cryptocurrencies are here to stay, and while awareness of them is growing with the general public, people with actual knowledge about how they work is still very small. By taking the time to research and understand, you present yourself with an opportunity to excel in a technologically growing industry.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

DAvid Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

Author: TREVOR ENGLISH

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

What Would Happen if Cryptocurrency Became More Popular Than Cash

What Would Happen if Cryptocurrency Became More Popular Than Cash

What Would Happen if Cryptocurrency Became More Popular Than Cash?

t's not outlandish to think that our current financial system will soon be replaced by cryptocurrency, and the shift will bring about some big changes to the global economy.

THE FLIPPENING

For a time, Bitcoin seemed unassailable in its dominance of the cryptocurrency market, being the first digital currency to really take root and establish itself in the mainstream. Since then, a host of worthy competitors have emerged, and there’s a real possibility that the balance of power could flip.

Many who have been regularly following developments in the cryptocurrency market refer to the tipping point where one digital currency supersedes another as “the flippening” We almost saw this occur in May 2017, when Ethereum’s market cap approached Bitcoin’s amid a surge in popularity.

When individuals have significant amounts of money invested in one cryptocurrency over another, it’s no surprise that tensions run high when they go head to head. However, these squabbles over which coin is best might be distracting us from a more pressing issue.

Some observers would argue that the true flippening isn’t a case of competition between two different forms of cryptocurrency at all. The sea of change yet to come could have more far reaching consequences, if and when digital currency as a whole becomes more popular than conventional fiat currency.

NEW MONEY

There would be some major advantages to an all-cryptocurrency future: its value can’t be manipulated as easy as fiat currency, and it lends itself to the concept of universal basic income. In fact, several different programs, such as uCoin and Cicada, are already using cryptocurrency to distribute UBI.

In a future where our transactions with shops and services are likely to be handled by automated systems, cryptocurrency removes many of the intermediaries that would take their own cut. There are many benefits for the individual, but the flippening stands to pose some major challenges for the global economy in its current form.

Should cryptocurrency manage to jump ahead of fiat money in terms of usage, cash won’t be able to close the gap. That’s the trick to the flippening — once changeover takes place, the losing party loses value and can’t do anything about it.

If everyone begins using cryptocurrency, infrastructure would need to be developed with that in mind. It might not take too long for cash to become incompatible. At this point, it remains to be seen whether established financial institutions could pivot to that new status quo in time.

At the highest level, governments will be hit hard, as they will no longer exercise the same level of control over the country’s currency. The idea of printing more money has been raised time and time again in response to financial turmoil, but that option disappears once currency has to be mined.

The flip from fiat money to cryptocurrency is a very real prospect, and it could well change the face of how our society spends and saves.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

Author: Brad Jones

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member