Tag Archives: Etherium

Top 10 Tips For Cryptocurrency Investing, As Bitcoin And Ethereum Surge

Top 10 Tips For Cryptocurrency Investing, As Bitcoin And Ethereum Surge

Top 10 Tips For Cryptocurrency Investing, As Bitcoin And Ethereum Surge

The price of Bitcoin and Ethereum have exploded in 2017. The question is whether there is sufficient upside potential to consider investing in cryptocurrencies. Stated differently, is it still worth looking into cryptocurrencies as an investment or is it too late?

The key consideration is that Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency to invest in. On the other hand, Bitcoin has made cryptocurrencies popular and even more secure. Yes, there were definitely security issues a couple of years ago, but it seems those issues have been resolved. So Bitcoin has helped mature the cryptocurrencies space.

InvestingHaven believes that a combination of price analysis and fundamental analysis is the most appropriate way to make a rational investment choice, and to engage in forecasting the price of cryptocurrencies. With that in mind, we also look into the altcoins space in this article in order to find investment opportunities.

InvestingHaven’s research team has collected 10 investment tips for investing in cryptocurrencies which are useful to investors not very familiar in this space.

Investing in cryptocurrencies: tips, insights and upside potential

1. Cryptocurrencies investments are similar to investing to commodities

Investing in cryptocurrencies is very similar to commodities investing. The fact of the matter is that commodities have two ‘faces’. On the one hand, they are assets that are used in the real world. Base metals, for instance, are used in industry. Softs are used in the food industry. Precious metals are used in the jewelry industry. At the same time, commodities can be invested in, through open market exchanges.

Cryptocurrencies are similar. They are used in financial and insurance applications, but investors can also invest in cryptocurrencies.

From that perspective, it is mandatory to look at usage and added value that cryptocurrencies create in this world when choosing a specific cryptocurrency to invest in.

2. Usage is growing as evidenced by the collective market cap

All cryptocurrencies combined have a market cap of more than $60B meantime. So that includes all cryptocurrencies in existence: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and hundreds of smaller and unknown ones.

To put that into perspective, for investors, here are some reference points: Tesla’s market cap is $50B, Boeing Airlines $100B, Coca Cola $180B (rounded figures for April / May 2017).

Note how the volume of real world transactions has gone up together with the market cap which indicates that ‘crypto is for real’.

3. Most people are unaware about cryptocurrencies, an absolute minority uses them
 

If it is important to look at real world usage as a key criterium when considering investing in cryptocurrencies, then there is great news for investors: “you ain’t seen nothing yet”.

According to Statista, who has dedicated a section to cryptocurrencies useful for investing, we see that the number of adults in the U.S. familiar with the most known cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) is only 24 percent. And, by far the most important data point on this graph, the number of Americans that use Bitcoin is 2 percent while the ones thinking of using it in the future is 25 percent.

Investors should get excited when realizing this. Not primarily for Bitcoin, but more so for other cryptocurrencies.

4. Usage is the key criterium for investors

As said in the intro, analyzing fundamental data is the key element in our methodology to identify a decent investment opportunity. So supply and demand data, based on usage in the real world, is what investors should be focused on.

That is also what we used as a method in our Bitcoin Price Forecast For 2017 and our Ethereum Price Forecast For 2017. Note that our Bitcoin forecast got filled meantime, as the price of Bitcoin went over $2000, a forecast we made more two months ago.

As an example, when it comes to Ethereum, we have included the chart which features the number of its transactions, see below. This is proof that Ethereum is being used in the real world.

Top 10 Tips For Cryptocurrency Investing, As Bitcoin And Ethereum Surge

Moreover, the number of Bitcoins in circulation is another proof of cryptocurrency usage, as well as trade volume.

Note also how Ripple, a cryptocurrency which is meant to facilitate payments between financial institutions, and, in doing so, pushes transaction costs down meaningfully, has a great chart highlighting the strong usage of some large accounts along with the long tail of users: Ripple usage statistics.

5. Where are we in the market cycle?

Given the above data points, we consider that we are nowhere near any point close to euphoria according to the traditional market cycle. It is maybe not very useful to consider Bitcoin as an investment opportunity, though prices can go much higher from here. However, there are many other cryptocurrencies which are only now starting to be considered by businesses, governments, and society across the globe.

With that in mind, we believe we are only in the optimism stage in the market cycle.

Note that this market cycle can be considered by individual cryptocurrency as well (we considered all cryptocurrencies combined when we stated that we are in the ‘optimism’ stage). Bitcoin certainly has gone through this cycle, reaching euphoria in January of 2014.

6. Altcoins are similar to the dotcom hype, 80% will not survive the storm

Pareto is one of the few universal principles applicable in all areas of life, including in the investment world.

We see a dotcom type hype arising and, presumably, 80% of cryptocurrencies will not survive the storm. We saw something similar in the dotcom hype. That is simply because, during a hype, users and investors do not focus sufficiently on the real added value that is created.

It is imperative for investors, when choosing cryptocurrencies to invest in, that they acknowledge the added value that is created, from a business and society perspective.

7. A cryptocurrency MUST solve a problem in life

Just buying cryptocurrencies hoping that they will deliver an investment return does not make sense at all. The sweet spot for every investor is the ability to solve a problem: the bigger the problem that gets solved, the higher the potential value.

One of the sweet spots that cryptocurrencies can enable as a problem solver is to provide access to money and basic banking functions like wiring and paying. A fact that is unknown is that a huge amount of people globally do NOT have access to to these traditional banking services. We consider that Stellar Lumens, symbol XLM, is such an enabler. At the moment of writing, Stellar Lumens trades at $0.05. Read on Fortune.com why Stellar has a disruptive potential, especially in the underdeveloped part of the world, and is worth a cryptocurrency investment.

8. Create your investment portfolio with a limited number of cryptocurrencies

As with any other investment, investors should create their own portfolio and work on it actively. Also, they should work on it for the very long term.

Creating a portfolio with some cryptocurrencies is the way to go. Choosing them selectively is imperative. Only invest in things you understand and keep your emotions under control are principles that should always be applied, in every investment portfolio.

9. Crypto to money

Do not forget that your cryptocurrencies can be exchanged for ‘traditional money’. The market is in the process of enabling all exchanges: all traditional currencies will be exchangeable with all cryptocurrencies, sooner rather than later. So the lock-in risk which was present a while back will not be a risk going forward.

Stated differently, your portfolio with cryptocurrencies is just another way to store cash, or exchange crypto for cash (money), over time as market conditions change.

10. Read the right sources

Last but not least, as it goes with every hype, ‘everyone and his uncle’ can become a guru during a hype. Be very sceptical when following people and selecting sources to read. The blogosphere has only a handful of bloggers who are worth following, say maximum 20 percent.

At InvestingHaven, we will do everything we can to offer the best investment insights for high reward / low risk opportunities. You can also follow this upcoming blog which is owned by the same team that runs InvestingHaven: www.BlockchainRevolution.global

This article is brought to you courtesy of Investing Haven.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin Price Could Double with Scaling Resolution: Hedge Fund

Bitcoin Price Could Double with Scaling Resolution: Hedge Fund

Bitcoin Price Could Double with Scaling Resolution: Hedge Fund

 

Global Advisors, a U.K.-based investment firm that has developed an investment program to provide market exposure to the price of bitcoin, recently offered an upbeat outlook on bitcoin. The assessment noted that Litecoin’s recent soft fork gives reason to think the scaling solution could be applied to bitcoin, possibly doubling its price.

Taking measure of the range of news around bitcoin of late, the Global Advisors’ assessment quoted the late Jesse Livermore in saying “a prudent speculator never argues with the tape.” Livermore, an American who lived from 1877 to 1940, shorted the stock market crashes of both 1907 and 1929 and was worth $100 million at his peak before committing suicide following a series of losses.

While much negative news has been reported on bitcoin, the prices have been strong.

Media Focuses On The Negative

On the negative side, which the media tends to focus on, China has clamped down on bitcoin trading by imposing trading fees and AML/KYC controls. There has also been a ban on withdrawals from cryptocurrency exchanges. There has been a roll-over on the temporary ban and a discount of up to $250 for trapped coins.

Looking further back, the IRS last year subpoenaed Coinbase to release client records for bitcoin trades.

More recently, the dispute between different factions within the bitcoin community over the future development of the bitcoin protocol continues.

The SEC denied the Winklevoss bitcoin exchange-traded fund.

Bitfinex, which suffered a hack last year, continues to lack fiat withdrawal capability.

Why The Price Keeps Rising

Bitcoin’s price, nonetheless, has been on an upward trend throughout all the various challenges.

Global Advisors’ assessment points to Japan, the new hot spot of bitcoin bitcoin trading. The BitFlyer exchange has been successful with Japanese investors, likely due to its advertising campaign. BitFlyer’s sign ups set a new record on Facebook.

Litecoin also creates reason for hope. Segregated Witness, a protocol designed to shorten bitcoin transactions and improve the capacity of the transaction blocks, has been successfully implemented by Litecoin. Litecoin’s price, as a result, has tripled.

Litecoin’s SegWit success holds promise for bitcoin. The price impact on bitcoin could be “shocking,” and a price doubling wouldn’t be unexpected.

The hedge fund stated:

 

“Even though one can find no evidence whatsoever that there were scaling pressures in Litecoin, this upgrade went ahead and if it is even slightly predictive of a path that can be taken in bitcoin, one that will at least show progress if not resolution, the price impact could be significant. A double up wouldn’t be shocking.”

Altcoins overall will serve as “test beds” for bitcoin. New features developed for altcoins can be incorporated into bitcoin. ZCash, Ethereum and other altcoins offer desirable features.

Altcoins Gain Market Share

Ethereum’s and Litecoin’s rises have changed the “bitcoin dominance” metric, the assessment noted. Bitcoin dominance is based on the cryptocurrency’s market capitalization as a percent of all coin market capitalization. This dominance has been dropping as the total value of all coins has increased.

Bitcoin comprised 95% of the total crypto market capitalization three years. It now stands at 60%. Global Advisors termed this a “stunning progression.”

But as noted above, growing altcoins bring positive influences for bitcoin.

Arbitrage opportunities: What do they mean?

Global Advisors noted that it receives a lot of requests for an “arbitrage-only” product, which is not the best use of a company’s time that remains upbeat on bitcoin’s price and on scaling its product offerings.

Arbitrages are a consequence of fragmented bitcoin trading venues and limited capital in each trading venue. Hence, a big unidirectional flow can alter a given price deck, yielding an arbitrage opportunity.

Exchanges have three areas leading to wider arbitrage opportunities: credit/reputation risk, difficulties moving coins and problems moving cash. Chinese domestic coins are currently frozen, for example, while Bitfinex and other exchanges have banking issues.

Combined, these factors present arbitrage opportunities, some of which are untradeable, others requiring patience and still others requiring speculation.

Rather than focus on arbitrage opportunities, Global Advisors believes bitcoin’s best days are still ahead.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Ripple Market Capitalization Soars, Surges Past Ethereum

Ripple Market Capitalization Soars, Surges Past Ethereum

Ripple Market Capitalization Soars, Surges Past Ethereum

 

Ripple tokens have hit a massive upswing in market capitalization over the last day, surging past Ethereum and nipping at bitcoin’s heels.

At end of day May 14, Ripple’s market capitalization was at about $8,345,000,000. Ripple continued surging well into the next day at about $11,500,000,000, continuing to climb. This has occurred in an oscillating fashion over the last few weeks, as Ethereum and the blockchain transfer token duke it out for supremacy.

Several news sites and other sources suggest this upswing in market capitalization was spurred by recent partnerships in the ripple network. These partnerships include large banking conglomerates and other banking organizations opting to work with or adopt the Ripple network.
 

An April 26 Ripple press announcement said,

Ripple is proud to announce the addition of 10 new customers to our growing global network. These financial institutions include MUFG, BBVA, SEB, Akbank, Axis Bank, YES BANK, SBI Remit, Cambridge Global Payments, Star One Credit Union and eZforex.com, representing some of the world’s largest banks, innovative smaller banks, and payment service providers (PSPs).

Differences Between Ripple tokens and Bitcoin: Ripple is a “Bank Coin”

Even though Ripple is gaining ground on market capitalization, there are distinctions between Ripple tokens and currencies like bitcoin and Ethereum. For instance, Ripple has enjoyed its market capitalization skyrocket as a result of gaining the aforesaid partnerships.

This happened because Ripple is a “bank coin.”Ripple Market Capitalization Soars, Surges Past Ethereum Several commentators pointed out ripple is not a decentralized cryptocurrency. It is a centralized bank-to-bank transfer coin. Ripple’s own commentary from their labs suggested the same when they mentioned being able to use a global freeze feature.

“The freeze protocol extension gives gateways the ability to 1) globally freeze all their issued funds, or 2) freeze funds issued to a particular user. Frozen funds may only be sent back to the gateway who issued them.”

This ability to freeze funds means that Ripple is not a decentralized blockchain protocol, but instead a distributed database that maintains control of the network from a central hub. This is a feature that would be impossible to execute if the coin was founded on decentralized algorithms.

This comes to no surprise to many, though, because this fact is not a hidden agenda. Ripple’s website explained the purpose of their technology: Its purpose is to be an inter-bank transfer protocol to smooth out the financial interactions between banks.

Conclusion: Ripple’s Market Position

In this regard, Ripple’s market cap has increased as a result of their partnerships. These alliances caused the market capitalization to swell beyond Ethereum, even though Ripple is not in the same category of coin.

It happened as a result of their positioning in the market. It happened because of a business alliance. By definition and design, Ripple is not meant to be a cryptocurrency. It is a “database coin” that is controlled via centralization and economic engineers.

Will Ripple’s token continue to grow on into the future? Can it maintain the second position in terms of market capitalization?

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

By Sterlin Lujan

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Cryptocurrency Ethereum soars by 900 per cent as stellar performer gets Chinese boost

Cryptocurrency Ethereum soars by 900 per cent as stellar performer gets Chinese boost

Cryptocurrency Ethereum soars by 900 per cent as stellar performer gets Chinese boost
 

A CRYPTOCURRENCY that allows users to move value around as well as represent the ownership of property has rocketed by 900 per cent in just a year.

Ethereum, which uses apps that run on a custom built blockchain, an enormously powerful shared global infrastructure, is attracting serious investor interest over its incredible financial returns.

The blockchain app, which claims it allows developers to create markets, store registries of debts or promises and move funds all without a middle man or counterparty risk, was launched in August 2014.

It was developed by a Swiss nonprofit and crowdfunding campaign which has in turn catapulted it to huge success.

With a current market capitalisation of more than £7billion, the digital currency is outperforming its main rival Bitcoin, according to market data.

Now analysts say it has been of particular interest to the Chinese market which is embracing the explosion in digital currency with gusto.

Blogger Andrew Keys said: "I was fortunate enough to be invited to the city of Hangzhou for the Global Blockchain Financial Summit.
"During this trip to China, I learned about the burgeoning Ethereum communities in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou. Every night we hosted an Ethereum meetup and it was standing room only in each city.

"Peking University is creating an Ethereum Laboratory to work on protocol improvements and application use cases that effect China, specifically in supply chain and energy markets.

"The Royal Chinese Mint is experimenting with the ERC 20 token standard and Ethereum smart contracts to digitise the RMB".

Meanwhile Silicon Valley based Martin Frohler, who runs Quantiacs, told Express.co.uk that the cryptocurrency is set to revolutionise the way the world trades thanks to the advent of blockchain infrastructure following the news that Bitcoin surpassed $1,800 to a fresh record high today.

It rose more than $100 in just two days, driven by comments from policy makers and positive noises around the future of the cryptocurrency.

He said: "You can think of a Blockchain as an identical database of transactions (or other information) stored on hundreds of computers around the world.

"Every new transaction that's entered into the system has to be verified by the majority of the computers. Since no single person, government, or institution controls that majority it is close to impossible to hack a transaction.

“The process of verifying transactions through computing power is called 'mining'.

"The miner receives the right to create a very small new unit of that currency as reward.

"Depending on how much Bitcoin already exist that new unit becomes smaller and smaller over time.

"There is an absolute limit of the number of Bitcoin that will ever exist: 21 million. Bitcoin is by construction a deflationary currency, which makes it an attractive store for value.

"Anybody with internet access can buy or sell bitcoin at a bitcoin exchange or with a digital wallet".

The digital currency is trading at $91.20 (3.11%) today.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

By SIOBHAN MCFADYEN

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Hefty Trading Boost Cryptocurrency Market Cap Soars Above $40 Billion

Hefty Trading Boost Cryptocurrency Market Cap Soars Above $40 Billion

Hefty Trading Boost Cryptocurrency Market Cap Soars Above $40 Billion

 

Bitcoin may be getting most of the headlines, but cryptocurrency as a whole is on a roll. Statistics from Coinmarketcap.com reveal that 82 out of the top 100 cryptocurrencies posted gains in a recent 24-hour period. Whether all cryptocurrencies are riding bitcoin’s coattails or investors are suddenly discovering altcoins is anybody’s guess.

The total cryptocurrency market capitalization (price per coin times amount of coins in circulation) stands at $42.6 trillion. That marks more than a $10 billion gain in 10 days.

Ripple Leads In Growth Rate

Among the currencies with a market capitalization in excess of $1 billion, Ripple has posted the top growth rate of 33.6% in a 24-hour period, yielding a $2.831 billion market cap. Litecoin comes in second with a 22.34% growth rate and $1.132 billion market cap.

Ripple’s gain has been credited to a strategic partnership initiative, teaming with Asian and Australian banks in conjunction with its stated goal of acting as PayPal-like mechanism for large interbank transfers.

Litecoin, for its part, has benefited from Coinbase’s decision to support it, allowing users to buy, sell and store Litecoin using its platform and wallet. It became the third cryptocurrency, after bitcoin and Ethereum, to gain Coinbase’s full support.

What Drives Bitcoin?

Bitcoin, far and away the largest market cap in excess of $25 billion, posted a 5.81% 24-hour jump. Bitcoin’s price reached a new all-time high once again, at $1,567.

Brian Kelly, a financial analyst at CNBC, has attributed the recent surge in bitcoin’s price to the rise in institutional investors within the bitcoin market. Other factors include the bitcoin community’s consensus not to support Bitcoin Unlimited, and an overall increase in global trading.

Some analysts have attributed some of bitcoin’s growth to that of the altcoins; altcoins are usually bought and sold with bitcoin, requiring traders to buy bitcoin.

Ethereum Has Its Own Story

Ethereum, which has the second highest market cap at just over $8 billion, has jumped 12.12% in the 24-hour period. Its price rise is due to a number of factors.

Google searches for Ethereum have spiked to an all-time high, nearly doubling in just one week.

Some countries appear to be using ETH a hedge against national currencies. Switzerland, where the Ethereum Foundation is based, showed the strongest interest, followed by Venezuela, which is suffering triple-digit inflation.

South Korea seems to have fallen in love with the currency. Its three largest exchanges handle twice the ETH/fiat volume of Coinbase’s GDAX and Kraken combined.

South Korea is also big into fantasy sports, an area where ETH’s smart contracts can be used to make the game more transparent and reduce cheating.

Don’t Forget Dash

Dash, number 5 with a $683.3 million market cap, jumped 6.77% in the 24-hour period. Featuring exceptional transaction speed, Dash continues to become more accessible to investors and consumers.

The cryptocurrency exchange Kraken recently announced the integration of Dash to its trading platform. BitCart, an Ireland-based discount gift card platform, recently allowed users up to a 20% discount for using Dash on Amazon purchases. Crypto-Woo, a payments plug-in, has integrated Dash, allowing users to pay for online purchases with Dash. CryptoBuyer, a Venezuela-based crypto exchange, has begun selling Dash, allowing consumers in the economically ravaged country to have another alternative to its imploding national currency.

Ethereum Classic, number six at $664.4 million, rose 8.97%.

NEM, at %521.7 million, jumped 9.5%.

Monero, number 8 at $371 million, rose 8.76%.

The top 14 cryptocurrencies all posted gains in the 24-hour period. PIVX, which at $84.1 million has the 15th highest market, cap posted a 3.16% drop.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Cryptocurrency Inflation V Deflation

cryptocurrency inflation v deflation

Cryptocurrency Inflation v Deflation
 

In the world of cryptocurrency, there are two main types of ecosystems. Either a cryptocurrency is inflationary – with new coins generated by mining or staking – or it is deflationary. A lot of people claim bitcoin’s deflationary status is a problem, and how minor inflation could alleviate these concerns. However, there are different aspects of either concept that need to be taken into account first.
 

1. DEFLATION
 

Most cryptocurrency enthusiasts are well aware of how bitcoin has a fixed supply cap of 21 million coins. It is expected the last bitcoin will be mined around the year 2140, even though a large portion of the available supply is in circulation already. Some financial experts claim bitcoin’s capped coin supply is a problem, as it makes the popular cryptocurrency deflationary. Since no additional coins will be brought into circulation from that point forward, there will be no more inflation for bitcoin.
 

Deflation in the traditional financial ecosystem is a bad thing. Then again, cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin cannot be compared to any other currency in the world, thus making it a rather moot point. It is also a clear indication of how most economists are stuck in their old ways of thinking. Deflation is often associated with economies that not performing all that well. In most cases, deflation leads to falling prices. If that were to happen to bitcoin, things could go from bad to worse rather quickly.

 

One thing to keep in mind is how during times of financial hardship, consumers are not investing but flocking to liquid currency. For bitcoin, that could be a good thing, as it may even lead to future prosperity. From a long-term perspective, deflationary currencies are by far the better option. In bitcoin’s case, deflation will – probably – cause a rise in value. There is no real reason to think deflation is bad for bitcoin by any means.

 

2. INFLATION
 

Every major traditional currency known to man is inflationary. There is no hard limit as to how many US Dollars, Euros, or Pounds Sterling there can be at any given time. Central banks can use a technique called “helicopter money” to introduce more bills and coins to an ecosystem if they see the need to do so. With more money to go around, they hope to improve the financial situation for their specific region.

 

Inflation also has a nasty side effect that most people tend to overlook. As the supply of an available currency continues to grow, it makes the previously existing supply worth a bit less. In the world of cryptocurrency, there are two types of inflation: proof-of-work and proof-of-stake. The first option makes bitcoin an inflationary currency until all 21 million BTC have been generated. Proof-of-stake allows for a virtually unlimited coin supply even when there are no longer mining rewards to be distributed.

 

Although a lot of people see no harm in inflationary cryptocurrencies, it provides a bit of a problem when it comes to estimating a coin’s value. Since there are more coins every day, inflationary cryptocurrencies cannot be labeled as a store of value per se. Interestingly enough, some of the major cryptocurrencies have decided to take the inflationary approach, including Ethereum – switching to proof-of-stake soon – and Dash. Other currencies, such as Litecoin, have taken the same model as bitcoin, effectively limiting their supply. From a store of value point-of-view, deflationary cryptocurrencies are the better option, by the look of things.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Contributor JP Buntinx

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Poloniex-Traders-Panic-and-Suffer-Losses-Due-to-System-issues

Poloniex-Traders-Panic-and-Suffer-Losses-Due-to-System-issues

Poloniex – Traders Panic and Suffer Losses Due to System issues

Plenty of cryptocurrency traders are not too amused with Poloniex right now. The popular altcoin exchange suffered from several brief outages yesterday. During the panic, the Ripple price crashed hard and Ethereum lost US$1bn in market cap. It is unclear what occurred exactly, but we do know traders lost a lot of money in the process. It is unclear what will happen to the people who lost money, though.

Trading cryptocurrencies is always a risky business. Money can be earned and lost in a matter of mere seconds. However, if a popular exchange goes down and traders can’t execute orders, something is definitely amiss. Poloniex had a lot of issues last night after Ripple reached a new all-time high. Shortly after this happened, the platform became unresponsive.

Poloniex Suffers From Brief Outages Once Again

It was not just the web frontend suffering from these problems. The Poloniex API, used in tools such as TabTrader, became unresponsive as well. The company acknowledged the outage and trading resumed back to normal relatively quickly. However, a lot of users have suffered from spotty accessibility for several hours. During that time, trading just continued as normal, allowing some people to take advantage of the situation.

To be more specific, Ethereum lost close to US$1bn of its market cap during the trading frenzy. Events like these should not occur in the first place. Moreover, some people feel Poloniex should have halted all trading until the platform was operational again. This goes to show the platform cannot handle increased trading volume for an extended period of time. That is quite disconcerting, to say the least, given Poloniex’s position in the market.

One thing is certain: a lot of people have lost faith in Poloniex for the time being. One Reddit user even calls it an ‘organized scam crime website”, although that may be a too strong sentiment. It is true this is not the first time the exchange suffers from such outages, though. If these problems continue, Poloniex will quickly lose its market position. After all, the company has to provide exchange services around the clock, yet appears incapable of doing so.

It is unclear how much money people lost due to these issues, though. Ethereum’s market crashing and the unexpected Ripple dump raise a lot more questions than answers right now. Poloniex has some explaining to do, albeit it is safe to assume no one will be reimbursed for their losses. Centralized exchanges continue to pose a problem for traders. No exchange is always reliable or accessible, that much is certain.

Many years ago I suffered a significant loss when fiat currency trading, when I loss Internet access to my trading site at a crucial time. These outages underline the importance of setting stop losses.

David Ogden
Entrepeneur

 

Author JP Buntinx

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Ethereum style smart contracts for Bitcoin in June

Ethereum style smart contracts for Bitcoin in June

Ethereum style smart contracts for Bitcoin in June
 

Ethereum has gained a lot of attention over the past year or two as it became the second most valuable cryptocurrency by market cap. The platform enables the execution of smart contracts, a feature coming to Bitcoin in the form of RSK.

On a recent episode of Coin Interview, RSK’s co-founder, Gabriel Kurman, claimed that RSK’s private testnet will turn into a public testnet on May 22nd at the 2017 Consensus conference. RSK will then be launched on Bitcoin’s mainnet approximately a month later.

“RSK goal is to add value and functionality to the Bitcoin ecosystem by enabling smart-contracts, near instant payments and higher-scalability.”

A smart contract is simply a computerized transaction protocol that executes the terms of a contract. According to the Elements Project, smart contracting platforms with more expressive scripting systems, such as Ethereum and RSK, are attractive to developers as Bitcoin’s scripting system is limited by design for security reasons.

Ethereum is in essence a programmable blockchain. Rather than giving users a set of predefined operations, such as bitcoin transactions, the platform allows users to create their own operations, of any complexity. In this way, it serves as a platform for many different types of decentralized blockchain applications, including but not limited to cryptocurrencies. “Ethereum allows us to move much faster than building on Bitcoin due to its turing complete script,” explains Augur co-founder Joey Krug.

The team behind RSK has done everything they can to make it easy for Ethereum developers to move to their platform. According to the original RSK white paper, the platforms virtual machine is backwards compatible with the Ethereum virtual machine (EVM), which “gives the opportunity to developers working on Ethereum to benefit from the robustness of the BItcoin blockchain.” The EVM allows developers to create applications using programming languages modelled on existing languages like JavaScript and Python.

Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson has hypothesized that the smart contracts written on top of these kinds of systems will be released on multiple platforms. The process would look similar to releasing mobile applications for both iOS and Android, developers may decide to release their applications on Ethereum, RSK, and Ethereum Classic.

In addition to RSK’s advanced smart contract capabilities, the sidechain also has the potential to decrease the transaction burden on the main Bitcoin blockchain. “We have the Lumino Transaction Compression Protocol (LTCP), which allows 2,000 transactions per second on chain and the Lumino Network which will allow up to 20,000 transactions per second off chain,” said Kurman. “Every single developer is going to be able to plug in, and run their contracts. It’s going to operate against the Bitcoin testnet for a month approximately, and then we’re going to apply [it] to the Bitcoin mainnet.”
 

“We expect RSK to be multiple times more secure than other platforms because it has Bitcoin’s hashing power behind it, and it's fuel should cost 1/10th of that of Ethereum. RSK is subsidized by Bitcoin, plus its virtual machine is six times faster than Ethereum’s given Sergio Lerner's improvements.” – Gabriel Kurman RSK co-founder

The initial version of the RSK sidechain will not require any changes to the underlying Bitcoin protocol to implement the necessary 2-way peg (2WP) to work with Bitcoin. The 2WP allows the transfer of bitcoins from the Bitcoin blockchain to a secondary blockchain and vice-versa. The “transfer” is in fact an illusion: bitcoins are not transferred, but temporarily locked on the Bitcoin blockchain while the same amount of equivalent tokens are unlocked in a secondary blockchain. The original bitcoins can be unlocked when the equivalent amount of tokens on the second blockchain are locked again in the secondary blockchain.

 

In the short term a federation will manage the multisign keys to release the bitcoin on the way back from the peg, Kurman explains. According to the RSK website, well-known Bitcoin companies, such as Xapo and Bitpay, have signed up to be notaries for the sidechain. According to Kurman, these notaries will participate in the governance of the federation, and provide more services to RSK. “The federation will provide multiple services in the future on top of the peg such as security checkpoints in each block, oracle services, and providing liquidity,” he said.

 

According to Kurman, miners already have the ability to merge mine the private RSK testnet. “Bitcoin India is already merge-mining with 100% of it's hashing power. Most other major pools are testing the plugin,” said Kurman. “Once a separate soft fork is implemented in Bitcoin, the release [of bitcoins on the sidechain] will be done by a combination of miners and federation — hence a hybrid 2-way peg.”

RSK currently has 30 partners building on the platform from multiple different industries. “Once the source code becomes public and the platform open on May 22, we expect a lot of use cases being ported to RSK given its full compatibility with Ethereum,” Kurman stated.
 

David Ogden
Entrepeneur

 

Kyle Torpey, – Author

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin wobbles as traders turn to other cryptocurrencies

bitcoin wobbles as traders turn to other cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin wobbles as traders turn to other cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin wobbles as traders turn to other cryptocurrencies

It's been a volatile period for Bitcoin investors, as holders of the cryptocurrency prepare for a potential 'fork' in the blockchain.

From Friday morning until Monday afternoon, Bitcoin was trading under the $1,000 level, and even fell beneath $900 on Saturday. This is significant as, barring the weekend of March 18 and 19, Bitcoin has traded above $1,000 since early February and hit a fresh all-time high of around $1,325 on March 10.

Bitcoin is currently back above the $1,000 handle, but is well off these recent highs, wiping billions off of its market cap value.

There are several causes for the recent volatility: Chinese regulators cracked down on Bitcoin exchanges, while U.S. authorities rejected a proposal for a Bitcoin-backed exchange-traded fund (ETF). The current concern is over the future of the Bitcoin technology.

Bitcoin faces a scaling issue, where the number of Bitcoin transactions that can happen on the blockchain at any one time is limited. This is creating a backlog of transactions that are needed to be processed and slowing down the system.

A group called Bitcoin Unlimited advocates for increasing the size of the blocks on the blockchain in order to process more transactions, but this has split the community. To increase the block size would involve splitting the blockchain, causing a fork and creating two major blockchains. This would effectively create two different coins and it's not clear which would become dominant.

As a result, investors are hedging their bets or selling out of Bitcoin, waiting to see whether or not the fork will happen, and if so, which blockchain will be favored by the market.

Data from Bitfinex indicates around 49 million more coins have been sold than bought, or roughly 5 percent of total coins traded, in the last 30 days. Through March, the number of long Bitcoin positions held by investors has decreased from 26,858 to above 23,142, while the number of short positions has increased from 9,820 to 14,731.

Meanwhile, the market cap of blockchain assets other than Bitcoin, such as ether, dash and monero, has more than doubled since March 10 from $3.5 billion to more than $7 billion, according to Chris Burniske, blockchain products lead analyst at ARK Invest.

"At the same time, Bitcoin's market cap has gone from $19 billion to $16 billion. Hence, Bitcoin's market cap has lost $3 billion in value while the combined market cap of all other blockchain assets has added more than $3 billion," he told CNBC via email.

"Given these market indicators, it would appear investors are diversifying their blockchain asset holdings, positioning themselves for a generally rising tide in this emerging asset class."

Whether or not the fork happens is hard to tell, but it may harm Bitcoin's brand, according to Jani Valjavec, co-founder of ICONOMI, a digital asset management platform for cryptocurrencies. Valjavec argues the brand is the main thing behind Bitcoin's value.

"It has wide acceptance now, real world use cases, it can be a great store of value, and it is currently trusted by the community. Our understanding is that a hard fork, instigated by two parties with very competing interests, will primarily weaken the brand," he told CNBC via email.

"The next biggest brand in the distributed economy is Ethereum, and that's why we believe it will benefit the most."

However, Fran Strajnar, co-founder & CEO of data and research company Brave New Coin, says the market is still within the parameters of a Bitcoin bull cycle.

"The proposed contentious fork is unlikely but better to happen now than in the distant future. We would end up with the original Bitcoin and remaining miners activating segwit (a well-designed package of system upgrades) and a new, much smaller, privatized alternative version of Bitcoin," he told CNBC via email.

"The sum result of all the network fork (fear, uncertainty and doubt) is we are seeing investors hedge by buying into ether. We expect a price drop if there is a fork but a similar outcome to Ethereum, where the long term market capitalization increases for both assets."

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Luke Graham

 

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

A Regulated Cryptocurrency

A Regulated Taxable Cryptocurrency

A regulated Chrypto currency

Regulatory compliance and cryptocurrency are unlikely bedfellows; paying tax on crypto transactions isn't even in the room.

But times are changing. We are seeing a crop of services doing just those sorts of things, leveraging the transparent, immutable nature of distributed ledgers to track and trace cryptocurrencies.

Recently the IRS has been rattling sabres at Coinbase in a move to get cryptocurrency holders to pay tax on transactions. According to court filings, less than 1000 people have registered to pay tax on Bitcoin transactions in the last three years.

Enter Node40, a blockchain accounting system which has grown out of a business hosting Dash masternodes.

Node40 co-founder Perry Woodin explained the company was being paid mostly in Dash for its infrastructure services and had to report US taxes.

"We asked our accountant how to do that and he wasn't sure. Most accountants look at capital gains for gains and losses; they look at first in, first out.

"That strategy doesn't work for digital currencies because of the way transactions are built with multiple inputs and all these inputs have potential gains and losses and various days carried."

Sean Ryan, co-founder Node40, wrote a program to figure out gains and losses. Users import transactions from their Dash wallet and these are analysed against the blockchain to work out the average US dollar value for every single transaction.

Ryan said: "You upload your list of transactions and you get the final number. We don't actually calculate any percentages for taxes – so, for example, your jurisdiction would say that if you made this much income, we are going to tax you at say 22%.

"What we do is present numbers that you would be obligated to pay taxes on. There are levels that allow you to get to those answers, all the way down to the individual components that make up an individual transaction.

"Because these ledgers/blockchains are open they are mathematically sound, all you need to do from an engineering perspective is extract the pieces of data from the blockchain that are most relevant to specific transactions."

The user can then annotate transactions using Node40, like they might with QuickBooks or TurboTax: who they sent the funds to, who they received them from, marking certain things as tax exempt in the case of assets purchased rather than income received.

"There are some additional nice things like being able to set custom values on what your incoming purchase was. If the market value says one Dash is worth $100 but you bought it from somebody who was willing to sell it to you for $90, we allow people to override that initial value," said Woodin.

"Once people have gone in and started annotating transactions, we produce nice reports that show then their performance of their asset with their portfolio. Then as a last step they are able to generate their IRS documents, and that's a capital gains document – form 8949."

The recent surge in cryptocurrency values, not least Dash which has shot up in price, is probably also garnering attention. But Woodin pointed out that holding crypto that goes up in value does not constitute a taxable event.

"If you are just buying something and holding it, there is no taxation even though there's an increase. If you received it as income or if you are exchanging it for some other asset like dollars, euros then that's a taxable event."

Woodin said the ongoing IRS Coinbase scenario has definitely got people edgy and this may be the year people begin to start paying their taxes on crypto.

"I think by next year it's just going to be assumed that if you are transacting in digital currency, you are going to be paying taxes. It's that conversion from digital currency to fiat where the government is going to say: why do you have a deposit in your bank account with no record of income?"

Node40 Balance is now live to use with Dash and will be ready for Bitcoin later in the year.

"There are certain exemption limits and thresholds that we observe. We have four different KYC levels that we enforce. Up to €150 we just need to know the shopping cart details from the merchant which includes the name of the consumer and the email address," said Kaufmann.

"If it goes higher there is another flag at €800, then at €4000 and every time the consumer has to provide more information."

So rather like transaction reporting as it exists today. Kaufmann added that a large transaction – say €25,000 to buy a load of servers – would merit closer scrutiny.

"We have the capability of doing an online verification where people can jump on Skype with our customer support. We will take a picture of their passport number using machine readable zones that are scanned into the system and then we verify it and run it against a sanctions list.

"There is some very profound filtering going on. We do have tools that allow us to look back at the history of Bitcoin transactions. We are careful to follow Swiss data privacy laws and have the support of a fintech-friendly regulatory regime," he said.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 


 

By Ian Allison

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member