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Category: Markethive

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Why Do I Have to Go to Church?

s it enough to just follow Jesus?

Written by GodLife on 02/05/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Church, Membership, Gifts, Baptism, Fellowship
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

1 Corinthians 12:27
Did God give us a list of steps we must take before we can go on to maturity? In a way, yes! An interesting Bible passage warns us not to get stuck in our growth, but to move on to maturity. In doing this, it actually gives us seven “basic things” mature believers need to understand clearly. It begins with our personal relationship with God. It moves to our earthly identification with God’s people. And it ends with the ultimate heavenly destiny of all God’s people.

Are you ready for a tour? Turn to Hebrews 6 and follow carefully along.

Just You and God
“Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God…” (Hebrews 6:1)

Every follower of Jesus needs to clearly know Who He is. He’s “the only Son, who is truly God” (John 1:18). He loves us so much that He left heaven to live under His own Law. He was tempted in every way, but He remained perfect and sinless. He suffered rejection, mockery and a cruel execution to take the punishment our sins deserve. He said, “It is finished,” (John 19:30) when He died, and His resurrection proved it was true.

For this “once for all” sacrifice (Hebrews 10:10-14) to work for me, I had to realize all I ever did only increased my guilt. My works were “deeds that bring death.” If there were any other way for me to escape hell, “it was useless for Christ to die” (Galatians 2:21). Believe this, pray humbly to receive Him, and trust that He’s able to save you forever, and you become a child of God (Hebrews 7:25; John 6:37).

You and the “local church” — the people of God near you
“And we shouldn’t need to keep teaching about baptisms or about the laying on of hands…” Hebrews 6:2a

As the passage implies, God did not save you simply so that you could enjoy eternal life. As His child, you’re part of a family with a mission. Not to keep teaching already-saved people the same things over and over, but to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” (Matthew 28:19) But until a new believer has been baptized, he or she needs to be taught.

Water baptism is a public ceremony identifying you with Jesus and the other “called-out” people of God (that’s what “church” means). In order to do this, you have to have fellowship with other Christians, even if it’s only with one or two other people who follow Jesus. “Laying on of hands” takes it a step farther — this means publicly choosing and sending someone out for service. God empowers each believer “so that his people would learn to serve and his body would grow strong” (Ephesians 4:12).

You and the “universal church” — the whole family in heaven and earth (Ephesians 3:15)
Finally, the passage ends with two more important points: “…the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.” (Hebrews 6:2b).

When Jesus returns, there will be a resurrection (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Corinthians 15:51-58). Believers who have died will be raised and united with those still living on earth. This is so that, in heaven, the work of the entire Church can be judged at once by Him (2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Corinthians 4:5), and He can “show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:7).

In this lesson, it’s easy to see that we’re not meant to live the Christian life alone. You might be able to think of exceptions: missionaries who travel to places where there is no church. Isolated believers in countries where Christians are persecuted. Those whose family members do not allow them to attend. But these are the special cases, because those who are denied church fellowship are the very ones who want it most! Christian children whose parents do not take them to church long to know what it is like. Isolated believers do their best to meet in secret or find a substitute, like broadcast or online services. Remote missionaries are going for the very purpose of establishing a church.

As Hebrews 6:1-2 shows us, there really is no way to move on to Christian maturity, to serve in the role for which God has called and empowered you, to accomplish the deeds for which He deserves praise in heaven, without being a part of an assembly of believers.

Pray this week:
Father, will you teach me everything I need to know about being a member of the Body of Christ?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

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Italy’s Economic Pain Is the Bitcoin Price’s Gain

Italy's Economic Pain Is the Bitcoin Price's Gain

Italy’s Economic Pain Is the Bitcoin Price’s Gain

 

Perhaps it took an economic crisis of another kind to lift the cryptocurrency markets. Italy’s economy is reeling amid a political crisis that has placed a spotlight on the cracks in the EU’s economic foundation.
 

Bitcoin Price Trends up as Italy’s Economy Falters

Italian bonds are going bust, and the negativity has spilled over into stocks as well. But as the global financial markets are reeling, bitcoin is finally beginning to see the light of day again, and it could just have something to do with the fact that a potential threat to the euro highlights the benefits of a decentralized currency like bitcoin.

 

The bitcoin price is currently trading above the $7,400 threshold after falling to a May low earlier in the day.

Reason to Rally

The cryptocurrency markets have been searching for a reason to rally, and many of us have been looking to the centralized governments of the world to provide that catalyst.
 

Meanwhile, the mechanics of the cryptocurrency markets are working just fine, and have pulled off a rally — albeit on modest trading volume — on a development that highlights the very strengths of a decentralized world. Bitcoin and its altcoin peers have proven once again the power of a digital currency that is not controlled by the central bank but instead the masses.
 

The crisis in Italy has placed a great deal of pressure on the euro, sending Europe’s common currency to its lowest levels against the USD in months. Italian bonds have similarly sold off amid the possibility of Europe’s third-largest economy staging a Brexit of its own. A decentralized currency like bitcoin becomes even more attractive when the common currency of Europe becomes unstable.
 

Fundstrat’s Thomas Lee cheered the crypto market’s response, telling Business Insider:
 

“To an extent, I think its good to see Bitcoin rallying with Gold, as the adverse developments in Italy and globally are pushing investors to risk-off. It’s good to see Bitcoin as an uncorrelated trade on a risk off day.”

 

Take the Latin American economy of Venezuela as an example. While the economic conditions in Venezuela are specific to the region, comprised of hyperinflation, food crisis and a broke government, the end result is a currency whose value has been destroyed. As a result, Venezuela’s currency was being exchanged for bitcoin at a record pace in mid-April, when more than $1 million in “bolivar-to-bitcoin” conversions occurred in a single day.
 

Italy’s fate in the EU has yet to unfold, and a snap election appears to be taking shape for the coming months there. In the meantime, it’s not just bitcoin that’s benefitting. Other leading digital currencies including ethereum, ripple, bitcoin cash and litecoin were all trading between 2%-4% higher while cardano soared nearly 10%.
 

AUTHOR Gerelyn Terzo CNN

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

A New Twist On Lightning Tech Could Be Coming Soon to Bitcoin

A New Twist On Lightning Tech Could Be Coming Soon to Bitcoin

Bitcoin's lightning network may be just starting to send transactions over the blockchain, but already its developers are looking to rearchitect the technology.
 

That's because, while touted as a way to significantly boost bitcoin's capacity, the network itself does require users to store a significant amount of data, which makes it difficult to download and run. As such, several lightning developers — Lightning Labs co-founder 'Laolu' Osuntokun and Blockstream's Christian Decker and Rusty Russell — have published a new proposal which imagines an alternative, "simplified" way of making off-chain transactions called eltoo.
 

But the new proposal isn't only about condensing the amount of data users need to store, it's also about keeping users' cryptocurrency safe.

 

For instance, all this data poses another problem in that if users accidentally broadcast older data, they might lose money. As such, this data has been coined "toxic information."
 

Eltoo, on the other hand, only stores the most recent off-chain transaction data, solving the well-known "information asymmetry" problem — that is if something happens to the device you're running your lightning app on — say your smartphone — you might lose access to the whole history of data.
 

"With eltoo, we reduce the risk of funds being swept away. We remove this toxic information," said Decker, who noted that the proposal's name is a joke of sorts — the phonetic spelling of "L2," which stands for layer-two, what many people call technology like lightning that pushes transactions off-chain.
 

And this is something Decker is very interested in since he's experienced the problem personally.
 

"This actually happened to me," he said, adding:
 

"I had an old lightning node on my laptop. I restored it. I didn't know I didn't have the newest state. The guy closed the connection because they knew it was an old state! Because he could steal it. Which he did, by the way."
 

All about revoking

Developers have long been trying to come up with a way for users to make a bunch of transactions using bitcoin, without bloating the blockchain with unnecessary data.
 

That's really what most of the scaling debates are all about.

 

But the first attempt to do this was way at the beginning of bitcoin's history when off-chain transaction capabilities were experimented with using so-called "sequence numbers" to keep track of which off-chain transaction is the most recent.
 

The idea was simple — if Alice has $10 and sends a $1 transaction to Bob, obviously her balance dwindles to $9.00. This then gets a sequence number "1." If later, she sends Bob $4, her balance is now $5, and this most recent transaction gets a sequence number "2."
 

But according to Decker, the mechanism "didn't work out," because miners didn't have any reason to enforce the rules and replace old transactions with the more recent ones.
 

Miners could just broadcast the one transaction where Alice's balance drops to $9 (even though she had made another transaction that dropped her balance to $5). While it's unclear why a miner might want or decide to not revoke a transaction for another one, they could decide to do so since there was no enforceability.
 

In this way, revoking old transactions in crucial otherwise Bob might not get the second transaction and Alice could run away with the money.
 

This "lack of enforceability" is a problem that wasn't solved until 2015.

 

And the lightning network is the best-known solution to this problem so far. Today, revoking old state is accomplished with the "L2-penalty" model — whereby a lightning wallet or node stores all of these intermediary states, then, if someone tries to broadcast an earlier, now-invalid state, this is detected and the cheating user is punished by losing money.

 

Eltoo and L2

But, three years on, the researchers are, in fact, going back to the idea of using sequence numbers to revoke old transactions.
 

Unlike bitcoin's old code, which didn't have an enforcement mechanism for these sequences, eltoo adds a procedure that makes every state update prescribed. Every state update — Alice sending Bob money, for instance — is composed of two transactions, each of which both parties store and which totally replace the prior update transaction.
 

"Only the last settlement transaction can ever be confirmed on the blockchain," the introductory blog post explains.
 

The tangential advantage of this system is that it increases lightning's scalability. With eltoo, each lightning node doesn't need to store all the intermediary states, rather, it stores only the most recent version and some information about the transaction itself, such as it's corresponding settlement transaction and potentially the HTLCs that spend from that settlement, the post notes.

What's perhaps the most beneficial part of the proposal, though, is that it isn't built on a "winner takes all" model.
 

Instead, eltoo and older L2 penalty schemes can be used side-by-side.

 

"Eltoo has quite different tradeoffs. I'm not implying it's better in all senses," Decker told CoinDesk, pointing to some arguments on the bitcoin developer mailing list about the technology increasing waiting times for transactions to be settled.
 

Still, overall, he's pretty excited about eltoo and the simplicity it brings, adding:

 

"We don't know which one is nicer, but I would like eltoo as the better option. I think eltoo is easier to explain and to extend later on."

 

Code obstacle

Not only are developers still discussing the proposal's merits, but there's another thing standing in the technology's way — "sighash_noinput."

 

This long-anticipated code option needs to be added to the bitcoin codebase for the cryptocurrency to be able to support eltoo (at least in an efficient form).
 

To understand why, it's important to know what the basic sighash function does. It works as a flag of sorts that specifies what part of the transaction data needs to be signed when it's transferred over to someone else. Users can choose from a range of options — for instance, the default flag, sighash_all, indicates that all parts of the transaction need to be signed, meaning that none of these parts can be changed throughout the process.
 

The proposed "sighash_noinput" function could flag that the "input" data going into a transaction doesn't need to be signed. And in turn, that the input data can change over time, from when the transaction was created to when it's written to the blockchain.
 

And this is exactly what eltoo needs, since the concept is that all the state in between the beginning and final transaction will be deleted, meaning the input will be different from the start and the end.
 

When asked whether he thinks the sighash_noinput proposal will get merged into the bitcoin codebase, Decker laughed and said, "Ever since SegWit, I stopped making these predictions."
 

He's pointing to the fact that Segregated Witness (SegWit) had broad support from the bulk of bitcoin's most active developers, but ended up stirring up a years-long battle within the community. The code change was only added to bitcoin last August, even though it was proposed more than two years prior.
 

Still, even though it's early, the sighash_noinput function is a relatively easy change to make to bitcoin's codebase, Decker said.
 

Plus, it's been theorized for some time that the change would have many positive implications for developers, he continued. Because of these potential benefits, a handful of Twitter users have begun adding the code change to their profiles to express their support, much like Twitter users did during the scaling debate (with #No2X becoming popular among those who were opposed to the Segwit2x initiative).
 

Remaining hopeful, Decker concluded:
 

"Every day new use cases join the sighash_noinput front."

 

Author Alyssa Hertig May 29, 2018 at 04:00 UTC

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Analysis — Reversal Candlestick At Make-Or-Break Level

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Analysis - Reversal Candlestick At Make-Or-Break Level

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Analysis — Reversal Candlestick At Make-Or-Break Level

 

Bitcoin is down to the last line of defense for bulls but a reversal candlestick is forming.

BITCOIN PRICE ANALYSIS

Bitcoin is consolidating inside a symmetrical triangle on its daily time frame and is currently testing support. This could be the last line of defense for buyers, as a break below support could signal that a longer-term selloff is underway.

 

However, a reversal candlestick or a doji appears to have formed right on support, and it would need the next candle to close above the high to confirm the possible bounce. If so, bitcoin could still climb up to the top of the triangle around $8,750-9,000.

 

The 100 SMA is below the longer-term 200 SMA, though, so the path of least resistance is to the downside. In other words, the selloff is more likely to persist than to reverse. The gap between the moving averages is also widening to reflect stronger selling pressure.

 

Meanwhile, RSI is already hovering around oversold levels to reflect exhaustion among sellers. Similarly, stochastic has reached the oversold region to signal that the drop may be over. Turning higher could draw buyers back in and allow bitcoin to pull up from its drop.

 

 

There are still no positive developments being reported from the industry so far, which might keep bitcoin exposed to risk flows throughout the week. In the previous week, geopolitical risk has led to some demand for the safe-haven dollar even as the FOMC minutes signaled a slower pace of rate hikes later on.

Up ahead, the NFP report could be the main catalyst for the dollar, although market watchers will likely keep close tabs on US-China and US-North Korea talks. Further tensions could keep the lower-yielding dollar supported versus bitcoin.

Another factor that’s limiting bitcoin gains is the selling of Mt. Gox coins to pay off its creditors. This exchange held thousands of bitcoin, so it’s understandable that the liquidation of massive amounts has affected the market.

 

By Rachel Lee On May 28, 2018

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

87.5% of all Bitcoins [BTC] will be mined by 2020 – Here’s why it matters!

87.5% of all Bitcoins [BTC] will be mined by 2020 – Here's why it matters!

87.5% of all Bitcoins [BTC] will be mined by 2020 — Here’s why it matters!

The block reward for Bitcoin will halve next in about two years from the time of publishing this article. The estimated time for the next half of the reward is around 732 days, but it is relevant now for a few reasons.

The current bear market offers opportunities for investors to buy and hold Bitcoin, as it is currently trading at a low since the past week. It has been plagued by sell-offs and FUD, along with a general bearish trend. Market sentiment is also low after the CFTC and US Justice Department declared the existence of a probe into cryptomarkets for fraudulent practices.

As the price is currently low, interest by institutional investors is on a high after a successful Consensus conference and general adaptive behavior. News such as Goldman Sachs beginning a cryptocurrency trading desk and JPMorgan’s high-level reshuffling to focus on cryptocurrency may as well be the tip of the adoption iceberg.

As the 17 millionth coin was mined sometime last month, a reality check descended on the market that the amount of Bitcoin left in existence is limited. Even as digital assets tend towards digital abundance, Satoshi’s blockchain allows for real digital scarcity with real-world parallels. The 21 millionth coin will be mined in around 2140, approximately. The time, electricity, and computing power required to mine new coins is constantly increasing, with Murphy’s law being barely able to keep up.

As the block reward is halved every 210,000 blocks, it constantly decreases the rate at which it is possible to create new Bitcoin tokens. The new landmark on ETA, 28th May 2020, will decrease the reward from the current 12.5 coins to 6.25 coins. The total coins mined before the next halving of the block reward will be 18,375,000, which marks 87.5% of the possible 21 million Bitcoin tokens.

This will then exponentially reduce the speed at which new Bitcoin come into existence, spiking up demand for the coin due to reduced supply. Analysts predict that this bear market will be the last one before 2020.

Crypto analyst Trevor Wade says:

“This bear market is the last chance for investors to buy into Bitcoin before the price goes up to $10000+. Reduced block rewards will result in supply cutting off and demand going up, which will cause an exponential spike. Regulators and institutional investors are moving in in a safe way, allowing for large-scale adoption of financial system disruptors.”

 

Author Anirudh VK May 27, 2018

 

Polsted by David Ogden Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

World’s Largest Diamond Jewelry Retailer Joins De Beers Blockchain Pilot

World's Largest Diamond Jewelry Retailer Joins De Beers Blockchain Pilot

World’s Largest Diamond Jewelry Retailer Joins De Beers Blockchain Pilot

De Beers Group has announced that the world’s largest diamond jewelry retailer has joined their diamond supply blockchain platform Tracr, according to a press release published May 24. Signet Jewelers joined the project, which aims to bring transparency to the industry, in addition to boosting consumer confidence.

Signet will join the Tracr platform in its pilot version, which according to the press release, will enable the platform to complete a “digital link” from diamond production to its retail location. The parties will ensure that the platform corresponds to the needs of manufacturers and retailer, initially focusing on the tracking of diamond jewelry.

Tracr creates a digital certificate for each diamond, which will be registered on the platform and contain key attributes and transactions. This will reportedly let consumers verify that diamonds they purchase are natural and conflict-free. Bruce Cleaver, CEO at De Beers Group, commented on the partnership:
 

“…Tracr is focused on bringing the benefits of blockchain technology to the full diamond value chain — providing consumers with confidence, the trade with increased efficiency and lower costs, and lenders to the industry with greater visibility.”

 

Signet Jewelers is headquartered in Ohio and operates in Canadian, American, and British markets, where it holds the number one position among diamond retailers. In 2017 it made over $3.8 bln in diamond jewelry sales. According to their 2018 annual report, Signet Jewelers has a market share of 7 percent of the US jewelry market.

Earlier this month, Cointelegraph reported that De Beers tracked 100 high-value diamonds from the mine to the retailer by means of blockchain technology. This was reportedly the “first time a diamond’s journey has been digitally tracked from mine to retail.” De Beers said that the Tracr platform is expected to launch later this year and will be open to the entire diamond industry.

Yesterday, two leading diamond industry players, KGK Diamonds and Alrosa, agreed to work with blockchain startup D1 Mint Limited to tokenize diamonds. It is believed that the innovation of blockchain can transform the precious gem industry by making natural diamonds into an investment asset class with wider appeal across “various investor groups, driv[ing] higher demand.”

 

Author Ana Alexandre

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Watch — Can It Finally Bounce?

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Watch - Can It Finally Bounce

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Watch — Can It Finally Bounce?

 

Bitcoin Price Key Highlights

 

  • Bitcoin price is still inside its symmetrical triangle formation and is currently testing support.
  • A bounce could take it back up to the resistance around $9,000 while a break lower could lead to a test of the next support at $6,500.
  • Technical indicators are showing mixed signals, so the move could mostly depend on market catalysts.

Bitcoin price has sold off to the very bottom of its symmetrical triangle formation, still pending a bounce or a break.

Technical Indicators Signals

 

The 100 SMA is below the longer-term 200 SMA so the path of least resistance is still to the downside. This suggests that a breakdown is more likely to happen than a bounce.

The gap between the moving averages is also widening to show accelerating bearish momentum. Also, price is below the 100 SMA dynamic inflection point to reflect continued selling pressure.

RSI is heading south to show that sellers have the upper hand, but the oscillator is already dipping into oversold territory to signal exhaustion. Turning higher could draw buyers back in and lead to a bounce back to the resistance. Similarly, stochastic is indicating oversold conditions but has yet to turn higher to signal a return in bullish pressure.

 

Market Factors

Regulatory fears are being blamed for the recent leg lower in bitcoin price, although this could prove positive for the industry in the longer run. The US Department of Justice is reportedly conducting a criminal probe into price manipulation practices involving cryptocurrencies.

It’s worth noting that the dollar has been on weaker footing following the FOMC minutes release and the recent announcements related to North Korea. Trump has cancelled his meeting with Kim Jong-Un for next month, reviving geopolitical tensions but weighing on the US currency. However, bitcoin price has been unable to take advantage of this as it also seems to have been dragged lower by risk sentiment.

 

Author SARAH JENN | MAY 25, 2018 | 4:28 AM

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin and Ethereum Price Forecast – BTC Prices Crash Through Support

Bitcoin and Ethereum Price Forecast – BTC Prices Crash Through Support

Bitcoin and Ethereum Price Forecast — BTC Prices Crash Through Support

The BTC prices have fallen hard over the last few hours and the prices now trade below the $7500 region as of this writing. We had mentioned yesterday that the support region around $7800 was under severe pressure and if and when there is a break through this region, we should see the bears back in control and that’s what we are seeing now. There are no specific reasons for the fall in prices, as the BTC prices lack fundamentals but we could say that the general risk off sentiment that is seen in the markets could also be one of the reasons.

Prices Below $7800

The lack of fundamentals is also telling and the lack of momentum from the bulls could also be attributed to this fall. The prices have been trading near the support region for far too long and the investors and the traders, who are weak holders, have got tired of this loss of momentum and they were looking for the first opportunity to exit the market and once they saw that the prices began to fall slightly, they have taken the opportunity to sell off and push the prices even lower. Now, we are probably looking even further below for support which could once again come in the $6600 region but if and when the prices get there, we could be seeing some serious panic in the markets.

 

The ETH prices have also crashed lower and the prices are now trading below the $600 region as of this writing. Just as how the move higher in the prices was strong, we are seeing the move lower also being quite strong and this has led the markets to be under a lot of pressure of late. We believe that the market is likely to find some support in the $580 region but we have to see whether that would be enough to hold off the selling that we are seeing.

 

Forecast

Looking ahead to the rest of the day, we could see the selling continue for the short term though some decent supports are nearby in both the BTC and ETH markets. We would wait to see a turnaround in the risk sentiment and if and when that happens, we could see the prices move up higher.

 

Author Colin First

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member