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Tag: bitcoin

In Less Than 2 Days, Bitcoin Cash Becomes Third Biggest Cryptocurrency

In Less Than 2 Days, Bitcoin Cash Becomes Third Biggest Cryptocurrency

In Less Than 2 Days, Bitcoin Cash Becomes Third Biggest Cryptocurrency
 

Barely 48 hours since its spin-off from the Bitcoin blockchain, Bitcoin Cash has already surged past other cryptocurrencies to become the third-biggest in terms of market capitalization. How the currency will fare over time is still up for debate, as it still lacks support from several mining pools and major exchanges.
 

UNEXPECTED BOOM

Less than two days after splitting from the main Bitcoin network, Bitcoin Cash [BCC] now ranks third amongst the world’s most valuable cryptocoins. The budding cryptocurrency has reached a market cap of more $7.7 billion as of this writing, overtaking Ripple’s $6.7 billion market cap.

 

With a market cap of a little more than $44 billion, the original Bitcoin currency is leading the market, while Ethereum comes in second at $20.9 billion. In terms of value per coin, Bitcoin Cash is even ahead of Ethereum’s current valuation of $223.54, with a per unit value of $470.27.
 

The surge in Bitcoin Cash comes despite a lack of support from several mining pools and major exchanges like Coinbase and BitMEX. Some Coinbase users are even threatening to sue the exchange for not recognizing the currency.

 

Blockchain Global’s recently re-opened Australian Cryptocurrency Exchange, on the other hand, is confirming Bitcoin Cash trades and claims to have seen a huge demand for the currency. “We are receiving a lot of off-market orders for bitcoin cash — they’re exploding!” venture partner Sebastian Quinn-Watson told Business Insider.
 

A VOLATILE CURRENCY
 

The creation of Bitcoin Cash was the result of an ongoing debate regarding how to scale Bitcoin blockchain transactions, and experts are currently divided on how the split will ultimately play out.

 

For now, this sudden increase in value is understandable. Bitcoin Cash carries all the history of the original Bitcoin platform up until the fork on August 1, which means anyone with Bitcoin now has an equal amount of Bitcoin Cash.

 

Eventually, Bitcoin Cash should be able to stabilize itself for market exchanges, but right now, speculation is causing a surge in initial interest. “People are selling their Bitcoin positions and buying Bitcoin Cash as a proposition that it is the ‘new coin’ that has more value in the future,” explained Quinn-Watson. “It’s a bit speculative.”

 

No one knows for sure how long Bitcoin Cash can sustain this upshot. As with other digital currencies, Bitcoin Cash’s value depends mainly on how much value investors assign to it and how easily it can be used for “real-world” transactions.

 

“There’s no infrastructure available out of the box to support BCC,” Fran Strajnar, co-founder and CEO of Brave New Coin, told CNBC. “The network needs further support and infrastructure needs to be as easy as Bitcoin; otherwise, it’s over for BCC.”

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Author Dom Galeon

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin Slide Looks Limited Even After Cryptocurrency Splits

Bitcoin Slide Looks Limited Even After Cryptocurrency Splits

Bitcoin Slide Looks Limited Even After Cryptocurrency Splits

Bitcoin might be dividing into two separate blockchains, but its downward slide has so far been contained, signaling confidence the biggest cryptocurrency will come out of the split unscathed.

The debate over how to scale bitcoin came to a head Tuesday as some cryptocurrency miners started using software called Bitcoin Cash and splitting a new blockchain off the old one. Blockchain is the technology used for verifying and recording digital currency transactions.

Bitcoin’s price should reflect the split by discounting the new coin, according to Charles Hayter, who runs the cryptocurrency data platform CryptoCompare. He likened it to a stock trading “ex dividend” — when the buyer isn’t entitled to collect a dividend on the shares.
 

After four days of gains, bitcoin was down $157, or 5.4 percent, to $2,729 at 11:05 a.m. in New York. Earlier in the day, the cryptocurrency fell as much as 8.4 percent, its biggest decline since July 25. Bitcoin cash futures rose 19 percent to $331, according to CoinMarketCap.com.

“The price of bitcoin has risen ahead of the split on the expectation that you’ll get that extra cash from bitcoin cash, so it should drop after the split,” Hayter said. “This has happened before in other blockchains. It’s a trading event where there’s number of hoops you have to jump though and people are trying to make a profit.”
 

Bitcoin Cash started gaining traction in the past week, just as miners fended off another split by rallying behind the scaling mechanism known as SegWit2X. Bitcoin Cash wants to increase the block size — the files in which transactions are recorded — while SegWit2X would transfer some of the operating power outside of the main blockchain. In other words, Bitcoin Cash would be one lane with bigger cars, while SegWit2X would be two lanes with smaller cars.

 

The great majority of miners and developers support bitcoin, while ViaBTC, which has almost 6 percent of bitcoin processing power, is the mining pool backing bitcoin cash.

“There’s a role for both of these coins,” said Cathie Wood, the New York-based chief investment officer at ARK Investment Management, which oversees the first exchange-traded fund with indirect exposure to bitcoin. “One is much more natural for store of value and the other one for a means of exchange.”

 

Some are less bullish. Ryan Taylor, chief executive officer of Dash Core, the sixth-biggest cryptocurrency, sees little chance that bitcoin cash will succeed in the long term.

 

“First, Bitcoin Cash has not solved scaling. It has merely kicked the can down the road with slightly larger blocks, but still lacks a credible technology to scale to massively larger numbers of users,” he said in an email. “Second, bitcoin will retain the network of integrated services that make the bitcoin network useful to businesses and consumers.”

 

Bitcoin holders are set to receive the same amount of bitcoin cash as they have in bitcoin if the exchanges and wallets they use support the new coin. Exchanges including Kraken and ViaBTC have said they’ll support both, while others like Coinbase and Poloniex have said they won’t, citing uncertainty that bitcoin cash will have lasting market value.

 

Kraken said that it’s working on crediting accounts with bitcoin cash, and that its site’s login function is down due to heavy traffic. While some miners are already using the Bitcoin Cash program, the real differentiation of the two blockchains will emerge when they mine more than 1 megabyte in one block, Hayter said. Bitcoin’s block limit is 1MB while Bitcoin Cash’s is 8MB.

“I’m not as concerned about this except for the administrative nightmare that some people are going to have to go through or have gone through already pulling out of the various exchanges that weren’t going to support it,” ARK Investment’s Wood said.

 

Bruce Fenton, founder of Atlantic Financial Inc. and a board member at the Bitcoin Foundation, said both currencies should trade heavily Tuesday.

“There are some very large holders who own bitcoin, who don’t like bitcoin and do like bitcoin cash,” he said. “But you also have a lot of people who can’t stand bitcoin cash, and as soon as they have the ability to get those coins they’re going to sell them on the market.”

“It could be a crazy day,” he said.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entreprenuer

 

Authors: Camilo Russ & Lily Katz

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin Cash Futures Plunge on ViaBTC

Bitcoin Cash Futures Plunge on ViaBTC

 

The creators of Bitcoin Cash believe support for segregated witness was a mistake — and a diversion from Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision for Bitcoin — and they aim to help bitcoin scale by immediately increasing the block size from 1 MB to 8 MB.

Since Bitcoin Cash is forking the Bitcoin blockchain, most bitcoin holders will receive an equal number of bitcoin cash. As long as you control the private keys of your bitcoin wallet — or have your coins on an exchange which has pledged support for bitcoin cash — you will be able to claim your bitcoin cash. If your coins are on an exchange which opposes bitcoin cash — such as Coinbase — there is a good chance you will not receive them.

Although the UAHF has not yet been deployed, ViaBTC enabled traders to trade bitcoin cash futures (under symbol: BCC) by temporarily freezing their BTC balances on the platform.

Despite this move, ViaBTC says they are neutral and only added BCC support because they believed there would be a market for it. And indeed there was; 24-hour bitcoin cash volume surpassed $2 million on July 27, although it has since tapered to about $850 million. HitBTC later added BCC futures as well, although volume is extremely low.

 

Bitcoin Cash Price Chart from ViaBTC

Since its listing, the bitcoin cash price has plunged on ViaBTC. From July 24-25, the value of bitcoin cash futures hovered around $500. By the 26th, it had fallen to $400. Since then, it has continued to skid, falling below $300 on July 31. In the past day alone, the bitcoin cash price has declined 24% against bitcoin, bringing its present value to about $278 according to CoinMarketCap.

It’s important to remember that these are just futures. The actual bitcoin cash coins do not exist yet, so we shouldn’t extrapolate too much from the week that bitcoin cash futures were trading on ViaBTC. Right now, we have more questions than answers about the actual hard fork:

Will investors rush to sell their airdropped bitcoin cash for a quick payday, or will they take a more cautious route in case bitcoin cash gains traction?

Where will bitcoin cash debut in the market cap rankings? If the current price of its futures is any indication, it could vault to 4th place with a market cap of around $4.5 billion.

How will bitcoin cash affect the bitcoin price — and how much has it already? It is likely that bitcoin cash will pull at least some of its value from the bitcoin market cap, but how drastic and immediate will the transfer be? If the bitcoin cash price opens at $300, for instance, will the bitcoin price decline in response?

These are exciting — and anxious — times for bitcoin. Bitcoin cash already has a fairly solid wallet and exchange support, but the real test will be whether the miners get behind it. In any case, it will be extremely intriguing to watch the trajectory of the bitcoin cash over the coming weeks.

 

David Ogden
Entreprenuer

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

 

Author: Josiah Wilmoth

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Top Cryptocurrencies Price Weekly Prediction – Next Days Will Be Rough For The Crypto Market

Top Cryptocurrencies Price Weekly Prediction – Next Days Will Be Rough For The Crypto Market

Top Cryptocurrencies Price Weekly Prediction — Next Days Will Be Rough For The Crypto Market

Not much has changed for most cryptocurrencies over the past few hours. Bitcoin is, together with Monero, the only currency in the top 10 noting a small loss, whereas most other coins have stabilized or regained some losses. Considering how the weekend is often a dreadful period for cryptocurrency trading this overall trend is rather positive. The total cryptocurrency market cap is heading toward US$90bn as well, which is a positive sign for the future.

CRYPTOCURRENCIES PREPARE FOR A STRONG WEEK

It seems evident most of the top 10 cryptocurrencies are in a good position for some notable gains over the next seven days. Even though we will see one Bitcoin hard fork materialize on August 1st, it is doubtful this will harm the price in a negative manner. Do not be mistaken in thinking Bitcoin Cash tokens come free of charge, though, as they may effectively subtract value from the actual Bitcoin price until the market stabilize.

That being said, we do see the Bitcoin price has dipped a whopping 0.19% over the past 24 hours. That in itself means very little as far as the world’s leading cryptocurrency is concerned. In fact, as long as Bitcoin doesn’t move by 5% or more over the course of 24 hours, there is absolutely nothing to be concerned about. A minuscule change such as this one means absolutely nothing.

lastest prices july

Despite the Bitcoin price “dip”, most altcoins are doing quite well. Ethereum is finally showing some life signs after weeks of declines. The 5.67% gain in the past 24 hours is quite substantial, as the price seems to be heading toward US$200 once again. It is still a far cry from US$400, though, and the currency is not out of the woods just yet. Future declines in value may still be a big part of Ethereum as there is still some funds in circulation which may be dumped across exchanges in the near future.

Other top currencies are showing small gains as well. Litecoin is up by 189%, whereas NEM, Dash, and IOTA all report gains below 1%. The big winners are XRP — up by 3.47% — as well as Stratis — up by 2.99% — and Ethereum Classic, which increased by 1.45%. The bigger question is when people will realize Ethereum Classic is the true, immutable Ethereum chain without SEC scrutiny, highly controversial ICOs, and a blockchain which can be rolled back when founders’ money is stake. Only time will tell if the ETH/ETC correlation will ever see proper momentum, as for now, all the hype and focus is still in Ethereum’s camp.

What is rather surprising is how Monero is the only top 10 currencies to note any losses, other than Bitcoin Monero lost6.41% of its value overnight, which is quite substantial. There is no real reason for this sudden downturn other than people speculating on the other currencies and trying to make a profit. Monero is still a very powerful cryptocurrency with honest developers who aim to provide anonymity to all users. Then again, a price of US$40.65 per XMR is still more than fair, all things considered.

Looking at the individual cryptocurrency market caps, it is pretty obvious Bitcoin remains the undisputed leader for some time to come. This also results in the Bitcoin Dominance Index going back above 50%, as it currently sits at 50.5%. Not too long ago, that percentage was heading toward 40% and lower, but it seems the market has finally come to its senses once again. There is no other currency capable of rivaling Bitcoin right now, that much is evident.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur
 

Author: Oliver Wood

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

What is cryptocurrency?

What is cryptocurrency?

 

Bitcoin is a form of cryptocurrency 

Cryptocurrency is a form of digital money that is designed to be secure and, in many cases, anonymous. It is a currency associated with the internet that uses cryptography, the process of converting legible information into an almost uncrackable code, to track purchases and transfers. Cryptography was born out of the need for secure communication in the Second World War. It has evolved in the digital era with elements of mathematical theory and computer science to become a way to secure communications, information and money online. The first cryptocurrency was bitcoin, which was created in 2009 and is still the best known. There has been a proliferation of cryptocurrencies in the past decade and there are now more than 900 available on the internet. Here's everything you need to know about cryptocurrencies. 

How do cryptocurrencies work? 

Cryptocurrencies use decentralised technology to let users make secure payments and store money without the need to use their name or go through a bank. They run on a distributed public ledger called blockchain, which is a record of all transactions updated and held by currency holders.

Units of cryptocurrency are created through a process called mining, which involves using computer power to solve complicated maths problems that generate coins. Users can also buy the currencies from brokers, then store and spend them using cryptographic wallets. Cryptocurrencies and applications of blockchain technology are still nascent in financial terms and more uses should be expected. Transactions including bonds, stocks and other financial assets could eventually be traded using the technology.  

What are the most common cryptocurrencies? 

  • Bitcoin:
     
    Bitcoin was the first and is the most commonly traded cryptocurrency to date.  The currency was developed by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009, a mysterious figure who developed its blockchain. It has a market capitalisation of around $45 billion as of July 2017. 
  • Ethereum:
     
    Developed in 2015, ethereum is the currency token used in the ethereum blockchain, the second most popular and valuable cryptocurrency. Ethereum has a market capitalisation of around $18bn as of July 2017. However, ethereum has had a turbulent journey. After a major hack in 2016 it split into two currencies, while its value has in recent months reached as high as $400 but crashed briefly to as low as 10 cents.
  • Ripple:
     
    Ripple is another distributed ledger system that was founded in 2012. Ripple can be used to track more kinds of transactions, not just of the cryptocurrency. It has been used by banks including Santander and UBS and has a market capitalisation of around $6.3 billion.
  • Litecoin: 
    This currency is most similar in form to bitcoin, but has moved more quickly to develop new innovations, including faster payments and processes to allow many more transactions. The total value of all Litecoin is around $2.1 billion.

Why would you use a cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrencies are known for being secure and providing a level of anonymity. Transactions in them cannot be faked or reversed and there tend to be low fees, making it more reliable than conventional currency. Their decentralised nature means they are available to everyone, where banks can be exclusive in who they will let open accounts.  As a new form of cash, the cryptocurrency markets have been known to take off meaning a small investment can become a large sum over night. But the same works the other way. People look to invest in cryptocurrencies should be aware of the volatility of the market and the risks they take when buying.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin Cash — Another Fork in the Road for Bitcoin

Bitcoin Cash - Another Fork in the Road for Bitcoin

Bitcoin Cash — Another Fork in the Road for Bitcoin

Last week the bitcoin community and investors breathed a sigh of relief as BIP 91 locked in and activated, signalling what we thought was a great step forward in finally resolving the long standing Bitcoin scaling debate. Confidence soared and the price recovered from a previous tumble.

And then came a twist.

In the last 72 hours, Bitcoin increasingly looks as though it is heading for a user activated hard fork (UAHF) called Bitcoin Cash. It is scheduled for the notorious date of 1 August 2017, previously earmarked as the proposed date for implementation of SegWit by way of a user activated soft fork (UASF).
 

What is Bitcoin Cash?

Bitcoin Cash is an alternative token that may come into existence as a result of a planned UAHF as mentioned above. Essentially this means that the Bitcoin blockchain may split into two competing chains.
 

The original plan for a UAHF came about from a contingency plan, proposed by Bitcoin mining company, Bitmain, who were opposed to the UASF for SegWit.

At the Future of Bitcoin Conference held in Arnhem, Netherlands from 29 June to 1 July this year, a software engineer named Amaury Sechet announced an alternative Bitcoin client (software) called Bitcoin Adjustable Blocksize Cap (Bitcoin ABC).
 

It has now been revealed that the token for this client is Bitcoin Cash.

Bitcoin Cash will differ from Bitcoin in terms of the following:

SegWit: Bitcoin Cash will not implement SegWit

Blocksize: Immediate increase from 1MB to 8MB

Coexistence: Replay and wipe out protections ensures that should the two chains continue to compete, Bitcoin Cash aims to reduce user disruption and allows for the safe existence of two chains.

How Does This Impact Your BTC Holdings?

 

In short, it does not affect your BTC balance. Instead a chain split will result in you holding an equal number of coins on both the old and new chains, however, the value of those coins will be different and probably vary dramatically as they establish themselves as either the majority or minority chain.

 

The Community Reaction

Miners

Statements released thus far by a number of mining pools, including Bitmain, have said they will continue to support SegWit2x and the original Bitcoin chain, and do not rule out supporting the Bitcoin Cash chain as well. ViaBTC, an exchange as well as a Bitcoin mining pool (ViaPool) have listed Bitcoin Cash futures and have explicitly stated their mining support for the chain.

Exchanges

Exchanges seem to be more divided than the mining pools. Some major exchanges such as Coinbase, Coinfloor and Bitstamp are not signalling any strong support for Bitcoin Cash and have left the crediting of the forked coins to their discretion. On the other hand, Bitfinex and Kraken, two other major Bitcoin exchanges, have announced that they will be crediting the forked coins to client accounts and will list the coin for trading. This could be vital to the coins survival as without any trusted exchanges listing the coin, there would be no market for it.

 

As we quickly approach 1 August 2017, a day that will long be spoken about in the Bitcoin community, the Bitcoin price will likely be volatile and an influx of opinions will generate a degree of hysteria amongst unseasoned Bitcoin investors.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur
 

Author: Adam Norrie

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Why the feds took down one of Bitcoin’s largest exchanges

Why the feds took down one of Bitcoin’s largest exchanges

Tracing Mt. Gox’s stolen coins led feds to Alexander Vinnik

  This week, one of Bitcoin’s largest and most notorious coin exchanges

was brought down by law enforcement — and police and prosecutors are now beginning to explain why. On Thursday, the Department of Justice unsealed an indictment against Alexander Vinnik — thought to be the operator, or one of the operators of Bitcoin exchange BTC-e — charging him with 21 counts of money laundering and other related financial crimes. The counts range from operating an unlicensed money transmittal business to a variety of money laundering charges, including laundering associated with ransomware payouts and a theft from the now-defunct Mt Gox exchange. More generally, the indictment paints BTC-e as a hub of criminal activity, laundering the proceeds of everything from drug trafficking to ransomware attacks.

As some suspected, Vinnik’s alleged crimes go beyond just operating the exchange. Feds believe he played a role in the theft of more 800,000 bitcoin — about $400 million at the time — from Mt. Gox, a staggering loss that ultimately shuttered the exchange. According to the indictment, 530,000 of those bitcoin ended up passing through wallets controlled by or associated with Vinnik, although his role in the larger scheme remains unclear.Vinnik’s alleged crimes go beyond just operating a Bitcoin exchange

Vinnik himself is in custody, arrested while on vacation in Greece, but the Bitcoin world is still sorting through the larger implications of his arrest. BTC-e was one of the last major exchanges outside the reach of conventional finance, and now that it’s gone, it’s unclear what might replace it. There are many legitimate uses of Bitcoin, but Bitcoin transactions have also become essential for online crime — whether it’s ransomware or Silk-Road-style online marketplaces. There will continue to be demand for exchanges like BTC-e, and ____. With feds directly targeting exchanges that don’t play by the book, the split between the two halves of Bitcoin is becoming starker and starker.

BTC-e, founded in 2011, always stood out as an anomaly among the major Bitcoin exchanges. Even a cursory look at BTC-e flagged it as a little strange. “Their exchange prices always seemed weird and out of line with every other exchange, and I had wondered why,” Matthew Green, a professor at Johns Hopkins University told The Verge in an email.

Nicholas Weaver wrote at Lawfare that BTC-e was noted for its “sketchy ownership and control.” The exchange was supposedly located in Eastern Europe, but there were no clues as to who ran it — until now.300,000 bitcoin from Mt. Gox went to wallets tied to “BTC-e administrative accounts” But the big surprise in the indictment is how closely tied BTC-e is to a massive theft at Mt. Gox, one that eventually bankrupted the exchange in 2014. Founded in 2010, Mt. Gox dominated the Bitcoin world for years, at one point processing 80 percent of all bitcoin-to-currency transactions. Mt. Gox first suffered a multimillion-dollar theft in June 2011. When the exchange collapsed in 2014, the equivalent of nearly half a billion dollars was unaccounted for.

On Wednesday, in the wake of the arrest of Vinnik, WizSec published a blogpost presenting the findings of an investigation into the Mt. Gox thefts that they have apparently been preparing for years. According to WizSec, the Mt. Gox hot wallet private keys were stolen sometime in 2011, and the hacker (or multiple hackers) continued to steal bitcoin through 2012 and 2013. The bitcoin were laundered through wallets controlled by Alexander Vinnik. The indictment claims that 300,000 bitcoin were stolen from Mt. Gox went directly to three connected BTC-e accounts “directly linked” to “BTC-e administrative accounts” that only BTC-e admins and operators could have had access to.

At least one of the accounts — under the name “Vamnedam” — was controlled by Vinnik and “others known and unknown.” (The “others known” are either not named in the indictment or have been redacted from the published document.)Many of the charges allege more straightforward money laundering" More bitcoin from the theft were sent to other Mt. Gox wallets and wallets at a third exchange — the now-defunct Tradehill, which operated out of San Francisco, California. From there, they eventually ended up at BTC-e, in an account that was directly controlled by Vinnik. WizSec also claims that the wallets that laundered Mt. Gox coins also handled “coins stolen from Bitcoinica, Bitfloor and several other thefts from back in 2011 and 2012.”

It’s not clear whether Vinnik was directly involved in the Mt. Gox theft, or how close he is to any of those previous thefts, or even the CryptoWall ransomware hackers whose funds he is accused of laundering. But when it comes to Mt. Gox, at least, BTC-e’s proximity to the theft is fairly suspicious.“Anybody who thought about this for a second understood that law enforcement was working on a case against BTC-e" While the Mt. Gox allegations are the most eye-catching, many of the charges that brought down BTC-e allege more straightforward money laundering. The very first count listed in the indictment is for operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business: a criminal charge based on failing to register with FinCEN, an intelligence network that’s mandatory for all financial companies dealing with US customers.

Participating in FinCEN comes with a range of requirements, from registration to internal anti-money laundering programs. Since 2013, it’s been clear that Bitcoin exchanges had to follow those same rules, and for the most part, exchanges have complied — and prosecutors haven’t been shy about filing charges against services that don’t. In recent years, BTC-e has been the largest Bitcoin exchange not registered with FinCEN, a distinction that made it an obvious target for law enforcement, even without Vinnik’s alleged Mt. Gox involvement. “Anybody who thought about this for a second understood that law enforcement was working on a case against BTC-e,” said Jerry Brito, executive director of Coin Center. “The question was just whether the government would catch them.”“designed so that criminals could effect financial transactions under multiple layers of anonymity”

Where other counts in the indictment focus on money transfers linked to theft and ransomware, the first two — operation of an unlicensed money transmitter and conspiracy to commit money-laundering — focus on the technological capabilities of BTC-e itself, claiming that the exchange had a “criminal design.” “BTC-e’s system was designed so that criminals could accomplish financial transactions with anonymity and thereby avoid apprehension by law enforcement or seizure of funds,” the indictment says, pointing out that BTC-e only required “a username, password, and an email address,” unlike “legitimate payment processors or digital currency exchangers.” The indictment also points to suspicious usernames like “ISIS,” “CocaineCowboys,” “blackhathackers,” “dzkillerhacker,” and “hacker4hire” as additional support for the money-laundering allegations.

The language in the indictment about BTC-e’s “criminal design” mimics the indictment against Liberty Reserve — an anonymous currency service taken down by law enforcement in 2013 — which also accused the online exchange of having a “criminal design” and a system “designed so that criminals could effect financial transactions under multiple layers of anonymity.” (The Liberty Reserve indictment also took the time to point out that account names on the site included “Russia Hackers” and “Hacker Accounts.”) BTC-e’s website claimed that they required customers to provide proof of identity — namely, a scanned ID card and a scanned utility bill or bank statement — and forbid any US customers, letting them off the hook for FinCEN registration. But neither turned out to be true, according to the indictment.“Exchanges will go one of two ways. Either they’ll clean up their act… or they’ll go fully underground.”

Now that BTC-e is down for good, it could have a profound impact on the criminal ecosystem more broadly. BTC-e handled about 5 percent of total Bitcoin transactions, but recent research found that as much as 95 percent of ransomware cashouts happened through the platform. With most comparably sized exchanges already registered under FinCEN, the takedown could make it both harder and riskier for criminals to cash out — something law enforcement seems to be counting on. In the same Lawfare piece, Weaver says he thinks taking down BTC-e “will probably prove more important than the AlphaBay and Hansa takedowns” in fighting online crime. For Bitcoiners less invested in law enforcement’s war on dark web marketplaces, the lesson is a more ambiguous one. Cornell professor Emin Gun Sirer says the focus on FinCEN compliance could lead to a lasting split in Bitcoin markets, as exchanges face the choice of whether to comply with US government demands.

“Exchanges will go one of two ways,” Sirer says. “Either they will clean their act, by first shopping for the most lenient jurisdictions and complying with relevant KYC/AML laws, or they'll go ‘fully underground,’ and operate with no rules, behind Tor and other anonymous communication technologies. The most colorful drama ahead will involve exchanges, such as Bitfinex, that operate in the gray zone, where they seem to neither comply with relevant laws nor go fully underground.” For a technology with a surrounding community built on libertarian ideas, that may be a difficult pill to swallow. But as the past week has made clear, those that don’t will be taking a very serious risk.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Indian Trade Survey — 97% Aware of Bitcoin, but Use of the Cryptocurrency Remains Low

Indian Trade Survey - 97% Aware of Bitcoin, but Use of the Cryptocurrency Remains Low

Indian Trade Survey — 97% Aware of Bitcoin, but Use of the Cryptocurrency Remains Low

A study by India’s market and trade body has found that while 97 percent of participants are aware of bitcoin, its use within their services remains low.

PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which plays a role in India’s industrial development processes, hosted a meeting ‘Roundtable on Industry Perspective on Bitcoins: A New World of Payments and Deals,’ on Wednesday, according to News 18.

According to the report, the trade and industry body asked 223 stakeholders ranging from fabrics, electronic devices and automobile parts, to determine the impact that bitcoin was having in India.

However, results found that while 97 percent of participants are aware of the digital currency, its use within companies remains low.
 

Gopal Jiwarajka, President of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said:

“Absence of the information about counterparties in the bitcoins transaction is a major drawback and may lead to unintentional transactions such as money laundering”.

He added that the use of bitcoin comes with huge risks and is not backed by any tangible asset, but sheer demand.

 

Calls for Regulation

This survey comes at a time when the Indian government is considering the regulation regime for bitcoin.

Even though there have been calls in the past from Indian politicians to ban bitcoin, a recent report has found that India is unlikely to declare bitcoin illegal in the country. Instead, it may be considered a security, but its regulatory fate remains uncertain.

Yesterday, it was reported that the Indian state of Karnataka is in the process of putting together a policy that focuses on digital currencies due to its rising demand. In particular, more young traders in the nation are being drawn toward bitcoin. In May, Coinsecure, an Indian bitcoin exchange, had to halt trading after recording a record number of users due to soaring interest and adoption of the currency in the country.

And yet, even though bitcoin is gaining in India there are risks that still need to be considered, according to Jiwarajka.

“Bitcoins are a fascinating instrument, however highly volatile, and susceptible to high risk makes it a vulnerable instrument”.

 

According to him, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) should look into the idea of digital currencies and take a view on it and see whether it can become a tool for promoting a digital economy.

 

Speaking to The Hindu Business Line, he stated:

“We are not proponents of bitcoins. But, as an industry chamber, we are furthering the debate. The RBI should see whether a platform can be created with cryptocurrencies so that people-to-people and people-to-merchant transactions can happen with negligible cost”.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Author: Rebecca Campbell

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin Cash: Why It’s Forking the Blockchain And What That Means

 

Bitcoin's scaling debate finally seems to be shaking out,

but some users aren't happy with the results. After a few years of debate, it was perhaps to be expected that at least some were going to come away empty-handed. Controversial scaling proposal Segwit2x tried to remedy this by joining two code change ideas — the code optimization Segregated Witness (SegWit) and a block size increase. Today, SegWit is just a couple of steps away from activating on bitcoin, but some bitcoin users are unhappy about the outcome.

Others who originally backed the Segwit2x proposal appear to be losing confidence in an eventual block size increase and are now taking matters into their own hands by making their own version of bitcoin — and they're doing so on a short timeline. On August 1, at precisely 12:20 UTC, the group claims that they will split off from bitcoin, creating a new cryptocurrency called Bitcoin Cash. Developer Calin Culianu, who's contributing code to an implementation of Bitcoin Cash, is one user who doesn't like SegWit, suspecting that others feel the same way.

Culianu told CoinDesk:

”If the Segwit2x agreement fails to implement the 2x part, which is not entirely unreasonable, and only ends up being being basically SegWit without the 2x, many miners will likely defect to Bitcoin Cash."

What is Bitcoin Cash?

So, what is it? And how does it differ from bitcoin? There are two main changes of note:

  • It increases the block size to 8 MB.
  • It removes SegWit, a code change that might activate on the bitcoin blockchain by the end of August.

Some, including a few of the project's supporters, call Bitcoin Cash an "altcoin," a term that usually denotes a fork of the software that creates a new cryptocurrency, with its own market. Indeed, the cryptocurrency is currently trading at $461, meaning it's worth about 18% of bitcoin's current price of $2,568, in an already-open futures market. Unlike other altcoins, though, Bitcoin Cash's transaction history would be the same as bitcoin's — at least up until the point of the split. So, if and when Bitcoin Cash splits off, users would have bitcoin on both blockchains.

Another difference is the project says it will support multiple implementations of its software, a move that's not surprising given the criticism that Bitcoin Core's software is too dominant on the bitcoin network. BitcoinABC is the first software to implement the Bitcoin Cash protocol, but the goal is for there to be many implementations. Culianu said that both Bitcoin Unlimited and Bitcoin Classic, other implementations that aim to increase bitcoin’s block size, are working on a version compatible with Bitcoin Cash. These might or might not be ready for August 1.

Who's involved?

So far, most bitcoin companies, mining pools, users and bitcoin developers seem uninterested in the effort. Yet, there are some eager supporters.Beijing-based mining firm ViaBTC, which boasts roughly 4% of bitcoin’s computing power, is the clear ringleader. The firm, which also operates an exchange, has become the first to list the cryptocurrency and also has plans to launch a new mining pool dedicated solely to Bitcoin Cash. (Though, so far, it's not clear how much of its 4% mining hashrate it will commit to the effort.) Asked if he believed Segwit2x would fulfill its roadmap, CEO Haipo Yang responded: "I doubt it."

Further, Bitcoin Cash has attracted support from some users who want a block size increase, as well as developers of other proposals such as Bitcoin Classic and Bitcoin Unlimited. What might be more surprising, though, is who's not involved. Even former supporters, including mining firms Bitcoin.com and Bitmain, seem hesitant to back the effort. For now, they remain committed to controversial scaling proposal Segwit2x. Mining company Bitmain even inspired Bitcoin Cash. Yet, the firm said that they only planned on going through with making the switch under certain conditions. Still, the firm might support both Segwit2x and Bitcoin Cash in the future.

In a PSA statement, Bitcoin.com said that it will allow miners in its pool to choose if they want to mine the Bitcoin Cash token BCC. For now, though, it will mine on Segwit2x chain, though it said it "will immediately shift all company resources to supporting Bitcoin Cash exclusively" if the block size increase part of SegWit, scheduled for roughly three months from now, falls through.

Wait, but why?

There are a few reasons users and mining pools might like to break off from bitcoin:

  • These users want an increase in bitcoin's block size parameter, and believe that the cryptocurrency's future depends on it.
  • SegWit is likely going to activate soon and some users want to avoid the feature.
  • There's a possibility that Segwit2x's block size parameter increase will ultimately fall through.

This mix of ideological and technical reasons was also on display in conversations with users. When asked by CoinDesk what BitcoinABC's goal is,

Culianu responded:

"To save bitcoin. We want to scale bitcoin up so that it won't die. It's already a bit sick and dying."

What's different here?

Many other efforts over the last couple of years have said they would split off from bitcoin, if they gained enough support from those operating the computers that secure the network. But, to date, no group has actually carried through with this plan so far. Bitcoin Cash might be unique in that it's actually committing to a deadline to split bitcoin into two, and that deadline is less than a week away.

If miners and users indeed go ahead with the split, it would mark the first time a cryptocurrency split off from bitcoin, carrying with it bitcoin’s transaction history. Like past efforts intended to replace the bitcoin used today with a new bitcoin, however, Bitcoin Cash has the same goal, but it seems willing to wait and see if users join the effort. Rather than call it bitcoin, ViaBTC, as well as a group of bitcoin companies in China, signed an agreement to label it a "competitive currency," not the "real" bitcoin. The move could set up the split to happen more quickly, as in the past exchanges have expressed confusion over how to handle a fork.

What's next?

If a new cryptocurrency splits off from the main bitcoin network, it will mark a first. So, some users are curious to see what happens. Still, without much support from miners and users, it might not end up having that much of an impact on the course of the main network. Nonetheless, it might if be worth watching if the second half of Segwit2x falls through. That's when it might see some more supporters.

Culianu, for example, concluded on an optimistic note:

”My secret gut feeling is Bitcoin Cash may surprise all of us. It is not entirely impossible that it will be the de-facto bitcoin after a few months. The much roomier 8 MB block space is attractive."

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Philippine Government Yet to Approve Cryptocurrency Exchange Applicants

Philippine Government Yet to Approve Cryprocurrwncy Exchange Applicants

Philippine Government Yet to Approve Cryptocurrency Exchange Applicants

Philippine business press, Businessmirror, has reported that the government has been yet to approve a single virtual currency exchange application. The Philippine central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, introduced regulations for virtual currencies earlier this year — which focussed heavily on creating guidelines for the operations of cryptocurrency exchanges.

The Philippine Central Bank Has Received Less Than 10 Applications For Virtual Currency Exchange Registration

The Philippine Central Bank’s Supervision and Examination Sector told Businessmirror that it has not approved any applications for entities seeking to register and establish cryptocurrency exchanges. It has also been revealed that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has so far received less than 10 applications.

BSP representative, Chuchi Fonacier stated that increased Filipino bitcoin adoption had prompted the development of cryptocurrency regulations. “We have observed acceleration in transaction volume based on our survey of top industry players last year, prompting us to institute a regulatory framework. We have no updated statistics to date, as these will come from the regular reports that registered entities will submit to the BSP.”

The Philipines’ bitcoin regulations focus upon articulating a juridical framework for the operation of cryptocurrency exchanges, in addition to providing an inclusive regulatory apparatus for cryptocurrency-based remittance services.“We want to maximize the benefits from this technological innovation, while adequately managing the risks that come with it. Virtual currencies can help accelerate the delivery of financial services [e.g., payments and remittance] and lower the cost of transactions, which is consistent with our broader financial-inclusion agenda,” Fonacier said.

 

In Practice, the Philippines’ Cryptocurrency Regulations Appear to Be Very Limited in Scope

Officials have consistently iterated the Philippines’ government’s intention to simultaneously foster growth and innovation in the cryptocurrency industries, whilst restricting the risk of bitcoin being used for money-laundering or terrorist financing activities. “We are particularly keen on addressing money-laundering risk, that is why part of the responsibilities of a virtual-currency exchange is to comply with established anti-money laundering rules, such as know-your-client procedures, as well as proper reporting to the AMLC [Anti-Money Laundering Council].”

Despite local press describing the Philippines’ stance toward bitcoin as “a first of its kind in Asia”, the regulatory apparatus developed by the BSP appears to be limited in its scope. The regulations focus heavily on providing guidelines for the operation of virtual currency exchanges, yet have largely neglected to develop regulatory or taxation frameworks for general cryptocurrency use or mining. There has also been little effort made to promote and educate Filipino citizens about cryptocurrency, which will be vital for greater Filipino bitcoin adoption as only one in three Filipino citizens is reported to have access to the internet. Furthermore, the BSP has designed regulations so as to monitor the Filipino bitcoin economy through mandatory reporting submitted by virtual currency-based businesses — of which the BSP is yet to approve a single application.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

Author: Samuel Haig

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member