Bitcoin Cryptocurrency Breaks New Record High

Bitcoin Cryptocurrency Breaks New Record High

Bitcoin Cryptocurrency Breaks New Record High

FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary

 

NEW YORK, August 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ —

 

Bitcoin hit a record high above $4,500 yesterday and now putting the market capitalization over $73 billion according to CoinDesk. William Mougayar, the Founder of Startup Management, explained to Fortune that increased interest from Korean and Japanese exchanges are increasing the value of the cryptocurrency. "Another part of it is driven by the psychology of markets, as $USD 5,000 seems to be within reach, now that the $4,000 level has been easily broken," Mougayar said. The capitalization of Bitcoin is currently higher than some S&P 500 stocks, such as Netflix and PayPal. ChineseInvestors.com, Inc. (OTC: CIIX), NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA), Advances Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD), First Bitcoin Capital Corp (OTC: BITCF), MGT Capital Investments, Inc. (OTC: MGTI).
 

"PayPal was initially created with a similar vision to bitcoin – as permission less money," said Ari Paul, Chief Investment Officer of cryptocurrency investment firm BlockTower Capital, CNBC reported. "PayPal wasn't able to fulfill that vision, but bitcoin is well on the way. Bitcoin can be usSOURCE FinancialBuzz.comed to transfer $100 million anywhere in the world in 10 minutes and for less than $2. Bitcoin rising in value above PayPal reflects its growing role as the best way to move money globally."
 

ChineseInvestors.com, Inc. (OTCQB: CIIX) announced on August 14th the, "Launch of its cryptocurrency education and trading subscription service on ChineseIn.com, the Company's dynamic financial website that provides real-time market commentary, analysis, and educational related services to Chinese-speaking investors. The new subscription service will cover timely news and will provide analysis regarding all aspects of the emerging digital currency world, including coverage of cryptocurrencies including bitcoin and ethereum, industry trends, price movement, sector related stocks and ETFs, etc.

 

Cryptocurrency has attracted a lot of attention in recent years from the creation of bitcoin, the world's first decentralized digital currency to blockchain technology, which allows cryptocurrency to transfer value across the globe without resorting to traditional intermediaries such as banks. The ability to transfer value solely through software is a huge breakthrough. The cryptocurrency market has also created new phenomena such as currency mining, trading, tender, and storage. At the same time, it has significantly impacted industries such as cybersecurity, cloud computing and storage, and semiconductors."

 

"Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have become a global phenomenon," says Warren Wang, Founder and CEO of CIIX. "Since January 2015, the price of Bitcoin has increased 500% from $200 to $1,000 in January 2017, and just spiked to a record high over $4,000 as US-North Korea tensions escalated. Likewise, ethereum has surged from less than $10 to more than $300 this year.

 

With the use and trading of cryptocurrencies on the rise in Asia, it appears that a much wider adoption of digital assets may be right around the corner. With an estimated 85% market share, China is one of the dominant players controlling bitcoin volume, along with Japan (which recently legalized bitcoin as a form of payment) and the United States. While many see the unique opportunity that cryptocurrency poses for investors and desire to capitalize on this market opportunity, they may not have a full understanding of the concept of digital currency or how the system works. CIIX intends to provide fundamental knowledge to Chinese speaking newcomers to cryptocurrency, including straightforward explanations of the basics of cryptocurrency, how to buy it and straightforward trading guidelines. For those with cryptocurrency experience, the Company will provide more detailed information regarding currency mining, blockchain technology, stock trends and ETFs. Through its innovative cryptocurrency education and trading subscription service, the Company endeavors to be the leading Chinese educational site providing up to date news and information on digital currencies."

 

NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) sparked the growth of the PC gaming market with the invention of the GPU in 1999. The company redefined modern computer graphics and revolutionized parallel computing. On August 10th, the company announced second quarter financial results for fiscal 2018. According to the CFO's commentary, "Our PC OEM revenue includes GPUs designed for mainstream desktops, notebooks, and cryptocurrency mining. The recent rise in crypto coin prices resulted in increased demand in OEM GPU sales." GPU business revenue was $1.90 billion, up 59 percent from a year earlier and up 21 percent sequentially, led by strength across all platforms, including datacenter, gaming, and professional visualization platforms, along with PC OEM sales.

 

Advances Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) has driven innovation in high-performance computing, graphics, and visualization technologies, the building blocks for gaming, immersive platforms, and the datacenter. AMD announced its financial results for the second quarter on July 25th. On the earnings call, CEO of AMD, Lisa T. Su said, "In Graphics, GPU revenue increased by a strong double-digit percentage from year ago, with higher unit shipments and ASPs driving growth across our desktop and mobile GPU products. Demand for Radeon RX GPUs was strong in the quarter, driven by gaming and cryptocurrency mining."

 

First Bitcoin Capital Corp (OTC: BITCF) is engaged in developing digital currencies, proprietary Blockchain technologies, and the digital currency exchange – http://www.CoinQX.com . The company provides shareholders with diversified exposure to digital cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. On July 9th, invested its primary wallet owning dozens of cryptocurrencies into AlphaBIT in exchange for controlling interest, e.g. 200,000,000 ABCs. AlphaBIT is a closed-end crypto-exchange traded fund (CETF).

 

MGT Capital Investments, Inc. (OTC: MGTI) focus' on an expansion model to grow its crypto assets materially. The Company is also developing a portfolio of cyber security technologies, with industry pioneer John McAfee as its visionary leader, creating advanced protection technologies for mobile and personal tech devices, as well as corporate networks. On Thursday, MGT announced the deployment of 650 new Bitmain S9 Bitcoin mining rigs. These units are located at a new multi MegaWatt facility in central Washington state. Robert Ladd, Chief Executive Officer of MGT commented, "We are committed to this sector and look forward to updating stockholders on our continuing growth."

 

SOURCE FinancialBuzz.com

 

Posted By David Ogden
                 Entrepereneur

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Bitcoin Surging Demand Amidst Economic Uncertainty

Bitcoin Surging Demand Amidst Economic Uncertainty

Bitcoin Surging Demand Amidst Economic Uncertainty

After a strong week-long rally, bitcoin price has achieved yet another all-time high at $4,473, as demand from institutional investors and traders continue to rise amidst economic uncertainty and global markets instability.

Bitcoin Surging Demand Amidst Economic Uncertainty

Some regions including China demonstrated a meteoric increase in demand towards bitcoin, with bitcoin price surpassing the 30,000 Chinese yuan for the first time in history, which is equivalent to $4,495.

 

In previous coverages, Cryptocoinsnews noted that many analysts from prominent financial institutions including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan believe institutional and retail investors are shifting away from stocks and gold to bitcoin. Wall Street strategist Tom Lee said on CNBC that bitcoin will likely become the best performing asset and currency by the end of 2017. With the recent rise in bitcoin price, the prediction of Lee has become more realistic, as even with a 50 percent decline in value, bitcoin will still remain as the best performing asset in a yearly basis.
 

Earlier this morning, Morgan Stanley, the $89 billion investment banking company which manages over $1.3 trillion in assets, explained that an increasing number of investors, professional traders and portfolio managers have started to prefer bitcoin over gold for various reasons. As a start, despite being considered as a safe haven asset and long-term investment, as a digital currency, bitcoin is highly portable and liquid.

Over the past two years, overseas bitcoin exchange markets have matured significantly through the implementation of Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) systems, legalization of bitcoin by many governments and rapid increase in adoption by general consumers. More to that, large-scale financial institutions and leading bitcoin exchanges have started to target institutional investors by drastically improving liquidity of bitcoin.

 

In a note to its investors, Morgan Stanley equity strategist Tom Price stated:
 

The popular view that this immature currency is superior to gold as a hedge against inflation/uncertainty, still needs to be tested.
 

More importantly, Price emphasized that many investors see bitcoin as a better safe haven asset and store of value than gold in several aspects. He added:
 

“Some claim that the protocol limiting bitcoin’s supply growth rate, underpins its value, But if bitcoin is successful long term, we should continue to see competitor cryptocurrencies and market strategies emerge to exploit the new economic rent — a bearish risk for bitcoin’s price. [Bitcoin is] the latest money to offer gold’s long standing capabilities plus some other unique benefits. While it too may somehow undermine gold’s demand outlook, the rate/scale of the shift depends on the willingness of investors to engage bitcoin/cryptocurrencies.”

 

Yesterday, on August 16, when bitcoin price abruptly decreased from around $4,400 to $4,050 during a minor correction, investors and traders expected a steady mid-term decline in value. However, in a relatively short period of time, bitcoin price recovered beyond its previous peak and established a new all-time high, establishing a strong momentum for the week and upcoming months.

 

If the current levels and demand can be sustained throughout the week, the $5,000 target of Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and other prominent analysts including RT’s Max Keiser will become increasingly likely.

 

But, bitcoin price has since declined after a minor setback, from $4,473 to $4,300. It is already demonstrating indicators of recovery, as bitcoin price recovered to $4,330.
 

Originator and publisher:
Samburaj Das on 18/08/2017

 

Posted By David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

China’s Cryptocurrency Mining: Capital, Costs, Earnings

China's Cryptocurrency Mining - Capital, Costs, Earnings

China’s Cryptocurrency Mining: Capital, Costs, Earnings

Most Bitcoin mining operations are in China. As of July 2017, it is estimated that almost 70 percent of all Bitcoin mining is located in China.

Cryptocurrency mining, like other forms of businesses, needs capital to start and runs at an operation cost. Briefly, the startup cost includes the building, facilities and mining equipment.

On the other hand, the operation cost primarily includes electricity consumption, Internet bandwidth, manpower, equipment wear and tear and facilities maintenance.

Cheap electricity and mining machines are the two most critical factors for why mining operations are now thriving in China.

Cheap coal and massive hydroelectric power

It is not surprising that China is leading the world in cryptocurrency mining as its electricity tariff is one of the lowest in the world. Electricity in China is mainly generated by coal, which accounted for 57 percent of the total production and secondly by hydroelectric power – 20 percent.

With China being the world’s third largest coal reserve and coal being the cheapest source of power among the fossil fuels, electricity production costs a lot less than other parts of the world.

However, coal power is not the main source of power that is fuelling cryptocurrency mining, hydroelectric power is.

The largest concentration of miners are located in Sichuan China, estimated to be about 30 percent of the total. In Sichuan, hydroelectric makes up 79.5 percent of the total electricity capacity while fossil fuel makes 19.5 percent and it runs only during dry seasons. In wet seasons, Sichuan energy production exceeds consumption.

As of today, electricity in Sichuan costs around $0.08 to $0.09/kWh for commercial and industrial consumption.

Running a mining plant

A reporter from National Business Daily visited a mining operation and reported:

“The mining operation owned by a company called TianJia WangLuo located inside BaJiaoQi hydroelectric power plant has over 5,800 mining machines totaling more than 40 petahashes of processing power. The mining yields around 27 coins daily. This plant uses 7,000 units of energy an hour, amounting to 168,000 units of energy (kWh) a day, as the national average cost of electricity is about RMB 0.40 ($0.06) a unit, the cost of electricity for the plant is around RMB 6,720 ($1,000) a day.”

The cost of setting up the mining operation is by no means small. According to the plant supervisor, Mr. Lei, the company spent more than RMB five mln ($750,000) to build the plant.

The costs of the mining equipment aren’t small either. Each mining machine costs around RMB 10,000 ($1,500). In total, the capital investment was more than RMB 60 mln ($9 mln).

“This huge investment isn’t borne solely by the company as that is impossible. In fact, some of these machines don’t belong to the company; we operate them on behalf of others. For example, you buy a few machines and give them to me, I operate them for you, and in return, I receive a fixed service charge. In this way, the capital cost can be reduced and so is the risk,” Mr. Lei explained to the reporters.

How much can be earned?

The reporter estimated that this operation has a revenue of over RMB two mln a year. However, the net profit should take into consideration factors such as market price fluctuation, future halving of a number of coins and the changing of difficulty in mining.

The coin that is mined will eventually be traded in the market and cashed at certain time. Thus, the market price will determine how much the net profit is.

Mr. Lei also explained that for his operation, they sell only enough coin to cover their expenses. The surplus is kept for future as this is the long term strategy for his company. He also mentioned that not all mining companies follow this practice.

“In 2013, electricity tariff was high at RMB 0.70 ($0.10) to RMB 0.80 ($0.12) per unit, but at the same time, Bitcoin price was also high, around RMB 8,000 ($1,196). Many mining operations survived the high electricity cost but in 2015, the price fell to RMB 900 ($135), many mining operations closed down. It was a very bad time for the business,” Mr. Lei recalled.

Investment returns

Mr. Lei further told the reporter that the profit usually depends on changing factors but if things were stable and stayed the way they are as of now and you buy a machine, it takes about eight to nine months of continuously running to get the return back.

As a matter of fact, any businesses that have a return on investment of less than a year is considered very good.

“Like ore miners, our jobs are tough, but the people who make big profits are definitely not the miners. In our field, the logic is as the same (as ore mining). The ones who earn the most are the machine sellers and ore traders,” said Mr Lei.

 

By Willie Tan

 

Posted by David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Forget oil, Russia goes crazy for cryptocurrency

Forget oil, Russia goes crazy for cryptocurrency

Forget oil, Russia goes crazy for cryptocurrency

 

MOSCOW (AFP) – Standing in a warehouse in a Moscow suburb, Dmitry Marinichev tries to speak over the deafening hum of hundreds of computers stacked on shelves hard at work mining for crypto money.

"The form of currency we are used to is about to disappear," predicts the 42-year-old entrepreneur, who also works as President Vladimir Putin's adviser on internet matters.

Marinichev is one of Russia's leading crypto-businessmen at the helm of operations in this facility larger than a football pitch located in a former Soviet-era car factory, which collects virtual money on the accounts of its clients.

Individuals, or firms like Marinichev's, provide the computing power to run the so-called blockchain which records the world's virtual money transactions. In return for providing that service they receive virtual money, of which bitcoin is the most popular, as payment – a process bitcoiners call "mining".

Mining farms like this represent a growing craze in Russia for bitcoin and other virtual currencies not backed by governments or central banks that are increasingly used for goods and services on the internet.

The hunt for virtual currencies is accessible "to anyone who may be hardly familiar with computer science," Marinichev said. "It's no more complicated than buying a cellphone and connecting to a mobile network." The practice has become so popular in Russia that computer stores in the country have run out of graphic and video cards developed for gamers but are used by bitcoin miners to boost the processing power of their home computers.

Marinichev this week unveiled a more sophisticated setup, inviting investors to pitch in US$100 million to join a mining club and develop a Russian mining chip called Multiclet through his startup.

"The explosion of virtual currency value has made mining profitable enough to make it a professional activity," said Sergei, a 29-year-old computer scientist who runs half a dozen graphics cards plugged into the electrical grid of the company where he works.

He launched his mining operation in March, when the value of bitcoin and its main competitor ethereum, created by Russian-Canadian Vitalik Buterin, reached record heights on the currency's exchange.

Since the beginning of 2017, bitcoin has quadrupled in value, surpassing US$4,000 at the weekend, while ethereum experienced a rise of 4,500 per cent to hit a record of US$374 in June, later falling to US$268 in August.

While the assembly of a mining operation is easy enough, it consumes a large amount of electricity, which can reach the equivalent of several households' needs.

"All my friends who were interested in Bitcoin or ethereum built their devices and plugged them into their corporate networks, and I did the same," Sergei said. "Others cut into the municipal electrical cables."

Russia has a competitive advantage as an environment for mining, as Marinichev points out in a brochure for prospective investors: electricity here costs just 1.3 US cents per kilowatt hour while long winters save money on cooling systems.

Authorities in Russia were long suspicious of virtual money but have now come to recognise it as a force. A new bill is set to be debated this autumn which aims to regulate the possession and creation of crypto currency in the country.

The legal foundation for virtual money has so far been non-existent in Russia and it is associated with illicit activities like hacking and used to purchase drugs on the dark web.

"There is now an understanding at the highest level in the country that virtual currencies are not an absolute evil but a possible good, especially for the economy," said Marinichev.

Putin in early June even held a meeting at an economic forum with Buterin, the 23-year-old creator of ethereum, who lobbied the Russian president to expand the currency's use in Russia.

Last year, Russia's largest banks tested the platform for some of their transactions. The country's central bank even pondered development of a "national virtual currency".

Though at all-time-high in August at US$116 billion, the global cryptocurrency market is still quite young, volatile and prone to speculation.

Bitcoin, for example, lost almost a third of its value between mid-June and mid-July, before gaining it back over the course of a week. Since then, it has been regularly breaking records.

"The rush to virtual money is not a fad or a fleeting phenomenon. The virtualisation of our lives is a market process that has gone on and will continue," Marinichev said.

In a sign of the times, several cafes and restaurants in Moscow this summer began to accept payments in virtual currencies.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

Source: The Straits Times

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Bitcoin Price in Tulip Bubble, Claims BBC Tech Correspondent

Bitcoin Price in Tulip Bubble, Claims BBC Tech Correspondent

Bitcoin Price in Tulip Bubble, Claims BBC Tech Correspondent

The bitcoin price has set numerous records in 2017, prompting a wave of critics to forecast that “The bubble will burst!”.

On August 14, BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones became the latest in a long line of mainstream financial analysts and reporters to compare the rise of bitcoin to 17th-century Dutch Tulipmania. As he stated on Twitter:

“Yes, tulip bulbs are now selling for $4000 and we were told that was a bubble when they hit $100..

10:07 AM – Aug 14, 2017”
 

The Tulip Bubble

The tulip bubble, which took place from 1634-1637, was sparked when a non-fatal virus infiltrated the Dutch tulip crop. This virus resulted in a variety of beautiful petal patterns, and tulips–which were already rare in Holland–grew in value according to the scarcity of their patterns.

Demand exceeded supply, causing prices to skyrocket and speculators to begin buying tulip bulbs as investments. Tulipmania became so pervasive that people even traded their homes and life savings for tulip bulbs. At one point, tulip prices increased twenty-fold in a single month.

Eventually, early investors began selling their tulips to secure their profits, creating a chain reaction of decreasing tulip prices as people rushed to sell before the price went down further. Soon, people began to panic sell, causing the price to crash and the Dutch economy to sink into a depression.

 

Is Bitcoin a Digital Tulip Bulb?

Tulipmania is the quintessential example of a price bubble, and cryptocurrency critics have lobbed this analogy at bitcoin for years. Whenever the bitcoin price breaks through a new barrier, they rush to explain to mainstream news outlets that the bubble is going to burst, killing bitcoin once and for all.

The implication behind this analogy is that, like 17th-century Dutch tulip bulbs, bitcoin has little or no inherent value and derives its price entirely from speculation. It is true that bitcoin, like any asset, has experienced price bubbles in the past and will continue to see them in the future. It is also true that some people invest in bitcoin on speculation alone, without understanding or believing in the potential of its underlying technology.

But where the tulip bulb comparison diverges from reality is that bitcoin has recovered from multiple market corrections, despite naysayers’ predictions to the contrary. Moreover, what critics disingenuously refuse to admit is that cryptocurrency has a myriad of use cases, and more are being developed every day. Tulip bulbs have a limited, well-defined use case, and that use case did not justify its rapid (and localized) price increase. Bitcoin adoption, on the contrary, is a global phenomenon fueled by a truly revolutionary technology.
 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

DAvid Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrpreneur

 

Author: Josiah Wilmoth

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

What Would Happen if Cryptocurrency Became More Popular Than Cash

What Would Happen if Cryptocurrency Became More Popular Than Cash

What Would Happen if Cryptocurrency Became More Popular Than Cash?

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

THE FLIPPENING

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

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

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

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

NEW MONEY

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

Author: Brad Jones

 

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

U.K. Authorities look to Deem Bitcoin as Cash to Facilitate Cryptocurrency Seizures

U.K. Authorities look to Deem Bitcoin as Cash to Facilitate Cryptocurrency Seizures

U.K. Authorities look to Deem Bitcoin as Cash to Facilitate Cryptocurrency Seizures

A new report, published by the N8 Policing Research Partnership, states that law enforcement faces various challenges when it comes to cryptocurrencies and that, although these challenges are mostly driven by the lack of knowledge and tools, they would be lessened if bitcoin were categorized as cash. This would facilitate seizures in the cryptocurrency, which the report states facilitates money laundering and criminal activities.

The report starts by associating bitcoin with cybercrime, using WannaCry’s global ransomware campaign and its effects on the NHS as an example of how bitcoin facilitates criminal activities. According to the report, cryptocurrencies facilitate criminal transactions and crimes. It reads:

“Cryptocurrencies (mainly Bitcoin) have become a popular choice of criminals. They are facilitating criminal transactions and also crimes such as money laundering, extortion (following data breaches), blackmail (the threat of DDOS attacks) and fraud.”

It even states that cryptocurrencies such as monero and bitcoin have become a popular choice for criminals, adding that according to Europol 3% of all money laundering globally is now done through cryptocurrencies. Notably, back in July a report from the European Commission to the European Parliament and Council found that terrorists and criminals are rarely using cryptocurrencies, although it added that the lack of regulations pose the threat of them being misused.

Notably, N8’s report recommends the U.K. Home Office, an organization that oversees law enforcement agencies in the country, to classify bitcoin as a form of cash, to make it easier to seize the cryptocurrency. It states:

“A recommendation has also been made to the Home Office regarding a potential legislative amendment to categorise bitcoin as cash for the purpose of cash seizure legislation”

Moreover, as a result of its research, it found that U.K. law enforcement has significant knowledge gaps when it comes to cryptocurrencies, and as such a training program is recommended to improve development.

The report also says that bitcoin’s underlying technology, blockchain technology, poses “some potentially interesting opportunities for investigators”, and therefore it is essential to adopt a strategic training approach to law enforcement in the country.
 

How researchers got to their conclusion

As part of the report two scenarios were conducted: one in which researchers purchased items from dark web marketplaces using bitcoin and monero, and then executed a mock warrant, and a sextortion scenario in which officers analyzed transaction data on the blockchain to then execute a mock warrant and seize bitcoins.

It found that the lack of regulations for bitcoin ATMs in the U.K. is a vulnerability that can help criminals launder money. Regarding exchanges, it noted that these have been attempting to comply with international money laundering standards, conducting KYC (Know Your Customer) checks. It adds that further industry collaboration is needed as criminals can still bypass these checks.

Finally, the report notes that a number of tools are available for law enforcement to trace bitcoin transactions in the blockchain, but adds that these require knowledge and expertise. Some companies offer user-friendly alternatives, but access to these alternatives is limited in the U.K.

Whether the U.K. Home Office will approve legislation that will categorize bitcoin as cash is unclear.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

Author: Francisco Memoria

 

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Fidelity now allows clients to see digital currencies on its website

Fidelity now allows clients to see digital currencies on its website

Fidelity now allows clients to see digital currencies on its website

Fidelity Investments has started allowing clients to use its website to view their holdings of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies held through digital wallet provider Coinbase.

Fidelity Investments has started allowing clients to use its website to view their holdings of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies held through digital wallet provider Coinbase, the company said on Wednesday.

The initiative, previously tested with the Boston-based money manager's employees, is a rare example of an established financial services company warming up to cryptocurrencies.

Starting Wednesday, most Fidelity clients will be able to authorize Coinbase, one of the largest crypto-currency exchanges in the United States, to provide the fund manager with data on their holdings.

Through the experiment, the company said it aims to learn more about digital currencies, which have been proliferating since the creation of Bitcoin, the oldest and most valuable of these assets.

Coinbase enables users to buy and trade Bitcoin as well as competitor virtual currencies Ethereum and Litecoin.

"This is an experiment in the spirit of learning what these crypto assets are like and how our customers may want to interact with them," Hadley Stern, senior vice president and managing director at Fidelity Labs, the company's innovation unit, said in an interview.

Bitcoin hit a record high on Tuesday, with one unit of bitcoin trading at above $3,400 on Coinbase.

The currency's rise in value is not a driving force behind the initiative, Stern said, noting that the integration is part of Fidelity's wider efforts around cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology blockchain.

Many large financial institutions around the world have been investing in blockchain over the past two years, in the hopes that it can help them slash costs and simplify some processes. Blockchain is a shared ledger of transactions maintained by a network of computers on the internet rather than a central authority.

However, most established financial firms have shied away from associating themselves with bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, because the sector remains largely unregulated.

Fidelity's Chief Executive Officer Abigail Johnson announced the company's intention to launch the Coinbase integration at an industry conference in May.

At the time Johnson also revealed that Fidelity had been accepting bitcoin payments in its cafeteria, but said the experiment had highlighted the technology's flaws as a means of payments.

"But I am still a believer – and it's no accident that I'm one of the few standing before you today from a large financial services firm that hasn't given up on digital currencies," Johnson said at the time.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

Source: Reuters

 

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Changes in European regulations may impact Bitcoin

Changes in European regulations may impact Bitcoin

Changes in European regulations may impact Bitcoin

Some researches were stating that nearly a half of the bitcoin transaction is somehow related to various gambling activities. The reasons behind this are quite simple, the bitcoin provides a greater anonymity for the players and low transaction costs. However, the popularity of the bitcoin in the iGaming sector seem to become even greater this year.

Considering the fact that Poland, the Netherlands, Czech Republic and a few other major European markets are making it unfavourable for the operators to serve the customers via a locally regulated company and illegal to operate without one, the bitcoin casinos may become the best possible substitution in such markets. You may already see some of the popular Bitcoin casinos being listed at the various rating websites. While these websites are still listed in the bitcoin category, BTC casinos may soon take the largest slice of the market share. Let’s check a few European countries one by one to see the possible arguments.
 

Over 250 domains are banned in Poland

Polish government has set a deadline to ban all of the domains of the unregulated gambling companies by the 1st of July 2017. Now over 30 days have passed since then and we can conclude that this practice has been quite effective in terms of cleaning up the Polish market. Until now, it was announced that such gambling giants as 888 casino and poker, Pinnacle betting, Bet365, William Hill and other well known betting and casino operators have stepped out from Poland. Historically, some of the countries were putting such harsh restrictions on the gambling operators that only the richest ones could stay, yet this is not the case in Poland. The government has simply put a very high tax rate (12% on turnover), which already makes it quite risky for any gambling company to operate. And as a cherry on top, the Polish Ministry of Finance requires a company to apply for the local license with its locally established entity that employs local staff too. As a result, only a few unregulated operators are continuing serving the Polish players by offering their services while some subdomains.

We can clearly see an opportunity here for the bitcoin. While the number of competitors have decreased dramatically, generating profits is still not so easy for the locally regulated companies. Also, regulated companies are less likely to compensate their affiliates well or even at all. This is where bitcoin casinos and betting operators may take action and serve Polish customers with having no fears of being blocked by the payment system provider.
 

Czech Republic taxes the highest

Similar to Poland, Czech Republic has introduced a way to the gambling operators to get regulated and has required Internet Service Providers to ban the IPs of the unregulated entities. Instead of taxing the turnover, Czech Republic has decided to implement two types of taxation. Firstly, each of the games that uses randomly generated way of identifying a winner will be taxed at the 35% from the grosh gaming revenue. Even though such a tax rate is already one of the highest in Europe, Czech authorities will still charge a 19% income tax on top of that.

Again, most of the online gambling operators have decided to quit their operations. Needless to say, the bitcoin casinos and betting companies will be able to serve the clients in Czech republic without any local regulation, and this way they could save up quite a lot when compared to the regulated companies.

 

Summing it up

The EU governments are looking into tightening the screws in the iGaming sector. Ultimately, the government has two preventing measures in its disposal: blocking the operator’s IP address and requiring the payment systems to block the operator’s accounts. While the first block can be easily bypassed by various subdomains, avoiding the block on the deposits may be very challenging for the gambling companies that use fiat currencies. However, the bitcoin here seems to be the ultimately answer, and such a large forecasted demand on the cryptocurrencies may send the Bitcoin to the new heights.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

 

Author: Nick James

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

EVERYONE IS CRAZY FOR ETHEREUM, BUT BITCOIN IS STILL THE BEAST TO BEAT

EVERYONE IS CRAZY FOR ETHEREUM, BUT BITCOIN IS STILL THE BEAST TO BEAT

EVERYONE IS CRAZY FOR ETHEREUM, BUT BITCOIN IS STILL THE BEAST TO BEAT

We’ve come a long way in the eight years since Bitcoin’s original release. Back in 2009, when the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto launched the cryptographically verified digital asset, it was just a curiosity. With time, though, new uses have been found for it, from buying drugs, to transferring money near-instantaneously across the globe. Its value has peaked and troughed to reach considerable worth today – right now, a single Bitcoin is worth almost $2,800, close to its record high of $2,964.
 

The success of Bitcoin has inspired many imitators. That includes the classics, like Litecoin and Dogecoin, along with more contemporary and serious alternatives, like Ethereum and Zcash. They’re all subtly different, and often more volatile, than their Bitcoin foundation.

 

There’s now more than 900 cryptocurrencies in the wild. While many of them hog attention with their potential for larger earnings on less upfront investment, differing features, or philosophy, their futures still rest in the hands of that cryptocurrency created way back in 2009.
 

They are all built off the same core technology as Bitcoin, and susceptible to the same whims of human nature.
 

Bitcoin: The foundation and face of cryptocurrency empires

 

“Bitcoin underpins and backs up the entire crypto economy. When Bitcoin falls, the rest fall, when Bitcoin rises, the rest rise,” the host of the Bitcoin News Show, Vortex, told Digital Trends. “The alt coins are simply an extension of Bitcoin, most of them are even based on its source code.”
 

“Nothing like bitcoin could ever emerge again as the path to its inception is absolutely unique.”

There’s many “alt coins,” most with a unique spin. Some use different cryptographic hash functions, others build in smart contracting functionality, while others look to be more centralized. Yet at their core, they are all built around similar technology to Bitcoin, which is partly why their pasts and futures have been, and are, so dependent on the first mainstream cryptocurrency.
 

“Bitcoin will remain the digital gold that backs up the entire crypto-economy,” Vortex told us. “Nothing like bitcoin could ever emerge again as the path to its inception is absolutely unique. It was created anonymously with no pre-mine, no intent for profit, no attachment to any corporation, and essentially donated to the community by its founder.”
 

Although there have been some stumbling blocks over the years, with minor changes required to keep Bitcoin functioning as it should, it’s organic growth, and the lack of a desire to drive profit for its creators, that make Bitcoin so unique.

A quick look at the value charts shows that Bitcoin is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. Its value was, at the time this article was published, four times greater than the nearest competition. That suggests a confidence in the long-standing currency that is far grander than its contemporaries.

Part of that comes from its very value, which makes large fluctuations in its worth less likely. It’s a sturdier investment than many other currencies – though that doesn’t mean it isn’t susceptible to fluctuation. Its price today is close to double what it was at the start of the year.

Bitcoin also acts as the face of the industry. It’s the original, most publicized, and close to a household name. That means first time investors are likely to consider it over other, more obscure investments. In turn, this popularity gives Bitcoin influence over its competitors. When the world sees Bitcoin doing well, other currencies usually benefits, too.

 

“The entire cryptocurrency market often moves up or down based on what’s happening with Bitcoin,” said Stewart Dennis, CEO of cryptocurrency email system Bitbounce. “If Bitcoin’s value continues to appreciate, that bodes well for the future of other currencies.”

A fork in the road?

 

Predicting the future appreciation of Bitcoin is difficult. As we have seen over the past couple of years, it can tumble back down following major world events. China’s decision to ban financial institutions from using Bitcoin in 2013 saw the currency nearly halve in value over a few weeks. Hacks of major Bitcoin exchange services, and speculative bubbles, have led to other temporary downturns in its fortunes.

Of course, there’s always the competition looking to use one of these disruptions to make an attempt on the crown. The latest is Bitcoin Cash, a “hard-fork” from Bitcoin, designed to offer larger capacity than its predecessor to reduce transaction fees. Does it stand to find success as an alternative top-tier currency where others have failed?

“Anyone at any time can fork Bitcoin as it is open source,” Vortex told us, dismissively. “This is what Litecoin and many other coins did. They forked Bitcoin, tweaked a few things, and called it something else.”

The only difference with Bitcoin Cash, he claims, is that it’s the first currency to attempt to use the original Bitcoin name. Although Bitcoin Cash has quickly become one of the more valuable cryptocurrencies ($400 at the time of writing), Vortex points out that it does not have much support.

“It only has two developers [and] is highly centralized and controlled. The core [Bitcoin] developers want nothing to do with it,” he said.

For the sake of argument, though, let’s assume Bitcoin Cash is successful, or some major calamity caused Bitcoin to fail and fall from grace. What would happen to the market then?

“If Bitcoin were to fall, faith in crypto itself would be lost for many years, at least as a store of value,” Vortex told us. “As a currency however, it would still flourish. Gold is what made and broke nations for thousands of years. Digital gold, or Bitcoin, is what will make or break nations for the next thousand years.”
 

Others, like BitBounce’s CEO, believe that the market itself would recover much more quickly, and that some other coin that would pick up the reins where Bitcoin left off.

“A [Bitcoin] calamity would cause other cryptocurrencies to lose significant value in the short-term,” he said. “But in the medium to long term, it could create an opening for currencies such as Ether to become the most valuable cryptocurrency.”
 

Predicting the future with Bitcoin’s past

Although Bitcoin’s future remains a little uncertain, we can draw something from its past. As the cryptocurrency with the greatest longevity and the most proven track record, we use it to get an idea of what may happen to its younger competitors as they grow and mature.

At the time of writing, Ethereum is one of the more popular, vogue currencies, and in terms of its market capital, is second only to Bitcoin, even if it does trail it by a significant margin. Though it has suffered a recent downturn in value, it reached a new high less than a month ago, peaking just shy of $400 per Ether.

If we look at a graph of its growth and fall and compare that to Bitcoin’s earliest peaks in 2013, the similarities are hard to ignore. The only difference is that Ether has yet to recover in quite the same manner as Bitcoin. While there are no guarantees of such a thing happening, Bitbounce’s Dennis believes it will soon.

“Bitcoin has repeatedly appreciated to an all-time high and then corrected to a lower price for a while, before eventually reaching an even greater high. I see similar trends with other younger currencies,” he told DigitalTrends.
 

Indeed, Dennis sees those currencies one day even eclipsing that of Bitcoin.

“Bitcoin is still important because it started everything and has the widest adoption. However, Bitcoin’s dominance has been fading. Before too long, I expect other currencies to become even more valuable, and have greater adoption than Bitcoin.”

Vortex, however, disagrees. While he believes that Bitcoin will continue to underpin cryptocurrencies and even worldwide economies in the forseeable future, the outcome of other currencies is far less certain.
 

“Nothing is predictable,” he said, but reiterated that Bitcoin’s fortunes will be reflected in those of others currencies.

While he does see that any sort of success in Bitcoin cash would be a potential indicator for more hard-fork currencies being created in the future, “that trick only works a few times” and will ultimately just bring more attention to the original currency that started it all. Bitcoin.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

 

Author: Jon Martindale

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden