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What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital crypto-currency with no single point of failure due to its decentralized peer-to-peer architecture. The source code is publicly available and changes to the reference Bitcoin client are made via concensus within the community. Advantages of Bitcoin include irreversible transactions (i.e. no possibility of chargebacks as with credit cards), pseudo-anonymous, limited and fixed inflation, near instant transactions, multi-platform, no double-spend and little to no barriers to entry and more. It was created by an anonymous person known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Find out more at WeUseCoins.com.

Bitcoin Latest News

University Student Involvement Supports Australia’s Booming Blockchain Community

University Student Involvement Supports Australia’s Booming Blockchain Community

The blockchain industry is booming in Australia recently after the Australian Tax Office (ATO) announced changes to tax laws in the 2017–2018 budget summary by the Australian government, surrounding how digital currencies are treated in the country. In the few weeks since the announcement, active blockchain communities and events such as RegHack DownUnder have launched across the country, supported by universities and government regulators.

Australia has traditionally held strict tax laws when it comes to how they handle bitcoin and other digital currencies, defining bitcoin as a separate asset class to fiat currency and requiring that transactions involving digital currencies are taxed twice by the Australian Tax Office. The new budget summary removes any general sales tax made more than once in the supply chain using digital currency, in an attempt to “make it easier for new innovative digital currency businesses to operate in Australia” and to grow their nascent community into a global innovation hub.

The summary states, “The Government is committed to establishing Australia as a leading global financial technology (FinTech) hub and is announcing a new package that aims to position our local fintech industry as a world leader.”

This new regulatory environment has spurred growth in the community, from university campuses all the way up to the government regulators. Students have begun to launch clubs at universities across the country, and regulators and business executives have begun to take notice.

“We’re excited blockchain [technology] can finally move to our campus and Australia in a big way. There’s been a significant increase in interest from the community in the past few weeks,“ said Ryan Pousson, the regional head of the Blockchain Education Network (BEN) in Brisbane and the founder of the UQ Blockchain Club, in a statement to Bitcoin Magazine. This perspective was echoed by Jared Piper, a region head of the Blockchain Education Network in Melbourne.

Aaron Schwartz, the director of global engagement at BEN and partner at MLG Capital, told Bitcoin Magazine, “It’s super exciting to be part of a decentralized organization like BEN that is doing something unique with a swarm-style model. We are quickly spreading to countries all across the world with new chapters opening up across Australia, Colombia, Nigeria and Bangalore, just to name a few. We encourage anyone in a blockchain community around the world to reach out to get started growing their local community.”

On the weekend of May 12–14, government representatives in the energy sector and banking executives in the financial services industry came together to judge RegHack DownUnder. The brightest developers, UI/UX designers and entrepreneurs across Australia were encouraged to spend the weekend in Melbourne to develop blockchain technology solutions to solve some of the problems it faces in these two heavily regulated sectors.

In advance of the hackathon, Adam Lemmon, a blockchain expert from Toronto, flew down to Melbourne to present an overview of Ethereum development and Solidity to the community. Following the event, Lemmon said, “RegHack was an amazing experience and it was inspiring to see such a young blockchain community so excited about the technology.”

Chami Akmeemana, the organizer of RegHack DownUnder, predicts a fast growth in the community. He said to Bitcoin Magazine following the event: “It was a mammoth success. Close to 100 participants spent three days exploring tech solutions to regulatory issues. We now have 100+ blockchain enthusiasts, that I expect [will grow] to over 1000+ by the end of the year. I’m hoping to see some world-class blockchain applications coming out of Australia and I’m stoked to be part of this boost to the ecosystem.”

The regulators in Australia are on board too with this digital transformation. Igor Simunovic, a representative from the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), said in a statement following the event that “the event provided opportunity for industry (including government) and freelancers/students/developers to meet, integrate and share through the problem solving required to address the Hackathon ‘problems.’ Such meeting and teamwork opportunities are rare and often bound by the [confines] of conferences or meet-ups. The process of discovering new technologies and frameworks was just a bonus.”

It is still the beginning in the growth trajectory of the blockchain community in Australia, but it is an exciting time to be part of a global movement. For example, in the few months following November’s RegHack TO, the first hackathon hosted by a securities regulator in Canada and inspired by Chami Akmeemana, the number of people attending meetups in Toronto has tripled from 200 to over 700 at the most recent blockchain meetup in Toronto. Getting the entire community on board from universities to business executives to government regulators is an important milestone for any community striving to become a blockchain hub.

The post University Student Involvement Supports Australia’s Booming Blockchain Community appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 19 May 2017 | 2:32 pm

How Blockchain Identity Trust Is Fostering New Applications in Healthcare

How Blockchain Identity Trust Is Fostering New Applications in Healthcare

Can identity trust be integrated with blockchain technology? The answer to that question appears to be yes, according to a recently completed proof-of-concept study conducted by Peer Ledger, a Canadian blockchain company; SAFE-BioPharma Association, the organization managing the global SAFE-BioPharma digital identity management standard; and Synchronoss, a leading provider of standards-based digital identities.

This development is believed to have significant implications for the use of distributed electronic ledgers (i.e., blockchains) for medical, pharmaceutical and other health system applications.

The purpose of the study was to demonstrate that cyber identities that comply with the SAFE-BioPharma standard may, via Peer Ledger APIs, enable blockchain identities to be de-anonymized, thereby fulfilling a requirement for double-blind clinical trials, audits and responsible supply chains. Prior to the study, identities associated with distributed electronic ledgers were entirely anonymous.

“Identity trust” means that there is trust in each cyber identity, using a process that proves the individual’s identity before linking it to the cyber credential. In general terms, it means that the credential can be trusted to represent the vetted identity of the individual one is doing business with but has never met face-to-face. This is critically important to the pharma/life sciences space because of several factors, including deterrence of hackers seeking valuable patient records and intellectual property, as well as compliance with regulations protecting patient data.

These discoveries underscore the power of blockchain technology to disrupt traditional practices for drug discovery, patient engagement and monitoring, payments and participatory healthcare delivery. Here, the technology leverages its quality as a shared, synchronized, distributed ledger of transactions, fostering security and decreasing fraud by providing a permanent record of who accessed ledgers and what activities they engaged in.  

The proof of concept demonstrated that SAFE-BioPharma-compliant digital identities can be tied back to the blockchain to assure trust in the identity of each person engaged in the transaction. Transactions can be anonymous until the end of a clinical study and “chained back” to the proven identity of the user, if needed, for regulatory or clinical purposes. Alternatively, the identities associated with each block can be known throughout the process, such as in track-and-trace applications for the medical supply chain.

Blockchain technology’s use of a group-consensus algorithm can be used to catch intentional or inadvertent double spending of an asset. For example, an accounts-receivable blockchain application can provide “multiple eyes” to prevent double invoicing. Similarly, a counterfeit-catching purchasing blockchain application can prevent harmful substances and devices from entering the medical system.

Ultimately, for blockchain technology to reach its full potential in any sector, myriad systems must be interoperable. Currently, healthcare technologies rarely work in a highly synchronized way with one another, which is why pharmaceutical and other medical companies that already have powerful identity management tools are trialing a number of different blockchain-based applications.

Thus far, these apps have been unable to bridge to the systems pharma companies use to establish identity credentials for their personnel. This is the problem addressed in the proof of concept. Peer Ledger has therefore developed software that now maps a trusted identity, from the Synchronoss-implemented Verizon Universal Identity Services system to blockchain credentials.

“Every SAFE-BioPharma-compliant identity credential accurately represents the proven identity of the person using it,” explains Mollie Shields-Uehling, president and CEO of SAFE-BioPharma Association. “Teaming these credentials with anonymous blockchain ledger postings enables use cases critical for overall cybersecurity across healthcare and the life sciences.”

When asked about future applications of all of this for healthcare, Shields-Uehling and Dawn Jutla, CEO and founder of Peer Ledger, highlighted three major areas of blockchain intersection.

Blockchain and clinical trials: In order to co-partner in the discovery of cures, patients may give pharmaceutical companies direct access to their digitized healthcare records, thus improving both data used for research and the speed of patient treatment. Britain’s Chief Scientific Officer, Sir Mark Walport, has argued that the National Health Service, which provides healthcare for 65 million people, should use blockchain technology to improve such tasks as the sharing of health records.

Blockchain and data collection: Earlier this year, IBM Watson Health announced it would work with the FDA to develop a secure, efficient and scalable exchange of health data using blockchain technology. Oncology data will be the initial focus.

Blockchain and personalized precision medicine: Blockchain technology’s cryptography will secure economical home healthcare sensor feeds. Trusted identity will be important to ensure that the right test results are associated with the right patient.

The post How Blockchain Identity Trust Is Fostering New Applications in Healthcare appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 19 May 2017 | 12:41 pm

Is Bitcoin Safer Than Gold? - TheStreet.com


Is Bitcoin Safer Than Gold?
TheStreet.com
At the same time, the alternative digital currency, Bitcoin, which was born in cyberspace, has reached all-time highs. Gold gets honorable mention as a safe haven, but not much more. But where does the real risk, as well as the real value, lie? In view ...

Posted on 19 May 2017 | 11:01 am

Bitcoin Hits $2000 On Bitfinex as Bullrun Beats Bubble Fears - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

Bitcoin Hits $2000 On Bitfinex as Bullrun Beats Bubble Fears
CoinTelegraph
Bitcoin has already reached the historic $2,000 mark on some exchanges as momentum gains among investors. Data from Bitfinex shows asking prices of over $2,000 per coin Friday as the price per coin many thought would take years becomes reality.

Posted on 19 May 2017 | 9:15 am

Newbie Bitcoin Users Have 'Overloaded' Us, Exert Pressure: Bitstamp Exchange - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

Newbie Bitcoin Users Have 'Overloaded' Us, Exert Pressure: Bitstamp Exchange
CoinTelegraph
The issue has been compounded by the state of the Bitcoin network itself. Slow confirmation times are likely adding to the workload for exchanges such as Bitstamp through fielding complaints from users assuming the fault lies with the recipient.

Posted on 19 May 2017 | 7:29 am

Bitcoin Hit Another Record and It's Gained Almost $4 Billion Just This Week - Fortune


Fortune

Bitcoin Hit Another Record and It's Gained Almost $4 Billion Just This Week
Fortune
In recent days, bitcoin's value has jumped partly due to a surge in trading from Japan and Korea. Japan recently approved bitcoin's use as a legal currency for retailers, CNBC reports. At the same time, some investors see the asset as a "safe haven ...
Bitcoin breaks through $1900 to reach record high with its market cap up $4 billion this week aloneCNBC
Bitcoin Tops $1900 for the First TimeBloomberg
Bitcoin surges past $1900 for the first timeMarkets Insider
CryptoCoinsNews -RT -The Merkle
all 17 news articles »

Posted on 19 May 2017 | 6:00 am

Advertise with Anonymous Ads

Where is Gavin Andresen? The Quiet Exile of Bitcoin's Former Face

Bitcoin developers discuss a messy divorce with former maintainer Gavin Andresen, once the most public face of the digital currency project.

Source

Posted on 19 May 2017 | 5:00 am

Bitcoins - Are You Kidding Me? - Seeking Alpha


Seeking Alpha

Bitcoins - Are You Kidding Me?
Seeking Alpha
Everything you need to know about bitcoins in 4 minutes (with my comments attached). Do not expect piercing evaluation, academic challenges or thought-provoking analysis. It may not be the worst idea in the financial world, but it is second to Wells ...

Posted on 19 May 2017 | 4:40 am

SegWit Activation Complete, Litecoin Charts a Course for the Future

A new roadmap unveiled this week showcases that the team developing the litecoin blockchain has big plans ahead.

Source

Posted on 19 May 2017 | 3:00 am

Bitcoin Price at $1934 All-Time High, Led by US, to Reach $2000 Soon - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

Bitcoin Price at $1934 All-Time High, Led by US, to Reach $2000 Soon
CoinTelegraph
The demand for Bitcoin in the US is rapidly increasing due to the wide regard of Bitcoin as a safe haven asset, alongside gold. In fact, prominent gold investors including Mike Maloney have urged investor and traders to hold Bitcoin in their portfolios ...

Posted on 19 May 2017 | 2:45 am

Bitmain May Be Infringing on the AsicBoost Patent After All

Bitmain may be infringing copyright

The AsicBoost controversy has added another chapter to its book.

Yesterday, law firm Getech Law published an open letter, which was subsequently confirmed to be legitimate by Timo Hanke, the initial submitter of the AsicBoost patent application. In the open letter, the law firm states that several chip producers and sellers are infringing on the intellectual property derived from the pending AsicBoost patent. As such, these companies should “cease production and sales activities of any products in connection to the pending patent application.”

While the letter does not state it explicitly, and Getech Law preferred not to name specific companies when asked by Bitcoin Magazine, the open letter seems to refer to recent revelations of Bitmain’s implementation of AsicBoost in their specialized Bitcoin mining (ASIC) chips. Indeed, if the letter’s claims hold up, Bitcoin’s biggest mining hardware producer may be unable to sell most of their hardware for the time being.

Otherwise, as Getech Law attorney Jun Ye told Bitcoin Magazine:

If the potential infringements cannot be stopped by the announcement and subsequent cease-and-desist letters, we will have no choice but to seek damages in court once our pending application is issued by the USPTO and other patent offices.

AsicBoost

AsicBoost has had a controversial history within the Bitcoin industry so far.

Initially patented by mathematician and former CoinTerra CTO Timo Hanke, AsicBoost is perhaps best described as a sort of “shortcut” that exploits a weakness in Bitcoin’s proof-of-work algorithm. By reusing some of their work, miners can save between 10 and 30 percent of the energy costs associated with mining. This can add up to a significant increase in profits over time — perhaps in excess of over $100 million per year if no other miners use it.

And it could be the case that no other miners would use it precisely because of AsicBoost’s pending patent. The patent application is therefore controversial, as some believe that such a state-enforced monopoly on using technology could further centralize and skew Bitcoin’s mining ecosystem. About a year ago several Bitcoin developers even proposed changing Bitcoin’s mining algorithm slightly in order to make AsicBoost’s technology obsolete.

But the AsicBoost controversy really exploded onto the scene several weeks ago, as it was discovered that covert use of AsicBoost is incompatible with Segregated Witness, the protocol upgrade proposed by the Bitcoin Core development team. Moreover, it was revealed that Bitmain had implemented the technology in its chips. This might explain why the Chinese mining giant has been opposing the upgrade so far — though the company denies this is the case.

Patent Infringement

Now, it seems Bitmain may not even be legally allowed to have AsicBoost implemented in its chips.

While Hanke was known to have submitted a patent for AsicBoost along with RSK CEO Sergio Demian Lerner, Bitmain initially claimed to hold the patent in China. As such, the company said it shouldn’t be a problem — from a legal perspective — to apply the technology at least within the Chinese jurisdiction.

But it now seems that Hanke claimed his worldwide priority date at the end of 2013, while Bitmain’s patent application stems from 2015. And because of the International Patent System (PCT), Hanke’s application should apply to China as well.

“Although Bitmain has also filed a patent application in China with similar features, we are confident that our patent application has an earlier priority date,” Ye told Bitcoin Magazine.

The patent application is not Hanke’s anymore. Two weeks ago, he sold the patent to Little Dragon Technology, a company based in California. According to Ye, Little Dragon Technology plans to operate in the Bitcoin industry, though it was not yet revealed how, exactly.

Either way, neither Hanke nor Little Dragon Technology gave anyone permission to use AsicBoost. This suggests, at least according to Getech Law, that anyone using AsicBoost is infringing on Little Dragon Technology’s intellectual property. And while Ye did not want to name any specific companies that may be infringing on the intellectual property — Bitmain or otherwise — he did reveal it may be more than one company.

As the open letter states:

“To date, no individual or business entity has been authorized to use or sell products based on the ASICBOOST patent application, yet some bitcoin miner manufacturers have implemented various features of the pending ASICBOOST patent in their mining hardware and firmware, potentially infringing the pending ASICBOOST patent.”

Consequences

In the open letter published yesterday, Getech Law wrote that ASIC producers should immediately cease production and sales of AsicBoost-related products. Additionally, the letter said infringers should contact Getech Law and disclose their relevant production and sales records since 2015. And it called on people who know more about potential patent infringement to contact the law firm.

If ASIC producers do continue to produce or sell AsicBoost-related products, Getech Law warned that there would be subsequent legal action.

“The open letter (announcement) is the first step to enforce my client’s IP rights. We hope that the community can become aware of the potential infringement,” Ye told Bitcoin Magazine.

The future for AsicBoost itself seems unclear, too. While debate over whether or not to disable it on a protocol level is ongoing within Bitcoin’s technical community, the open letter spoke of an “unfair advantage” it could give to miners.

And, speaking to Bitcoin Magazine, Ye said:

“We do not want to monopoly the market based on the pending patent. That is, we hope anyone who wants to use the technology can come to us such that we can negotiate reasonable license agreements for them to use the technology.”

Bitmain stated that they were not available for comment at time of publication.

The post Bitmain May Be Infringing on the AsicBoost Patent After All appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 18 May 2017 | 11:12 pm

3 Must Read Asian Market Stories: Bitcoin Soars, What's Up With ... - Barron's


Barron's

3 Must Read Asian Market Stories: Bitcoin Soars, What's Up With ...
Barron's
While global stock markets look wobbly, digital currency Bitcoin continues to power to new highs. Bitcoin, in which trading volume is dominated by the Chinese, ...

and more »

Posted on 18 May 2017 | 7:14 pm

Bitcoin is Just $100 Away From Doubling its Price in 2017

Bitcoin's price has nearly doubled so far in 2017, rising from $1,000 at the end of last year to a new all-time high of $1,900 today.

Source

Posted on 18 May 2017 | 6:41 pm

Congress Seeks Answers From IRS About Its Bitcoin Tax Investigation

Congressional leaders want answers about the Internal Revenue Service's ongoing effort to obtain user records from Coinbase.

Source

Posted on 18 May 2017 | 1:45 pm

Microsoft Unveils New Framework to Speed Up Blockchain PoCs

Microsoft has unveiled a new framework aimed at streamlining the blockchain proof-of-concept process.

Source

Posted on 18 May 2017 | 12:00 pm

More Live Blockchains? IBM Launches New Enterprise Accelerator Effort

Global tech giant IBM is unveiling a new blockchain services package today, one that finds it seeking to jumpstart global use of the technology.

Source

Posted on 18 May 2017 | 7:59 am

Bitcoin Startup Blockchain Adds Uber, UBS Execs to Leadership Team

Bitcoin software wallet startup Blockchain added two new executive hires this week, amid a continued buildup of expertise on its team.

Source

Posted on 18 May 2017 | 7:00 am

Decentralized Ethereum Token Trading Goes Live With 0x Launch

0x OTC, an early stage platform for exchanging ethereum-based tokens, is expected to start settling trades today.

Source

Posted on 18 May 2017 | 5:59 am

The World is Watching: Can WannaCry's Creators Cash Out Their Bitcoin Ransom?

Bitcoins amassed by those behind the huge malware attack are being watched by the authorities. Can they retrieve the funds and not get caught?

Source

Posted on 18 May 2017 | 5:00 am

Meet the 5 Finalists for CoinDesk's Consensus 2017 Startup Contest

Ready for Consensus? Here's a sneak preview of our upcoming startup competition offering $10,000 in prize money.

Source

Posted on 18 May 2017 | 3:00 am

Bitcoin Exchange Spreads Are Narrowing But Gaps Remain

As Bitfinex's banking challenges fade, the spread between prices observed on its order books and others internationally is falling.

Source

Posted on 17 May 2017 | 4:45 pm

India's Kotak Mahindra Bank Completes Blockchain Trade Finance Test

The latest blockchain trade finance trial in India showcases how the use case is now gaining global interest among enterprises.

Source

Posted on 17 May 2017 | 7:30 am

Bitcoin Is An Asset, Not A Currency - Forbes


Forbes

Bitcoin Is An Asset, Not A Currency
Forbes
Over the past year and a half Bitcoin has been on a spectacular run, rising in value 140% in 2016 and now an additional 49% in just the past month. This surge in value has invigorated Bitcoin backers convinced this boost in value makes Bitcoin a more ...
Despite RBI warning, 2500 Indians investing in Bitcoins daily. Here is all you should know about its usage & dangersEconomic Times

all 44 news articles »

Posted on 17 May 2017 | 7:05 am

US National Security Advisor: Bitcoin Needs to Be Understood, Not Feared

A US think tank that advises the US government is exploring the threats bitcoin poses to national security, but also its benefits.

Source

Posted on 17 May 2017 | 6:40 am

Xapo to Pass On Bitcoin Network Fees to Users

Bitcoin wallet provider Xapo has told its customers that they will soon have to pay the network fees for outbound transactions.

Source

Posted on 17 May 2017 | 4:00 am

Irish Banks to Test New Blockchain-Based Interbank Payment System

Irish

Irish lenders Allied Irish Banks, Ulster Bank and Permanent TSB have teamed up with global consultancy Deloitte to work on a pilot program that will leverage blockchain technology to increase the speed and security for the country’s domestic interbank payments.

The collaborative project carries the name Project GreenPay and will use technology developed by Ulster Bank’s parent company, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

The payments platform being trialed is called Emerald. RBS’s Emerald platform, which was built on top of the Ethereum blockchain, has already been tested in the Dublin-based startup hub Dogpatch Labs, where participating banks have been conducting dummy payments among themselves to test the blockchain-based system for performance, stability and accuracy. The platform is able to acknowledge payments in less than 10 seconds while processing large transaction volumes.

The distributed ledger technology pioneered by Bitcoin allows transactions to be recorded and shared with permissioned members on a distributed ledger, enabling payments to be processed in a more secure and efficient manner.

“[The blockchain is] essentially a software that provides a way of recording transactions in a trustworthy way. It has the potential to disrupt multiple industries for the benefit of customers, and we’re determined to investigate how we can harness this for the financial sector,” said Ulster Bank’s chief administrative officer, Ciarán Coyle.  

“When we saw that RBS had that capability, we decided to use the platform in the Republic. We looked at how we could prove it at an industry level and looked at doing collaboration at an industry level,” he added.

For RBS’s Head of Innovation Engineering Richard Crook, it “made sense” for RBS’s Irish subsidiary, Ulster Bank, to adopt its Emerald payment system for the collaborative industry-wide payment network trial. “We’re delighted to support that and further prove that blockchain [technology] can be used to better serve customers,” Crook added.

David Dalton, consulting partner and financial services industry leader at Deloitte Ireland, stated that the pilot project would leverage the company’s blockchain lab in Dublin, and added: “We believe blockchain adoption will happen more quickly than anticipated and without a proactive and well-adopted strategy, banks and insurers risk being locked out of potential innovations enabled by this technology.”

No specific timeframe has been set for when the new payment system could be implemented in the Irish financial system, and there is no guarantee that it will. However, Project GreenPay is another clear signal that banks across the world are embracing blockchain technology to improve the efficiency and security of their services. It will not be long until the blockchain will become an integral part of the global financial system.

The post Irish Banks to Test New Blockchain-Based Interbank Payment System appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 16 May 2017 | 7:01 pm

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Outlook Not as Bearish as It Seems

Bitcoin Price Analysis

Much of the world has now heard about Bitcoin due to the global WanaCrypt0r 2.0 ransomware, which should continue spreading over the course of next week. Optics for Bitcoin aren’t great in situations like this because it furthers the notion that Bitcoin is used for nefarious means. You can follow a live feed of the incoming transactions from this twitter bot. However, the silver lining is that many people who did not know what Bitcoin is or how to use it before the attack certainly do now.

Worst-case scenario for Bitcoin here would be a government crackdown on its use and distribution, which, although a low probability, is probably not a non-zero possibility considering the current administration. This would create a large down day in the market similar to when Silk Road was shut down, Mt. Gox was found to be insolvent and Bitfinex was hacked. Of course, Bitcoin the protocol would be unaffected, so the price is likely to bounce back rather quickly.

The block size and scalability debate trickles on with no current end or resolution in sight. I wouldn’t really expect a push out of the SegWit camp until October or November, when the Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) is set to be tabled for the time being. The number of unconfirmed transactions continues to rise on an upward trend, all the while miners who support Bitcoin Unlimited are mining empty or non-full blocks.

mempool.png

The COIN ETF comment period closed yesterday, which isn’t to say there will be any type of decision on the SEC’s part. This will likely be a non-event for the market considering the ETF itself will remain in limbo until further notice.

Total cryptocurrency market capitalization broke a new all-time high (ATH) of $55 billionearlier this week, while Bitcoin dropped just shy of 50 percent of that total.

total market cap.png

chart (3).png

Some may view this as Bitcoin losing its impact and success, which can be partially attributed to the block size and scalability in-fighting. Others, like myself, view this shift as a massive altcoin bubble. Hockey stick parabolic curves on a chart like that end with large selloff candles. There is also only one Bitcoin, with a fixed supply, competing against an infinite number of altcoins, many with pre-mined or infinite supply as well.

Because of the correction late in the week, the weekly candle was threatening a bearish close with a wick longer than the candle body, but the heavy buying on Sunday prevented the bearish close.

blx 1w.png

This weekly close alone suggests continuation over reversal or sideways movement in price. Since the beginning of the trend, duration of consolidation between large upward moves has decreased. This will eventually lead to a parabolic, euphoric, blowoff top with a massive candle wick. Until then, expect more of the same. A small correction this week would just mean an even greater chance for extended continuation.

Bitcoin did make a new high this week of $1,868.50, according to index, and is currently drawing an “M for murder” double top. This likely represents consolidation to a further move upward and not exhaustion of trend.

btc consolidation.png

This is the only chart I’m really focused on at the moment. There are plenty of potential patterns, such as head and shoulders or Adam and Eve, harmonics, and horizontal support levels here, but all that really matters is the larger consolidation pattern.

This may also represent a flag/pennant, which is another sign of bullish continuation.

flag.png


A more ominous double top for a bull market would have similar price structure to the pattern that formed during the ATH of 2013.

2x top.png

As discussed above, a serious threat of reversal shows large candle wicks on high timeframes, which is not currently the case with price structure.

Summary

  1. Most of the world is now aware of Bitcoin due to the WanaCrypt0r 2.0 ransomware.

  2. The block size and scalability debate continues with large transaction backlogs in an upward trend.

  3. Based on market capitalization, Bitcoin is currently hovering around 50 percent of the total.

  4. Price remains in consolidation; once finished, expect a return to the status quo.

Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin is highly speculative and comes with many risks. This analysis is for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice. Statements and financial information on Bitcoin Magazine and BTCMedia related sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BTCMedia and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.


The post Bitcoin Price Analysis: Outlook Not as Bearish as It Seems appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 16 May 2017 | 4:40 pm

How Five States Are Approaching Bitcoin Regulation

How 5 States Are Approaching Bitcoin Regulation

Cryptocurrency should be regulated. Cryptocurrency should not be regulated. Cryptocurrency can’t be regulated. These are all common refrains emanating from the media these days. Now lawmakers across the United States and around the world are at a crossroads as to what is next in terms of this regulatory space.

Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency present a monumental challenge for legislators, requiring a broad understanding of blockchain technology, especially in terms of its impact on tech innovation. Amid assertions that the U.S. is falling behind in terms of Bitcoin regulation, it could be argued that the regulatory picture is becoming clearer in 2017.

Bitcoin Magazine asked Pawel Kuskowski, CEO and co-founder of Coinfirm, and Joe Ciccolo,  president of the Illinois-based Bitcoin compliance firm BitAML, to offer some commentary about the regulatory activity taking place in five U.S. states — Washington, Illinois, Hawaii, California and Florida — and what the regulatory landscape may look like in the days ahead.

Washington

Legislators in Washington state are building momentum around new rules for businesses offering digital currency services. Senate Bill 5013 provides a definition of virtual currency along with disclosure requirements of certain information to consumers. It also would require online currency exchanges within that state to maintain a surety bond. Finally, it offers definitional and clarifying changes for how money transmitters and currency exchangers are regulated under the Uniform Money Services Act.

At the time of this writing, this bill, which was introduced in January, had passed both chambers of the state’s legislature, clearing it to be sent to Governor Jay Inslee for signature. While there is no clear indication as to Governor Inslee’s intentions, broad support of the bill seems to suggest that it may pass.

There has already been a bit of fallout, however, as some cryptocurrency-centric startups are now thinking twice about operating in the state, with several firms having pulled out in the past year, noting the increasingly challenging regulatory environment. These include digital currency exchanges Bitfinex, Bitstamp and Poloniex, the latter of which has exited Washington.

“The State of Washington also appears to have applied a relatively heavy cybersecurity component, including broad and sweeping audits of data and other systems,” says Ciccolo. “Cybersecurity is a hot-button issue that continues to remain in the headlines. Bitcoin companies are wary of a regulatory interpretation of cybersecurity fitness, especially given the nascent stage of Bitcoin and the ongoing knowledge gap as it pertains to the crypto space. For some national players, it seemed the obvious and safe choice was to simply exit the state altogether.”

Illinois  

In November of 2016, Secretary Bryan A. Schneider of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) announced a new initiative with implications for cryptocurrencies in that state. This “Digital Currency Regulatory Guidance” is Illinois’s attempt to provide regulatory clarity on digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Zcash. The proposed guidance provides IDFPR’s interpretation of Illinois’s Transmitters of Money Act (TOMA) related to various activities tied to digital currencies.

Says Ciccolo: “The IDFPR and Secretary Schneider continue to deliver on the state’s promise of encouraging and supporting innovation in FinTech, Bitcoin and blockchain [technology]. What we’re doing in Illinois is quite possibly unprecedented in the area of financial regulation. Our state regulators are listening and thoughtfully engaging with industry while considering the impact of any laws and regulations. I’m very optimistic about the continued growth of financial innovation in the Land of Lincoln, and Chicago as a center for the new era of financial services.”

Hawaii

In a highly publicized move, prominent Bitcoin and Ethereum exchange Coinbase announced that it was forced to cease supporting customers in the State of Hawaii due to what it called “impractical” and “untenable” regulatory policies surrounding Bitcoin in that state. In September of 2016, Coinbase was first notified of a policy that demanded that they and any other other cryptocurrency operators hold case reserves equivalent to the values being held for customers.

This development came as Hawaii was exploring a bill that would establish a working group for examining the potential role of digital currencies and blockchain technology in advancing tourism in that state. According to the bill’s text contained in House Bill 1481: “Digital currencies such as bitcoin have broad benefits for Hawaii. A large portion of Hawaii’s tourism market comes from Asia where the use of bitcoin as a virtual currency is expanding.”

Leaders at Coinbase said they were “heartened” that the bill had been introduced and that they would look forward to working with regulators. In the meantime, Ciccolo remarked: “Given its commitment to compliance and strong resources, the exit of Coinbase suggests few if any stand a chance in the Aloha State. Indeed, the case reserve requirement is overly burdensome and quite frankly utterly impractical. Since Coinbase holds a BitLicense, could it be said that Hawaii is more inhospitable to Bitcoin than New York? Let’s hope not.”

California

California’s Assembly Bill 1123, a version of New York’s infamous BitLicense, has been proposed. It reads:

“This bill would enact the Virtual Currency Act. The bill would prohibit a person from engaging in any virtual currency business, as defined, in this state unless the person is licensed by the Commissioner of Business Oversight or is exempt from the licensure requirement, as provided.”

Says Kuskowski, CEO and co-founder of Coinfirm:

“In relation to this particular proposed bill in California, any bill with strong similarities to New York’s BitLicense is obviously not the direction to go in, as we saw the effects of that particular regulation result in New York’s loss of prominence as a crypto hub. But with California’s unique position as the technology innovation and startup capital of the world, this would have an even more catastrophic effect than the N.Y. version.”

Kuskowski goes on to say that the costly fees and bureaucratic administration associated with this legislation would likely hinder innovators and startups from applying or even operating in the state. Moreover, he says it would provide another segmented regulatory structure that limits the national and global growth of companies operating in the space.

If there is any place in the world where this could have the largest negative effect it would be California.

Florida

Florida House Bill 1379 recently passed, clarifying what virtual currency is and prohibiting its use in laundering criminal proceeds. The term “virtual currency” was added to the definition of “monetary instruments” under Florida’s Money Laundering Act. The legislation is currently with Florida’s governor and is expected to be signed soon. Ever since a Miami judge dismissed a criminal case involving Bitcoin, policymakers have been intent on establishing guidelines to curb cryptocurrency use.

Says Kuskowski: “In relation to what’s been going on in Florida, a lot of regulators, especially local ones, tend to be more in the crowd profiled earlier that catches headlines, and they go a bit far. But there needs to be a balanced approach from the other side as well. People need to realize that a clear regulatory environment allows companies and creators in the space to make concrete strategic decisions that they [otherwise] can’t when the regulatory environment isn’t clear; it just has to be done properly. Once there is a clear regulation in place, businesses have the confidence to make certain strategic decisions and further grow.”

The post How Five States Are Approaching Bitcoin Regulation appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 16 May 2017 | 12:58 am

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Bitcoin Trading Bots

There have been a wide variety of situations in which algorithmic trading programs have proven to be beneficial for investors. However, investors who only trade a cryptocurrency can also take advantage of bitcoin trading bots. Through bitcoin bot trading, traders can become more flexible and prompt, minimize errors and process information more rapidly. At this… Read More »

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May 19, 2017 -
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