Overstock CEO Puts ‘Millions Of Dollars ... - Bitcoin FYI
Overstock CEO Puts ‘Millions Of Dollars ... - Bitcoin FYI
US-Unternehmen Overstock zahlt Steuern in Bitcoin ...
Overstock.com Invests In Blockchain-based 'Trust Economy ...
About Us Overstock.com
Overstock to Offer Bitcoin for Sale ... - news.bitcoin.com
With the growth of Bitcoin as of late (Overstock.com acceptance, first pro team accepting BTC's, and things going steadily up in China in spite of new regulations) - is anyone else surprised at how steady the price has been?
I mean, for the last few weeks or so, it's been between 800 and 900 dollars (Bitstamp.) I'm just surprised the market price isn't really reflecting all these new developments, especially over the last couple of weeks. Perhaps this will be similar to the trends last summer where it stayed around 100-140, and then popped through 500, and didn't look back. (ie- perhaps it'll bust through 1500 and 2 grand will be the 'new normal') Thoughts?
Cast your mind back to December and January. The excitement. The euphoria. The adrenaline. The “I’m gonna be fucking rich” swagger. Now flip that on its head. 180 degrees. What does that look like? It probably looks a lot like this. People calling for a two year bear market are wrong. Those times have passed. We are on a much shorter timeframe now given the interest, money and human capital dedicated to the space. Last January, I called for a 2-12 month bear market. I think I’m still looking good on that. Contrast how in 2017 every fucking piece of news, good or bad, moves the market. China bans ICOs? Boom -20%. Coinbase subpoenaed for tax purposes? Boom -10%. Overstock.com CEO says Bitcoin is the future? Boom +10%. Segwit2x been cancelled? Boom +30%. My point is this: as ridiculous as 2017 was where we reacted to everything like off-pipe meth head, we’ve now go to the exact opposite of reacting to nothing. The reality is that we probably lie somewhere in between and should be pricing in all the incredible developments occurring in the space, but we aren’t. Hold until Q1 2019 when the next market catalyst will arrive and all of this will seem like a bad dream.
10 things you need to know before the opening bell
Stocks crashed this morning after China vowed counter measures against the US over tariffs. China said the US tariffs violate a consensus reached by leaders of two countries and get off the right track of resolving disputes via negotiation.
President Donald Trump tweeted on Wednesday that his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping was a "great leader" and posed setting up a "personal meeting" to solve escalating protests in Hong Kong. "I know President Xi of China very well. He is a great leader who very much has the respect of his people," Trump said in a tweet on Wednesday evening.
Hundreds of Googlers are urging the company not to bid on a contract with the US Customs and Border Protection that they say would facilitate 'human rights abuses'. The CBP contract— which seeks to "acquire services from a Cloud Services Provider" — has stirred controversy amongst Google's rank-and-file due to the agency's recent handling of migrants at the US southern border, the petition released on Wednesday said.
The world's biggest shipping company just put up a red flag that the trade war is crushing the global economy. "I guess in a way we have been expecting a slowdown all year, and global demand has grown so far, and we expect that to continue to grow 2-3% which is consistent with a slow growing economy and that's what we are planning for," Maersk's CEO said.
Overstock sheds $317 million in market value after its CEO releases a bizarre statement about his involvement with the 'Deep State'. Shares fell by as much as 23% Wednesday, bringing the decline since Monday to 36%.
Bitcoin slumps to two-week low on technical trading, market jitters. The biggest cryptocurrency fell 5.5% in early trade after slumping 7.7% a day earlier, when it dropped under $10,000 for the first time since August 1 and posted its biggest fall since July 16.
Trump lashed out at 'clueless Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve' after recession signal flashes. "We are winning, big time, against China. Companies & jobs are fleeing. Prices to us have not gone up, and in some cases, have come down,"the president wrote on Twitter.
Global stocks are falling after China's announcement. US futures S&P 500 (-0.5%. and the Nasdaq (-0.9%) both slid. European stocks also dropped, with the Dax (-1.6%) down as did Euro Stoxx 50 (-1.2%). Asia closed mixed, the Nikkei 225 (-1.2%), the Shanghai Composite (+0.3) rose as did the Hang Seng (0.8%).
There are some mammoth earnings out today. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has its latest earnings as does Walmart.
There is a raft of data out today. There is lots of retail data out later in the US, with retail sales control group the highlight.
Why I Think Wanchain Is An Incredible Long-term Investment
DISCLAIMER: I am in no way associated with the Wanchain team. Neither am I a financial advisor, nor is this meant to be financial advice. Whatever follows, just reflects my understanding of the project, and my personal opinion on its future outlook. The objective of this post is to lay out, in simple terms, what Wanchain is, and why I think Wanchain’s native coin, Wancoin, could be one of the best cryptocurrencies to hold, not just through the coming months, but years. So, let’s dive into it! WHAT IS WANCHAIN? Wanchain’s vision is rebuilding financial services. Wanchain is a global financial platform that connects, and exchanges value between different blockchains. Simply put, Wanchain is a ‘decentralized’ version of traditional banks in the current and future financial landscape. WHY DO WE NEED WANCHAIN? We are living in times of a major digital transformation, a time where digital assets are entering the financial ecosystem at an unprecedented rate. As the adoption of digital assets is increasing, we are witnessing an appreciation in the value of these assets. This necessitates the existence of a ‘digital bridge’ to transfer value, in the form of digital currencies and/or assets, between different blockchains. HOW IS WANCHAIN ACHIEVING THIS? Wanchain’s distributed ledger allows:
Cross-Chain Asset Transfer: Asset transfers would be possible across major blockchains, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as across consortium blockchains developed based on Wanchain protocol. Community developers can create independent services. Any blockchain — private, public, or a consortium chain — can integrate with Wanchain to establish connections between different ledgers and perform low cost inter-ledger asset transfers. The protocol also ensures stability and security of all cross-chain transfers.
Transaction Privacy Protection: Wanchain protocol provides the option to execute private transactions, similar to those provided on privacy coin platforms, based on one-time addresses and ring signatures. Wanchain also allows digital asset holders to remain anonymous on its protocol.
Functional Extensibility: Wanchain protocol allows credit and lending facilities, for businesses and individuals, for different digital currencies. Also, once consortium blockchains are integrated into Wanchain protocol, it also allows the issuance and trading of brand new digital assets.
Complex Application Support: Community developers can develop more complicated applications based on smart contract and universal protocols. The intra-chain and cross-chain connections provide more options for further application development.
WHY I THINK WANCHAIN COULD BE ONE OF THE BEST LONG-TERM HOLDS IN THE COMING YEARS?
Wanchain’s association with Factom gives a deep sense of confidence in what Wanchain can achieve over the coming years. Wanchain was envisioned by the Chinese firm Wanglu Tech, founded by Jack Lu, who was also the Co-founder and CTO of Factom: a blockchain technology firm that has developed ways to use the blockchain to keep records and identities more secure. As of this writing, Factom is valued at about $560 million, has partnerships with several corporations, including Smartrac, Rongdu Technology, iSoftStone, and Netki, and blockchain firms like ShapeShift, Tether, and Synero. Factom’s investors include Fenbushi Capital, Draper Associates, Bill Gates, Stewart Title, Overstock, Harvest Partners, The Department Of Homeland Security, and the Honduran Government. Three of Wanchain’s current team members, and one advisor, David A. Johnston, have previously worked with Factom. It is worth noting here that, as of this writing, Factom’s market capitalization in USD terms has increased more than 43 000% (430x, if you like!) in just over 2 years since it started.
Wanchain = Ethereum + Ripple + Monero + Chainlink, all in one, and in a lot of ways, better! First of all, Wanchain is a hard-fork of Ethereum, but will be Proof-Of-Stake (PoS) implemented (after mainnet launch), allowing it to scale better. Secondly, Wanchain is commonly labelled as the ‘Chinese Ripple’, however, Wanchain is much more decentralized than Ripple, truly representing what a ‘distributed’ super financial market should be like. Thirdly, Wanchain has Monero-style privacy features allowing the generation of new one-time addresses for each transaction, with ring signatures, keeping transactions private, and digital asset holders anonymous. And finally, just like Chainlink uses blockchain middleware to allow smart contracts on various networks to connect with critical external resources and data feeds, Wanchain protocol seamlessly connects blockchain networks together, recording cross-chain and intra-chain transactions.
Wanchain has a stellar team with some of the brightest minds in blockchain technology and cryptography. Wanchain has 23 team members and 11 advisors, ranging across all domains of their business. The team comprises of three PhDs with applied mathematics degrees, and highly experienced software engineers, cryptographers, computer scientists, financial experts and media and community managers. The team has rich commercial expertise and resources in countries such as China, the U.S. and Singapore. The amount of words needed to do justice to the width and depth of experience and competence of Wanchain’s team would turn this blog post into a lengthy article. But the bottom line is, it is rare to find such a strong team in global blockchain projects.
In November 2017, Wanchain formally entered the Blockchain Interoperability Alliance (IOA) with ICON and Aion, with a common goal of promoting interconnectivity between the isolated blockchain networks, through joint research and collaboration. ICON is an interconnecting blockchain network that connects independent blockchains without additional intermediaries. Aion aims to become the common protocol used for these blockchains, enabling more efficient and decentralized systems to be built. This partnership is monumental, and means that Wanchain would be able to utilize synergies outside its ecosystem to be able to achieve its objectives globally.
Wanchain is racing down its roadmap! Theoretical proof for token privacy protection of smart contracts based on one-time addresses and ring signatures was completed in 2016, and the Proof-Of-Concept (PoC) was completed at the beginning of 2017. At the beginning of 2017, Wanchain completed the design of the cross-chain transaction mechanism and the cryptographic technology. Wanchain Alpha was released and tested in October 2017. The Beta platform was released in December 2017, and is still under testing as of this writing. Wanchain mainnet launch, Wanchain 1.0, is scheduled for January 2018, and is going to be just the start of numerous developments to follow.
The extremely high public interest in Wanchain, since its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in October 2017, reflects investor confidence in the project. The public token sale on 4th October 2017 was one of the quickest ICO sell-outs in the history, being completely sold out in less than a minute. Several investors were unable to contribute to the token sale despite sending their transactions within the first minute of the token sale. Such was the magnitude of demand despite the fact that China, U.S. and South Korea were not allowed to participate in the ICO. Therefore, the unmet demand for Wancoins is enormous, and expected to be in wait when Wancoin trading goes live.
And finally, let us commit the sin of speculation. Wanchain’s market cap at ICO was about $36 million, with a price of $0.34/WAN. Ripple’s market cap, as of this writing, is about $120 billion. If Wanchain manages to capture JUST 10% of Ripple’s market cap, i.e. $12 billion, with a circulating supply of 107 million coins, it would mean a price of about $112, that is about 33 000% increase (330x) from the ICO price in USD. Personally, I think Wanchain could go well beyond that over the coming years. But beware, this is just speculation, not meant to be a quantitative analysis in any way, but just to get a qualitative understanding of what Wanchain’s upside potential is.
To put it in a few words, Wanchain is a very ambitious and potentially disruptive project, aiming to become a super financial market of the world. The project has some of the brightest minds in the business working behind it. Wanchain is solving a real world problem and has an immensely vital use case. I have complete confidence that Wanchain could easily be one of the top 15 cryptocurrencies by market cap by the end of 2018, and it would continue to grow even beyond that. Therefore, I believe holding Wancoins would be a great long-term investment. Full disclosure: I am invested in Wanchain for the long-term, and I plan to buy more when Wancoin trading goes live. Hackernoon blog post:https://hackernoon.com/why-i-think-wanchain-is-an-incredible-long-term-investment-86b9d0d6eb6c
Still Early Days Boys -- News Article on Overstock.com/Bitcoin Shows How Skeptical People Are
Yahoo!Finance published an article on how Overstock was the first major retailer to accept Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as a form of payment. Below are the top comments from users. The quotes show how the public is still extremely skeptical about crypto currencies and don't appreciate how blockchain tech brings to the table. Still early days boys so load up! https://finance.yahoo.com/news/overstock-deals-bitcoins-wild-price-swings-145542616.html Steve: Bitcoin is only worth what someone else is willing to pay. Intrinsic value =$0.00. Bitcoins are this decade's Beanie Babies. WiseGuy: Bitcoin and other so-called "crypto" currencies are good for money launderers, tax evaders, criminal cartels etc. Enjoy your stash until the whole thing explodes. oliver: What is a Bitcoin investor ? Bitcoin is pure Speculation and is used widely to transfer money out where are restrictions see China, Russia, Venezuela, India where 80% are traded. The rest are speculants, not investors, who hopped on this train. No serious investor sees Bitcoin as an investment. MJS: Bad Idea. Like saying i'll accept tulips for payment. UBanIdiot: Bitcoin is a fraud underpinned by fairy dust and greedy dreams. Someday all will know it as -itcoin, preceded by Sh-. GaryD: Currencies were invented as way for man to trade goods using a predictable measure of value. If you don't know what your currency will be worth in terms of goods and services from day to day, that currency is useless and will collapse. Bitcoin will collapse, it's just a question of when. JC: Caribbean currencies of third world dictatorships don't fluctuate as wildly as bitcoin. Its why it will never be mainstream or widely accepted as a primary financial tool except for speculators in America.
Cryptocurrency: Is It Still Alive or Dying? Part 2.
Part 2. Political and Economic Trends in Favor of the Cryptocurrency Market Development In the first part of the story we showed that the cryptocurrency market crash in 2018 and the beginning of its recovery in 2019 fit well into the general patterns of the financial bubbles’ development, and also repeat pretty well the Bitcoin dynamics of 2014-2016. But besides the analogies with other bubbles, there are a lot of other arguments in favor of the global growth of the market, among which are the political and economic trends of the recent years. Relaxation of the Political Climate around the Cryptoassets The entire year of 2017 has witnessed heated discussions as to the legal status of the digital assets. One of the central events of the year was their legalization in Japan in April. Precisely this legalization, according to many, spurred a dramatic growth of the cryptocurrency market in May (especially, altcoins). But the majority of other countries during this period held more skeptical positions. The U.S. government on several occasions refused to register bitcoin-ETF - exchange-traded funds, the price of shares in which would repeat the price of BTC. The U.S. government also extremely tightened the conditions of the ICO procedure, while some countries, such as China and South Korea - have banned it completely. Certain countries, such as Indonesia and Salvador, have banned cryptocurrencies to the extent of criminal responsibility. A number of countries, including Russia, have adopted a cautious wait-and-see attitude, regularly promising to impose restrictions of varying severity, but not hurrying to sign it into law. A turning point on the way to the global recognition of the cryptocurrency was the beginning of trading the Bitcoin futures at the Chicago exchanges (CME) (the world’s largest stock exchange in terms of turnover) and CBOE in December of 2017. That is when the American government admitted openly that cryptocurrencies are now to be reckoned with. With the beginning of this trade, the powerful financial circles of the USA, whose opinion cannot be ignored by the political leadership, became interested in the development of the cryptocurrency market. Chicago Mercantile Exchange, CME – the world leader in terms of trade volume In 2018, the following paradox became obvious: even if over the longer term cryptocurrencies are dangerous for the modern political system (tied up in the central banks and the currency exchange regulation), the countries that will be the first to prohibit them will be most affected along with those countries that will simply overdo stirring up negative attitude. Those countries that will settle on legalization will benefit. The drain of brains and capitals will be directed to these countries from the more repressive or unpredictable countries. A typical example of that - Crypto Project GRAM of the Russian businessman Pavel Durov, whose ICO in 2018 reached a record amount, but it was carried out in USA, and not in the legislatively uncertain Russian Federation. The experience of the countries that have legalized the cryptocurrencies, proved successful both from the financial standpoint, and from the perspective of the international prestige. They proved themselves to be open to the progress and new freedoms. In addition to Japan, Switzerland is especially noteworthy here, because it legalized cryptocurrencies as early as in 2016, but the most brilliantly announced about itself in 2018, when its banks began to introduce cryptocurrency services one after another. Among the innovator banks there was even a Swiss subsidiary of the Russian Savings Bank (Sberbank). The very expression “Swiss bank” became a synonym of not only high reliability, but also innovation. A milestone event of 2018 was legalization of cryptocurrencies in Germany – the leading economy of the European Union. Rather liberal measures relative to the cryptocurrencies are being applied today in Czechia, Sweden, Canada, Denmark, Australia, Estonia, Norway, Finland, and a number of other countries. “Legalization parade” has shown: the politicians with repressive attitudes cannot count on the global ban of the cryptocurrencies (which seemed theoretically possible in 2016-2017). Economically developed countries made an obvious choice: “if you cannot stop the process – become its leader”. And precisely in these countries the maximum capitals are being circulated, and the market situation depends precisely on their business activity. Explosive Growth of the Retail Use of Cryptocurrencies Despite obvious popularization of cryptocurrencies, there is still a myth that they are purely investment and speculative instrument, which, even if used as a payment method – only in the dark net, and as a means of payment for illegal commodities. But this is not the case today. As far back as 2013-2015, legal services accepting bitcoin emerged, and in 2016-2018 their market has undergone explosive growth. The pioneers of the cryptocurrency market of goods and services in 2013, were, for example, Virgin Galactic – space tourism company, Victoria’s Secret lingerie company, Shopify - a supplier of software for the online stores. In 2014, the cryptocurrency was adopted by the Overstock online store, Expedia tourism service, Zynga – operator of the online games, the software monster Microsoft and many others. Some of these companies considerably went up due to the innovations: for example, the shares of Shopify and Overstock have increased in price several-fold since then. As of today, the cryptocurrency is accepted by hundreds of large companies and thousands of small ones, while the range of their products is approaching the one in a traditional economy. The most popular categories of the goods for the cryptocurrency in the large famous companies are tourism and air tickets (Expedia), software and games (Microsoft, Shopify, Zynga, Steam), clothing and other consumer goods (Victoria’s Secret, Overstock.com, Rakuten), as well as food products (Subway, KFC, Burger King – in Russia). As an example, Playboy erotic products, premium accounts of the 4chan.org and reddit.com forums, Bloomberg.com business news, automobiles in the Czech show room Alza and many other goods can be also purchased for cryptocurrency. A number of well-known companies, although they prefer traditional payments, nevertheless allow crypto payments through the intermediary services, such as gyft.com (trading with the card Gyft for BTC). For example, Ebay online store, Wallmart supermarket chain, Starbucks restaurants, Uber taxi service, etc. The turnover of gyft.com is evaluated in the amount of 25 million dollars with only 38 employees. Small start-up companies often use ready-made multicurrency gateways such as coinpayments.net. It supports dozens of currencies, and hosts about 400 companies. In addition to mainstream, it contains a lot of specialized commodities. For example, crypto-armory.com sells cartridges, francvila.com – Swiss watches, directvoltage.com - 3D-printers, electric motors, CNC machines, etc. Some new stores not only accept cryptocurrencies, but also purposely give up fiat currency. For example, crypto-armory.com, explaining their refusal from fiat currency, state both ideological, and narrow pragmatic reasons. In the opinion of the owners of the store, it is easier to accept cryptocurrency payments both technically and legally. Cartridges from the cryptocurrency store crypto-armory.com An important trend of 2017-2018, in addition to the general growth of the commodity market - re-orientation of the stores to the multi-currency payments. Whereas previously most of them accepted only BTC, now a sign of good manners is to accept also LTC, ETH, XMR and at least several more currencies. Thus, while the politicians were solving the problem in the manner “not possible to allow - disallow”, a vast market of commodities for cryptocurrency spontaneously emerged on the Internet. Some of its participants have multibillion capitalizations. This market is very international. The majority of commodities and services can be bought even from Russia and other countries, where cryptocurrency is not legal as an internal payment instrument, but is not prohibited as such. Today, it is hard to imagine a consumer good, which cannot be bought for cryptocurrency. The Latest Trend – Support of Cryptocurrencies by Smartphones The first smartphone with a cryptocurrency wallet was HYPERLINK "https://bitcryptonews.ru/blogs/sravnenie-blokchejn-smartfonov-exodus-1-i-finney"HTC Exodus 1, released in the autumn of 2018. Then, a crypto smartphone HYPERLINK emerged "https://bitcryptonews.ru/blogs/obzor-kriptosmartfona-finney"Finney. And in March of 2019, the baton was unexpectedly picked up by the smartphone from the major South Korean company, Samsung - Galaxy S10. And although Samsung refrained from the direct embedding of the cryptocurrency wallet into the standard supply set, a brand wallet of Samsung can be installed from the Galaxy Store. Galaxy S10 – the first smartphone from Samsung with cryptocurrency support On the part of crypto enthusiasts, there are a number of claims to Samsung initiative, among which – the lack of bitcoin support (BTC). At the moment, Samsung Blockchain Wallet supports only Ethereum (ETH) and ERC-20 standard currencies and tokens created on its basis: Basic Attention Token (BAT), Chainlink (LINK), BinanceCoin (BNB), True USD (TUSD), USD Coin (USDC), Paxos Standard (PAX) and others. Anyway, from a political and PR perspective, the emergence of Galaxy S10 is a great event. First of all, smartphone can attract to the cryptocurrency market new people who have greater confidence in the famous brand, than in the traditional bulky cryptocurrency wallets. Now, many people are frightened away from the cryptocurrencies only by technical difficulties, whereas smartphones on many occasions have proved their ability to promote to the masses those things, which previously seemed to be very complex. Secondly, this step of Samsung is a clear signal both to the domestic and foreign governments: big business is on the side of the new technologies. South Korea has a reputation of a country not very friendly to cryptocurrencies, however, its business giant publicly demonstrated another attitude. Thirdly, the initiative of Samsung with a high degree of probability will be emulated by other leading producers of communication devices. Thus, shortly after the release of Galaxy S10, there appeared a news that a cryptocurrency wallet will soon be available in iOS Opera Touch, which means that cryptocurrencies can be also stored in iPhone of Apple. All this creates excellent prerequisites both for the world legalization of the cryptocurrencies, and for the growth of the market due to the increase of the number of users. Conclusion Thus, despite the “roller coaster” of the cryptocurrency exchange rates, some fundamental processes have developed steadily in the same direction in the recent years: expansion of the commodity market for cryptocurrency, increase in the number of countries with a liberal attitude to cryptocurrencies, adoption of cryptocurrencies as a strategic technology by more and more industrial giants. The total number of individuals who tried to work with the cryptocurrencies grows steadily, while the new technological trends (in particular, crypto smartphones), can additionally accelerate this growth. The only thing that can seriously damage a cryptocurrency market is its global ban, but it seems to be unlikely. Right now there are about 40 million bitcoin wallets on earth. It is believed that on average their number is doubled annually, which means that within 5 years it can reach a billion. And if now a global ban on cryptocurrencies is unrealistic due to their profitability for the developed countries, by that time their prohibition will become impossible almost physically. In the first part of the story we had put forward the arguments as to why the investors need not fear the bubble of 2017-2018: in the end, the bubble showed not so much the riskiness of the crypto investments, but rather their long-term prospects. Today we described political and economic events, which have occurred in parallel “behind the scenes”, and in which there were no “drops” – only progressive development toward the construction of the crypto economy. And in the next, third part, we will try to describe in detail specific financial reasons of the collapse and recovery of the market in 2018-2019. Analytical department, Trident company, Victor Argonov, Candidate of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. Source:http://trident-germes.com/ https://www.facebook.com/Germes.mining.robot/
Cryptocurrency: Is It Still Alive or Dying? Part 2
Cryptocurrency: Is It Still Alive or Dying? Part 2. Political and Economic Trends in Favor of the Cryptocurrency Market Development In the first part of the story we showed that the cryptocurrency market crash in 2018 and the beginning of its recovery in 2019 fit well into the general patterns of the financial bubbles’ development, and also repeat pretty well the Bitcoin dynamics of 2014-2016. But besides the analogies with other bubbles, there are a lot of other arguments in favor of the global growth of the market, among which are the political and economic trends of the recent years. Relaxation of the Political Climate around the Cryptoassets The entire year of 2017 has witnessed heated discussions as to the legal status of the digital assets. One of the central events of the year was their legalization in Japan in April. Precisely this legalization, according to many, spurred a dramatic growth of the cryptocurrency market in May (especially, altcoins). But the majority of other countries during this period held more skeptical positions. The U.S. government on several occasions refused to register bitcoin-ETF - exchange-traded funds, the price of shares in which would repeat the price of BTC. The U.S. government also extremely tightened the conditions of the ICO procedure, while some countries, such as China and South Korea - have banned it completely. Certain countries, such as Indonesia and Salvador, have banned cryptocurrencies to the extent of criminal responsibility. A number of countries, including Russia, have adopted a cautious wait-and-see attitude, regularly promising to impose restrictions of varying severity, but not hurrying to sign it into law. A turning point on the way to the global recognition of the cryptocurrency was the beginning of trading the Bitcoin futures at the Chicago exchanges (CME) (the world’s largest stock exchange in terms of turnover) and CBOE in December of 2017. That is when the American government admitted openly that cryptocurrencies are now to be reckoned with. With the beginning of this trade, the powerful financial circles of the USA, whose opinion cannot be ignored by the political leadership, became interested in the development of the cryptocurrency market. Chicago Mercantile Exchange, CME – the world leader in terms of trade volume In 2018, the following paradox became obvious: even if over the longer term cryptocurrencies are dangerous for the modern political system (tied up in the central banks and the currency exchange regulation), the countries that will be the first to prohibit them will be most affected along with those countries that will simply overdo stirring up negative attitude. Those countries that will settle on legalization will benefit. The drain of brains and capitals will be directed to these countries from the more repressive or unpredictable countries. A typical example of that - Crypto Project GRAM of the Russian businessman Pavel Durov, whose ICO in 2018 reached a record amount, but it was carried out in USA, and not in the legislatively uncertain Russian Federation. The experience of the countries that have legalized the cryptocurrencies, proved successful both from the financial standpoint, and from the perspective of the international prestige. They proved themselves to be open to the progress and new freedoms. In addition to Japan, Switzerland is especially noteworthy here, because it legalized cryptocurrencies as early as in 2016, but the most brilliantly announced about itself in 2018, when its banks began to introduce cryptocurrency services one after another. Among the innovator banks there was even a Swiss subsidiary of the Russian Savings Bank (Sberbank). The very expression “Swiss bank” became a synonym of not only high reliability, but also innovation. A milestone event of 2018 was legalization of cryptocurrencies in Germany – the leading economy of the European Union. Rather liberal measures relative to the cryptocurrencies are being applied today in Czechia, Sweden, Canada, Denmark, Australia, Estonia, Norway, Finland, and a number of other countries. “Legalization parade” has shown: the politicians with repressive attitudes cannot count on the global ban of the cryptocurrencies (which seemed theoretically possible in 2016-2017). Economically developed countries made an obvious choice: “if you cannot stop the process – become its leader”. And precisely in these countries the maximum capitals are being circulated, and the market situation depends precisely on their business activity. Explosive Growth of the Retail Use of Cryptocurrencies Despite obvious popularization of cryptocurrencies, there is still a myth that they are purely investment and speculative instrument, which, even if used as a payment method – only in the dark net, and as a means of payment for illegal commodities. But this is not the case today. As far back as 2013-2015, legal services accepting bitcoin emerged, and in 2016-2018 their market has undergone explosive growth. The pioneers of the cryptocurrency market of goods and services in 2013, were, for example, Virgin Galactic – space tourism company, Victoria’s Secret lingerie company, Shopify - a supplier of software for the online stores. In 2014, the cryptocurrency was adopted by the Overstock online store, Expedia tourism service, Zynga – operator of the online games, the software monster Microsoft and many others. Some of these companies considerably went up due to the innovations: for example, the shares of Shopify and Overstock have increased in price several-fold since then. As of today, the cryptocurrency is accepted by hundreds of large companies and thousands of small ones, while the range of their products is approaching the one in a traditional economy. The most popular categories of the goods for the cryptocurrency in the large famous companies are tourism and air tickets (Expedia), software and games (Microsoft, Shopify, Zynga, Steam), clothing and other consumer goods (Victoria’s Secret, Overstock.com, Rakuten), as well as food products (Subway, KFC, Burger King – in Russia). As an example, Playboy erotic products, premium accounts of the 4chan.org and reddit.com forums, Bloomberg.com business news, automobiles in the Czech show room Alza and many other goods can be also purchased for cryptocurrency. A number of well-known companies, although they prefer traditional payments, nevertheless allow crypto payments through the intermediary services, such as gyft.com (trading with the card Gyft for BTC). For example, Ebay online store, Wallmart supermarket chain, Starbucks restaurants, Uber taxi service, etc. The turnover of gyft.com is evaluated in the amount of 25 million dollars with only 38 employees. Small start-up companies often use ready-made multicurrency gateways such as coinpayments.net. It supports dozens of currencies, and hosts about 400 companies. In addition to mainstream, it contains a lot of specialized commodities. For example, crypto-armory.com sells cartridges, francvila.com – Swiss watches, directvoltage.com - 3D-printers, electric motors, CNC machines, etc. Some new stores not only accept cryptocurrencies, but also purposely give up fiat currency. For example, crypto-armory.com, explaining their refusal from fiat currency, state both ideological, and narrow pragmatic reasons. In the opinion of the owners of the store, it is easier to accept cryptocurrency payments both technically and legally. Cartridges from the cryptocurrency store crypto-armory.com An important trend of 2017-2018, in addition to the general growth of the commodity market - re-orientation of the stores to the multi-currency payments. Whereas previously most of them accepted only BTC, now a sign of good manners is to accept also LTC, ETH, XMR and at least several more currencies. Thus, while the politicians were solving the problem in the manner “not possible to allow - disallow”, a vast market of commodities for cryptocurrency spontaneously emerged on the Internet. Some of its participants have multibillion capitalizations. This market is very international. The majority of commodities and services can be bought even from Russia and other countries, where cryptocurrency is not legal as an internal payment instrument, but is not prohibited as such. Today, it is hard to imagine a consumer good, which cannot be bought for cryptocurrency. The Latest Trend – Support of Cryptocurrencies by Smartphones The first smartphone with a cryptocurrency wallet was HYPERLINK "https://bitcryptonews.ru/blogs/sravnenie-blokchejn-smartfonov-exodus-1-i-finney"HTC Exodus 1, released in the autumn of 2018. Then, a crypto smartphone HYPERLINK emerged "https://bitcryptonews.ru/blogs/obzor-kriptosmartfona-finney"Finney. And in March of 2019, the baton was unexpectedly picked up by the smartphone from the major South Korean company, Samsung - Galaxy S10. And although Samsung refrained from the direct embedding of the cryptocurrency wallet into the standard supply set, a brand wallet of Samsung can be installed from the Galaxy Store. https://preview.redd.it/p8zc6dat0ay21.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=d7f173f7470107c2f4cc5868ed882089499b2a09 Galaxy S10 – the first smartphone from Samsung with cryptocurrency support On the part of crypto enthusiasts, there are a number of claims to Samsung initiative, among which – the lack of bitcoin support (BTC). At the moment, Samsung Blockchain Wallet supports only Ethereum (ETH) and ERC-20 standard currencies and tokens created on its basis: Basic Attention Token (BAT), Chainlink (LINK), BinanceCoin (BNB), True USD (TUSD), USD Coin (USDC), Paxos Standard (PAX) and others. Anyway, from a political and PR perspective, the emergence of Galaxy S10 is a great event. First of all, smartphone can attract to the cryptocurrency market new people who have greater confidence in the famous brand, than in the traditional bulky cryptocurrency wallets. Now, many people are frightened away from the cryptocurrencies only by technical difficulties, whereas smartphones on many occasions have proved their ability to promote to the masses those things, which previously seemed to be very complex. Secondly, this step of Samsung is a clear signal both to the domestic and foreign governments: big business is on the side of the new technologies. South Korea has a reputation of a country not very friendly to cryptocurrencies, however, its business giant publicly demonstrated another attitude. Thirdly, the initiative of Samsung with a high degree of probability will be emulated by other leading producers of communication devices. Thus, shortly after the release of Galaxy S10, there appeared a news that a cryptocurrency wallet will soon be available in iOS Opera Touch, which means that cryptocurrencies can be also stored in iPhone of Apple. All this creates excellent prerequisites both for the world legalization of the cryptocurrencies, and for the growth of the market due to the increase of the number of users. Conclusion Thus, despite the “roller coaster” of the cryptocurrency exchange rates, some fundamental processes have developed steadily in the same direction in the recent years: expansion of the commodity market for cryptocurrency, increase in the number of countries with a liberal attitude to cryptocurrencies, adoption of cryptocurrencies as a strategic technology by more and more industrial giants. The total number of individuals who tried to work with the cryptocurrencies grows steadily, while the new technological trends (in particular, crypto smartphones), can additionally accelerate this growth. The only thing that can seriously damage a cryptocurrency market is its global ban, but it seems to be unlikely. Right now there are about 40 million bitcoin wallets on earth. It is believed that on average their number is doubled annually, which means that within 5 years it can reach a billion. And if now a global ban on cryptocurrencies is unrealistic due to their profitability for the developed countries, by that time their prohibition will become impossible almost physically. In the first part of the story we had put forward the arguments as to why the investors need not fear the bubble of 2017-2018: in the end, the bubble showed not so much the riskiness of the crypto investments, but rather their long-term prospects. Today we described political and economic events, which have occurred in parallel “behind the scenes”, and in which there were no “drops” – only progressive development toward the construction of the crypto economy. And in the next, third part, we will try to describe in detail specific financial reasons of the collapse and recovery of the market in 2018-2019. Analytical department, Trident company, Victor Argonov, Candidate of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. Source:http://trident-germes.com/ https://www.facebook.com/Germes.mining.robot/
CheapAir.com appears to have chosen self-hosted payment processor BTCPay for its Bitcoin payments, removing BitPay. The firm stats that
Coinbase is sun-setting their merchant platform next week which has led to a need for an alternative processor. Coinbase mentioned that it would be retiring its merchant processing function in April which the cryptocurrency industry condemned.
Caspian Partners, a cryptocurrency portfolio and risk management platform announced a partnership with Bitmex. Caspian customers will now have a unified trading module with more liquidity. The firm provides order and execution management system (OEMS), risk management system (RMS), and a portfolio management system (PMS).
US transportation company Norfolk Southern Corp (NSC) revealed it is joining the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BITA) in a company announcement yesterday. The BITA association formed in 2017 and aims to develop blockchain applications to the transport and logistics industries. BITA also includes organizations like FedEx (FDX), Uber, UPS (UPS) and GE Transportation.
Thailand’s largest bank has joined a trade finance program utilizing R3’s Corda distributed ledger technology (DLT). R3 is a consortium of over 200 companies that uses technology on blockchain to allow businesses to develop applications on top of its Corda platform.
The Bank of China will use blockchain technology to alleviate poverty in the Tibet Autonomous Region, a province with a poverty rate of 12.4%. The Bank of China has developed a cloud-based system to manage a local poverty reduction fund in the past. The bank has decided to upgrade the existing system with blockchain technology and set up a multi-node blockchain network to connect with their partners like the Agricultural Bank of China
A Czech Republic utility company will begin accepting payments in cryptocurrencies. Pražská Plynárenská is one of the major suppliers of natural gas in the Czech Republic. In June it will establish a payment payment gateway which will transfer bitcoin payments into fiat currency.
A recent study by the Warwick Business School claims that investor sentiment is driving cryptocurrency prices. The study analyzed the top 14 cryptocurrencies based on market capitalization. The primary conclusion was that hype and emotions played the most significant role in determining whether the price of a cryptocurrency rises or falls.
Bitcoin Gold (BTG) has suffered from a 51% attack resulting in a loss USD$17.5mm. The 51% attack permitted double spending to occur. According to the Bitcoin Gold (BTG) team, exchanges have been targeted rather than individual users.
South Africa’s Reserve Bank has chose to call cryptocurrencies “cyber-tokens” because they don’t meet the requirements of money.
In Colombia, two Bitcoin Cash (BCH) proponents have developed a payment processor called Bitek.co. The company offers merchants processing with payable invoices and accounting services as the Bitek platform provides merchants with the ability to accept BCH and covert all or a percentage of the funds into Colombian pesos.
Employees in Ukraine were recently caught using the police department’s resources for four months to mine Bitcoin. In April, mining equipment was found in the office of the Communications Deparment which include eight graphics cards, six power units, two hard drives, a motherboard and a complete system.
VeChain (VEN), a Shanghai-based blockchain startup is testing a blockchain application which verifies a wine supply chain and fights counterfeits. The Chinese wine industry is worth USD$2.8bn and reportedly the Chinese consume wine that is not authentic which as weakened public trust in the quality of the product.
Ireland has clarified taxation on the cryptocurrency space. In terms of direct taxes: corporation tax, income tax and capital gains tax are all applicable, but each case should be reviewed separately.
Barcelona will create a blockchain center in the city’s tech hub. The location will be next to Barcelona Tech City which opened in the Summer of 2016 and will most likely be occupied by Spanish blockchain network Alastria.
Bitfury-backed Hut 8 Mining Group mined more than 800 bitcoins in the first quarter of 2018. The company raised CAD$70mm to continue investing in hardware and generated nearly CAD$11mm in revenue.
Commerzbank and multinational conglomerate Thyssenkrupp have successfully conducted an FX transaction on a blockchain platform. Thyssenkrupp transferred 500,000 euros in an exchange rate between the euro and the Polish zloty at some point in future.
Surkus has raised USD$10mm in Series B funding led by EOS global, a USD$200mm venture fund formed earlier this year. The venture fund is making its first investment and it aims to leverage the EOSIO blockchain to catalyze the transformation of the digital assets space.
CoTrader is introducing a decentralized fund management platform that includes cryptocurrency. CoTrader is a blockchain trading platform and it plans to disrupt investment funds to become the world’s largest outlet for all assets.
The Deutsche Boerse, owner of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange is considering offering cryptocurrency products according to a report. A move into the crypto space may not be immediate as Jeffrey Tessler, the firm’s head of clients, said the firm must “make sure we understand the underlying transaction which isn’t the easiest thing to do”.
Two Russian financial institutions are set to test a regulatory platform that aims to make domestic initial coin offerings (ICOs) more transparent and secure for traditional investors. The Russian National Settlement Depository (NSD) announced on Thursday that it is working with Sberbank CIB, to test an ICO issuance platform launched by the Bank of Russia.
The US Department of Justice has reportedly launched a criminal investigation into cryptocurrency traders who may have manipulated the market with old-school illicit tactics, such as spoofing. The investigation is also being conducted with the Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
American Express is exploring using blockchain technology to increase security for both users and merchants. The firm is exploring an identity wallet and whether blockchain can be used.
Russian State Duma has approved its first reading of a legislation package that regulates crypto-related matters and activities. The legal texts will open the way for legalization of cryptocurrencies in the Russian Federation, including their exchange and circulation under certain conditions.
Revolut, a British based company that created the first app to allow customers to invest in Bitcoin, has announced it will be adding Ripple (XRP) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to its platform. Revolut began as an app allowing users to transfer fiat currencies, but now has four cryptocurrencies on its platform.
Banks are losing international payments business. Banks have lost 40% of market share for consumer-to-consumer (C2C) cross border payments to non-banks over the last year. Banks have also lost 30% of the consumer-to-business (C2B) and 5% of the business-to-business (B2B) payments market over the last year.
Japanese IT giant, GMO Internet is set to roll out the world’s first bitcoin mining device based on 7nm chips within the year. The firm is launching a new B2 miner on June 6 with mass production to follow and shipment starting by the end of October.
Coinbase has acquired a service called Paradex, a cryptocurrency trading service that lets users trade many digital tokens on a decentralized exchange. The exchange relies on smart contracts to allow users to trade tokens without a centralized authority to record the transactions on a blockchain.
Money Forward, Japan’s most popular personal budgeting app, is launching a crypto asset exchange this year. The firm plans to launch a crypto media platform by Summer followed by an exchange and the construction of a digital asset remittance and settlement system.
The Marshal Islands have replaced the USD$ with its own cryptocurrency. The bill was signed March first but the news is catching attention this week. US Dollars will still be accepted, yet the nation’s cryptocurrency, the “sovereign” will need to be integrated into the country’s financial system. An initial coin offering will take place and the supply will be capped at 24mm tokens
Bank of America has been awarded a patent to let users access a certain blockchain network known as a distributed validating network. Certain users will be granted permission and data will be stored in blocks in which a system can automate this process.
Singaporean-based virtual social trading platform, TrakInvest is looking to become one of the first Asian-based projects to use Hedera Hashgraph’s distributed ledger technology.
Norway’s central bank is preparing for a future in which it might issue a digital currency due to a drop in usage of cash in the country. The Norges Bank released a report titled “Central Bank Digital Currencies” which highlighted that the bank must consider several new attributes that are important for ensuring an efficient robust payment system
Overstock.com’s Tzero is planning to launch a regulated exchange for security tokens in collaboration with Box Digital Markets. The companies will seek approval from the SEC.
A Spanish Central Bank Governor believes that cryptocurrencies will bring more risk than benefits. Luis Maria Linde said that blockchain offers interesting possibilities but that is not quite mature.
Rural banks in the Philippines are looking to adopt blockchain technology in a bid to improve inclusion for residents. The initiative is led by the Union bank of the Philippines, one of the country’s largest banking institutions.
India is considering taxing cryptocurrency at 18% as ‘intangible property’ according to a report issued today. The report detailed that purchases or sales of cryptocurrencies are considered supply of goods and those facilitating transactions should be treated as services.
Every Capital is launching Australia’s first retail crypto hedge fund with the goal of making crypto assets accessible to every Australian investor. Investors will be able to sign up in a fund that covers a range of cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs).
The Pentagon and Defense department are weighing on whether owning cryptocurrency is problematic for those who already have security clearances and for those individuals requesting government security clearances.
Steemit, the platform of cryptocurrency of Steem (STEEM) has announced they have over 1,000,000 users. The blockchain processes over one million transactions daily. The Steemit.com website receives over 250,000 unique visitors every day
CheapAir.com adds Litecoin (LTC) Dash (DASH) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to its payment options for travelers. The firm first begin accepting cryptocurrency by agreeing to receive payments in Bitcoin (BTC) back in 2013.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), is proposing changes to existing regulations that would ease market entry for blockchain-based and decentralized exchanges. According to a paper published yesterday, the MAS states that the single tier “recognized market operators” regulatory framework cannot meet the demand for new business models based on such emerging technologies.
Chilean President, Mario Marcel has recently made comments in favor of developing a regulatory apparatus for virtual currencies. This openness contrasts the country’s recent banking embargo targeting cryptocurrencies in Chile.
MIT is demoing a use case for bitcoin’s lightning network – how the cryptocurrency can be combined with smart contracts to not only handle millions of transactions, but also with more complexity. Verge (XVG) has experienced its second hack in less than two months.
Executives are citing a DDoS attack which is giving its blockchain a serious delay. The attack has lasted more than a few hours and has resulted in over 35mm XVG tokens being stolen. CoinGate, a payment gateway for cryptocurrencies, is planning to launch
Bitcoin Lightning Network payments on its platform. The company serves over 4,000 merchants globally and will allow companies to accept bitcoin and altcoin payments which can be transferred in BTC, EUR€ or USD$ as payouts.
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is cracking down on unlicensed companies involved in the cryptocurrency space. Companies that the Commission is targeting include investment and trading companies.
A bank in Argentina could soon become the first in the world to begin using Bitcoin for customers’ international remittances. Banco Mansventas (BMV) partnered with local blockchain financial services firm Bitex and are looking to move away from the SWIFT clearing network which has seen multiple failures and security problems in recent years.
Payments startup, Circle has launched the full version of its crypto investment app. After a soft launch, the company has rolled out an investment focused app and one of the features is a “Buy the Market” tool for new cryptocurrency investors.
China Central Television (CCTV) has said that domestic initial coin offerings (ICOs) are still rampant despite a 2017 ban. The network went on to discuss that “air coins”, or token projects that are not backed by legally registered business entities have increased by 30x since the ICO crackdown.
A new crypto teller machine is now operational in Johannesburg, South Africa. The ATM supports several digital coins and joins a growing number of terminals offering automated crypto-fiat exchange services in the country and across the continent.
Japan’s largest bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) is partnering with Akamai to handle up to 1mm transactions per second using blockchain technology. The platform will confirm transactions within 2 seconds or less and batches of transactions will adhere to the same schedule.
Lawmakers in Taiwan are forming a new parliamentary group aimed to foster the growth of the nation’s emerging blockchain sector. The group will be called the Taiwan Parliamentary Coalition for Blockchain (TPCB).
The Bitcoin community is celebrating the 8th anniversary of the “Bitcoin Pizza Day” which is a celebratory day of a Pizza purchased with Bitcoin. On today’s date 8 years ago, Bitcoin was trading at $.0004 and Laszio Hanyecz purchased two pizzas from Papa John’s for USD$41 using 10,000 BTC
Ohio may become the latest US state to legally recognize smart contracts and records stored on a blockchain. The Senate Bill 300, amends sections of the Uniform Electronic Transactions act and will include blockchain records and smart contracts as electronic records.
Virtuse, a Singaporean cryptocurrency exchange, is connecting crypto markets with global financial assets, commodities, government emission allowances and stock indices to eliminate the middlemen and provide transparency to the financial sector.
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has issued an advisory statement for listing virtual currency derivative products. The director of the Division of Market Oversight (DMO) has said that the CFTC staff will seek to provide additional guidance to help market participants keep pace with innovation while complying with CFTC regulations.
American aviation company TapJets is considering adding Ripple (XRP) and Litecoin (LTC) to its fleet of payment options. The company inquired about which cryptocurrencies to add via a Twitter poll, and 57,000 users voted.
Spain’s financial regulator has clarified its position on regulated investment funds investing directly in cryptocurrencies. The regulatory body stated that an investment fund registered with the countries National Securities Market Commission can make investments in cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain startup ShareRing is developing a mobile application to consolidate sharing services worldwide. The sharing economy is currently valued at over USD$100bn according to Brookings.
Polish Finance Ministry is rolling back a cryptocurrency tax and is making promises to provide smarter regulation. The ministry will be conducting an “in-depth analysis” of the crypto space to create better regulation and taxation policies going forward.
Walmart has submitted a patent application to track items the store sells to customers. The proposed system would allow a customer to register the item after it is purchased.
TradingView, a software website that many cryptocurrency traders use just raised USD$37mm in funding which was led by Insight Venture Partners. Currently the company receives 75% of its revenues from monthly subscription plans that offer more charts, data and real-time server-side alerts
A “cryptosweep” was launched today in the US and Canada by a group of securities regulators. Nearly 70 inquiries and investigations, and 45 pending or completed enforcement actions will be taken, although it is unclear when the related enforcement actions will be publicly announced
The team behind Parity Technologies have announced they are shutting down PICOPS, a service used by ICO campaigns to comply with regulations by validating that the owner of an Ethereum wallet has already passed an ID background check.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has shown in a report that crypto related fraud made up a tiny percent of scam activity in 2017. Of the 200,000 scams reporting, only 0.61% of the financial claims made were crypto related – USD$2.1mm
LMAX Exchange Group is setting up the first cryptocurrency exchange for institutional clients. The group will focus on liquid established cryptocurrencies which include: Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
Former OKEx cryptocurrency exchange CEO, Chris Lee, is now joining rival cryptocurrency exchange Huobi. In a public note, Lee suggested that OKCoin has experienced notable turnover in senior executives over the past few years which may have affected his decision.
Nearly 40% of all Chinese blockchain startups emerged in 2017, according to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The report highlighted that China currently has 456 startups focused on blockchain technology development as part of their core business.
Japan Cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck will delist Monero and three other privacy coins from Coincheck, one of the country’s most popular exchanges. Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) believes that users have too much anonymity with these cryptocurrencies.
Bankex Smart Justice is bringing arbitration to blockchain technology. If users are in disagreement, Bankex claims the firms technology can help users settle
Thomas Lee owns up to his failed prediction of Bitcoin (BTC) rising ahead of Blockchain week. In a note to clients before Consensus 2018, Lee predicted that Bitcoin (BTC) would surge anywhere from 10-70% yet during the week, the price of Bitcoin (BTC) fell
https://preview.redd.it/cjx2a1jxe1921.png?width=1120&format=png&auto=webp&s=8db8263317bc1f28e3d8f82d9760dea619c1e6f5 It is hard to believe, but it has been an entire decade since Bitcoin was created and launched into circulation. While many think that Bitcoin, like crypto market itself, is nothing more than a bubble, the truth is that this technology is still very much alive. Not only that, but it keeps growing and developing, with new altcoins appearing all the time. A lot still has to be done for the industry to reach its full potential but the market has grown and matured a considerably since Satoshi’s initial endeavour, and there are the reasons to celebrate. Later in 2018, it became clear that the European Union started to take the lead in crypto market. London Stock Exchange along with other companies decided to participate in the development of exchanges that support security tokens. As a result DX.Exchange is set to become the first regulated tokenized securities exchange. Powered by the NASDAQ exchange protocol this platform will offer several existing securities listed on the NASDAQ, NYSE, Hong Kong Exchange and Tokyo Stock Exchange in a tokenized format. Intercontinental Exchange, the operator of the New York Stock Exchange is planning to launch Bakkt, a federally regulated market which will enable institutions and consumers to buy, store and sell crypto assets. Bakkt recently raised $182.5 million from Microsoft, the Boston Capital Group, and other 10 partners and investors, and aims to bring high levels of trust and transparency to the market. Online retail giant Overstock has announced plans to pay a portion of its annual taxes in Ohio using Bitcoin. Ohio became the first state in US to allow taxes to be paid in Bitcoin, and Overstock became the first major company to take advantage of Ohio’s openness to cryptocurrency. ConsenSys has partnered with computer chip maker AMD and Abu Dhabi-based investment firm Halo Holdings to develop a new cloud computing infrastructure based on blockchain technology. AMD chips have been popular in running blockchain networks, in particular by retail customers looking to mine cryptocurrencies. The China Banking Association, the country’s self-regulatory body for the banking sector, is launching a new blockchain-based platform for trade finance. Over 10 major banks in the region have signed up for the platform, including HSBC (China), Bank of China, China Merchants Bank, China Postal Savings Bank, among others. 21 cryptocurrency exchanges have joined the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association, a self-regulatory organization that oversees the crypto sector, aiming to create industry-wide investor safety standards. Currently, Ethereum is the market’s best performing altcoin, as it is trading up over 15% at its current price of $162. Ethereum’s bullish performance over the past several weeks is the result of its upcoming Constantinople upgrade scheduled to occur around January 16th, which will make Ether more efficient. A top executive in the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) crypto division predicts that more institutional players will announce cryptocurrency projects in 2019. Lucre Algorithmic Trading Platform for Cryptocurrencies LUCRE is an exclusive automated trading system for Cryptocurrencies, created to outperform the strategy of just holding Cryptocurrencies. It is developed by a team with 8 years of algorithmic trading experience. Holding a Cryptocurrency hasn’t been the best way to increase your wealth lately. LUCRE algorithm was build on a philosophy - Don’t HODL; Trade! allowing trading both ways long and short. The great appeal of this project is the ability to generate revenues in all market conditions, buying and selling at every perceived opportunity. Even when the market is going south the algorithm attempts to make profit by shorting it. Lucre Trading Algo will be running on a Metatrader trading platform. Token sale participants will get an LCR token which will track the performance of the Algo. The price will be updated regularly to accurately reflect the value of the underlying Crypto assets being traded by the Algo. A participant can trade on the exchanges which will list the LCR token. LCR token will only be sold during the pre sale and Token sale main event. No further tokens will be minted post Token More: https://www.lucretoken.com #Crypto #ICO #LUCRE #LCR #bitcoin #cryptocurrency #btc #tradingcrypto #tokensale
Money should be a good store of value, medium of exchange, and unit of account. There are a lot of barriers preventing bitcoin’s widespread use by the aforementioned criteria, let’s take a look and see how they might be solved.
Lack of Understanding
Bitcoin is complicated and unfamiliar. This is a huge barrier to entry because people distrust what they don’t understand, and ease-of-use and simplicity is what usually sells a new technology. If you have read this series from the beginning though, you may now see some potential upsides to such a drastically different system than what we are used to. Many resisted smartphones for a time (and a few still do). The benefits have to outweigh the costs of adoption, so we may see niche cases being the early adopters (like citizens of Venezuela or remittances payments). Also, when a new complicated technology rolls around, it sometimes takes a generation before it becomes widespread; young people are particularly adept at adopting new tech.
The tendency of bitcoin’s price to change rapidly or unpredictably is what comprises volatility. When you search for bitcoin you may find that most of the results you get (and the discussions happening on forums) are about it’s price. This is understandable, it has seen some crazy moves both up and down over the years facilitating the potential for huge gains (and huge losses). Still, over time the price certainly is increasing. Unless you bought in a single 2 month period in 2013, holding bitcoin for longer than 2 years at any point in its history would land you in a better position than when you started. And, when viewed on a logarithmic scale (used in long-term stock charts), the trend is quite clear: (Bitcoin Price 2012-2018, Logarithmic Scale (bitcoincharts.com)) There is a risk/reward to adopting new tech, and this is no exception. But, my goal is absolutely not to “sell” it to you as an investment by any means.
This is not financial advice. We’re simply looking at the pros and cons of this space, and I encourage everyone to do their own research and come to their own conclusions. Never invest anything you aren’t prepared to lose.
This meteoric rising (and crashing) of the “price” (which, I’ll point out, might just as well be considered an exchange rate) understandably makes it pretty difficult to use bitcoin as a currency. If it moves a few percent in a day, and can move a few hundred percent in a month, purchasing a car or a house could cost you significantly more by the time your finished closing. That’s just not viable, and certainly not a good unit of account. However, I see the volatility in price simply as growing pains. It is the market that dictates the price of bitcoin, quite literally, it’s traded like a stock. This is referred to as speculation (“the purchase of an asset with the hope that it will become more valuable at a future date”). Speculation happens between national currencies already, but they are generally stable in comparison so it’s not lucrative. People are unsure of how this whole bitcoin thing is going to play out. It’s not like anything we’ve ever seen, it’s difficult to understand (and use), and it’s not accepted at every corner store or online business. Many in the space are just here for a quick buck, and they sell it when the price rises to get back “real” money we are used to, that is “stable” in price against other currencies, and can predictably buy goods and services. The way I see it, all of these will concerns diminish in time. Though Amazon or Target don’t yet accept bitcoin, Microsoft and Overstock.com do. Some cities and towns across the world are embracing it a lot more than others. It’s not surprising to see San Francisco accommodating the new technology. But, other cities like Portsmouth in New Hampshire with numerous cafes and shops accepting bitcoin (and “Dash coin”) might surprise you. There are maps available to see where crypto-currencies are accepted at locations near you, and the amount of them are increasing, albeit slowly. It’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation, but that hasn’t stopped revolutions from happening before. Consider when cars first came about, roads were dirt and mud which cars didn’t do well with. It took building massive infrastructure before cars could ever become mass-adopted, but we spent the time, money, and effort because we saw the potential advantages. It will be trivial for businesses to accept bitcoin compared with pouring hundreds of millions of dollars in asphalt to connect our world. Other parallels include train tracks, phone lines, electricity lines, communication satellites, etc. Each of these replaced or iterated on previous functional technologies, and required massive upfront costs before the benefits were available. It’s clear now that we made some good choices there but there were doubts at the time. Despite some pretty major setbacks, bitcoin’s trend is up. Interest is growing and more businesses and individuals are actually using it. But due to the trading mentality, the uncertainty with regulations, uncertainty in the technology itself, uncertainty that the price will not drop, and other factors, emotion and greed encourages people to sell in flocks if the price climbs high enough. Furthermore, right now with a large enough stack of money one can influence this market in drastic ways, and cries of manipulation of the price are not unfounded. So-called “whales” can buy and sell huge amounts of coins and the price can jump a bit each time. Coupled with uncertainty in the space, and so many “investors” trying to time the markets, we end up with a pretty volatile landscape where the price is not stable. My argument is that this is diminishing as it gains in popularity, and it is gaining value because its utility is growing (see the network effect”) and the utility itself is slowly becoming more apparent.
Volatility is actually decreasing.
Bitcoin Volatility Over Time(bitvol.info) In the period from 2011 to 2014 bitcoin’s volatility often spikes into the 15% range. But from 2014 to the present, volatility has only just spiked above 7% twice, spending most of it’s time below 5%. Even the large boom and bust in price at the end of 2018 seems tame compared to the early years. The trends show the price going up over time, and volatility going down. The more actual use the coin has (people saving and buying with bitcoin), the percentage of people entering the space to use it the way it was intended increases, the percentage of “stock traders” declines. And as more capital enters the space, the less influence whales have (because the current against which they swim is getting stronger). And as the price stabilizes, traders will become less interested. There is a critical point where this becomes a negative feedback loop. I could be wrong, but the idea is at least founded in reality, and it would solve the unit of account issue if the price could stabilize to within a few percent per year. Similarly, as a store of value, bitcoin becomes more viable in this scenario. This is coupled with the fact that although bitcoin is somewhat inflationary now as the supply is increasing (bitcoins are “discovered” as rewards for mined blocks), the amount of discovered coins are cut in half every few years. This “halving” is logarithmic, meaning eventually the amount of coins discovered is infinitesimally small, and total supply will asymptotically approach 21 million coins (the maximum supply that we will ever see). This model of supply is actually meant to mimic gold because it’s a well-known store of value and monetary device throughout history (though it is not easily divisible, and not as portable as bitcoin). In both bitcoin and gold, mining is more fruitful in the beginning, and as we extract the low-hanging-fruit, mining requires greater effort and yields less return. World population is increasing which leads to bitcoin becoming deflationary in the future if demand continues (the supply won’t increase beyond 21 million). And, I argue that it will become more valuable in time due to the network effect as bitcoin use becomes more widespread (the value of being able to exchange with more people anywhere, any time, and without permission from anyone). This is a positive feedback loop, and shows how bitcoin is deflationary long-term. While deflation is generally considered negative by economists, the main reason is based around debt which isn’t possible in the same way with bitcoin because bitcoins cannot be created out of thin air like fiat currency. The discussion of deflation vs inflation is an important one, and bitcoin’s monetary policy is an outlier compared with national currencies which are typically inflationary. The US dollar for example averaged 3% inflation since the year 1900. That means that over the last 100 years, a dollar has lost over 95% of its purchasing power. You could buy 95% more stuff with $1,000 last century, or, saving $1,000 from 100 years ago would buy you 95% less stuff at present. Put another way, purchasing power is cut in half after about 25 years, a concern for anyone retiring for over 20 years with a fixed retirement sum. Some other national currencies have higher inflation rates, and there are numerous cases of inflationary spirals over the years. A few examples include Germany 1923, Hungary 1945, China 1947, Vietnam 1988, Peru 1990, Yugoslavia 1992, Zimbabwe 2008, and right now in Venezuela 2018. Entire countries of people have lost essentially all of their money, and it keeps happening over and over. A wise man would tell you it’s dangerous to say “it could never happen here”. *UPDATE: Turkey is also now in financial crisis. This is our money with which we hold and exchange value, our earnings, our savings, our livelihoods. Maybe it’s time we had, at least, another option outside of government control. An option that governments can’t destroy through mismanagement. A neutral option that ignores all borders, is open to everyone, and can be accessed anytime from anywhere.
The Fear of “Hacks”
It’s a very real threat to have all your money stolen, if your bank was robbed you are protected by FDIC (in most cases only up to $100,000). The vast majority of coins that have been stolen have come from hackers attacking “exchanges” and getting away with millions. These exchanges are websites where you can trade bitcoin for other crypto-currencies (or “alt-coins”). You can also buy and sell bitcoin on them, and subsequently people end up storing a lot of coins on these exchanges, and the exchanges hold the “private keys” so they can execute trades. Cryptographic private keys are analogous to a key that opens a door, or, a key that locks a message in a box before it is sent to the recipient. In our case the door opened allows you to sign your message and spend coins, and the message is your transaction on the bitcoin network. Anyone with your private keys can spend your coins. Exchanges are a honey pot of thousands of private keys that represent a lot of money. If a hacker can break into the exchange and steal the keys all at once, their work will pay off. This is why any crypto guru will advise you not to store large amounts of coins on exchanges, and rather transfer them in your own wallets where you hold the private keys. The mantra is “your keys, your money; not your keys, NOT YOUR MONEY!” Of course your own computer can be hacked, but you are not as big a target as an exchange which may hold vast sums of money. There are also some pretty safe ways to store your coins if done right. Centralized exchanges are a necessary evil for many people because they facilitate acquiring and trading coins easily. But decentralized exchanges are becoming more common because they allow you to trade while keeping your coins in your control at all times. They need some work and more users, but it’s a promising solution to this problem. Summarizing the above, the big hacks you read about are virtually eliminated if your keys are in your control and you keep them safe.
Transaction fees are generally negligible in a bitcoin transaction, but in many ways “fees” are holding us back. Interestingly, this is a symptom of being in the very early days. Firstly, there is a lot of work on “scaling” crypto-currencies (making fees even lower than they already are and increasing transaction speeds). This is just an engineering problem, and many people are working on solving it in many different ways. Other currencies like NANO or IOTA have different underlying tech and have zero fees and instantaneous transactions. In fact, most fees people encounter aren’t fees from bitcoin transactions; instead, they get hit with fees when exchanging between national currencies and bitcoins. In order to electronically trade USD($), EUR(€), or YEN(¥) with bitcoin, we need to hook into the closed-off for-profit banking network and we need third-parties to do so (and they take their cut). But even these fees could be avoided in time. For example, you can buy bitcoins with cash directly from a person (localbitoins.com). And, it might seem distant, but in the future you may end up receiving bitcoins as your salary, from a friend, or from accepting them in your place of business. Likewise you can spend your bitcoins directly to other bitcoin users. Getting coins directly eliminates all the exchanging and associated fees because once your money is on the bitcoin network, fees will be negligible (especially as these networks evolve).
Right now it’s easier than ever to acquire some bitcoin. People can download “Coinbase” or “Square App” on their smartphone and purchase some using a credit card in a few minutes. Depending on which service you use and how much you want to buy, you may need to send a picture of your license for KYC regulations. However, as I mentioned above, there are risks to storing all your coins on exchanges, especially with large amounts. I always recommend transferring them to a wallet where you control the private keys. But using wallets and storing private keys (and “seeds”) securely, is not as straightforward as we would like. This is a major factor holding back adoption, because if it’s not easy to use, people will consider it too much effort. The next post in this series digs into wallets and storing your coins.
FUD From All Sides: In Defense of CME's Bitcoin Futures Plan
https://www.coindesk.com/fud-sides-defense-cmes-bitcoin-futures-plan/ William Mallers, Jr. started First American Discount Corporation with his father in 1984, eventually building it into the third-largest discount futures brokerage. He sold it in 2001 to Man Financial and then retired. In this opinion piece, Mallers argues CME Group's plan to offer bitcoin futures will benefit the futures trading industry and the bitcoin community alike – notwithstanding hand-wringing in both worlds about the idea. I'm a member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. I've also been a bitcoiner since 2013. So, when CME Group announced its intention to launch bitcoin futures in the coming weeks, I thought, "Great! Way to go, CME." The first exchange to offer a futures contract on bitcoin is good news for my CME friends: more trading volume and and speculative opportunities. And it's also good for my bitcoin friends: the legitimacy and access is sure to help with adoption and higher bitcoin prices. Win-win! Right? Well, that wasn't quite the response I got. Instead I heard just about every negative stereotype about both futures trading and bitcoin, from both communities. Let's try to put these misperceptions to rest. 'Tulips' in 5,4,3... First, there’s this from the futures industry’s most widely read blog, John Lothian News: "The risk of bitcoin is in its history and the cloud surrounding its creation and early fraudulent days. Who is Satoshi? Where is he today? What happened at Mt. Gox? Is it still used to launder money? Why won't China let people trade bitcoin and what does this have to do with money laundering or capital controls?" Good Lord. If you've been in enough arguments with bitcoin skeptics you know what's coming after the drug-dealing, money-laundering slam, right? Next up: the tulip-bulb analogy. Sure enough, Lothian says, "I don’t want to be on the wrong side of history. But the history I am looking at is … 1636-37. That was the peak of tulipmania." And that, my friends, is why I spent my first two years in bitcoin not sharing my passion with any non-bitcoiners. "Bitcoin? Never heard of it." But because I have benefited from all the hard work that others have done to advance this project – hosting meetups, dispelling misinformation – and all I've done is log into my account and click "Buy," I thought I'd try to do my part. A margin clerk's dream Here's what I wrote to Lothian (a former employee at the futures brokerage I ran), and maybe it will help you with your bitcoin futures doubters: "Hey John, it's Junior from your old FADC [First American Discount Corporation] days and I’ll be glad to help you understand bitcoin. "But first – recall how you used to try to collect margin money by first asking the customer to provide a contact at his bank who could confirm that he had sufficient funds in his account and that he had initiated the wire. Why did we have you do that? Because we knew we wouldn’t get the money until the next day; his bank, while debiting his account immediately, would wait until the end of the day to wire us the money (unless he stopped the wire) and our bank wouldn’t credit us until mid-morning the next day, at the earliest. "Now, imagine, instead of that 24-hour headache, your under-margined customer simply waved his cell phone at our FADC QR code and we got the money within 10 minutes, or at most a few hours. Bitcoin is a margin clerk's dream come true: near-instant peer-to-peer value transfer! It's easy to see why Jamie Dimon doesn’t like it, but a former margin clerk? You should be loving this technology and cheering for its adoption! "I know having an asset protected by the computing power of a globally distributed network doesn't feel as secure as having armed guards protecting a bank vault, but if you get some time, there are websites that estimate the cost of amassing enough computing power to defraud the bitcoin network. This site estimates about $1 billion in electricity per day, plus over $1 billion in equipment, to counterfeit one transaction. In other words, it would be way cheaper for the Hunt brothers to corner today’s silver market than it would be for me to con an online retailer like Overstock into sending me free patio furniture. It's called a '51% attack' because I’d need to control a majority of the network hashing power to get a consensus mechanism to accept my phony accounting. "Bernie Madoff-style cons are hard to pull off; I need years to earn my victims' trust, I have to get a reputable accounting firm to bless my forged statements, etc ... but Madoff's con was far easier than going undetected while amassing billions' worth of computing power. Plus, since new bitcoins are awarded to the miners proportionate to their computational contribution, if I did have that much computing power, I may as well amass bitcoins the honest way, right? "That's one of the fun insights into this project: it manages to align all participants through economic incentive." Overwhelming demand When Terry Duffy, CME's CEO, says it's offering bitcoin futures in response to customer demand, I'm sure he’s right. I know from writing brochures for commodity trading advisors that money managers want non-correlated assets. That's the only reason they own gold. When the stock market tanks or a terrorist attack happens, that's when gold rallies. After 9/11, the stock market dropped over 7 percent, but gold spiked. Bitcoin, like gold, is a perfect non-correlated asset to add to an investment portfolio. I am not surprised that there is such overwhelming demand for bitcoin futures from traders. Now, every trader is going to have the option to invest right there on their screen without having to do the onerous work of buying and securing bitcoin itself. Risk controls As for claims that CME futures trading will put the exchange at risk, they are overblown. CME clearing privilege requires a large amount of capital. If a member's capital level drops below the threshold required to clear, the CME removes customer accounts and places them with a firm that has the capital to support them. Again, customers come first. Stock index futures functioned as designed during the 1987 crash, grain futures likewise during the 1988 drought, currencies during the high volatility after the Plaza Accord. Consider this: prior to 1982, if you’d predicted where the most successful stock index contract would launch, you’d guess probably the New York Stock Exchange, right? But S&P 500 Index Futures launched at the Chicago exchanges next to the pork-belly pit, U.S. Treasury futures next to the soybean pit. CME has done its homework on bitcoin; it's well aware of bitcoin's volatile price history and has the experience and controls in place to clear bitcoin futures. Amazing, isn't it? The exchange that offers risk-management products should avoid bitcoin because it’s "risky?" Huh? I’ve never seen anything like bitcoin that inspires such lame arguments from its opponents. This ain't Wall Street Then, there's all the bitcoiners' FUD: "Here comes Wall Street to drive the price of bitcoin down, manipulate the market and ruin it for us!" Suffice it to say, for many of the same reasons I gave above, I don’t believe that to be true. Keep in mind that CME is not Wall Street. The Chicago exchanges have an ethos like bitcoin's: transparency, security, independence and accountability. To all the people hand-wringing on both sides, let's just see how this plays out. I have decades of experience with the Chicago exchanges and feel reasonably certain that you all are wasting your breath and paying too much for full-page ads in print newspapers. Let's get this thing to the moon!
Multi-Billion Dollar Crypto Firm: Bitcoin Finding Use as Hedge for Global Crisis
https://preview.redd.it/yy7tkj643v431.png?width=1024&format=png&auto=webp&s=99a4b76c25893e2091241bcdcd42060f83ec48a4 Throughout its short history, Bitcoin (BTC) has been seen as anything but centralized, sovereign, and censorable. The crypto asset was created by a pseudonymous individual, is secured by a global group of miners, and is backed by no government, traditional finance system, or common entity. And as a result, many have looked to Bitcoin and its brethren — other digital assets — as a much-needed escape hatch from fiat and government overreach. Indeed, BTC was released in the wake (and seemingly as a result) of the 2008 Great Depression, and many that have since flocked to the cryptocurrency are staunch anti-establishment proponents.
Some, however, have denied this key narrative. Cynics of the theory remark that BTC is too nascent to be used as a proper store of value, citing the periods of volatility, especially the downturns, as a perfect case in point. Regardless, a massive cryptocurrency firm recently laid out why these naysayers may be wrong in their postulation.
Bitcoin as a Macroeconomic Hedge
Grayscale’s industry-famous research department recently released a report titled “Hedging Global Liquidity Risk with Bitcoin”. In it, the firm explained how the leading cryptocurrency is becoming used as a hedge in financial crises and periods of geopolitical turmoil. ore specifically, the crypto investment firm looked into how the asset can be used during bouts in which there is high “liquidity risk”, the “risk of a real decline in wealth resulting from an imbalance in the amount of money and credit relative to debt in a given economy.” To back this point, Grayscale looks to three primary facets of Bitcoin’s existence: store of value, spending viability, and growth possibility. Firstly, as the company has characteristics, BTC can act (and has acted) better as a store of value than gold. Unlike the metal, the crypto is mathematically scarce, capped at 21 million units; BTC is decentralized and verifiable through the Internet; BTC is portable and divisible through digital technologies, and is unconfiscatable. Gold, on the other hand, has an unlimited supply, centralization risks, an inability to be easily divided and moved around, and concerns around its purity. The chart below from Grayscale sums this argument up fairly well. https://preview.redd.it/s950j61b3v431.jpg?width=812&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=ab54175c3cbe866a37820b117f7e7dc8b90750e1 Secondly, Grayscale purports that due to having similar properties to physical cash, Bitcoin will retain a solid value proposition amid a liquidity crisis. They look torecent adoption by Whole Foods, AT&T, Overstock.com, Microsoft, Expedia, PayPal, and Dell to corroborate their claim. Thirdly, they remark that the potential that blockchain technologies have to grow and create value will only stimulate demand further, which should mitigate most, if not all negative effects of any downturn in global markets. So, are these characteristics helping Bitcoin hold true in the current geopolitical stage? Well, yes, and it already has been for a while. Grayscale looks to the fact that during Grexit (Greece’s debt-fueled financial crisis in 2015), China’s market collapse in 2015 and 2016, Brexit, a short period of growth worries for the U.S., and the recent trade war debacle, Bitcoin has done rather well for itself. In fact, some have argued that the recent political tussle between China and the U.S. is what has contributed greatly to the recent rally in the Bitcoin price, with some arguing that Chinese traders and others in Asia have fled to Bitcoin from traditional stocks to deter most downside risk. They write:
“While it is still very early in Bitcoin’s life cycle as an investable asset, we have identified evidence supporting the notion that it can serve as a hedge in a global liquidity crisis, particularly those that result in subsequent currency devaluations.”
Indeed, this strength is why many love Bitcoin. In fact, Delphi Digital, a New York-based crypto research group, recently pointed out that BTC is absolutely lapping every other asset class, even the more risky, high-return blue chips and the venture-backed Silicon Valley darlings that have begun to trade on public markets. At the time of their analysis (end of May), Bitcoin was up over 120% year to date, while crude oil and the Nasdaq 100 index were up a mere 18% and 13%, respectively. It’s an even scarier sight for tried and true assets, like gold, foreign currencies, and government bonds, which are up less than 5% so far. This led the firm to the conclusion that BTC could be the “King of the Asset Class Hill”.
Maybe you're here because you've received a tip on social media or from /FreeBits, or maybe you've just been hearing a lot recently about Bitcoin and are wondering what the big deal is? The following videos are a good starting point for understanding how bitcoin works and a little bit about its long term potential:
Bitcoins are valued at what market price people are willing to pay for them. Here is a useful site that shows how much various denominations of bitcoin are worth in different currencies. Alternatively you can just google "1 bitcoin in (your local currency)". You can buy or sell any amount of bitcoin (from as little as $1 worth) and there are several easy methods to purchase bitcoin with cash, credit card or bank account. Top recommendations include: US & Europe
Mining bitcoins can be a fun hobby but be aware that you will most likely operate at a loss. Newcomers are often advised to stay away from mining unless they are only interested in it as a hobby similar to folding at home. If you want to learn more about mining you can read more here. Still have mining questions? The friendly folks at /BitcoinMining would be happy to help you out.
Securing your bitcoins
With bitcoin you can be your own bank and personally secure your bitcoins or you can use trusted companies such as Coinbase and Circle which have secured wallets where they hold the bitcoins for you and provide insurance. Be sure to only deal with reputable companies, if you have any concerns about a company's trustworthiness just ask or check their consumer reviews and ratings. If you prefer to have direct control over your coins without having to use a trusted third party you can use personal wallets for desktops / laptops, android and iOS where you alone hold your private keys. Electrum, Mycelium and breadwallet are popular, but there are many options. Find a wallet that works best for you For increased security use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) everywhere it is offered, including email! (2FA requires a second confirmation code to access your account, usually from a text message or app, making it much harder for thieves to gain access). Google Authenticator and Authy are two great apps for handling 2FA.
Additional security systems such as Mycelium Entropy (for printing multi-signature paper wallets) and the Trezor Hardware Wallet are great ways to easily secure your coins. Or, you can opt to secure your bitcoin using cold storage. Note: Do not use brainwallets unless you are an expert, they are known to be vulnerable to theft unless set up correctly.
Use ChangeTip.com (/changetip) for tipping people on Reddit, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, GitHub and more! (you can even use custom monikers to tailor your tip to the discussion or add a bit of humor).
You can read more about ChangeTip at their reddit wiki.
Go to /FreeBits to get a few bits to practice with and then tip them forward. Go to /BitTippers to play games and solve riddles to earn your bits. Don't forget your flair!
One Bitcoin is quite large (hundreds of £/$/€) so people often deal in smaller units. There's lots of discussion about which unit is the most appropriate so you might see people using different ones until people agree:
mBitcoin / mBTC
1,000 in a bitcoin
SI unit for milli i.e. millilitre (ml) or millimeter (mm)
μBitcoin / μBTC
1,000,000 in a bitcoin
SI unit for micro i.e microlitre (μl) or micrometre (μm)
1,000,000 in a bitcoin
Colloquial term with the same value as μBTC
100,000,000 in a bitcoin
The smallest unit of bitcoin, named after the inventor
For example, assuming an exchange rate of $500 for one Bitcoin, a $10 meal would equal:
20,000 bits or μBTC
Assuming the worth of bitcoin continues to increase, it will become easier to work at these lower divisions in day to day life. Still have questions? The friendly folks at /BitcoinBeginners would be happy to help you out. If you decide to post a question in /Bitcoin, please use the search bar to see if it has been answered before and remember to follow the community rules outlined on the sidebar to receive a better response. The mods are busy helping manage our community so please do not message them unless you notice problems with the functionality of the subreddit. Welcome to the Bitcoin community and the new decentralized economy!
Disclaimer:This post is not an endorsement to either buy or sell Bitcoins. I am simply attempting to outline the reasons why there is inherent value in Bitcoins, as well as the risks that come with investing in a crypto-currency. In full disclosure, I personally own and use them, but only a very small portion of my overall portfolio which I would be ok if BTC went to 0 tomorrow. Purpose: I’ve been seeing a lot of doom and gloom (as well as irrational exuberance) in a lot of posts lately, and a lot of people saying this or that with no evidence or fundamentals to back up their claims. So I wanted to put my thoughts and experiences [more about me below] out there in the hopes that people actually serious about utilizing Bitcoins (BTC from here on) might find this information helpful, as well as to connect with and solicit thoughts from anybody else that’s done research on the future of BTC. Also mods: I searched through old posts and the FAQ but couldn’t really find anything like this, so let me know if there is a more appropriate place to post this. I can also add hyperlinked sources to this to make it a reference document if there is interest. Summary/tl;dr: The fundamentals underlying the intrinsic value of Bitcoins haven’t changed. In fact, they continue to improve day-by-day, as merchant and user adoption increases. As long as this trend continues, and certain risk factors - see below - are minimized, BTC will eventually become widely accepted as a currency. That being said, you should never “invest” more money than you are willing to completely lose, or money that you would otherwise need for living expenses. Otherwise, you are gambling. (I put “invest” in quotes because I believe BTC are currently far too speculative to be considered an “investment.” This may change in the future, but the technology is still so new, and there are so many unknowns, that it should not be considered anything more than a speculative investment at this point.) This has happened before and it will happen again: This week hasn’t been good for those holding Bitcoins. In fact, if you invested in BTC anytime in the past year, I’d say it’s been a pretty shitty year, period. But the thing is, we’ve seen this type of thing in financial markets before, almost exactly to a t, and how they tend to play out. There have been various bubbles of all shapes and sizes throughout history, and the run-up in prices earlier this year, was no exception. However, unlike the critics, I believe BTCs are different, as there is significant intrinsic value in the BTC network and BTC as a value store - which I outline below. I also think it’s useless to speculate about the direction of BTC in the short to medium-term (I would argue the price adjustment has been a good thing for the long-term), so to me the only meaningful way to analyze what’s going on is to examine the fundamentals (apologies if a lot of this is basic, but I wanted to cover all the key points as I saw them):
Currency As a Store of Value: A currency has value because the holders of it believe it has value. This might seem like a paradox, but it is how fiat currencies (namely, the USD and every other major currency in the world) function, and BTC is no different. As the number of people owning and using BTC increases, the relative value of BTC will have to grow as the supply is limited to 21million BTC (to use an economics analogy: In this case, we can’t find more seashells, we can only break the ones we have into smaller pieces). What if user adoption were to plateau or decrease? Even if growth were to stop today, and not a single more person in the world were to use BTC than already are, there would still be value assigned to them by those who currently hold, which is reflected in the BTC/USD rate. There is already value there by virtue of the number of people that own it and merchants that accept it. As of me writing this, there are an estimated 1.2million BTC holders on ledgers worldwide. This number is greater than the population of many countries that have their own currency. I believe BTC are past the point where people should question the viability of BTC as a store of value, and instead look at BTC for the value it provides for the following reasons.
Worldwide Transaction Network: In my analysis, this represents the true potential value of BTC. Think of the major credit card companies (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX) - they’re accepted pretty much anywhere right? You can walk into almost any shop throughout the world, and as long as you hold one of these cards, the merchant will trade you his/her goods and services for a portion of what you’ve got in your account. And this is hugely valuable. To the tune of $Billions per year these companies make in profit, all because of the network of merchants that accept them worldwide. But one thing that people might forget is these companies had to grow their merchant network, just like BTC, one at a time. Thus, this to me represents the primary growth potential of BTC. I’ve seen estimates that 10,000 retailers are currently accepting them, and there are some pretty big names in the list (Overstock, Target, eBay via PayPal, CVS). As the number of places that accept BTC increase, so does the intrinsic value. This also has a compounding, even self-fulfilling, effect: as the number of places that accept BTC increases, the value increases, thus more merchants are willing to accept BTC as a currency because it has value…chew on that for a second.
Growing BTC Eco-system: This is represented by the growing number of Bitcoin-related venture startups and websites/wallets/apps that support BTC transactions. There is a network effect here, and as long as people are invested into it, will continue to grow.
Security/Anonymity/Ease of Transaction: I think most of us are familiar with BTC security measures (how important the password to your wallet/account is), how the hashes are generated by an algorithm that cannot be faked (essentially counterfeit-proof), and low transaction costs. These are all pluses that make the currency attractive as a value store, with some caveats listed in the “Risks” section below.
Hedge Against Fiat Currencies: This is a two-edged sword. I think there’s a lot of investment in BTC because of the fear of overactive Central Banks inflating other currencies (again, namely the USD), but as we saw this week, this can work against BTC. I explain more later below.
So I’ve briefly outlined above some pretty clear reasons why there is inherent value in BTC, and the reasons why I personally am optimistic about the long-term future and will continue to use them. That being said, I’ve also identified several primary risk factors that worry me as a long-term investor, ones that all holders of BTC should be aware of. Please, if you know or can think of any others, reply or PM me so I can add them to this list:
Continued market volatility: Price volatility might be good for day-traders, but for a currency, it’s killer. As described above, one of the core elements a currency must have is as a store of value, and if the price fluctuates wildly from day-to-day, merchants (and currency owners) will be less willing to accept it. Who would want to hold currency that’s worth 1/2 of what it was last week? This is also a reason why it’s essential for the currency to have a limited supply (or perception thereof), or else rampant inflation would occur - look at Zimbabwe. The bottom-line is, if the USD (US Dollar) were to drop 25% in one week, like we saw with BTC this week, it would indicate a complete economic collapse was occurring. Faith in the currency would be destroyed, and it would take extreme measures to preserve it. It’s actually kind of a small miracle BTC hasn’t completely collapsed, but I think it’s because (1) there is real value in it, and (2) BTC are not widely used yet. The remedy for this is there has to be either (1) a large holder of the currency that is able to inject or take out some currency to keep the price stable -- if you look at the US Federal Reserve this is one of its two primary mandates, or (2) the number of BTC owners has to reach a saturation “tipping point” where enough people are utilizing the currency for day-to-day transactions, and not for speculative reasons. I don’t believe we’re quite at this point yet, but getting there.
Governmental regulation: This is a big unknown for me, and with recent news that Russia and China have prohibited use of BTCs, presumably in the effort to curb illegal transactions, could become a trend. However, to address people who are concerned about this, I would make the following points:
What is the reason for government regulation? Is it to curb illegal activity transacted in BTC? If this is the case, there is plenty of illegal activity being transacted in US Dollars, Russian Rubles, gold coins, jewelry, etc… What makes BTC special? If the reason is to prohibit a competing national currency, then that is a separate legal issue which will have to be resolved, but probably not until far in the future. In the US, a case like this would almost definitely go to the Supreme Court for clarification.
Which government agency should have regulatory authority? In more democratic societies (than Russia and China) that have a strong rule of law (most of the rest of the western world), government agencies can’t simply do something because they want to (unfortunately the trend is changing even in the US). There has to be a legal jurisdiction or precedence that would allow this, and because crypto-currencies are so new, none has been set. For example, just look at how long it took most state governments to start taxing Amazon purchases. I used to live in Virginia, and they just started in Dec 2013, almost 20 years after Amazon was founded…
How would governments enforce restrictions? Would it be by imposing fines on merchants that accept the crypto-currencies? Legally, how is this different than restricting payment in gold or silver then, or Craigslist transactions?
Ease of use: BTC are not quite easy enough to use where the average person will find it appealing. I think a lot of companies are working to address this (e.g. the hardest part of signing up on Coinbase was remembering my password), so to me this risk is what we can do the most about, but still a concern.
Loss potential: If you forget or lose your password, you’re SOL at this point. But this isn’t really different from losing cash on the street.
Market Cornering(added): There is the possibility a large percentage of the total available BTC are owned by a handful of individuals. For example, it is estimated that Satoshi alone owns ~1 million BTC. In the event that one or more of these owners were to attempt to corner the BTC market there could be extreme price volatility.
Current overall valuation may be a bit high: Back of the napkin calculation follows- Total valuation of BTC = (# of BTC available) x (current price/BTC) Total valuation of BTC = ~13million x $330 = ~$4billion $4 billion of perceived value is probably high for as small as the BTC network currently is. But, this number is reflective of the high growth rate in the number of users/owners and merchants that have accepted BTC. In other words, this may be a fair price. And, by definition, it is technically the actual fair price since it is, after all, an actual currency.
I could go on, but those are the major value and risk factors I see. If you have anything to add, please feel free. So, in the context of everything I said above, I’d like to talk about what happened this week in particular: I believe this week’s price movement (as of me writing this, has been a 25% drop) is a result of several factors:
Capitulation: I don’t have the ability to do Technical Analysis on BTC right now, but just eyeing the 1-year chart, it looks like $400 was a key support point for the price of BTC. Once it broke through that, psychological barriers were broken and selling cascaded.
And that’s it. That’s all I can find about Bitcoins in the news. The value fundamentals I listed have not changed one bit, and if anything, the rate of user adoption has increased as more people are learningwhatit is. Which is why I’m excited about the future of BTC. It’s a product that I use and like, and see tremendous value for. This week’s sell-off just means I can buy more. About me: In a past life, I was an equity research analyst responsible for due diligence, fundamental/technical analysis, and making recommendations to the PM on which stocks a certain mutual fund should buy or sell. This meant reading through a lot of annual reports, financial statements, 10-K, 10-Q, shareholder calls, etc… My primary influences were Warren Buffett, Philip Fisher, and Ben Graham. If you recognize these names, you’ll probably guess that I was a value investor1 , and you’d be right. The fundamental premise behind value investing, for those that don’t know, is that you can find companies that are trading at a discount to their “true” intrinsic value, and thus can make money by buying the stock at a low price and selling when the market has realized the fair value of the company and the price has subsequently gone up. This is essentially how Warren Buffett built Berkshire Hathaway and became the world’s richest man (for a short period); his strategy has since greatly evolved, but this was the core philosophy he used for a long time. 1 Utilizing this strategy, our fund bought a significant stake in AAPL when the price per share was less than the amount of cash per share the company currently held (split adjusted something like ~$2 per share when we bought). It hasn’t all been a bed of roses, we’ve made some not-so-great investments, but that’s a story for a different time :) Edit: Paragraphs within bullets? How do you do them?
Released List of Satoshi Roundtable Attendees Gathering this Weekend
Satoshi Roundtable II This weekend a group of blockchain and bitcoin industry leaders gather again for the Satoshi Roundtable (satoshiroundtable.org) retreat. Participants in the second Satoshi Roundtable include developers, CEOs, investors, adopters and influencers from the blockchain and bitcoin world. The retreat is limited to approximately 75 attendees and designed to encourage organic, participant-driven discussion free of the distractions of a conference. Sessions include several topics of overall blockchain interest and a roundtable discussion on bitcoin capacity. Please provide any suggestions you have for areas of discussion/ focus. Partial list of confirmed participants: Gabriel Abed, CEO, Bitt Charles Allen, CEO, BTCS Gavin Andresen, MIT / Bitcoin Foundation Adam Back, President, Blockstream David Bailey, CEO, yBitcoins Mike Belshe, CEO, BitGo Patrick Byrne, CEO, Overstock / T0 Michael Cao, CEO, zoomhash Dave Carlson, CEO, Mega Big Power Daniel Castagnoli, CCO Exodus Sam Cole, CEO, KNC Miner Matt Corallo, Core Developer Luke Dashjr, Core Developer Anthony Di Iorio, CDO-Toronto Stock Exchange, Founder-Ethereum/Decentral/Kryptokit Joe Disorbo, CEO, Webgistix Jason Dorsett, Early Adopter Evan Duffield, FoundeLead Scientist, Dash Andrew “Flip” Filipowski, Partne Co-Founder, Tally Capital Thomas France, Founder, Ledger Jeff Garzik, Founder, Bloq Yifo Guo, Tech Develope Early Adopter David Johnston, Chairman, Factom Samy Kamkar, Super Hacker Alyse Killeen, Partner, Venture Capital Investor Jason King, Founder, Unsung Mike Komaransky, Cumberland Mining Peter Kroll, Founder, bitaddress.org Bobby Lee, CEO, BTC China, Vice-Chairman of the Board, Bitcoin Foundation Charlie Lee, Director of Engineering, Coinbase/Founder of Litecoin Eric Lombrozo, Founder, Ciphrex Corp / Developer Marshall Long, CTO, Final Hash Matt Luongo, CEO, Fold Jake Mazulewicz, Ph.D. JMA Associates (guest speaker) Human performance researcher Halsey Minor, CEO, Uphold / Founder of CNet Alex Morcos, Hudson Trading/ Core Developer Neha Narula, MIT, Director of DCI – Digital Currency Initiative Dawn Newton, Co-Founder, COO, Netki Justin Newton, Founder CEO, Netki Stephen Pair, Co-FoundeCEO, BitPay Inc. Michael Perklin, President, C4 – CryptoCurrency Certification Consortium / Board Member, Bitcoin Foundation Alex Petrov, CIO, BitFury Phil Potter, CFA, Bitfinex Francis Pouliot, Director, Bitcoin Embassy, Board Member, Bitcoin Foundation JP Richardson, Chief Technical Officer, Exodus Jamie Robinson, QuickBt Jez San, Angel Investor Marco Santori, Partner, Pillsbury Scott Scalf, EVP/Head of Tech Team, Alpha Point Craig Sellars, CTO, Tether Ryan Shea, Co-Founder, One Name Greg Simon, CEO & Co-Founder Ribbit! Me / President, Bitcoin Association Paul Snow, CEO Factom, Texas Bitcoin Conference Riccardo Spagni, Monero Nick Spanos, Founder, Bitcoin Center NYC Elizabeth Stark, Co-Founder & CEO, Lightning Marco Streng, CEO, Genesis Mining Nick Sullivan, CEO, ChangeTip Paul Sztorc, Truthcoin Michael Terpin, CEO, Transform Group Peter Todd, Core Developer Joseph Vaughn Perling, New Liberty Dollar Roger Ver, CEO, Memory Dealers / Bitcoin.com Aaron Voisine, CEO, Breadwallet Zooko Wilcox, CEO, Z Cash Shawn Wilkinson, Founder, Storj Micah Winkelspecht, CEO, Gem Also, representatives from Blockchain, Bain Capital Ventures, Mycelium, Fidelity Investments and others.
Overstock.com has gained a reputation among the cryptocurrency community for being the first major retailer to check bitcoin as a means of payment and for accepting over 40 digital coins today. The company, however, is more focused in the underlying technology as it continues to invest in blockchain development to reform the "trust economy". As Overstock.com Retail’s Chief Product Officer, Mark Baker leads all product management and user experience across the company’s customer, marketing, digital experience, merchandising, and operations organizations. He transitioned to the role of CPO after serving as the company’s Vice President of Product and Technology, where he led product development in support of Overstock’s ... Patrick Byrne, the CEO of Overstock, which was the first major retailer to accept Bitcoin (BTC) back in 2014, has said that he is “not really interested in cryptocurrencies per se,” but revealed a little-known Blockchain project his company has invested “millions of dollars” into in an interview with Business Insider Friday, Feb. 23. Let Overstock.com help you discover designer brands & home goods at the lowest prices online. With free shipping on EVERYTHING*. See for yourself why shoppers love our selection & award-winning customer service. Overstock.com OSTK today reported financial results for the second quarter, attributing $783 million of net revenue, an increase of 109%, to online retail sales growth. This is good news for CEO ...
Overstock QUIT Retail to Focus on Blockchain and tZero - Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency News
Sara Silverstein: So Overstock.com has been accepting bitcoin for as long as I can remember anyone has. Patrick Byrne: We were the first. We were the first — there was a — the largest company ... Do No Harm - Cryptocurrency News Update - CFTC Regulation Overstock Bitsy For more up to date crypto news be sure to follow me on instagram! https://www.inst... http://bitcoin-informant.de/2019/09/20/711-alchemy-expansion-asien-overstock-ceo-kauft-bitcoin-coinbase-neue-token Hey Krypto Fans, willkommen zur Bitcoin-In... Tonya Hall talks to Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne about the crypto currency revolution. For the full episode, go to http://twit.tv/tri/158. Will the classic B.A.R.R. pattern play out for #Bitcoin again the same way it did last time? If so, $10.5k #BTC possible very soon! Why I’m still not 100% co...