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What is Bitcoin?

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

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Posted on 22 October 2018 | 5:15 pm

Bakkt’s Futures Platform Slated to Begin Trading in December

Bakkt’s Futures Platform Slated to Begin Trading in December

Almost a year to the day after the CBOE and CME launched their own bitcoin futures products, the Intercontinental Exchange’s Bakkt platform is heralding the launch of its own futures on December 12, though the platform is still pending approval from the Commodity Futures Trade Commission.

Originally slated for November, Bakkt was announced in August 2018 as “a scalable on-ramp for institutional, merchant and consumer participation in digital assets.” The platform is advertised as an all-encompassing, “open platform” for “digital assets across global markets and commerce,” and was, in part, pitched as a solution for day-to-day crypto payments for merchants.

It also comes with a promise of daily futures contracts. The Bakkt Daily Bitcoin Futures Contract will allow investors to trade “a physically settled daily futures contract for bitcoin,” according to the announcement. This means that, unlike their CBOE and CME counterparts, which settle in cash, these contracts will settle in actual bitcoin.

The announcement continues to state that “[one] daily contract will be listed for trading each Exchange Business Day.” Each bitcoin will be held by Bakkt LLC in what the exchange calls its “Digital Asset Warehouse,” and each contract will be settled by ICE Clear US, a subsidiary of the Intercontinental Exchange.

Full details and specifications for the contracts can be found here.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 22 October 2018 | 4:16 pm

Blockchain Investor Vinny Lingham: 'Bitcoin Threatens Gov'ts' Ability to Make Money' - Cointelegraph


Cointelegraph

Blockchain Investor Vinny Lingham: 'Bitcoin Threatens Gov'ts' Ability to Make Money'
Cointelegraph
Lingham also said that governments globally are poised to push back against Bitcoin (BTC), as “it threatens their ability to make money.” The investor also added that central bank-issued cryptocurrencies are imminent: “Every country will issue their ...
A Brand New Bitcoin Bubble is Just around the Corner, Vinny Lingham SaysCryptovest
Another 'Expert' Claims That Bitcoin Is A BubbleCrypto Daily (press release)
Another Bitcoin Bubble Driven by Investors Coming: Civic CEO, Vinny LinghamCoingape

all 7 news articles »

Posted on 22 October 2018 | 4:11 pm

Bitfinex Took 630 Million Tether Out of Circulation After Drop Below $1

Since tether lost parity with the U.S. dollar, its supply has dropped by a quarter as tokens flow back to the issuing company's "treasury" wallet.

Posted on 22 October 2018 | 4:00 pm

Report: Cryptocurrencies Should Be Governed by Current EU Financial Laws

EU

The Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group (SMSG) has released a new report suggesting that the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) recommend to the European Commission that it regulate the cryptocurrency space with existing legislation rather than instilling new rules and laws.

The report specifies that most crypto assets are covered by the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, which regulates unfair business practices in the European Union and requires corresponding laws to be passed that incorporate it into each member state’s legal system. However, cryptocurrencies are covered only in the sense that an entity issuing a crypto asset is labeled as a business, while the person purchasing it is a consumer.

The report asks several questions about different classes (payment tokens, utility tokens and asset tokens) of digital monies to determine whether they can or should fall under present statutes. For example, does the asset in question give the owner an entitlement against the issuer? Is it transferable? Is it scarce, and how is the scarcity controlled?

In terms of payment tokens like bitcoin, the report mentions that they are not presently covered by the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II), which is the EU legislation that regulates firms providing services to clients linked to financial instruments like stock shares and bonds. These tokens are also not covered under the Prospectus Regulation, which governs businesses’ shareholding structures, or the Market Abuse Regulation. The report suggests that these assets bear many of the same risks as other investment objects, and thus the authors urge the EU to place these cryptocurrencies under MiFID II control.

The second class of financial assets — utility tokens — are a completely different ballgame. These currencies are not classified as investments, as they represent a doorway for investors to access a company’s products and services. Many times, utility tokens are issued through initial coin offerings (ICOs). To raise capital, a new company or startup will sell a utility token to investors, who in turn gain access to a whole new coin.

Utility tokens aren’t covered under EU financial regulations as they are not transferable and are only usable in a relationship between the user and the issuer. Thus, the report says these currencies should not be covered by MiFID II unless they are considered transferable. An example would be Filecoin, which builds and runs distributed data applications and helps build smart contracts. Thus, Filecoin has the potential to become an investment object in the future, and in this case, it would carry many of the same risks as traditional stocks.

Lastly, the report examines asset tokens, which represent physical goods and can be used to finance new business projects. They can also be used to represent the titles and transfers of goods, which are then recorded into the blockchain and enlist stronger security measures for both the receiving and offering parties.

To better understand how these tokens should be regulated, the report examines which assets are financial instruments or transferable securities. If a token offers a user financial entitlement of some kind, it bears the same features as both bonds and shares. It is thus transferable and — per the report’s suggestion — should fall under MiFID II and the Prospectus Regulation. Examples include EOS and any other ERC20-based tokens, as they can be purchased and traded via digital exchanges and are transferable between rewards programs, compatible wallets and participating merchants.

However, if the asset gives right to an entitlement but is not transferable or doesn’t give the holder any kind of decision power, it shares features with prepaid assets and therefore does not warrant financial regulation now or in the future. Examples include badges or statements about public keys.

It should be made clear that ESMA does not have the power to implement new laws and regulations regarding financial instruments like cryptocurrencies, nor can it change existing laws. Thus, the report is meant to advise ESMA on how to discuss such changes with the European Commission.

To view the full report, click here.


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 22 October 2018 | 3:41 pm

Bitmain Releases Overt AsicBoost Firmware for Antminer S9

Bitmain Asicboost

Bitmain has finally released its firmware for the popular Antminer S9 to enable what is called “overt AsicBoost.”

In a recent blog post, Bitmain explains their rationale for the firmware release, citing that they originally “decided against activating this mathematical function in mining hardware” due to the “uncertainty surrounding the use of AsicBoost.”

Bitmain previously released support for AsicBoost back in March 2018 by adding support for it on their mining pools BTC.com and Antpool. This, however, came after the company noticed blocks being mined on the blockchain using AsicBoost. Bitmain had not released firmware support for its own miners until yesterday’s blog post.

Now, Bitmain has enabled AsicBoost on its own hardware, calling it “overt” because of the obvious use of AsicBoost when it is being used by miners (by looking at the blockheader in a block, it is easy to tell if the block was boosted).

In one week, Bitmain will also release firmware to enable AsicBoost in its other hardware devices, namely the Antminer R4, S9i, S9j, T9 and T9+.

What Is Overt AsicBoost?

AsicBoost is a technology implemented in ASIC chips used for mining cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. When applied to these chips, AsicBoost allows miners to take a “shortcut” to finding a valid block, essentially saving some energy. The technology was originally patented and held by CoinTerra CTO Timo Hanke and RSK Chief Scientist Sergio Demián Lerner. Following the Blockchain Defensive Patent License (BDPL), an agreement to make certain blockchain technologies are shareable with other companies that take part in the agreement, AsicBoost was put in a defensive patent license as part of the process to get rid of all mining patents.

Bitmain, however, is not part of the BDPL agreement.

“With regard to patent rights, we continue to respect third parties’ IP right and take actions accordingly. Based on legal opinions from various jurisdictions, we believe that there isn’t and may never be a patent right over AsicBoost. Thus, all miners should be entitled to make their own choice on whether to use AsicBoost technology without anybody having an exclusive right over it.”

This news comes after there has long been speculation that Bitmain has been using AsicBoost within its own walls, in the form of what’s called covert AsicBoost. The accusations stated that Bitmain covertly, or privately, used the technology to give themselves an advantage over mining hardware that did not utilize AsicBoost. Furthermore, speculations have long circulated claiming that Bitmain’s opposition to the SegWit soft fork upgrade and later support for Bitcoin Cash back in August 2017 was due to a greater incentive: SegWit made it more difficult for covert AsicBoost to be used in the Bitcoin blockchain.




This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 22 October 2018 | 3:00 pm

Bitcoin Futures Could Go Live on ICE's Crypto Trading Platform in December - CoinDesk


CoinDesk

Bitcoin Futures Could Go Live on ICE's Crypto Trading Platform in December
CoinDesk
ICE announced Monday that Bakkt could begin offering physically settled bitcoin futures contracts in December, marking the first cryptocurrency-related offering provided through the new platform. Bakkt will hold the bitcoins backing the futures ...
Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Trading Platform Officially Launches December 12, 2018Bitcoin Exchange Guide
Could Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Market Launch in December Lead to ETF Approval?CryptoSlate
ICE's Crypto Trading Platform Bakkt Sets Official Launch Date for 2018 Bitcoin FuturesThe Daily Hodl

all 9 news articles »

Posted on 22 October 2018 | 2:38 pm

Op Ed: Why Satoshi Nakamoto Deserves a Nobel Prize

Op Ed: Why Satoshi Nakamoto Deserves a Nobel Prize

Alfred Nobel died with regrets. After making a fortune off of explosives, he indicated in his will that his fortune should be used to make a prize awarded each year to those who “conferred the greatest benefit to humankind.” By all accounts, his namesake award has been a success — winners are curing cancer, ending wars and discovering exotic bosons. Only a handful of humanity has won a Nobel Prize — be it in medicine, physics, chemistry, literature, economics or peace — all of them distinguished for their exceptional work.  

Yet the 123-year-old institution has grown increasingly moribund, devolving into a system in which a council of predominantly old men dole out their honors to other old men, often remarkable for their work but relatively unknown outside the small circle of their community. As a result, the prize has grown almost entirely insulated inside academia, separate from more widespread advancements being made in the wider world. So in an attempt to reconnect with the public, the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences has begun to recognize more controversial figures. When the committee wanted to revitalize the prize for literature, they awarded Bob Dylan. So who could they choose to do the same for the economics prize?

Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous creator of Bitcoin.

This would be no stunt: Satoshi Nakamoto deserves a Nobel Prize. For the first time in human history, Nakamoto devised a way to remove trust from financial interactions. The creation of Bitcoin is a concrete, irreversible event that today affects the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. It created the foundation for technology that would produce the blockchain, smart contracts and the economic theory of asset tokenization. Most people on the street have heard of Bitcoin. The same cannot be said for Contract Theory or Behavioral Economics — the fields of study that garnered the prize for the most recent laureates. That’s not to cheapen their work — it takes a brilliant mind to advance an entire academic discipline — but cryptocurrency has perhaps had a more public impact on modern economics. It deserves recognition.

Some distinguished academics have even acknowledged this milestone. Dr. Bhagwan Chowdhry, Professor of Finance at UCLA, was asked in 2016 by the Nobel Committee to nominate someone for the prize, and he chose Nakamoto. The committee, unfortunately, rejected this out of hand, due to Nakamoto’s infamous anonymity. The press officer of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences said in a statement after the rejection that “the prize, as in this instance, the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Science in Memory of Alfred Nobel, is never awarded anonymously nor posthumously.”

Dr. Chowdry had a response ready for this critique. As a fix, he proposed accepting the prize on his nominee’s behalf after giving a speech written by the winner, with the prize money being converted into bitcoin and sent to Nakamoto’s most likely digital address. This makes laughable the idea of Nakamoto being an inaccessible hermit. All that would be missing from a ceremony would be the winner’s physical body. In the digital age, where words can be sent instantaneously across the globe, physical presence becomes insignificant and makes Nakamoto’s anonymity immaterial to their presence in the room.

If the committee’s obstinance stems instead from a belief that winners must suborn themselves before the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, then perhaps they should ask themselves what is more important: the pride of the institution or the achievement of the honoree. Nakamoto would be a challenging winner, for sure: his lack of institutional credit flies in the face of the steady pedigrees that hold up the credibility of the Nobel Prize. But sometimes, subversion infuses an old system with new vigor. The world needs doctors to understand and appraise its systems, but it also needs hackers, disruptors and other such malcontents to, at times, redefine these systems at their core. These actions form the life cycle of any economy, but thus far only the former have received any formal accolade.

At a time of tremendous technological and social transition, the committee would show prescience by elevating the work of one of the world’s most dedicated disruptors. The creation of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency marks the most drastic innovation in the economic sphere since game theory, and should be directly honored as such. As the originator of the technology’s philosophy, Nakamoto deserves to be honored for their contribution to the economic thought of the 21st century: a decentralized medium of exchange, self-guaranteed by technology in a way that was not possible at any previous time in human history.

Given Nakamoto’s anonymity, this honor would be a symbolic one (although the cash prize would not), but an anonymous award perhaps suits cryptocurrency best. Bitcoin came about through collaboration and continues to expand and improve through the efforts of a dedicated community of cryptocurrency experts. To give any one of them a Nobel Prize would belittle the contributions of the rest. Satoshi Nakamoto, as an unknown representative of the entire field, can become a symbol for the whole of cryptocurrency, which deserves the world’s attention regardless of those involved.

If the committee’s only grounds for denying Nakamoto’s nomination are that he won’t present himself, then the Nobel Prize could stand a little decentralization. Alfred Nobel established a prize in his name to foster the ideas and attitudes he wanted to see in the world. The Nobel Prize has never, at its core, cared about those who won it over the reasons why they won. They helped improve the world, and if someone else had done it better, they would have won instead. On the subject of Nakamoto’s nomination, on which the committee is caught between tradition and spirit, the moribund institution of the prize needs revitalization. A dash of controversy keeps things fresh. Let crypto start the next conversation.


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 22 October 2018 | 2:22 pm

Bitcoin Futures Could Go Live on ICE's Crypto Trading Platform in December

The new Bakkt exchange will list bitcoin futures in December, pending regulatory approval.

Posted on 22 October 2018 | 2:10 pm

Monero Transaction Fees Reduced by 97% After Bulletproofs Upgrade

Monero bulletproofs

After the recent hard fork upgrade of its protocol, Monero has seen its transaction fees shrink by approximately 97 percent, dropping from 60 cents to just 2 cents. Crypto analytics firm Coinmetrics shared a tweet confirming the drop in fees and their corresponding reduction in transaction size, falling from 18.5kb pre-fork to 3kb — an 80 percent change.

The upgrade, called “Monero 0.13.0 Beryllium Bullet,” implements "bulletproofs.” First introduced by researchers at Stanford, the cryptographic scheme shrinks the size and cost of transactions specifically for Confidential Transactions.  

Why Bulletproofs?

As stated above, Bulletproofs are a scaling complement to Monero’s Ring Confidential Transactions (RingCT), Monero's main privacy feature, which uses a combination of ring signatures and Confidential Transactions. Ring signatures are cryptographic digital signatures that protect a user's privacy in the input side of a transaction by making it nearly impossible to determine who the actual signer of a transaction is.

To achieve this privacy, each Monero transaction includes additional, extraneous coins (decoys) to mask the exact coin being signed, making it extremely difficult to parse the real coins being sent from the decoys. Before the upgrade, six decoys were added to each Monero transaction--now, ten will be featured in each.

Bolstering the privacy provided by ring signatures, Confidential Transactions let users hide the amount exchanged in a transaction by leveraging a cryptographic trick dubbed the Pedersen commitment.

While the RingCT format makes transactions more private, it also makes the system less scalable than other cryptocurrencies, notably Bitcoin. Bulletproof shrinks the size of the cryptographic proof, which cuts the transaction size drastically. While Monero can't get rid of old transaction data, which is currently above 20 gigabytes and growing — out of a total 60 gigabytes — the recent upgrade ensures the network now requires less storage space for transactions than it used to.


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 22 October 2018 | 1:09 pm

Crypto Payments Startup Uphold Launches Lending Products

Crypto payments startup Uphold is launching Earn and Borrow in collaboration with lending platform Cred.

Posted on 22 October 2018 | 12:45 pm

Public Company's Crypto Claims Draw SEC Scrutiny, Trade Suspension

The SEC has suspended trading in a company claiming to have registered an upcoming ICO with the regulator.

Posted on 22 October 2018 | 9:30 am

Bitmain's Latest Bitcoin Miner Update Activates Controversial 'AsicBoost' - CoinDesk


CoinDesk

Bitmain's Latest Bitcoin Miner Update Activates Controversial 'AsicBoost'
CoinDesk
Bitcoin mining computer manufacturer Bitmain has released a software update for its Antminer s9 devices, using controversial code to allow them to more efficiently mine bitcoin. Bitmain announced Monday that the just-released firmware will support ...
Under Pressure, Bitmain Releases Patch to Let Bitcoin Miners Activate 'Overt AsicBoost'CCN
Bitcoin [BTC] mining giant Bitmain releases firmware to activate Overt-AsicBoostAMBCrypto
Firmware to Activate “Overt AsicBoost” in BM1387-based Antminer Models - blog - Bitmainblog - Bitmain

all 13 news articles »

Posted on 22 October 2018 | 9:08 am

Bitmain's Latest Bitcoin Miner Update Activates Controversial 'AsicBoost'

Bitmain has published a firmware update for its Antminer S9, using controversial "AsicBoost" code to give an efficiency hike when mining bitcoin.

Posted on 22 October 2018 | 9:00 am

What's more volatile than bitcoin? You may be surprised - MarketWatch


CCN

What's more volatile than bitcoin? You may be surprised
MarketWatch
Day traders looking to make a quick buck buying and selling bitcoin might be better off switching lanes as volatility in the world's largest digital currency continues to decline. In fact, volatility in the No.1 virtual currency is now below some of ...
Bitcoin Price Becoming Less Volatile than Amazon Stock: CBOE AnalystCCN
Bitcoin is Now Just as Volatile as Largest Tech StocksETF Trends

all 5 news articles »

Posted on 22 October 2018 | 8:48 am

Minting the Future of Cryptocurrencies - [BTC Media Sponsor]

Minter Thumb

In 2009, Bitcoin was ushered in as an alternative to fiat currency, promising to revolutionize the future of peer-to-peer spending. Since then, it has spawned scores of other cryptocurrencies with various value propositions and potential.

The meteoric growth of cryptocurrencies underscores the role of tech innovation in fueling the future of value exchange. Now, there’s talk of a new era of blockchain tools to assist individuals in creating their own digital coins. Users would then have the ability to transfer or exchange these coins for other cryptocurrencies they find valuable.

One startup endeavoring to make a mark in this space is Minter, a blockchain network that allows people, projects and companies to create, manage and exchange their own coins in a cost-effective way, all with instant liquidity.

Minter

Fueled by the blockchain community DeCenter, Minter is heavily influenced by the ideology of Nobel Prize economists like Friedrich von Hayek and John Maynard Keynes who touted the importance of minting new currencies for future economies. It is supported by a vast community of over 250,000 members who are currently active on DeCenter sites, channels and groups on Telegram.

Minter aims to assist businesses and individuals in capitalizing on “long tail” solutions that foster cryptocurrency advantages over fiat.

The Minter Value Proposition

As a startup entering into a space that includes the likes of Ethereum, NEO and Waves, Minter believes it can capitalize from the following strategic advantages:

  1. Speed: All transactions are processed rapidly, every five seconds. The engine layers are tied to the delegated-proof-of-stake (DPoS) consensus algorithm.

  2. Flexibility: Coins on the Minter ecosystem can be exchanged for one another as well as for bitcoin, ether and USD.

  3. Freedom: Users can create their own coin and establish a price for it.

  4. Reliability: The DPoS consensus algorithm engine provides high reliability, allowing both validators and delegators to profit from their contribution to the network.

  5. Volume: Thousands of transactions per second can be delivered with no delays or additional confirmations needed.

  6. Value-based options: A wide swath of application options, including wallets, fully-fledged cryptocurrency exchanges and other exchange services.

  7. Resources: A comprehensive documentation and open-source software package.

  8. Global presence: A large worldwide community of users and developers.

  9. Low cost: Transaction fees never exceed $0.01, regardless of the exchange volume or transfer operation.

Bold Aspirations

Driven by its native coin, BIP, Minter aims to fulfill real-world demands by providing users with lightning-quick settlements and low transaction fees. A healthy supply of 10 billion BIPs is available, 100 million of which will be airdropped to early adopters.

All coins within the Minter ecosystem can be exchanged both within and outside the network. Furthermore, all of the income plus transaction fees will be passed on to validators and delegators that support the Minter network. Because the high network throughput inherent in the system enables thousands of transactions per second, validators can create meaningful earnings even at low commission fees.

“Money is the most undisrupted space the world has seen in the past 40 years,” said Eugene Gordeev, product owner of Minter and a passionate Bitcoin evangelist. “Today, people are so well-connected to the P2P economy through stand-alone, self-employed businesses like Airbnb hosts, Uber drivers, YouTube bloggers and Etsy crafters, to name a few. Now, the only thing missing is private money issued and managed by those who want to make their products and services even more special.”  

The Minter team is composed of 20 people — many of them accomplished blockchain developers, designers and iOS/Android experts. This talented community is key to fulfilling the aim of pursuing creative, sophisticated applications for mobile users.

“We have been closely watching various technologies and blockchains for the past few years and waited carefully for the moment when we could definitively solidify what we believe and with whom we would like to integrate,” per the project’s white paper. “Our choice is the Telegram Open Network (TON).”

It’s here where Minter endeavors to become the world’s first-ever project to achieve the exchangeability of its native digital coin with TON’s base coin (GRAM). Minter also became one of the first projects to have integrated Telegram’s latest identity verification service, Telegram Passport, for conducting its know-your-customer (KYC) procedure — a fact that the popular messenger app highlighted on its official blog.

“We are linking our future to TON and believe that with this network we’ll be able to implement all of our ideas to the fullest,” Minter’s white paper says.

Minter’s efforts at fostering an innovative model for cryptocurrencies is evident in a number of development milestones, including the Console, the iOS wallet, the Android wallet and the Telegram bot wallet.

In the meantime, Minter has launched an early access campaign that will conclude on October 31, 2018. With over 500 BTC having already been raised, Minter will deliver the largest airdrop in Telegram’s history — with users who sign up before October 31 set to receive BIP and other Minter-issued coins valued at almost 1,000 BTC.

“We couldn’t even imagine possibilities like this even 10 or 20 years ago, and now we have distributed ledger technologies of every form and shape,” Gordeev concluded. “It’s just a matter of time before individuals will use their money in the next-level communication between all parties without intermediaries.”

This promoted article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 22 October 2018 | 8:11 am

Bitcoin, Email And The Opportunity In Blockchain - Seeking Alpha


The Maravi Post

Bitcoin, Email And The Opportunity In Blockchain
Seeking Alpha
Cryptocurrency was the dish du jour of 2017 and seemed like everybody wanted a taste. But if you missed out on the opportunity to become an insta-crypto-millionaire, you weren't alone. Crypto has crashed in spectacular form this year and while everyone ...
What You Need to Know about Trading BitcoinThe Maravi Post

all 16 news articles »

Posted on 22 October 2018 | 8:08 am

Accenture Tech Now Connects Corda, Fabric, DA and Quorum Blockchains

Accenture says its new "interoperability node" can connect the four big enterprise platforms: Hyperledger Fabric, R3 Corda, Quorum and Digital Asset.

Posted on 22 October 2018 | 7:59 am

EU Securities Group Advises Regulating Crypto Assets Under Existing Rules

A group that advises the EU's securities watchdog has recommended regulating most crypto assets under existing financial rules.

Posted on 22 October 2018 | 7:10 am

The Delicate Psychology of Stablecoins

Replacing tether's role in the crypto markets will require an obsession with maintaining transparency and trust.

Posted on 22 October 2018 | 6:00 am

Bitcoin Bulls Must Push Price Past $6.8K to Win Control - CoinDesk


CoinDesk

Bitcoin Bulls Must Push Price Past $6.8K to Win Control
CoinDesk
Bitcoin (BTC) has flat-lined after creating a bullish pattern last week, and now only a move above $6,800 would put the bulls in a commanding position, according to technical charts. Stepping back, the leading cryptocurrency clocked a four-week high of ...

Posted on 22 October 2018 | 5:04 am

Bitcoin Bulls Must Push Price Past $6.8K to Win Control

Bitcoin's price needs to pass last week's high of $6,810 to revive the prospects of a rally.

Posted on 22 October 2018 | 5:00 am

Pantera Capital Backs Blockchain Security Startup's $5.5 Million Round

Smart contract security startup Synthetic Minds has raised $5.5 million from investors including Pantera Capital.

Posted on 22 October 2018 | 5:00 am

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Australian Securities Watchdog Halts ICO Seeking to Raise $50 Million

An Australian ICO project planning raise up to $50 million has been halted by the country's securities regulator.

Posted on 22 October 2018 | 3:30 am

Monero Fees Fall to Almost Zero After 'Bulletproofs' Upgrade

Monero's "bulletproofs" hard fork has led to a major reduction in transaction fees.

Posted on 22 October 2018 | 2:00 am

China's Internet Censor Releases Draft Regulation for Blockchain Startups

China's internet censorship agency has released draft regulations to govern blockchain startups.

Posted on 21 October 2018 | 11:30 pm

Hong Kong Stock Exchange: Existing Laws Should Apply to Blockchain

A Hong Kong Stock Exchange research report proposes that blockchain-based financial activities should be governed under existing regulations.

Posted on 21 October 2018 | 8:15 pm

Can Bitcoin Become a Dominant Currency? - Wall Street Journal


Wall Street Journal

Can Bitcoin Become a Dominant Currency?
Wall Street Journal
Bitcoin turns 10 at the end of the month. And over the past decade, there has been no shortage of headlines about the inevitable rise—or the inevitable fall—of it and other cryptocurrencies. Along with all the talk came a meteoric increase in bitcoin ...
Do Wages Need to be Paid in Bitcoin for Retail Adoption to Happen?Bitcoinist

all 3 news articles »

Posted on 21 October 2018 | 8:07 pm

ING Bank Launches Zero-Knowledge Tech for Blockchain Privacy

ING Bank has continued further down the road of advanced blockchain privacy with the release of its Zero-Knowledge Set Membership (ZKSM) solution.

Posted on 21 October 2018 | 3:06 pm

Sorry, I Turned Off My Bitcoin Faucet (Because Money)

At its height, 99Bitcoins' faucet was making nearly $2,000 a month, even after giving away coins. Then things got complicated.

Posted on 21 October 2018 | 3:20 am

Marco Santori on Airdrops and the “Complete Picture” of SAFT Regulation

Marco Santori on Airdrops and the “Complete Picture” of SAFT Regulation

Ever since the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a stern warning about initial coin offerings (ICOs) in February 2018, cryptocurrency projects have had to consider different options for distributing their tokens — and funding their development.

One alternative for dispersing a token is an airdrop, where tokens are given out (for free) to the holders of an existing cryptocurrency. A former partner at law firm Cooley LLP has a positive view on them. “Airdrops can do no harm. In fact, we think they can make things better,” Marco Santori, who is now the president and chief legal officer at Blockchain, a bitcoin wallet provider, told Bitcoin Magazine.   

“An airdrop doesn’t get around the securities laws; but, that said, unless the thing that you’re airdropping, the token that you’re airdropping, is a security, then the airdrop is not a securities offering,” he continued. “I think they can be a powerful tool for decentralization.”

In a recent interview, Santori shared more of his thoughts on raising funds and the future of regulation.

He thinks an issuance framework he worked on while at Cooley called SAFT, short for Simple Agreement Future Tokens, is a useful alternative to traditional ICOs. In the arrangement, accredited investors lend money to a project with the promise that tokens will become available after the network is up and running. The SAFT white paper was published in October 2017; since then, SAFT has become a market standard.

“I think that the SAFT framework is probably the best that we have today,” Santori said. “If you layer on top of that the additional clarity that the SEC has provided in the context of Bill Hinman’s speech or the so-called ‘Hinman test’ that incorporated the SAFT framework, then you’ve got a pretty complete picture.”

Santori is referring to statements made by the SEC’s director of the division of corporation finance in June 2018. At that time, Hinman addressed the possibility that a token could begin life as a security and then convert to something other than a security when a network became sufficiently decentralized, like Bitcoin.

As far as the SEC goes, Santori doesn’t think the regulator will be handing out any further guidance for ICO projects. “We have probably gotten all of the informal guidance we’re going to get,” he said. However, he does anticipate some “no-action” relief to start coming down the pike soon.

If a project is uncertain whether a particular activity constitutes a violation of federal securities laws, they can request a no-action letter from the SEC. If they receive a relief, no civil or criminal action will be taken against them for engaging in that activity.  

“I expect that we’ll be seeing SEC’s response to some of those requests coming out. And those responses have some precedential value — not legal precedent, but practical precedent — and we’ll be seeing some more of that,” he said.

Existing laws likely will be good enough for the regulators, Santori thinks. “The Treasury Department and FinCEN [Financial Crimes Enforcement Network], in particular, have stuck to their guns. They have said that the laws we have are enough; the rules we have are enough.”   

At the end of the day, Santori feels it will be up to courts to make the ultimate decision on whether a token is a security. “A number of lawsuits are winding their way through the federal courts today and likely private lawsuits will answer the question first,” he said.  

Of course, the SEC has to follow the law like everyone else. “The SEC is just the plaintiff, and if SEC takes one position and a defendant decides to take a different position and fight, then ultimately it’s going to be the courts that decide in a civil case whether this token sale is a security or not,” said Santori. “The SEC is a very powerful plaintiff.”

Santori will weigh in on airdrops and the future of regulating cryptocurrencies along with Brent McIntosh, General Counsel for the U.S. Department of the Treasury, at Money 20/20 in Las Vegas, October 21–24, 2018. The U.S. Department of the Treasury administers FinCEN, the regulator that punishes money launderers.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 20 October 2018 | 10:31 am

Bitcoin Magazine Week in Review: Stablecoins Take the Spotlight

Week in Review

With the exception of the SEC’s FinHub announcement, it has been a quiet week for regulatory news — something we’ve been getting a lot of recently as U.S. officials clamp down on unscrupulous coin offerings and crypto companies.

Instead, stablecoins crowded headlines this week, as tether — among others — had difficulties retaining its peg, and top exchanges rolled out support for some of the asset class’ regulatory-compliant newcomers.

All the while, developers remind us that, even in bear markets, the tools of innovation continue to work against the buzz of speculation.

Stablecoin News Takes Center Stage

As Tether’s Peg Slips, Bitcoin’s Price Distorted Across Markets

Tether took a dip this week. The market’s leading stablecoin dropped to as low as $0.92 cents for its exchange-averaged price as a market-wide selloff left the coin wanting in demand. By consequence, bitcoin on tether-supported exchanges began trading at somewhat of a premium, an inflated price that reflected bitcoin’s worth against tether’s discounted price rather than its worth against the actual dollar. At the time of writing, tether has shaved off roughly $800 million from its market cap over the week — that’s nearly a third of its entire value.

Huobi and OKEx List the Same Four Stablecoins

As tether was unravelling, two of the industry’s highest volume exchanges listed four of the top stablecoins’ staunches competitors. Huobi and OKEx both announced support for TrueUSD, Gemini USD, USD Coin and the Paxos Standard earlier this week, moves that may have aggravated the sell off that crippled tether’s peg. The four stablecoins, which are fiat-collateralized like tether, are considered transparent, regulator-friendly alternatives to what was the market’s only viable stablecoin until this year.

Developers Keep On Developing

No Connection Required: How One Dev Sent Bitcoin While Off the Grid

An Auckland developer sent bitcoin to his girlfriend earlier this week without access to internet — seriously. Leveraging technology developed by goTenna and Samourai Wallet, the Kiwi dev was able to transfer bitcoin across New Zealand using only a $27 smartphone and some impressive mesh network architecturing.

Decentralization Gains Traction: Go-Ethereum Fifth Most Active on GitHub

Commonly referred to as geth, Go-Ethereum, a command-line interface for running an Ethereum node using the Go programming language, is now the fifth fastest-growing, open-source project on GitHub. This puts it in the company of other, more mainstream projects like azure-docs from Microsoft Azure, pytorch from Facebook, godot from the GoDot Gaming Engine and nuxt.js, a Javascript framework.

SEC Opens a Pipeline for FinTech Companies to Seek Guidance

SEC Sets Up Open Line of Communication for Fintech Projects With FinHub

On October 18, 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it has created a new offices dedicated to fintech startups, including cryptocurrency and blockchain companies. The office will be a resource for these fledging organizations as the try to navigate unspecified regulations and comply with government mandates.


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 20 October 2018 | 8:49 am

What China's Cashless Revolution Can Teach the West About Crypto

China appears to have achieved the crypto community's dream of a new internet of value, without blockchain. But there's more than meets than eye here.

Posted on 20 October 2018 | 4:59 am

Tether Floods Into Kraken Exchange, Where Crypto Traders Can Get Dollars

In theory, traders can redeem USDT for dollars with the issuer, Tether Ltd. Instead, they appear to be cashing out through Kraken.

Posted on 19 October 2018 | 1:10 pm

Bitcoin tops $10,000 milestone

Posted on 29 November 2017 | 2:30 am

CRYENGINE now accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 29 March 2017 | 1:24 am

Consulting firm EY Switzerland accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 26 November 2016 | 12:47 am

Bitcoin Trading Bots

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

Posted on 8 November 2016 | 6:20 pm

Steam accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 29 April 2016 | 1:09 am

Major Magazine Publisher to Accept Bitcoin Payments

Posted on 18 December 2014 | 12:43 pm

Microsoft accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 11 December 2014 | 5:06 am

Mozilla accepting Bitcoin

Posted on 20 November 2014 | 1:55 pm

PayPal and Virtual Currency

Posted on 23 September 2014 | 9:52 pm

Wikimedia Foundation Now Accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 30 July 2014 | 3:14 pm

German Newspaper "taz" accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 22 July 2014 | 1:32 pm

airBaltic - World’s First Airline To Accept Bitcoin

Posted on 22 July 2014 | 11:03 am

October 22, 2018 -
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