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What is Bitcoin?

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

Bitcoin Latest News

Blockchain Forks Are All the Rage, But Will They Ever Be Safe?

More and more blockchains may be forking, but developers still don't think they've quite found the best way to execute the upgrade.

Posted on 19 October 2017 | 2:00 am

Bitcoin is not the new gold, Goldman Sachs says - CNBC


CNBC

Bitcoin is not the new gold, Goldman Sachs says
CNBC
Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are not the "new gold," Goldman Sachs said in a note, advising investors that precious metals "remain a relevant asset class" in portfolios. In a note to clients earlier this week, Goldman detailed the benefits of holding ...

Posted on 19 October 2017 | 1:58 am

Markets Update: Bitcoin's Pre-Fork Price Rollercoaster Begins - Bitcoin News (press release)


Bitcoin News (press release)

Markets Update: Bitcoin's Pre-Fork Price Rollercoaster Begins
Bitcoin News (press release)
Bitcoin markets tumbled during the early hours of October 18 dropping roughly 6-7 percent to a low of $5,101 per token. Bullish optimism seemed to be stepping off to the sideline today as the decentralized currency struggled to capture the $5,640 zone ...
Bitcoin Fork SegWit2x Makes Enemies In Brazil, Argentina As 50 Sign Opposition LetterCoinTelegraph
Updated Bitcoin Gold Site Still Lacks Key InformationThe Merkle
'Bitcoin Cash is Bitcoin,' Roger Ver and Calvin Ayre DeclareCryptoCoinsNews

all 18 news articles »

Posted on 18 October 2017 | 8:17 pm

Why Silicon Valley Is Going Gaga for Bitcoin - Vanity Fair


Vanity Fair

Why Silicon Valley Is Going Gaga for Bitcoin
Vanity Fair
Should I buy bitcoin? As a technology reporter, the questions I receive from random people at birthday parties, say, or seatmates on a plane, are usually emblematic of what is going on in the digital world. (And, increasingly, the real one, too, for ...
Is Bitcoin Benefiting From The ICO Crackdown?Forbes

all 23 news articles »

Posted on 18 October 2017 | 4:09 pm

Regional Regulators in North America Are 'Closely Watching' ICOs

A new report suggests that securities regulators in North America are increasing their oversight of the blockchain funding model.

Posted on 18 October 2017 | 3:40 pm

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Bitcoin Exchange LocalBitcoins Posts Fourfold Trading Volume Increase in Venezuela - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

Bitcoin Exchange LocalBitcoins Posts Fourfold Trading Volume Increase in Venezuela
CoinTelegraph
Decentralized Bitcoin exchange LocalBitcoins has announced a fourfold increase in its Bitcoin trading volume since June in Venezuela. This substantial increase reflects the phenomenal rise in demand for the digital currency in the country and in other ...

and more »

Posted on 18 October 2017 | 3:19 pm

Bitcoin briefly plunges nearly 9% on fears of greater oversight from US regulators - CNBC


CNBC

Bitcoin briefly plunges nearly 9% on fears of greater oversight from US regulators
CNBC
Bitcoin fell Wednesday after indications of greater scrutiny from U.S. regulators. At one point in the day, the digital currency declined by nearly $500, or about 8.7 percent to a low of $5,109.70, before regaining some of the lost ground, according to ...
Bitcoin Just Had Its Biggest Drop in a MonthBloomberg
US Regulators Debate Whether Bitcoin is Commodity or SecurityCoinTelegraph
Bitcoin suffers its biggest plunge in a month as traders fear tighter regulationsBusiness Insider
TheStreet.com -Hacked -Investing News Network (blog) -CFTC
all 23 news articles »

Posted on 18 October 2017 | 2:56 pm

Bank of Canada Announces Phase 3 of 'Project Jasper' DLT Trial

Canada's central bank is gearing up for the next phase of its "Project Jasper" blockchain research initiative, according to a new announcement.

Posted on 18 October 2017 | 1:15 pm

TOP STRATEGIST: Bitcoin will soar to $25000 in 5 years - Business Insider


Business Insider

TOP STRATEGIST: Bitcoin will soar to $25000 in 5 years
Business Insider
In the first episode of "the bit," FundStrat Global Advisor co-founder Tom Lee explains different methodologies for valuing bitcoin. Lee shares his short-term and long-term bitcoin price targets based on these valuation methods. Following is a ...

and more »

Posted on 18 October 2017 | 12:26 pm

China's 'Bitcoin Ban' No Match For Stateless Cryptocurrency Market - Forbes


Forbes

China's 'Bitcoin Ban' No Match For Stateless Cryptocurrency Market
Forbes
Bitcoin, and a host of other highly speculative digital currencies live another day. Last month, China banned mainland residents from trading in cryptocurrencies on exchanges and made it illegal for Chinese start-ups to raise funds via initial coin ...

and more »

Posted on 18 October 2017 | 12:05 pm

Australian Senate Panel Throws Support Behind Crypto Exchange Bill

Australia is moving ahead with plans to pass new regulations for the country's cryptocurrency exchange space.

Posted on 18 October 2017 | 12:00 pm

In 'Search' of a Swell? XRP Prices Rise and Fall Amid Ripple Event

A conference held by distributed ledger startup Ripple appears to have had a positive impact on the price of its cryptocurrency.

Posted on 18 October 2017 | 10:55 am

The Bitcoin Conundrum: What the Heck Is it Anyway? - Barron's


Barron's

The Bitcoin Conundrum: What the Heck Is it Anyway?
Barron's
As governments, central banks, and CEOs continue to debate the viability of Bitcoin as an investment, the investment community is moving on. The future of the most well-known and largest cryptocurrency is more certain with a Bitcoin derivatives ...
The Case For $8000 BitcoinSeeking Alpha
Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Litecoin: Price Analysis, October 18CoinTelegraph
7 Reasons Bitcoin Is Barreling Toward a $100 Billion Market CapMotley Fool
The Merkle -CryptoCoinsNews
all 61 news articles »

Posted on 18 October 2017 | 10:20 am

Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Adds 48 New Members

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance has added 48 new members, including Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Posted on 18 October 2017 | 10:05 am

Blockchain KYC Startup Raises $1.6 Million in Seed Funding

A blockchain startup headquartered in Sweden has raised $1.6 million in new funding.

Posted on 18 October 2017 | 9:00 am

Healthy Pullback? Bitcoin Price Dips Back Below $5300 - CoinDesk


CoinDesk

Healthy Pullback? Bitcoin Price Dips Back Below $5300
CoinDesk
After having rallied more than 90 percent from a September low of $2,980, the bitcoin-US dollar (BTC/USD) exchange rate is trading at $5,240 today, a figure that, at press time, marks a new daily low. As per CoinMarketCap, the cryptocurrency has shed 7 ...

and more »

Posted on 18 October 2017 | 7:45 am

Healthy Pullback? Bitcoin Price Dips Back Below $5,300

The price of bitcoin is down today, as overbought indicators seem to have yielded a notable correction away from recent highs.

Posted on 18 October 2017 | 7:30 am

Upgrade Complete? Ethereum's New Software Isn't Quite Stable Yet

Days after the ethereum blockchain underwent a system-wide upgrade, developers have still yet to confirm the software is fully stable.

Posted on 18 October 2017 | 6:59 am

AlphaPoint to Secure Blockchain Assets with Intel's SGX Tech

Blockchain services provider AlphaPoint is partnering with computing giant Intel on a new security solution for digital assets.

Posted on 18 October 2017 | 6:00 am

Nasdaq Awarded Patent for Blockchain Data Matching System

Nasdaq has been awarded a patent for a blockchain-based data matching system that could boost efficiency in clearing and settlement.

Posted on 18 October 2017 | 5:00 am

Bank Consortium to Launch Joint Venture for Blockchain Trade Platform

A group of banks, now including Santander, is planning to create a business venture in Ireland for its in-development blockchain commerce platform.

Posted on 18 October 2017 | 4:00 am

Global Blockchain Business Council Expands European Foothold

A blockchain advocacy group launched at last year's World Economic Forum is ramping up efforts to promote dialogue in Europe.

Posted on 18 October 2017 | 3:00 am

What Comes After the Crypto Bubble?

Blockchain’s future is bright, just maybe a little less glamorous without the get-rich-quick investment aspect, writes Joe Pindar of Gemalto.

Posted on 18 October 2017 | 2:00 am

'Red Lyra' No More: Bank Blockchain Group Rebrands

Alastria, formerly known as Red Lyra, is a Spanish blockchain consortium that has grown to more than 70 members since its launch in May.

Posted on 17 October 2017 | 4:05 pm

Ether Price Analysis: Eve and Adam Could Be Turning Back the Bulls

Ether Price Analysis

Since bottoming out around $200, ether has spent several weeks bouncing back and forth inside an ascending channel:

Figure_1 (15).JPGFigure 1: ETH-USD, 4-Hour Candles, Ascending Channel

For the last month and a half, ether’s trend has been contained within the bounds of this ascending channel, where it has continued its bullish rally. However, today (as of the time of this article) it is starting to make moves to aggressively test the lower boundary. Specifically, as ether tests this channel, it is forming a potential reversal pattern called an Eve-and-Adam Double Top.

Figure_2 (12).JPGFigure 2: ETH-USD, 1-Hour Candles, Eve-and-Adam Double Top

At the time of this article, ether is attempting to break the neckline (the pink dashed line) of the massive reversal pattern. Should ether break this neckline, the measured move from this pattern is a $30 move downward, which would ultimately shove ether outside the bullish ascending channel it has been trending within. The price target of the Double Top breakout would bring the ETH-USD price into the upper $200s.

On a macro scale, ether has support along the following Fibonacci levels:

Figure_3 (12).JPGFigure 3: ETH-USD, 4-Hour Candles, Fibonacci Levels

Should the ascending channel break, the above Fibonacci levels will provide support and will need to be tested in order to prove a bearish continuation. As of the time of this article, the Double Top mentioned in Figure 2 is sitting right on the 23 percent retracement values where it is making attempts at breaking it. There is strong support at these values, so if ether can break and hold below $315, it will send a strong bearish signal to the market.

Should the Double Top complete, we can expect a test of the 38 percent retracement values following the break of the ascending channel. At this time, the 4-hour MACD is showing strong bearish momentum on a macro scale, and the market is picking up sell volume.

Summary:

  1. For weeks, ether has been trending within an ascending channel.

  2. Ether is currently in the process of making a strong test of the ascending channel via an Eve-and-Adam Double Top reversal pattern.

  3. If the Double Top breaks downward, we can expect a break of the multi-week bullish channel and a test of the 38 percent Fibonacci Retracement values.

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


The post Ether Price Analysis: Eve and Adam Could Be Turning Back the Bulls appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 17 October 2017 | 3:45 pm

This family bet it all on bitcoin - CNBC


CNBC

This family bet it all on bitcoin
CNBC
Didi Taihuttu, his wife, three kids and their cat bet all they have on bitcoin. The Dutch family of five is in the process of selling pretty much everything they own — from their 2,500-square-foot house, to their shoes – and trading it in for the ...

and more »

Posted on 17 October 2017 | 1:34 pm

UBS Tells Clients How to Place Bets on Blockchain Tech

A new report from UBS says that firms and early adopters should be considered by investors hoping to ride the "blockchain wave"

Posted on 17 October 2017 | 1:30 pm

Web Creator Tim Berners-Lee: Blockchain Builders Should Beware Misuse

Sir Tim Berners-Lee encouraged the blockchain space to think about the unintended consequences of its actions in a talk at Ripple's Swell conference.

Posted on 17 October 2017 | 12:40 pm

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Blockchain-Focused Presentations to Watch at Money 20/20 in Las Vegas

Blockchain-Focused Presentations to Watch at Money 20/20 in Las Vegas

Money 20/20 Las Vegas is only a few days away. The event, to be held on October 22–25, 2017, at the Venetian, will be packed with people from the top tiers of banking and finance looking to learn more about the future of money.

One thing is for sure, blockchain technology will play a key role in that future. Since 2014, the financial event, which will attract more than 11,000 visitors this year, has devoted an entire track to blockchain topics. Originally, the track was called “Bit(coin) World,” but that changed as conversations shifted to Bitcoin’s underlying ledger technology.  

For blockchain enthusiasts struggling to sort through the 450 presentations at Money 20/20, the following is a breakdown of the blockchain track and other blockchain-related talks at the event.

Blockchain Tuesday

Tuesday is the main day for blockchain programming at Money 20/20. Kicking off the blockchain track will be Adam Ludwin, CEO and co-founder of Chain, a company that provides blockchain solutions to banks. Ludwin’s talk will center on whether crypto-assets are in a sort of ‘90s bubble or if something real and substantial is happening beneath the hype.

To give a sense of how fast things are moving, bitcoin was around $650 at last year’s Money 20/20, when one panelist at the event, then Blockstream developer Eric Martindale, predicted bitcoin would increase 10x in value over the next 12 months. His prediction was nearly spot on. Bitcoin reached more than $5,800 just last week.

With crypto-assets hitting all time highs across the board, the new funding model known as initial coin offerings (ICOs) have raised $2.2 billion this year alone. Yet, amidst the enthusiasm, the threat of increased regulations hover like a dark cloud. Last month, the SEC brought the first charges against two so-called ICOs in what may be just the beginning of a long-anticipated crackdown.   

Four more panels on Tuesday will focus on issues like: What problems are private blockchains solving? Are ICOs here to stay or are they just a passing fad? What threats do regulatory agencies pose to ICOs? And, how will blockchain technology potentially transform stock exchanges? These panels will include experts from companies like Bloq, Kik, Fenbushi Capital, AngelList, Pantera, JP Morgan Chase, R3, Hyperledger, Nasdaq, and the London Stock Exchange Group. 

In between those, Arthur and Kathleen Breitman will talk about their new smart contract platform Tezos. The project raised $230 million in an ICO in July.

Tezos is a proof-of-stake cryptocurrency and smart contract platform built in the functional language OCaml. Eventually, Tezos’ goal is to compete with the likes of Ethereum and Cardano, another emerging platform. A primary feature of Tezos is its formal governance scheme, where coin holders get a say in how the protocol evolves.

It will be interesting to see how Tezos plans to differentiate itself in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Finally, Bobby Lee, CEO and co-founder of BTCC, China’s longest running bitcoin exchange, will share war stories on what it has been like operating an exchange in the biggest payments market in the world.

He should have a good story to tell, given that China’s central bank recently cracked down on digital currency exchanges, causing BTCC to halt all China-facing trading last month.  

Other Talks

Two other blockchain-related talks will take place at Money 20/20 on Monday. Bridget van Kralingen, who leads a group called “Industry Platforms” at IBM will talk about how AI, blockchain and cloud computing are converging to create better customer experiences.  

Bill Barhydt, co-founder and CEO of Abra, a cryptocurrency wallet, will give a keynote announcement on Abra’s “next chapter.” Barhydt attracted some attention recently when he chose actress Gwyneth Paltrow as an advisor for Abra in “Planet of the Apps,” a kind of “Shark Tank” for iOS apps.  

Also on Tuesday, BitGive Foundation, a nonprofit that receives bitcoin donations for charitable causes, will be giving a presentation on GiveTrack, its blockchain-based system for tracking donations in real time.

The topic of blockchain applications is sure to come up in plenty of other talks and discussions at Money 20/20, such as this one on financial inclusion on Sunday and those centered around pressing issues like security (the event comes on the heels of the Equifax breach), identity and more.  

The post Blockchain-Focused Presentations to Watch at Money 20/20 in Las Vegas appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 17 October 2017 | 11:13 am

Scaling Bitcoin Announces This Year’s Program and a New Developer Bootcamp

Scaling Bitcoin Just Released This Year’s Program and a New Developer Bootcamp

Today, Scaling Bitcoin, the international engineering conference focused on Bitcoin and blockchain research, released its program for the 2017 edition. The conference, to be held in Stanford, California, in the first weekend of November, will also introduce a new side event this year: Bitcoin Edge, a bootcamp for starting Bitcoin developers.

“The program is extremely interesting because it delivers cutting edge research on different blockchain scalability approaches, fungibility, consensus, data propagation, alternative techniques for handling blockchains and many other topics,” said Anton Yemelyanov, chair of the Scaling Bitcoin Planning Committee.

Scaling Bitcoin Stanford

After events in Montreal, Hong Kong and Milan, the fourth edition of the Scaling Bitcoin conference is taking place at Stanford University on November 4 and 5 of this year.

Where the first two editions of Scaling Bitcoin were mainly focused on scaling and scalability, the third edition broadened the scope of the conference to include a more diverse set of topics. This trend will continue in Stanford, where talks will range from highly technical topics concerning privacy and fungibility, to fee markets and fee estimation, censorship resistance and more.

“Bitcoin is the origin of all distributed ledger technology,” said Yemelyanov. “Scaling Bitcoin has been fortunate to act as a vehicle for bringing the audience technologies such as Segregated Witness and MimbleWimble, all of which have been adopted or incorporated into various blockchain projects. We hope that other material presented by our participants will be of similar value and help the industry advance the research and development of blockchains.”

Yemelyanov added that another key goal for Scaling Bitcoin conferences is to bring engineers and other technical minds together in a physical space where they can discuss their work in person.

“It is through collaboration where a lot of ideas are born and have potential of becoming reality,” he said.

Bitcoin Edge Dev++

In addition to the conference itself, Scaling Bitcoin is also introducing a two-day technical bootcamp for experienced developers getting into Bitcoin: Bitcoin Edge.

This nonprofit initiative is an effort to help scale the development capacity of the industry, Yemelyanov explained:

“One of the approaches of helping the industry scale is to scale the much needed development capacity of the industry. There is a clear talent deficit and we are trying to help all industry participants by running a nonprofit workshop that will allow developers to gain complete understanding of primitives that comprise Bitcoin and blockchains in general and be able to start working in this field.”

Bitcoin Edge will be led by well-known Bitcoin developers and academics Anditto Heristyo, Ethan Heilman, John Newbery, Karl-Johan Alm, Nicolas Dorier, Thaddeus Dryja and Jimmy Song. They’ll introduce participants to a range of technical Bitcoin-related topics, including Elliptic Curve cryptography, transaction structures, difficulty calculation and adjustments, and much more.

This workshop will take place on the November 2 and 3. For more information on the Bitcoin Edge initiative, visit bitcoinedge.org.

See here for the full Scaling Bitcoin Stanford program.

The post Scaling Bitcoin Announces This Year’s Program and a New Developer Bootcamp appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 13 October 2017 | 2:46 pm

Yes, Bitcoin Can Do Smart Contracts and Particl Demonstrates How

Particl Thumb 3

The Bitcoin blockchain is not known for its ability to enable smart contracts. In fact, most developers creating smart contracts use a different blockchain, like Ethereum.

 

But the truth is that the Bitcoin protocol can be used to create smart contracts. Particl.io, the blockchain eCommerce platform, is doing just that by using Bitcoin-based smart contracts to manage funds in their trustless escrow: Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) escrow.

 

For Particl, Bitcoin provides the ideal mix of smart contract functionality — enough to make smart contracts easy to implement but without the security and privacy risks of a more complicated platform like Ethereum.

Smart Contracts Overview

A smart contract is an agreement that can be enforced through a blockchain. Rather than relying on trust or a legal framework to ensure that each party that enters into a contract will adhere to its terms, you can use the blockchain to create a contract that is automatically enforced, between two people, in a decentralized fashion.

 

Ethereum has become the most popular blockchain for creating smart contracts. One of the major design goals of the Ethereum platform was to support smart contracts. From the start, this set Ethereum apart from Bitcoin, which was created first and foremost as a digital currency platform.

Smart Contracts on Bitcoin Codebase

As the Bitcoin protocol has evolved, it has gained support for smart contracts. Smart contract functionality is not as programmable and extensible on Bitcoin as it is on Ethereum. However, using features added to Bitcoin through improvement proposals, certain smart contract functionality can be achieved through Bitcoin scripting.

 

For Particl, the most important smart contract feature in Bitcoin is the OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY opcode, which was introduced by Peter Todd as Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 65. The opcode makes it possible to write scripts that prevent funds in a multi-signature wallet from being spent until a certain signature pattern is implemented or a certain amount of time passes.

Particl, Smart Contracts and MAD Escrow

MAD escrow is a technique that effectively prevents fraud in a transaction without requiring the oversight of a third party. In a MAD escrow contract, a buyer and seller both place funds into escrow. The seller starts by depositing an amount they want the buyer to match to symbolize a virtual handshake. This could be between 0 and 100 percent of the item’s purchase price. The buyer then deposits an amount equal to the handshake amount plus the price of the item they are buying. The escrowed funds are not released to anyone until both parties confirm that the transaction has been completed satisfactorily. The technique prevents either party from profiting through cheating in a transaction.

 

Particl uses the BIP 65 opcode to enable MAD escrow contracts by locking funds in a multi-signature wallet until all of the parties sign off on the transaction. With this approach, buyers and sellers on Particl’s ecommerce platform can operate without worrying about fraud or paying unnecessary fees.

 

They also don’t have to sacrifice privacy because no third party is involved in the transaction. Furthermore, and perhaps most significantly, because there is only basic scripting involved, security concerns are minimal.

 

Particl’s approach to MAD escrow smart contracts is arguably better than building smart contracts on a platform like Ethereum. While Ethereum provides more extensible support for smart contracts, that flexibility comes with a higher risk of security and privacy threats. The more code that goes into a smart contract, the greater the risk of introducing a vulnerability that could enable an intrusion.

 

Ethereum might be a strong foundation for writing very complex smart contracts, or ones in which security and privacy are not priorities, but Bitcoin provides a simpler and more reliable scripting framework for the private escrows that Particl requires.

Contributing to Bitcoin’s Future

 

Particl’s choice of Bitcoin as the backbone for its smart contracts is also a reflection of the team’s efforts to build a completely private platform on top of the Bitcoin codebase, arguably the most secure, battle tested and contributed to protocol on the market.

 

There are many dozens of Bitcoin-based blockchain projects out there, but most are simply building cryptocurrencies forked from Bitcoin. They’re not taking advantage of Bitcoin’s potential to create the foundation for a completely decentralized platform that supports a multitude of DApps and programmable functionality.

 

In this sense, Particl is helping to ensure that Bitcoin’s future will evolve more than just creating another cryptocurrency. Privacy enhancements Particl has already implemented onto the latest Bitcoin codebase such as Confidential Transactions and RingCT can just as easily be one day adopted upstream to further harden Bitcoin.

 

The post Yes, Bitcoin Can Do Smart Contracts and Particl Demonstrates How appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 13 October 2017 | 9:18 am

A Bitcoin Beginner’s Guide to Surviving the Bgold and SegWit2x Forks

coin-split2xgold.jpg

This is an updated version of A Bitcoin Beginner's Guide to Surviving a Coin-Split specifically addressing issues associated with the upcoming Bitcoin Gold and SegWit2x forks.

It looks as if Bitcoin will experience at least two more “coin-splits” soon, which (more accurately) will result in the creation of new coins. On October 25, Bitcoin Gold (Bgold) will split off from Bitcoin to create an ASIC-resistant cryptocurrency. A few weeks later, a significant group of Bitcoin companies wants to hard fork according to the SegWit2x plan as defined in the “New York Agreement” (NYA), which will probably result in yet another new coin.

If this all plays out, there could be three distinct blockchains and three types of coins within about a month of publication of this article. One blockchain would follow the current Bitcoin protocol; for the purpose of this article, that coin will be referred to as “BTC.” The second blockchain will follow the Bgold protocol; in this article, that coin will be referred to as “BTG.” The third blockchain will follow the SegWit2x protocol; that coin will be referred to as “B2X.”

The good news is that each BTC will effectively be copied onto both the Bgold and the SegWit2x blockchains. If you hold Bitcoin private keys at the time of the forks, you should be able to access your BTG and B2X coins as well.

The bad news is that such forks can be somewhat messy and risky. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to lose your BTC or B2X, and maybe your BTG.

This guide will provide you with the basics to keep your funds safe during the upcoming forks and help to ensure you make it to the end of next month with your BTC, BTG and B2X intact.

Author’s note: If you want to play the markets as soon as possible and you are fine with taking risks, and/or you really know what you are doing, this article is probably not for you: it's a beginner's guide. Also please note that everything in this article is just advise, based on our best understanding of the situation. Much is still uncertain and subject to change.

Before the Forks (That’s Now)

First of all, be aware that coin-splits can be somewhat risky — especially controversial ones like the SegWit2x fork. While it seems unlikely for now, there is a chance some kind of cyber-battle will break out, perhaps even escalating to the point where all exchange rates drop sharply. If you want to make sure not to be caught in any crossfire, it’s best to not hold more value in bitcoin than you are willing to lose.

If you do decide to hold on to your bitcoin, make sure you are prepared before October 25, and preferably sooner. This is the day the BTG equivalent will be distributed to all BTC balances. B2X will follow a couple of weeks later, around mid-November (the exact date is not yet known).

If you are storing your bitcoins on an exchange, in a custodial service like Coinbase, Circle or Xapo, or on any other service that holds your private keys for you, you may or may not eventually receive BTC, BTG and B2X. This is not yet very clear, and if you want to keep storing your coins on such services, you should at least see if your exchange or custodial service of choice has made an official statement on the forks, perhaps on their company blog. If not, contact them to ask.

That said, if you want to be absolutely sure to be able to access your BTC, BTG and B2X, you should really control your private keys yourself. That way you don’t need to rely on any third party.

If you’re currently using a custodial service to store your bitcoins, you need to create your own wallet instead. Send or withdraw your bitcoins from the custodial service to this new wallet; this wallet then holds your private keys.

What kind of wallet you want to use is up to you. For this specific purpose it’s best to use a wallet that lets you easily access your private keys directly. (Some wallets make this easier for you than others.) But technically, any wallet that lets you control your private keys should be fine.

With that in mind, here are some basic solutions:

If you don’t care about transacting with BTC, BTG or B2X anytime soon, and really just want to keep all of them as long-term investments, a paper wallet is a good option. It should be noted, however, that this option is only really secure if you follow strict security precautions, which you can find here.

Regular wallets are about as secure as your computer (or phone). Since most computers and phones are not all that secure, these are not ideal for large amounts. With that in mind, all mobile and desktop wallets listed on bitcoin.org will store your private keys. Electrum is a good pick if you want easy access to your private keys directly.

A full-node wallet like Bitcoin Core or Bitcoin Knots is also a good pick, as it’s not too hard to access your private keys with these wallets either. As a bonus, these wallets give you a little extra security on the Bitcoin blockchain (shortly) after the SegWit2X fork, because these wallets enforce all of Bitcoin's current protocol rules. However, these types of wallets are more resource-intensive to use, compared to most other wallets.

Another option is to get a hardware wallet. Any of the hardware wallets listed on bitcoin.org will keep your private keys secure. However, these wallets typically don’t let you easily access your private keys directly. It’s not clear that all these wallets will let you access BTG in particular, and not all of them have given a guarantee for B2X either. So while these wallets will safely store your private keys, it could be a bit more tricky (but probably not impossible) to get ahold of all three coins later.

In any case: Be sure to make backups of your keys! Most wallets require you to do this when installing; don’t skip this step.

Shortly After the Bitcoin Gold Fork (and Before the SegWit2x Fork)

The Bitcoin Gold fork is sometimes referred to as a “friendly fork.” This is mainly because it has no intention of claiming to be the “real” Bitcoin, and it plans to implement strong replay protection.

In short, this replay protection means that you won’t accidentally send your BTG when you mean to send BTC (or the other way around). So even after you’ve spent your BTC, you can still access your BTG.

If you want to transact with your BTC before the SegWit2x fork, it could come in handy later to write down which of your Bitcoin addresses and/or private keys had BTG attributed to them — in other words, which of your Bitcoin addresses had any BTC on them at the time of the Bgold fork on October 25th.

But there’s no rush to actually access your BTG. In fact, it will probably take at least a week before this is even possible, and maybe longer. It’s therefore probably best to ignore this fork until after the SegWit2x fork. That way you’ll only need to go through the process of claiming all your new coins once.

After the SegWit2x Fork

Unfortunately, the SegWit2x fork could play out a bit more messily.

For one, several of the companies backing SegWit2x consider this fork an upgrade of Bitcoin itself. They therefore currently have no intention to adopt a new name for it. Some of them will call or list (what this article refers to as) SegWit2x and B2X, as "Bitcoin" and "BTC". Meanwhile, they might call or list (what this article refers to as) BTC as "B1X", or another ticker.

And of course, all coins will command their own exchange rates. So as different exchanges list a different coin as "BTC", the price for "BTC" could differ vastly across exchanges: they're actually different coins! You should therefore not buy or sell any coin listed as "BTC", unless and until you are very sure which coin your exchange lists as "BTC".

Additionally, it currently seems SegWit2x will fork without strong replay protection. This means that post-fork, BTC transactions and B2X transactions will look identical and could both be valid on both blockchains.

Therefore, spending coins on the BTC blockchain could make you accidentally spend the “equivalent” B2X on the SegWit2x blockchain, and the other way around. Instead of paying someone only BTC, you may unintentionally send B2X as well — or vice versa. The BTCs and B2Xs are initially “stuck together.”

To be on the safe side, you should probably not spend an coins after the SegWit2x fork at all. As explained below, you'll first need to "split" your coins.

Furthermore, some light wallets (mobile wallets) will display whichever blockchain has more hash power attributed to it. This means that the balance on your screen could be a BTC balance or a B2X balance, and there will be no way to tell the difference. (Even if the wallet says it’s a BTC balance!)

To be on the safe side, you should not accept any payments with light wallets, since you could receive B2X when you’re expecting BTC, or the other way around. At the very least, you should make absolutely sure that your wallet displays what you think it displays. (Wallets like Electrum and GreenAddress should display BTC as "BTC" regardless of hashpower distribution.) If you use a full-node wallet like Bitcoin Core or Bitcoin Knots and you want to accept BTC, that should also be fine.

Depending on how much hash power is dedicated to each chain, it is possible that transactions will confirm (significantly) slower than usual for some time and will require higher fees to confirm at all.

Claiming Your Coins

If all three chains survive, and you control your private keys, you should be able to access BTC, BTG and B2X around mid-November.

Claiming your BTG should be relatively easy, assuming there are wallets available for it. Most likely, you’d simply need to insert your private keys (or private key seed) into such a wallet.

However, there are some security and privacy risks in doing so. It’s too soon to tell exactly what these risks will look like as it’s unclear which wallets will support BTG. (It’s not even certain that any wallets will.) But in general, you’ll first want to move your BTC (and B2X) to new addresses or whole new wallets before accessing your BTG.

Since there’s no need to rush, it’s probably best just to wait on claiming your BTG until there is more clarity. By that time, Bitcoin Magazine will publish a follow-up article explaining how to do this.

Securely accessing and using your B2X (and BTC) might prove a bit more tricky, mostly because of the risk of replay attacks. This requires that the BTC and B2X are split from each other, which will be possible but could prove a bit complex.

Some wallets might split the coins for you, but it's too soon to know which wallets will. Additionally, exchanges will likely set up coin-splitting services and take care of most of this complexity behind the screens. You’d then just need to send your BTC or B2X to an exchange, and the exchange will credit your account with both BTC and B2X. (They should even replay the transaction for you to make sure they indeed receive both your coins and can split them for you.) There may also be other solutions to split your coins, but that remains to be seen.

By mid-November, there will probably also be dedicated wallets for both BTC and B2X. Of course, you may need to upgrade your existing wallet or download a new wallet. This also remains to be seen.

Further specifics on what to do after the forks will be announced on Bitcoin Magazine once the forks have occurred and we have a better understanding of the post-fork situation.

So, to Recap ...

1. It’s best to control your private keys yourself before October 25, and hold on to them until after the SegWit2x fork, mid-November.

2. To be on the safe side, avoid buying or selling any "BTC" and don't make any transactions shortly after the SegWit2x fork.

3. As the dust settles after the SegWit2x fork, access and split your coins. (How to do this will be explained on Bitcoin Magazine once there is more clarity.)

This article was last updated on October 14th. This article will be updated as the news develops.

The post A Bitcoin Beginner’s Guide to Surviving the Bgold and SegWit2x Forks appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 13 October 2017 | 7:22 am

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Bitcoin Rally Shows Strength for Continued Growth

Bitcoin Price Analysis

Today, bitcoin reached a new all time high as it rose by $500 in just a few short hours. At the time of this article, bitcoin is sitting in the $5300s as it looks ready, once again, to spring for a new all time high:

Figure_1 (14).JPGFigure 1: BTC-USD, 4-Hour Candles, GDAX, Macro Trend

On a macro level, BTC is showing signs of upward strength as the RSI and MACD are showing bullish strength. There are no clear signs of bearish divergence yet and the market is starting to pick up in volume as the price climbs, thus indicating that a healthy bullish continuation is likely. Looking at the 50 and 200 EMAs, we can see the slope is pointing upward and the market is trending well above both EMAs, showing us that the market is pushing upward in a sustainable manner.

On a micro level, there are slight signs of bullish exhaustion that may indicate the need to either consolidate sideways or pull back slightly before continuing upward:

Figure_2 (11).JPGFigure 2: BTC-USD, 30-Minute Candles, GDAX, Micro Trend

The MACD and RSI are showing clear signs of bearish divergence on the smaller timescales (shown via the red arrows on the indicators). Also, the current growth is decreasing in volume which usually indicates a lack of buyer interest at the current price levels as the trend continues upward. It’s important to note that the trend can remain healthy on a macro scale, while simultaneously remaining divergent on a smaller timescale. The divergence doesn’t imply a macro reversal — it simply means the current trend is lacking momentum to continue upward in the immediate future and likely needs to cool off before continuing any further.

On the higher timescales, bitcoin appears to be adhering to the ascending channel shown below:

Figure_3 (11).JPGFigure 3: BTC-USD, 1 Day Candles, GDAX, Ascending Channel

Since the beginning of the year, bitcoin has adhered to very nicely to this channel where it routinely tests the top, then tests the bottom, then tests the top, and so on and so forth. If we continue this pattern we can expect to see bitcoin test the $6000s before we see any major correction. However, it is important to note that, compared to Bitcoin’s last bull run to the $5000s, the volume is considerably lower. This may affect bitcoin’s ability to push toward the upper bounds of the channel. On the other hand, the indicators discussed in Figure 1 are showing healthy bullish signals, so we will have to see how the market responds to tests of new highs.

Summary:

  1. Bitcoin found new all time highs in the $5300s after having a sudden $500 rally.

  2. The macro momentum indicators are showing signs of bullish continuation which may push further new all time highs.

  3. The smaller time frames are showing signs of bullish exhaustion so we may see some consolidation before any bullish continuation is seen.

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

The post Bitcoin Price Analysis: Bitcoin Rally Shows Strength for Continued Growth appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 12 October 2017 | 4:09 pm

Op Ed: European Blockchain Business is Booming, Even Among Regulatory Concerns

gpEuropeCrypto.jpg

As cryptocurrencies become increasingly mainstream, governments worldwide are exploring methods for regulating blockchain projects and their methods of funding. While China and South Korea have recently cracked down on ICOs and cryptocurrency exchanges, some nations in the European Economic Area (EEA) have become among the world’s most progressive in embracing this nascent technology. Still, the lack of standards in regulation will prove to be a challenge as blockchain startups seek to develop and mature.Since consensus is easier to realize with a smaller representative body, smaller autonomous territories are more fit to effect rapid change in promoting the establishment of crypto and blockchain companies in their legal jurisdictions. For example, the cantonal laws in Switzerland allow for increased agility when introducing amendments, disclosure and transparency.

Switzerland has emerged as a European hub for cryptocurrency and blockchain development. These efforts have been led by the Crypto Valley Association, a nonprofit dedicated to the research and development of blockchain technologies, has also started to develop an ICO Code of Conduct in light of China’s recent ban. This would establish a clear set of guidelines for companies planning token crowdsales and provide clear, yet versatile, rules surrounding their legality. Anchored by the city of Zug, which has been nicknamed “Crypto Valley” after the numerous blockchain startups based there, Switzerland has remained a friendly environment for burgeoning blockchain and digital currency companies.

Estonia has also proven to be open to blockchain development; it recently expressed interest in creating a national cryptocurrency to be used within its borders. If this materialized, it would rank among the most significant milestones for cryptocurrency to date. In addition, members of Finland’s central bank wrote a paper discussing the outstanding characteristics of Bitcoin.

While Bitcoin is the largest cryptocurrency by trading volume, its leading position among digital currencies does not behave like a traditional monopoly in economic terms. In fact, these economists argue that there’s no need for governments to regulate Bitcoin due to its decentralized infrastructure. This is an interesting stance in comparison to other European nations that have expressed their support for the development of government policies surrounding digital currencies.

In contrast, other countries may either feel that the blockchain space is still too underdeveloped to regulate in earnest or that an appropriate level of research has not been provided on the topic. Despite this, blockchain adoption will continue to become more mainstream than one might expect. Deloitte has reported more than 90 central banks are engaged in discussions about blockchain technology, and that 80 percent of those banks are expected to commence digital ledger projects by the end of the year. The International Monetary Fund has even expressed positive sentiment about the potential applications of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Their willingness to explore this technology means that regulations in the jurisdictions they serve are likely in the near future.

The EEA’s interest in considering blockchain regulation promises that the future will be bright for startups hoping to do business in these countries. However, gathering consensus around a technology that’s still not widely used or applied will prove difficult. It will require these nations to adopt policies that feature the needed flexibility for the long term. Despite these challenges, the countries that are able to do so will reap significant economic rewards.

This is a guest post by David Henderson. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Media or Bitcoin Magazine.

The post Op Ed: European Blockchain Business is Booming, Even Among Regulatory Concerns appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 12 October 2017 | 1:46 pm

Bitcoin price climbs over $4,000

Posted on 14 August 2017 | 1:16 am

Bitcoin reaches new all-time high: $ 3,000

Posted on 12 June 2017 | 1:06 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

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

Expedia to accept Bitcoin payments for hotel bookings

Posted on 12 June 2014 | 12:41 pm

October 19, 2017 -
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