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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

Bitcoin Price Analysis - Expect volatility - Brave New Coin


Brave New Coin

Bitcoin Price Analysis - Expect volatility
Brave New Coin
After several iterations with various sparring factions, the most recent emergent alternative bitcoin implementation appears to be Bitcoin Cash. While Bitmain's Jihan Wu initially described his “User Activated Hard Fork” as a “contingency plan” for the ...

and more »

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 10:54 pm

Bitcoin's Relationship With the 'Mark of the Beast' Theories - Bitcoin News (press release)


Bitcoin News (press release)

Bitcoin's Relationship With the 'Mark of the Beast' Theories
Bitcoin News (press release)
Since the end of time, humans have always liked to tell 'tall tales.' Bitcoin itself is often considered a weird subject because an anonymous developer made the software and this has led to many conspiracy-like discussions involving the digital currency.

and more »

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 7:30 pm

Howard Marks says bitcoin isn't real—and we can all blame millennials for its rise - MarketWatch


MarketWatch

Howard Marks says bitcoin isn't real—and we can all blame millennials for its rise
MarketWatch
Howard Marks has some harsh words for the bitcoin community and the rise of digital currencies, which have become all the rage lately. “Digital currencies are nothing but an unfounded fad,” said the co-chairman of Oaktree Capital Management, who was ...
Billionaire Investor Warns Bitcoin is Pyramid SchemeCoinTelegraph
Bitcoin news: Cryptocurrency is scam 'pyramid scheme' says top ...Express.co.uk
Howard Marks Trashes Bitcoin: 'An Unfounded Fad'Wall Street Journal (subscription) (blog)
Oaktree Capital
all 21 news articles »

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 5:14 pm

Bitcoin Startup KeepKey Ends Support For Multibit Wallet Software

The long-running bitcoin wallet Multibit is being discontinued, the firm that bought it last year has announced.

Source

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 4:00 pm

The Future of “Bitcoin Cash:” An Interview with Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet

The Future of “Bitcoin Cash:” An Interview with Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet

If all goes according to plan, August 1st will see the launch of a new cryptocurrency, described as an “airdrop altcoin,” a “spinoff-coin,” a “fork-coin,” a “clone-coin,” or — as the people behind the project call it — “a new version of Bitcoin:” Bitcoin Cash (“BCC”). Anyone who holds bitcoin (BTC) on this day, at 12:20 UTC precisely, will automatically receive the equivalent amount in BCC, attributed to their Bitcoin private keys.

Bitcoin Cash is the realization of the “User Activated Hard Fork” (UAHF) that was first announced as Bitmain’s contingency plan in case of a chain-split caused by the BIP148 user activated soft fork (UASF) — although the mining hardware producer has sent out mixed signals about the project since.

A first software implementation of the Bitcoin Cash protocol, called Bitcoin ABC, was recently revealed by its lead developer, Amaury “Deadal Nix” Sechét at the Future of Bitcoin conference in Arnhem, the Netherlands. Sechét worked at Facebook for the past years and decided to focus on Bitcoin full time earlier this year.

Bitcoin Magazine spoke with Sechét about his vision for Bitcoin Cash.


Anyone in favor of increasing the block size could have forked off for years now. What took you so long?

Well, I wasn't expecting the whole situation to last this long. Bitcoin Classic seemed to get a lot of traction last year, and then the Hong Kong Roundtable Consensus happened, so it seemed like things were working well enough for a while…

This year I started to do research on a scaling solution for Bitcoin myself, at first focusing on extension blocks. Bitcoin ABC was initially a base I could use to build various experiments on top of. I was later contacted by “Freetrader," a developer on the r/btcfork subreddit, who wanted to implement an adjustable block size limit on top of Bitcoin ABC.

Then the whole UAHF plan was proposed by Bitmain. Freetrader and I both thought it was a good idea, so we implemented it.

What is your relationship with Bitmain? Are they funding you in any way?

I got a sponsorship from the Bitcoin Development Grant to do my scaling research. This was mostly thanks to other research I’d done prior. I’m not funded to work on Bitcoin ABC specifically. That was not the original plan; but sometimes you can't predict where things are going to lead.

The BIP148 UASF seems to have been made obsolete by BIP91. Why is this “UAHF” still happening?

That BIP148 was made obsolete only became clear very recently. Uncertainty remained even after SegWit2x [the scaling proposal based on the New York Agreement, and backed by a number of Bitcoin companies and mining pools] was released. Depending on how fast miners would adopt it, the UASF could happen or not. So we continued to push forward with the UAHF.

By the time it was known that the UASF wouldn't happen, it was also very clear that there was strong market demand for the UAHF anyways.

What made that clear to you?

A lot of people contacted us and wanted to launch Bitcoin Cash.

“Random” people? Or also companies, miners or perhaps well-known individuals in the space?

All of the above. But I do not wish to mention anyone specifically. Some, like ViaBTC and OKCoin have gone public. If others want to do that too, they'll have to do it themselves.

More to the point, then: Bitcoin Cash will remove Segregated Witness (SegWit) and will have a default block size limit of 8 megabytes. Why eight, not two or seven or unlimited?

There is a judgment call there. Eight megabytes is large enough to make sure we have a mechanism to adjust it by the time we get anywhere close to the limit. On the other hand, you don't want to go unlimited cowboy style. As the size of blocks grow, there is a lot of work to be done to ensure they keep being processed efficiently.

What if 8 megabyte blocks fill up very fast? It seems evident that the Bitcoin network endured a lot of spam over the past year, for example, that could happen again...

It could, and increasing the block size to 8 megabytes is not a perfect solution in this sense, but it's an improvement. At least at 8 megabytes it’d be more expensive to keep the attack going.

It would be even more expensive to spam blocks full at 16 megabytes. Yet, you won’t increase the blocks to 16 megabytes when the 8 megabyte limit is hit quickly?

I think most people are going to use the default settings at first, so that’s 8 megabytes. After this fork is behind us, we'll make sure to deploy some mechanism to handle the block size so we don't need to play central planners.

What kind of mechanism will that be?

Perhaps BIP100, or one of the other many proposals that have been made.

BIP100 hands control over the block size to miners, which is also controversial. Don't you think it will be hard to get everyone to agree on a solution?

I think that people will come to an agreement. The reason there is a split now, is because people have different ideas of where they want Bitcoin to go. Once blocks on Bitcoin Cash fill up, people will still want to go to the same place, so I'm confident they'll stay in the same boat.

Where do you see Bitcoin Cash in relation to SegWit2x?

When I got into this, my idea was that either SegWit2x will fail and we'd get a UASF chain and a UAHF chain. Or SegWit2x would succeed and we’d get neither the UASF or the UAHF. But as mentioned, a lot of people will value the UAHF even with SegWit2x. I don't want to speak for everybody, but concerns about SegWit2x range from the 2x part not being acted upon, some feature of Segregated Witness hurting long-term scalability or simply thinking that the conflict is just delayed and will restart later on.

I do hope we can have a friendly relation with the SegWit2x team. Whoever is better wins in the end.

So that brings me back to my previous question. Those in favor of a block size limit increase hard fork are rallying behind different proposals. And that’s not even taking into account Bitcoin Unlimited’s “Emergent Consensus” and other ideas. If you can’t agree on a single way forward now, what makes you think you can when blocks fill up?

I see all these different proposals as the symptom of a fast moving environment. When I started Bitcoin ABC with Freetrader, SegWit2x and the UAHF did not even exist yet.

Besides, I could say the same for the other side. There was the Hong Kong Roundtable, then SegWit-only, then the UASF, and now SegWit2x which is kind of a compromise between the two sides.

Bitcoin Core has a pretty clear and consistent policy: no contentious hard forks. Without such a policy, don’t you see a cryptocurrency splitting into factions for each disagreement?

That's possible. But Ethereum did a contentious hard fork once as well and did not split any further after that. There is a strong incentive to stick together: People will split only if there is a strong difference of vision.

You’re not the first to have a “difference of vision” for Bitcoin’s direction. Litecoin was created to offer a better payment experience. Dogecoin was, likewise, lauded for its micropayment potential. Why not just use an altcoin, instead of forking away from Bitcoin?

Litecoin developers seem to mostly have the same vision as Bitcoin Core developers, so I don't think that’s a good substitute. Dogecoin has infinite inflation, which doesn’t make for a sound money. I could go on for each altcoin, but that'd be a very long list.

Let me slightly re-phrase the question, then: Why not create a new altcoin from scratch, specifically designed for the purpose you have in mind?

Most altcoins try to do something more than Bitcoin, which is fine. But we aren’t. Bitcoin decided to take a road with Segregated Witness and off-chain solutions. We are trying to continue to do what Bitcoin has been doing for some time.

I also ask this because the name “Bitcoin Cash” could be confusing for people, to the point where some consider it misleading or even fraudulent…

I did not come up with that name, but I like it. People will complain no matter what. This project wants to continue Bitcoin and grow it to become a peer-to-peer electronic cash used worldwide. Adding “Cash” seemed like a good way to differentiate and also convey the vision.

According to Merriam-Webster, “cash” means either “ready money” or “money or its equivalent (such as a check) paid for goods or services at the time of purchase or delivery.” How does that not apply to Bitcoin itself?

The second definition in particular doesn't quite work with high fees. If I buy something for $5 and I pay a fee of 50 cents, that's a big deal. Too much friction.

“Low fees” or “low friction” is not part of either definition.

But I want bitcoin to be a widely used electronic cash. A cryptocurrency that is used for day-to-day inexpensive stuff, as well as expensive purchases.

Because of the risks presented by bigger blocks, Bitcoin Core developers generally prefer to offload the day-to-day inexpensive stuff to layers built on top of the blockchain. Does Bitcoin Cash have no plans to adopt SegWit, or the Lightning Network, or other second-layer technologies at all?

I’m not against Layer 2 technologies themselves, they can add value. I’m just against not growing the base layer.

Bitcoin Cash will probably not see SegWit in its current shape, not as a soft fork. But fixing malleability and enabling Layer 2 solutions will happen. Technology to enable building blocks over time, such as weak blocks, is also important to improve 0-confirmation security and scale to bigger blocks.

Another reason some rallied behind SegWit is that it would block covert use of the patented AsicBoost mining technology. Do you have any plans to block AsicBoost?

I crunched the numbers for the potential benefit that miners can get from AsicBoost, and I think SegWit doesn’t change that much. It’s a lot of noise for nothing. I don’t really plan to spend much time to either help or hinder it. There are more interesting and important things to do.

Who’s going to be developing Bitcoin ABC, or the Layer 2 solutions you mention? Because, let’s be honest, you don’t have much support from Bitcoin’s development community so far.

We do not plan to develop Layer 2 technologies; we plan to enable them. We ourselves will focus on the protocol itself, so on malleability and weak blocks. We have enough people to make it happen.

Who, exactly?

Apart from myself and Freetrader, Bitprim has been helping. That is a company that's building infrastructure for Bitcoin. Bitcoin Unlimited developers Andrea “Sickpig” Suisani and Antony Zegers have been helping out with Bitcoin Cash as well. And like other open-source projects, we have a kernel of people that contribute on a regular basis and even more that add a patch or two or help us with a specific problem.

The Bitcoin Unlimited developers in particular don't exactly have a pristine track record, with network-wide node crashes caused by bugs. Will this be any better for Bitcoin Cash?

We have a very different way of doing development than both Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Unlimited, mostly derived from my work at Facebook as well as LLVM where I worked prior. We focus on doing many small incremental changes rather than fewer, bigger changes. This makes code review easier.

Surely Bitcoin Core has a lot more review happening though, simply because they have more developers?

Core has a lot of developers, but also a process that is slow. Slow processes generally tend to have fewer errors, but also make errors more costly because the slow processes also apply to fixing errors. There is a sweet spot between those two. I think we strike a good balance with Bitcoin ABC.

Let’s assume you are right about being being capable of maintaining a multi-billion dollar project — but wrong about it ever becoming a multi-billion dollar project. What if users don’t choose Bitcoin Cash over Bitcoin? Are you committed to Bitcoin Cash even as a smaller coin?

“What if I’m wrong?” That's a question I'm asking myself all the time. In fact, this is the very reason I think it is misguided to bake economic constants, such as the 1 megabyte limit or the weight system, into the protocol. Not only do I know I may be wrong, but I'm also convinced that most people don't know any better than I do. Figuring out what the market wants is a fool's errand. You got to try to do what you think is best and adapt as the situation changes.

I think it is pretty much inevitable that BCC starts as a minority coin. But longer term, it will either overtake Bitcoin or it will create an incentive for Bitcoin to scale. In either case, that'd be a win.

Yet, I may be wrong. Maybe the value of BCC will quickly drop to zero or close to zero. But unless it does, I will continue to work on Bitcoin Cash.

Disclosure: Aaron van Wirdum, the author of this article, holds BTC and will therefore also own BCC on August 1st.

The post The Future of “Bitcoin Cash:” An Interview with Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 3:43 pm

North Korea Commences Large Scale Bitcoin Mining Operation ... - Bitcoin News (press release)


Bitcoin News (press release)

North Korea Commences Large Scale Bitcoin Mining Operation ...
Bitcoin News (press release)
Information recently surfaced that someone in North Korea has started mining bitcoin in a large scale operation, According to Recorded Future.

and more »

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 2:42 pm

Boxing Champ Floyd Mayweather Just Promoted an ICO on Instagram

Boxing champ Floyd Mayweather, Jr., has promoted an ICO on his Instagram account.

Source

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 2:34 pm

'First' Ethereum Decompiler Launches With JP Morgan Quorum Integration

What could be the first-ever ethereum smart contract decompiler was demoed at a hacker event in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Source

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 2:15 pm

Bitfinex says miners to create chain called Bitcoin Cash - Reuters


Bitfinex says miners to create chain called Bitcoin Cash
Reuters
July 27 (Reuters) - Hong Kong-based digital currency exchange Bitfinex said on Thursday that a minority of Bitcoin miners will be "forking" to create a new blockchain called Bitcoin Cash on Aug. 1. The fork does not impact Bitcoin balances, but it ...

and more »

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 2:09 pm

Investor Howard Marks: Cryptocurrencies Aren't Real

A noted investor is taking aim at bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, deeming them in a recent investor note as "not real".

Source

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 12:51 pm

Bitcoin Should Be Regulated to Go Mainstream: Bank of America Official - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

Bitcoin Should Be Regulated to Go Mainstream: Bank of America Official
CoinTelegraph
"A key step for Bitcoin would be for it to become pledgeable collateral. However, large inherent risks to digital tokens such as fraud, hacking, theft, new protocol adoption, limited acceptance and that it is not legal tender many places in the world ...

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 12:38 pm

Indian State Officials to Weigh Policies for Public Sector Blockchain Use

Officials in Karnataka are planning an event on blockchain and governance in the near future.

Source

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 11:10 am

A New SegWit Lock-In Period Has Started and All Mining Pools Are Signaling

A milestone has been hit in the potential activation of Segregated Witness, code that would upgrade the network's capacity.

Source

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 10:00 am

Making Bitcoin work better - The Economist - The Economist


The Economist

Making Bitcoin work better - The Economist
The Economist
IN DIFFERENT circumstances the two people could be good friends. Each is rather shy and very smart. And each is passionate about bitcoin, a digital currency.
A New SegWit Lock-In Period Has Started and All Mining Pools Are ...CoinDesk

all 2 news articles »

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 9:07 am

Irish Central Bank Chief: Blockchain is One of 'The Largest Policy Challenges'

New technologies like blockchain represent a major policy challenge, according to the head of Ireland's central bank.

Source

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 9:05 am

Washington's New Cryptocurrency Exchange Rules Are Now in Effect

New regulations that apply money transmitter laws to cryptocurrency exchanges have gone into effect in the U.S. state of Washington.

Source

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 7:00 am

Here's why some Americans are risking their life savings on a BitcoinIRA - CNBC


CNBC

Here's why some Americans are risking their life savings on a BitcoinIRA
CNBC
Investors have been bullish on bitcoin all this year because of its rapid appreciation, but now, mom and pop buyers are also looking for a way to benefit from its price surge, despite the big risks. BitcoinIRA launched in May of 2016, offering ...

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 6:34 am

The Rate of Blockchain Patent Applications Has Nearly Doubled in 2017

The number of cryptocurrency and blockchain patent applications in the US has nearly doubled in the past year, USPTO data reveals.

Source

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 4:00 am

'Criminal mastermind' of $4bn bitcoin laundering scheme arrested - The Guardian


The Guardian

'Criminal mastermind' of $4bn bitcoin laundering scheme arrested
The Guardian
The Russian “internationally sought 'mastermind' of a crime organisation” accused of laundering more than $4bn in bitcoin, including funds obtained from the hack of failed bitcoin exchange Mt Gox, has been arrested in Greece. A US jury indicted ...
The World's Most Infamous Billion-Dollar Bitcoin Launderer Nabbed at Last?Daily Beast
Bitcoin Exchange Was a Nexus of Crime, Indictment SaysNew York Times
Bitcoin fraud suspect Vinnik charged by US grand juryBBC News
The Verge -American Banker -WizSec -Reuters
all 149 news articles »

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 3:10 am

Philippine Central Bank Sees Few Applicants for Crypto Exchange License

The central bank of the Philippines has seen little interest in its cryptocurrency exchange licensing scheme, according to a report.

Source

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 3:00 am

Malta Is Gearing up to Greenlight Bitcoin Gambling

The nation of Malta is taking steps to legalize bitcoin and cryptocurrency for use in its domestic gaming industry.

Source

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 2:00 am

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$110 Million: BTC-e Fined as US Vows Crackdown on Bitcoin Exchanges

The US government has unsealed an indictment against BTC-e and one of its alleged operators, assessing a $110m fine against the bitcoin exchange.

Source

Posted on 26 July 2017 | 7:20 pm

No Panic: Cooler Heads Prevail as SEC Casts Shadow on Cooley ICO Event

An event focused on initial coin offerings saw optimism despite SEC guidance that signaled a new era for the novel funding method.

Source

Posted on 26 July 2017 | 4:10 pm

The Big News Behind the BTC-e Arrest and Mt Gox Connection

CoinDesk takes a look at new developments in the Mt Gox case, attempting to provide an easy-to-read overview of the complex events.

Source

Posted on 26 July 2017 | 3:17 pm

Investor Tim Draper Calls on SEC to 'Grandfather' ICOs Into Compliance

Investor Tim Draper penned an open letter to the SEC today asking for the agency to carve-out exemptions for certain ICOs.

Source

Posted on 26 July 2017 | 1:04 pm

The Fundamental Conflict At The Heart Of Bitcoin - Forbes


Forbes

The Fundamental Conflict At The Heart Of Bitcoin
Forbes
The Economist has a nice piece which highlights the fundamental conflict at the heart of Bitcoin. Miners want the price of bitcoin to keep on rising, because this gives them an incentive to keep mining despite the ever-rising energy cost of doing so ...
The Future of “Bitcoin Cash:” An Interview with Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury SéchetBitcoin Magazine
Fork Watch: These Bitcoin Exchanges Will Not Support 'Bitcoin Cash'Bitcoin News (press release)
HitBTC Confirms Bitcoin Cash Futures Trading, Will Credit User AccountsCoinTelegraph
The Merkle -The Economist (blog) -newsBTC
all 35 news articles »

Posted on 26 July 2017 | 11:44 am

BTC-e Connected to Bitcoin Money Laundering Arrest in Greece

New reports have connected an arrest in Greece today with a bitcoin exchange long known for its secrecy.

Source

Posted on 26 July 2017 | 9:43 am

$4 Billion: Russian Man Arrested for Alleged Bitcoin Money Laundering Scheme

Authorities have reportedly arrested a man believed to be behind a money laundering scheme orchestrated through bitcoin.

Source

Posted on 26 July 2017 | 8:05 am

Federal Government Approves Regulation Request of LedgerX

LedgerX

On July 24, LedgerX announced the CFTC’s approval for a Derivatives Clearing Organization (DCO) license under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA). The license will allow the company to provide clearing services for fully collateralized digital currency swaps for the first time. On July 6, the CFTC also granted LedgerX an order of registration as a Swap Execution Facility. The company, which was founded in 2013, already received a temporary approval as a Swap Execution Facility in 2015.

Despite the approval, the CFTC highlighted that LedgerX’s current authorization “does not constitute or imply a Commission endorsement of the use of digital currency generally, or bitcoin specifically.” The Commission added that, along with the approval, it had issued a letter on July 24 exempting LedgerX from “certain regulations” implied by the CFTC due to the firm’s fully collateralized clearing model.

By obtaining a DCO license, LedgerX will be able to provide specific services on the company’s platform to participants, including obtaining and hedging bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by using exchange-traded and centrally cleared option contracts. With the regulatory approval, the company expects to list one- to six-month options contracts for bitcoin in addition to adding contracts for other cryptocurrencies, such as ETH options.

“A U.S. federally regulated venue for derivative contracts settling in digital currencies opens the market to a much larger customer base,” Paul L. Chou, the CEO of LedgerX, said in a statement. “We are seeing strong demand from institutions that previously could not participate in the bitcoin market due to compliance restrictions against unregulated venues. In particular, there is a desire for fund managers to hold financial instruments that are not correlated with the broader equity market, and digital currencies meet that need.”

LedgerX is planning to provide required services, such as surveillance and transparency, for institutional investors. According to the company, participants eligible for LedgerX’s services include registered broker dealers, banks, futures commission merchants, qualified commodity pool entities and qualified high-net-worth investors.

“These are exciting times to have a new digital asset class emerge. I hope that the effort LedgerX put forward in the U.S. can set the stage for a global approach to this new digital asset class,” Mark Wetjen, a member of the board of directors for LedgerX’s parent company, Ledger Holdings, stated.

According to Chou, the approval for the license took more than two years partly because of a long education process. LedgerX secured $11.4 million of funding in May, led by Miami International Holdings Inc. and China’s Huiyin Blockchain Venture Investments, to acquire the clearing license from the CFTC.

“LedgerX’s registration is a historic milestone for derivatives and for digital currencies. To me, it is equivalent to the launch of currency futures back in 1972 that heralded the beginning of exchange-traded and cleared derivatives based on financial products,” Gary DeWaal of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, one of the companies assisting LedgerX during its CFTC application process, said in a statement.

The post Federal Government Approves Regulation Request of LedgerX appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 25 July 2017 | 5:33 pm

Lamassu’s Zach Harvey Shares Data on the Growing Use of Bitcoin ATMs

Lamassu’s Zach Harvey Shares Data on the Growing Use of Bitcoin ATMs

Lamassu is a bitcoin ATM manufacturer that started in 2013 with the goal of making it “as simple as possible to get bitcoin.” There are now hundreds of these bitcoin ATMs around the world, and one of Lamassu’s co-founders, Zach Harvey, recently shared some data related to how these machines are used at a Bitcoin meetup in Milan.

While a recent article in the New York Post warned bodega owners against putting bitcoin ATMs in their stores due to potential use by darknet market customers, Harvey stated his belief that most of the bitcoin ATM users are using the devices for speculation on the bitcoin price, which he sees as the biggest use case for the digital asset right now.

According to Harvey, Lamassu set up their business in a decentralized, distributed manner where they manufacture the machines in Portugal and then sell them to operators around the world.

“The reason we did this in a way that is more distributed is because we felt the system would be a lot more robust if every one of these individual operators ran the machines themselves, had their own bitcoin wallets from which to send to the end user, had full control over their user data, there would be no single point of failure, and it would also be more in the spirit of Bitcoin,” said Harvey at the recent meetup.

Harvey went on to discuss data related to the use of bitcoin ATMs, problems associated with increased congestion on the Bitcoin network, and a specific example of why he thinks bitcoin is going mainstream.

Who Uses Bitcoin ATMs?

According to Harvey, the people who use bitcoin ATMs are mostly non-tech savvy users who want to get their first taste of digital currency. Harvey added that bitcoin ATMs tend to attract these types of users due to a focus on convenience and user experience. The Lamassu co-founder also claimed that a new user can complete a transaction in 20 to 30 seconds, while someone familiar with the machine can be done in less than ten seconds.

Two of the key selling points of bitcoin ATMs mentioned by Harvey were that users don’t have to go through the process of connecting a bank account with an exchange and the machines can feel like a safer option than meeting up with a random person found on a P2P bitcoin trading marketplace like LocalBitcoins.

According to Harvey, the selling points of bitcoin ATMs are so strong that many people are willing to pay the 10 to 15 percent exchange fees that come with them. He claimed that the more popular bitcoin ATMs get around 50 transactions per day and “sometimes you’ll even have queue at some of the machines.”

“If you’re around a bitcoin ATM, there really is no easier way of [getting some bitcoin],” Harvey later added.

Having said that, Harvey indicated that many of the bitcoin ATMs in the United States include some sort of identity verification due to Know Your Customer and anti-money laundering regulations. The level of identity verification required tends to vary, depending on the amounts involved and where the bitcoin ATM is located.

Harvey also shared data from one of their operators, who owns 14 machines, that indicated these bitcoin ATMs tend to be used for low-value transactions.

“These are people that just want to get the first experience — see what it’s like to get into bitcoin,” said Harvey. “If they really just want to see what it’s about — feel a little bit of the magic of bitcoin — they’re going to start with a low amount.”

“If you look at machine number 13, there’s almost 90 percent of transactions that are under $100,” Harvey added.

According to the data shared by Harvey, 20 to 30 percent of the transactions at these particular bitcoin ATMs are for less than $10.


Screenshot 2017-07-21 at 4.37.14 PM.png


Network Transaction Fees Have an Effect on Bitcoin ATMs

During his appearance at the Bitcoin meetup in Milan, Harvey also discussed the effect that increased congestion on the Bitcoin network has had on bitcoin ATMs. He noted that operators asked for the functionality to add a flat fee or the complete removal of the $5 and $10 transaction amounts when on-chain transaction fees get into the $1–$2 range.

Harvey also noted that roughly 90 percent of the transactions that are usually processed by bitcoin ATMs would become uneconomical if on-chain bitcoin transaction fees reached $10.

Due to demand from their operators, Lamassu plans to add altcoins, such as ether and zcash, to their machines in the coming weeks. These altcoins feature shorter confirmation times, which can be helpful in situations where a user wants to trade their cryptocurrency for physical cash.

“It’s not as secure as a bitcoin confirmation, but it’s more secure than a zero-confirmation of bitcoin,” Harvey said of confirmations on other cryptocurrency networks.

Due to Bitcoin network congestion and poorly implemented fee estimation software on users’ mobile wallets, Harvey noted that some users have had to wait over a day to get their cash out of a bitcoin ATM.

In terms of unconfirmed bitcoin transactions, Harvey stated that not many operators have had issues with accepting them.

Bitcoin Going Mainstream?

Although Lamassu also has machines in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Canada has become their most active userbase. According to data shared by Harvey, the Toronto area alone has around 50 Lamassu bitcoin ATMs.

“Several years ago, [this] would have seemed like way too many, and now it’s starting to be something that’s the norm as bitcoin goes more mainstream,” said Harvey of the density of bitcoin ATMs in Toronto.

When sharing data related to the proliferation of Lamassu’s bitcoin ATMs around the world, Harvey showed a screenshot of an email he received from a convenience store owner in Toronto.


Screenshot 2017-07-21 at 4.37.44 PM.png

“Customers are coming into my store, and they’re telling me, ‘Why don’t you have a bitcoin ATM?’” Harvey paraphrased from the email. “Can I please get one placed here?”

This is the same area that already has roughly 50 bitcoin ATMs around it.

Watch the full presentation here.


The post Lamassu’s Zach Harvey Shares Data on the Growing Use of Bitcoin ATMs appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 25 July 2017 | 12:42 pm

Mastercard and Cisco Join Enterprise Ethereum Alliance

Mastercard

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) was recently joined by 34 new members, including Mastercard, Cisco, Scotiabank and the Government of Andhra Pradesh, bringing the total membership of the consortium to over 150 organizations.

On July 18, 2017, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance published a press release claiming that — with the 34 new members and the total size of 150-plus participants — the EEA became “the world’s largest open-source blockchain initiative.” According to the consortium, which focuses on developments on the Ethereum blockchain, the newest members of EEA represent a “wide variety of business sectors, including technology, banking, government, healthcare, energy, pharmaceuticals, marketing, and insurance, as well as a number of fast-growing Ethereum startups.”

The main concept of the nonprofit is to “build, promote, and broadly support Ethereum-based technology best practices, open standards, and open source reference architectures.”

There was a bit of confusion in the Ethereum Reddit community since Mastercard was not listed among the new members in EEA’s press release. However, Andrew Keys, head of global business development at ConsenSys, cleared up the issue.

“Mastercard is indeed a new member of EEA. They asked not to be in the press release document but approved being on the EEA official website. They may be doing their own communications on this,” he wrote.

CEOs and representatives of many of the newly joined members of the EEA expressed their gratitude and commitment toward the project.

“As Fintech Valley Vizag in Andhra Pradesh aims to become a vital financial technology hub, it is working on adopting more robust systems that are cost-effective. With security issues all over the world, there is no doubt that blockchain technology is set to be the biggest disruptor not only in the financial world, but also [in] a number of online and offline sectors. We are keen on integrating blockchain technology into governance and look forward to our collaboration with Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and provide market access to the community,” J. A. Chowdary, special chief secretary and IT advisor to the chief minister at the Government of Andhra Pradesh (India), stated.

“OTP Bank keeps focusing on innovative technologies. Nowadays we think that the most valuable asset is the trust between the bank and the customers. Blockchain technology gives several advanced solutions in [the] security industry. OTP Bank has chosen Ethereum as a partner, because we consider it a state-of-the-art blockchain technology. Via joining the Ethereum community, OTP will be able [to] achieve its goals smoothly. Through the common standards and best practices evolving in Ethereum Enterprise Alliance, our IT systems will be more secure and highly developed,” László Popovics, head of IT innovations at OTP Bank — the leading bank in Hungary and one of the largest independent financial service providers in Central and Eastern Europe — wrote.

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance was formed in late February by a group of financial institutions, blockchain startups and innovators. The consortium — with J.P. Morgan and Intel as the most prominent names among the founding members — aims to standardize blockchain tech for enterprise settings. At the time of the EEA’s launch, the participants created a reference architecture for their project, called “EntEth 1.0,” which has a stronger focus on privacy.

Excluding Mastercard from the list, the newest members of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance include:

2Advise; Amalto Technologies; Antibiotic Research UK (ANTRUK); Aquilon Energy Services, Inc.; ASSETH; BLOCKO Inc.; Bloq; Cisco Systems; Cybersoft Digital Services Corp.; Enter Corporation Co., Ltd.; Equities.com, Inc.; Finclusion Labs, Inc. (WeTrust.io); Government of Andhra Pradesh; HashCash Consultants; HEAL Alliance; iEx.ec; Lazarski University; Loyyal Corporation; MadHive; Mattr; NetObjex Inc.; OTP Bank Plc.; QIWI Blockchain Technologies LLC.; Revelry; RISKebiz; Scotiabank; Streami Inc.; Talkcrypto.org; Technical University of Munich; Texcent Asia Pte Ltd; TIS R&D Center, Inc.; TokenCard/Monolith; Ventured and Ypse IT Solutions.

The post Mastercard and Cisco Join Enterprise Ethereum Alliance appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 24 July 2017 | 2:06 pm

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

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Bitcoin Trading Bots

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

Posted on 8 November 2016 | 6:20 pm

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

Bitcoin Core version 0.9.1 released

Posted on 8 April 2014 | 4:27 pm

July 28, 2017 -
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