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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

Mexican Law Would Give Central Bank Oversight of Cryptocurrency Startups

Mexico's government is close to introducing legislation that would regulate fintech firms, including those that work with cryptocurrencies.

Posted on 19 September 2017 | 10:00 am

Bullish Breakout: Is Ethereum's Price Heading Back Above $300?

The ether-U.S. dollar [ETC/USD] exchange rate has responded positively following the market shocks caused by recent regulatory actions in China.

Posted on 19 September 2017 | 9:12 am

China orders Bitcoin exchanges in capital city to close - BBC News


BBC News

China orders Bitcoin exchanges in capital city to close
BBC News
China is moving forward with plans to shut down Bitcoin exchanges in the country, starting with trading platforms in key cities. All Bitcoin exchanges in Beijing and Shanghai have been ordered to submit plans for winding down their operations by 20 ...
Jamie Dimon, Here's Why You're Wrong About BitcoinForbes
Bitcoin's fate untethers from ChinaBusiness Insider
JPMorgan Helps Clients Buy Bitcoin Despite CEO Calling Bitcoin 'a Fraud'Fortune
CNBC -Quartz -CoinTelegraph -CNBC
all 208 news articles »

Posted on 19 September 2017 | 8:24 am

Ray Dalio, founder of the world's largest hedge fund, says 'bitcoin is a bubble' - CNBC


CNBC

Ray Dalio, founder of the world's largest hedge fund, says 'bitcoin is a bubble'
CNBC
"Bitcoin today you can't make much transactions in it. You can't spend it very easily ... Bitcoin is a bubble," Ray Dalio said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Tuesday. It's not an effective storehold of wealth because it has volatility to it, unlike gold ...
'Bitcoin is a bubble,' says the head of the world's largest hedge fundMarketWatch
Ray Dalio Calls Bitcoin a Bubble and a Highly Speculative MarketBloomberg

all 34 news articles »

Posted on 19 September 2017 | 7:03 am

Blockchain Truce? Putin's Internet Adviser Calls for US-Russia Cooperation

Collaboration, not competition: that's the message an advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin is putting forward in a new interview.

Posted on 19 September 2017 | 7:00 am

The price of bitcoin has a 91% correlation with Google searches for bitcoin - Business Insider


Business Insider

The price of bitcoin has a 91% correlation with Google searches for bitcoin
Business Insider
The current price of bitcoin has a 91% correlation with the volume of Google search requests for bitcoin-related terms, according to a study by SEMrush, a search engine marketing agency. The study drew from a database of 120 million US keyword searches ...

and more »

Posted on 19 September 2017 | 6:56 am

Only in Arizona: How Smart Contract Clarity Is Winning Over Startups

Arizona legislators are turning the state into a blockchain hub by making smart contracts legally binding, and startups are taking the bait.

Posted on 19 September 2017 | 5:40 am

First Bitcoin-Only Real Estate Transaction Completed in Texas - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

First Bitcoin-Only Real Estate Transaction Completed in Texas
CoinTelegraph
In a new and interesting twist, an entire real estate transaction has taken place via Bitcoin. In other words, you can now buy your house with Bitcoin…at least in Texas. The transaction was for the purchase of a newly built custom home, and the full ...

and more »

Posted on 19 September 2017 | 3:23 am

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Mexico readies bill to regulate fast-growing fintech industry - CNBC


CNBC

Mexico readies bill to regulate fast-growing fintech industry
CNBC
The proposed legislation, which Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said this month would be unveiled in the Senate before Sept. 20, seeks to ensure financial stability and defend against money laundering and financing of extremists. The bill will be ...

and more »

Posted on 19 September 2017 | 1:50 am

Bitcoin rebounds in India too, rises 20% in 3 days to wipe off losses - Economic Times


Economic Times

Bitcoin rebounds in India too, rises 20% in 3 days to wipe off losses
Economic Times
The currency came under strong pressure after BTCChina, one of the biggest bitcoin exchanges in the world, last week said it would shut down all trading activities on its platform from September 30 after the regulators clamped down on crypto-currencies.

Posted on 19 September 2017 | 12:39 am

Actor Jamie Foxx Promotes Crypto Exchange ICO

Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx has promoted an upcoming initial coin offering (ICO) on social media.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 2:18 pm

Survey: Younger Americans More Likely to Invest in Bitcoin

New survey data from online student loan marketplace LendEDU suggests that younger consumers in the United States are more apt to invest in bitcoin.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 1:01 pm

Op Ed: How Blockchain Technology Will Disrupt Digital Content Distribution

gp digital content.jpg

The way we consume media content has been on a continual overhaul for the past two decades. Every aspect of media distribution has become more streamlined from the razor-thin devices we use to consume media to the manner in which we purchase and store our coveted content. Books, music and movies have all seen their physical bodies and storage locations dissolve, to be replaced with on-demand downloads and digital copies.

The digital content revolution has done a lot for increasing access and visibility for artists and authors, but the current publishing giants have failed to adequately adjust to the times in a few crucial areas. While it's true that platforms such as YouTube and Medium have granted publishing access to the greater public and eliminated gatekeeping middlemen like talent agents and PR people, the current digital content sharing platforms have built their empires on the skeletons of the publishing giants’ templates that existed before and, unfortunately, have continued operating in ways that fundamentally undermine the artistic control and profits of their contributors.   

YouTube, for example, recently announced they will not allow users to earn any money until they reach 10 thousand views. Medium was recently very candid about the moral dilemmas and growing pains they have faced while trying to balance the selling of advertising space as well as respecting their contributing authors and readership. And it's no secret that Amazon and iTunes take a chunk out of authors’ and artists’ earnings, with iTunes currently pocketing 30 percent of its artists’ profits and Amazon taking a hefty 30–75 percent.

Though it’s easy to be critical, I am more interested in looking for a viable alternative to disrupt the existing system. This will require harnessing the decentralizing nature of emerging blockchain content distribution technologies. Here’s why:

Blockchain could be the solution to making micropayments a reality.

As media consumption has gone digital, a cost-effective way to charge per article or per song has been a limiting factor. Many platforms and publications have opted for subscription-based charging as high transaction costs make pay-per-use charging impossible. Amazon, for example, passes on its internal transaction costs to their clients, which currently equal 2.9 percent of the total transaction as well as a flat fee of 0.30 cents for every transaction.

The pricey transactions make processing small charges inefficient and not cost-effective, which has led many experts, such as editor of TechCrunch John Biggs, to predict that the future of digital publishing will depend on the adoption of micropayments.

Blockchain technologies allow for an incredible number of transactions to be processed at a low cost. Decentralized blockchain systems distribute the collective payment history across the entire network and don’t favor any single “auditor.” The network is maintained by all blockchain nodes as a whole.

Emerging blockchain transaction processing speeds have also recently shot past the leading blockchain currency, bitcoin, and would be capable of processing on a large scale. Where Bitcoin's transaction speeds average 7 transactions per second, new blockchain-based currencies are already approaching thousands of transactions per second; Bitshares claims they can process 100,000 per second.

In fact, a newspaper in Winnipeg, Canada, has already begun to use a micropayment system to charge per article for its news content and projects earning over $100,000 in digital revenue.

Blockchain could tilt the balance of power towards individuals, not publishing powerhouses.

As mentioned previously, YouTube and Medium have dramatically increased content creators’ access to audiences and established a more democratic, popularity-based promotional scheme. Unfortunately, they are both still centralized content distribution entities that can make arbitrary and unilateral decisions. YouTube and Medium both have the right to remove comments, content or entire channels or profiles without leaving a trace.

In contrast, a blockchain content distribution platform preserves an unchangeable record of all actions. The record produced by blockchain systems creates an environment of total transparency for both content creators and media consumers, and it also ensures that all views, comments and ratings reflect the real interactions the content has experienced, leaving no room for subjective, inflated ratings or deleted bad reviews.

With nothing deleted, content producers can create and post with the security that their work and reputation will remain intact, trolls can’t hide their past bad behavior and can easily be spotted via their comment history, and all content fairly reflects its actual popularity.

Blockchain technology could provide instant payouts and security.

Today, freelancers, authors and artists working with publishing platforms are accustomed to waiting multiple months to receive payment for their work. For big-name artists, this is just part of the business. But for smaller artists, it can be difficult to wait for reimbursement without any idea of how much they will eventually be paid. The financial uncertainty, prolonged waiting periods and lack of payment transparency in current digital content media sharing platforms could be discouraging potential artists and authors from seeing content creation as a viable source of income. Instead, the system encourages content creators to seek payment, not for the quality of their content, but through product sponsorships, PR and ad-focused content.

With blockchain-based content distribution, content creators can be paid within seconds of a consumer paying for a download. Consumers would also know their purchase was directly supporting the content creators they enjoy and effectively cut out the publishing middlemen eating up the content producer’s profits.

Though blockchain technology may, at times, sound a bit hard to conceptualize, digital media distribution really shouldn’t be rocket science. While the zeros and ones behind publishing platforms get more complex, the process for content creators and consumers has simplified and should continue to do so.

The bottom line is content creators who make good quality content that people are willing to pay for deserve a simple and transparent digital media sharing platform that fairly compensates them according to the consumer demand for their work. Media consumers equally deserve the ability to directly support the content creators they enjoy. And blockchain technologies may be the disruptive technology that digital media content distribution needs.

This is a guest post by Matej Michalko, founder and CEO of DECENT. The opinions expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Media or Bitcoin Magazine. 

The post Op Ed: How Blockchain Technology Will Disrupt Digital Content Distribution appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 12:40 pm

Blockchain Technology Plays a Critical Role in U.S. and International Open Government Initiatives

tech open door.jpg

On September 8, the U.S. government’s General Services Administration (GSA)’s program “Emerging Citizen Technology” hosted a workshop titled “Emerging Technology and Open Data for a More Open Government.” The participants in the workshop were directed to draft proposals that specifically use Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain technology and open data.

“Open data and emerging technologies — including artificial intelligence and distributed ledgers, such as blockchain — hold vast potential to transform public services held back by bureaucracy and outdated IT systems,” said Emerging Citizen Technology program manager Justin Herman. “We are opening the doors to bold, fresh ideas for government accountability, transparency and citizen participation by working with U.S. businesses, civil society groups and others to shape national goals for emerging technologies and open data in public services.”

At the workshop, several government agencies have indicated a strong government backing behind the development of blockchain technology. In particular, a representative of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) stated that the Trump administration was serious about and committed to this technology, and would not be deterred.

The initiative is related to the fourth National Action Plan (NAP 4), which the U.S. government is releasing this year in the the framework of the multinational Open Government Partnership (OGP) and its Open Government Declaration. It is aimed at empowering citizens and advancing the ideals of an open and participatory government.

The September 8 workshop follows the first U.S. Federal Blockchain Forum, organized by the Emerging Citizen Technology program on July 18 to discuss blockchain use cases, limitations and solutions. Financial management, procurement, IT asset and supply chain management, smart contracts, patents, trademarks, copyrights, royalties, government-issued credentials, federal personnel workforce data, appropriated funds, federal assistance, and foreign aid delivery were among the government blockchain use cases discussed at the July 18 workshop. Participation was restricted to federal agencies’ managers.

The Government Blockchain Association participated in the September 8 workshop and shared details, reported by ETHNews, on the topics discussed. In particular, three priority areas were examined: a national identity system based on blockchain and biometric technologies and interoperable across different agencies; an open government innovation initiative aimed at improving the internal operations of government agencies through blockchain technology; and a blockchain open-interface framework to connect government blockchain pilots with external data systems.

The Government Blockchain Association, open to all interested individual, corporate and institutional members, was formed to explore blockchain-based solutions to problems typically faced by government entities.

"We are currently seeing deep and informed interest in blockchain [technology] across many levels of the public sector,” said Gerard Daché, Founder and President of the Government Blockchain Association. “This time next year, I would not be surprised to see dozens of pilots, legislative resolutions, and even funding spread across the various states and high up in the U.S. Federal Government specifically for piloting blockchain based innovation.”

The Association believes that blockchain technology, Bitcoin, distributed ledgers and cryptocurrencies will fundamentally transform how the government interacts with its constituents.

"We don’t believe blockchain adoption in the public sector needs to take over ten years as some suggest it might,” Daché added. "There is an excitement that is palpable so, our goal is to harness this enthusiasm and direct it into working groups that actually influence national, state and large city governmental policies."

The post Blockchain Technology Plays a Critical Role in U.S. and International Open Government Initiatives appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 12:34 pm

5 Big Bitcoin Crashes: What We Learned - Fortune


Fortune

5 Big Bitcoin Crashes: What We Learned
Fortune
September has been a wild ride for bitcoin owners: the digital currency began the month nudging an all-time high of $5,000 before losing nearly 40% of its value in a spectacular crash. Now, a recovery has seen bitcoin pop back over $4,000 as of Monday ...
Bitcoin's Wild Ride Shows The Truth: It Is Probably Worth ZeroWall Street Journal (subscription)

all 4 news articles »

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 11:47 am

SEC Advisory Committee to Discuss Blockchain's Investor Impact

SEC officials will discuss blockchain at an event in mid-October, according to public records.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 11:30 am

Bitcoin 'Double Taxation' Relief Bill Introduced in Australia

Australia has introduced a new bill that, if passed, would end the country's bitcoin "double taxation" issue.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 10:30 am

Bitcoin just might be forming a top when... your 68-year-old dad paints a picture of it - MarketWatch


MarketWatch

Bitcoin just might be forming a top when... your 68-year-old dad paints a picture of it
MarketWatch
The bull coupled with an upwards-facing, golden Bitcoin symbol that he is seen to be carrying represent the start of a bull market and a rise in the value of Bitcoin. The wall is composed of large rock formations that can be construed as the very ...

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 10:29 am

MUFG on Dimon Remarks: Bank Cryptocurrencies Have 'Nothing to Do With Bitcoin'

The CEO of Japanese finance group MUFG said today that big bank-issued digital currencies aren't quite the same as bitcoin.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 9:30 am

'End of Life Cycle': BIS Report Positions DLT as Needed Banking Update

Distributed ledgers could help update aging central banking systems, says a new report, but issuing cryptocurrencies will be a more complex affair.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 8:00 am

$4000: Bitcoin's Price Shrugs Off China Exchange News - CoinDesk


CoinDesk

$4000: Bitcoin's Price Shrugs Off China Exchange News
CoinDesk
Bitcoin's price has bounced back above $4,000 following market losses linked to the recent regulatory crackdown in China. After China's early September ban on initial coin offerings (ICOS), news on September 15 that bitcoin exchanges were shutting down ...
Bitcoin Roars Back to $4000Fortune
Bitcoin surges past $4100 despite reports of a wide-ranging crackdown on trading in ChinaBusiness Insider
Bitcoin surges 30% from Friday's lowsFinancial Times
Forbes -The Verge -CNBC
all 619 news articles »

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 7:34 am

$4,000: Bitcoin's Price Shrugs Off China Exchange News

Bitcoin's price has bounced back above $4,000 following market losses linked to the recent regulatory crackdown in China.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 7:30 am

Bitcoin's Price Is Back Above $4,000, But Is All-Time High in Sight?

The price of bitcoin continued to recover into Monday as consolidation in pricing helped the cryptocurrency recovery Friday's steep losses.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 6:05 am

Japan Exchange Report: Cloud Edging Out DLT for Capital Markets Needs

A new Japan Exchange Group report throws cold water on the idea that distributed ledger tech may soon make inroads in global capital markets.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 5:32 am

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Split on Forks? Blockchain Leaders Learn Tough Lessons from Bitcoin Scaling

The chaos of bitcoin's scaling debate has pushed other public protocol's consensus mechanisms into a more strict and orderly framework.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 4:00 am

Bitcoin Price Analysis: How Rumblings From China Play Into Wyckoff Distributions

China BTC price.jpg

Unless you’ve been in a crypto-free cave for the past week, you might have noticed the crypto-wide market drop.

Last week, rumors of China’s crackdown on BTC to fiat transactions began to spread across the crypto-world. On Monday, mainstream news sources such as The Guardian, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg further supported or confirmed these rumors by releasing articles with the news of a Chinese crackdown on exchanges.

According to Chinese state newspaper Securities Times, “All trading exchanges must by midnight of 15 September publish a notice to make clear when they will stop all cryptocurrency trading and announce a stop to new user registrations." 

Within a day and a half, BTC-USD saw a 15% markdown as the price dropped from $4400 to $3750. After all was said and done, BTC-USD managed to squeeze out one last push before bottoming out around $3000. The bottom was immediately greeted by a strong rally that propelled the price upward by $900.

The price shot down, the price shot up — where does this leave us now?

Figure_1 (7).JPGFigure 1: BTC-USD, 6-Hour Candles, GDAX, Macro Bull Run

Since the beginning of this bull run from $1800, we have established very clear, very strong support and resistance levels along the Fibonacci Retracement set shown above. At the time of this article, BTC-USD is testing the macro 38% retracement line where strong, historic support will prove quite tough to penetrate. With such a large growth in such a short period of time, BTC-USD managed to climb about 150% in market value within the span of about a month.

One idea I’ve been considering during the climbs to toward the ATH is the the Wyckoff trading range schematic shown below:

Figure_2 (7).JPGFigure 2: Wyckoff Trading Range (A great breakdown of schematic details are found here)

Historically, as markets progress through time, they go through phases of accumulation (a phase where investors and traders begin to buy and accumulate assets) and distribution (a phase where traders and investors begin to sell off their accumulated assets). In order words, the market goes up and a bull rally begins, the market begins to top out, and then a bearish rally will bring the prices back down to a comfortable level. It’s a sort of give-and-take in the market as traders begin to place their bets on the future market direction.

In our current case, over the last couple months bitcoin has formed a very similar pattern to Distribution Schematic #1 shown above. The above schematic represents one of the possible ways a market can rise, find its top, and distribute assets to market.

Comparing the schematic above to the the current BTC-USD market pattern, we can see a lot of striking similarities:
Figure_3_again.JPGFigure 3: Wyckoff Schematic Within BTC-USD Trend

The nomenclature for this schematic is found here and is vital to understanding the upcoming discussion.

While a bearish continuation has yet to be confirmed, the most recent price hike this morning seems to fit the last test of the Wyckoff schematic LPSY (Last Point of Supply). The last point of supply is essentially a false rally where those who didn’t have an opportunity to sell on the previous LPSY now have an opportunity and will begin to sell into the more bullish traders who fall victim to a false breakout.

The SOW (sign of weakness) is marked by high sell volume that leads into an AR (automatic rally) where the sell pressure lets up and bullish traders assume a bottom has been hit. The automatic rally is marked by a bullish climb with great ease before finding its top near the previous lines of support shown above in green.

The LPSY is most notably described as a series of peaks and valleys on a fairly narrow spread as the bulls and bears exchange positions. During this LPSY, we will expect to see diminishing volume as the market pushes to new highs and becomes more and more difficult.

A closer view of the current trend reveals we have begun the process of weakening rallies with the LPSY:

Figure_4 (3).JPGFigure 4: BTC-USD, 5-Minute Candles, Bitfinex

Throughout the length of this small trend, we can see diminishing volume on each consecutive push toward new highs. If we manage to continue downward, expect turbulence at the $3000 levels and a possible secondary bounce as the $3000 level offers very strong, historic support.

It should be noted however, even though this current trend has a strong resemblance to the Wyckoff schematic, it is always important to confirm the trend before trading it. As with any market, it is entirely possible that this Wyckoff distribution pattern will fail and bitcoin will manage to continue onward and upward to new highs. A market reversal should definitely not be ruled out as the current market trend is showing a strong sign of uncertainty between the bulls and bears.

Whether the market breaks upward or downward, always confirm the move with strong volume to support a strong move in the direction the trend. Volatility is to be expected, but we approach the market with a level head and objectivity, seeing the proper positional entries and exits will much easier to spot.

Summary:

  1. Strong, bearish news hit the crypto community this week as China announced harsh regulations on the BTC to fiat transactions on exchanges.

  2. Currently BTC is seeing a strong rally off the $3000 levels but is showing signs of waning strength in the upward direction.

  3. A possible macro distribution pattern is unfolding and new lows could be in store for  bitcoin over the next few days and weeks.

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: How Rumblings From China Play Into Wyckoff Distributions appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 15 September 2017 | 4:17 pm

Mexican Bitcoin Exchange Bitso Aids Red Cross Earthquake Relief Efforts

Bitcoin exchange Bitso helps mexican hurricane relief

Bitso, a cryptocurrency exchange in Mexico, has continues its campaign to aid the victims of the recent earthquake in Mexico.

A few days ago, Bitso announced their support for the Mexican people who were affected by the recent earthquake. The cryptocurrency exchange has enabled donation wallets that can be used by the company’s clients to send aid using different digital currencies, such as bitcoin, ether and ripple. According to Bitso, cryptocurrency donations are a quick and efficient way to help the victims since the assets are easy to transfer.

Unfortunately, some people have lost their homes, their belongings, and sadly even the lives of their loved ones. We are hoping this aid will help them return to their daily activities as soon as possible.

Thousands of homes were destroyed and nearly 100 people have died across the country as a result of an earthquake that struck just before midnight on September 7. It reached a magnitude of 8.2 on the Richter scale.

The donation details can be found on the cryptocurrency exchange’s blog:

“Join this campaign and help the efforts made by the RED CROSS in Mexico by using the hashtag #BitcoinAidMexico and make a donation to one of the following accounts:
Bitcoin (BTC) 1DaHfXsoPfZ2jznJhB62vR3QEVFhhZ2tMR
Ethereum (ETH) 0x88B6021aE4BB9830f2E9D5BB38B83427b9D7ffEc
Ripple (XRP) rEFMdiTbLmZq5ZiMGrWGoyP48DMFqXjNkM [No Destination Tag required]”

The Red Cross thus far has been able to set up collection and relief centers in several areas affected by the earthquake, especially in the southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, benefiting around 24,000 people.

Due to the transparency, traceability and real-time reporting of the technology, donations can be easily tracked by users at any time. The total amount Bitso has raised will be exchanged later for Mexican Pesos (MXN) at market rates. Bitso wrote:

“The equivalent amount in Mexican Pesos will be transferred using a local bank wire to Cruz Roja I.A.P. (RED CROSS Mexico) to the bank account CLABE 012180004040404062. This CLABE number can be validated on their website https://www.cruzrojamexicana.org.mx or on their twitter account: https://twitter.com/CruzRoja_MX/status/906600599864582144

The deadline for sending the funds is September 15; however, Bitso added that if they still receive funds later, the company will exchange those donations between September 15 and 22, and wire them to the Mexican Red Cross.

Bitso highlighted that there is no minimum amount for donations and that they will accept all transactions. The company wrote that the fundraising started with them donating MXN $50,000, which will be added to the total amount of donations.

The amount the company has raised and the transaction proof will be publicly displayed for total transparency.

Bitso emphasized that although the Mexican Red Cross will ultimately receive the funds, user contributions cannot be used as tax deductions.

“Important: BITSO will not make any user contributions tax deductible. Mexican Pesos will be transferred on behalf of third parties according to Mexican law LISR artículo 35, and the following TIN XAXX010101000 will be used in order to generate the corresponding payment as ‘General Public Invoice.’”

The post Mexican Bitcoin Exchange Bitso Aids Red Cross Earthquake Relief Efforts appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 15 September 2017 | 12:07 pm

Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 Is Released: Here’s What’s New

Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 Released: Here’s What’s New

Today marks the official release of Bitcoin Core 0.15.0, the fifteenth generation of Bitcoin’s original software client launched by Satoshi Nakamoto almost nine years ago. Overseen by Bitcoin Core lead maintainer Wladimir van der Laan, this latest major release was developed by nearly 100 contributors over a six-month period, with major contributions through Chaincode Labs, Blockstream and MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative.

Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 offers significant performance and usability improvements over previous versions of the software implementation. It also introduces several new features to better deal with the current status of the network.

These are some of the more notable changes.

Chainstate Database Restructure

One of the biggest changes compared to previous versions of the software involves how the state of Bitcoin’s blockchain is stored. This “chainstate” or “UTXO-set” is saved in a dedicated database, whereas previously it had been categorized per transaction. If one transaction sent bitcoins to several outputs (“addresses”), these different outputs were stored as a single database entry, referring to that one transaction.

With Bitcoin Core 0.15.0, these outputs are instead stored in a single database entry each. If a single transaction sends bitcoins to different outputs, every output is stored separately. While this method does claim more disc space, it requires less computational resources if one of these outputs is spent later on.

The most concrete benefit of this new data structure is that initial sync-time for new nodes is decreased by about 40 percent. It also introduces simpler code, reduces memory usage  and more. Additionally, it fixes a bug that could theoretically crash Bitcoin Core nodes, controversially revealed at last weekend’s Breaking Bitcoin conference in Paris.

Improved Fee Estimation

As Bitcoin blocks have been filling up over the last year or two, not all transactions fit in the first block that is mined. Instead, miners typically prioritize the transactions that include the most fees. If a user wants to have his transaction confirmed quickly, he should include a high enough fee. If he’s not in a rush, a lower fee should suffice.

However, the Bitcoin network deals with inherent unpredictability in terms of the speed at which blocks are found or the number of transactions that is being transmitted at any time. This makes it hard to include the right transaction fee.

Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 lowers this fee uncertainty: The newest version of the software includes significantly better fee estimation algorithms. This is mostly because the software takes more data into account when making the estimations, such as the fees included in older confirmed transactions, as well as fees in unconfirmed transactions — the fees that proved insufficient.

Additionally, users can enjoy more flexibility. For one, Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 for the first time allows users to include fees that could take their transactions up to a week to confirm. And, also newly introduced, users can choose to accept more or less risk that their transaction could be delayed due to a sudden influx of transactions.

Replace-by-fee in User Interface

Even with improved fee estimation, it is possible that users will still need to wait longer than they want for their transactions to confirm, perhaps because there is a sudden rush of transactions on the network, or maybe because a user changed his mind and prefers to have a transaction confirm faster than originally paid for, or for other reasons.

For these cases, some wallets let users add a “replace-by-fee” tag to their transactions. With such a tag, nodes and miners on the network know that the sender may want to replace that transaction with a newer transaction that includes a higher fee. This effectively allows users to bump the transaction in line to have it confirmed faster.

Bitcoin Core nodes have supported replace-by-fee for well over a year now: They already replace “replace-by-fee” tagged transactions if the new transaction includes more fees. But it was never easy to utilize for Bitcoin Core wallet users themselves.

Until now.

The Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 wallet introduces a replace-by-fee toggle in its user interface. This lets users include the appropriate tag, allowing them to easily increase the fees on their transactions later on.

Multi-wallet Support (Client and RPC Only)

Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 lets users create several wallets for the first time. These wallets all have their own separate Bitcoin addresses, private keys and, therefore, funds. Users can utilize the different wallets for different purposes; for example, one wallet can be used for personal day-to-day purchases, another for business-related transactions, and a third just for trading.

Using several wallets can offer a number of benefits. For instance, it makes accounting easier and more convenient. Additionally, users can more easily benefit from increased privacy as the different wallets cannot be linked to each other by blockchain analysis. It’s also possible to use different wallets for specific applications and more.

For now, multi-wallet support is not yet available for regular wallet users; only advanced users who operate from the command line or through connected applications can utilize the feature.

Other Improvements

Apart from the above mentioned notable changes, Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 includes a number of additional performance improvements, as most new major Bitcoin Core releases do. Concretely, these changes speed up how quickly blocks are downloaded from the network, they let nodes start up faster, and up-to-date nodes will be able to validate new blocks more quickly, in turn benefiting network-propagation time.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 will disconnect from BTC1 peers on the network. This means that the Bitcoin network will experience less disruption if the SegWit2x hard fork splits the network, as both types of nodes will more easily find compatible peers. While this change has gotten some media attention, this change shouldn’t really be noticeable.

Thanks to Chaincode Labs developer John Newbery for feedback and suggestions. For more details on what’s new in Bitcoin Core 0.15.0, see the release notes, or watch Bitcoin Core contributor Gregory Maxwell’s “deep dive” presentation at the San Francisco Bitcoin developers meetup.

The post Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 Is Released: Here’s What’s New appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 14 September 2017 | 8:41 am

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NO2X: Breaking Bitcoin Shows No Love for the SegWit2x Hard Fork in Paris

no 2x breaking bitcoin

“There’s no such thing as a safe hard fork,” Electrum lead developer Thomas Voegtlin corrected an audience member at the Breaking Bitcoin conference in Paris last weekend. “I would recommend to have replay protection, of course,” he added.

Community support for SegWit2x, the Bitcoin scaling proposal spearheaded by Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group, was virtually absent in Paris. Whenever the “2x” part of the New York Agreement was discussed in the French capital, speakers and visitors overwhelmingly considered it a risk to defend against — not a proposal to help succeed.

Electrum users, for example, will not blindly follow hash power in case of a chain-split, Voegtlin explained throughout his talk; instead, they’ll be able to choose which side of such a split they want to be on. And importantly, the lightweight wallet will implement security measures to prevent users from accidentally spending funds on both chains: “replay protection” that seems unlikely to be implemented on a protocol level if SegWit2x does fork off.

“We are ready,” Voegtlin said. “If [SegWit2x] doesn’t include replay protection, the fork detection we have in Electrum will be useful.”

Breaking Bitcoin

Inspired by the successful Scaling Bitcoin conference format, the French Bitcoin community hosted the first edition of Breaking Bitcoin two blocks from the Eiffel Tower last weekend. Bitcoin developers, academics and other technical-minded Bitcoiners gathered for a diverse program, but with the common denominator being Bitcoin’s security.

“For the past two years, the Bitcoin community has been obsessing with scale and scalability,” Kevin Loaec, managing director at Chainsmiths and co-organizer of the event, told Bitcoin Magazine. “But I’m not so worried about scale, I’m worried about mining centralization, a lack of privacy and fungibility ... these kinds of things. As an industry we need to recognize there are more challenges than just scalability; hopefully this conference reflects that.”

Whereas the first Scaling Bitcoin conference two years ago was a very specific reaction to a looming block size limit increase hard fork — then put forth by Bitcoin XT — this wasn’t necessarily the motivation behind Breaking Bitcoin. Yet, once again, a controversial hard fork is looming on the horizon. This time imbedded in the BTC1 implementation developed by Bloq co-founder Jeff Garzik, the New York Agreement’s SegWit2x is scheduled to increase Bitcoin’s “base block size limit” to two megabytes by November — an incompatible protocol change that could split the Bitcoin network in two.

And it did not take much to recognize how unpopular the proposal was in Paris. Perhaps most vividly, Italian Bitcoin startup ChainSide led a protest campaign by distributing NO2X stickers; the Twitter hashtag was proudly added as a piece of flair to the by now well-known Make Bitcoin Great Again and UASF hats. And voices critical of the project — like Voegtlin and his call for replay protection — could consistently count on rounds of applause. From a technical perspective, the proposal is often considered — quite frankly — to be reckless.

“Unfortunately, SegWit2x […] was designed to effectively be as disruptive to the minority chain,” MyRig engineer and BIP91 author James Hilliard said on stage during the miner panel.

SegWit2x: The Arguments

Arguments against the 2x hard fork are diverse.

Perhaps its biggest problem, SegWit2x currently lacks basic safety measures to prevent unsuspecting users from losing funds. This includes, most importantly, the aforementioned replay protection, but a new address format would be similarly helpful.

Additionally, the three-month lead time for this specific hard fork is considered extremely short — assuming the goal is to prevent a chain-split in the first place. “If you ask any of the developers, they will typically want to see 18 months or two years lead time, for something with as wide an impact on all the software and hardware out there as a hard fork,” Blockstream co-founder and Hashcash inventor Dr. Adam Back noted during a Q&A session.

And if the chain does split into different networks and currencies — one following the current Bitcoin protocol and one adopting the hard fork — the question becomes which of the two gets to use the name “Bitcoin.” So far, proponents of the SegWit2x hard fork have shown no willingness to pick a new name.

This branding issue, Bitcoin Core contributor and Ciphrex co-founder Eric Lombrozo pointed out, provides yet another point of controversy.

“My personal opinion is that whomever is proposing the change, the onus is on them to demonstrate widespread support,” Lombrozo said during his talk on protocol changes. “The people that want to keep status quo don’t need to show anything. It’s the people who want to change the stuff that actually need to demonstrate there is widespread support.”

And for now, not everyone is convinced that SegWit2x does indeed have this level of support — or anything close to it. While several large mining pools, as well as a significant number of companies, have signed on to the New York Agreement, this agreement was itself drafted without any feedback from Bitcoin’s technical community nor — even more important — a reliable gauge of user sentiment.

And while some Bitcoin companies claim to represent their customers, this is — once again — not taken for granted by everyone.

“One debate I want to draw attention to,” venture capitalist Alyse Killeen pointed out, “is the debate whether businesses speak for their users. I think this is probably a debate you would only see now in this space because it’s pretty well established that businesses outside of this space do not speak for users, but it’s a debate we still have in our community. Of course they don’t.”

NO2X

If Breaking Bitcoin in Paris can be considered at all representative of SegWit2x’s community support — which, it should be noted, is not necessarily the case — the proposal will face an uphill battle to be widely accepted in November.

Indeed, some signatories of the agreement are not so sure about the hard fork anymore: Bitwala and F2Pool have publicly backed out of the agreement. And, during a mining panel in Paris, Bitfury CIO Alex Petrov ever so slightly opened the door to potentially withdrawing support as well, if both the original and the 2x chain manage to survive.

In fact, it’s not just that contentious hard forks are considered a threat to be defended against by Bitcoin’s technical community. It goes beyond that.

In the words of Bitcoin developer Jimmy Song, at the conclusion of his opening talk of the event:

“What doesn’t kill Bitcoin makes it stronger. And conferences like this prove that we’re getting better at this. We’re getting immunized to all these hard forks, and it’s creating a better Bitcoin as a result, and that’s a very good thing. We’re securing against a lot of these attacks, and figuring out ways to mitigate these threats.”

Image courtesy of Federico Tenga

The post NO2X: Breaking Bitcoin Shows No Love for the SegWit2x Hard Fork in Paris appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 12 September 2017 | 1:58 pm

Japanese Company Will Launch New Bitcoin Mining Operation With 7 nm Chips

GMO Internet Group Launches Massive Bitcoin Mining Operation With 7 nm Chips

GMO Internet Group, a Japanese provider of a full spectrum of internet services for both the consumer and enterprise markets, is launching a new Bitcoin mining business utilizing next-generation 7 nanometer (7 nm) semiconductor chips. “[We] believe this new business has high potential for increasing corporate value in the future,” states the company.

Headquartered in Tokyo, GMO IG comprises more than 60 companies in 10 countries. GMO IG’s size and financial muscle, as well as the novel technologies it wants to leverage, will make it a serious entrant in the Bitcoin mining industry, and one that could have a disruptive impact.

“We will operate a next-generation mining center utilizing renewable energy and cutting-edge semiconductor chips in Northern Europe,” GMO stated, emphasizing that they will invest in R&D and manufacturing of hardware including the next-generation mining chip. “We will use cutting-edge 7 nm process technology for chips to be used in the mining process, and jointly work on its research and development and manufacturing with our alliance partner having semiconductor design technology.”

The International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors defines 7 nm semiconductor chip technology as the next technology iteration following 10 nm technology, which, in turn, follows the 14-16 nm technology that currently represents the state-of the-art hardware in the Bitcoin mining industry. Commercial production of 7 nm chips is still in the development stage with GlobalFoundries, IBM, Intel, Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) competing for market leadership.

According to a recent article in Android Authority, TSMC seems to be in the pole position in this race, having already showcased a preliminary 7 nm SRAM chip — not yet a full system on a chip (SoC) but an important milestone. Intel is said to be planning the upgrade of a manufacturing plant in Arizona to start building 7 nm SoCs. Samsung and GlobalFoundries are also striving to catch up.

According to Quartz, 7 nm technology would be four times more energy efficient than the current Bitcoin mining industry standard. Therefore, once 7 nm chips are in use, all other miners will have to upgrade to stay in the game.

“It’s clearly the next generation of miners,” Diego Gutierrez, CEO of mining software developer RSK Labs, told Quartz. “The other [mining chip makers] will surely follow and create their own 7 nm chips if they are not already doing it. As [chip manufacturers] get the new technology, everybody can access it.”

“We believe that cryptocurrencies will develop into ‘new universal currencies’ available for use by anyone from any country or region to freely exchange ‘value,’ creating a new borderless economic zone,” notes GMO IG. “[Bitcoin] can be regarded as a distributed system whose credibility is secured by mutual monitoring by network participants, as opposed to legal currencies which are a centralized system whose credibility is secured by the issuer. And management of a distributed system such as [Bitcoin] requires a mining process.”

The entry in the Bitcoin mining sector of these new Japanese players with relatively deep pockets is likely to be welcomed by those concerned about China’s dominance of the mining industry. For example, Chinese mining operator and hardware manufacturer Bitmain plays a dominant role in the $70 billion Bitcoin economy. Its mining pools, Antpool, BTC.com and ConnectBTC, account for around 30 percent of all the processing power on the global Bitcoin network, while the company is also the market leader for specialized mining hardware, including ASIC chips.

In related news, another large Japanese company, DMM, announced the launch of its own Virtual Currency Division, scheduled to begin operation of a virtual currency mining business “DMM Mining Farm” in October 2017. According to the company, which hasn’t released further information, DMM will operate one of the 10 largest mining farms in the world before the end of 2018.


The post Japanese Company Will Launch New Bitcoin Mining Operation With 7 nm Chips appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 12 September 2017 | 11:58 am

How One Blockchain Startup Is Combatting Centralization of the Credit Industry

How One Blockchain Startup Will Combat Centralization in Credit Industry

Startup company Bloom seeks to take advantage of blockchain technology’s perks to create a platform where the participants will have global access to credit services.

According to Bloom, the traditional methods of credit checking leaves billions of people without basic credit services. The stats of the company show that fewer than 9 percent of the citizens in developing countries have ever taken a loan from a financial institution. The lack of access to credit services forces numerous people to take loans from the shady underworld of illegal lending, the company states. Bloom believes that, no matter the country or the region, access to credit “is a fundamental cornerstone of social mobility” since it is the key for individuals to reach their economic goals.

Bloom also pointed out the problem of governmental monopolies in credit checking. According to the startup, 90 percent of the top lenders in the United States use the FICO score, which is in the hands of the U.S. government. Bloom stated that, despite the popularity of FICO, the credit system leaves over 45 million U.S. citizens with no credit score, thus, they are not allowed to — or they have to work hard to — take loans from financial institutions. The blockchain startup also highlighted the issues of other countries:

“In China, your credit score is affected by your political opinions. France, Portugal, Spain and the Nordic countries do not have credit scores, opting to only report negative information to your file. In the United Arab Emirates, religious restrictions on lending have prevented the development of a consumer credit reporting system. In the United Kingdom, you will have trouble getting a high credit score if you are not registered to vote.”

With its Ethereum-based platform, Bloom seeks to migrate all lenders to the blockchain. The company is currently developing an end-to-end protocol for identity verification, risk assessment and credit scoring, all kept on the blockchain. By implementing blockchain tech, Bloom strives to find solutions to the issues within the credit system. Furthermore, the Bloom platform will offer cross-border, global services for 7 billion individuals, the company wrote.

Implementing blockchain technology within the credit system would also provide solutions to security issues. Equifax, one of the three largest U.S. credit agencies, was recently breached by cybercriminals, leaving approximately 143 million Americans exposed. The FBI is currently investigating the hack; however, the Equifax cyberattack ranks among the three largest data breaches of all time, according to The Wall Street Journal. The publication reported that the current breach could be the most dangerous of all since the attackers were able to acquire key personal identification documents — names, addresses, Social Security numbers and dates of birth — all at once.

“It’s certainly the worst single breach of personal information that I know of. This data is the key to everyone’s files and interactions with financial services, government and health care,” Avivah Litan, vice president of the industry-research firm Gartner Inc., said in a statement to the WSJ.

Equifax reported that the credit card details of approximately 209,000 U.S. customers were compromised in the hack. According to independent security researcher Andrew Komarov, the financial details could be sold for $500,000 on underground markets, such as dark net marketplaces.

Bloom published a blog post in response to the Equifax breach. The company seeks to solve the security issues within the credit industry by creating their own decentralized protocol. Bloom strives to implement globally federated, secure IDs on the blockchain. This way, according to the startup, they can “dramatically mitigate” the risk of identity theft by reducing their reliance on single-source forms of identity verification.

The post How One Blockchain Startup Is Combatting Centralization of the Credit Industry appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 12 September 2017 | 11:31 am

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

Posted on 12 June 2017 | 1:06 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

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

September 19, 2017 -
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