Bitcoin Development Similar to
1800s Gold Rush

    

Present day Bitcoin and altcoin development

appear to be recounting a theory that played out in the early mining industry. As was the pattern during the actual gold rush of the 1800s, while some people took the risk and spent their time looking for gold, other folks watched on non-judgmentally and lucratively supplied the "picks and shovels" that enabled the fever-pitched masses to take a shot at "striking it big." Drawing on some similarities and contrasts between the actual "gold rush" and the new "digital gold rush" provides a good framework to describe how industries today are being impacted by Bitcoin. Bitcoin evangelist and technologist Melvin Petties explains how the emergence of Bitcoin has given rise to different kinds of related endeavors, pointing out the attitude of some key players and the impact on the crypto ecosystem.

Picks And Shovels Model: Industries That Make Equipment

According to Petties, in the olden days, the absolute quantity of precious metal was not known so the risk of participation was greater. The big rewards were random yet impactful – whole towns were built from major gold strikes, which made the lure to participate even greater.  People from all walks of life, even the very poor, were compelled to participate and their chances of success were arguably relatively the same.

Irresponsible

Fast forward to the present day, Petties notes that not just anybody can make a "pick and shovel" when it comes to Bitcoin mining.

Petties says:

“In fact, the technology is so coveted that for the years between 2013-2015 (Bitcoin good time days) most mining equipment providers were ultimately found to be fraudulent or irresponsible in how they pre-sold equipment but never delivered it.”

Petties explains that microchip shortages were always the common scapegoat. However, the real issue was that most people who knew how to make a real pick and shovel (ASIC chip-based mining computer) held onto the knowledge, built the product, mined with it for most of its practical lifetime (innovations were happening every month and the difficulty level was rising even more rapidly due to the rush of entrants) and then delivered it to the customer only when it was virtually worthless.  

Wild West Days

Also, most other cloud mining or new mining equipment companies were either not worth the ROI at the time (if you were thinking short-term) or an elaborate pre-order scam/trap for victims. The latter was willing to send Bitcoin to anywhere in the world to receive a miner.  Consumer protection was non-existent which made the "buyer beware" burden too heavy and often times a soul-crushing experience to be scammed. Compared to the gold rush of the 1800s, Petties notes that it was not possible to have a massive stealth mining operation. However, in the crypto age, that's exactly what a lot of companies did to cement their space and build a massive moat around themselves to eventually experiment with other value-added services to be built on top of the network that they breathed life into.

Me Too Shops

Another area of significant comparison in terms of activities surrounding the development of Bitcoin is the “value-added service industry.” Petties points out that in the 1800s during the gold rush, pop-up towns and communities were the norms. When a lucky team would strike a big vein they would ultimately reinvest the wealth back into the community, opening banks, general stores, parlors, salons and housing for the existent and soon to arrive patrons that would have certainly heard the news and set their sights to capture some of that same luck.

In the big booming Bitcoin days, this represents all of the "me too" shops that began to publicly accept Bitcoin and make a splash in the news. All the activity served to drive more and more VC money into the space as the community searched for "killer apps" that would live on top of Bitcoin and usher in Bitcoin 2.0 – streamlined payments, borderless markets, no remittances, etc. Ultimately, the most impacted industries were not retail due to the existing reluctance towards the mainstream adoption of the cryptocurrency.  

Value-Added Services

Petties sees some positivity from the circumstances. He notes that what happened through all of that is the discovery of financial services as the real added value, namely legitimate exchanges that were run by competent folks who knew how to secure digital currency and could partner with banks and insurance companies to properly protect customer accounts. Petties concludes by explaining that because Bitcoin, as money, is Blockchain's first "killer app," the obvious industries that will shine will be those that facilitate the safe transfer of crypto and investment exposure – that is financial services. “I'm encouraged by the strides that the Winklevoss brothers have taken to make that a reality,” says Petties. “True pioneers in understanding the need to make digital currency safe and broadly available in a regulatory compliant way.”

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Bitcoin, Ethereum Lead the Way as Cryptocurrencies Retreat into the Red

    

Cryptocurrency traders woke up to a sea of red this morning

, as 92 of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap experienced a marked price decline. The bitcoin price led the retreat, falling over 6% toward $2,400. Bitcoin has declined almost $600 since it pierced the $3,000 barrier two weeks ago.

No Flippening Today

Bitcoin price declines always increase discussions about the “Flippening,” the potential future event when another cryptocurrency (presumably Ethereum) will supplant bitcoin as the largest cryptocurrency by market cap. However, Ethereum has been dealing with its own problems. On June 22, it experienced a flash crash on GDAX, although it quickly recovered. More worrisome is the fact that Ethereum is experiencing network congestion and has yet to implement a long-term solution. Consequently, the ethereum price has fared even worse than bitcoin. In the past 24 hours, the ethereum price fell 13% to $285.23. Ethereum too has been experiencing an elongated price decline, having fallen nearly $130 since it hit $410 on June 12. Significantly, ethereum’s ~$26.5 billion market cap is now only 63% of bitcoin’s ~$41.8 billion market cap.

Massacre Extends to Altcoins

The Monday Massacre did not stop with bitcoin and ethereum; altcoins are down across the board. Not even litecoin, which has experienced a price resurgence over the past several months, could swim against the current. The litecoin price fell 9.87% to $41.29. It has fallen nearly 20% since it topped out at $50 leading up to its listing on BitStamp.But the massacre did not stop there Only eight of the top 100 cryptocurrencies managed to avoid the bloodbath. Thirtieth-ranked Byteball was the largest cryptocurrency to experience a price increase, just barely moving the needle 1.84% to $781.20. Tether, MCAP, LEOCoin, OBITS, and Mooncoin each managed to tread water or increase slightly.

Lest one attribute the altcoin price decline to the fact that most altcoins rely on bitcoin as their major trading pair, the price charts look nearly as bad when you switch from USD to BTC. Nearly every altcoin declined against bitcoin. The lone standout in the top 100 was 54th-ranked CloakCoin, whose price rose 41% to $10.09 (.0037 BTC). This is a new all-time high for CloakCoin, who previously rose to a high of .0033 BTC in late July 2014 before crashing in August and September.

A Bump in the Road or Cause for Concern?

Mainstream economists and news outlets rush to pronounce bitcoin’s impending doom every time it experiences a price decline, so don’t be surprised if you see some trigger-happy “Is This the End for Bitcoin?” headlines pop up in your newsfeed if the downward trend continues. Nevertheless, it is far more likely this market downturn is just a bump in the road for cryptocurrency prices. That said, both Bitcoin and Ethereum are facing scaling difficulties and will need to implement long-term solutions. Bitcoin’s test will come with the upcoming Segwit2x activation. All signs indicate Bitcoin will avoid a network fork on August 1, but any unexpected developments could lead to price volatility.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Factors Pushing Bitcoin Prices
Higher in 2017

For newcomers to the market looking to make a quick win, the rollercoaster of a year has probably been a time of scratching heads and possibly a few tears shed. For the long-term investor, however, these periods are part of the journey and opportune times to snap up some more coins when the price takes a dip. Despite the precautionary cries of ‘bursting bubbles’, these market corrections are an anticipated occurrence.

    
Legislative Changes for Cryptos

Earlier this year, Japan announced that as of 1 April 2017, the country would recognise bitcoin as legal tender and make the provisions for administrative and accounting systems to be enhanced for cryptocurrency transactions to take place seamlessly. This was undoubtedly the major contributing factor to an initial surge in the price as Japanese individuals and corporations alike scrambled on exchanges to secure bitcoin for future purchases. Hundreds of thousands of retailers in the area are said to be equipping themselves to accept bitcoin payments, with a low cost airline, Peach, becoming the first commercial carrier to directly offer consumers tickets paid in bitcoin.

Australia quickly followed suit, announcing accelerated amendments to legislation that eliminated the incumbent double taxation on digital currency transactions. As it stands, Australians using bitcoin for transactions are liable for the 10% goods and services tax (GST) plus a further 10% tax for using ‘intangible property’ as a payment medium. Come 1 July 2017, these transactions will only attract GST, and be exempt from further taxation, no doubt fuelling a greater adoption of digital currency transactions. The proactive progression by these countries certainly paves the way for others to learn from their integration and regulatory practices, empowering mainstream bitcoin adoption, which naturally pushes the price higher as demand increases.

Scaling Debate Resolution

The scaling debate has been a long-standing hurdle for Bitcoin growth. The decentralised nature of bitcoin, which naturally is one of its most appealing qualities, presents some challenges when it comes to governance of remedial action. In an ecosystem where no single entity can dictate changes to the framework, a majority consensus must be reached. The fact remains that Bitcoin needs to scale from its current transactional capacity in order to meet the demands placed on the network in terms of the growing number of transactions, as the current block size is impeding quick and cost-effective transactions.

Whilst several proposals have been put forward, the Bitcoin community have yet to come to agreement on a viable solution that satisfies the majority, while at the same time doing what is best for the wider user base. In May 2017, at the annual Consensus conference, held in New York, an agreement has been signed by a ‘critical mass of the bitcoin ecosystem’ that set out a plan for the adoption of SegWit with a planned hard fork to a 2MB blocksize within six months. While further clarity is needed, it would appear that we may finally come to a point of breaking the stalemate, which will contributing factor in Bitcoin being able to advance and reach its full potential.

Economic and Political Uncertainty

One of Bitcoin’s undeniable drivers of growth are citizens who have lost confidence in their country’s ability to maintain sound economic and political policies, and desperately seek to establish their own sense of financial freedom outside the manipulation of governments.

Venezuela

Take Venezuela for example. An overly aggressive expansionary monetary policy has resulted in hyperinflation, which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects to reach an explosive 1,660% this year. This has led to an unparalleled economic and social crisis. The removal of the 100 Bolivar note (the largest denomination and still worth only a few US cents) from circulation in December 2016 alongside the lack of availability of the planned 500 to 20,000 Bolivar notes, led to widespread chaos and violent protests amongst Venezuelans, who for the most part were heavily reliant on cash but were effectively left without money for weeks on end.

It is reported that the minimum wage is around 200,000 Bolivars, yet a single basket of groceries costs in the region of 770,000 Bolivars, nearly 4 times the minimum monthly wage. Whilst the government provide some subsidised basic goods, the ‘outlets’ have become hotspots for vicious crime and citizens have to weigh up the risks of cheaper food against the dangers that face them in the queues. This is what happens when people reach such levels of despair to survive. The alarming surge in crimes such as kidnapping and murder leave most Venezuelans living in fear for their lives on a daily basis, with little in the way of respite.

India

India is another prime example, where the most recent, and possibly most extreme case of a modern-day war on cash occurred in December 2016. Under the pretence of curbing criminal action and tax evasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi effectively wiped out 86% of notes in circulation overnight, when he announced the demonetisation of 500 and 1,000 Rupee notes with immediate effect. Exchange was possible, but within a limited time frame and only up to a certain amount, the rest having to be processed via a bank account. This, in a country where almost half its population has no access to formal banking, let alone a bank account. This is just one of the reasons bitcoin holds such appeal in tempestuous economic climates. With Bitcoin, you are assured a level of financial security your money is removed from the coercion of the centralised system, therefore protecting your wealth from political agendas, damaging inflation and capital controls.

Increased Inflow of Institutional Money

Financial institutions, who are historically wary about Bitcoin are increasingly showing signs of interest in the digital asset. When compared to the performance of stock markets and fiat currencies, combined with more and more regulatory structure coming into place, it is unsurprising that institutional money has started flow into the crypto-economy. Regulation is arguably one of the largest barriers to cryptocurrency investment for institutions. Two nations, in particular, have been influential in this regard; Sweden and Japan. Sweden was one of the first movers in terms of a regulated Bitcoin investment. Back in May 2015, the KnC Group launched the world’s first ‘Bitcoin Tracker’ known as an exchange-traded note (ETN), which is publicly traded on a regulated exchange. This represented massive progress for Bitcoin at the time and essentially opened the market for institutions and private individuals to gain a regulated exposure to Bitcoin.

The ETN is designed to mirror the price movements of the underlying asset being USD/BTC. The company offering the ETN, XBT Provider, is required to hold the equivalent number of bitcoins as the number of ETN’s issued. In other words, when a financial institution or private investor purchases, XBT Provider has to purchase the same amount of bitcoins to back up the note. Earlier this month, Hargreaves Lansdown, the UK’s largest brokerage, announced that their clients would be able to access the ETN via their SIPP and brokerage accounts. This has opened the doors for retail and institutional investors to gain a regulated Bitcoin exposure in the UK.

As mentioned earlier, Japan has played a crucial role in moving bitcoin into the mainstream. This move has provided institutional players with the much-needed vote of confidence required before they got on board. Russia and India are looking likely to be the next countries to announce positive legislation after an increase in interest within the regions. This will further stimulate institutional investment into Bitcoin, leading to a stronger and more prosperous market for all.

Mainstream Momentum

Perhaps this can be linked back to the fact that with growing interest, and impressive growth, the media have been covering Bitcoin more and more frequently, exposing it to a wider audience. Personally, I have had more and more dinner table discussions about Bitcoin with friends, family, ex-colleagues and acquaintances, outside of the ‘cryptocurrency world’, all now showing interest in Bitcoin.

It was this month that the Wall Street Journal mentioned Bitcoin on its front page, highlighting that Bitcoin has had a strong 2017. This mainstream recognition for Bitcoin’s performance has been long awaited and will be a stimulus for continual momentum. It was only 2 years ago that most of the mainstream news stations were reporting Bitcoin’s demise. What a turn of events it has been. The factors I have outlined above are merely a few of the positive fundamentals Bitcoin has going for it. Driving demand, expanding its utility and subsequently, increasing its value and price. So yes, I am confident when I say that Bitcoin will continue to break through all time highs and find favour above the $3,000 mark before the bells ring in 2018.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

The Cannabis Industry, the Blockchain, and Dennis Rodman Gives PotCoin
a New High

Cannabis has been legalized in numerous states

across the United States. However, the cannabis industry is still plagued with limited access to banking services as traditional banks want to avoid dealing with businesses that engage in business activities that are still largely illegal under federal law. That is where cryptocurrencies could offer a solution.

Due to the loosening of anti-cannabis laws across America, the legal weed retail industry has grown quickly over the years and is expected to keep growing rapidly as more states debate and decide on its legality. Both the medicinal and recreational use of cannabis has been legalized in Alaska, California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine, and the District of Columbia, while the medical use of cannabis has also been legalized in an additional 20 states across the US. In late 2016, leading investment bank Cowen and Company published a report on the Cannabis industry titled, “The Cannabis Compendium: Cross-Sector Views on a Budding Industry” which postulates that the industry would grow to $50 billion by the year 2026.

However, because cannabis is still illegal under federal law, most legal dispensaries are having to conduct purely cash-based business, given most banks and other financial institutions will not allow them access to financial services as a result of regulatory constrictions. This leaves weed retailers vulnerable to theft, which criminals have exploited, as evidenced by statistics on dispensary robberies. The blockchain industry is looking to remedy this. Due to the decentralized nature and inherent security of the blockchain, it offers a unique selling proposition as a payments solution for the cannabis industry.

Dennis Rodman Gives PotCoin a New High

PotCoin was created in 2014 to cater to the needs of the unbanked cannabis industry. The coin works on a proof of stake system with an Annual Percentage Interest (APR) of five percent. The coin also boasts fast processing time with relatively low fees. Though the coin has exhibited steady growth in its three years of existence, there has been a substantial spike in its price this week due to its sponsorship of retired Basketball star and Hall-of-Famer Dennis Rodman’s trip to North Korea.

According to PotCoin spokesperson Shawn Perez, the main reason for the sponsorship of Rodman’s trip was to support “Dennis Rodman's mission to bring peace to the world." Though the visit does not seem to have any visible ties to the cannabis industry, PotCoin has benefitted from the media attention that has surrounded Rodman’s journey to North Korea. According to Coin Market Cap, the coin has shown over 70 percent growth, from just below $0.10 to $0.17 since the sponsorship was announced.

POSaBIT

Washington-based bitcoin startup POSaBIT has created a financial platform that allows customers at weed retailers to make purchases using their regular credit cards. The platform uses bitcoin as an intermediate payment system. Jon Baugher, co-founder of POSaBIT explained: “There’s no industry – whether it’s the production and sale of cannabis or the production and sale of a cup of coffee – that can operate safely, transparently or effectively without access to banks or other financial institutions and traditional services. That’s where we thought we could leverage the use of digital currency.” The technology facilitates customers’ quick and easy access to bitcoin at the point of sale who can then use the digital currency anywhere that it is accepted. The platform is already in use by 30 dispensaries in the state of Washington.

The platform is attractive to cash-only merchants who want to accept another form of payment, retailers that want to be seen as more technologically savvy so as to differentiate themselves from the competition, and for small businesses that want to maximize profits by capitalizing on digital currencies’ low transaction fees. The technology is compliant with Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations while complying with laws regulating the cannabis trade. Since the platform reduces the reliance on cash as a medium of exchange, it is making dispensaries safer working environments for employees as there is less of an incentive for theft.

SinglePoint and First Bitcoin Capital

Holding company SinglePoint and blockchain technology provider First Bitcoin Capital announced a partnership on June 6. The joint venture agreement aims to create an efficient and workable payments solution for cannabis retailers using blockchain technology. Greg Lambrecht, SinglePoint CEO, explained: "In January 2014 SinglePoint announced and started working on a bitcoin payment solution, shortly after we recognized the issue of minimal user adoption of digital currency. The payments industry has rapidly changed since that time. There is now tremendous momentum and demand for bitcoin acceptance as an alternative form of payment.

This Joint Venture with First Bitcoin Capital is perfect timing. Bitcoin payments are catching on, and cannabis dispensaries need a solution fast." SinglePoint has previously worked with leading companies such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon on technology integration systems that have allowed for a more robust use of communication technology as a payment solution. The company now hopes to use this experience to create a workable solution for weed retailers.

Greg Rubin of First Bitcoin Capital stated: "We are optimistic that our partnership with SinglePoint will produce positive cash flow to our bottom line. Between the two of our companies, we will have the ability to develop a best in class solution, and SinglePoint will be able to help in distribution. We look forward to providing cutting-edge products and services to all states through the establishment of this new venture." “As with the massive and widespread adoption of Bitcoin worldwide, the two companies will pursue opportunities to leverage their payment technology background and develop a proprietary solution specifically for high-risk payment verticals including the cannabis industry.” the press release adds.

The two companies believe they have found a way for a smooth customer experience at the point of sale at weed dispensaries. Using SinglePoints’ technology integration experience and First Bitcoin Capital’s tech background, the company will create an “all-encompassing payment solution” for the retail cannabis industry. The platform will be easy to integrate into the existing point of sale machinery through a simple download. With the retail cannabis industry set to grow quickly in the coming years and the continuing lack of regulatory support at the federal level, it seems like the industry will have to rely on blockchain technology and digital currencies to facilitate easy trade and to securely store its profits.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Boom Time:
Ethereum Price Surpasses
$400 in All-Time High

    

Ethereum price surged Monday to $407.10,

a record high, largely on the growing investment in cryptocurrency driven in large measure by bitcoin. Monday’s record high marked more than a 5,000 percent gain this year for Ethereum, which was trading at under $8.00 in January.Posting close to a 14-point gain in the last 24 hours, Ethereum was closing in on bitcoin, which suffered nearly a 10-point drop in the last 24-hour period, according to coinmarketcap.com. By the end of the day Monday, Ethereum’s market cap was $36.447 billion, compared to $43.997 billion for bitcoin.Ethereum’s long-term rise has followed bitcoin’s, which traded above $3,000 on Sunday, also a record.Pavel Matveev, co-founder of Wirex, told CNBC the strong interest in bitcoin has boosted investor interest in alternative cryptocurrencies that are delivering better gains. The expansion of ICOs has also raised awareness of altcoins.

Ethereum’s Unique Qualities

While bitcoin’s rise boosts altcoins, there is also fundamental demand for Ethereum, Matveev said, adding that bitcoin and Ethereum serve different needs. Ethereum supports smart contracts, which has attracted significant interest among financial institutions and other companies.The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance formed to connect large enterprises to blockchain technology. The alliance includes Intel, JPMorgan, Microsoft, Toyota, Samsung, the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), the San Francisco Stock Exchange and others.

Ethereum has also attracted significant investor interest, based on the variety of currencies used to purchase Ethers. More than 83% of Ether buying was purchased using bitcoin a year ago, according to CryptoCompare. As of last week, bitcoin only accounted for 32% of the buying. Fiat currencies like the U.S. dollar and the Korean won have contributed a growing portion. Charles Hayter, CEO of CryptoCompare, said fiat options are fleshing out of the Ethereum ecosystem, showing its broad appeal. Ethereum’s transaction volumes reached 50% of bitcoin’s in late May for the first time, suggesting Ethereum is being widely used. Google searches for Ethereum reached an all-time high in early May. Ethereum also made history recently by becoming the most secure public blockchain out of all in existence, overcoming bitcoin for the first time ever since its inception, as measured by what is called a Köppelmann Constant.

National Governments Embrace Ethereum

Some countries appear to be using ETH as a hedge against national currencies. Switzerland, where the Ethereum Foundation is based, showed the strongest interest, followed by Venezuela, which is suffering triple-digit inflation. South Korea seems to have fallen in love with the currency. Its three largest exchanges handle twice the ETH/fiat volume of Coinbase’s GDAX and Kraken combined. South Korea is also big into fantasy sports, an area where ETH’s smart contracts can be used to make the game more transparent and reduce cheating. The government of Singapore recently conducted a test to digitize a national currency using the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum’s founder, Vitalik Buterin, recently met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a high profile development that lends more credibility to Ethereum.

Next Challenge: $467 Level

Nicola Duke, a Forex Analytix technical analyst, said breaking through the $377 price point was key for Ethereum. That price point, according to Duke, was the “resistance level,” the point that traders reach but don’t surpass. Ethereum’s next challenge is to reach $467. Duke uses historical price data to determine future price movements. Ethereum has not yet experienced the price correction Duke predicted at the end of May. Matveev of Wirex said if Ethereum his $600 by year’s end, it would mark a 47 percent gain over Monday’s high. While many factors are fueling Ethereum’s rise, much of the interest is based on the cryptocurrency’s ability to support smart contracts and enterprising applications.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Billionaire Investor Sets Example Investing in Altcoin ICO

    

A billionaire investor best known for buying roughly 30,000 Bitcoins

as part of the first government auction of the digital currency in 2014, is setting precedent as he stands behind a crypto token to be launched by a new startup. Tim Draper told Reuters in an interview that his participation in the initial coin offering (ICO) of Tezos slated later this month will be his first. The new Blockchain platform launched by a husband-and-wife team with extensive Wall Street and hedge fund backgrounds will launch the ICO on May 22.

Tezos incentive

According to information on its website, Tezos takes a fundamentally different approach by creating governance rules for stakeholders to approve of protocol upgrades. They are then deployed on the network automatically. When a developer proposes a protocol upgrade, they can attach an invoice to be paid out to their address upon approval and inclusion of their upgrade. This approach provides a strong incentive for participation in the Tezos core development and further decentralizes the maintenance of the network. It compensates developers with tokens that have immediate value rather than forcing them to seek corporate sponsorships, foundation salaries or work for Internet fame alone.

Draper’s confidence

As a new way of moving and storing money, Draper had told Fox Business in an interview in 2015 that Bitcoin is going to hit $10,000 in the following three years (by 2018). While the Bitcoin ecosystem looks forward to the feasibility of the prediction considering what is probable within the timeframe, it would seem that Draper’s confidence in the unfolding reality around him of what the top digital currency could bring to the table is still sound. This makes his disclosed interest in another aspect of the digital currency sphere – his plan to participate in a token offering and his choice of Tezos as a particular startup to invest in considering it’s a formation of a “husband and wife” team – a point to note.

With its family makeup, the success of the startup’s ICO will be a sheer example of the opportunities the crypto economy could offer the smallest unit of a society – after all, there are businesses owned and run by couples or a family. It would also show that the potential for Bitcoin, as a growing digital currency in various households, is huge in this kind of a business setup. Hence, Draper’s support for the adaptation of the cryptocurrency concept into the family-based business world could be precedential.

"The best thing I can do is lead by example," Draper said in his interview.

"Over time, I actually feel that some of these tokens are going to improve the world and I want to make sure those tokens get promoted as well. I think Tezos is one of those tokens."

Unlike most traditional venture capital firms which are prohibited by agreements with investors from deploying cash into such high-risk assets as digital currencies, Draper said his firm is doing this with Tezos because there is money for such non-traditional investments. In addition, they had anticipated “that certain things are going to happen and finance is going to be transformed."

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

 

BTCChina, Huobi, OKCoin Face Administrative Punishment in China

    

Flagship Chinese Bitcoin exchanges

are set to face “administrative punishments” over flouting regulatory norms in the past. A report by local resource Caixin, summarized by cnLedger, states the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) will shortly issue the document to BTCChina, OKCoin and Huobi. Details of what the so-called Notice of Administrative Punishment will require remain “unknown” cnLedger says. The report added that the long-awaited hard-and-fast regulations governing cryptocurrency exchanges in China are due next month. “Official regulation details on bitcoin trading platforms and bitcoin AML standards still under work, may be released in June,” cnLedger explained on Twitter on Wednesday.

Last month, Chinese exchanges were expected to resume withdrawals after a freeze which has extended since February. The PBoC had previously highlighted aspects of the market it deemed contrary to best practices but said it would adopt a “forgiving attitude” to extant exchanges. This decision is reflected in the handing down of an administrative, rather than criminal, penalty. “An ‘Administrative Punishment Notice’ is issued by Gov depts to those who did not break laws, but violated certain rules or regulations,” cnLedger clarified in a further tweet. Meanwhile, despite the continued withdrawal freeze, the price of Bitcoin in China has surpassed 10,000 yuan.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Litecoin, Silver to Bitcoin’s Gold,
Now Aims at $50 Goal

    

Now that the Litecoin price is hovering at around $30

– as the Lightning Network, expected to make transactions faster on the network, is set to kick off in about two days – is it time for the digital currency, dubbed as the silver to Bitcoin’s gold, to aim for the $50 goal? As it stands, its market cap has crossed the $1 bln mark to join the three other major networks – Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple –

In the category.

"This is a huge plus for the currency which just got listed on top Korean cryptocurrency exchange, Bithumb. This comes in the wake of its addition on the Coinbase platform also last week."

If Litecoin succeeds with the SegWit activation and LN implementation – considering that Bitcoin has not been able to reach this far in terms of its scalability issue – it would definitely reflect in LTC price in the coming days. As such, wallet providers and other major users are expected to deploy SegWit-enabled apps.

"Litecoin’s Charlie Lee also confirms that Bitcoin Core developers have been working with his network on Confidential Transactions (CT) and Merkelized Abstract Syntax Trees (MAST)."

As it is expected to take the first mover advantage as one of the first to activate SegWit, all eyes would be on Litecoin and what it has to offer in terms of making transaction confirmation quicker. This will continue to be the case for as long as Litecoin serves as a relief to any transaction issues that are usually associated with Bitcoin. This will make it easier to send money from a point to another instantly and for less.

Upgrade important

The current issue of transaction delays on the Bitcoin network and rising transaction fees now seem stuck at the moment and some say it is no longer seen as an incentive to encourage new users to switch from fiat. Though not the first and only network to be working on activating SegWit, the upgrade is important for Litecoin because it is one of those networks with the oldest Blockchain beside Bitcoin. It also has an identical code to that of Bitcoin. However, despite the forward-looking consideration of how Litecoin is going to benefit users, we are yet to see it proven that people in the market really need what it has to offer. The debate on whether there is demand for its use continues.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Bitcoin? Ethereum? Ripple?
Three Reasons to Consider Investing in Cryptocurrency

    

Bitcoin is beginning to seem like a viable currency,

especially since reaching the $2,000 mark. Major setbacks, such as the loss of $480 mln due to Mt. Gox’s neglectful management of Bitcoins, have caused the cryptocurrency to plummet in the past. Slowly but surely, the first-ever Blockchain currency has climbed back.

Presently, Bitcoin is performing better than it ever has. Early in 2017, Bitcoin price hit historic highs, surpassing the value of gold. Nearly a decade after Bitcoin’s quiet release, dozens of copycat currencies have arisen. Utilizing Blockchain, a public database or ledger that records transactions involving encrypted keys, developers are vying to improve the original digital currency. A few, namely Ripple and Ethereum, have proved to be exceptional competitors. Indeed, the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance was formed by “Fortune 500 enterprises, startups, academics, and technology vendors” to establish standard practices for the use of the platform/currency hybrid

“at the speed of business.”

You may shy away from joining speculators on the ups and downs of the cryptocurrency markets. However, there are a few strong cases for investment.

Here are three reasons to consider investing in cryptocurrency:

Bitcoin is experiencing massive growth

By far the most popular digital currency is the progenitor of Blockchain technology. Bitcoin owns the lion’s share of the emerging market. Its trading volume is much larger than any other competing currency and its valuation is many times more than the second cryptocurrency of choice, Ethereum. Wider adoption and regular mainstream coverage have elevated Bitcoin from an intriguing security experiment to a possible real-world asset. Additionally, Bitcoin’s exponential growth may portend good things for Blockchain currency in general. After a few major cases of theft for both Bitcoin and Ethereum, trust in the currency seems to be rebounding. Some believe the cryptocurrency is a bubble about to burst, but contentious political and economic conditions could push the price up even further.

Ethereum is gaining traction

Ethereum is the silver to Bitcoin’s gold.

Although it currently sits at under $100 a unit, it’s the most viable alternative to the dominant cryptocurrency. In fact, the competing form of cash was crafted by one of Bitcoin’s co-founders.

Ethereum is both a platform that allows for the creation of decentralized applications and a currency. The currency, Ether, fuels the platform. Its incorporation of smart contracts, which allow for anonymous agreements on the Blockchain, spawned the DAO (decentralized autonomous organization). The currency is more flexible for developers and has attracted major tech players, such as Intel and Microsoft.

It may see friendly regulation

The anonymity and lack of oversight concomitant with decentralized currency create opportunities for abuse. Certain alternative cryptocurrencies (altcoins), ones that enforce private transactions and anonymous transfers, such as Zcash and Monero, have been used extensively by criminal organizations. Although altcoins like Monero have increased in value due to acceptance from darknet users, this illicit usage of cryptocurrency has dealt damage to overall adoption rates.

Thankfully, we may see tighter regulations. Ethereum famously experienced a massive theft of $53 mln in Ether due to an exploit in a smart contract. Theoretically, the Ethereum Blockchain is immutable. The community voted to override this “immutability” in order to return stolen funds. Further, in 2013, a representative for the Bitcoin Foundation told US regulators that they would be open to transparent rulemaking. According to MarketWatch, digital currency advocates are pushing for

more regulation.

With recent interests from Japan and Russia to legitimize Bitcoin, these rules and regulations could help further cryptocurrency as a legitimate finance asset.

Diversify

Blockchain technology has the capability to change everything. The currencies running on the distributed ledger model could revolutionize how we interact with all forms of liquidity. While it is unlikely that fiat currency will be subsumed or overtaken by the digital mint, it’s quite possible that these currencies will see greater integration with our current systems.

At the very least, cryptocurrency is seeing a meteoric rise in the short-term. What the future holds for digital currency is uncertain. Currently, there is a cautious sort of endorsement for Bitcoin and Ethereum. Some speculators are pouring their cash into speedier alternatives, such as Litecoin and Dash. Still, most remain hesitant about moving their assets into an unbacked,

unregulated currency.

Although the Bitcoin ETF was recently shot down by the SEC, there is still plenty of reason to diversify your portfolio with a small investment in decentralized digital currency. As time has worn on, cryptocurrency has steadily risen in price and has experienced wider adoption.

To be sure, there has also been a great deal of volatility concomitant with Bitcoin’s rise. Valuation specialists continue to have trouble pinpointing the exact value of the currency itself and sentiment can vary wildly. Still, market capitalizations continue to grow. If you are able to steel yourself against booms and busts, you may profit from cautious investment. Continue to do your due diligence. If you remain uncertain, consider consulting a financial analyst. Remember to monitor updates, vigilantly investigating changes in sentiment. As always, be prepared to lose any amount you put into a speculative investment. Dedicating yourself to mindful investing will undoubtedly lead to the best result – especially in a market as volatile as the cryptocurrency market.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about – Bitcoin.

The price of bitcoin topped $3,000 for the first time in history today, according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI).

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After spending much of the last week seeking direction in the $2,700 to $2,900-range, the average price of bitcoin across major international exchanges edged up over this threshold finally at roughly 17:00 UTC.

The new record comes at a time when alternative digital assets are seeing robust inflows, with ethereum's ether token setting a new all-time high of more than $300 today as well.

Indeed, analysts spoke to the ongoing broadening of the cryptocurrency market as a tide that is benefitting bitcoin.

"The inflows into 'alts' are greater than those into bitcoin. In other words, bitcoin is growing at a very nice pace, but non-bitcoin cryptocurrencies are growing even faster," cryptocurrency hedge fund manager Tim Enneking told CoinDesk.

Jehan Chu, managing partner at cryptocurrency fund Jen Advisors, agreed, noting that bitcoin is likely benefitting from new investor interest and the surging interest of "cryptos like ether".

Still, Arthur Hayes, founder of Hong Kong-based digital currency exchange BitMEX, stated that bitcoin is still the "most talked-about cryptocurrency", even as returns become more substantial in other areas of the market.

Hayes told CoinDesk:

"As investors marvel at bitcoin's historical returns and the returns of altcoins, their natural first purchase is bitcoin. Bitcoin has under performed other coins this year, it is now playing catchup."

Investor Sean Walsh largely agreed, pointing to bitcoin's growing price as a sign of its place in the market as the first stop on a road to other assets.

"Bitcoin still seems like the dominant gateway to [alternative digital assets]. So, many first purchase bitcoin in order to then trade their bitcoin for altcoins," he noted.

The development coincides with signs that the cryptocurrency market is maturing to support new inflows and increasing interest.

As noted by CoinDesk research analyst Alex Sunnarborg today, the cryptocurrency exchange market has never been more globally diverse or buoyed by such an array of possible inflows.

Such tailwinds have combined in recent weeks to bring new investor attention to bitcoin, with expectations for bitcoin's growth becoming more and more exuberant. Danish investment firm Saxo Bank went so far as to publish a forecasting report in which it placed the possible value of bitcoin at $100,000 in the next 10 years.

Chris Corey 

CMO Markethive Inc

Charts on mobile device via Shutterstock