Ripple has risen by almost 3,000% this year

Ripple has risen by almost 3,000% this year

It’s not just Bitcoin and Ethereum posting astonishing gains. Ripple, a cryptocurrency based out of San Francisco, has risen in value by almost 3,000% this year.

 

One Ripple token, known as XRP, is currently valued at just below US20 cents. XRP started the year at the fractional value 0.0065, but experienced rapid growth in the June quarter as transaction volumes increased.

 

According to a report by CNBC, that growth was primarily driven by plans to set up a platform for the sale of XRP tokens.

 

XRP tokens differ from Bitcoin and Ethereum in that most of them are owned by the Ripple network itself and can’t be mined.

 

Ripple rose as high as US26 cents in June taking its annual gain to almost 4,000%, before falling back in July.

Ripple’s total value of $US7.6 billion makes it the third biggest cryptocurrency in the world by market capitalisation.

 

Bitcoin has a market cap of $US44.8 billion, while Ethereum is valued at around $US21 billion.

 

Ripple’s head of XRP markets, Miguel Vias, told CNBC that Ripple had a specific strategy focused on international payments and had already partnered with large global banks.

 

“With respect to XRP, we are incredibly focused on international payments, I think we are probably the only digital asset that has a clear use case with respect to what we are trying to do with the asset,” Vias said.

 

Ripple has partnered with around 30 digital asset exchanges, and is positioning itself in the market as a faster faciliation network for international transactions.

 

CNBC reported that the Ripple network processed over $US11 billion worth of transactions in the June quarter.

 

The company’s CEO, Brad Garlinhouse, said Ripple has a processing speed of around 70,000 transactions per second.

 

That compares to Bitcoin’s current volume capacity of around 7 transactions per second. The Bitcoin developer community is in the process of setting up a new platform which is expected to double transaction speeds.

 

Last year, Ripple announced the setup of its first interbank global payments group, which included Westpac, Bank of America Merril Lynch and the Royal Bank of Canada.

 

“With respect to growth and outreach, we will continue to partner with digital asset exchanges for listings and mostly importantly … it is really all about payments and in this quarter, you will see some very interesting developments with respect to our partnership in payments, with respect to XRP in particular,” Vias told CNBC.

 

Time will tell whether the value of the XRP tokens traded on the Ripple network will continue to maintain their recent rate of growth.

 

David Ogden
Entrpreneur

cryptocurrency entrepreneuer

 

Author: Sam Jacobs

The crypto-currency craze

The crypto-currency craze

 

In the late 1990s, as investors woke up to the promise of the internet, shares in any company with dot.com after its name soared to giddy heights.

Then the bubble burst.

Now there are warnings of another technology investment bubble – this time related to the fascination with crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin.

On the Tech Tent podcast this week, we examine the phenomenon of ICOs – Initial Coin Offerings – which have seen over $1bn raised so far this year from investors who get little more than a token and a vague promise of involvement in a new business.

The term ICO – designed to mirror the IPO that sees a firm issue shares and float on a stock exchange – seems to mean different things to different people. Early versions were simply ways of getting a new crypto-currency off the ground, but now many are promising to use the blockchain technology that underpins Bitcoin and similar currencies to create businesses.

Among the ICO projects listed by Smith + Crown, which researches the crypto-currency scene, is a business raising money to create the world's most lucrative lottery based on blockchain, and another that promises to rent out high-quality office space using digital tokens.

On Tech Tent, we talk to an entrepreneur who is boldly going into uncharted territory with this new investment technique. Pavlo Tanasyuk is the founder of Spacebit, which aims to create what he calls "a distributed space agency unshackled by state or national sponsorship".

Next month, he will invite investors to take a stake in this venture, which he describes as a crypto version of Elon Musk's Space X. He will only accept payment in Bitcoin, Ethereum or other crypto-currencies and in return backers will get tokens and a role in deciding how the business is run.

But the finance blogger Frances Coppola has compared ICOs to the tulip fever of the 16th Century and other investment bubbles.

"The enthusiasm for ICOs is coming off the back of the Bitcoin and Ethereum booms," she says.

She warns that such schemes are completely unregulated, and fears that many who invest in them simply won't understand what they're getting into.

"There will be scams in this – I'd be astonished if regulators aren't looking at this."

Even Pavlo Tanasyuk concedes there is plenty of risk attached to this kind of investment. "Ninety-five per cent won't deliver – but we will. It's important to set an example. We're doing something real and have a strong management team in place."

When the dot.com bubble burst, it became clear that many investors had not really understood what the firms they were backing actually did or the nature of the technological challenges they faced. Today, the world of crypto-currencies and the blockchain looks even more impenetrable.

Consider this description of one project, Neverdie, which has already raised more than $2m (£1.5m) in an ICO: "A virtual reality infrastructure platform that bridges virtual worlds with popular MMORPGs [massively multiplayer online role-playing games] on the Ethereum blockchain."

Doubtless those who have bought the coins that are meant to fund this vision have read the white paper describing the project, and the disclaimer at the end: "Neverdie Coins and Teleport Tokens do not represent ownership in any real-world companies. These tokens are designed to activate virtual utilities."

Real money is going into a virtual world and if it disappears in a puff of virtual smoke, no regulator will be there to cry foul. Let's hope those who back these kind of ventures are going into them with their eyes open.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

Author: Rory Cellan-Jones

Bitcoin is booming because a split in the cryptocurrency has been narrowly averted

Bitcoin is booming because a split in the cryptocurrency has been narrowly averted

 

Bitcoin has risen as much as 28% over the past 24 hours, driven by news that an imminent split in the cryptocurrency has been narrowly averted. The price of bitcoin nearly hit $3,000 late on July 20, within spitting distance of its all-time high, set last month.

The remarkable rally took place as bitcoin’s miners coalesced around one of several competing proposals that would increase the number of transactions that can be processed on the network. The issue has gained urgency in recent months, because one of the measures, known as Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 148 (BIP 148), would lead to a split in the cryptocurrency on Aug. 1 if implemented.

The price rallied as bitcoin’s miners began broadcasting their support for a less radical proposal, BIP 91, in increasing numbers yesterday. This proposal avoids the so-called “hard fork” by stopping short of altering the hard-coded limit on transaction capacities that is the bone of contention within the bitcoin world, while offering slightly enlarged transaction capacity.

The threshold for activating BIP 91 is 80% of all the processing power on the bitcoin network. That was achieved in the early hours of July 21. Currently 97% of the processing power on the network, which is largely controlled by miners, is voting in favor of BIP 91.

But it’s not settled yet. Although enough miners have signaled support for their preferred proposal—a process akin to broadcasting a preference over the network—enough of them must now run the software that implements this proposal within the next two and a half days. Failure to maintain a simple majority of the processing power, also called the hash rate, would mean BIP 91 does not activate. This would put the bitcoin world back at square one, with just a week to go before the potentially destabilizing hard fork on Aug. 1.

There are also still signs that the fundamental disagreement that led to this showdown—a “civil war,” as some call it—is far from resolved. The fight is between bitcoin’s miners and the influential programmers who contribute to bitcoin’s open-source code, known as the “core developers.” The core devs say bitcoin is at risk of being controlled by a cartel of miners who, by virtue of their huge investments in processing power, are able to dictate what changes are made to the code—anathema to bitcoin’s decentralized founding ethos. But the miners, and other heavy users, like payment processors, point out that the bitcoin network could be abandoned if it doesn’t enlarge its limited capacity soon.

The architect of BIP 91, James Hilliard, a miner himself, told industry publication CoinDesk: “This is where mining centralization makes things easier, because I can just message everybody on WeChat and help them if needed.” That may be so, but it won’t comfort the parts of the bitcoin world concerned with centralization of the cryptocurrency, even if the current fix to bitcoin’s problems goes according to plan.

 

David Ogden
Entreprener

cryptocurrency entrepreneur

 

Author:  Joon Ian Wong

Bitcoin recovers from crash to surge above $2,500

Bitcoin recovers from crash to surge above $2,500

 

BITCOIN'S price has continued to bounce back, and rocketed by around 40 per cent over the last three days as it recovers from lows seen at the start of the week.

The cryptocurrency jumped above $2,500 towards $2,600, after touching lows of $1,852 on July 17.
 

Traders were spooked by fears that Bitcoin could be split.

 

But the recovery has been helped after software has helped bridge the gap between bitcoin miners.

 

The cryptocurrency has previously reached record highs of $3,000 but some analysts have predicted the rally could go much further.

He believes bitcoin and other currencies underpinned by block chain technology are set to become more mainstream over the next decade.
 

In the shorter term Sheba Jafari, the head of technical strategy at Goldman Sachs could reach $3,691.

 

Japan recently helped bring Bitcoin into the mainstream by passing legislation that allows it to be accepted as a legal currency.

 

The currency has a limited supply of around 21 million, which has helped it reach safe haven status – like gold.

 

The supply is expected to be reached by 2140 – it's currently at around 16.3 million.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

Author: LANA CLEMENTS

From Mining to Investing in Cryptocurrency

From Mining to Investing in Cryptocurrency
 

What Is Mining

Mining is the process by which transactions of crypto currencies are secured. For this purpose, the miners carry out mathematical computations for the network with their computer equipment. As a reward for their services, they collect the newly created coins, as well as the fees associated with the transactions they confirm. In this sense, miners are competing and their incomes are proportional to the computing power they deploy.

To better grasp the concept of mining, Andreas Antonopoulos, one of the most well-known and well-respected figures in the Bitcoin community, explains that “a good way to describe mining is like a giant competitive game of sudoku that resets every time someone finds a solution and whose difficulty automatically adjusts so that it takes approximately 10 minutes to find a solution. Imagine a giant sudoku puzzle, several thousand rows, and columns in size. If I show you a completed puzzle you can verify it quite quickly. However, if the puzzle has a few squares filled and the rest is empty, it takes a lot of work to solve! The difficulty of the sudoku can be adjusted by changing its size (more or fewer rows and columns), but it can still be verified quite easily even if it is very large.”

 

The Mining Equipment

In the beginning, mining with a processor (CPU) was the only way to mine bitcoins. Graphics cards (GPUs) eventually replaced CPUs due to their nature which allowed an increase of 50x to 100x in computing power, by using less power per megahash compared to a CPU.

The Bitcoin mining world is now dominated by Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC). An ASIC is a chip designed specifically to accomplish a single task. Unlike FPGAs, an ASIC cannot be programmed to perform other tasks. An ASIC designed to mine bitcoins can and will not do anything else than mining bitcoins

The rigidity of an ASIC allows it to offer an increase in computing power of 100x while reducing power consumption compared to all other technologies by a factor of 7. Unlike the generations of technologies that preceded the ASIC, this last innovation is dubbed the “end of the line”, as there is nothing to replace ASICs today or soon.

Then came along Ethereum, a cryptocurrency that can be mined like Bitcoin – with an important difference. The Ethereum network was built to be resistant to ASIC hardware, making mining Ether with graphics cards viable. Ethereum is enjoying a Bitcoin-esque bubble of mammoth proportions right now, with the price of Ethereum skyrocketing.

This led to a shortage of graphic cards. Miners worldwide bought those Nvidia and Radeon cards that are best suited for mining – selling them out quickly. This is not the first time that graphics cards enjoyed a meteoric rise in price due to cryptocurrency. Bitcoin took GPU prices for a ride back in late 2013.
 

Innovation Meets Mining

Mining has nowadays become an activity that with an appetite for resources so enormous that it is bolstering the creativity of investors in this field, to always strive for the optimal solution. It is in this context that the concept of “cloud mining” was born. This means that the investor does not buy a physical mining rig, but rather rents computing power from a different company and gets paid according to how much power was bought. By doing so, investors get rid of the hassle of buying expensive equipment, storing it, cooling it, and maintaining it.

This industrialization of mining has led companies to seek out the lowest resource costs possible. While many areas of the globe offer competitive costs and infrastructure, polar areas offer unique mining conditions. Such was the idea of KnC Miner that announced the installation of computing power by the Arctic circle. This initiative, unfortunately, didn’t get enough time to reveal its true potential, as the company filed bankruptcy in 2016

Less in the north, in China, people have been puzzled by the fast growth of crypto-mining farms. Investors appeared on the scene with the wacky idea to mine Bitcoin using hydropower, thus benefiting from free water infinitely more profitable.

These innovative solutions have been of varying success. However, for the most profitable ones, it is still difficult to replicate and scale them up, as they require specific and unique geographic properties.

 

Is It Still Profitable?

The early days of Bitcoin mining are often described as a gold rush, but is it still the case in 2017?

Mining has grown from a handful of early enthusiasts into a specialized industrial-level venture. The easy money was scooped out a long time ago and what remains is buried under the cryptographic equivalent of tons of hard rock.

While mining is still technically possible for anyone, those with underpowered setups will find more money is spent on electricity than is generated by mining. In other words, mining won’t be profitable at a small scale unless you have access to free or really cheap electricity.

The good news is that mining is not limited to Bitcoin. New coins come up all the time with difficulties of mining that are vastly different from Bitcoin’s. Today, Ethereum is such a currency. When tomorrow Ethereum’s difficulty will make it less lucrative for mining, or when it’s moving to a different model altogether, other coins will be there that offer better returns.

If you want to go into mining yourself, the time you will spend educating yourself about the technology, the hardware, and the currencies, is significant. The setup costs for buying hardware are also considered when you want to mine at scale.
 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Austrian Post Offices Sell Bitcoin, Ethereum and More For Cash

Austrian Post Offices Sell Bitcoin, Ethereum and More For Cash

Post offices in Austria are offering bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Dash in exchange for cash through “bitpanda to go,” a startup that focuses on making the purchase of cryptocurrencies easy. Users can purchase 50 €, 100 € or 500€ worth of cryptocurrency from the Osterreichische Post branches.

Post offices in Austria are offering bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Dash in exchange for cash through “bitpanda to go,” a startup that focuses on making the purchase of cryptocurrencies easy. Users can purchase 50 €, 100 € or 500€ worth of cryptocurrency from the Osterreichische Post branches.

The 1,800 post branches provide cryptocurrency purchasers a receipt that can be entered on bitpanda.com/togo. The website also posts the current exchange rate for the respective currency. There are no additional fees.

Users need a valid email address to set up an account. They select which cryptocurrency they want to purchase and enter a code. The selected amount is then transferred to the user’s wallet.

 

Fair Prices For Offline Purchases

Bitpanda, formerly known as Coinimal, seeks to provide fair prices for offline purchases of cryptocurrencies. The Österreichische Post AG allows bitpanda to offer the digital assets at cost. Hence, the fee structure by offline purchases via cash matches “online” options. This provides cryptocurrencies a more acceptable image in the minds of those who view Internet commerce less favorably.

Bitpanda was founded as Coinimal in October 2014 by bitcoin enthusiasts who had experienced how hard it was to acquire bitcoin in the European Union. This deficiency in the market led to the idea of Coinimal.

 

A Versatile Platform

Last year, Coinimal introduced a “sell” feature to enable users to convert ETH back to fiat as an easy way to buy and sell Ethereum using a bank account. The process of buying and selling ETH can otherwise be time-consuming since most exchanges are either U.S.-based or primarily offer ETH-to-BTC trading. There are nine funding options and withdrawals using PayPal, NETELLER, Skrill or SEPA transfer.

Coinimal rebranded as bitpanda in 2016 and introduced its own bitcoin wallet. Last month, bitpanda built an Ethereum wallet into its platform. It has also added Litecoin and Dash.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

Author: Lester Coleman

 

Are Cryptocurrencies Recovering or is This a Dead cat Bounce?

Are Cryptocurrencies Recovering or is This a Dead cat Bounce?

 

No one can say there is such a thing as a boring day in the world of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. After the onslaught of price declines throughout the weekend, we kick off this Monday on a positive note. All currencies are seemingly recovering their losses. The Bitcoin price surpassed US$2,000 again, but it looks like Ethereum is the winner of the day so far. Other currencies all doing quite well too, for now.

 

 

CRYPTOCURRENCY MARKET SEES A DEAD CAT BOUNCE

Even though we are not a big fan of the term “dead cat bounce“, it accurately describes what is going on in the cryptocurrency world right now, by the look of things. The markets are showing signs of positive momentum, but there is no reason to get overly excited just yet. After all, the gains made today can easily be wiped out in an hour or two of bearish trading. This is especially true for the currencies showing large gains compared to yesterday.

Taking a closer look at the charts, we can see there is only one coin in the top 50 without a green number next to it right now. Overall, that is a positive sign for cryptocurrency as a whole. At the same time, people have to keep in mind these positive changes are a direct result of the Bitcoin price going up slowly. Should Bitcoin drop in value again, these short-term gains for all altcoins will be wiped out pretty quickly.

While it is good to see the Bitcoin price bounce back to above US$2,000, maintaining that position will be quite challenging. There is a lot of negative pressure on the market, which may push the price back to to the US$1,900 range in the coming hours. Such a retrace will effectively prove to be a tough time for any altcoin struggling as of late, including the likes of Ethereum and Dash.

Speaking of those two particular altcoins, Dash has seen its value climb by 13.52% over the past 24 hours. This is despite a trading volume of under US$50m, mind you. Ethereum, on the other hand, notes an 18.02% gain over the past 24 hours, thanks to a trading volume which even surpasses Bitcoin’s. Many people still hope to see ETH return to US$400, but for now, it is a struggle to remain above US$160.

Seeing the Ethereum trading volume surpass Bitcoin’s is not entirely surprising. Korea and China are trying to push the ETH price back up, yet their efforts are not wildly successful so far. In fact, the price on Bithumb – denominated in US Dollars- is below the ETH/BTC price on Poloniex when converting it to USD. That is somewhat surprising, considering Korean exchanges often depict higher values for cryptocurrencies compared to Western markets.

It is still too early to tell if the cryptocurrency markets are effectively recovering. For all we know, this is just a temporary blip on the radar, which will be nullified before the day is over. It seems plausible to assume Bitcoin will have a tough time remaining above US$2,000 for an extended period of time. The markets remain volatile for quite some time to come, but there is always sunshine beyond the dip. No one needs to panic right now, as things will be alright in the end.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

Author: JP Buntinx

3 reasons cryptocurrency prices are in free fall

3 reasons cryptocurrency prices are in free fall

Whether it be Bitcoin or Ethereum, every cryptocurrency has suffered massive losses over the past several days. Prices have dropped to as low as 64 percent, bringing the entire cryptocurrency market cap down to $70 billion from $110 billion.

Ethereum’s price has gone from $400 right down to $151 in about a month, leading investors to panic sell. On the other hand, Bitcoin, which dominates the cryptocurrency market is down about 36 percent from its high (it’s currently trading around $1,894). Investors are finding it hard to hold onto cryptocurrencies at such a low price — especially amateur investors who bought them at a much higher price.
 

So what is causing the prices to dip so low? Could they go any lower? Could the market rebound from here?
 

Here are a few possible causes for the recent price tumble:
 

1. August 1st is looming

The infamous crypto “civil war” is around the corner. The debate on whether or not to increase the Bitcoin block size has been going on for a few of years now, with disagreement between the miners and nodes.

 

On August 1st, we could see a split, with part of the Bitcoin network supporting a change in protocol and the other part sticking to the current protocol. The result could be a massive devaluation of Bitcoin. This particular concern is making investors nervous, and some are liquidating their BTC into fiat, which could be the cause for this free fall.
 

As the Bitcoin price falls further, it will take down most of the major currencies with it. It is safe to say August 1st is not only Bitcoin’s independence day, but also a big day for all the blockchain based currencies.
 

2. Post-ICO “startups” are cashing out

Many blockchain-based companies have managed to raise millions of dollars in ETH — through initial coin offerings (ICOs) without even having a product. Nearly $700 million was raised in total last month through ICOs on the Ethereum platform.
 

Needless to say, most of these so-called startups are not worth the money they have raised. For instance, the BAT ICO raised $25 million in less than a minute, Cosmos raised $16 million, Status raised $95 million, and Bancor raised $153 million. One thing these companies are good at is marketing and writing fancy white papers.

 

Serious startups may hold onto Ethereum when they receive their funds, but those that are looking to make a quick buck could immediately cash out. This trend could also cause honest companies to liquidate their ETH and hold their funds in fiat (because, well, less volatility).
 

This could be one reason the Ethereum price is feeling downward pressure. EOS, for instance, which raised $200 million worth of ETH earlier this month, has apparently been offloading its ETH to Bitfinex. EOS is not alone; TenX, which listed Vitalik Buterin as an investor, raised 200,000 ETH ($67 million at the time) in its token sale, has sold nearly 30 percent of that ETH cache already. It is not clear whether TenX’s ETH are being sold on open exchanges or directly to individual investors, but they are going off TenX’s smart contract address.

 

From a startup’s perspective converting ICO funds (ETH) into fiat isn’t a bad thing at all, as Jeremy Epstein explained recently on VentureBeat. It helps them stay away from a highly volatile market and focus on their project.

 

Still, given that many ICO project developers have no incentive whatsoever to deliver on their promises following a big fundraise, we need an ecosystem to regulate these irrational multimillion-dollar seed funding rounds — and it needs to be set up quickly. The system must ask for provable business models. The projects must have use cases, users, flowing revenue, and even profits. Also, a working prototype would be nice.
 

3. We’re seeing market manipulation and amateur panicking

The cryptocurrency market is as unregulated as it can get. Things that would result in jail time on the stock market are legal here. In such a scenario, it’s no surprise that big players are manipulating the markets for their own gain. It’s no longer rare for people to run bots to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.

 

Amateur investors, on the other hand, want to make quick profits. Once the price starts falling, these investors tend to panic sell. The combination of market manipulation and panic selling may be a reason behind the current price fall. One might argue that the market is going through its long term growth correction, but there is a chance it could be in for a deeper fall. The market could swing either way.

 

The bright side

Cryptocurrency is here to stay. While most of the current coins might disappear in the years to come, a few of these startups hold the potential to disrupt the entire financial system as we know it.

 

Some analysts are very bullish on this market and say it is still in the nascent stage with very few investors. Once the cryptocurrency market goes mainstream, the market cap will grow and so will the prices of coins.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

david ogden cryptocurrency entrepreneur

 

Author: Anupam Varshney

Cryptocurrency fall continues ahead of Bitcoin's 'civil war' conclusion on Aug 1- Ether below $200

Cryptocurrency fall continues ahead of Bitcoin's 'civil war' conclusion on Aug 1- Ether below $200

Bitcoin prices fell below USD 2,100 today and are inching towards breaking the USD 2,000 level, as bears continue their rampage on cryptostreet.

Cryptocurrencies continue to bleed as speculators remain jittery ahead of bitcoin’s scaling debate conclusion on August 1. The total market cap has dropped by USD 9 billion, a 11 percent fall, in the past 24 hours, according to coinmarketcap.com.

Bitcoin prices fell below USD 2,100 today and could soon break the USD 2,000 level, as bears continue their rampage on cryptostreet.

The price slipped to USD 2,057, at time of reporting, according to CryptoCompare.com, a drop of around 32 percent from its all time high of USD 3,000.

Ethereum, bitcoin’s closest rival in terms of market cap, again dropped sub-USD 200 to the levels of USD 186, as per CryptoCompare. After falling 50 percent from its all-time high in June, ether has now hit a 45-day low.

Other major cryptocurrencies like litecoin, ripple, zcash have witnessed a drop of 10-20 percent over the past 24 hours.

The crypto-asset space reached a peak market cap of USD 116 billion in June and since then has lost USD 42 billion, a 36 percent correction over the past one month, entering a bear market, going by conventional definition.

Since the start of 2017, cryptocurrency prices have had a phenomenal rally. Experts believe this was due to speculative buying as prices were being driven by the mania for initial coin offerings (ICOs).

 

What the ‘fork’

Just when everyone thought it was over, the bitcoin ‘civil war’ resurfaced in June when major mining firm Bitmain announced the launch of a user- activated hard fork (UASF).

In May, a majority of blockchain industry bigwigs reached a consensus regarding the bitcoin scaling solution and agreed to enable the Segregated Witness (SegWit).

The SegWit was supposed to be a soft fork, a temporary solution to make bitcoin's software protocol handle the growing transactions burden.

"The prospect of a bitcoin fork isn't enticing for bitcoiners as it highlights the inability for the project to move forward and the divisiveness in opinions on how to do so," Charles Hayter, co-founder and CEO of cryptocurrency data platform CryptoCompare, had earlier told Moneycontrol.

"The scaling debate has been around for two years now and the ramifications of the present state of play lead to a number of price-sensitive scenarios that are not positive."

n case of a hard fork, if the bitcoin blockchain splits, users are at risk of losing their bitcoin. Bitcoin experts have suggested to not make transactions during the uncertain time period around August 1.

If the Bitmain hard fork happens then there would be two legitimate Bitcoin ledgers on August 3rd. The soft forked version of Bitcoin and the newly forked Bitmain Bitcoin.
 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur
David Ogden Entrepreneur

 

Author: Sidhartha Shukla

Cryptocurrency Investors Must 'Be Prepared to Lose Everything'

Cryptocurrency Investors Must 'Be Prepared to Lose Everything'
 

Potential investors in cryptocurrencies should focus on finding a great new concept rather than rushing to buy volatile Bitcoins, Dr. Campbell Harvey told Radio Sputnik.
 

The market in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has been subject to remarkable growth but also volatility in recent months.

On June 11, the price of Bitcoin peaked at $3,019, an increase of more than 300 percent since the beginning of the year. However, the price has dropped since then and the cryptocurrency was trading at $2,207 on Friday.

 

The value of the Ethereum cryptocurrency has also decreased by almost half in recent weeks from a high of $392 on June 13 to $211 on Friday, according to Coindesk.com.

According to BlackRock's global chief investment strategist, cryptocurrency volatility may be a sign of a bubble in the market.

"I look at the charts, and to me that looks pretty scary," Richard Turnill told a media briefing in New York on Tuesday.

Dr. Campbell Harvey, Professor of Finance at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, told Radio Sputnik that the sharp rises in the value of cryptocurrencies this year is a cause for caution.

"Any time you see something go up in value by a factor of 20 over a few months, you need to be very cautious," Harvey said.

"I think part of it is just the nature of the actual game, that this is a new technology, it is extremely volatile. For instance, if you look at Bitcoin it is six times the volatility of the S&P 500. It is very volatile and it's very difficult to figure out what the actual value is. If you are speculating in cryptocurrency, you need to be prepared to lose everything," Harvey said.
 

"In the 'dotcom bubble,' people were basically buying lottery tickets. They saw firms go from one cent a share to $100 a share, it was like a lottery and you didn't want to be left behind. You wanted to have some kind of investment and that drove up the prices very dramatically and I think it's the same thing today with the cryptocurrencies."
 

'Digital Gold': Cryptocurrencies Soar as Investors Swap Dollars for Bitcoins

Harvey recommended that potential investors do their research before taking the plunge and focus on finding an attractive concept.

"You really need a good story behind a new crypto that you're offering. There will be a lot of people coming in with bad ideas that will get funding. The best way to do it is to invest directly in some of the start-ups in this space rather than just going out and buying some coins."
 

"When the prices go up so dramatically, a smart investor will basically take some profit and indeed this is what I recommend to your listeners. If you've doubled your money, sell half. What that means is that you've recovered your initial investment and everything that's left is just pure profit and if you lose it, you lose it.
 

"Given there's uncertainty in the US right now, people are looking elsewhere. Gold is an alternative but gold is real pain because you have to vault it, basically protect the gold. But cryptocurrency is basically extra-national, you need a wallet and backup. You don't need a vault or security guards."

 

In the future, cryptocurrencies will develop in several different ways. These include collateralized cryptocurrencies and the expansion of the blockchain technology behind them.
 

"One of the things we'll see is collateralized cryptocurrencies. There's an initiative with the Chicago mercantile exchange and the royal mint group in which they'll put some gold in a vault and issue a crypto based upon that gold.

"As soon as you do that, then the crypto is linked to the price of gold and its volatility is linked to the price of gold. You can do this with anything – with equity, bonds, commodities in general, that you can issue cryptos based on a vault or a storage facility with the actual collateral. I think we are just beginning to see the collateralized versions."

 

"In a broader context, most of the action in terms of blockchain is not with cryptocurrencies, it's with businesses using blockchain technology to solve things like supply chain problems and other property transfer problems where you don't even need a cryptocurrency. So, as I see it from a business point of view, most of the action won't come from the initial coin offerings, but the application usually of Ethereum-based blockchain technology in business."
 

"It's not as sexy as looking at the price of Ethereum or Bitcoin doubling or tripling or going up by a factor of 20. In the media, people focus on the cryptocurrencies but in the practice of business the action is blockchain applications to solve business problems, not as much the currency aspect."

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David Ogden Entrepreneur