Won't Let Bitcoin Go to Zero - CME Chief Quells Fears Ahead of December Bitcoin Futures Launch

Won’t Let Bitcoin Go to Zero – CME Chief Quells Fears Ahead of December Bitcoin Futures Launch

Bitcoin futures contracts are scheduled to launch in one month on the world’s largest derivatives exchange, and market analysts have nothing to fear.

That’s according to Terry Duffy, chairman and CEO of the Chicago-based CME Group, which will soon become the first licensed U.S. derivatives exchange to list bitcoin futures contracts. Speaking with CNBC, Duffy revealed that CME plans to launch bitcoin futures trading during the second week of December.

Previously, the exchange operator had provided a vaguer timeline, stating that it hoped to list them during the fourth quarter, pending regulatory approval, so many analysts doubted they would actually launch before the end of the year. But their impending launch makes some industry insider nervous.

“For the first time, I am extremely scared,” Barron’s quotes Thomas Peterffy, head of derivatives trading firm Interactive Brokers Group, as saying. He says that he fears bitcoin’s volatility will make smaller firms more likely to fail to cover their margins, which could be as low as 2% on futures products. If bitcoin products are not isolated from the rest of the market, he says that that the failure of these small firms could reverberate throughout the exchange and render it less protected against risk.

However, Duffy downplayed these concerns and assured skeptics that CME will implement restrictions designed to contain the inherent volatility of the bitcoin markets.

“I’m not going to let it go to zero,” he said, adding that if the exchange has rules in place to handle liquidation-only events. He further explained that CME has “velocity logic functionality” tools — colloquially known as market “bumpers” — that enable the exchange operator to press pause on trading during periods of intense, precipitous volatility. These bumpers might pause bitcoin trading for as long as an hour, and the market will also have intraday limits to prevent the price from fluctuating too wildly within a single day of trading.

“I should not be trying to predict the price of products. I’m here to manage the risks of products,” he concluded.

 

Author: Josiah Wilmoth on 14/11/2017

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Bitcoin Cash Hard Forks In Bid to Ease Mining Difficulties

Bitcoin Cash Hard Forks In Bid to Ease Mining Difficulties

Bitcoin cash appears to be successfully navigating a planned hard fork.

At press time, the majority of the network nodes (roughly 82 percent) have transitioned to new software (version 0.16.0 or later) that includes rules aimed at making the protocol's reward distribution more attractive to the miners that secure its blockchain.

Executed at roughly 21:00 UTC, the new version of the bitcoin cash blockchain has since amassed six blocks, while none have yet been mined on the older network. The results suggest that, while still possible, the fork will pass without the creation of a competing cryptocurrency.

As reported by CoinDesk, today's hard fork looks to switch the protocol to a different mining algorithm that will favorably adjust how hard it is for miners to create new blocks roughly every 600 seconds.

The idea is that by doing so, bitcoin cash will avoid the sudden changes in difficulty that have encouraged large numbers of miners to switch frequently between the bitcoin and bitcoin cash blockchains, migrating to whatever version is offering the most in terms of rewards.

Kept intact will be the rules that caused the creation of the cryptocurrency, which hard forked off of the main bitcoin blockchain in August by way of code that increased its block size to 8 MB, up from 1 MB on bitcoin.
 

Smooth upgrade

But it's the necessity of the mining change that has many thinking the upgrade will be smooth.

In remarks, Haipo Yang and Jiang Zhuoer, two major mining pool operators, said they didn't expect the change to be contentious. Other users, speaking in WeChat channels dedicated to the cryptocurrency, voiced similar statements of support for the measure.

This is due in part to the mining algorithm, which they acknowledged as having produced wild fluctuations in hash rate in the past. Developers have largely agreed.

According to the blog post outlining the hard fork and the updated software, the current rule is "problematic because it prevents consistently fast confirmations for users, and radically shifts the coin issuance schedule."

In this way, Juan Garavaglia, a developer working to coordinate the fork sought to label it as successful, indicating his optimism that the majority of the bitcoin cash network will update.

"For [the] fork… economically relevant and miners [nodes] are the critical ones," he said.

Already, startups including Yours and Ledger have migrated software.

 

Cash and carry

Should the software upgrade ultimately hold, it could bode well for bitcoin cash.

The protocol's supporters are arguably more encouraged about the network's future with the suspension of the Segwit2x hard fork, scheduled to occur on bitcoin last week. A controversial scaling proposal drafted by a group of miners and bitcoin businesses, Segwit2x looked to increase the bitcoin block size from 1 MB to 2 MB by way of a hard fork.

Still, with the measure failed, its supporters appear to be migrating to alternatives. This weekend saw bitcoin cash rise to a value of nearly $2,000, an all-time high, though analysts differed on whether this amounts to lasting (or even real) support for the network.

At the same time, money talks, and already at least one smaller miner indicated they're following the situation, possibly hinting at the psychological factors at play in the market.

Yimo Cheng, a China-based tax accountant who mines bitcoin out of his home, said he hasn't yet started mining bitcoin cash for concerns about its ownership being concentrated among Chinese buyers.

And while he believes bitcoin is "more international," he ultimately said he would continue to monitor how the dynamic between the two blockchains developers.

He resolved:

"I will obverse it for a while."

Bailey Reutzel contributed reporting.

 

Author: Pete Rizzo Nov 13, 2017 at 22:30 UTC

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Bitcoin Plunges 29% From Record High

Bitcoin Plunges 29% From Record High

  • Offshoot called bitcoin cash is luring users amid tech debate
  • Bitcoin’s jump this year has attracted Wall Street’s interest


Citigroup Inc. CEO Michael Corbat shares his thoughts on digital currencies.

Bitcoin plunged as the cancellation of a technology upgrade prompted some users to switch out of the cryptocurrency, spooking speculators who had profited from a more than 800 percent surge this year.

The cryptocurrency has dropped 9.5 percent since late Friday, extending its slide from last week’s record to as much as 29 percent, according to data compiled by Coinmarketcap.com and Bloomberg. Bitcoin cash, a rival that split from the original bitcoin in August, has jumped nearly 40 percent since Friday.

Bitcoin Plunges 29% From Record High2

Bitcoin cash is gaining popularity because of its larger block size, a characteristic that makes transactions cheaper and faster than the original. When a faction of the cryptocurrency community canceled plans to increase bitcoin’s block size on Wednesday — a move that would have created another offshoot — some supporters of bigger blocks rallied around bitcoin cash.

The resulting volatility has been extreme even by bitcoin’s wild standards and comes amid growing interest in cryptocurrencies among regulators, banks and fund managers. While skeptics have called bitcoin’s rapid advance a bubble, it has become too big for many on Wall Street to ignore. Even after shrinking by as much as $38 billion since Wednesday, bitcoin boasts a market value of $101 billion.

Supporters of bitcoin’s technology upgrade “are now switching support to bitcoin cash,” said Mike Kayamori, head of Tokyo-based Quoine, the world’s second most-active bitcoin exchange over the past day. “There’s a panic about what’s happening. People shouldn’t panic. Just hold on to both coins until we see how it plays out.”

Bitcoin’s slump dragged down shares of cryptocurrency-related companies, including Hong Kong-based PC Partner Group Ltd., maker of graphics cards that can be used in the mining of digital coins. But there were few signs of wider ripple effects. Asian stocks were mixed as investors awaited continuing talks on tax legislation in the U.S. this week.

The cancellation of last week’s bitcoin upgrade has left users to choose between the two versions of the cryptocurrency. On one side is the original bitcoin, powered by so-called SegWit technology, which aims to improve its performance by moving unessential data off of its underlying blockchain. On the other side is bitcoin cash, which allows its blockchain to handle eight times as much data as the original.

Proponents of bitcoin cash believe their approach is simpler and closer to the original goal of bitcoin, which was described primarily as a payment system in its white paper. Supporters of the original bitcoin say that vision is too limited, and that by improving the blockchain with SegWit technology, bitcoin can become a new digital asset class that not only supports payments but countless other functions.

While bitcoin cash has been around for months, it saw limited support as the community awaited last week’s technology upgrade for the original bitcoin, which promised similar features. Now that the upgrade has been called off, businesses that use the cryptocurrency primarily as a payment method are expected to increase adoption of bitcoin cash.

While bitcoin cash surged over the weekend, it hasn’t been a straight line up. The cryptocurrency was trading at $1,325 at 11:53 a.m. in Hong Kong, down from a high of about $2,478 on Sunday, Coinmarketcap.com prices show.

Bitcoin has been similarly volatile; it initially rose after news that it would avoid another split, but the gains were short-lived. It’s now trading at $5,948 after touching a record $7,882 on Wednesday.

“Crypto trading is not for the novice investor,” said John Spallanzani, chief macro strategist at GFI Securities LLC in New York.
 

Authors: Justina Lee and Yuji Nakamura
13 November 2017, 02:05 GMT Updated on 13 November 2017, 04:28 GMT

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Bitcoin Gold Launches Today

Bitcoin Gold Launches Today

After weeks of preparation, Bitcoin Gold (Bgold; BTG) is finally launching today, November 12, 2017.
 

Bitcoin Gold is the second project to fork away from the Bitcoin blockchain to create a new coin this year; on August 1, Bitcoin Cash (Bcash) was the first. Where Bcash attempted to offer an on-chain scaling solution by increasing Bitcoin’s block size limit (while removing the Segregated Witness code), Bgold is an attempt to counter Bitcoin’s mining centralization.
 

The most important difference between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Gold is a new proof-of-work mining algorithm. Instead of SHA256, the new coin uses the memory-hard Equihash proof-of-work function that’s also used in the privacy-focused altcoin Zcash. This means that specialized ASIC hardware that has come to dominate Bitcoin’s mining ecosystem will not be able to mine Bgold.
 

Although Bgold is launching this weekend, the fork “officially” occurred on October 25. Anyone who held bitcoin (BTC) on that day (specifically, when Bitcoin block 491406 was mined) will have an equivalent amount of BTG attributed to their private keys. These private keys can be imported into a dedicated Bgold wallet, which, starting tomorrow, will allow users to spend the coins. (But note that this does not come without risks and tradeoffs: If you’re not sure what you’re doing, it’s best to ignore BTG until you do. For more information also see this article.)
 

Block 491407 on the Bgold blockchain will be the first block to deviate from the Bitcoin protocol. In other words, this will be the first block where Bgold splits off to become its own currency. However, somewhat controversially, the first 8000 blocks will be privately mined by the Bgold team. Only after these 8000 blocks will Bgold’s mining difficulty ramp up to normal levels, and will anyone be allowed to mine the coin. The resulting 100,000 BTG worth of block rewards will pay for project development and more. (For more details, see the Bitcoin Gold roadmap.)

 

Other changes implemented by Bitcoin Gold are mostly to ensure a smooth split away from Bitcoin. This includes a new difficulty re-adjustment algorithm named “DigiShield” that adjusts the mining difficulty each time a block is found — instead of once every two weeks. Bgold also includes strong replay protection, ensuring that no users spend BTC when they mean to spend BTG, and vice versa. Additionally, BGold implemented a new address scheme, preventing users from spending BTC to BTG addresses and vice versa.

 

Bitcoin Gold will be supported by a relatively large number of exchanges, including major players like Bitfinex, OKex and HitBTC. Several of these exchanges are effectively supporting BTC/BTG trading already through futures markets. Ignoring an initially inflated price, these futures have traded at around 0.02 BTC in recent weeks, with a notable surge to about 0.042 BTC over the past few days. If this holds up, 1 BTG would be worth almost $250, and Bgold would immediately become a top-5 altcoin on websites like coinmarketcap.com.
 

For more information on Bitcoin Gold, see Bitcoin Magazine’s earlier article on this project.

Author: Aaron van Wirdum

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

Bitcoin price - Cryptocurrency plummets $1000 ahead of bitcoin gold split

Bitcoin price – Cryptocurrency plummets $1000 ahead of bitcoin gold split

BITCOIN prices took a blow today, falling below £5,328.46 ($7,000) just days before a planned software update will release bitcoin gold.

Bictoin prices fell by £761.21 ($1,000) in just over 48 hours after strong performance at the start of the week.

The crypto token opened today at £5,440.19 ($7,146.78), according to CoinDesk, before peaking at £5,579.71 ($7,330.06).

On Wednesday, the popular digital currency flared to an unprecedented price of more than £5,937.43 ($7,800) in the wake of the cancelled Segwit2x update.

The plummeting price comes on top of a hard fork that took place a few weeks ago, and will now come into effect with a new token known as bitcoin gold (BTG).

BTG aims to keep most properties of the bitcoin protocol, but will disallow the use of specialised chipsets in the mining process.

Bitcoin gold is now scheduled to arrive at 7pm GMT on Sunday November 12 – not November 1, as it was originally planned.

The token's backers said in a statement: "We are extremely grateful for the community around the world who have been contributing hash power to our testnets; besides patiently testing their own mining process, they allow exchanges, pools, wallet developers, and all other service operators to implement and test their support of BTG so that the bitcoin gold community can have a full suite of services at launch time."

In a similar split to bitcoin cash earlier in August, all current users of the cryptocurrency will be credited with a number of BTG tokens equal to their bitcoin stash.

bitcoin-price-news-bitcoin-gold-hard-fork-split-btc-value-1125459
Bitcoin price: The crypto token plummeted after a week of strong performance

In the few months that is has been alive, bitcoin cash has already managed to amount a market cap volume of £10,546,618,870.19 ($13,855,093,020).

But the creators of bitcoin gold have faced criticism, mostly for choosing to withhold one per cent of the currency's volume.

Unlike bitcoin, the new token was created in advance of being open-sourced to the public.

BTG's creators have argued that this move simply aims to pay the development team for their work.

Users will be able to redeem their coins after the cryptocurrency is launched.

Some have also criticised the need for a bitcoin derivative in market already over-saturated by crypto tokens.

 

Sol Lederer, blockchain director at Loomia, said in an statement: "These forks are very bad for bitcoin.

"Saturating the market with different versions of bitcoin is confusing to users, and discredits the claim that there are a limited number of bitcoins — since you can always fork it and double the supply."

There are currently more than 1,200 different tokens in existence according to CoinMarketCap. Most of them do not even reach a tenth of a dollar in price.
 

Author: SEBASTIAN KETTLEY
PUBLISHED: 18:03, Fri, Nov 10, 2017 | UPDATED: 18:13, Fri, Nov 10, 2017

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

Bitcoin Gold Sets Sunday Date for Cryptocurrency Release

Bitcoin Gold Sets Sunday Date for Cryptocurrency Release

Bitcoin gold is set to go live this weekend.

In a new blog post, the developers behind the fork of the bitcoin blockchain said that they would release a formal software client for download at 7:00 PM UTC on Nov. 12. Originally set for a public launch on Nov. 1, the project is backed by LightningASIC, a seller of mining hardware based in Hong Kong, as well as a community of relatively unknown developers.

As reported by CoinDesk, the idea behind bitcoin gold is to keep most properties of the protocol, but restrict the use of specialized chips for mining, or the process by which new transactions are added to a blockchain (while also creating new tokens as a reward).

It's also the latest example of a "airdropped" cryptocurrency that will distribute new coins to anyone who owned bitcoin at the time of the split, or up until the date the ledger of transactions started to differ.

Yet in a move criticized by some observers, the team behind bitcoin gold has been mining blocks in insolation since the new network was formally created last month, with a certain amount of coins being set aside to support development.

In comments, the team behind the effort sought to send a signal of confidence to the market, perhaps owing to concerns circulating around the effort.

"We are extremely grateful for the community around the world who have been contributing hash power to our testnets; besides patiently testing their own mining process, they allow exchanges, pools, wallet developers, and all other service operators to implement and test their support of BTG so that the bitcoin gold community can have a full suite of services at launch time," the project's backers said in a statement.

In the days ahead, exchanges will no doubt be watching the launch. Soon after its August release, bitcoin cash, another cryptocurrency that forked the bitcoin network, amassed a nearly $4 billion market value.

Exchanges and traders will no doubt be watching to see if history repeats.

Author: Stan Higgins Nov 9, 2017 at 19:35 UTC

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Relief and Disbelief - Bitcoin Reacts to Sudden '2x' Suspension

Relief and Disbelief – Bitcoin Reacts to Sudden '2x' Suspension

The tweets came fast and furious, almost quicker than the articulation.

After months of anger and debate, a group of businesses and mining firms that use bitcoin’s software to provide services suddenly shuttered an attempt at changing its rules. Scheduled to be introduced in mid-November, the Segwit2x software had emerged as a controversial bogeyman, a cloud of uncertainty over bitcoin’s future, that quickly gave way.

Among those who had for months spoken out against the proposal, and what they perceived as a broken understanding of how protocol development should proceed, euphoria was evident.

"Segwit2x hardfork has been called off! Common sense prevails," exclaimed litecoin creator Charlie Lee. “Put a fork in it, it’s done,” tweeted author Andreas Antonopoulos.

Developer Akin Fernandez, one of a legion of bloggers who have stood staunchly against the proposal, tweeted succinctly:

“Bitcoin wins.”

Indeed, the strongest voices in the initial reaction were those who had joined a long-simmering protest movement called "NO2X," which accumulated the support of dozens of companies and users, who displayed their opposition by adding a prefix to their social media names.

The social media behavior, launched in the wake of Segwit2x’s announcement in May, did much to highlight the differing perspectives of the proposal.

An open-source software that requires a diversity of stakeholders to agree to its rules to operate – bitcoin’s major companies, developers and mining pools have each taken a different view of development and how decisions about updates should be made.

Forged in an invite-only meeting, criticisms of Segwit2x came largely from developers, many of whom didn’t necessarily object to the idea larger blocks were needed, but a culture that had sprung up around startups that largely lacked a frame of reference for how network changes had been made, or even the various ways in which changes could be made.

As such, the news could be read as a culmination of a debate that began in 2015, when former bitcoin maintainer Gavin Andresen sought to galvanize interest in a block size change. Since then, several attempts have been made to tweak this aspect of the software.

However, despite its stakeholder support, Segwit2x now joins bitcoin classic, bitcoin unlimited and bitcoin-xt as proposed softwares to fail to gain adoption based on the idea.
 

Unexpected relief

That said, even many of Segwit2x's advocates were relieved the agreement was suspended.

"I am glad it is over," said Guy Corem, a former miner who signed the original Segwit2x agreement in May. "It was the right call."
 

Others hinted at the hostility their public support had brought, and the tactics used by supporters of the "NO2X" segment. Members of the group were often criticized for disparaging remarks and attacks made against Segwit2x supporters.

"I guess I can now pay more attention to more fruitful technical pursuits than following the news and fighting trolls online," said Segwit2x developer Jean-Pierre Rupp.

The acrimonious debate has been almost non-stop on social media channels such as Reddit and Twitter, at the peak leading to alleged death threats.

Due in part to this environment, there was a sense the Segwit2x proposal was not as welcomed by the community as participants had originally expected.

"We're relieved. The goal of the NYA was to bring the community together and keep the majority of the users on the same chain for at least a little while longer," Peter Smith, CEO of cryptocurrency software provider Blockchain, wrote in a blog post.

Others argued much the same – that a hard fork to increase the block size makes sense, but only if the agreement achieves support from all corners of the ecosystem.

"We are big fans of increasing the block size, as our customer really get impacted by the fees, but we want to see it done in a responsible way that brings the entire community together, and takes into account more voices," said Coins.ph founder and CEO Ron Hose.
 

New solutions

Still, there's a strong sense that bitcoin still needs to scale, somehow, in the future, as it seeks to accommodate new users.

“We'll either bring bigger blocks to people [with bitcoin], or we'll bring the people to bigger blocks [on bitcoin cash],” developer Peter Rizun told CoinDesk.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the news that a block size increase would not be pursued was highly praised by supporters of the Lightning Network, a proposed off-chain microtransaction network that seeks to move bitcoin transactions off the blockchain itself.

"Now that 2x is officially donezo, excited to get back to work building long term solutions like Lightning!" Lightning CEO Elizabeth Stark tweeted.

However, while the news today could position Lightning as a likely solution, the big advances that appear needed to get the network off the ground are now likely to come under scrutiny.

On display at Scaling Bitcoin, a two-day technical conference at Stanford University this weekend, were the challenges yet to be solved with the technology. This includes ensuring privacy in transactions and better understanding the economics of their interactions.

As noted by Hebrew University's Aviv Zohar, presenting new work on the subject, larger blocks may ultimately be needed to optimize the network.

In this way, speculation is already building that Lightning will not be enough, or that it will take too long to take off. As such, some think that businesses will embrace alternative protocols such as bitcoin cash, an alternative bitcoin with a larger block size, or litecoin, founded in 2012 as a vehicle for faster merchant payments.

"We may start seeing more and more businesses move to bitcoin cash for on-chain transactions, due to the high cost of transacting on bitcoin, which is what Segwi2x was attempting to solve," Civic CEO and co-founder Vinny Lingham told CoinDesk.

Jake Smith, Bitcoin.com’s business developer and a long-time supporter of on-chain scaling, said he sold his bitcoin immediately after the news hit. His comments, while brief, showcase how supporters drawn to bitcoin’s possibilities as a peer-to-peer cash have been put off by the news.

"Bitcoin just signed it’s own death warrant, as far as I’m concerned," Smith added.

Likewise, OpenBazaar lead developer Chris Pacia, whose company moved to distance itself from the proposal last week, said more companies would likely turn to other options.

"[Segwit2x] didn't really make sense after the bitcoin cash fork,” he said.
 

Not the last

But while there is temporary relief, there is also new thinking about bitcoin's future.

The key thing that sets bitcoin apart, to many, is that it's a decentralized, digital way to move value that no one entity controls. And to some, Segwit2x’s failure simply showcase’s the strength of the technology in defending against influences that could undermine this.

Bitcoin developer Bashco pointed to the long line of attempts to increase the block size or undermine developers via such proposals, implying there will be others down the line.

"They will lick their wounds and regroup," the developer told CoinDesk.

This view speaks to the idea Segwit2x was best considered as an attempted "takeover" of bitcoin, in that developers behind it wanted to rewrite the cryptocurrency's rules without getting full agreement from the community.

A controversial move was also the decision by Segwit2x developers to remove code that constituted what has been described as “replay protection,” meaning the fork could have been executed in such a way that user funds could have been at risk if two chains emerged.

Still, some used the news to call for changes to the culture and community, especially those that keep in mind how governments or authorities could use similar methods to corrupt or harm the protocol in the years to come.

"We must continue with the research into forks and chain splits and building tools and defenses because it will almost certainly be tried again," Bitcoin Core contributor Eric Lombrozo told CoinDesk.

Bitcoin developer Matt Corallo, who had publicly feuded with high-profile members of the Segwit2x group, voiced a similar opinion that sought to appeal to unity.

"Let's take Segwit2x's failure as a learning experience – bitcoin's community is strong, and needs to broadly support any changes to bitcoin's consensus rules," he tweeted.

Others were more grandiose, hinting at the expansive narrative that has seemed to shroud what some outside the industry may see as a benign numerical change.

Pseudonymous bitcoin blogger WhalePanda tweeted:

"We won this battle … but they will keep coming to destroy bitcoin. We will not forget.”

 

Authors: Pete Rizzo & Alyssa Hertig Nov 8, 2017 at 23:05 UTC

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Bitcoin's Bogeyman Cometh - Why Segwit2x Is a 51% Attack

Bitcoin's Bogeyman Cometh – Why Segwit2x Is a 51% Attack

In bitcoin's Necronomicon of possible attacks and weaknesses, one reigns supreme – the 51% attack.

If there is a fear that has played on people's minds as the end-of-days scenario for bitcoin, it is this. Attackers who hold more than 50% of hashing power could stop transactions from confirming and even reverse some transactions. They could undermine the whole project.

Bitcoin's design and its system of economic incentives has been set up specifically to combat the destructive potential of a 51% attack. And it has worked. The 51% attack has remained a hypothetical bogeyman. Until now.

By all indication, a coordinated 51% attack will begin on, or around, Nov. 16. That's when a consortium of miners representing substantially more than 50% of the network's hashing power and an allied group of blockchain startups will seek to increase the block size.

This will require a hard fork, which while controversial, is a legitimate desire. In itself, this is not an attack.

Where it goes wrong

However, the consortium's effort has evolved beyond a simple fork. It is now being developed not simply as an effort to fork the chain, but to do so in such a way as to deliberately prevent the continued existence of the status quo chain.

Specifically, the developers involved have declined to introduce replay protection.

The 2x fork will create a situation where transactions performed on one fork, can be "replayed" on the second fork. In effect, users will have funds on both blockchains, but any transaction they perform on one blockchain could lead to a loss of funds on the other blockchain.

Replay protection is a fairly easy-to-implement method to protect users from this risk. Network attacks are those actions taken with the intention of disrupting the protocol’s normal functioning. The 2x change, bereft of replay protection, causes massive disruption. This is by design.

Without replay protection in place, a minority chain becomes less likely to survive.

Question of motives

The preferred outcome for the consortium is that the status quo chain ceases to exist, that its transactions fail to confirm.

This is the literal definition of a 51% attack. If it sounds a bit bizarre to call the consortium's effort an attack, that's because it is. The consortium comprises many real supporters of bitcoin, acting in what they believe is good faith. They don't mean to be attacking bitcoin.

However, without replay protection their efforts are like an autoimmune disease, having become overzealous and perverted.

So, bitcoin is finally coming to come face-to-face with the mother of all attacks. This is a watershed moment. The very worst outcomes are bad indeed.

Transactions could grind to a halt, faith in the system could be lost, bitcoin and by extension, the entire blockchain world could prove to be far more vulnerable to attack than we hoped.
 

We shall overcome

However, there is also another possible, even more likely, outcome.

Bitcoin could prove resilient to the consortium's attack and emerge battered but unbroken. In so doing, bitcoin will have proven itself resilient to even its greatest foe.

It is hard to overstate how important this will be to bitcoin's perceived reliability. Bitcoin has always been haunted by the risk that its rules might come to be dictated by special interest groups or hostile, state-sponsored parties.

This risk is never going completely away, but instead of the risk being a hypothetical bogeyman, it will become a much more prosaic thing: a successfully managed risk.

The 51% attack is bitcoin's boss level. I don’t think it's an exaggeration to say that we are now at the end of the beginning. If we successfully overcome this coming challenge, bitcoin will no longer be just an experiment, it will be a fact.

But don't expect less drama — we are now entering bitcoin's adolescence.

HODL on tight, things will get hairy.

 

Author: Edan Yago Nov 8, 2017 at 02:30 UTC

 

Posted by Daving Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Could be an interesting couple of weeks

Bitcoin Gold Hard Fork Draws Mixed Reactions

Bitcoin Gold Hard Fork Draws Mixed Reactions

The Bitcoin Gold hard fork that caused a minor, temporary dip in bitcoin’s price a couple weeks ago has drawn both “boos” and “bravos” from the cryptocurrency community. Most observers voiced no problem with hard forks as a tool for competition and experimentation, but some see forks as compromising the perception of bitcoin’s limited supply, which they view as critical to its underlying value.

After debuting near $500 on Oct. 24, Bitcoin Gold (BTG), an altcoin that — like Bitcoin Cash — has a shared blockchain history with bitcoin, saw its price fall to $136 in two days — even amid buying pressure from margin traders who wanted to purchase it to pay back lenders. The price has stabilized since that time, standing at $140.63 on Nov. 5, according to coinmarketcap.com.

Many in the bitcoin community were quick to criticize Bitcoin Gold because of what they saw as its impractical idea to decentralize bitcoin mining, and also due to its plans to premine the cryptocurrency. Many investors, traders, developers and users do not welcome the concept of premining a cryptocurrency before its launch because it leads to a centralization of funds before the launch.

Nevertheless, several exchanges — including Bitfinex and HitBTC — have credited their users with BTG balances and added trading pairs, although they cannot enable deposits or withdrawals until after the mainnet is stable.
 

Forks Serve A Purpose

“There is no such thing as a “bad fork,” Bob Summerwill, chief blockchain developer at Sweetbridge, a blockchain alliance, said in a prepared statement. “You don’t have to cheer one team or the other. Experimentation and competition are good. Let the market decide, and participate where you see value.”

Summerwill said the ETH/ETC split indicated that minority chains are viable.

“The ETH/ETC split was very healthy for the community,” Summerwill said. “The Ethereum community moved on to mainstream adoption, and the Ethereum Classic community took control of its own destiny and took the code the way they wanted as well. I think that the chain splits will be healthy for the bitcoin community for the same reason.”

Splits happen periodically in all open-source communities, Summerwill said. Sometimes there are genuine differences of opinion, and network effects are not enough to keep everybody together, so a group secedes.

“This is how humans work,” he said. “It is a beautiful thing.”

Rob Viglione, co-founder of ZenCash, a privacy coin for borderless, decentralized communications and transactions, takes a similar view.

“Open-source ecosystems are designed to evolve, whether that’s through in-project improvements or forks in which the entire code base goes in an incompatible direction,” Viglione said. “Evolution is a messy process, so it doesn’t always turn out well, but sometimes that’s the only way to have big breakthroughs.

Viglione said it is not clear that swapping SHA-256 for Equihash mining is sufficiently value-added to warrant a new coin, especially since Zcash already did it last year, but it’s ultimately up to the stakeholders.
 

Can Forks Hurt Bitcoin?

Sol Lederer, blockchain director at Loomia, a technology company creating smart products secured through blockchain technology, holds a different view.

“These forks are very bad for bitcoin,” Lederer said. “Saturating the market with different versions of bitcoin is confusing to users, and discredits the claim that there are a limited number of bitcoins – since you can always fork it and double the supply.”

Lederer is troubled by the fact that the spinoffs spring from a minor debate on how to handle the block size limit.

“Instead of coming to agreement, the community, developers and code are fracturing into different groups,” he said. “We’re learning that while a blockchain gives you consensus on a distributed ledger, it does not give you consensus on the code base, that is what code to run. This does not bode well for bitcoin’s future, where it will face new and bigger challenges requiring further upgrades to the code base.”
 

Forks Will Continue

Expect more such forks in the future, says Taulant Ramabaja, chief technology officer at ULedger, a blockchain based solution for data assurance, storage and other services. He said the bitcoin ecosystem has a triangle of three veto powers: 1) the miners, 2) the exchanges and 3) the wallets (without key ownership).

“For any fork to become dominant in the future, a sufficiently large part of all three need to jump ship,” Ramabaja said. “This is highly unlikely, and therefore bitcoin favors the status quo.”

However, once Bitcoin Lightning based exchanges and wallets come online, this picture can change as the roles of exchanges and wallets will change, Ramabaja said.

Forks Have Shortcomings

Luis Cuende, co-founder and project lead at Aragon, a decentralized platform for building and managing organizations and companies, supports the goal of decentralizing bitcoin as much as possible, but he has issues with Bitcoin Gold since it doesn’t have replay protection, which makes it unsafe for bitcoin users.

Abhishek Pitti, founder and CEO of Nucleus, a provider of sensor technology that uniquely identifies users and senses pressure, motion and acceleration, believes the upcoming SegWit2x hard fork presents a serious risk to the bitcoin ecosystem due to its lack of backward compatibility or replay protection, with major developers and exchanges refusing to support it.

“On the flip side, I understand the argument presented in the form of ‘decentralization of bitcoin mining’ to people with GPUs, rather than the ASIC mining scene, which has become very centralized,” Pitti said. “Proponents of this idea believe that Bitcoin Gold can help bring mining back into the power of the common users.”
 

Author: Lester Coleman on 06/11/2017

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Bitcoin Price Achieves New All-Time High at $7,598 -Why is the Market So Optimistic

Bitcoin Price Achieves New All-Time High at $7,598 -Why is the Market So Optimistic

Once again, the bitcoin price has achieved a new all-time high at $7,598 on November 5, as the market continues to be optimistic about the mid-term performance of bitcoin.

Rapid Adoption in Major Regions

In Japan and South Korea, two regions in Asia that are known to have extremely conservative investors and traders, have seen an exponential increase in the demand for bitcoin from local traders. In an interview with Nathaniel Poppers of the New York Times in October, Korbit founder and CEO Tony Lyu emphasized that once people are invested in South Korea, they encourage others to join the “party.”

“Word just spreads really fast in Korea. Once people are invested, they want everyone else to join the party. There’s been this huge, almost a community movement around this,” said Lyu.

Over the past two weeks, Japan and South Korea have seen a massive portion of conventional investors in the traditional financial industry allocate their funds to bitcoin, given the increasing liquidity of bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market in general.

Specifically, in South Korea, the popularity of offline exchanges of Bithumb and Coinone, the country’s two largest cryptocurrency exchanges, started to grow, as investors without solid technical knowledge or expertise in dealing with bitcoin began to seek for direct person-to-person assistance in purchasing, trading, storing, and managing bitcoin.

As a 53-year-old bitcoin investor stated:

“Due to the emergence of physical cryptocurrency exchanges and offline customer service operations launched by CoinoneBlocks and Bithumb, many investors in South Korea are rushing to sell their stocks and equity in public companies to invest in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Since the beginning of 2017, the demand for bitcoin has increased significantly and investors have been able to build trust over the cryptocurrency exchange market through offline exchanges.”

Japan and the US

Japan has always remained as the driving factor of the bitcoin price, especially in its new all-time highs and strong rallies. Japan is one of the very few countries that has adopted bitcoin as a currency and a payment method, using bitcoin to transact at hotels, online e-commerce platforms, retailers, and restaurants.

Today, Japan’s largest retailer in Bic Camera, budget hotel chain Capsule, major airline Peach, and the country’s largest grid operator Remixpoint accept bitcoin as a currency for all of their operations, services, and products.

Investors in the US are also optimistic in regards to the launch of a bitcoin futures exchange by CME and CBOE, the two largest options exchange both domestically and internationally. CME’s bitcoin integration is expected to offer immense liquidity for institutional and retail investors, who have been looking to allocate their “money on the sidelines” into bitcoin for many months.

The overwhelming performance of major regions such as Japan and South Korea, along with the integration of bitcoin by leading financial institutions in the US have contributed to the recent price surge of bitcoin.

In the mid-term, by early 2018, analysts expect the price of bitcoin to surpass the $10,000 mark. But, some strategists including Wall Street analyst Tom Lee of Fundstrat have warned investors to be cautious, as bitcoin price has increased from $3,300 to $7,400 in the past month alone, and such abrupt surge in the price of bitcoin could lead to a correction.

 

Author: Joseph Young on 05/11/2017

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur