Category Archives: altcoin

What Is the Bitcoin Cash Fund?

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TheMerkle Bitcoin Cash Fund

The launch of Bitcoin Cash has been a mixed bag for the overall cryptocurrency community. It is clear that Bitcoin Cash will remain an altcoin with the Bitcoin name attached for quite some time to come. However, the launch of the Bitcoin Cash Fund may shake things up quite a bit. It is an interesting venture, to say the least.

The Bitcoin Cash Fund is Intriguing

In the world of cryptocurrency, community members and investors often look to developers to sort out everything related to a specific currency. Whether it is coding, marketing, developing new tools, raising awareness, or even speaking at conferences, developers are expected to do everything these days. That is not a sustainable vision for the future, as developers should be allowed to focus on the coding aspect of their jobs first and foremost. This is why the Bitcoin Cash community is working on a venture known as the Bitcoin Cash Fund.

This idea started out as a venture to “crowdfund” US$200 worth of BCH to produce a short animation video about BCH and publish pamphlets to raise additional awareness. So far, the Bitcoin Cash Fund has received over US$17,000 from various sources. This means a lot of money has been raised to market this altcoin. With a few dedicated volunteers on board as well, things are looking bright for this initiative.

It is good to see the Bitcoin Cash community come together at such an important time in the history of this cryptocurrency. Right now, most people focus on the speculative side of BCH, but it is obvious there is a lot more to this currency than most people give it credit for. Pushing for increased adoption will not be easy, even though things have steadily progressed in that department. This will be the main focus of the Bitcoin Cash Fund moving forward, as the community-driven effort seeks to push BCH adoption to new heights.

One of the key areas to address immediately is ensuring the Bitcoin Cash Fund remains efficient and effective. With nearly 100 volunteers already dedicating their time and effort, things are off to a good start. However, there is still no framework to process donations to the Bitcoin Cash Fund and then to the community in exchange for their involvement. Considering the need to be as decentralized and transparent as possible, a proper approach will need to be found.

The current plan of action doesn’t revolve around the Bitcoin Cash Fund handing projects down for community members to work on. Instead, it will work the other way around. Community members will be the driving force behind new projects, which means they are free to come up with crazy ideas as they see fit. It’s a solid approach, assuming there will be enough proposals to ensure adoption can be achieved. Moreover, project leaders can put in proposals for funding, which will then be filled by the Bitcoin Cash fund.

It is certainly true there are still a lot of details yet to be worked out. Governance of the Bitcoin Cash fund, for example, will be a critical area to tackle. A two-of-three multisignature wallet address will be created to set things up initially. As this project scales, other solutions may need to be considered, though. Three board members will be running the show for the time being, but this is also subject to change as time progresses.

Troy University’s Malavika Nair Says Bitcoin Is Something Different Than a Classic Bubble

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Troy University’s Malavika Nair Says Bitcoin Is Something Different Than a Classic Bubble

Malavika Nair of Troy University describes bitcoin’s price phenomenon as something other than a classic bubble. Bubbles, she said, do not go up, up, up, then down a bit, only to go up, up, up in price a full step higher than before. “Whatever it is,” she reiterated, referring to bitcoin’s valuation, “it is definitely not a bubble.” More than just speculation, every metric, from wallets to transactions, bitcoin grows over time. A bubble, bitcoin ain’t.

Also readAntiwar.com Expands Cryptocurrency Acceptance for Enhanced Privacy

The Hate Hate Produced: Bitcoin as a Bubble

Bubble Boys of Hate

That doesn’t stop bubble boys of hate, of course. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein recently Twitter-flirted with bitcoin, giving it a wink. That ended rather quickly. Revealing he’s “kind of an old dog to be absorbing that kind of a new trick” who is “not comfortable,” lamenting how “maybe bitcoin is kind of a bubble.”

The Hate Hate Produced: Bitcoin as a Bubble

Citing how hard it was to unpack bitcoin in a mere 750 words, pundit Ron Insana wrote, “Bitcoin is in a bubble, make no mistake,” it’s going to fail when “excessive optimism far outweighs normal rational expectations.”

Legacy bankers at UBS in a white paper wrote of “the sharp rise in cryptocurrency valuations in recent months” and how it “is a speculative bubble.” They don’t even believe bitcoin will be a currency. The Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, agreed, “You can’t value bitcoin because it’s not a value-producing asset…it’s a real bubble in that sort of thing.”

Richard Turnill of Blackrock, which handles 6 trillion (yes, trillion) in assets, first argued “there’s no inherent right or wrong” price for bitcoin, but then quickly retreated by asserting it has “many characteristics of a bubble.” Not to be outdone, New York University’s Stern School of Business’, Nouriel Roubini, labeled basically the entire crypto market “a gigantic speculative bubble.”

Antifragile

By definition, bubbles are blown up easily and susceptible to pop by virtue of their thin layer of substance. One wrong move, whoosh, it all goes away.

Bitcoin has proven its resilience in the face of grave mortal wounds: exchanges hacked just as the cryptocurrency was gaining momentum, losing millions and millions; scandals plaguing it in the popular media, seemingly every day a new drug kingpin or assorted derelict was using it; charges of terrorism, money laundering, and even the Chinese government crackdown in recent weeks have all conspired to bring down bitcoin.

If it were a veneer, a shiny thing for fools, bitcoin would have long ago died. And yet here it is.

The Hate Hate Produced: Bitcoin as a Bubble

In his masterful, Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder, author Nassim Nicholas Taleb describes how to evaluate the above opinions (though he wasn’t writing about bitcoin), “To me, every opinion maker needs to have ‘skin in the game’ in the event of harm caused by reliance on his information or opinion,” he urges.

“Further, anyone producing a forecast or making an economic analysis needs to have something to lose from it, given that others rely on those forecasts (to repeat, forecasts induce risk taking; they are more toxic to us than any other form of human pollution),” he warns.

What do you think about bitcoin as a bubble? Tell us in the comments below!

Images courtesy of: Pixabay. www.nateturbow.com

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The post Troy University’s Malavika Nair Says Bitcoin Is Something Different Than a Classic Bubble appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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German Financial Authority Warns on ICOs…Again; Nothing Changed

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Germany issues a warning against ICOs…again. Separated by just six days.

As governments around the world continue spinning their wheels considering possible regulations for cryptocurrencies and ICOs, most are issuing warnings to consumers. The warnings are coming in waves, one after another. Some governments are so nervous, in fact, that they have issued warnings more than once.

On November 9, the German government made a statement warning cryptocurrency buyers that purchases or investments in ICOs are highly speculative and carry substantial risk.

On November 15, the German government made a statement warning cryptocurrency buyers that purchases or investments in ICOs are highly speculative and carry substantial risk.

The many warnings are a sign that governments are extremely anxious about how to control the burgeoning investment industry.

Warnings galore

Apparently the risks of ICO and cryptocurrency investment are so great that they warrant double warnings from some governments, and with the exact same verbiage. The Germans come after a long slew of other governmental regulations including Singapore, the UK, Iran, and the Ukraine.

Apparently at times, one warning just isn’t enough.

Bitcoin Price Analysis: BTC Pushes All-time Highs and Tests Historic Resistance

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Throughout the life of bitcoin’s two-year bull run, it has been confined within two macro trends: one parabolic and one linear — both on a logarithmic scale:

Figure_1.JPGFigure 1: BTC-USD, 1-Day Candles, Macro Trend

The parabolic envelope (black curves) has confined the entire bull run throughout the last two years. Over the weekend, we saw a test of the lower curve that proved to be proper support and propelled the market into a bounce that now has the market testing the upper linear trendline (purple lines) at the time of this article:Figure_2.JPGFigure 2: BTC-USD, 2-Hour Candles, Test of Upper Trendline

As the bitcoin market approaches the upper trendline, the price action will coincide with a test of the previous all-time high. Expect this to be a point of resistance with possible market turbulence. However, if we manage to break that resistance level and hold support above the trendline, there is no clear resistance until we test the parabolic envelope in the upper $8,000s.

If we look at the macro indicators for this move, we see some signs that have proven to be indications of short-term rallies leading to corrections:

Figure_3.JPGFigure 3: BTC-USD, 1-Day Candles, Bollinger Band Trend

The last two corrections bitcoin has seen came on the tail of a minor pullback that rebounded to a new all-time high. The one-day candle trend is, so far, showing a repeated pattern that has led into a reversal each time it tested the upper parabolic curve. A rounding of the Bollinger bands during an upward move (shown in purple) is a forecast for decreased upward volatility that will lead to either a consolidation period or a reversal to the lower Bollinger bands.

While a reversal is not required of this move upward, one can speculate that once the price tags the upper parabolic curve, we could see a pullback to the lower Bollinger bands on the one-day charts. A pullback to the lower Bollinger bands would see support quite nicely with the lower parabolic curve.

One of two outcomes can be expected from this move upward: either we will test the upper parabolic trendline and reverse, or we will break above and consolidate before continuing on a very strong bullish move to new highs.

However, these macro moves have become increasingly more demanding on the market as we continue to get squeezed within the parabolic envelope. The forecast of the Bollinger bands indicates we are not likely to see a sustained move higher without a consolidation period or a pullback.

Summary:

  1. Over the weekend, bitcoin saw another test of the lower parabolic curve that proved to be strong support.

  2. After testing the parabolic curve, the market rebounded and has now established a new all-time high.

  3. If this trend continues, bitcoin could see prices in the mid to upper $8,000s before any noticeable resistance stands in the way of the price growth.

Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin and ether is highly speculative and comes with many risks. This analysis is for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice. Statements and financial information on Bitcoin Magazine and BTC Media related sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BTC Media and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

CommerceBlock Announces Partnership with CG Blockchain

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CommerceBlock is proud to announce the beginning of its fruitful partnership with CG Blockchain. As a part of this partnership, the blockchain platform will be working on the new FUNDStore project, providing an interface to what’s considered as the world’s most secure public blockchain network. By implementing its novel tools within the FUNDStore ecosystem for blockchain based software solutions for hedge funds and pension funds, CommerceBlock will empower the clients of CG Blockchain to interact and conduct business under strict privacy. These transactions in question can be conducted over various public blockchains.

The partnership can be considered as a significant milestone for both the parties and Bob Bonomo, the President of CG Blockchain has reiterated in a recent quote. He said,

“FUNDStore/CG Blockchain is excited to partner with CommerceBlock as it offers unique public blockchain tools for the $3 trillion hedge fund industry through its technical expertise around public blockchain infrastructure.”

The announcement also marks a twist in the narrative so far, where the mainstream financial platforms have been maintaining a safe distance form Bitcoin and public blockchain technologies. By creating a bridge between both sectors, CommerceBlock is opening a whole new avenue for the overall development of the global financial infrastructure. The partnership also coincides with new developments, being brought about by CME Group and its planned Bitcoin exchange-traded instruments.

CG Blockchain

ComplianceGuard offers pension fund investors the tools they need to make sure that hedge fund managers do not change transaction or data. CG Blockchain combines an unalterable blockchain transaction trail with ongoing compliance monitoring to decrease the risk of hedge fund fraud at the same time protect the reputation of pension fund managers. In the current world of high measures of scrutiny and regulations, pension fund investors need accurate transaction records that can be verified as well as the compliance data from the funds they invest in. The blockchain will permanently record hedge fund compliance on a distributed ledger.

FUNDStore

FUNDStore enables users and pension fund providers to manage all stages of the transactions and interactions through the platform. It is designed in a way that all information, user funds, and user details are controlled by the client, meaning that at no point does CommerceBlock or CG Blockchain have access to this data. CG Blockchain partnering with CommerceBlock now seeks to increase hedge fund accountability and transparency of the transactions. It aims at delivering security to pension fund investors through the blockchain technology. This partnership will set the new standards for pension and hedge fund investment.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not represent the views of NewsBTC or any of its team members. NewsBTC is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied in Sponsored Stories/Press Releases such as this one.

Siri for Crypto: a Chatbot That Helps With Trades and Transactions

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Your wallet on AI: How chatbots are changing cryptocurrency transactions.

If you’re reading this, you have probably completed a cryptocurrency transaction at some stage. So you probably remember the learning curve of figuring out what wallets, addresses, miner’s fees and public and private keys mean. Even as you get used to using cryptocurrencies, the hassles of inputting information, slow transaction times and worst of all fraud and theft persist.

For a complete newcomer, especially one with less interest in financial technology these problems are a big hurdle. You might have the hang of Bitcoin, but your grandmother would probably have less aptitude for it. But the persistent media attention given to cryptocurrencies is fueling a constant stream of new, curious users.

All this pressure to increase the usability of crypto is leading many to look for new ways to leverage technology to make the whole process easier. A new era of computing has dawned with the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI), which enables the automation of functions that previously only a human could do.

One such project is TeleX AI, who want to use a chatbot to make the entire investing and trading process much easier.

A lot of buzz but a lot of hassle

It is kind of amazing how underdeveloped the user experience of trading and transacting cryptocurrencies is relative to the amount of interest the wider public has on the topic. Recent all-time highs in Bitcoin price has the public queuing up to get involved.

However, consider the difficulty in onboarding a new user. There is first the information gap: most people have never heard of exchanges, don’t know what an appropriate miner’s fee is, and have no clue how to trade currencies for each other or convert to and from fiat.

Add to this the extra security measures that some platforms require, like ID verification, and you have a recipe for a clunky onboarding experience at the best of times.

Furthermore, transaction times and fees are usually a fact of life even for experienced users. So any solutions that make this whole set of processes more straightforward will be able to cash in and also provide a real benefit to users.

These concerns are widely known in the crypto community. User experience and convenience are the impetus behind the Bitcoin fork attempt and the lightning networks of Bitcoin and Ethereum.

So when taken together, you really get an idea of how much manual hassles are involved in cryptocurrencies, and also that there is a real demand for solutions.

The rise of the chatbots

Telex AI intend to address these problems with a type of innovation that seems impressively simple when you see it functioning, yet only works thanks to complex and cutting-edge innovations in computer science. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning allow programs to iteratively change their own processes each time they’re executed, getting better and smarter as they are used. Coupled with the ability to process vast quantities of data and you have a solution that quickly learns how to deal with complex and nuanced inputs to give the right answer or carry out the right command.

In essence, this makes robo advisors and reps able to act as your personal assistant with a variety of tasks. Imagine having a personal assistant walk you through your first Bitcoin transaction and then be available to process all your transactions thereafter on demand. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of TeleX AI is that is all done via Telegram, an extra-secure Whatsapp rival that is particularly popular with the crypto community. The TeleX AI is, therefore, a wallet and chatbot in one. The TeleX AI team explained its functioning further in their whitepaper:

“Users interact with the chatbot through the Telegram interface; the conversations are interpreted and processed by the chatbot backend, which is connected to the liquidity engine. The liquidity engine tracks the user balances and routes the deposits to several altcoin exchanges to provide liquidity. The orderbooks of those altcoin exchanges are copied, and whenever a user gives an order through the Telegram interface, the order is given in one of the attached exchanges, depending on the price and availability of TeleX AI’s pooled funds in those exchanges.”

This offers both quantitative advantages because it allows users to work faster and qualitative improvements in that it reduces errors on the part of users.

The future of transactions?

There is clearly going to be a big interplay between cryptocurrencies and AI in the near future, and TeleX AI want to use their expertise to get an early position. The team, based in London, is headed up by experienced traders and developers in the crypto industry. They are holding their ICO on Nov. 21.

Without a Voice, How can Crypto-Enterprise be Legally Sound? LEGAL Braces to Impact the Crypto-World in a Spectacular Way.

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smartone logo

As the potential for real-world implementation of blockchain technology grows, major companies in the financial and commercial industries as well as smaller companies including start-ups, are all beginning to realise something as the crypto world moves further onward into that of the mainstream.

Disclosure: This is a Sponsored Article

During this age of diverse blockchain innovation, it has become apparent that whilst this new technology booms, there are pre-existing cogs in the legal machine that have failed to adapt to the Crypto-way, which brings a question to mind; does the crypto-world need a legal voice?

SmartOne, with the upcoming ICO release of their Ethereum based ERC 20 token, LEGAL (LGL), are setting up to address the issue head on. They have correctly identified that without a legal voice, crypto enterprises can fall victim to a series of legal roadblocks that open up crypto businesses and the crypto-ecosystem as a whole up to all manners of risks whilst compromising their abilities to engage with regulators. As a consequence, this decreases the likelihood or completely stops these companies from gaining access to the world’s financial and capital markets, slowing funding and crypto innovation.

To bridge this gap, SmartOne is making the first step toward making suitable legal services readily available for those in need of it; by offering up lawyers who are savvy in the blockchain world.

What SmartOne also will be including in their services is a marketplace for legal advice, automated document preparation and individual consultation.

These services are set to be fast acting; law firms registered with SmartOne are prompted by automation, generating a quick efficient delivery.

Populated by a team of legal and technical experts, a community that has designed and built this service in the ‘Crypto Valley’, Zug, Switzerland; SmartOne whilst being a legal service, will also lend their credible voice to the world, in the form of researched and developed articles that begin the much needed dialogue between the crypto-legal world and regulators.

It’s exciting to think that crypto-innovation has hit such a crucial step on its journey in such a short time, and how readily SmartOne are to take this major milestone on.

There are broad new horizons for the crypto-world on the way. As the technology grows and adapts itself to the current systems in place, there will be a growing demand and need to have crypto in all facets of commercial and financial life. Which means it needs to be accessible, secure and readily prepared for the regulatory bodies that the crypto-world seeks to work with.

SmartOne ICO

SmartOne is about to get going with its LEGAL token ICO, a token that is the absolute backbone of the marketplace that SmartOne is about to create, which will bring together the crypto and legal communities. The ICO for their bold LEGAL token, LGL, will begin November 15th lasting for a maximum of two weeks.

Offering up 13,000,000,000 tokens for the public token launch, the Ethereum-based coin will be available to browser wallets Parity, MyEtherwallet and MetaMask and offer a reward of 1% additional LGL tokens generated per year and a bonus programme offering 10% for verified whitelisted accounts.

For more information or to be a part of it head to https://smartone.legal and to reserve a 10% bonus upon sign up, get whitelisted here at https://legaltoken.io.

The Future of Native Advertising: Native Video Box Announces ICO and NVB Token

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AdTech and digital advertising market is currently experiencing vertiginous growth. With video advertising becoming the fastest growing advertising segment in 2017, it’s time for the industry to make a step forward. That’s why Native Video Box aims at bringing together blockchain and the hottest AdTech trends to create the future of advertising.

What is Native Video Box?

Native Video Box (NVB) resembles YouTube like cryptocurrencies resemble traditional banks. It is an independent native video platform with native eco approach to advertising, which enabling sites to enhance users’ experience with highly relevant content. NVB shares 75% of ad views revenue with videos owners (15%) and website owners (60%): with those who actually create video content and those who bring it to the audience. These values and transparency grants our network fast organic growth and highest inventory quality standards, which magnetically attract the advertisers.

NVB Service is a literally turnkey solution for publishers: relevant native video with brand-safe licensed content, that will start to earn immediately via programmatic video ads.

On the other hand, Native Video Box solves the issue of video bloggers and other video content creators, who have not yet an option to spread their videos outside of their usual video hostings audience and be generously paid for that at the same time. According to our estimates, NVB will be able to offer content creators higher average income than YouTube can provide.

Native Video Box brings together the most cutting-edge video ad technologies in an entirely new ecosystem, created to benefit publishers and content creators. These values and transparency grants our network fast organic growth and highest inventory quality standards, which magnetically attract the advertisers.

How does it work?

NVB has two types of advertising inventory: in-stream pre-rolls (short ads shown before video content) and native video (when advertiser pays for the show of the video like a “sponsored article” unit to promote the advertiser’s product). The fact that we work with both types of ads, sold via programmatic ad service, makes our business model sustainable. In order to use in spot native advertising, that is actually similar to content videos, advertisers should provide content that matches the NVB editorial policy.

Example:

  • Using machine learning algorithms system automatically select that set for us- like these
  • We need a  set of most relevant videos from the NVB video base to show as the thumbnails in our box.
  • User visits a page of the website from NVB network, for instance about tourism in Florida.
  • The visitor clicks consciously on thumbnail of an interesting video and it opens wide: but before the video itself, visitor sees the pre-roll ad (advertising video up to 15 seconds in length).
  • Advertising view revenues is shared among webmasters (60%), right owners (15%)  and a platform (25%).

Why Tokenization?

NVB tokens are the currency of the service: all the transactions among system participants are conducted solely in tokens. To acquire ad impressions, advertiser needs to purchase NVB tokens.

Due to сryptocurrency nature of NVB tokens, it’s an easy way to make payments for each individual blogger or publisher in variety of countries, solving the problems with financial clearing and regulatory paperwork as well as high payment commissions of fiat banks (for currencies conversions).

By far, Native Video Box has developed an MVP with all machine learning stuff that has acquired local business traction and now has been refactoring the project to go global and implement blockchain. NVB tokens Pre-sale starts on December, 1 with significant benefits for early birds.

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CommerceBlock Turns Real Estate Buying and Selling Into a Global Tokenized Market

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commerceblock

Global real estate market transactions will surpass $1 tln by 2020, private investors will make about one-third of those sales. The time and cost savings of doing deals directly between buyer and seller will make the Blockchain the main transaction platform of the future.

Real estate closings are a notoriously long process, involving appraisers, real estate agents, lawyers, bankers and insurers. Unsurprisingly, many real estate deals end up in disputes. The transparent Blockchain would make it harder to delay real estate deals owing to a lawyer off on a golf vacation or a bank lending officer waiting for an interest rate hike. All parties have access to a smart digital contract linked to the real estate asset—a single immutable truth of the real estate transaction process.

CommerceBlock, one of the first Blockchain marketplaces being tested by companies, provides anyone with the tools to manage the real estate sales and financing process. Flexible smart contract templates are being designed to accommodate different real estate contract terms. All parties with access can execute and monitor all stages of the transaction. Lawyers and bankers no longer need to control the escrow account. When the buyer and seller sign off on the deal, the escrow will be released to the seller’s Ethereum wallet.

One-stop real estate financing platform, HiP

HiP has decided to use CommerceBlock. The four-year-old digital marketplace for commercial and residential property buyers, owners and investors provide a platform where equity and loan assets can be freely and innovatively traded and shared – individually or in combination.  

The tie-up completes the real estate transaction chain. The HiP platform provides financing while smart contracting, asset issuance, tracking and currency hedging are provided by the CommerceBlock suite. The platform manages all aspects of financing—property onboarding, due diligence, secondary market trading, trade settlement, risk management and asset servicing.

“When we were looking for a partner in the Blockchain space, CommerceBlock stood out for their history, technology and industry contacts.  We believe in their model and their tech stack based on BIP-175.  No other company in this space impressed as much and the partnership so far has been outstanding,” enthuses Kai Peeters, CEO of Hip.property.

Access to this one-stop shop for real estate buying and selling running on CommerceBlock infrastructure is gained through the CommerceBlock Token (CBT). “Powered by the CommerceBlock token, our partner will utilize the CommerceBlock network to manage their interactions with the public Blockchain,” explains CEO Nicholas Gregory. Once a real estate property is boarded onto the exchange’s system, the property ownership and due diligence are linked cryptographically to the asset. Only the investors can see the documentation ownership information. Property owners can then list debt and equity assets for sale via crypto and fiat currencies. 

Back office settlement is another black hole in international finance, and not surprisingly the scene of some of the largest bank frauds in history. At this stage, too, property owners and investors maintain full transparency to a more efficient settlement system over the CommerceBlock Blockchain through a sidechain. Proofs are provided throughout the process.

The transparency and privacy of CommerceBlock’s real estate platform should lower fraud and disputes, but if disputes do arise a dispute resolution mechanism is activated. Instead of signing off and closing the deal, alternatively, an arbitrator chosen at the time of contract development can be activated. For international real estate transactions, currency hedging will be performed by the smart contract. Private investors who may have had a harder time securing real estate financing from banks are part of a movement of SMEs seeking bank alternatives.

BIP175 secures real estate deals

CommerceBlock employs advanced Blockchain protocols emerging from the Blockchain community. Since these standards have been peer-reviewed by the global Blockchain software engineering community, they are most likely to become the standards in commercial Blockchain applications.

Business Improvement Protocol 175 (BIP-175)  was implemented by CommerceBlock to provide the benefits of the Blockchain to global commercial trade. This open-source standard facilitates connectivity between the private and public chains via fast and secure sidechains. The secure protocol provides parties to a contract with cryptographic proof of contract execution and details. CommerceBlock, though, does not have access to the customer data. Different from traditional middlemen who have their fingerprints all over transaction information, CommerceBlock facilitates the structuring and transmission of the contextual information but does not directly access it.  The Blockchain of the future will offer even more privacy. Universal credit ratings stored as an immutable Blockchain record could be attached to a loan deal, eliminating the need to access personal information to perform credit checks.

Pay to play with CommerceBlock tokens

Real estate is one of many industries that could benefit from the CommerceBlock Blockchain commercial transaction tools. Companies have several options to become members of the CommerceBlock ecosystem. One option is to download its SDKs and libraries and run the Blockchain supply chain suite on their own hardware. Alternatively, prepaid and subscription access is provided on a cloud-based platform. The concept is to allow members of the CommerceBlock ecosystem to design smart contracts with its templates and issue and distribute assets in global commerce with CBTs.

The CommerceBlock token sale

Anyone can join and benefit from the CommerceBlock ecosystem. The token sale, which will be conducted on the CommerceBlock issuance platform is an opportunity to test out the system. One mln CBT (ERC-20) will be available for public sale, with a fundraising target of $25 mln. Forty percent of the tokens will be used in the public ICO issuance, while 60 percent will be split between the company and provided as incentives to enterprise integration partners.

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Ethereum Continues Improvements Amid Bitcoin Bickering

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Ethereum is providing greater transaction numbers, speed and anonymity compared to Bitcoin

The cryptocurrency world is in a fuss about Bitcoin and rightly so, with the cancellation of the SegWit2x hardfork and the sudden drop in pricing by nearly $1000 per BTC. However, the price drops and news has kept Bitcoin in the limelight while Ethereum has slowly been making improvements and growing its network.

The second largest market cap coin has seen substantial use cases arise as the ICO world continues to flourish and new ERC20 and ERC223 tokens are created. Recent reports by the Ethereum Foundation indicate that Ethereum processed 44 percent more transactions than the Bitcoin Blockchain, showing the power of the Ethereum system.

Further, the total number of pending transactions for Ethereum has been stable between 30 and 300, while the same figure for Bitcoin has fluctuated anywhere from 39,000 to 47,000.

Quantum protection

The ZK-SNARK protocol, released on the Ethereum platform with the Byzantium hardfork, was quickly criticized by some tech insiders because of its risk of attack from quantum computers. While some had posited that the Ethereum fork would produce a Wall Street adoption boom, the risk from quantum computers has kept adoption steady.

A recent paper by Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin indicates, however, that a new protocol called the ZK-STARK has been conceptualized in order to protect a full zero-knowledge transaction, even from quantum computing. This protocol relies only on hashes and information theory, rather than the ‘trusted setup’ of its ZK-SNARK cousin.

The upgraded anonymity, while perhaps necessary for such applications as public or fiscal Blockchain transactions, does come at a data cost – from 288 bytes to a few hundred kilobytes according to Buterin. However, in fields where anonymity is paramount, the additional data would provide something that no other system to date can accomplish – fully secure and fully anonymous transactions.

With the rise in transaction volume, the increased speed of transactions, and burgeoning technology use cases, Ethereum may be poised for greater market growth in the coming months.

Insane: Bitcoin Cash Rises 50% In Hours – Hits All-Time High At $1,300

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Now that the Bitcoin hard fork drama has ended and the price seems poised to return to October levels circa 6,000 dollars, Bitcoin Cash gets the market’s attention as its price has risen by more than…

The post Insane: Bitcoin Cash Rises 50% In Hours – Hits All-Time High At $1,300 appeared first on Just Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency News

How Blockchain and Big Data Can Discover Human Personality through Human Science Studies

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I’ve been passionate about technology since 2002. In 2014, I found out that my expertise could bring real value to people in the intersection of edtech and science when I cofounded GetCourse together with Marat Nigametzyanov and Sergey Mikhailov.

Timur, blockchainTimur Karimbaev

It is analogue of OntraPort and Kajabi, where trainers and coaches could develop and promote their courses. We help more than 1000 trainers to monetize their knowledge—their accumulating revenue is up to $50MM. Average CAGR is 193% per year and its revenue is $6MM. Blockchain technology together with Big Data will bring us one step further in providing people with smart tools for their personal development.

At GetCourse, we see two trends that are in line with global tendencies and the problems arising from them. And there are no solutions for them on the market.

First, the demand for tools for personal development is growing. At GetCourse, revenue of self-improvement courses has increased by 300% from $2MM to $6MM from 2014 to 2016. Globally, Facebook collects an enormous amount of data when asking users to pass various tests. It offers users recommendations, but in fact, it gains data. At the same time, professional methods of personality analysis are disordered and often poorly described, and data that their authors collect is getting lost. Neurobiologists, psychologists, and consultants conduct research on how the brain works, how to typologize people, and develop various methods of human personality analysis, discovering one’s strengths and weaknesses to find out people’s potential. Lack of data is a huge problem for scientists in working on their studies.

Second, there is a growing gap between researchers in human personality and tech-entrepreneurs who are developing products for the market. The number of self-improvement apps (For e.g., Remente and PersonalityPerfect, which ask you to assess your life and provide you with recommendations) is growing, but their creators do not have the opportunity to objectively evaluate what personal data interpretation to select for the app development. At GetCourse, we also see the gap between those who promote and sell courses and those who create content. In fact, people are lacking access to knowledge only because not every scientist can monetize their work.

Blockchain will bring order, equality, and transparency to human research methods

Our main mission when launching Human Discovery Platform is to create a blockchain-network of interpreting personal data methods and big data analysis tools for their statistical verification, and also to build architecture helping tech-entrepreneurs to launch products based on the methods. The platform will attract scientists, psychologists, and other experts by providing them with the tools to digitize their methods and store a large amount of data in an impersonal way for further development of the methods. Each author will input methods into the system by creating a block. Blocks will be stored in a blockchain-network and will be located on decentralized nodes that will run code for analysis. By combining blocks, complex analytical systems will be created. Tech-entrepreneurs will be able to develop highly-personalized apps on the basis of methods, combining the output recommendations via Big Data Analyzer.

We will issue Ethereum-based HD-tokens to ensure proper functioning of the ecosystem. Each time a consumer requests data analysis from an app, he will spend HD-tokens, which will go to the scientist-owned method[CC3] -block and to the node that runs code analysis. Consumers will receive some tokens when registering on the Platform. This will ensure traffic and provide entrepreneurs with an audience to buy their services, and scientists—with a data sample for their studies. The higher the demand for the tokens, the higher its price.

We believe that this decentralized system will attract more people than a centralized one, primarily because it will mean that data will not belong to a single company. A centralized system might use data for its own purposes: recall recent scandal around Facebook and Trump elections regarding Russian hackers. Transparency and equality are important values for us. We also will not evaluate the methods, because evaluation also means some kind of centralization format. We are building the infrastructure. Just like Ethereum is a platform for ICO and does not have a say over which ICO is good or bad, Human Discovery Platform will be an ecosystem for creating human personality analysis methods.

Currently, there is no other platform that provides scientists with both data samples and tools to monetize their knowledge.

Human Discovery Platform development launched in 2016, when we created a dating service on the Product level of the future Platform based on the Human Design method to test the concept. More than 15,000 users registered on the website in a month, and the interest towards the service in Russia is only increasing. On November 22nd, Human Discovery Platform will have a token sale. In June 2018, we will launch the Platform together with my team at GetCourse—me, Marat Nigametzyanov, Sergey Mikhailov, and around 30 IT-professionals.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not represent the views of NewsBTC or any of its team members. NewsBTC is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied in Sponsored Stories/Press Releases such as this one.

Canadian Police Issue Warning Over Bitcoin Tax Scam

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Police in Canada have issued a warning over a bitcoin tax scam after more than 40 York region residents fell victim to fraudsters.

According to a report by CBC News, York Regional Police said that victims lost as much as 340,000 Canadian dollars (US$267,000) through the scam.

The fraudsters, who identified themselves as employees of the Canada Revenue Agency, threatened the victims with arrest for unpaid taxes if they did not send funds using bitcoin ATMs.

York police’s Det. Const. Rob Vingerhoets said the bitcoin ATMs are “legitimate” and that tracking down the fraudsters or recovering lost money may be possible.

According to police force, there has been an increase in reports of such scammers in recent months. Public awareness is the only way to combat such scams in the future, Vingerhoets said, adding, “Our main strategy, … [is] to stop people from becoming victims in the first place.”

York police have placed flyers near bitcoin ATMs to alert the public about potential scams, the report adds.

The news comes soon after Durham Regional Police Service in Ontario issued a warning to the public about fraudulent investment schemes involving bitcoin.

Bitcoin and ATM receipt image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

SimplyVital Health Secures Contract with the Bone & Joint Institute at Hartford Hospital

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SVH

November 9, 2017SimplyVital Health (SVH), the healthcare company streamlining medical data storage and sharing using blockchain technology, has announced a partnership with Hartford HealthCare Bone & Joint Institute at Hartford Hospital (BJI). Through its blockchain-based ConnectingCare platform, SVH will manage and analyze total hip and total knee joint replacement patients from first appointment to final treatment, helping to reduce costs and improve patient recovery.

BJI is ahead of the game, preparing for excellence in orthopedic risk based contracts. Research found that orthopedic risk based contracts drive down cost, without affecting quality. SVH believes the key is effective pre and post-surgery management of patients and monitoring financial estimates in near real time. Maximizing savings requires easy access to the same data of shared patients, across multiple providers, and is exactly what ConnectingCare provides.

Kat Kuzmeskas, CEO of SVH, knows the orthopedic space well, having spent nearly three years working with a hospital-based orthopedic department.

“What excites us the most about this opportunity is paralleling and supporting the work of the nurse navigators. This is an effective, proven method to improve care while controlling costs.” explains Kuzmeskas.

“We have trained our nurse navigators to determine patient transition plans 2-4 weeks ahead of surgery, understanding DME, transportation, and medication management. The ConnectingCare platform gives us one more tool to effectively manage our patients,” says David Santoro, Director of Operations of the BJI.

SVH and Hartford Hospital look forward to decreasing costs and providing better care for patients of the BJI through blockchain technology.

About SimplyVital:

SimplyVital Health leverages Health Nexus, its blockchain protocol, to empower providers’ transition to value based care regardless of clinical affiliation. Their principal tool, ConnectingCare, augments existing hospital care systems to extract data and create care pathway flexibility, prospectively track financials, maintain immutable records, and accurately monitor analytics. Learn more at: https://tokensale.simplyvitalhealth.com

About BJI at HH:

The Hartford HealthCare Bone & Joint Institute at Hartford Hospital offers an unparalleled network of coordinated services for patients with musculoskeletal disorders and orthopedic injuries, serving patients from Baby Boomers to seasoned athletes. The new five-floor, 130,000-square foot facility features 10 operating rooms, 48 private inpatient beds (with the ability to expand to 60), diagnostic services, outpatient rehabilitation and ample space for community education.

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ALT COIN MONERO GAINS $16 AGAINST THE USD

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Alt coin Monero moved $16 yesterday breaking above minor resistance level at $90. This price surge followed a bullish divergence pattern after November 2, a common pattern in all other alt coins except NEO. I expect a short term across the board appreciation of alt coin s in the coming sessions.

ALT COIN NEM TESTING RESISTANCE

alt coin NEMUSD Daily chartNEMUSD Daily Chart for 07.11.2017

Alt coin NEM ended up as a bull after yesterday. Since price action is trending within a break out strategy, the two support and resistance trend lines defining the wedge before a break below are still important.

There is a stochastics buy signal in place and a strong reaction at $0.19. This is the break out price on October 31when alt coin NEM prices closed at $0.19 and triggered further NEM slide. If anything, the current correction up is a retest. As mentioned yesterday, we shall wait for a stochastics sell signal to form at the overbought territory.

Even though the sell pressure as denoted with that long upper wick with highs of $0.22 is high, our ideal sell zone remains unchanged at around $0.22 and $0.25.

ALT COIN DASH CLOSE ABOVE THE 20 PERIOD MA AFTER 22 TRADING DAYS

alt coin DASHUSD Daily chartDASHUSD Daily Chart for 07.11.2017

As mentioned yesterday, the 20 period MA is an important level for alt coin DASH. Over an extended period of time, price action couldn’t close above it until after yesterday’s close of $287 and a test of resistance trend line at $295.

You also notice that this is after a bull divergence pattern was formed between October 9 and November 2. On November 5, DASH ended up with a bullish pin bar and a buy signal indicating DASH bulls build up. With that break above 20 period MA resistance line, DASH bulls can continue buying until a stochastic sell signal shows.

If you paste a Fibonacci retracement tool between August –September Hi-Los, important reversal points to watch out will be at $335 and $370 resistance levels falling at 38.2% and 23.6% correction levels. Both of those levels are significant.

ALT COIN IOTA REVERSING FROM $0.38 MAIN SUPPORT LEVEL

alt coin IOTUSD Daily chart IOTUSD Daily Chart for 07.11.2017

There are two important technical considerations for this crypto pair. First is the obvious price action bull divergence with the stochastics. Note that between October 13 and November 2 lows of $0.40 and $0.32 respectively, stochastics were turning higher and higher.

This bull pressure build up has resulted in that double bar reversal pattern at support minor support line of $0.32. IOTA bulls should also note that the Morning Star pattern between October 21 and 24 marked a support zone which prevented further price depreciation yesterday. As you can see, after November 2 lows of $0.32 price actually inched higher afterwards.

Today, there is a high probability that there will be a break above the 20 period MA and the resistance trend line  following that double bar reversal pattern yesterday. If it does and IOTA end up closing above $0.38 now resistance level, bull target should be at $0.60. This level represents September 30 highs and a confluence point with Fibonacci correction level of 61.8% drawn from August-October Hi-Los of $1.1 and $0.32.

ALT COIN MONERO GAINS $16 AND TESTS $102 HIGHS

alt coin Monero Daily chartMonero Daily Chart for 07.11.2017

Monero was in a rally mode yesterday. Following a bullish divergence as previously noted, price action was pushed back into the trading range after that double bar reversal pattern on November 2 and 3.

The reversal pattern was accompanied by a stochastics buy signal following sustained buy pressure over a 16 trading day period. Notice how the 20 period MA resistance  line couldn’t hold yesterday’s strong bullish candle. It is a mark of intent by alt coin Monero bulls. I expect prices to correct following this $16 surge propelled by above average volumes.

Since price action is playing within a bull flag, Monero bulls could end up retesting August highs of $155. Note that price action is reversing from the 23.6% Fibonacci retracement level between August highs and September lows.

ALT COIN NEO IN A TIGHT $4 CONSOLIDATION RANGE

alt coin NEOUSD Daily chartNEOUSD Daily Chart for 07.11.2017

Unlike other crypto pairs, NEO trade range is very tight. In 4 trading days, price action has been in consolidation within a $4 range. The limits are between the lows of $24 and highs of $28 oscillating within a descending channel.

Zooming in close and you notice that this is a short term bull flag with support level at $22. Most alt coins are moving up and I expect NEO to rise with the tide. To do so, NEO bulls must break above the 20 period MA and the minor resistance line at $28.

Notwithstanding, we cannot ignore that we are in a larger bear trend and we expect USD bulls to jump in at around $40 resistance level.

All charts courtesy of Trading View

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is not guaranteed, does not purport to be comprehensive and is strictly for information purposes only. It should not be regarded as investment/trading advice. All the information is believed to come from reliable sources. NewsBTC does not warrant the accuracy, correctness, or completeness of information in its analysis and therefore will not be liable for any loss incurred.

Money Manager VanEck Launches Cryptocurrency Price Indices

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The company behind a recent effort to launch a cryptocurrency-tied exchange-traded fund (ETF) has unveiled a suite of new price indices related to bitcoin and other digital assets.

New York-based VanEck announced today that it is partnering with UK data firm CryptoCompare to launch the indices, which include several that focus on specific cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether, as well as others that trace the movements of multiple assets. The indices are being managed through MV Index Solutions, a company owned by VanEck.

“Digital assets are a dynamic area that merits attention, especially by professional investor. Although not without risks, digital assets have the potential to integrate into the broad economy and become an investable asset class in their own right,” Thomas Kettner, managing director for MVIS, said in a statement.

VanEck made headlines in August when filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission revealed a plan to list an ETF centered around bitcoin derivatives products. The filings – which came months after the SEC’s rejection of an ETF effort launched by investors Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss – ultimately came to form part of a wider effort to create similar products for U.S. investors.

In late September, however, VanEck filed to withdraw its application, revealing at the time that the SEC was all but refusing to review ETF proposals built around cryptocurrency derivatives, owing to the nascent state of that market.

Market data image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency.

Money20/20: Wozniak Thinks Bitcoin Is Better Than Gold

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Steve Wozniak (aka the ‘Woz’) thinks Bitcoin is better than gold and the U.S. dollar, which he called “phony,” because the government can always print more.

On Sunday, October 22, 2017, the co-founder of Apple Computers shared his thoughts on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies at Money20/20 in Las Vegas where he was interviewed by Deirdre Bosa, technology reporter at CNBC. The conversation was around artificial intelligence, but the topic of Bitcoin emerged as well.

Wozniak feels a currency is more “stable” when it cannot be diluted and, while Bitcoin has a fixed future supply (only 21 million bitcoins will ever be mined), the same cannot be said about government-backed fiat currencies.

“There is a certain finite amount of bitcoin that can ever exist,” Wozniak said in explaining that the U.S. government could wind up printing more dollars for political reasons. He described the U.S. dollar as “kind of phony” in that sense, while describing Bitcoin as more “genuine and real.”

Similarly, he said, gold does not necessarily have a fixed supply either, because humans will continue to find more efficient ways to dig it out of the earth.

“Gold gets mined and mined and mined,” Wozniak said. “Maybe there’s a finite amount of gold in the world, but Bitcoin is even more mathematical and regulated and nobody can change mathematics.”

He compared owning Bitcoin to owning a house. “Your house has value. And if it is a house today, 40 years from now, it still is a house in value,” he said, even if the price goes up and the government draws more taxes out of it.

Mathematical Appreciation

Wozniak said he “admired” Bitcoin when the digital currency was first presented.

“I looked at it as a form of currency,” he said, adding that initially he did not understand the underlying blockchain technology but now he does.

He said, initially, he had a tough time buying bitcoin because that required setting up a special bank account. The process, he said was “so awkward, it kept me from getting early bitcoin.” When he finally was able to buy bitcoin, he said the price immediately dropped in half.

But those kind of numbers don’t mean so much to Wozniak. “I am not financial,” he told the crowd, admitting he never followed the price of bitcoin, nor the price of Apple stock but said he was drawn to bitcoin because it was based on mathematics.

“My wife and I, we judge a hotel room more by the number on the door than what is inside the room. We are both mathematicians,” he said.

Countless Opportunities for Blockchain Technology

Wozniak also touched on Bitcoin’s underlying blockchain technology, and its importance in allowing people to transparently track things, like minerals.

“Right now, there is conflict with minerals in the world, and you don’t want to buy conflict minerals. Well, how do you avoid it?” He continued by explaining how companies will usually buy gold from different countries and smelt it together, so there is no way of knowing where it all comes from. With blockchain-based solutions, however, tracking where that gold comes from is now possible.

“They are applying the technology where all the payment can only go to the good, legitimate sources that don’t have conflict minerals,” he added.

Wozniak pointed out that, currently, there are so many applications popping up using blockchain technology that are so different than what people initially imagined, and it will take time to get used to.

He also likened the introduction of smart contract platforms, like Ethereum, to when computers first came out and suddenly people were writing “tens of thousands of programs” nobody had ever thought of before. Smart contract platforms open those same doors of opportunity.

“There is a lot more to this cryptocurrency than just the Bitcoin,” he said.

Canada Court Holds ICO Organizer in Contempt

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The organizer of an initial coin offering (ICO) in Canada has been found in contempt of court following a new ruling from the Quebec Supreme Court.

The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), Quebec’s financial regulator, published a statement on October 20 announcing that Dominic Lacroix and a related company, DL Innov inc., had allegedly ignored previous court orders aimed at preventing them from soliciting investors for “PlexCoin”. PlexCoin, according to its official website, is a cryptocurrency based on ethereum.

The dispute between AMF and PlexCoin’s backers dates back to earlier this year, when Canadian regulators issued prohibition orders to Lacroix, DLT Innov and several related businesses, restricting them from promoting a planned token sale for PlexCoin. The AMF said at the time that the parties were ordered to close any related websites and pull back any advertisements related to the cryptocurrency release.

Within days, however, the AMF would go on to issue a warning to investors about PlexCoin, stating that “the persons involved have apparently not complied with these orders” and that a planned ICO was still being organized.

In September, Canadian regulators issued further restrictions, including an order to the cryptocurrency’s backers to not “dispose of any funds, securities or other property in their possession or entrusted to them.”

According to the latest release, Quebec Supreme Court Justice Marc Lesage sided with the government in ruling that Lacroix and DL Innov continue to violate the past orders.

“In his decision, Lesage…emphasized that the evidence filed by the AMF demonstrates beyond any doubt that Dominic Lacroix and DL Innov Inc., representatives and alter ego of PlexCorps and PlexCoin, continued to solicit and propose to investors, directly and indirectly, to invest in the purchase of PlexCoin, a virtual currency, after orders issued by the Administrative Court of Financial Markets preventing them from July 20, 2017,” the AMF wrote.

A hearing is reportedly set to take place next month regarding a penalty for the court contempt finding, according to the agency.

The dispute was ongoing when regulators in Canada published guidance on the blockchain funding use case in late August. At the time,  the Canada Securities Administrators – an umbrella group for the country’s regional markets watchdogs – said that it had found “many” ICO-derived tokens constitute securities.

Editor’s Note: Some of the statements in this report have been translated from French.

Image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

Money at Risk? Mobile Wallets Become New Battleground in Bitcoin Fork Debate

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Mobile bitcoin wallets users might not realize it, but their money might be at a heightened risk this November.

While advertised as a tool bitcoin users can tap to achieve an experience more akin to a conventional financial product, mobile bitcoin wallets today send transactions to the bitcoin blockchain, though in a way that differs from the default wallet options. But come November this construction could cause turbulence, because that’s when the bitcoin protocol is aiming to undergo yet another major change to its software.

Following this summer’s activation of the code upgrade SegWit, a group of businesses are now seeking to trigger a hard fork to increase bitcoin’s block size and further expand its transaction capacity. The code, part of a larger upgrade called Segwit2x, could lead bitcoin to split into two (again), that is, if not everyone decides to support the upgrade.

Still, the difference is that, unlike bitcoin cash, Segwit2x’s developers are doing everything they can to keep all bitcoin users on the same blockchain.

Segwit2x lead developer Jeff Garzik told CoinDesk:

“The design goal of Segwit2x – just like [the latest] ethereum fork – is to upgrade bitcoin, not create a new currency.”

To do so, developers backing the project also have made a couple of key (if controversial) design decisions that have to do with maintaining compatibility with “simplified payment verification” wallets, the technical term for smartphone-based bitcoin wallet applications.

But developers argue that there are pros and cons of how they are trying to accomplish this.

For one, it might not exactly be safe for mobile wallet users to make transactions immediately after the hard fork is enacted.

Attack resistance or convenience?

The first design decision is omitting so-called “replay protection.”

A bit of a political term, it’s meant to describe what happens when a blockchain splits in two, as users suddenly have equal value on both blockchains. This means that when users move tokens on one blockchain, the tokens also move (or “replay”) on the other.

But this isn’t visible to people who might not know that they have money on two networks during a network split. Worse case: users might lose some of their money and not even notice.

“It becomes unpredictable what money you’re moving and when,” Bread Wallet CMO Aaron Lasher explained in conversation with CoinDesk.

Since not everyone agrees with the Segwit2x hard fork – some are even going as far as to write up manifestos in opposition – it’s likely to split into two competing networks, and this could be confusing for general users.

However, Segwit2x developers have a reason for leaving replay protection out: to keep Segwit2x compatible with SPV mobile wallets.

“‘Replay protection’, as you call it, splits the chain. It simply doesn’t make sense. You’d suddenly be breaking [more than 10 million] SPV clients that otherwise work just fine. It is a goal of Segwit2x to help avoid this,” BitGo CEO Mike Belshe wrote in an email debate between developers of the project.

In other words, replay protection would cause inconvenience for mobile wallet users who want to shift over to the Segwit2x blockchain, so Segwit2x developers don’t plan on adding it.

Hard fork decisions

Mobile wallets are the subject of debate in another area as well.

Many providers of this wallet option, such as Electrum and Bread Wallet, rely on SPV. This does away with need to hold a full copy of the blockchain, making the data far easier to store on storage-strapped cellphones.

But, they have some drawbacks. (Coinkite co-founder CEO Rodolfo Novak went as far as to quip that “the ‘V’ in SPV stands for Victim.”)

As implemented today, SPV wallets will automatically follow whatever version of bitcoin has the most miners backing it. So, if bitcoin splits into two, and Segwit2x attracts more computing power than the legacy bitcoin chain, then all of the SPV wallets will follow along. That’s by design.

But some mobile wallet providers aren’t so happy about this, as it’s hard to explain to users what’s happening.

“It’s really tough for us because we are so direly affected,” said Lasher.

This also has the potential to lead to some technical problems. If there are two bitcoins, mobile wallet software might get confused about which chain to follow, especially if miners switch between blockchains over time (as happened in the aftermath of the bitcoin cash fork).

“It could confuse SPV clients and result in clients switching back and forth between chains, making them lose money depending on which chain has more work at what point,” Chaincode engineer Matt Corallo said.

Novak painted another scenario.

“With SVP you don’t know if the node you are connected to is lying to you. For example, a Segwit2x node can spoof as a [bitcoin] node [on the other chain], this means that without replay protection your wallet may spend the funds in the wrong chain and lose them on the correct chain,” Novak told CoinDesk.

Overall, developers paint an assortment of “if-then” scenarios. Lasher admitted as much, noting that it’s unclear which ones will actually play out.

“It’s really this decision tree of many, many things that can happen. And all of them are on the scale of somewhat annoying to downright dangerous,” he said, adding that Bread Wallet plans to encourage users to stop making transactions during the hard fork, “if they can manage.”

A solution?

But with disarray at the application layer, protocol developers have been arguing about how best to handle what might come.

Bitcoin contributor James Hilliard, well-known for helping to prevent a bitcoin split earlier this year, suggested a change to the Segwit2x codebase that he argues would give mobile wallets more control over the which bitcoin they ultimately land on.

Again, though, Segwit2x developers argue that this change would make it more difficult for users to transition to a blockchain with a block size increase – something they believe many users want to do, so that they can make cheaper transactions. (Garzik argued that is the most “neutral” metric for determining which chain SPV wallets should follow.)

But, again, others believe that this will confuse users and perhaps even lead those that are unaware of the situation to lose money.

Some developers even agree that there needs to be a block-size parameter increase, but simply disagree with some of Segwit2x’s design decisions.

As such, the statements highlight that, while often portrayed as black and white, the scaling argument still has its shades of gray.

Lasher concluded:

“There might be some merits to a block-size increase. But we don’t agree with the current way it’s being pushed through.”

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which helped organize the Segwit2x proposal and has an ownership stake in BitGo.

Fishing net image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Interested in offering your expertise or insights to our reporting? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

Chinese Miners Sell Hardware Amidst Regulatory Uncertainties

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Chinese Miners Sell Hardware Amidst Regulatory Uncertainties

It has been reported that an increasing number of Chinese bitcoin miners are liquidating their hardware via second-hand trading platforms. Many of the miners are selling their equipment due to fears that China’s cryptocurrency crackdown may be intensified to target miners.

Also Read: Chinese Media Calls For “Zero Tolerance” on Crimes Involving Cryptocurrencies

Many Listings for Undervalued Mining Hardware Have Emerged Following the Chinese Central Government’s Crackdown on Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Chinese Miners Sell Hardware Amidst Regulatory Uncertainties

One miner based in Wuhan is liquidating 50 motherboards at below market value via the Alibaba owned second-hand trading platform Xianyu. The listing stated the “boards were manufactured this June”, and have only been used “for two months”.

A Chinese miner has told reporters that he is selling his equipment in due to the looming threat Beijing may seek to further its crackdown on cryptocurrencies. The miner stated that he doesn’t “care about [the] bitcoin price anymore. There are too many regulat[ory] uncertainties. You know the government always adopts an interventionist approach in its economy. What if the authority one day suddenly announces that it’s illegal to hold coins? Now I just want to sell out all of my miners and ASICs. No more roller coasters in my life.”

Concerns pertaining to the threat of a Chinese crackdown on bitcoin mining are influencing the operations of industrial as well as retail mining entities. An anonymous source has alleged that Bitmain is transferring their mining operations overseas as a precautionary measure designed to evade any future regulatory hurdles that may arise in China.

Not Everyone in China Is Preparing for Regulators to Target Miners

Chinese Miners Sell Hardware Amidst Regulatory Uncertainties

A computer hardware retailer, Mr. Fu, told reporters that he is planning on stocking large quantities of GPUs and ASICs, expressing his expectation that the mining industry will continue to grow in future.

Chinese media outlet Caixin recently published an article that refutes the concerns pertaining to the Chinese government extending its cryptocurrency crackdown to target mining. The publication asserts that an anonymous source who is “close to regulators” have claimed the fears regarding a government attack on miners is “false.”

According to Caixin, an operator of a mining has stressed the benefits reaped by bitcoin mining to the Chinese economy as a deterrent against excessive regulatory interference. The source is cited as depicting bitcoin mining as a nascent boom export industry, stating that “domestic [miners]… mostly export to foreign countries, earn[ing] foreign [currency” that has “to come back into the yuan.”

Do you think that China’s bitcoin miners will be subject to further will continue to operate free from regulatory interference? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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