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What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital crypto-currency with no single point of failure due to its decentralized peer-to-peer architecture. The source code is publicly available and changes to the reference Bitcoin client are made via concensus within the community. Advantages of Bitcoin include irreversible transactions (i.e. no possibility of chargebacks as with credit cards), pseudo-anonymous, limited and fixed inflation, near instant transactions, multi-platform, no double-spend and little to no barriers to entry and more. It was created by an anonymous person known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Find out more at WeUseCoins.com.

Bitcoin Latest News

Bitmain May Be Infringing on the AsicBoost Patent After All

Bitmain may be infringing copyright

The AsicBoost controversy has added another chapter to its book.

Yesterday, law firm Getech Law published an open letter, which was subsequently confirmed to be legitimate by Timo Hanke, the initial submitter of the AsicBoost patent application. In the open letter, the law firm states that several chip producers and sellers are infringing on the intellectual property derived from the pending AsicBoost patent. As such, these companies should “cease production and sales activities of any products in connection to the pending patent application.”

While the letter does not state it explicitly, and Getech Law preferred not to name specific companies when asked by Bitcoin Magazine, the open letter seems to refer to recent revelations of Bitmain’s implementation of AsicBoost in their specialized Bitcoin mining (ASIC) chips. Indeed, if the letter’s claims hold up, Bitcoin’s biggest mining hardware producer may be unable to sell most of their hardware for the time being.

Otherwise, as Getech Law attorney Jun Ye told Bitcoin Magazine:

If the potential infringements cannot be stopped by the announcement and subsequent cease-and-desist letters, we will have no choice but to seek damages in court once our pending application is issued by the USPTO and other patent offices.

AsicBoost

AsicBoost has had a controversial history within the Bitcoin industry so far.

Initially patented by mathematician and former CoinTerra CTO Timo Hanke, AsicBoost is perhaps best described as a sort of “shortcut” that exploits a weakness in Bitcoin’s proof-of-work algorithm. By reusing some of their work, miners can save between 10 and 30 percent of the energy costs associated with mining. This can add up to a significant increase in profits over time — perhaps in excess of over $100 million per year if no other miners use it.

And it could be the case that no other miners would use it precisely because of AsicBoost’s pending patent. The patent application is therefore controversial, as some believe that such a state-enforced monopoly on using technology could further centralize and skew Bitcoin’s mining ecosystem. About a year ago several Bitcoin developers even proposed changing Bitcoin’s mining algorithm slightly in order to make AsicBoost’s technology obsolete.

But the AsicBoost controversy really exploded onto the scene several weeks ago, as it was discovered that covert use of AsicBoost is incompatible with Segregated Witness, the protocol upgrade proposed by the Bitcoin Core development team. Moreover, it was revealed that Bitmain had implemented the technology in its chips. This might explain why the Chinese mining giant has been opposing the upgrade so far — though the company denies this is the case.

Patent Infringement

Now, it seems Bitmain may not even be legally allowed to have AsicBoost implemented in its chips.

While Hanke was known to have submitted a patent for AsicBoost along with RSK CEO Sergio Demian Lerner, Bitmain initially claimed to hold the patent in China. As such, the company said it shouldn’t be a problem — from a legal perspective — to apply the technology at least within the Chinese jurisdiction.

But it now seems that Hanke claimed his worldwide priority date at the end of 2013, while Bitmain’s patent application stems from 2015. And because of the International Patent System (PCT), Hanke’s application should apply to China as well.

“Although Bitmain has also filed a patent application in China with similar features, we are confident that our patent application has an earlier priority date,” Ye told Bitcoin Magazine.

The patent application is not Hanke’s anymore. Two weeks ago, he sold the patent to Little Dragon Technology, a company based in California. According to Ye, Little Dragon Technology plans to operate in the Bitcoin industry, though it was not yet revealed how, exactly.

Either way, neither Hanke nor Little Dragon Technology gave anyone permission to use AsicBoost. This suggests, at least according to Getech Law, that anyone using AsicBoost is infringing on Little Dragon Technology’s intellectual property. And while Ye did not want to name any specific companies that may be infringing on the intellectual property — Bitmain or otherwise — he did reveal it may be more than one company.

As the open letter states:

“To date, no individual or business entity has been authorized to use or sell products based on the ASICBOOST patent application, yet some bitcoin miner manufacturers have implemented various features of the pending ASICBOOST patent in their mining hardware and firmware, potentially infringing the pending ASICBOOST patent.”

Consequences

In the open letter published yesterday, Getech Law wrote that ASIC producers should immediately cease production and sales of AsicBoost-related products. Additionally, the letter said infringers should contact Getech Law and disclose their relevant production and sales records since 2015. And it called on people who know more about potential patent infringement to contact the law firm.

If ASIC producers do continue to produce or sell AsicBoost-related products, Getech Law warned that there would be subsequent legal action.

“The open letter (announcement) is the first step to enforce my client’s IP rights. We hope that the community can become aware of the potential infringement,” Ye told Bitcoin Magazine.

The future for AsicBoost itself seems unclear, too. While debate over whether or not to disable it on a protocol level is ongoing within Bitcoin’s technical community, the open letter spoke of an “unfair advantage” it could give to miners.

And, speaking to Bitcoin Magazine, Ye said:

“We do not want to monopoly the market based on the pending patent. That is, we hope anyone who wants to use the technology can come to us such that we can negotiate reasonable license agreements for them to use the technology.”

Bitmain stated that they were not available for comment at time of publication.

The post Bitmain May Be Infringing on the AsicBoost Patent After All appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 18 May 2017 | 11:12 pm

Bitcoin is Just $100 Away From Doubling its Price in 2017

Bitcoin's price has nearly doubled so far in 2017, rising from $1,000 at the end of last year to a new all-time high of $1,900 today.

Source

Posted on 18 May 2017 | 6:41 pm

Cryptocurrency Market Cap Tops $60 Billion to Hit All-Time High

The total market cap of all cryptocurrencies reached an all-time high today, as these innovative assets continue to draw robust inflows.

Source

Posted on 18 May 2017 | 3:45 pm

Congress Seeks Answers From IRS About Its Bitcoin Tax Investigation

Congressional leaders want answers about the Internal Revenue Service's ongoing effort to obtain user records from Coinbase.

Source

Posted on 18 May 2017 | 1:45 pm

Microsoft Unveils New Framework to Speed Up Blockchain PoCs

Microsoft has unveiled a new framework aimed at streamlining the blockchain proof-of-concept process.

Source

Posted on 18 May 2017 | 12:00 pm

Bitcoin's Murkier Rivals Line Up to Displace it as Cybercriminals' Favorite - Fortune


Fortune

Bitcoin's Murkier Rivals Line Up to Displace it as Cybercriminals' Favorite
Fortune
Bitcoin is well-entrenched as the preferred payment for cybercriminals like the WannaCry hackers who have hit more than 300,000 computers over the past week, but cryptocurrencies offering more anonymity are threatening to displace it. A key reason for ...
The World is Watching: Can WannaCry's Creators Cash Out Their Bitcoin Ransom?CoinDesk
What you need to know about bitcoin after the WannaCry ransomware attackWashington Post
Bitcoin and the Art of ExtortionBloomberg
CNBC -The Guardian -Investopedia
all 137 news articles »

Posted on 18 May 2017 | 10:51 am

Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Prague Gathers Crypto Evangelists, Startups Founders - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Prague Gathers Crypto Evangelists, Startups Founders
CoinTelegraph
Blockchain and Bitcoin Conference is the Eastern Europe's largest network of Blockchain conferences, held in five countries: the Czech Republic, Estonia, Russia, Ukraine and Sweden. The latest event took place in Moscow on April 19 and gathered 750 ...

Posted on 18 May 2017 | 9:32 am

European Retail Giant Alza Accepts Bitcoin For Payments, Could Add Altcoins - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

European Retail Giant Alza Accepts Bitcoin For Payments, Could Add Altcoins
CoinTelegraph
“Prague is already one of Bitcoin's most important centers in Europe today. By introducing trading in bitcoins, we are supporting the growing popularity of this form of payment and the potential of new technology,” Jan Sadílek, Alza's head of internet ...

Posted on 18 May 2017 | 8:56 am

How US Briefly Overtook Japan And Became Largest Bitcoin Exchange Market - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

How US Briefly Overtook Japan And Became Largest Bitcoin Exchange Market
CoinTelegraph
At one of the lowest and sharpest declines of stock markets and assets, the US briefly became the world's largest Bitcoin exchange market, obtaining a 30 percent market share over the global Bitcoin exchange market. At the time of writing, Japan has ...

and more »

Posted on 18 May 2017 | 8:01 am

More Live Blockchains? IBM Launches New Enterprise Accelerator Effort

Global tech giant IBM is unveiling a new blockchain services package today, one that finds it seeking to jumpstart global use of the technology.

Source

Posted on 18 May 2017 | 7:59 am

Bitcoin Startup Blockchain Adds Uber, UBS Execs to Leadership Team

Bitcoin software wallet startup Blockchain added two new executive hires this week, amid a continued buildup of expertise on its team.

Source

Posted on 18 May 2017 | 7:00 am

Bitcoin Rising Fees, Confirmation Queues See Users, Investors Switching to Altcoins - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

Bitcoin Rising Fees, Confirmation Queues See Users, Investors Switching to Altcoins
CoinTelegraph
With the current rate of Bitcoin volatility, what this implies is that the value of a given transaction may change drastically between the time of initiation and when it is eventually confirmed. A situation which makes it extremely difficult for the ...

and more »

Posted on 18 May 2017 | 6:50 am

Bitcoin isn't 100 percent secure — here's how to further hide your purchases - Business Insider


Business Insider

Bitcoin isn't 100 percent secure — here's how to further hide your purchases
Business Insider
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that can help protect your identity when making purchases online. But it's not foolproof. Kevin Mitnick, one of the world's most famous hackers and author of the book "The Art of Invisibility," offers some tips that will ...

and more »

Posted on 18 May 2017 | 6:10 am

Decentralized Ethereum Token Trading Goes Live With 0x Launch

0x OTC, an early stage platform for exchanging ethereum-based tokens, is expected to start settling trades today.

Source

Posted on 18 May 2017 | 5:59 am

Meet the 5 Finalists for CoinDesk's Consensus 2017 Startup Contest

Ready for Consensus? Here's a sneak preview of our upcoming startup competition offering $10,000 in prize money.

Source

Posted on 18 May 2017 | 3:00 am

Companies Stockpiling Bitcoin in Anticipation of Ransomware Attacks - NBCNews.com


NBCNews.com

Companies Stockpiling Bitcoin in Anticipation of Ransomware Attacks
NBCNews.com
The most recent attack, known as "WannaCry," took hundreds of thousands of computers' data files hostage unless users paid a $300 to $600 ransom via Bitcoin, a popular digital currency. Now many companies are maintaining a stash of the digital cash ...

and more »

Posted on 17 May 2017 | 8:51 pm

Norwegian Bank Grants Access to Bitcoin Investments Through Online Banking

Norwegian Bank Grants Access to Bitcoin Investments Through Online Banking

Norwegian online bank Skandiabanken now recognizes bitcoin as a new investment class and allows its customers to access their bitcoin holdings through its online banking platform, according to a Norwegian media report.

Through an integration of the Coinbase wallet, which enables the buying and storing of cryptocurrency holdings in bitcoin, ether and litecoin, the bank’s customers now have direct access to these holdings using Skandiabanken’s online banking.

Christoffer Hernæs, head of innovation and development at Skandiabanken, said that Skandiabanken “recognize[s] cryptocurrency as an investment class” and that it has “an equal footing with other securities.”

Skandiabanken is, therefore, one of the first financial institutions to publicly acknowledge bitcoin as an alternative investment asset class at a time when the vast majority of its competitors are shunning the cryptocurrency that many believe poses a threat to the current banking business model.

Hernæs also points out that Japan has recently moved to officially recognize bitcoin as a legal payment method, and that bitcoin’s average daily volatility has decreased from 10 percent to 4 percent last year.

Bitcoin’s decrease in volatility and the sharp increase in price over the last 12 months have led to a wave of new bitcoin users around the world. In Norway, more and more individuals are now also turning their eyes toward digital currencies, Hernæs stated.

Not all banks in Norway share Skandiabanken’s enthusiasm for offering its users access to bitcoin as a new investment class. Norway’s largest bank, DNB, closed the bank account of Norges Bitcoinforening, Norway’s Bitcoin association, in September 2016, citing concerns that the association’s funds may have a connection with money laundering and terrorist financing.

Hernæs acknowledges DNB’s concern in regard to the country’s strict anti-money laundering regulations that require a stringent assessment of each banking client. However, he also said, “We recognize that this is something people want to put their money in. When we think it is right to look at new solutions we can offer, we think it is a better approach than categorically thinking that this is scary.”

The head of Norway’s Bitcoin association, Stephan Nilsson, is pleased about Skandiabanken’s new Bitcoin service: “This is very positive. These are the signals we have been waiting for from the Norwegian banking industry.”

Skandiabanken joins the ranks of the very few banks in Europe that are embracing Bitcoin. Only Germany-based Fidor Bank and Georgia-based Liberty Bank offer similar services to its customers. Fidor Bank allows German customers to buy and sell bitcoin directly through a collaboration with bitcoin.de, and Liberty Bank allows its customers to buy bitcoin through its ATM network in Georgia.

The post Norwegian Bank Grants Access to Bitcoin Investments Through Online Banking appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 17 May 2017 | 2:13 pm

CFTC 2.0: US Regulator Unveils Plan to Step Up Blockchain R&D

The CFTC is stepping up action on fintech, a strategy that includes a new plan of action for its work on distributed ledger tech.

Source

Posted on 17 May 2017 | 1:32 pm

Bitcoin Balloons on Overheated Air - Bloomberg


Bitcoin Balloons on Overheated Air
Bloomberg
Bitcoin has all the attributes of a bubble in the making. First, it's radically new. It's a digital payment system that allows users anywhere in the world to transact directly without interference from intermediaries, governments, regulators or central ...

and more »

Posted on 17 May 2017 | 12:34 pm

Bitcoin's Price Edges Back Above $1,800 After Near $100 Gain

The price of bitcoin is once again above $1,800 following a recent uptick that comes amid increasing exchange competition.

Source

Posted on 17 May 2017 | 9:33 am

India's Kotak Mahindra Bank Completes Blockchain Trade Finance Test

The latest blockchain trade finance trial in India showcases how the use case is now gaining global interest among enterprises.

Source

Posted on 17 May 2017 | 7:30 am

US National Security Advisor: Bitcoin Needs to Be Understood, Not Feared

A US think tank that advises the US government is exploring the threats bitcoin poses to national security, but also its benefits.

Source

Posted on 17 May 2017 | 6:40 am

Trust Your Oracle? Cornell Launches Tool for Confidential Blockchain Queries

A new tool from Cornell's famed IC3 lab allows ethereum smart contracts to obtain and send information more securely.

Source

Posted on 17 May 2017 | 5:30 am

Xapo to Pass On Bitcoin Network Fees to Users

Bitcoin wallet provider Xapo has told its customers that they will soon have to pay the network fees for outbound transactions.

Source

Posted on 17 May 2017 | 4:00 am

DC Blockchain Advocates Seek Distance From Bitcoin Amid Ransomware Wave

Blockchain advocates are trying to recast the narrative surrounding bitcoin as recent upticks in ransomware trouble Capitol Hill.

Source

Posted on 17 May 2017 | 3:00 am

Chile's Largest Stock Exchange Plans to Implement IBM Blockchain Tech

Chile's Santiago Stock Exchange is going live with a new blockchain project it aims to grow into a powerful cost-cutting tool.

Source

Posted on 16 May 2017 | 10:00 pm

Four Quick Questions and Answers About Ransomware and Bitcoin

WannaCry

Bitcoin got caught in another media storm this week, though only in a supporting role this time around. The ongoing ransomware attack by the name of “WannaCry,” sometimes also referred to as “WannaCrypt0r,” “Wcry,” “WanaCry,” “WannaCrypt” or “Wana Decrypt0r,” infected over 230,000 computers in over 150 countries over the past couple of days, and demands that victims pay a ransom in the cryptocurrency.

So what is ransomware, and what does Bitcoin have to do with all of this?

What Is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of computer virus that encrypts data with a secret key. Only if a payment is made, typically in bitcoin, is the decryption key provided so victims can regain access to their data — or at least that’s the promise. An infected computer is quite literally held ransom, for actual money: bitcoin.

Unfortunately, ransomware is quickly growing in scope, and fast turning into a booming business for cybercriminals. In 2015, some estimated $24 million was paid to unlock computers, according to the FBI; in 2016, it hit a dazzling $1 billion. And that’s only expected to get worse this year.

WannaCry, which started last Friday, is the biggest ransomware attack the world has seen so far. This is mostly because WannaCry is not only ransomware, but also a “worm.” This worm uses an exploit developed by the NSA that abuses a weakness in older Windows PCs, which lets it forward itself to more and more computers: over 230,000 of them at the time of writing.

WannaCry also affected several notable targets over the past week, including Spanish phone provider Telefónica, parts of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), U.S. delivery service FedEx, German railways Deutsche Bahn, LATAM Airlines and more.

How Successful Is Ransomware?

Ransomware attacks seem to be relatively successful in general. According to research by cybersecurity firm Trustlook, for example, over one in three victims of ransomware pay up. And a survey by IBM even showed that 70 percent of businesses infected with ransomware paid the ransom.

WannaCry, however, has not been nearly as successful — or at least not yet. At the time of writing, some 40 bitcoins have been paid to the three Bitcoin addresses associated with WannaCry. At an exchange rate of $1,700, that adds up to about $68,000 in total gains for the attackers. This is perhaps a significant amount in itself, but still modest when taking into account that well over 200,000 computers have been affected, and the ransom demanded is between $300 and $600.

The damage has probably been contained, to a large extent, because it didn’t take long for a security researcher who blogs as “MalwareTech” to find an effective kill switch. He simply registered a website that was mentioned in the code of WannaCry, which disabled at least the initial version of the ransomware.

Additionally, WannaCry gave its victims a week to pay up — though the price to unlock the encrypted data does double from $300 to $600 after four days. Given that a week hasn’t passed since the first reports of infections, it’s possible there will be another surge of payments over the next week.

Why Does Ransomware Use Bitcoin?

Ransomware does not technically require bitcoin. Indeed, there are known cases of ransomware that existed decades before Bitcoin was even invented.

However, bitcoin (and similar cryptocurrencies) can make ransomware much more effective. This is mostly because Bitcoin transactions are instant, reliable, relatively anonymous, easy to verify, and irreversible. Additionally, Bitcoin payments can potentially be made programmable, so a payment automatically sends a decryption key to a victim once a payment is made — though WannaCry did not utilize this possibility.

At the same time, however, the Bitcoin blockchain is also completely transparent. This is why it’s possible to trace exactly how much has been paid to WannaCry. It also means that it may not be very easy for the attackers to convert their bitcoins into fiat currency, or even spend them. If they ever do try to move the funds without taking appropriate precautions, they could get caught. Instead they’ll have to first mix and scramble their coins, which is possible but not necessarily easy to do.

What Can You Do About Ransomware?

The main source of the ransomware problem is not so much Bitcoin, it’s insecure computers. The fact that any malware can nest itself into computers is a problem in itself. Even without ransomware, it means that files can be stolen, edited or otherwise corrupted.

The solution, therefore, is as simple as it is boring: make sure your operating system is up to date and secure. WannaCry in particular was able to affect so many computers because they were running older versions of Windows. Upgraded computers are no longer vulnerable.

Additionally, you want to make sure to never click suspicious links in emails you receive. WannaCry initially spread itself through such links.

Furthermore, you should make sure to back up your data regularly. If you have your data backed up, you should be able to simply update your computer and restore your files without having to pay anything.

And last but not least, it is not recommended that you pay the ransom. For one, you never know for sure that paying up will actually solve your problem; the attacker could simply lie or perhaps even encrypt your data again. And two, as more people pay the ransom, this trend is more likely to grow.

Though, of course, this is easier said than done. Choosing to not make a ransom payment may not be a viable option if your most valuable files are inaccessible and you don’t have them safely backed up elsewhere ...

The post Four Quick Questions and Answers About Ransomware and Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 16 May 2017 | 7:50 pm

Irish Banks to Test New Blockchain-Based Interbank Payment System

Irish

Irish lenders Allied Irish Banks, Ulster Bank and Permanent TSB have teamed up with global consultancy Deloitte to work on a pilot program that will leverage blockchain technology to increase the speed and security for the country’s domestic interbank payments.

The collaborative project carries the name Project GreenPay and will use technology developed by Ulster Bank’s parent company, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

The payments platform being trialed is called Emerald. RBS’s Emerald platform, which was built on top of the Ethereum blockchain, has already been tested in the Dublin-based startup hub Dogpatch Labs, where participating banks have been conducting dummy payments among themselves to test the blockchain-based system for performance, stability and accuracy. The platform is able to acknowledge payments in less than 10 seconds while processing large transaction volumes.

The distributed ledger technology pioneered by Bitcoin allows transactions to be recorded and shared with permissioned members on a distributed ledger, enabling payments to be processed in a more secure and efficient manner.

“[The blockchain is] essentially a software that provides a way of recording transactions in a trustworthy way. It has the potential to disrupt multiple industries for the benefit of customers, and we’re determined to investigate how we can harness this for the financial sector,” said Ulster Bank’s chief administrative officer, Ciarán Coyle.  

“When we saw that RBS had that capability, we decided to use the platform in the Republic. We looked at how we could prove it at an industry level and looked at doing collaboration at an industry level,” he added.

For RBS’s Head of Innovation Engineering Richard Crook, it “made sense” for RBS’s Irish subsidiary, Ulster Bank, to adopt its Emerald payment system for the collaborative industry-wide payment network trial. “We’re delighted to support that and further prove that blockchain [technology] can be used to better serve customers,” Crook added.

David Dalton, consulting partner and financial services industry leader at Deloitte Ireland, stated that the pilot project would leverage the company’s blockchain lab in Dublin, and added: “We believe blockchain adoption will happen more quickly than anticipated and without a proactive and well-adopted strategy, banks and insurers risk being locked out of potential innovations enabled by this technology.”

No specific timeframe has been set for when the new payment system could be implemented in the Irish financial system, and there is no guarantee that it will. However, Project GreenPay is another clear signal that banks across the world are embracing blockchain technology to improve the efficiency and security of their services. It will not be long until the blockchain will become an integral part of the global financial system.

The post Irish Banks to Test New Blockchain-Based Interbank Payment System appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 16 May 2017 | 7:01 pm

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Outlook Not as Bearish as It Seems

Bitcoin Price Analysis

Much of the world has now heard about Bitcoin due to the global WanaCrypt0r 2.0 ransomware, which should continue spreading over the course of next week. Optics for Bitcoin aren’t great in situations like this because it furthers the notion that Bitcoin is used for nefarious means. You can follow a live feed of the incoming transactions from this twitter bot. However, the silver lining is that many people who did not know what Bitcoin is or how to use it before the attack certainly do now.

Worst-case scenario for Bitcoin here would be a government crackdown on its use and distribution, which, although a low probability, is probably not a non-zero possibility considering the current administration. This would create a large down day in the market similar to when Silk Road was shut down, Mt. Gox was found to be insolvent and Bitfinex was hacked. Of course, Bitcoin the protocol would be unaffected, so the price is likely to bounce back rather quickly.

The block size and scalability debate trickles on with no current end or resolution in sight. I wouldn’t really expect a push out of the SegWit camp until October or November, when the Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) is set to be tabled for the time being. The number of unconfirmed transactions continues to rise on an upward trend, all the while miners who support Bitcoin Unlimited are mining empty or non-full blocks.

mempool.png

The COIN ETF comment period closed yesterday, which isn’t to say there will be any type of decision on the SEC’s part. This will likely be a non-event for the market considering the ETF itself will remain in limbo until further notice.

Total cryptocurrency market capitalization broke a new all-time high (ATH) of $55 billionearlier this week, while Bitcoin dropped just shy of 50 percent of that total.

total market cap.png

chart (3).png

Some may view this as Bitcoin losing its impact and success, which can be partially attributed to the block size and scalability in-fighting. Others, like myself, view this shift as a massive altcoin bubble. Hockey stick parabolic curves on a chart like that end with large selloff candles. There is also only one Bitcoin, with a fixed supply, competing against an infinite number of altcoins, many with pre-mined or infinite supply as well.

Because of the correction late in the week, the weekly candle was threatening a bearish close with a wick longer than the candle body, but the heavy buying on Sunday prevented the bearish close.

blx 1w.png

This weekly close alone suggests continuation over reversal or sideways movement in price. Since the beginning of the trend, duration of consolidation between large upward moves has decreased. This will eventually lead to a parabolic, euphoric, blowoff top with a massive candle wick. Until then, expect more of the same. A small correction this week would just mean an even greater chance for extended continuation.

Bitcoin did make a new high this week of $1,868.50, according to index, and is currently drawing an “M for murder” double top. This likely represents consolidation to a further move upward and not exhaustion of trend.

btc consolidation.png

This is the only chart I’m really focused on at the moment. There are plenty of potential patterns, such as head and shoulders or Adam and Eve, harmonics, and horizontal support levels here, but all that really matters is the larger consolidation pattern.

This may also represent a flag/pennant, which is another sign of bullish continuation.

flag.png


A more ominous double top for a bull market would have similar price structure to the pattern that formed during the ATH of 2013.

2x top.png

As discussed above, a serious threat of reversal shows large candle wicks on high timeframes, which is not currently the case with price structure.

Summary

  1. Most of the world is now aware of Bitcoin due to the WanaCrypt0r 2.0 ransomware.

  2. The block size and scalability debate continues with large transaction backlogs in an upward trend.

  3. Based on market capitalization, Bitcoin is currently hovering around 50 percent of the total.

  4. Price remains in consolidation; once finished, expect a return to the status quo.

Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin 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 BTCMedia related sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BTCMedia and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.


The post Bitcoin Price Analysis: Outlook Not as Bearish as It Seems appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 16 May 2017 | 4:40 pm

Ripple's XRP Token Sets New All-Time Price High

Ripple's native cryptocurrency XRP extended gains today, rising to fresh all-time highs amid what has been a torrid period of price growth.

Source

Posted on 16 May 2017 | 3:00 pm

How Five States Are Approaching Bitcoin Regulation

How 5 States Are Approaching Bitcoin Regulation

Cryptocurrency should be regulated. Cryptocurrency should not be regulated. Cryptocurrency can’t be regulated. These are all common refrains emanating from the media these days. Now lawmakers across the United States and around the world are at a crossroads as to what is next in terms of this regulatory space.

Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency present a monumental challenge for legislators, requiring a broad understanding of blockchain technology, especially in terms of its impact on tech innovation. Amid assertions that the U.S. is falling behind in terms of Bitcoin regulation, it could be argued that the regulatory picture is becoming clearer in 2017.

Bitcoin Magazine asked Pawel Kuskowski, CEO and co-founder of Coinfirm, and Joe Ciccolo,  president of the Illinois-based Bitcoin compliance firm BitAML, to offer some commentary about the regulatory activity taking place in five U.S. states — Washington, Illinois, Hawaii, California and Florida — and what the regulatory landscape may look like in the days ahead.

Washington

Legislators in Washington state are building momentum around new rules for businesses offering digital currency services. Senate Bill 5013 provides a definition of virtual currency along with disclosure requirements of certain information to consumers. It also would require online currency exchanges within that state to maintain a surety bond. Finally, it offers definitional and clarifying changes for how money transmitters and currency exchangers are regulated under the Uniform Money Services Act.

At the time of this writing, this bill, which was introduced in January, had passed both chambers of the state’s legislature, clearing it to be sent to Governor Jay Inslee for signature. While there is no clear indication as to Governor Inslee’s intentions, broad support of the bill seems to suggest that it may pass.

There has already been a bit of fallout, however, as some cryptocurrency-centric startups are now thinking twice about operating in the state, with several firms having pulled out in the past year, noting the increasingly challenging regulatory environment. These include digital currency exchanges Bitfinex, Bitstamp and Poloniex, the latter of which has exited Washington.

“The State of Washington also appears to have applied a relatively heavy cybersecurity component, including broad and sweeping audits of data and other systems,” says Ciccolo. “Cybersecurity is a hot-button issue that continues to remain in the headlines. Bitcoin companies are wary of a regulatory interpretation of cybersecurity fitness, especially given the nascent stage of Bitcoin and the ongoing knowledge gap as it pertains to the crypto space. For some national players, it seemed the obvious and safe choice was to simply exit the state altogether.”

Illinois  

In November of 2016, Secretary Bryan A. Schneider of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) announced a new initiative with implications for cryptocurrencies in that state. This “Digital Currency Regulatory Guidance” is Illinois’s attempt to provide regulatory clarity on digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Zcash. The proposed guidance provides IDFPR’s interpretation of Illinois’s Transmitters of Money Act (TOMA) related to various activities tied to digital currencies.

Says Ciccolo: “The IDFPR and Secretary Schneider continue to deliver on the state’s promise of encouraging and supporting innovation in FinTech, Bitcoin and blockchain [technology]. What we’re doing in Illinois is quite possibly unprecedented in the area of financial regulation. Our state regulators are listening and thoughtfully engaging with industry while considering the impact of any laws and regulations. I’m very optimistic about the continued growth of financial innovation in the Land of Lincoln, and Chicago as a center for the new era of financial services.”

Hawaii

In a highly publicized move, prominent Bitcoin and Ethereum exchange Coinbase announced that it was forced to cease supporting customers in the State of Hawaii due to what it called “impractical” and “untenable” regulatory policies surrounding Bitcoin in that state. In September of 2016, Coinbase was first notified of a policy that demanded that they and any other other cryptocurrency operators hold case reserves equivalent to the values being held for customers.

This development came as Hawaii was exploring a bill that would establish a working group for examining the potential role of digital currencies and blockchain technology in advancing tourism in that state. According to the bill’s text contained in House Bill 1481: “Digital currencies such as bitcoin have broad benefits for Hawaii. A large portion of Hawaii’s tourism market comes from Asia where the use of bitcoin as a virtual currency is expanding.”

Leaders at Coinbase said they were “heartened” that the bill had been introduced and that they would look forward to working with regulators. In the meantime, Ciccolo remarked: “Given its commitment to compliance and strong resources, the exit of Coinbase suggests few if any stand a chance in the Aloha State. Indeed, the case reserve requirement is overly burdensome and quite frankly utterly impractical. Since Coinbase holds a BitLicense, could it be said that Hawaii is more inhospitable to Bitcoin than New York? Let’s hope not.”

California

California’s Assembly Bill 1123, a version of New York’s infamous BitLicense, has been proposed. It reads:

“This bill would enact the Virtual Currency Act. The bill would prohibit a person from engaging in any virtual currency business, as defined, in this state unless the person is licensed by the Commissioner of Business Oversight or is exempt from the licensure requirement, as provided.”

Says Kuskowski, CEO and co-founder of Coinfirm:

“In relation to this particular proposed bill in California, any bill with strong similarities to New York’s BitLicense is obviously not the direction to go in, as we saw the effects of that particular regulation result in New York’s loss of prominence as a crypto hub. But with California’s unique position as the technology innovation and startup capital of the world, this would have an even more catastrophic effect than the N.Y. version.”

Kuskowski goes on to say that the costly fees and bureaucratic administration associated with this legislation would likely hinder innovators and startups from applying or even operating in the state. Moreover, he says it would provide another segmented regulatory structure that limits the national and global growth of companies operating in the space.

If there is any place in the world where this could have the largest negative effect it would be California.

Florida

Florida House Bill 1379 recently passed, clarifying what virtual currency is and prohibiting its use in laundering criminal proceeds. The term “virtual currency” was added to the definition of “monetary instruments” under Florida’s Money Laundering Act. The legislation is currently with Florida’s governor and is expected to be signed soon. Ever since a Miami judge dismissed a criminal case involving Bitcoin, policymakers have been intent on establishing guidelines to curb cryptocurrency use.

Says Kuskowski: “In relation to what’s been going on in Florida, a lot of regulators, especially local ones, tend to be more in the crowd profiled earlier that catches headlines, and they go a bit far. But there needs to be a balanced approach from the other side as well. People need to realize that a clear regulatory environment allows companies and creators in the space to make concrete strategic decisions that they [otherwise] can’t when the regulatory environment isn’t clear; it just has to be done properly. Once there is a clear regulation in place, businesses have the confidence to make certain strategic decisions and further grow.”

The post How Five States Are Approaching Bitcoin Regulation appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 16 May 2017 | 12:58 am

Op Ed: How the Market Is Deciding the Block Size Debate … and the Marketing Lesson for Us All

Op Ed: How the Market Is Deciding the Block Size Debate … and the Marketing Lesson for Us All

The battle over block size has consumed the Bitcoin community for a while now. At the core, the question comes down to this: Is Bitcoin a “store of value” (i.e., digital gold) or a “currency” (i.e., digital cash)? That determination informs the decision about bigger blocks vs. smaller blocks.  

Bigger blocks contain more data, which yields smaller transaction fees and thus are more conducive to small payments, thus facilitating the use of Bitcoin as cash, relevant for any payments.

On the other hand, smaller blocks have less data contained within them, so space is at a premium and you pay a higher transaction fee to be included. As a result, it starts to make sense only for much larger transaction sizes. The bottom line is if you are transferring $10,000 worth of value, you’re fine with a $1.50 fee, but the same fee added onto a $3 cup of coffee seems a bit crazy.

If you are of the opinion that Bitcoin’s value rests primarily in its usefulness as an everyday currency — or digital cash — then you probably want a system that will have the lowest possible fees to move your funds around.

If you are of the opinion that Bitcoin’s value is more like that of gold — a long-term store of value — and aren’t concerned about the rising fees, then changes to the protocol that will increase the block size right way are probably lower on the priority list for you.

The ongoing debate has ebbed and flowed and gotten nasty at times, with no resolution in sight. At least, no Bitcoin community–driven resolution.  

Yet while the community has focused on the argument, the market has gotten tired of waiting.

In effect, the decision has already been made and the market has spoken.

The market seems to have acknowledged and accepted the reality that it’s more expensive to move value around (higher fees) and combined that with a few other facts to reach the conclusion that Bitcoin’s true value is as “digital gold.”

After all, Bitcoin has

  1. the most robust and proven network,

  2. the most understood network (only 21 million coins will ever be mined) and

  3. growing global acceptance of Bitcoin as a way to protect assets for people in countries with weak economies.

The market realizes that the safety and security of Bitcoin and the associated higher fees mean that Bitcoin is best suited to be a “store of value,” that is, “digital gold.”

The transaction sizes show that people are comfortable paying higher fees to move larger amounts of money. For micropayments, it seems as if the jury is still out as to which currency will reign supreme. Whether it’s pure speculation or not as it relates to altcoins, the supreme use case for Bitcoin is, as Jimmy Song wrote, as store of value.

In this story of Bitcoin’s market dominance decline lies a marketing lesson that any organization, decentralized or otherwise, would do well to heed.

Bitcoin Is Losing Crypto-Market Share and Growth Is Slowing

Let’s look at what has happened since the beginning of the year, as of the time of this writing.

Yes, Bitcoin is on a tremendous upward swing of over 80 percent since January 1 (as of this writing). There’s no doubt it’s still valuable as an asset. I think it is here for the long haul. No “Bitcoin is dead” pronouncements from me.

But the other cryptocurrencies are on a bigger upward swing: Ethereum is up over 800 percent; Dash is up over 800 percent; Litecoin is up nearly 700 percent. And there are others.

As a result, Bitcoin’s share of all cryptocurrencies has fallen from 87 percent at the beginning of the year to just over 50 percent.

Meanwhile, the cryptocurrency market has grown in market cap from $17.6 billion to $52.6 billion. Of the $35 billion in new investments, $22.7 billion (64.89 percent) is non-Bitcoin. In other words, of the total market growth since January, two out of every three dollars invested in the cryptocurrency markets have gone into tokens not named Bitcoin.

The exact numbers change all the time, of course, but momentum for alternatives seems to be increasing, not decreasing.

Key Players Are Migrating or Diversifying

Earlier this month, Coinbase introduced support for Litecoin. The market-leading exchange is sending a clear message. There’s appetite for a crypto-token that is architected as digital cash. Litecoin is also important to the community because of the activation of SegWit and potentially Lightning, as a proving ground for these technologies and where innovation is happening faster.

Say what you will about ICOs, but the fact is that many of them happen on Ethereum. For example, one notable project, Storj, recently announced that they are moving to the Ethereum blockchain, not only because of its active developer ecosystem, but because transaction fees on the BItcoin blockchain are too high.

In short, leaders within their respective verticals are saying the same thing: there’s real life outside of Bitcoin.

Historical Precedents

Where else has a first-mover gained a sizable market advantage only to have it dissipate in the face of its own indecisiveness?

Two examples that immediately come to mind are Nokia and TiVo.

In 1997, Nokia had fully half of the global phone market. Today, it has virtually disappeared in most of the developed world, and has plummeted from 46 percent to 34 percent in Africa — and most of those owners don’t intend to get a new one.

Similarly, TiVo basically pioneered the concept of the DVR. It achieved the vaunted “verb” status, as in, “I’ll TiVo it.” At its height, the stock was trading at $124.75. In 2016, the company was acquired for $18 per share.

So what happened? How and why did these market leaders falter?

As one researcher put it, TiVo “lost sight of the customer,” and as another put it, Nokia lost sight of the market (which is essentially the same thing). In both cases, it led to long periods of indecision.

Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, former CEO of Nokia, said that “nowhere in business history has a competitive environment changed so much as it did with the converging of several industries — to the point that no-one knows what to call the industry anymore. Mobile telephony converged with the mobile computer, the internet industry, the media industry and the applications industry — to mention a few … and today they’re all rolled into one.”

It sure feels as if the decentralization industry is approaching warp speed. Understanding the changing dynamics of the market and responding quickly to them becomes non-negotiable.

Clayton Christensen, the Harvard Business School professor, writes in his book “Competing Against Luck” that the single most important question you can ask to sustain innovation is: “What job did you hire that product to do?”

If you can get to that, you can build and evolve a product or service that has staying power.

What Can Be Learned?

It’s easy in the thrill of new technology to get caught up in the potential of it. Yet, ultimately, if you are trying to create something of true and enduring value, you need to be crystal-clear on a few things:

1.    WHO exactly is your customer?

2.    WHAT did they hire your product to do?

When Christensen says “hire,” it doesn’t necessarily mean “pay.” It can mean “use,” or “pay attention to,” or “vote.” Still, having a really deep understanding of the kind of person you are serving and WHY they think they need your product (not why you think they need your product) are genesis block-level elements of your marketing efforts.

Not taking the time (it need not be a lot) to answer these fundamental questions can put your project at risk.  

We’ve seen huge capital outlays in response to debt crises in countries like Greece, Argentina and Turkey. In the face of a scandal or bad news, there are sell-offs in the stock market. In a decentralized world, the movement of capital away from a project can occur even faster.

As TiVo and Nokia learned, you can’t sit around and wait. The market changes on you too quickly.

The Road Ahead

Bitcoin has held the “top dog” spot for a long time and for many obvious reasons (strength of network, quality of developers, peer review process, brand recognition, etc.). It stands to be a key player for a long time in the crypto-universe.

Yet, the intensity of the fight in the Bitcoin scaling debate shows us that the question of “what did you hire this product for?” has two wide and varied answers.

The inability to satisfactorily answer these key questions has led to paralysis, which gives market competitors and alternatives a chance to differentiate and take market share.

And it risks allowing the market to define Bitcoin instead of Bitcoin defining itself.

This op-ed is a guest post by Jeremy Epstein. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily represent those of Bitcoin Magazine.

The post Op Ed: How the Market Is Deciding the Block Size Debate … and the Marketing Lesson for Us All appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 16 May 2017 | 12:49 am

Op Ed: What a VPN Is, What It Isn't and Why You Need One

Op Ed: What a VPN Is, What It Isn't and Why You Need One


As Bitcoin and its competitors continue to gain momentum in the financial world, security concerns are on the rise. These concerns apply directly to the many private users of Bitcoin that are worried their privacy is under assault.

For this purpose, users are turning to a variety of solutions. Some are turning to mixers such as the TumbleBit tumbler, a feature recently added to the still-developing Breeze Wallet. Others may be interested in using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service to further cement their security and augment anonymity.

VPNs serve a unique purpose in the world of Bitcoin. Traditionally, businesses used them to connect remote users to a similar network, but lately they’ve been increasingly used to encrypt network connections, mask IP addresses, access geographically restricted content and prevent hacking over public WiFi (and Bitcoin theft by extension).

Alternatives such as Tor don’t effectively work beyond the Tor browser. Free proxies lack the speed, reliability and advanced encryption that a VPN offers.

What a VPN Is

With all of that said, not everyone is familiar with what a VPN does. In short, a VPN is a service with multiple remotely located servers that subscribers connect to. Because these servers act as hosts for multiple users, connection requests sent to each server are difficult to associate with the source. Additionally, having access to multiple servers allows you to diversify where you connect from.

It also provides many different IP addresses which can be used to circumvent geo-blocking. In doing so, users encrypt their internet traffic, block “sniffing” attempts by hackers and prevent data tampering on the backend.

As noted above, VPNs are paid subscription services. While some free services exist, their quality is woefully inadequate compared to paid versions and they should be avoided by anyone seriously interested in security. Problems occur specifically with the level of encryption (unpaid VPNs rarely use 256-bit protection) and with bandwidth, specifically pertaining to slowdown and reliability.

What a VPN Isn’t

Just as Virtual Private Networks do many different things, there are some things they don’t. For instance, while VPNs do prevent data from being directly injected into your connection, they don’t remove infected files, nor can they stop you from downloading them. Other tools — antivirus software for instance — should always be used in tandem.

Hence, a good VPN is not going to be a free service; the monthly fees go toward maintaining high-quality servers, offering valuable support and providing the sophisticated encryption needed to prevent intrusion.

Finally, VPNs cannot prevent transactions from showing up on the blockchain. Using one will make it harder to associate transactions with your original IP address, but under no circumstances should you assume absolute anonymity.

Why Do I Need One?

Deciding whether you need a VPN depends on what you intend to use it for. A person that deals with regular Bitcoin transactions and isn’t especially interested in being publicly tracked gains at least a little extra privacy by doing so behind a VPN.

Yet the real benefit comes in the realm of public access. We’ve all seen the jokes about civilization virtually depending on free WiFi: nearly every restaurant, café, and even some parks offer WiFi connections. Most of them share the same security vulnerabilities. Specifically, open connections allow hackers to use “sniffing” programs to identify other users connecting to the service and to intercept their unsecure connections. This is the ideal point for cybercriminals to insert malware or simply to record data sent and received.

The only real way to be safe on these networks is with the encrypted connection VPNs offer. That goes double for accessing your Bitcoin wallet in public. If a hacker gains access to your wallet ID codes because of a compromised network, the next step is acquiring your public code, which isn’t all that difficult for an experienced user.

You may also want to note just how much private information we store on our devices. Most of us use our phones and tablets to access email, banking information and even work files. Leaving this information wide open to criminals is a major risk few of us can afford.

Additionally, the continued growth in the digital currency market just makes stealing bitcoins that much more appealing to criminals, particularly when most private users have little or no security measures installed on their devices.

So Which Is the Best?

Choosing the right VPN in a hugely saturated market isn’t always easy, but there are a few things to consider before you do. Take note of what country the VPN company resides in; Countries such as the United States or member nations of the EU typically make poor choices as they have laws that allow authorities to demand access to records.

Speaking of which, avoid VPNs that keep logs of user activity. As the entire point of using a VPN is to improve privacy, it runs counter to your goals if your provider is logging your activities. That goes double for countries that willingly submit their records to the government.

Performance and support are also worth noting, as some VPNs can slow down your connection or be unavailable. Choosing a service with good support ensures you won’t run into any trouble setting things up or troubleshooting problems that arise.

Additional reading about high-quality VPNs can be found in this article by Secure Thoughts. If you’re still undecided, just know that the better VPNs usually offer trial periods of anywhere between a week to a full month, giving you adequate time to determine whether or not their service meets your needs.

This op-ed is a guest post by Faith Macanas. The views expressed are her own and do not necessarily represent those of Bitcoin Magazine.

The post Op Ed: What a VPN Is, What It Isn't and Why You Need One appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 15 May 2017 | 8:49 pm

Palestine May Launch Its Own Cryptocurrency as Sovereign Legal Tender

Palestine Plans Cryptocurrency as Sovereign Legal Tender

Palestinian officials are planning for the region of Palestine to receive its own digital currency within the next five years. The motivation for this stems from concerns about potential Israeli interference, Azzam Shawwa, Governor of the Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA), told the news agency Reuters.

Palestinians have no sovereign currency of their own and use a combination of different currencies, including the euro, the dollar, the Jordanian dinar and the Israeli shekel, to conduct their daily financial transactions.

Due to the lack of a sovereign currency, Palestinian officials have little control over money supply and inflation. This is why the Palestinian Monetary Authority wants to introduce a bitcoin-like digital currency as the territory's new legal tender, which will be called “the Palestinian Pound,” according to Shawwa.

It is the Palestinian Monetary Authority's goal to become a fully-fledged and internationally recognized central bank for an independent Palestine. However, it is still unclear how a digital sovereign currency for Palestinians would sit with the 1994 Paris Protocol agreement. The protocol agreement gives the Palestinian Monetary Authority the functions of a central bank; however, it has not granted the institutions the right to issue its own currency. The Paris protocol recommends the use of the shekel in the region and, thereby, effectively provides Israel with a veto over the establishment of a Palestinian currency.

A sovereign digital currency, though, would make sense for Palestine. Not only would it allow the PMA to have more control over the country’s money supply and inflation, but it would also circumvent the practical challenges of delivering hard currency into the country as the PMA has no money-printing facilities.

"If we print currency, to get it into the country you would always need clearance from the Israelis and that could be an obstacle. So that is why we don't want to go into it," Shawwa explained to Reuters.  

While the digital Palestinian pound is planned to be issued within the next five years, this will be no easy task for Palestinian authorities, given that the Palestinian Monetary Authority has been trying for over a decade to become an internationally recognized central bank.

Another option for the Palestinian monetary situation would be to keep the current status quo of the four above-mentioned currencies in use or to officially recognize one of the these currencies as the territory’s legal tender. However, a digital sovereign currency would be the preferred choice for Palestine, according to Shawwa.

The post Palestine May Launch Its Own Cryptocurrency as Sovereign Legal Tender appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 15 May 2017 | 3:44 pm

Sandbox for Public Blockchain Projects Launched in China By Wanxiang Group

Sandbox for Public Blockchain Projects Launched in China By Wanxiang Group

On May 12, 2017, Chinese blockchain technology leader Wanxiang Group, a conglomerate with automotive, real estate and financial services holdings, announced the launch of WanCloud, a new blockchain product under its Wanxiang Blockchain Corporation subsidiary in Shanghai.

WanCloud provides an ecosystem for open-source blockchain protocols to be localized and made easily accessible to the Chinese development community and enterprise users. Initial blockchain protocols included in the ecosystem and supported by WanCloud’s infrastructure of developers and consultants are  BlockApps, Factom and Stellar.

Part of Wanxiang’s stated goal is to drive the advancement of China’s blockchain ecosystem of developers, startups and enterprises. Speaking with Bitcoin Magazine, WanCloud CTO Haifeng Xi described WanCloud as “not just a technical platform; it’s an open innovation platform. WanCloud is essentially a bridge between [the] global blockchain development community and China. We aim to connect the world to the Chinese developer community, Chinese startups and traditional Chinese businesses.”

WanCloud is unique as an ecosystem in that it allows users to work with open-source blockchains more easily and in one place. Unlike traditional Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) providers that have private networks or build on top of one public chain, WanCloud plans to continually introduce the most useful open-source platforms into the WanCloud ecosystem.

Tom Tao, vice president at Wanxiang Blockchain Corporation and head of WanCloud, told Bitcoin Magazine that he hoped to “bring as many fabrics as possible into the Chinese community and to drive interaction and even inter-chain collaboration, improving application level innovation for each participating protocol.”

David Johnston, chairman of Factom, and Jed McCaleb, CEO of Stellar, spoke with Bitcoin Magazine about why they chose to be a part of WanCloud and how it aligns with their respective companies’ goals.

“WanCloud platform is acting as a bridge between the advanced tech provided by U.S. entities and the huge market of potential users in China,” said Johnston, “providing them a more transparent and secure use case set in important areas like data management and auditing where Factom has core competencies as a platform.”

Zeen Zhang, CEO of Factom China, added, “This partnership is important for Factom China because it will make it easier for our product to reach and serve the needs of the end users in China. WanCloud is really adding value, helping us localize the platform for enterprise users and the large community of developers in China.”

Fresh off the launch of its global payments platform Lightyear, McCaleb spoke with Bitcoin Magazine about WanCloud’s benefits for Stellar’s development.

“Its an exciting development that makes it much easier for people to integrate with Stellar and will enable more experimentation ... China is obviously a huge market and almost every partner that we talk to in the world asks us how they can get money either in or out of China.”

Chainbase Accelerator’s New Cohort

In addition to the launch of WanCloud, Wanxiang announced the opening of the second cohort of its Chainbase Accelerator to startups, in coordination with ICOAGE, an Initial Crypto-Token Offering platform based in Shanghai and headed by James Gong, a leading blockchain intellectual and consultant in China and CEO of ChainB. Projects accepted into Chainbase Accelerator will have the opportunity to receive technical support and consulting from WanCloud architects.

Yu Cheng, a partner at Chainbase Accelerator as well as the chief product officer at WanCloud, spoke with Bitcoin Magazine about Chainbase Accelerator and said that the first cohort was “made up of experts from traditional industries and they saw blockchain [technology] as a way to solve for problems in their industries. We are looking to bring in businesses whose applications are suited for the distributed nature of blockchain tech.” Cheng has coined the term “distributed commercial value” in China to refer to new capabilities that blockchain tech enables.

WanCloud joins a burgeoning group of blockchain subsidiaries for Wanxiang Group under Wanxiang Blockchain Corporation, including consulting and research interests Wanxiang Blockchain Business Innovation Consulting and Wanxiang Blockchain Labs, as well as Chainbase Accelerator and VC arm Fenbushi Capital.

The post Sandbox for Public Blockchain Projects Launched in China By Wanxiang Group appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 15 May 2017 | 3:00 pm

CRYENGINE now accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 29 March 2017 | 1:24 am

Consulting firm EY Switzerland accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 26 November 2016 | 12:47 am

Bitcoin Trading Bots

There have been a wide variety of situations in which algorithmic trading programs have proven to be beneficial for investors. However, investors who only trade a cryptocurrency can also take advantage of bitcoin trading bots. Through bitcoin bot trading, traders can become more flexible and prompt, minimize errors and process information more rapidly. At this… Read More »

Posted on 8 November 2016 | 6:20 pm

Steam accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 29 April 2016 | 1:09 am

Advertise with Anonymous Ads

Major Magazine Publisher to Accept Bitcoin Payments

Posted on 18 December 2014 | 12:43 pm

Microsoft accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 11 December 2014 | 5:06 am

Mozilla accepting Bitcoin

Posted on 20 November 2014 | 1:55 pm

PayPal and Virtual Currency

Posted on 23 September 2014 | 9:52 pm

Wikimedia Foundation Now Accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 30 July 2014 | 3:14 pm

German Newspaper "taz" accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 22 July 2014 | 1:32 pm

airBaltic - World’s First Airline To Accept Bitcoin

Posted on 22 July 2014 | 11:03 am

Bitcoin taxfree in Denmark

Posted on 25 March 2014 | 5:46 pm

May 18, 2017 -
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