Úno 28

PayPal on Blockchain: ‘Why Don’t We Just Use a Database?’

· February 28, 2017 · 9:00 am

If something works, why change it? PayPal’s Harper Reed has dismissed “boring” Blockchain technology, choosing to stick to the traditional databases.


‘Why Don’t We Just Use a Database?’

In the midst of the “chainwashing” trend, some companies seem to be taking the high road and staying clear of Bitcoin’s underlying Blockchain technology. This is the case with PayPal which, despite its ambitions to become the dominant global online payments platform, has distanced itself from this prospect.

reed

When asked about the potential for blockchain technology at the 4YFN conference, Harper Reed, the Director of Software Development for PayPal, dismissed it stating:

Whenever people say why don’t we use the blockchain to do this, I think why don’t we just use a database?

This is, in fact what PayPal has been doing all along with its own centralized online payments app Venmo, which is now processing nearly $20 billion USD per year and is much in vogue among millennials, in particular.

Reed went on to reference Bitcoin’s “dark market” image as the medium of exchange for the deep web economy, suggesting that the technology would benefit from a rebrand:

When I think of blockchain I think of drugs, and I’m not really a drug user so I find it really boring.

PayPal & Bitcoin

However, this comes as a relatively refreshing stance towards Blockchain, despite Reed’s misconception regarding Bitcoin being a “drug currency.”

PayPal seems to be more focused on results and on the user-experience itself, rather than on hype and the technology that works in the background, which was the key point of Harper Reed’s talk at 4YFN, the startup spin-off of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Nevertheless, PayPal has had several “encounters” with blockchain technology and Bitcoin itself. In June 2016, PayPal partnered with the digital asset exchange and wallet Coinbase, allowing users to sell bitcoin and cash out to their PayPal accounts.

thiel

Peter Thiel, PayPal co-founder and close adviser to President Donald Trump, has also expressed his interest in the technology, having invested in several Bitcoin startups himself.

He once stated:

PayPal had these goals of creating a new currency. We failed at that, and we just created a new payment system. I think Bitcoin has succeeded on the level of a new currency.

Thiel is becoming an extremely important adviser for Donald Trump, who is increasingly being associated with Bitcoin supporters like 21 Inc. CEO Balaji S. Srinivasan and the recently appointed U.S. Budget Chief Mick Mulvaney, also known as “Bitcoin Congressman.”

Will PayPal retain its competitive edge in the future despite shunning blockchain technology? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, queerty.com, wikipedia.com

Show comments

Share
Úno 27

Ethereum Price Shoots Up Before Major Press Conference

· February 27, 2017 · 7:00 am

Bitcoin has been making all kinds of headlines so far in 2017, but it looks like Ethereum price may be ready for a breakout year in 2017.


Ethereum Price Breaks Out

If you have been watching Ethereum price recently, those in the know are expecting a major announcement that could put Ethereum into the mainstream in a big way this week.

Ethereum is coming off a very impressive 2016, its first full year on the market, where its market cap surpassed $1 billion USD and Ethereum price passed $20 at one point. The first half of 2016 saw nothing but ETH price hype and acceleration, and 2017 is shaping up the same way.

4

Ethereum’s ETH value has grown from under $8 USD to over $14.50 on Sunday, a climb of over 81%, in less than two months. Just in the last week, the price has jumped over $3 USD; ETH rose 7% on a Sunday. By percentage, this rate of growth outpaces Bitcoin’s value gains in 2017.

5

What’s causing all of this drama? There is a press conference scheduled for Tuesday morning in downtown Brooklyn, New York where the new Enterprise Ethereum Alliance will be officially announced. This is a “consortium” built around Ethereum’s blockchain technology and will include Microsoft and other major mainstream giants in computer systems, banking, and technology.

So Hot It Sells Out a Free Online Stream

Strangely, a free online streaming broadcast on Tuesday is listed by EventBrite as “Sold Out,” so if you go to the site to reserve attendance, you will not gain satisfaction. However, the event will be recorded for future release. The EventBrite site for the event describes the concept thusly:

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance connects Fortune 500 enterprises, startups, academics, and technology vendors with Ethereum subject matter experts. Together, we will learn from and build upon the only smart contract supporting blockchain currently running in real-world production – Ethereum – to define enterprise-grade software capable of handling the most complex, highly demanding applications at the speed of business.

Although Ethereum is clearly not designed to appreciate in the same manner as Bitcoin, it is proving to be an incredible investment, for those savvy enough to take advantage of it. The fact that its “smart contract” focus is attracting corporations for future applications shows that altcoins can make it big if they make the right business case and address the right technical problems.

Ethereum

“If you look at identity management on the blockchain…if you look at certificate revocation on Ethereum and all of these different use cases you realizing that all of them really do seriously compliment each other,” Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin told Epicenter in an online podcast. 

The ‘killer app’ (for Ethereum) in some sense is this kind of combined vision of all of these things working together.

Will 2017 be a good year for Ethereum as well? Share your thoughts below!


Image provided by CoinMarketCap, Steemit, Wired, Shutterstock

Show comments

Share
Úno 26

Bitcoin Demand Rises as U.S. Corporations are Stocking Up

· February 26, 2017 · 9:00 am

Bitcoin has attracted a great deal of interest over the last couple of years, and mainstream investing has skyrocketed with the ever-growing Bitcoin price. Now, a new market sector is starting to emerge as American corporations are stocking up on digital currency to combat cybercrime.


Corporations Fuel Bitcoin Demand as Ransomware Spreads

Hackers with an eye towards gaining valuable Bitcoins are hitting corporations more and more with dreaded ransomware, and this problem seems to be getting worse and worse. How to handle this growing epidemic is also a matter of some controversy. It seems to put companies in a no win situation.

“The official FBI policy is that you shouldn’t pay the ransom,” said Leo Taddeo, chief security officer for Crypt-zone to Newsfactor. Taddeo ran the cyber division of the FBI’s New York City office.

It’s an option to pay the ransom to get back up and running. Sometimes it’s the only option. But it has downsides. Paying ransom just invites the next attack.

2

A vicious cycle has begun. The more companies pay out in Bitcoin, the more attacks become likely. The more valuable Bitcoins become, the more attacks become likely. Those who do not pay the ransomware demands may lose the trust of their customers or their valuable business data altogether. From the criminal’s side of it, they can rationalize their dastardly deeds by blaming the victims for not expecting this outcome from now on.

“They’ll actually explore your system to see how much money they can squeeze from you,” said Andrei Barysevich, director of advanced collection at Recorded Future. “They actually think they are on the moral high ground. They think the companies should have paid more for security.”

Ransomware Attacks Hit $1 Billion

A corporate cyber-hitman can demand up to $75000 USD in Bitcoin, or about 65 BTC. Individuals can get hit as well, but they can only be taken for a few hundred dollars. Recorded Future, a Somerville, Mass., threat intelligence firm, says ransom payments skyrocketed 4,000 percent last year, reaching $1 billion. Another firm, Kaspersky Lab, estimates that a new business is attacked with ransomware every 40 seconds, becoming a true epidemic.

Bitcoinist_Kaspersky Labs CryptXXX Bitcoin Ransomware

Another problem is just because you have paid a cyber-criminal does not mean they will kindly do as they said and provide you decryption keys to restore your files. Criminals aren’t the most ethical people in the world, so you may have to pay a couple of times. Authorities say backing up all your computer files on a regular basis may be the best way to protect yourself.

This may save file information, but may not restore computer systems that are needed to continue running the business on a daily basis. It depends upon the attack if you will need to pay up or not. About 25% of companies never get restoration after an attack.

Have you been the victim of a ransomware attack? What’s the best way to prevent such an attack besides backing up your files? Share below!


Image provided by Business Insider, Shutterstock

Show comments

Share
Úno 25

When Bitcoin Price Passes Gold, Which One Will Really Be Worth More?

· February 25, 2017 · 10:00 am

Bitcoin’s legendary February ‘bull run’ has created an uncomfortable, but inevitable fact. There will be a day in the very near future when Bitcoin price will exceed an ounce of Gold. At that point, which will truly be worth more? Bitcoin or Gold?


Bitcoin vs. Gold

The answer may depend on which side of the tracks you are from. The two commodities share a lot more in common than one may think. Bitcoin is called “digital gold” because it is so similar in concept to the precious metal. Gold is known for its scarcity, but Bitcoin is considerably more scarce. Both are used as a hedge against inflation and both represent the pinnacle of their asset class.

Gold is currently on a “bull run’ of its own, passing $1,250, after starting the year at around $1,150, but Bitcoin price started the year at around $970, so it is only a matter of time before the more volatile digital currency reaches its next benchmark.

It is not a matter of if, but when. And when this does take place, the mainstream may initiate another run at Bitcoin, fueling more demand and growth. Bitcoin may then be considered a worthy alternative to Gold.

2

Bitcoin is not designed to replace the dollar anytime soon, but it may end up replacing Gold as the most valuable commodity of the future. Its value has been said to be headed for  $1 million (said Business Insider) in the future if it does gain traction in the global e-commerce market as a preferred mode of payment. 

Gold hasn’t shown any such potential for such growth versus the global reserve currency in all of its thousands of years because it is definitely not as finite in supply as BTC is. There are far more than 21 million ounces of gold on this planet, and gold is still being mined to this day. Gold supply may never run out.

The Romans used to add copper to gold coins to dilute its value, and basically scam the populace.  Could you tell pure Gold from not? 8k from 14k from 24k? 

Bitcoin’s Downside Risk Not For All

Bitcoin does have some downsides when compared to gold or the USD, like its volatility. Bitcoin generally shows ‘upward volatility,’ but it is volatile all the same. In January alone, it rose from $968 to over $1,100 and fell down to less than $780, all within one week. This never happens with Gold or fiat currencies, which makes Bitcoin a less than desirable replacement for money.

Bitcoinist_Gold Price Declining

“Bitcoin’s downside deviation is still several orders of magnitude higher than that of gold or currency,” says Tyler Durden of ZeroHedge. “Over the past two years, Bitcoin experienced a downside deviation of >45%. Since the beginning of data in 2010, it was >100%. The volatility – or to be precise, the downside risk – makes it difficult for Bitcoin to be more widely adopted as money. What speaks for Bitcoin is that it has shown stellar performance over its short lifespan, but this stellar performance comes with considerable downside risk.”

This Gold Has Plenty of Flaws

So Gold is definitely more stable, but Bitcoin is definitely more useful. Ask the people of Venezuela right now how useful Bitcoin is when their national Bolivar is virtually worthless. Many in Venezuela are using Bitcoin to shop on Amazon (you can buy Amazon gift cards at Gyft and other online retailers) and have food into the country.

Bitcoin is literally saving lives. Gold not so much, as there is little food to be had in the country, and even if there was, you couldn’t use gold effectively to get it. Plus, have you ever tried to move gold across national borders? This is child’s play for purely digital Bitcoin, but the drones at your crossing are trained to dissuade you from moving your personal wealth in metal so easily.

You will be limited in how much wealth you can take with you on your trip, and you will end up on somebody’s list for attempting this level of financial freedom. Bitcoin owners never have that problem, at least in transit.

Gold is a shiny construct of value, most sent in ETFs or other digital forms representing its quantity and value. They should both prove to have a greater shelf life than any fiat currency since there has never been a fiat currency that hasn’t eventually reached its true intrinsic value, which is zero.

Bitcoinist_Convert Fiat To Bitcoin

In closing, I have never actually held a piece of 24k gold in my hand, and many of you reading this have not either, and never will. So again, the gold shares more with Bitcoin than you may realize. Even if you were one of the 1% that did physically hold some gold, what could you really do with it?

So in these uncertain economic times, all I can say is pick a side and start investing. If you can, buy both. Governments have tried to curtail Bitcoin use and the digital market adapts and grows like a virus, actually getting stronger and more diverse with each attempt at control.

Neither Bitcoin nor Gold, are going anywhere, so get it while it’s somewhat affordable. This may be considered a ‘Golden Age’ in wealth investing. What’s in your (digital) wallet?

Do you prefer gold, Bitcoin or both as a store of value? Let us know in the comments below!


Image courtesy of ZeroHedge, Shutterstock

Show comments

Share
Úno 24

CNBC: Bitcoin Price Surge is Start Of ‘Inflationary Period’

· February 24, 2017 · 9:00 am

As Bitcoin hits all-time highs, the infinite wisdom of CNBC and the mainstream press surfaces again as a bizarre news piece suggests the start of an “inflationary period.”


Bitcoin Surge ‘Might Not Mean What You Think’ – CNBC

The segment from the network’s Trading Nation, which aired Thursday, also included commentators describing Bitcoin as a currency for “buying kidneys.”

Bitcoin is surging – but that might not mean what you think,” an accompanying article reads.

optimized-shutterstock_239151169

Asked whether he had an “opinion” on Bitcoin, Dennis Davitt of Harvest Volatility Management said about among other things that he “really liked Bitcoin” but that “the big fear around Bitcoin is just one day when the governments come out and say, ‘We’re no longer going to allow this.’”

No mention was given to the cryptocurrency’s ongoing sustained price increase shaking off regulatory pressure – particularly in China – more effectively than at any time in its history.

chart

Indeed, despite Bitcoin’s volatility becoming less and less, Davitt suggested that the most recent increases were, in essence, a bubble.

“What people don’t put together is that… Bitcoin is moving into an inflationary environment,” he continued. Bitcoin is, in fact, a deflationary currency due to its limited supply and is currently deflating at a rate of around 4%.

screenshot-2017-02-24-at-16-31-22

‘All The Blockchaining’

Nonetheless, Blockchain technology came in for more positive criticism – of sorts.

In a world of armageddon, currencies will go by the way of the countries, but Bitcoin will still have value because of all the blockchaining that’s going on behind it,” Davitt forecast.

cnbc

Commentators reacted to the piece and accompanying performance chart with ridicule, one Reddit user suggesting CNBC was “either stupid or has some agenda.”

With this, CNBC is slowly stooping to the level of CNN. The infamous comments made by US president Donald Trump about the network, in which he described it as “fake news” and “very fake news,” have gone on to make the politician an increasing ally of the cryptocurrency community.

Trump’s pick for budget chief in the form of ‘Bitcoin Senator’ Mick Mulvaney received positive feedback, along with close ties with crypto investor Peter Thiel.

Cashless Society Support

Fellow Trading Nation guest, Miller Tabak equity strategist Matt Maley, meanwhile voiced support for the “cashless society” being propagated by multiple governments worldwide.

Despite this is many cases being more of a ‘war on cash,’ Bitcoin has profited from increased use in crucible jurisdictions such as India and Venezuela. Maley said however that the cashless society “makes things easier for everyone.”

“It’s hard to be that bearish especially now that [Bitcoin] has become more mainstream,” he concluded.

What do you think about CNBC’s opinions? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, CNBC, btcvol.info, plot.ly/~Bash

Show comments

Share
Úno 23

Database? First Commercial IBM ‘Blockchain’ Touts 4 Nodes, Immutability

· February 23, 2017 · 9:30 am

Northern Trust and IBM have released what is being called the first commercially deployed blockchain-based solution for finance. But is blockchain the right word for this platform?


‘First Commercially Deployed Blockchain’

The trend towards “chainwashing” is growing with companies using the Blockchain buzzword as a means to get attention and funding.

Although companies are attempting to build functional applications using distributed ledger technology, they often come as solutions to nonexistent problems. Such might be the case with the open-source project by Northern Trust and IBM.

Bitcoinist_IBM 5D Blood

Northern Trust, a Chicago-based funds administrator has partnered with IBM to devise what is being called the first commercially deployed blockchain-based solution for finance.

In a bid to cut costs and disintermediate in private equity administration, these two companies devised a ‘blockchain-based’ platform currently being administered by Geneva-based Unigestion, which manages $20 billion USD, spread across private equity and other asset classes.

According to Justin Chapman, Northern Trust’s head of innovation research, the process of private-equity fund administration is currently a manual one. But thanks to blockchain technology, administrators can “agree on the legal documentation for distribution as soon as the lawyer gets to the paperwork,” due to the immutability provided by the blockchain.

There’s just one problem, however. Immutability is not a property of blockchain technology but the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm used in Bitcoin, for example. The author of “Mastering Bitcoin,” Andreas Antonopoulos, explains:

The ‘Immutability’ Myth

Although there are currently many solutions for private-equity fund management, Chapman sees one clear advantage in using blockchain technology. He (incorrectly) states:

Blockchain makes this immutable.

Although public blockchains secured via computing power (PoW) can guarantee immutability, private blockchains cannot be considered tamper-proof since the participants are still required to trust the entities that maintain the network. Such entities are often referred to as “validators” in private blockchain systems.

Additionally, this IBM/Northern Trust blockchain will be tiny consisting of just four nodes wheareas Bitcoin has around 6,000. The regulator—in this case the Guernsey Financial Services Commission in the crown dependancy of Guernsey—will be one of the entities with access to oversee transactions and other data.

In this sense, the platform is essentially a distributed database with designated user privileges since the various parties involved “will have access to different layers of data,” according to Chapman.

blockchain

Meanwhile, actual immutability in the most secure blockchain today, i.e. Bitcoin, derives from a distributed ledger secured by thousands of computers (miners) with their hashing power.

Although it is unclear what consensus mechanism will be used in Unigestion’s platform, Bitcoin is by far the longest and most tamper-proof blockchain to date thanks to its PoW consensus algorithm. Given the number of miners that secure it,  the amount of computational power needed to tamper with the Bitcoin blockchain is “unfathomable” and currently doesn’t exist on this planet, according to Antonopoulos.

Meanwhile, others are beginning to concede this fact. Blockchain consortium R3 has scaled back its blockchain ambitions, acknowledging that no blockchain is actually needed in its Corda platform.

Vaultoro exchange co-founder Joshua Scigala reacted to the news, tweeting:

Will companies eventually find a useful way of implenting blockchain technology?  Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Twitter, Shutterstock

Show comments

Share
Úno 22

Bank of Canada Paper Concludes Bitcoin Can Be Counterfeited

· February 22, 2017 · 8:00 am

The world is still coming to grips with an inevitable future of purely digitized society. The future of the world’s monetary system is pretty important to gain control of, hence a “staff working paper” was commissioned by the Bank of Canada, the nation’s official central bank.


Bank of Canada Gives ‘Lessons’

Titled Canadian Bank Notes and Dominion Notes: Lessons for Digital Currencies, the paper outlines some very original conclusions were made regarding Bitcoin, which seems to have been the target of the study.

We will provide the cliff notes version for you to digest, as long as you aren’t eating while reading this entry. Viewer discretion is advised.

The Bank of Canada marker is pictured in Ottawa on September 6, 2011. The Bank of Canada will release its latest monetary policy report this morning -- a document expected to explore the economic damage inflicted by falling oil prices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The paper was penned by Ben Fung, Scott Hendry and Warren E. Weber who each claim sole responsibility for these findings in the disclaimer as they seek to not have Bank of Canada besmirched for their conclusions in the paper.

It would be impossible for us to know if they were commissioned to come up with these conclusions at the behest of the bank itself, however. You and I must certainly trust a central bank’s employees in regards to the merit and regulation of a decentralized digital currency. Of course.

‘Private Digital Currencies Will Not Be Safe’

Now onto the fun. The authors surmised, based on the history of the Canadian “private bank notes,” which would be equivalent to Bitcoin in the present day, and the Dominion notes, or government issued notes, that Bitcoin’s cryptocurrency today would exhibit the following properties and require the following modifications by their centralized authority:

The paper draws several lessons for digital currencies based on the evidence from Canada and the United States with bank notes and government issued notes: Digital currencies likely will be counterfeited, Digital currencies likely will not be inflationary; Private digital currencies will not be safe and will not be a uniform currency without government intervention; A central bank can always get its digital currency into circulation, but its digital currency will not necessarily drive out existing private digital currencies.

The “evidence” they reference from the U.S. is the book “Beyond Bitcoin,” published in New York, last year. All the other sources in the appendix were Canadian-based, as they recount the history of these ancient forms of currency. By ancient I mean over one hundred years old in human history, predating any living person.

20131221_1917dollarb_opt

They complimented cryptocurrency Bitcoin or “digital currencies,” by likening it to these notes that offered relatively safety from counterfeiting at the time, a high degree of safety as a store of value, or being redeemable in the future, scarcity, uniformity, ease of transferring, and other indicators of being a good “medium of exchange.”

I Didn’t Know You Could Counterfeit Bitcoins

Here’s where it gets dicey. After a lengthy history lesson on the ancient forms of Canadian currency, they come back to digital currencies. They arbitrarily decide that “National bank notes and Federal Reserve notes were also counterfeited.”

“Given this history, it is likely that digital currencies would be subject to criminal attempts to counterfeit them,” they conclude. I guess that settles that!

So they deemed Bitcoins counterfeit-able just because other forms of currency have been counterfeited, so Bitcoin must follow suit. I didn’t know you could counterfeit Bitcoins. Countless computer hackers and experts the world over, far wiser than these authors, have tried and failed to do so, but as long as they say so.  

In any case, the authors manage to extrapolate this counterfeiting of Bitcoin narrative into the following:

It is also the case that counterfeiting for a digital currency would be much more catastrophic than for paper currency. One counterfeit paper bill does not mean the next is also counterfeit. Historically, counterfeiters tend to focus on one or two particular denominations. But one counterfeit digital currency ‘coin’ would almost certainly quickly undermine the confidence in the whole system because it would be much more likely that the other ‘coins’ can be counterfeited too.

Uh…so Canadian, American, and virtually every other currency note in the century-plus history of central banking haven’t been redesigned to prevent counterfeiting? 

So you can do that to paper currency, every ten years or so, without “undermining the confidence of the system.” But a cryptocurrency couldn’t improve security with a core update (Bitcoin Improvement Proposal), or more secure application factored in?

Meeting Expectations

This is just a taste of the wisdom and entertainment inside. Desperate governments will do this. Build a “straw man,” or create a facsimile of the target with the same name, but misrepresent everything about that to the masses in a design of deception.

I haven’t read “Beyond Bitcoin,” but this paper does not speak very highly of any Bitcoin knowledge therein. Either it is a bad actor in the space, or these gentlemen didn’t understand it, or just threw it in there to show some form of fintech street cred.

All I can say is consider the source when you are getting information about Bitcoin and where it should go from here.  This came across as a directive to make a case for centralizing control of Bitcoin, and the case was made pretty poorly because there really is no case.

Travel

The people paying their salaries wanted an outcome, and who cares if it makes sense or not?  It’s not like the masses are going to read the fine print.

I didn’t get anything I didn’t already expect from a group of centralized banking employees. What else were they going to say about Bitcoin? That it is clearly better than any money Canada ever had?

If the Bank of Canada actually just copies Bitcoin’s blockchain and infrastructure in pursuit of their own digital currency, they’d probably be much better off than they are today. Make a CanadaCoin, copy the world’s greatest blockchain-based system, and enter the 21st century.

Just don’t try and justify manipulation of Bitcoin. You made a sand castle of an argument, and a tsunami of digital demand is rolling your way.

Do you agree with the authors of this paper? Share your thoughts below!


Image provided by Macleans.ca, Shutterstock

Show comments

Share
Úno 21

New SEC Agreement Pushes Bitcoin Price Higher to $1,100

· February 21, 2017 · 5:00 am

2,454 views

BTC price rose higher after positive news regarding the SEC and its new regulations that are expected to boost small Bitcoin businesses.


Building on ‘Productive Relationship’

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), signed Friday, will see the two bodies share information related to ensure new crowdfunding regulations are effective for small businesses.

mou-sign-2

The new rules will make it easier for entry-level businesses to raise funds via exceptions to restrictions governing intrastate crowdfunding.

“The agreement not only builds on an already productive relationship between the SEC and state regulators, it also offers additional insights and protections as we help companies grow and create jobs while providing new opportunities to investors,” SEC Acting Chairman Michael S. Piwowar commented in an accompanying press release.

Bitcoin Reacts with Relief

The move is generally seen as a beneficial step for cryptocurrency and Blockchain startups, with hurdles being removed for the US ecosystem to become more innovative and competitive.

Enthusiasm was reflected in continued Bitcoin support, the digital currency’s price crossing the $1,100 barrier once again.

chart

“This agreement will strengthen collaboration among state and federal securities regulators to help expand small-business investment opportunities while also protecting investors,” continued Mike Rothman, Minnesota Commissioner of Commerce and President of NASAA.

Ongoing dialogue is essential to carry out our responsibilities going forward. With this MOU in place, we have an opportunity to share information that will bolster our efforts to support small business capital formation and prevent fraud.

All Eyes on March

The press release meanwhile outlines the new options available for the fintech startups themselves.

“Companies now can also raise up to $5 million per year through other amended rules, which could facilitate the development of regional offering exemptions at the state level to permit companies to raise from investors in a specific region,” it confirms, the limit having previously been $1 million.

Bitcoinist_Bitcoin Devleopment Funding

In addition, companies:

will have more flexibility to engage in intrastate offers through websites and social media without having to register their offering with the federal government.

The move comes at a crucial time for the SEC in particular as it prepares to deliver its final verdict on allowing the Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF. The hotly-awaited decision is expected March 11th, with many predicting highly favorable consequences for Bitcoin’s propagation and value in the event of a positive outcome.

What do you think about the SEC move? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, coinmarketcap.com

Show comments

Share
Úno 20

LocalBitcoins Trading Up 1,200% in China Since PBoC Clampdown

· February 20, 2017 · 7:30 am

LocalBitcoins has recorded an exponential 1,200% surge in China trading since the country’s exchanges started reacting to pressure from the People’s Bank of China (PBoC).


36 Million Yuan Per Week and Counting

The week ending February 18th was the best on record for the peer-to-peer marketplace, which registered a global high of over $24 million USD in transactions.

The Chinese market, until just a few weeks ago practically dormant, saw a giant 36 million yuan in transactions compared with the previous week’s 6.6 million, which itself was a previous high.

coin-dance-localbitcoins-all-volume-1

LocalBitcoins has seen a rapid increase in usage for the past few months from countries around the world. Venezuela, Canada, Turkey, and New Zealand have all recently peaked on the platform, due variously to financial clampdowns or – in New Zealand’s case – the closure of one of its longest-running exchanges due to “banking hostility.”

Spreads in highly active markets are unsurprisingly wide, with Chinese users especially paying a premium for convenient fast access to fiat or cryptocurrency.

Lee: PBoC ‘Taking Scrutiny More Seriously Than 2013-14’

February 18th also saw Bobby Lee, CEO of major Chinese exchange BTCC, take to Reddit for an AMA session with the community.

bobby_lee_bitcoinist

While much of the discussion focussed on issues related to Chinese miners’ support of scaling solutions for the Bitcoin network, Lee was predictably coy on matters involving regulators.

“I think that compared with 2013/2014, this time, the PBoC is spending more effort on this and taking it more seriously,” he wrote, adding:

The PBOC will have a strong say in how the bitcoin exchange industry evolves in coming years.

He added he could not comment on topics discussed behind closed doors “beyond what was already announced publicly.”

Over-The-Counter Real King of CNY/BTC?

But despite the LocalBitcoins figures being impressive, their overall effect could be little more than a drop in the ocean. A recent report by WSJ China on Bitcoin’s entry and exit from China highlights three main ways investors are using the currency – and LocalBitcoins is not one of them.

“There are several options: premium-taker, foreign futures exchange and OTC (over-the-counter),” a translation of the original article from news resource 8btc reads.

Bitcoinist_NodeCounter Variety

Given the extremely tight margins involved, even for high-frequency traders, it is likely that the last of these methods is seeing the most action.

“OTC traders are looking for each other through mobile apps, social media tools, forum, website or offline meetups,” 8btc reports.

Some major OTC dealers are hiring people to spam online. Wechat chatbot are being developed for OTC purpose. With the absence of exchange-like monitoring, OTC trading will be even harder to track.

Where do you think is the bulk of Chinese Bitcoin trading happening currently? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter, Coin.dance

Show comments

Share
Úno 19

Bitcoin TX Volume Up 55% as Grexit Looms Again

· February 19, 2017 · 7:00 am

Bitcoin’s transaction volume for 2017 has increased 55% as optimism and dissatisfaction with fiat alternatives fuel investment and trading.


Bitcoin’s Sustainable Growth

Figures republished by ARK Invest’s product lead Chris Burniske show impressive yet sustained growth in volume compared to the 2015-16 jump of 118%.

“…This is transactional volume using (bitcoin) as a means of exchange, very different from trading volume within exchanges,” he noted.

Aside from the repercussions of China’s regulatory shake-ups, there is now a growing number of countries worldwide where deep-seated problems with fiat are driving uptake of Bitcoin as a safe haven investment or transaction method.

Venezuela, India, and Mexico have all made the headlines in recent months, and now a fresh Greek debt crisis is leading commentators to suggest that country’s disgruntled citizens could soon join them in the rush for Bitcoin.

Demand Outweighs Supply

At the same time, Burniske notes the consequences of Bitcoin’s annual rate of supply inflation dropping to 4% last summer may only now be showing.

He quoted entrepreneur and investor Alistair Milne, who tweeted earlier Saturday that “it seems possible that for the first time in its history, Bitcoin’s daily mined supply can no longer meet the demand from new users.”

Demand outpacing supply is music to the ears of the endless investors, Milne also noting major US exchange Coinbase had achieved 300,000 new user signups in the past 15 days. In fact, Coinbase total accounts will soon hit 6 million according to their stats:coinbase

Greece Buzzword Again

All eyes meanwhile will be on Greece Monday as representatives gather with the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, ostensibly as Greece pays back €7.5 billion as part of a previously agreed debt arrangement.

However, renewed warning signs from the country’s government suggest that not only is Greece unwilling to repay on time, but may also run out of cash completely by July, thus defaulting on the remainder of its €31.7 EU bailout.

US-ECONOMY-LAGARDE

Nonetheless, it is likely the IMF will contribute to a further €5 billion loan as an interim measure, with a spokesperson telling Reuters, “We will not comment on speculation. The Fund’s position is well known and hasn’t changed.”

So too, it appears, is the opinion of currency speculators and others perceptibly affected by any jitters from Greece.

“Foreseen financial troubles in Greece and Italy could also shore up demand for the cryptocurrency in the coming weeks,” FXDailyReport’s forecast for Thursday reads.

What do you think about Bitcoin’s growth this year? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter, Coinbase

Show comments

Share