Zář 24

John Newbery: I’m Responsible For ‘Worst Bitcoin Bug Since 2010’

Bitcoin Core developers have decried infighting between Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) supporters after John Newbery claimed responsibility for last week’s CVE-2018-17144 network bug.


‘Embarrassed And Sorry’

In comments on Twitter September 23, Newbery, who is tasked with checking the Bitcoin codebase, said it was because of him that the bug had gone unnoticed.

As Bitcoinist reported, the incident occurred last week, with Core developers urging the entire network to upgrade to a patched version of the Core client as a matter of urgency.

A full summary of what happened, including the technical specifications of the bug and its eradication, has since been published.

“There’s no chance I haven’t read CheckTransaction(). When I read it, the “…so we skip it in CheckBlock” comment should have jumped out at me,” Newbery wrote discussing the technical details he claims he failed to notice.

“That comment and the fCheckDuplicateInputs flag don’t just smell, they stink. I should have followed my nose. At the very least I should have looked up Bitcoin Core PR #9049. I didn’t.”

While Newbery added he felt “embarrassed and sorry” as a result of the problems, community reactions appeared to reveal little interest in blaming any one party for it.

At the same time, other sources have warned over the serious nature of the oversight, with Bitcoin.org creator Cobra describing it as “very scary” and Bitcointalk’s Theymos considering it the “worst bug since 2010.”

Van Der Laan Blasts Community Squabbling

Fellow Core developer Wladimir van der Laan had previously said a collaborative failure had led to the situation emerging.

“It was wrong that the buggy code was merged. Yes, we screwed up but the ‘we’ that screwed up is very wide,” he commented in further tweets Sunday.

The whole community screwed up by not reviewing consensus changes thoroughly enough, more developers need to pay attention! It’s your all responsibility.

Van der Laan was writing as part of a debate on the bug’s discovery becoming fertile ground for supporters of both Bitcoin and hard fork Bitcoin Cash to criticize each other’s perceived shortcomings.

“‘Unprofessional’ doesn’t even begin to describe it,” he added.

What do you think about the fallout from Bitcoin’s code bug? Let us know in the comments below!


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Zář 23

Handling of Recent Bitcoin Bug Ruffles Feathers

Bitcoin Core developers urged all nodes to implement a patch on Friday, September 21, in order to prevent the exploitation of a recently discovered bug in the Bitcoin protocol. The bug, called CVE-2018-17144, was originally reported to the Bitcoin Core team by Bitcoin Cash developer Awemany on September 17.


A Bug in the System

The discovery of the bug and the Core developers attempts to address it have caused ruffled feathers in the crypto community. Allegations of incompetence and bad-faith have been leveled by members of both the Bitcoin (BTC) 00 and Bitcoin Cash community as developers attempt to patch the bug.

CVE-2018-17144 was initially reported as a potential denial of service bug, but developers on the Core team discovered the root issue impacted both denials of service and inflation vulnerability. The Bitcoin Core team has released a timeline in its announcement about the bug, showing the steps undertaken as the team went from being made aware of the bug’s existence to releasing a patch.

The CVE-2018-17144 bug originated in Bitcoin Core .15, originating as part of a change which was designed to help simplify the tracking of unspent transaction output. This change left Bitcoin versions .15X through .16.2 vulnerable to the bug — as well as any altcoins or forked versions of Bitcoin that were still using code containing the bug.

Crucially, the implantation of the code which caused the bug was led by the same developer who was integral in implementing the fix. This has added to suspicions that the release of the patch was not handled correctly.

Bitcoin bug

Lying in Wait

Worryingly for many, the bug had been sitting undiscovered in the code for two years, raising concerns about what other issues may be lurking in Bitcoin just waiting to be exploited. In a post from Medium contributor Awemany, it’s noted that it would have been just as easy for him to short BTC — and exploit the bug — as it was for him to report the bug the Core team.

The Bitcoin Core team has been heavily criticized for the manner in which they rolled out the announcement about both the bug and the patch. For Bitcoin and many of the altcoins which rely on the same code, the decision to announce the bug and patch without consulting members of the altcoin networks that would have been impacted by a successful exploit was seen by some as political and mean-spirited.   

Despite the promise of decentralization and transparency promised by crypto advocates, the CVE-2018-17144 episode illustrates just how dependent many projects are on the decisions made by a relatively small number of members of the community. If the actors in this saga had made a handful of decisions differently, billions of dollars of value could have been wiped out. Hopefully, this episode leads to clearer standards around bug discovery and patching, and a more harmonious culture between various developer teams.

What are your thoughts on Bitcoin bugs? Let us know in the comments below!


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Zář 22

Tilray & Marijuana Stocks Smoke Cryptocurrency, Then Go Poof

The financial markets were ablaze this week with high volatility in cannabis shares unseating cryptocurrency as the trade of choice. References to cannabis in news articles were almost double that of cryptocurrency. But big falls on Friday, coupled with almost unilateral gains across crypto, showed how schizophrenic the weed market can be.


Tilray. When Lambo?

Tilray was the name on everyone’s lips this week. On Tuesday the Canadian company announced DEA approval to export a cannabinoid study drug into the US for clinical tests. TLRY stock jumped from around $120 to almost $300, as it saw $15 billion in volume from Monday to Thursday.

The price spurt intensified because the market cap for the company was just $16.4 billion at end of trading. On top of this, a single private equity fund controls over 70% of the shares, further reducing the available stock. The entire market cap of cannabis shares is around $35 billion, so investors were chasing each other around a very small market.

Live Fast, Die Young… in a Nice Pair of Shorts

Celebrated Bitcoin bull, Mike Novogratz, wanted a piece of that action, so managed to “get a borrow, short it for a day trade, make some money”. He believes that longer term, the marijuana industry has a promising future, but for now, it is all about short-selling.

He explained:

Listen, the weed business has a great underlying story, a lot like cryptocurrency. In five or six years, we will have a monster weed business.

Sure enough, price drops across Thursday and Friday saw Tilray close the week at around the same point it started it.

More Than a Ripple in the Crypto waters

The second half of the week saw a rally across virtually the entire crypto market, with Ripple a stand-out performer. At one point it unseated Ethereum 00 as the second largest currency by market cap, although that position has since reversed.

There are some who question Ripple’s surge 00, including Yahoo Sports, who compare its position to that of Tilray, midweek. Sadly, the hosted video doesn’t seem to match the headline, so we are left in the dark as to why Yahoo make that comparison.

Guess we will just have to wait and see.

Are cannabis stocks behaving similarly to the cryptocurrency market right now? Share your thoughts below!


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Zář 21

Brazil Investment CEO On Bitcoin Exchange Launch: ‘I’d Rather Crypto Didn’t Exist’

XP Group, owner of the largest investment firm in Brazil, XP Investimentos, confirmed it would launch a cryptocurrency exchange this week – despite its CEO saying he wished it “didn’t exist.”


Benchimol: ‘We Felt Obligated’

As Bloomberg reports quoting Guilherme Benchimol at an event in Sao Paulo, XP will finally give in to investor demand and begin a Bitcoin and Ethereum trading operation after six months of rumors.

“I must confess, this is a theme I’d rather didn’t exist, but it does,” the publication reports him as saying.

We felt obligated to start advancing in this market.

Like many South American markets, Brazil has seen a palpable uptick in Bitcoin 00 trading activity. While its figures do not match those of markets such as Chile, Argentina and Venezuela, weekly volumes for P2P platform Localbitcoins alone regularly top 1.5 million reals ($367,000).

XP Investimentos had been planning its entry into the market since at least April, insiders telling the press at the time a crypto trading platform was incoming. The company registered an entity called XP COIN INTERMEDIACAO in August last year.

The final product will go by the name of XDEX – perhaps a nod to the decentralized exchange phenomenon – and involve a team of around 40, Bloomberg adds.

Bitcoiners Bite Back Against Banks

Brazil’s extant exchange and wider cryptocurrency business sector is meanwhile struggling with an increasingly hostile landscape involving banks.

Similar to complaints in Poland in recent months, a government agency is now investigating claims that those businesses are subject to account shutdowns by institutions which would rather not deal in crypto-related transactions.

“…It does not seem reasonable for banks to apply restrictive measures a priori on a straight-line basis to all cryptocurrency companies, without examining the level of compliance and anti-fraud measures adopted by individual brokerage firm,” the agency told Reuters when the news surfaced this week.

What do you think about XP Group’s exchange announcement? Let us know in the comments below!


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Zář 20

There’s a ‘Concerted Effort to Suppress Litecoin Price,’ Says Charlie Lee

Litecoin creator, Charlie Lee, took to Twitter, complaining about recent efforts to “suppress Litecoin price” with FUD spreading by those “shorting LTC and… that see Litecoin as a threat.”


Big Up Da Litecoin

Lee had a lot to say regarding accusations that Litecoin 00 had lost its edge in an increasingly oversaturated market.

Illustrating the high level of security in the network, he highlighted the miners’ lack of incentive to attack it, as this would devalue $150 million of hardware investment. He also mentioned Litecoin’s domination of Scrypt mining.

Regarding liquidity, Lee pointed out that Litecoin trades on virtually every exchange. Nine major payment processors support it, and the network processes $200 million of transactions every day.

Charlie Lee: LN Doesn’t Make Litecoin Obsolete

Rather than making LTC redundant technology, Lightning Network actually plays nice together with both Bitcoin and Litecoin, according to Lee. Many LN clients/apps support Litecoin, allowing atomic swaps, and even submarine swaps, using LTC to pay lightning BTC invoices. He adds:

Litecoin will always be the cheapest and fastest on ramp to Lightning Network.

Even if Litecoin’s only value were as a bitcoin test-net, Lee argues that its value is greater than the 3 percent of bitcoin’s market cap it currently represents.

Litecoin’s practical proof of SegWit utility enabled its adoption and activation on the Bitcoin network. This kind of testing is not possible on the real Bitcoin testnet, as valueless coins create no incentive for malicious actors to hack it.

Litecoin (LTC)

Charlie DOES Care and Litecoin IS Still Being Developed

Lee caused a scandal last year when, faced with accusations that he was acting for ‘personal benefit,’ he sold and donated all his LTC holdings. He has since stated that he will never buy back in, backing up his claims of “conflict of interest.” However, he also recently appeared to favor Bitcoin over Litecoin as an initial crypto investment.

Despite this, his tweets confirm that he is still working on Litecoin full-time and promoting Litecoin adoption. Countering suggestions that Litecoin has had no development in the past 6 months, he highlights two updates in the past 2 weeks. He also points out that it is good practice not to do development work “on the master branch, where people are looking.”

As would be expected, responses to the tweets vary from the “Litecoin rulez! Charlie is my hero!” school of thought to “Well why did you sell yours then?”

You can please some of the people, some of the time, eh?

Are there concerted actions being taken to suppress Litecoin price? Share your thoughts below!


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Zář 18

New Samourai Wallet Feature Makes Bitcoin Transactions Private

A 2-wallet Samourai Stowaway offers to make transactions private by masking user identity while keeping funds safe.


Bitcoin Transactions Are Pseudo-Anonymous

Bitcoin (BTC) 00 transactions are often described as anonymous because users can exchange the cryptocurrency without providing any personally identifying information.

However, Bitcoin transactions are pseudo-anonymous. The history of each Bitcoin transaction is permanently stored on the blockchain. And, anyone can track and view this information.

The abstract of BIP0069 describes the issue of the leak of private information, as follows,

Currently there is no standard for Bitcoin wallet clients when ordering transaction inputs and outputs. As a result, wallet clients often have a discernible blockchain fingerprint, and can leak private information about their users.

Now, the 2-wallet Samourai Stowaway promises to protect user privacy with a mechanism which is based on the trusted cooperation established between two wallets.

In a separate tweet, user @SamouraiDev said,

We will err on the side of caution and privacy. Only two (or more) wallets that have engaged in a ‘trusted’ relationship will be permitted to collaborate in a cahoots spend.

Wallet Users Can Establish Private Transaction Channels

Currently, each time users perform a payment transaction, they must exchange the Bitcoin address. This handicap impedes Bitcoin from becoming a mainstream currency. For some experts, the implementation of Reusable Payment Codes might help to solve this issue.

BIP47, “Reusable Payment Codes for Hierarchical Deterministic Wallets,” proposes a technique that can help to simplify the payment process while enhancing the user’s level of privacy.

BIP47 allows for the establishment of an invisible channel between two users. As defined by Justus Ranvier, the BIP’s author:

This BIP defines a technique for creating a payment code which can be publicly advertised and associated with a real-life identity without creating the loss of security or privacy inherent to P2PKH address reuse.

The 2-wallet Samourai Stowaway can allow users to establish private payment channels with each other, without revealing their Bitcoin addresses.

In this regard, SamouraiDev indicates that they have taken “an undefined byte in the BIP47 payload and are using it as a ‘feature’ byte so other wallets can detect functionality.”

Do you think that concealing the Bitcoin address will improve the privacy of Bitcoin transactions? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Pexels, Samourai, Shutterstock, Twitter/@SamouraiDev.

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Zář 16

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Are Oversold Bounces Leading the Market Higher?

Bitcoin is making a slow and steady recovery toward $7,000. Has bearish market sentiment alleviated? Or, are the current gains simply the result of a market-wide oversold bounce?


On Thursday, BTC broke through the $6,450 resistance and proceeded to reach a weekly high just shy of $6,600. This was prior to a  brief pullback to $6,400. The weekly chart shows Bitcoin (BTC) 00 about to set a higher low. After last week’s break from this pattern, a few more weeks of higher lows will be required to determine if a trend change is in order.

4-Hour Chart

Since pulling back from the weekly high ($6,597), BTC has been continuously rejected near the 200-MA ($6,612). Up til this morning, a pattern of lower highs continued as the RSI and Stoch began to descend from overbought territory.

Since pulling back from the weekly high ($6,597), BTC has been continuously rejected near the 200-MA ($6,612). Up until this morning, a pattern of lower highs continued as the RSI and Stoch began to descend from overbought territory.

These frequent rejections at $6,530 are a result of a lack of bull volume on each attempt and if BTC were to fall below $6,414 (20-MA) and $6,358 (50-MA and most recent low) then a revisit to $6,270 could occur.

BTC needs to overcome yesterday’s high and proceed to take out the 200-MA, which is also aligned with the 38.2% Fib retracement level at $6,623.

A more convincing move would be for BTC to gain to the midway point ($6,780) of last week’s drop from $7,400 as this would place BTC above the 100-MA and the 38.2% Fib retracement level.

Daily Chart

BTC did manage to close above the 10-day MA and while the overhead moving averages are still angled downward they have begun to flatten.

BTC did manage to close above the 10-day MA and while the overhead moving averages are still angled downward they have begun to flatten. The RSI is climbing mid-channel through a neutral zone and the Stoch is lifting from near oversold territory.

Yesterday’s doji candle shows a degree of indecision. Fortunately BTC went on to post a higher low not shown on chart.

1-Hour Chart

The 1-hour chart shows BTC repeatedly pulling back from $6,570 and $6,550 and each pullback has dropped BTC price from the upper arm to the mid-channel.

The 1-hour chart shows BTC repeatedly pulling back from $6,570 and $6,550. Each pullback has dropped BTC price from the upper arm to the mid-channel. Then similarly below the 10-MA of the Bollinger band (set at 10, 1, 9).

The 20 and 50-MA should serve as short-term supports. However, the move into the lower BB arm and the sharply dropping Stoch and RSI mean BTC could pullback slightly as it continues to consolidate throughout the day.

Projections

BTC is well situated for short-term gains but remains biased toward bears given the lack of follow-through from bulls after frequent rejections and positioning of the moving averages on the daily and 4-hour chart.

BTC 00 needs to overcome the 200-MA ($6,612) and there is resistance at $6,710 where the 100-MA is situated.

[Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are not intended as investment advice. Market data is provided by BITFINEX. The charts for analysis are provided by TradingView.]

Where do you think Bitcoin price will go this weekend? Let us know in the comments below! 


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Zář 12

Bitcoin Price Analysis: How Long Will $6000 Support Hold?

Bears remain fully in control of Bitcoin price, yet somehow, the $6,000 support is holding…for now.


Bitcoin Price: 4-Hour Chart

After posting a daily high at $6,460, bitcoin price fell below the wedge formation and constant rejections at the 20-MA have kept BTC 00 in the pattern of lower lows.

Eventually, a bear flag formed and BTC continues to lose the hourly uptrend after every bull break so traders should either hold their powder or place tight stops in order to avoid being trapped by fake outs.

The drop below the ascending trendline was the $6,117 support but the overall scenario remains overwhelmingly bearish.

Granted the bears do have the ball and the 4-hour chart shows higher lows being set throughout the day and a bullish divergence on the RSI does inspire a smattering of hope. However, earlier today the 50-MA dropped below the 200-MA and all of the other short-term moving averages are crossed below the long-term MAs and BTC trades close to 2018 lows.

BTC needs to move above the daily high at $6,460 (slightly above the 23.6% Fib retracement) and the 200-MA at $6,573 which is an area that will likely provide stiff resistance.

While more downside is likely, BTC does have support at $6,180, $6,122, $6,000 and $5,900.

BTC appears to be consolidating into a tighter range but still struggles to move above the 20-MA. The bullish divergence in the RSI throws mixed signals as the Bollinger bands constrict, but low buy volume and the consistent failure by BTC to move above the daily high (red line) suggest a move to the downside.

Of course, we would love to see otherwise but the recent bearish cross of the 50-MA below the 200-MA make the possibility of such an outcome less likely.

Daily Chart

Looking Ahead

BTC 00 appears to be on a path to $6,000 unless the technical setup changes or a bullish media story can shift sentiment. One can only hope that a move below $6,000 will lure buyers and produce a nice bounce or better yet, a trend reversal but at this point, this is nothing more than wishful thinking.

A bullish divergence can be seen in the 4-hour RSI but all other indicators are bearish so try and curb your enthusiasm.

BTC needs to move above the daily high at $6,460 (slightly above the 23.6% Fib retracement) and the 200-MA at $6,573 in order to garner buyers’ interest.

[Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are not intended as investment advice. Market data is provided by BITFINEX. The charts for analysis are provided by TradingView.]

Where do you think Bitcoin price will go this weekend? Let us know in the comments below! 


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Zář 09

Intercontinental Exchange May Be a Blessing and a Curse

There are few traders who aren’t aware that the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) joined the cryptocurrency party several weeks ago. It turned into some of the biggest news of the year so far. What exactly does this mean for the crypto and global markets?


Don’t Trust Everyone With Your Money — Ask a Top World University.

Few institutions are more entitled to discuss technology than MIT. That’s exactly why the MIT Technology Review has just published a piece on this major event for both crypto and global markets. According to the Review, a mass of institutional investors in waiting for a sign to bring money to the table have just received the sign. Perhaps the ICE will provide just the controlled environment they needed in order to boost their confidence in cryptocurrencies.

However, a surprise may be in store as ICE attempts to apply the same rules used for financial markets to crypto. Yet, the two are fundamentally different. Don’t forget the roots of Bitcoin as an alternative to everything that money, banks, and finance represent: it is the opposite of many facets typically related to money and stocks. In fact, Bitcoin — and cryptocurrency as a concept —  solve many of the issues and anomalies presented by stock markets. Wall Street and blockchain savvy “evangelist” Caitlin Long explained why Bitcoin’s “perfection” can turn into a major disadvantage for those who treat it as a common stock or asset.

Cryptocurrencies Are the Answer Where the Stock Market Fails

Cryptocurrencies Are the Answer Where the Stock Market Fails

  • Cryptocurrencies are owned and managed by the trader him/herself, while stocks and assets are possessed by market mediators (e.g. exchanges), really;
  • Cryptocurrency transactions and related operations run on a distributed, (most often) decentralized ledger, and are therefore immutable. Wall Street companies can manipulate transaction/asset ownership in order to appear as if stocks were their own.
  • The blockchain solves the double-spending problem. When stocks, transactions, and markets are managed by centralized institutions, the trading process is exposed to a variety of technical vulnerabilities. Some are quite serious. MIT points out to the case of Dole Foods in 2015-2016 when the company apparently sold 33% more share than it actually had for sale due to a glitch in the trading process.

Remaining Optimistic

To end on a positive note, Long also pointed out the advantages this move will bring to the market in an earlier article in Forbes. Long thinks that ICE’s upcoming cryptocurrency exchange provides a solution to the custody issue encountered by big investors (managing >$150 million) who are required by the SEC to collaborate with a qualified custodian. The exchange will also add a certain degree of confidence, and a note of “mainstream adoption.”

Finally, the fact that cryptocurrencies solve some problems of stock markets may determine how companies raise their capital through ICO’s. “I doubt it will be very long before major corporate issuers join Telegram and Eastman Kodak in raising capital via these markets,” was Long’s conclusion.

What do you think about the possibility that cryptocurrencies will solve the problems encountered by the financial and stock markets? Let us know in the comments below!


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Zář 07

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Picking Up the Pieces

Let’s be honest, unless you’re short, yesterday was catastrophic. Bitcoin was just shy of breaking $7,500 and taking the rally up another leg then unexpectedly plunged 13% and now we’re below $7k, again…


Bitcoin Price Market Overview

Prior to the dump, Bitcoin price BTC/USD 00 was experiencing continued rejections as it approached $7,400 but who would have known the pullback would be this severe?

Ideally, after a 27%+ run, consistent rejections signal that bulls are running out of steam and a pullback to say $7,300 – $7,100 would be sensible as lower highs and rejections function as a profit taking signal for some.

On deeper reflection, there were some external signals that something was amuck. A wallet address rumored to be connected to the Silk Road mysteriously awoke after a nearly 4-and-a-half year long nap to quietly distribute 11,114 BTC to Bitfinex, 4,421 BTC to Binance and 210 BTC to BitMEX.

Reddit user Sick_Silk believes that this Silk Road connected wallet contains roughly $1 billion worth of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and funds from a number of Bitcoin forks.

Add to this the occurrence of a $70 million short position being initiated last week and Tether’s recent repeat of a $100 million dollar USDT infusion to Bitfinex, and things certainly begin to look a bit funky.

So as Q-Tip would say, “What’s the scenario?”

Daily Chart

BTC was on the verge of escaping the long-term descending triangle at $7,500 and now trades below the 100-MA and 55-EMA. Fortunately, $6,300 – $6,200 have held and a dip below $6,000 seems less likely as the Stoch is already deeply oversold and a corrective rally to $6,650 could occur. Had BTC managed to climb above the descending trendline, a rally toward $8,300 might have occurred.

4-Hour Chart

BTC formed a double bottom at $6,308 and a previous support at $6,537 now serves as resistance. At the moment it appears that $6,500 is standing as a psychological resistance. We can expect resistance at the 20-MA and the 200-MA which nearly aligns with the 38.2% Fib retracement level. Furthermore, the 20-MA is en route to crossing below the 100-MA at the 50% Fib retracement level ($6,857).

Basically, barring some fantastic news like Coinbase purportedly working with BlackRock to develop a Bitcoin ETF or an unexpected spike in bull volume that triggers a $1,000 short-squeeze, we can expect BTC to encounter resistance at the overhead moving averages and previous supports (dotted lines) will likely function as resistance.

It is also likely that BTC shorts have added to their positions as BTC rejects at $6,500. In other words, the road to recovery could be rather challenging for BTC.

BTC-USD-SHORTS: Daily Chart

Looking Ahead

In the absence of market-moving news, BTC is likely to follow the pre-rally pattern of rejecting at the overhead moving averages on the 4-hour chart. Currently, the Stoch and RSI remain in oversold territory and investors should watch the weekly chart at the last higher low is $7,429.

Bitcoin has now given up 2.5 weeks worth of gains and is unlikely to close above $7,429, which makes the possibility of a bear break more likely than the inverse scenario.

[Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are not intended as investment advice. Market data is provided by BITFINEX. The charts for analysis are provided by TradingView.]

Where do you think Bitcoin price will go this weekend? Let us know in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Tradingview.com

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