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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

Bitcoin Is Now Worth More Than $100 Billion - Forbes


Forbes

Bitcoin Is Now Worth More Than $100 Billion
Forbes
Bitcoin's total market capitalization (market cap) has surpassed $100 billion, making it worth more than many U.S. companies. At this level, Bitcoin is worth more than investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and household names like eBay Inc. The ...
Using Bitcoin to buy a sandwich could trigger a tax billCNBC

all 3 news articles »

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 8:17 pm

Clueless Central Bankers Regard Bitcoin With Envy, Hatred - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

Clueless Central Bankers Regard Bitcoin With Envy, Hatred
CoinTelegraph
In my first article for the Cointelegraph I tried to explain the value of Bitcoin to citizens of countries that practice capital controls, which are usually countries with less economic development. A day later, I read an article where the president of ...

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 7:14 pm

Bitcoin Scam Ends in Jail as Immigrant's American Dream Fades - Bloomberg


Bloomberg

Bitcoin Scam Ends in Jail as Immigrant's American Dream Fades
Bloomberg
A Florida software engineer who came to the U.S. from Ukraine as a teenager seeking the American dream was sentenced to 16 months in prison for his role in building an illegal bitcoin exchange -- one that allegedly laundered money for a global hacking ...
Florida programmer sentenced to 16 months for bitcoin exchange schemeReuters

all 3 news articles »

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 3:16 pm

BlackRock Strategist: There's No 'Right or Wrong' Price for Bitcoin - CoinDesk


CoinDesk

BlackRock Strategist: There's No 'Right or Wrong' Price for Bitcoin
CoinDesk
But there's no inherent right or wrong price for bitcoin. You could say, 'What's the fair value?' You know: 'I'm an investor; I like to think about the fair value of stocks of bonds.' I can't answer what's the fair value for bitcoin or any ...

and more »

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 3:05 pm

A bigger blast off? What one strategist sees taking bitcoin 'into the stratosphere' - MarketWatch


MarketWatch

A bigger blast off? What one strategist sees taking bitcoin 'into the stratosphere'
MarketWatch
“In terms of asset allocation decisions, I see two scenarios that could potentially send Bitcoin into the stratosphere and make this a ginormous bubble,” Carlson wrote in a blog post. He didn't define what price would qualify as being outside Earth's ...

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 2:43 pm

TSMC: Cryptocurrency Mining Drove Strong Third Quarter Revenue

Cryptocurrency mining was a boon this past quarter for semiconductor foundry operator TSMC, according to new statements.

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 1:30 pm

Bitcoin Breather? Higher Price Push Still Possible on Search Demand

The price of bitcoin continues to climb, and if price charts are any indication, there could be clear skies ahead.

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 12:30 pm

Bitcoin Price Breaks $6000 at New All-Time High - Fortune


Fortune

Bitcoin Price Breaks $6000 at New All-Time High
Fortune
The Bitcoin price hit a new all-time high Friday, breaking $6,000 for the first time on all the major cryptocurrency exchanges. As of 4 p.m. Friday, Bitcoin was up about 7% over a 24-hour period, trading at as much as $6,060. At that level, Bitcoin's ...
Bitcoin surges above $6000 for the first time on heavy trading volumeCNBC
Bitcoin breaks above $6000, and $100 billion in value for the first time in its historyMarketWatch
Bitcoin Breaks $100 Billion in Value, Soars Over $6000 for the First Time in HistoryFuturism
American Institute for Economic Research (blog) -Business Insider -Bitcoin News (press release)
all 72 news articles »

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 12:02 pm

Mastercard Expands Access to B2B Blockchain Payment Tools

Credit card giant Mastercard has opened access to its blockchain APIs, indicating it wants to focus on business-to-business and cross-border payments.

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 12:01 pm

Quiet Surge: Bitcoin Price Sets New High Above $6,000

Bitcoin's price has crossed the $5,900 mark for the first time, setting a new all-time high.

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 9:10 am

100 Diplomas: MIT Issues Graduate Certificates on a Blockchain App

Massachusetts Institute of Technology has used bitcoin's blockchain to issue digital diplomas to over 100 graduates as a part of a pilot project.

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 9:00 am

ECB President: Bitcoin Not 'Mature' Enough to Be Regulated

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank (ECB), has said that cryptocurrencies are not "mature" enough to be regulated.

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 7:30 am

Every Asset Ever: Circle Pulls 'Trigger' on Investment Product Pipeline

Circle is seeking to expand, and this time it's made a key acquisition to further its interests in applying cryptocurrencies to mainstream investing.

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 7:00 am

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Ether Prices Hold Above $300 as Fork Fears Fade

The price of ether continues to hold steady despite linger uncertainty surrounding a recent software upgrade.

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 6:30 am

Vote for CoinDesk's Most Influential People in Blockchain 2017

Who made the biggest impact this year? Complete our "Most Influential" survey for a chance to win a 50 percent discount for Consensus 2018.

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 6:00 am

DTCC Milestone: $11 Trillion in Derivatives Gets Closer to the Blockchain

Working through the issues of using ethereum's smart contract language, DTCC and Axoni move $11 trillion worth of derivatives closer to blockchain.

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 5:00 am

Russia's Government to Test Blockchain Land Registry System

The Russian Federation is launching a blockchain land-registration pilot project in 2018, according to the Ministry of Economic Development.

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 4:00 am

Cisco Seeks to Protect Blockchain System for IoT Device Tracking

In a new patent filing, tech giant Cisco describes a blockchain management system for monitoring Internet of Things devices on a network.

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 3:00 am

Blockchain Startup Sun Exchange Raises $1.6 Million in New Seed Funding

Blockchain company Sun Exchange has raised $1.6 million in new seed funding from a group of early-stage investors and startup accelerators

Posted on 19 October 2017 | 3:45 pm

Is Blockchain Worth the Trouble? Blythe Masters (and More) Say Yes at Sibos

While blockchain solutions can be expensive, it's a price worth paying to mitigate security weaknesses, says Digital Asset's Blythe Masters.

Posted on 19 October 2017 | 2:24 pm

Sweden's Government Sold Bitcoin Today At Above Market Rates

The Swedish Enforcement Agency concluded its week-long bitcoin auction, making nearly 50 percent more than the past market rate.

Posted on 19 October 2017 | 2:00 pm

This Blockchain-Powered Platform Aims to Disrupt the Esport Gambling Industry

This Blockchain-Powered Platform Aims to Disrupt the Esport Gambling Industry

Esports wagering is a large — and growing — global industry at the intersection between gambling, technology and entertainment. In their 2017 Global Esports Markets Report, Newzoo found that China and North America will generate $362 million during 2017, or 52 percent of global esports industry's revenue. If the esports industry continues on the same growth trajectory, the global industry is expected to generate $1.4 billion in 2020.

Unikrn’s blockchain-powered platform is tapping into this growth industry, offering services such as “skill and spectator betting applications, a tournament series, team ownership, a casino group and multimedia content for the esports fanbase.”

Along with launching an initial coin offering (ICO) in mid-September, the company has expanded its offerings to the European Union through a joint venture with RBP, a key player in the online horserace and sports betting market, and plans to launch a new skills-based product.

Expanding across the European Union comes after the platform was granted a much coveted gaming license from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). As one of the first European Territories to regulate online gambling, Malta has reportedly become a staunch regulatory supporter over the past several years. Today, over 100 companies currently hold a license issued by the MGA including software developers, online casinos and Remote iGaming operators.

Though obtaining a gaming license from the MGA took more than a year, for Unikrn, it has provided an opportunity to enhance their reputation as a legitimate esports wagering platform; something critical for their successful expansion and token sale. “They [MGA] are by every measure the gold standard and one of of the most respected authorities for responsible and ethical wagering,” said Unikrn founder and CEO Rahul Sood in a statement.

After creating the VoodooPC in 1991 then selling it to Hewlett-Packard, Sood spent 18 years as an entrepreneur. Next, he joined as general manager of Microsoft Ventures, Microsoft’s international startup accelerator and outreach program. Sood left Microsoft in 2014 to enter the world of live immersive esports betting by co-founding Unikrn.

Why Blockchain?

During its Series A round, Unikrn received funding from several notable investors including Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, actor Ashton Kutcher’s venture firm, Sound Ventures, media executive Elisabeth Murdoch’s venture fund Freelands Ventures, media executive Shari Redstone’s Advancit Capital and the largest betting company in Australia, Tabcorp. The commonality between most of these venture funds is that they typically pick portfolio companies working in a mix of media, technology and entertainment.

Anthony Di Iorio, serial entrepreneur and CEO of Decentral, joined UnikoinGold as an advisory team member because he finds the project both intriguing and well-supported.

I'm a big believer in the power of decentralized technologies, like blockchains, to empower entrepreneurs and individuals,” he told Bitcoin Magazine. “I'm motivated to support the entrepreneurs, the projects, and the communities that are pushing that technology forward by applying it in interesting and exciting ways to existing markets. Unikrn is a bit special.”

Unikrn’s Editor-in-Chief of content, Ryan Jurado, describes the platform’s journey toward the blockchain as a tool for product and community growth. In 2015, Unikrn released Unikoin, a free, internal, non-cryptographic token issued in 2014 that gives users the ability to bet on esports and win prizes in regulated markets where Unikrn is unlicensed to operate. However, Unikoin had no secondary market and customers persistently asked for more value or uses for the token.

Jurado explained that idea for Unikrn to use blockchain technology first came from Mark Cuban in early 2016. After investigating the technology, the team found using a blockchain-based currency would improve compliance and accountability, two activities paramount in bookkeeping.

“The distributed ledger makes Know Your Customer (KYC) and risk management easier and less costly,” Jurado said to Bitcoin Magazine. “It saves time and money used for converting currencies, and helps minimize engagement with banks.”

Along with a distributed ledger model, Jurado also pointed out that the blockchain “expands real-time betting, live betting and skill-based products that would be difficult, or impossible, using fiat currency.”

The blockchain’s ability to increase transaction options while decreasing the need for transactional trust was another value Unikrn sought, Jurado explained, resulting in “an Ethereum-based token with an open ledger that can be used to better rate risk and flag potential abuse.”

A gaming platform such as Unikrn which runs vast numbers of transactions per day manages a lot of risk benefits from “an Ethereum-based token with an open ledger that can be used to better rate risk and flag potential abuse.” Furthermore, as Jurado pointed out, “For users, it’s a home-run: Using blockchain is less expensive than using fiat, and less overhead means less expensive products.”

Tale of Two Koins

To run the token sale and crypto platform, Unikrn opened a subsidiary, Unikrn Bermuda Ltd. The token that Jurado hopes will become “the decentralized token of esports and gaming” is called UnikoinGold (UKG) and was made available in September.

Di Iorio described UnikoinGold as “the (decentralized) beating heart of the secure and seamless wagering ecosystem Unikrn has pioneered.”

As for the original non-cryptographic token, Unikoin, Sood has stated that Unikrn is undergoing a “forking” of their token system in which there will be two currencies: UnikoinGold and UnikoinSilver.

Anybody in the world can buy and use the Ethereum-based UnikoinGold utility token in non-betting applications, including jackpots and experiences, software, hardware, esports, teams and tournaments; however, only users in Unikrn-licensed regions will be able to use it to bet.

Though UnikoinSilver can only be earned, it can be used in most unregulated markets around the world. “The token will allow every non-minor esports and gaming fan to engage in all Unikrn betting products, regardless of where they live. It is a free, non-blockchain token, but will allow fans to unlock real prizes and non-betting operations including editorial, production studios, tournament organization and live broadcasting.” UnikoinSilver also appears to be an alternative “to unregulated skin betting for regions where real-money betting can’t be offered.”

ESPN Meets Esports Meets Vegas

Having already raised $30 million in ether, the UnikoinGold token sale is capped at $100 million. One advantage it has as a token sale is the ease of onboarding users who are already familiar with token transactions. Unikrn’s other advantages come from the fact that they already have an existing platform that is profitable and an online community that is engaged. “This isn’t an investment,” said Sood in a Medium post, “It’s a purchase for a product that we developed that has utility on our platform and our users love and demand.”

A clear caveat to UnikoinGold’s success is that its gaming/ICO combination is sure to keep them visible on every regulator’s radar, which is why earning a Maltese gaming license was such a significant step.

Even at such a unique intersection between media, gambling and gaming, Unikrn is not the only player. Other esports betting platforms using blockchain technology include FirstBlood.io, Eloplay, Gimli.io and Skincoin. And it has yet to crack the lists of top esport betting platforms on sites like OpenOdds and EsportsOnly.

Sood does not seem surprised by his company’s success, thus far. “UnikoinGold was designed and intended for use by our own esports community. It’s like ESPN meets Esports meets Las Vegas.”

The post This Blockchain-Powered Platform Aims to Disrupt the Esport Gambling Industry appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 19 October 2017 | 12:24 pm

What Lightning Will Look Like: Lightning Labs Has Announced Its User Interface Wallet

What Lightning Will Look Like: Lightning Labs Has Announced Its User Interface Wallet

Development of the lightning networkthe highly-anticipated second-layer Bitcoin protocol for instant microtransactions, continues to inch forward.

Lightning Labs, major contributor to the lightning network daemon, lnd, announced its cross-platform Lightning Desktop App last week. The open-source lightning wallet is essentially a user interface (UI) built on top of lnd and powered by Lightning Labs’ new open-source Bitcoin light client, Neutrino.

“This is the first functioning user interface for both sending and receiving lightning transactions with a light client mode,” Lightning Labs CEO Elizabeth Stark told Bitcoin Magazine.

The lightning network is currently being developed by several teams working on different but interoperable implementations of the protocol. Several of these implementations are functional, though only on Bitcoin’s test network (“testnet”): a sort of copy of the Bitcoin network with valueless coins specifically designed for testing new applications and more.

But, while there are already several lightning daemons available for testnet, most are only usable via command line tools. Developers Olaoluwa Osuntokun, Bryan Vu and Case Sandberg collaborated to now extend lnd with the new Lightning Desktop App to provide a user interface.

“I think the big takeaway is being able to visualize this technology and see what an early UI might look like,” said Stark. “It's one thing to be using the command line, as our lnd testers and developers have been, but it's another to be able to download the app. Being able to see this kind of progress is important.”

As part of the announcement, Lightning Labs also introduced Neutrino, the new open-source Bitcoin light client that powers the Lightning Desktop App. As a main benefit, Neutrino users don’t need to download the entire Bitcoin blockchain, which is currently over 140 gigabytes in size. This makes the desktop app much more accessible to regular users who transact small amounts, for which the lightning network is particularly suited. And because Neutrino uses a new method of transaction filtering (client side instead of bloom filters), it offers more privacy than most light clients, too.

The release of the new Lightning Desktop App kicks off a two-week “testing blitz,” as the company described it in their accompanying blog post. Developers are invited to experiment with the desktop app itself, as well as with Neutrino. Further, it makes it much easier for anyone to play around with lnd and the lightning network itself.

“The really cool thing about having our desktop app out there is now there's an easy way for people to interact with all of the apps that developers are building on Lightning, such as Yalls,” said Stark.

After the two-week testing period, the implementation will enter a regular release cycle. Releasing the wallet for Bitcoin mainnet, however, could take a while longer still, Stark explained:

“We're working toward testing and making the software more stable before releasing a beta. This is financial software and its a protocol dealing with money, so we want to ensure people can have a good user experience.”

There is no specific deadline for the beta release, but Stark added that, "The next step is for us to gather feedback from testers and develop it further, along with improvements in lnd and Neutrino."

The open-source Lightning Desktop App code is available on GitHub.

The post What Lightning Will Look Like: Lightning Labs Has Announced Its User Interface Wallet appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 19 October 2017 | 11:10 am

Connecting the Luxury Fine Art Industry with the Modern Digital Economy

Connecting the Luxury Fine Art Industry with the Modern Digital Economy

Latest figures from the Tetaf art market report, released by the European Fine Art Foundation, show that in 2016 global art market sales amounted to an estimated $45 billion, up 1.7 percent from 2015. The U.S. remains the largest country in the world art market, with 29.5 percent of the market share, followed by the U.K. and China with 24 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

Yet, while the industry remains a profitable one, it is slowly changing. One that is considered difficult to enter and resistant to change, a few sector players are aiming to bridge the modern digital world with the luxury arts sector.

Two art galleries are taking a blockchain and cryptocurrency approach. Eleesa Dadiani, is the founder and owner of Dadiani Fine Art in Mayfair, London. Marcelo Garcia Casil is the co-founder and CEO of Maecenas, a decentralized art gallery that aims to democratize access to fine art investment.

Dadiani & Partners

In July 2017, Dadiani’s modern fine art gallery became the first in the U.K. to accept seven different cryptocurrencies as payment: bitcoin, ethereum, ethereum classic, litecoin, ripple, dash and NEM.

Dadiani told Bitcoin Magazine that the decision to introduce cryptocurrencies wasn’t an instinctively demand-driven decision; rather, it stemmed from a desire to encourage demand and merge the two markets together.

“On a practical level, introducing cryptocurrency will broaden the market, bringing a new type of buyer to art and luxury,” she said.

Through her recently launched Dadiani & Partners — the U.K.’s first and only luxury asset and commodity exchange for cryptocurrencies — Dadiani is hoping to unlock the potential of the digital currency market for high net-worth (HNW) investors and consumers. Acting as an intermediary, Dadiani & Partners will enable HNWs a platform to purchase luxury goods in digital currency. Dadiani says that there has been an increase in demand with the number of people seeking the purchase of assets in cryptocurrency.

“Many bitcoin millionaires are unable to cash in their digital currency as the banks won’t convert large amounts of cryptocurrency for cash,” she added.

Passionate about cryptocurrencies, and the blockchain that underpins them, Dadiani believes that they will have a profound impact in every sphere of business and our everyday lives.

“The technology will allow us to reclaim power, paving the way for decentralized, peer-to-peer transactions without the intervention of an intermediary,” she added. “This is a revolution that goes far beyond the art market.”

Since introducing the acceptance of digital currencies the art gallery has sold a number of pieces. Going forward, all of the art, across all the exhibitions, will be available to purchase in the available digital currencies. Dadiani says that the artists are onboard and keen for their pieces to be sold this way.

“Any of the pieces we sell can still be purchased via conventional fiat currency, but purchasing via cryptocurrency enables buyers to purchase peer-to-peer, person-to-person, without the intervention of a centralized authority,” Dadiani said.

It’s hoped that by further globalizing the business and broadening their customer base, Dadiani Fine Art will appeal to bitcoin millionaires who are looking to purchase assets via cryptocurrencies.

“Digital currency is being embraced by people of all ages, creed and class, and as it’s happening in other sectors, there is no reason why the gap between the modern digital world with the luxury sector cannot be bridged.”

Maecenas

Investment in the art world can be an expensive proposition. Named after Gaius Maecenas, an ancient Roman patron of the arts, Maecenas, is attempting to remove this barrier by letting anyone buy shares of fine art. Through its blockchain-driven platform, Maecenas divides artwork ownership into fragments and connects art owners with investors where shares are bought and sold.

“By turning masterpieces into tokenized tradable assets, Maecenas democratizes access to fine art by letting a much wider audience invest in multi-million dollar artworks which would otherwise be out of reach,” Casil said to Bitcoin Magazine.

Buying access to the artwork’s investment value does not mean buying access to the actual artwork itself, however. According to Maecenas, art pieces are not put on display; rather, they are held in purpose-built art storage facilities, ensuring the work is safe and looked after. If there is a demand in the future, then they may introduce an art-leasing facility where art lovers can temporarily hold the piece of art for a fee. The fee would then be distributed among the shareholders as income.

By injecting liquidity and transparency into the fine art market, the platform claims to be adding aspects to the sector that have been missing. Determining a fair price of an illiquid asset is now made possible via the blockchain through the conversion of small and liquid tradable financial units, creating tamper-proof, digital certificates denoting ownership. These are similar to shares of a company and can be traded on an open exchange.

Through the implementation of a Dutch auction process, Maecenas permits investors to submit private bids stating how many shares of the artwork they want to own and what price they’re willing to pay for them.

“The Dutch auction smart contract then handles all the bids and uses a well-known algorithm to determine the optimal price for the artwork shares,” Casil added. “This process is transparent and discourages price manipulation.”

Maecenas’ ART utility token functions as a clearing and settlement mechanism for all transactions of artwork on the Maecenas ecosystem. Participating in Dutch auctions, leasing artwork or performing any other sensitive platform operation is handled via smart contracts that require ART tokens to operate, says Casil.

“In the case of the auctions themselves, the token represents the investor bid and commitment, and a dollar value equivalent of the tokens is escrowed in the contract for the duration of the auction.”

For instance, if an investor wants to bid $50,000 for an artwork, and ART is worth $2, then 25,000 ART tokens must be submitted to the smart contract to reflect the bid.

To ensure the work is authentic, Maecenas has an internal team that checks the full provenance of the artwork including certificates of authenticity, condition reports, insurance policies, certificates of storage and valuation reports. Independent reputable experts will also assess and appraise the artwork. The documents produced during the due-diligence process are then protected and stored securely on the blockchain.

Maecenas recently completed their token crowdsale which raised 50,744 ETH. They are aiming to launch their platform in the first quarter of 2018.

The post Connecting the Luxury Fine Art Industry with the Modern Digital Economy appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 18 October 2017 | 9:29 am

Chaincode Labs to Host a Second Run of Its Month-Long Bitcoin Coding Class

Chaincode Labs to Host a Second Run of Its Month-Long Bitcoin Coding Class

Chaincode Labs, the New York–based development company and major contributor to Bitcoin Core, is organizing a second edition of its Bitcoin residency program in the first months of 2018. The program intends to help developers overcome the steep learning curve associated with becoming a protocol-level contributor to projects like Bitcoin Core. In doing so, Chaincode Labs hopes to help expand Bitcoin’s development community.

“Last year was the first run,” Chaincode Labs developer John Newbery told Bitcoin Magazine. “We’ve now taken the good stuff from that and tried to make it even more focused and useful for residents this year.”

The Residency Program

Chaincode Labs, in collaboration with Matt Corallo — who worked at Blockstream last year but joined Chaincode Labs since — organized the residency program for the first time in September and October of 2016. The next edition will start on January 29, 2018, and will last until February 23.

Newbery himself was one of the attendees of this first residency program. He was later hired by Chaincode Labs and has since been one of the most prolific contributors to the Bitcoin Core project.

Now, he is coordinating the second of two legs of the new program.

“Chaincode Labs exists to strengthen Bitcoin,” said Newbery. “We mostly do that by contributing to Bitcoin Core, but each of us has a lot of freedom to do what we think is important. And the main purpose of this residency program is to try to strengthen the developer community.”

Specifically, courses will cover protocol design, adversarial thinking, threat models and security considerations, as well as address some of Bitcoin’s biggest challenges, like scaling, fungibility and privacy. Attendees will mostly learn by doing and could even start contributing to the Bitcoin Core project during the residency. Throughout the program they will be assisted by the entire Chaincode Labs team — Alex Morcos, Suhas Daftuar, Matt Corallo, John Newbery and Russ Yanofsky. There may also be guest speakers.

Two Blocks

Whereas the first edition of the residency program lasted four straight weeks for all attendees, this time the coding classes will be cut into two two-week phases. Candidates can either pick one of two legs or join both, with room for five or six attendees per session.

The first leg is coordinated by Corallo, who has been contributing to Bitcoin development since 2011.

“Session A is all about getting people to think about the security trade-offs and implications of the technical decisions we make,” Newbery explained. “There’s a lot of thought that goes into all the decisions that are made in Bitcoin, but that nuance is often lost. If we can help people to understand those trade-offs better and be able to communicate them, then perhaps we can raise the level of the conversations we have about Bitcoin.”

The second session will be more focused on the Bitcoin Core project itself, Newbery said.

“Session B is all about getting smart, talented people to start making useful contributions to Bitcoin Core. There’s a steep learning curve to becoming a contributor and if I can help people who want to contribute but have felt daunted or don’t know where to start, then I’ll feel like I’ve succeeded.”

Additionally, Chaincode Labs will organize a series of Wednesday night meetups ahead of the residency program. Contents of these meetups will be similar to the residency program, but these meetups are for participants who live in (or near) New York who can’t dedicate two or four full weeks to attending the residency program itself.

For more information on Chaincode Labs’ 2018 Bitcoin residency program and to find out how to apply, see the company’s announcement and the program website.

The post Chaincode Labs to Host a Second Run of Its Month-Long Bitcoin Coding Class appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 18 October 2017 | 8:05 am

Ether Price Analysis: Eve and Adam Could Be Turning Back the Bulls

Ether Price Analysis

Since bottoming out around $200, ether has spent several weeks bouncing back and forth inside an ascending channel:

Figure_1 (15).JPGFigure 1: ETH-USD, 4-Hour Candles, Ascending Channel

For the last month and a half, ether’s trend has been contained within the bounds of this ascending channel, where it has continued its bullish rally. However, today (as of the time of this article) it is starting to make moves to aggressively test the lower boundary. Specifically, as ether tests this channel, it is forming a potential reversal pattern called an Eve-and-Adam Double Top.

Figure_2 (12).JPGFigure 2: ETH-USD, 1-Hour Candles, Eve-and-Adam Double Top

At the time of this article, ether is attempting to break the neckline (the pink dashed line) of the massive reversal pattern. Should ether break this neckline, the measured move from this pattern is a $30 move downward, which would ultimately shove ether outside the bullish ascending channel it has been trending within. The price target of the Double Top breakout would bring the ETH-USD price into the upper $200s.

On a macro scale, ether has support along the following Fibonacci levels:

Figure_3 (12).JPGFigure 3: ETH-USD, 4-Hour Candles, Fibonacci Levels

Should the ascending channel break, the above Fibonacci levels will provide support and will need to be tested in order to prove a bearish continuation. As of the time of this article, the Double Top mentioned in Figure 2 is sitting right on the 23 percent retracement values where it is making attempts at breaking it. There is strong support at these values, so if ether can break and hold below $315, it will send a strong bearish signal to the market.

Should the Double Top complete, we can expect a test of the 38 percent retracement values following the break of the ascending channel. At this time, the 4-hour MACD is showing strong bearish momentum on a macro scale, and the market is picking up sell volume.

Summary:

  1. For weeks, ether has been trending within an ascending channel.

  2. Ether is currently in the process of making a strong test of the ascending channel via an Eve-and-Adam Double Top reversal pattern.

  3. If the Double Top breaks downward, we can expect a break of the multi-week bullish channel and a test of the 38 percent Fibonacci Retracement values.

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


The post Ether Price Analysis: Eve and Adam Could Be Turning Back the Bulls appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 17 October 2017 | 3:45 pm

Blockchain-Focused Presentations to Watch at Money 20/20 in Las Vegas

Blockchain-Focused Presentations to Watch at Money 20/20 in Las Vegas

Money 20/20 Las Vegas is only a few days away. The event, to be held on October 22–25, 2017, at the Venetian, will be packed with people from the top tiers of banking and finance looking to learn more about the future of money.

One thing is for sure, blockchain technology will play a key role in that future. Since 2014, the financial event, which will attract more than 11,000 visitors this year, has devoted an entire track to blockchain topics. Originally, the track was called “Bit(coin) World,” but that changed as conversations shifted to Bitcoin’s underlying ledger technology.  

For blockchain enthusiasts struggling to sort through the 450 presentations at Money 20/20, the following is a breakdown of the blockchain track and other blockchain-related talks at the event.

Blockchain Tuesday

Tuesday is the main day for blockchain programming at Money 20/20. Kicking off the blockchain track will be Adam Ludwin, CEO and co-founder of Chain, a company that provides blockchain solutions to banks. Ludwin’s talk will center on whether crypto-assets are in a sort of ‘90s bubble or if something real and substantial is happening beneath the hype.

To give a sense of how fast things are moving, bitcoin was around $650 at last year’s Money 20/20, when one panelist at the event, then Blockstream developer Eric Martindale, predicted bitcoin would increase 10x in value over the next 12 months. His prediction was nearly spot on. Bitcoin reached more than $5,800 just last week.

With crypto-assets hitting all time highs across the board, the new funding model known as initial coin offerings (ICOs) have raised $2.2 billion this year alone. Yet, amidst the enthusiasm, the threat of increased regulations hover like a dark cloud. Last month, the SEC brought the first charges against two so-called ICOs in what may be just the beginning of a long-anticipated crackdown.   

Four more panels on Tuesday will focus on issues like: What problems are private blockchains solving? Are ICOs here to stay or are they just a passing fad? What threats do regulatory agencies pose to ICOs? And, how will blockchain technology potentially transform stock exchanges? These panels will include experts from companies like Bloq, Kik, Fenbushi Capital, AngelList, Pantera, JP Morgan Chase, R3, Hyperledger, Nasdaq, and the London Stock Exchange Group. 

In between those, Arthur and Kathleen Breitman will talk about their new smart contract platform Tezos. The project raised $230 million in an ICO in July.

Tezos is a proof-of-stake cryptocurrency and smart contract platform built in the functional language OCaml. Eventually, Tezos’ goal is to compete with the likes of Ethereum and Cardano, another emerging platform. A primary feature of Tezos is its formal governance scheme, where coin holders get a say in how the protocol evolves.

It will be interesting to see how Tezos plans to differentiate itself in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Finally, Bobby Lee, CEO and co-founder of BTCC, China’s longest running bitcoin exchange, will share war stories on what it has been like operating an exchange in the biggest payments market in the world.

He should have a good story to tell, given that China’s central bank recently cracked down on digital currency exchanges, causing BTCC to halt all China-facing trading last month.  

Other Talks

Two other blockchain-related talks will take place at Money 20/20 on Monday. Bridget van Kralingen, who leads a group called “Industry Platforms” at IBM will talk about how AI, blockchain and cloud computing are converging to create better customer experiences.  

Bill Barhydt, co-founder and CEO of Abra, a cryptocurrency wallet, will give a keynote announcement on Abra’s “next chapter.” Barhydt attracted some attention recently when he chose actress Gwyneth Paltrow as an advisor for Abra in “Planet of the Apps,” a kind of “Shark Tank” for iOS apps.  

Also on Tuesday, BitGive Foundation, a nonprofit that receives bitcoin donations for charitable causes, will be giving a presentation on GiveTrack, its blockchain-based system for tracking donations in real time.

The topic of blockchain applications is sure to come up in plenty of other talks and discussions at Money 20/20, such as this one on financial inclusion on Sunday and those centered around pressing issues like security (the event comes on the heels of the Equifax breach), identity and more.  

The post Blockchain-Focused Presentations to Watch at Money 20/20 in Las Vegas appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 17 October 2017 | 11:13 am

GoldMint and the Future of the Gold Trade

GoldMint Header

As a precious metal, gold is often associated with wealth, prestige and power. And as a commodity it has long been considered a prized asset for scores of investors throughout the world.

Beginning with bitcoin in 2009, cryptocurrencies have also seen their prominence rise due to some of the qualities that they share with gold, the most prominent of which is their scarcity.

One of the big issues that has continued to hamper gold as a physical asset is that it can often be difficult to transfer from one place to another. Moreover, the managing and handling of gold can be quite logistically challenging and laborious.

With the emergence of today’s digital age, a startup called GoldMint is seeking to alter this trend with a new means of exchange for physical gold, with transactions occurring over a blockchain-based platform.

This gold-based venture aims to assist investors and traders in managing volatility risks and gaining competitive commissions on commodities sold via GoldMint to financial institutions, pawn shops, and other business and individual stakeholders.

GoldMint’s platform will leverage the private and individual gold trading market, including potentially the management of larger physical stocks such as those in central banks. It will also deliver an electronic payment solution tethered to physical gold, as well as a gold-backed peer-to-peer lending system.

The GoldMint ecosystem is fueled by two types of tokens, GOLD and MNT.

The GOLD cryptoasset is an investment tool that is 100 percent backed by physical gold and/or an exchange-traded fund (ETF). One GOLD token represents one ounce of gold on the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA).

MNT  is GoldMint’s native cryptocurrency, which is used to confirm GOLD cryptoasset transactions. For GoldMint miners, the amount of MNTs reflects how many assignments, or transaction blocks, they can accept.

Fostering Digital Gold Trading

There are two options for trading GOLD for fiat or cryptocurrencies. First, there is a method for seeking a GoldMint-guaranteed buyback. And second, a loan can be requested. For either option, the process is as follows:

      Through the use of a special app which is not yet available, GOLD can be transferred as collateral to a designated GoldMint account.

      GoldMint utilizes the current price of gold, as set by the LBMA, to fix the rate of a loan.

      GoldMint requires the customer to undergo its know-your-customer (KYC) process as well as consent to GoldMint’s loan terms to receive the loan. Various repayment options for the loan amount and the means of repaying it are then offered.

      If a customer defaults on repayment, their GOLD cryptoassets are transferred to GoldMint.

GoldMint also has a process for converting gold into GOLD tokens and reconverting these tokens into gold for cross-border passages. This is designed to alleviate the hassles associated with carrying gold from one country to another, often resulting in untold expense and aggravation. By converting gold into GOLD, this hassle can not only be avoided, but a person can retrieve 100 percent of the value of their gold at the end of their travels.

“Custody Bot” is GoldMint’s decentralized storage unit, which computationally identifies and stores gold jewelry, small ingots (up to 100 grams) and coins. In this case, it functions as a DApp, a decentralized application that runs rapidly and efficiently without the need for a third-party intermediary to control it. Through the use of cutting-edge technology, Custody Bot inspects and assesses the value of incoming gold to ensure its purity and quality.

GoldMint ICO Accelerates Ahead

On September 20, GoldMint launched its initial coin offering (ICO), allowing users to send bitcoin or ether and receive MNTP (MNT pre-launch) tokens, issued on the Ethereum blockchain at a price of $7 per token.

The value of these tokens is expected to grow, because MNT is limited in its supply and is used in the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm. Participation in the GoldMint crowdsale involves more than the purchase of cryptocurrencies. It involves a stake in the consensus algorithm that will be utilized by the GoldMint blockchain post-launch.

Owning MNT allows users to achieve 75 percent from commissions earned when transactions are validated through the GoldMint blockchain. The number of MNT tokens owned determines the number of transactions that can be validated.

 

The post GoldMint and the Future of the Gold Trade appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 17 October 2017 | 9:06 am

Scaling Bitcoin Announces This Year’s Program and a New Developer Bootcamp

Scaling Bitcoin Just Released This Year’s Program and a New Developer Bootcamp

Today, Scaling Bitcoin, the international engineering conference focused on Bitcoin and blockchain research, released its program for the 2017 edition. The conference, to be held in Stanford, California, in the first weekend of November, will also introduce a new side event this year: Bitcoin Edge, a bootcamp for starting Bitcoin developers.

“The program is extremely interesting because it delivers cutting edge research on different blockchain scalability approaches, fungibility, consensus, data propagation, alternative techniques for handling blockchains and many other topics,” said Anton Yemelyanov, chair of the Scaling Bitcoin Planning Committee.

Scaling Bitcoin Stanford

After events in Montreal, Hong Kong and Milan, the fourth edition of the Scaling Bitcoin conference is taking place at Stanford University on November 4 and 5 of this year.

Where the first two editions of Scaling Bitcoin were mainly focused on scaling and scalability, the third edition broadened the scope of the conference to include a more diverse set of topics. This trend will continue in Stanford, where talks will range from highly technical topics concerning privacy and fungibility, to fee markets and fee estimation, censorship resistance and more.

“Bitcoin is the origin of all distributed ledger technology,” said Yemelyanov. “Scaling Bitcoin has been fortunate to act as a vehicle for bringing the audience technologies such as Segregated Witness and MimbleWimble, all of which have been adopted or incorporated into various blockchain projects. We hope that other material presented by our participants will be of similar value and help the industry advance the research and development of blockchains.”

Yemelyanov added that another key goal for Scaling Bitcoin conferences is to bring engineers and other technical minds together in a physical space where they can discuss their work in person.

“It is through collaboration where a lot of ideas are born and have potential of becoming reality,” he said.

Bitcoin Edge Dev++

In addition to the conference itself, Scaling Bitcoin is also introducing a two-day technical bootcamp for experienced developers getting into Bitcoin: Bitcoin Edge.

This nonprofit initiative is an effort to help scale the development capacity of the industry, Yemelyanov explained:

“One of the approaches of helping the industry scale is to scale the much needed development capacity of the industry. There is a clear talent deficit and we are trying to help all industry participants by running a nonprofit workshop that will allow developers to gain complete understanding of primitives that comprise Bitcoin and blockchains in general and be able to start working in this field.”

Bitcoin Edge will be led by well-known Bitcoin developers and academics Anditto Heristyo, Ethan Heilman, John Newbery, Karl-Johan Alm, Nicolas Dorier, Thaddeus Dryja and Jimmy Song. They’ll introduce participants to a range of technical Bitcoin-related topics, including Elliptic Curve cryptography, transaction structures, difficulty calculation and adjustments, and much more.

This workshop will take place on the November 2 and 3. For more information on the Bitcoin Edge initiative, visit bitcoinedge.org.

See here for the full Scaling Bitcoin Stanford program.

The post Scaling Bitcoin Announces This Year’s Program and a New Developer Bootcamp appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 13 October 2017 | 2:46 pm

Yes, Bitcoin Can Do Smart Contracts and Particl Demonstrates How

Particl Thumb 3

The Bitcoin blockchain is not known for its ability to enable smart contracts. In fact, most developers creating smart contracts use a different blockchain, like Ethereum.

 

But the truth is that the Bitcoin protocol can be used to create smart contracts. Particl.io, the blockchain eCommerce platform, is doing just that by using Bitcoin-based smart contracts to manage funds in their trustless escrow: Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) escrow.

 

For Particl, Bitcoin provides the ideal mix of smart contract functionality — enough to make smart contracts easy to implement but without the security and privacy risks of a more complicated platform like Ethereum.

Smart Contracts Overview

A smart contract is an agreement that can be enforced through a blockchain. Rather than relying on trust or a legal framework to ensure that each party that enters into a contract will adhere to its terms, you can use the blockchain to create a contract that is automatically enforced, between two people, in a decentralized fashion.

 

Ethereum has become the most popular blockchain for creating smart contracts. One of the major design goals of the Ethereum platform was to support smart contracts. From the start, this set Ethereum apart from Bitcoin, which was created first and foremost as a digital currency platform.

Smart Contracts on Bitcoin Codebase

As the Bitcoin protocol has evolved, it has gained support for smart contracts. Smart contract functionality is not as programmable and extensible on Bitcoin as it is on Ethereum. However, using features added to Bitcoin through improvement proposals, certain smart contract functionality can be achieved through Bitcoin scripting.

 

For Particl, the most important smart contract feature in Bitcoin is the OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY opcode, which was introduced by Peter Todd as Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 65. The opcode makes it possible to write scripts that prevent funds in a multi-signature wallet from being spent until a certain signature pattern is implemented or a certain amount of time passes.

Particl, Smart Contracts and MAD Escrow

MAD escrow is a technique that effectively prevents fraud in a transaction without requiring the oversight of a third party. In a MAD escrow contract, a buyer and seller both place funds into escrow. The seller starts by depositing an amount they want the buyer to match to symbolize a virtual handshake. This could be between 0 and 100 percent of the item’s purchase price. The buyer then deposits an amount equal to the handshake amount plus the price of the item they are buying. The escrowed funds are not released to anyone until both parties confirm that the transaction has been completed satisfactorily. The technique prevents either party from profiting through cheating in a transaction.

 

Particl uses the BIP 65 opcode to enable MAD escrow contracts by locking funds in a multi-signature wallet until all of the parties sign off on the transaction. With this approach, buyers and sellers on Particl’s ecommerce platform can operate without worrying about fraud or paying unnecessary fees.

 

They also don’t have to sacrifice privacy because no third party is involved in the transaction. Furthermore, and perhaps most significantly, because there is only basic scripting involved, security concerns are minimal.

 

Particl’s approach to MAD escrow smart contracts is arguably better than building smart contracts on a platform like Ethereum. While Ethereum provides more extensible support for smart contracts, that flexibility comes with a higher risk of security and privacy threats. The more code that goes into a smart contract, the greater the risk of introducing a vulnerability that could enable an intrusion.

 

Ethereum might be a strong foundation for writing very complex smart contracts, or ones in which security and privacy are not priorities, but Bitcoin provides a simpler and more reliable scripting framework for the private escrows that Particl requires.

Contributing to Bitcoin’s Future

 

Particl’s choice of Bitcoin as the backbone for its smart contracts is also a reflection of the team’s efforts to build a completely private platform on top of the Bitcoin codebase, arguably the most secure, battle tested and contributed to protocol on the market.

 

There are many dozens of Bitcoin-based blockchain projects out there, but most are simply building cryptocurrencies forked from Bitcoin. They’re not taking advantage of Bitcoin’s potential to create the foundation for a completely decentralized platform that supports a multitude of DApps and programmable functionality.

 

In this sense, Particl is helping to ensure that Bitcoin’s future will evolve more than just creating another cryptocurrency. Privacy enhancements Particl has already implemented onto the latest Bitcoin codebase such as Confidential Transactions and RingCT can just as easily be one day adopted upstream to further harden Bitcoin.

 

The post Yes, Bitcoin Can Do Smart Contracts and Particl Demonstrates How appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 13 October 2017 | 9:18 am

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CRYENGINE now accepts Bitcoin

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Consulting firm EY Switzerland accepts Bitcoin

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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 »

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Steam accepts Bitcoin

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Major Magazine Publisher to Accept Bitcoin Payments

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Microsoft accepts Bitcoin

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Mozilla accepting Bitcoin

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Wikimedia Foundation Now Accepts Bitcoin

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German Newspaper "taz" accepts Bitcoin

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Expedia to accept Bitcoin payments for hotel bookings

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October 21, 2017 -
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