Bitpay Confident in Bitcoin, But Raises Its Minimum Transaction Size

Bitpay Confident in Bitcoin, But Raises Its Minimum Transaction Size

The Bitcoin network is currently experiencing a period of rapid growth, which has caused scaling issues for the technology and social fissures in the online creation community. Bitpay, the juggernaut global bitcoin payment service provider, threw its support behind Bitcoin on Tuesday in a post by CEO Stephen Pair. The Atlanta-based company then raised its minimum transaction size limit on Wednesday, citing Bitcoin’s rising transaction fees.

Also Read: Did Julian Assange use the Bitcoin Blockchain to Prove He is Alive?

On Wednesday, Mr. Pair summarized Bitpay’s view of the present day for Bitcoin.

Bitpay Confident in Bitcoin, But Raises Own Minimum Transaction Size

“Markets and economics will eventually overwhelm any ideological stance community members hold,” wrote the Bitpay CEO in a Medium post. “Miners may be compelled to increase the block size limit leading to a disorderly hard fork experiment. On the other hand, a user revolt might lead to a minority fork with equally disorderly results. Both sides of the debate seem to believe that Bitcoin will be destroyed if the other side gets their way. We are somewhat less fatalistic — we believe a variety of scaling solutions will materialize, and Bitcoin will enjoy continued success.”

In a blog post the following day, Bitpay announced that it is seeing all-time highs in bitcoin transactions processed via their service, before making a potentially telling announcement. 

“[Effective tomorrow] we’re raising the Bitpay minimum invoice amount from $0.04 to $1,” the company wrote on Wednesday.

The rising costs of miner fees have hurt the pockets of some Bitcoin companies. Sources from more than one Bitcoin-related industry told Bitcoin.com they are experiencing increasing costs, with one reporting .50 cent fees on transactions as low as $1. Many experts say the network no longer lends itself to smaller payments. Bitpay seems to confirm this.

Bitpay New Invoice Minimum

“We’re responding to the increasing cost of miner fees by raising the minimum for Bitpay invoice creation to $1.00, effective [March 9],” Bitpay stated. “This change will protect consumers from creating un-economical transactions and remove our own risk for processing unprofitable transactions.”

Bitpay will allow merchants to experiment with “low-value invoices” under $1.00 on its testnet, which is based on Bitcoin’s testnet.

Mr. Pair seemingly primed the public for the announcement through his Medium account, in which he evoked Bitcoin’s “surging popularity” and “congestion” on the blockchain. He shared a chart about Bitpay’s rising miner fees.

“The data does not reflect miner fees paid by people paying a Bitpay invoice or fees paid by users paying from a Copay or Bitpay wallet,” Mr. Pair writes. “These are the fees Bitpay has paid to transfer its own bitcoin. The fees are normalized to USD to factor out the rising price of Bitcoin.”

According to the data, Bitpay’s monthly miner fee costs have increased 35-fold. “If we factor out our transaction growth of nearly 3x, it is still nearly a 12-fold increase,” tempers the CEO. “The fees aren’t just rising, they’re rising exponentially.”

Mr. Pair suggests that eventually an “equilibrium” will be struck and the true cost of a Bitcoin transaction discovered. He notes the value of the average transaction through Bitpay is rising.

“Many of the businesses we’ve signed up over the years have started using BitPay for B2B supply chain payments,” Mr. Pair writes. “And we have more and more enterprises signing up every day that need to make very large international plant and equipment related payments. For these customers, miner fees of a few dollars are irrelevant.”

He predicts that high value transactions will crowd out smaller bitcoin payments, which will then move ‘off-chain’, a term in the Bitcoin community denoting various solutions to the Bitcoin micro-transaction problem.

Despite Bitcoin’s growing pains, Bitpay remains confident in the technology over ‘altcoins’; anyone of the thousands of ‘copycat’ crypto-currencies that have cropped up in recent years.

Market Forces Will Dictate Future Miner Actions

“…A market is forming between on-chain, mining-secured payments and off-chain, more conventionally secured payments,” Mr. Pair surmises. “An off-chain payment could take the form of an alt-coin transaction, but the reduced security, increased volatility, and lack of liquidity of an alt-coin is going to make that a less attractive option.”

He concludes: “As off-chain transactions in one form or another are increasingly adopted, market share growth will start to diminish for miners. With their considerable investments at stake, they will be under pressure to increase transaction throughput to compete with off-chain payment solutions. We estimate that Bitcoin needs to achieve an approximate 100 fold increase in throughput just to be viable as a savings and settlement medium (aka digital gold). Market forces will push in that direction, but we need seamlessly inter-operable off-chain solutions to relieve some of the pressure while work is done to safely increase on-chain throughput.”

What do you think about Bitpay’s position and actions? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Bitpay


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Research Says Claims of Terrorism Financed With Bitcoin Are Exaggerated

A new report from a British defense and security think tank, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), reveals that reports of terrorism financed through Bitcoin are greatly exaggerated.

Also Read: Mainstream Media Columnist Says SEC Should Reject Bitcoin ETF

‘Treating Cryptocurrencies as an Exceptional Threat is a Misleading Impression’

Research Report Says Financing Terrorism With Bitcoin Is ExaggeratedRUSI consultant David Carlisle said that there is a lot of attention given to the possibility of bitcoin being used as a terrorist financing tool but “overreaction could stifle an important new financial technology”. He noted that there are very few instances where cryptocurrencies have been used for terrorism. However, the prospect of utilizing virtual currencies for terrorist activity has produced a significant response from many governments. Believing the response to be sensationalized, he states that:

Treating cryptocurrencies as an exceptional threat creates the misleading impression that more conventional financial products are not already equally, or more, vulnerable to terrorist exploitation.

The RUSI contributor says that it is not yet clear whether cryptocurrencies will be used in terrorist financing. At the moment, Carlisle explains that terrorists already have a vast array of existing “financing streams, which show little sign of drying up”. Additionally, another RUSI report reveals that lone actors and small cell terrorists are using financial services such as student loans, payday loans, welfare benefits, and cash.

Traditional Financial Services are Harder to Track than Bitcoin

Furthermore, law enforcement has a difficult time investigating terrorists using traditional mediums of exchange. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, for example, are not entirely anonymous, as most blockchains are openly available to the public, explains Carlisle.

“Cryptocurrencies are also not necessarily impenetrable fortresses of secrecy — With bitcoin, which is by far the most widely used cryptocurrency and relies on a public ledger — the blockchain — to record transactions, law enforcement agencies have a number of methods for uncovering illicit activity”, Carlisle’s report details.

‘Countries Should Pursue a Sensible Approach’

Carlisle believes that cryptocurrencies are an innovative force and “overreaction and panic in this early stage in cryptocurrencies’ history would be misguided”. The report explains that Bitcoin could reduce the costs typically found at traditional payment providers and offer a better form of financial inclusion to citizens worldwide. The RUSI report states: “Virtual currencies, therefore, offer governments a test case in harnessing the promise of technological innovation while also managing financial crime risks that are still only taking shape”.

“Countries should pursue a sensible approach — Countries should take the time to monitor and assess the effectiveness of new regulation before rushing into further action”, Carlisle concludes in his paper.

What do you think about governments overreacting towards Bitcoin and terrorist financing? Let us know in the comments below.  


Images courtesy of Pixabay and the RUSI website.


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PBOC Lists New Rules for Chinese Bitcoin Exchanges

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) renewed its efforts to regulate bitcoin exchanges this week. Zhou Xuedong, Director of the Bank’s Department of Business Management, which carried out inspections of bitcoin exchanges, outlined some new rules which exchanges must follow.

Also read: Reserve Bank of India Predicting the Future of Bitcoin 

PBOC Adopting a ‘Forgiving Attitude’

Zhou, who is also a deputy to the NPC (National People’s Congress), the national §PBOC Lists New Rules for Chinese Bitcoin Exchangeslegislature of the People’s Republic of China, reportedly revealed the short and long term plans that the PBOC has for bitcoin exchanges. The Chinese media outlet Sina reported him saying that in the short term, clearly defined rules for bitcoin exchanges are necessary. They must establish risk prevention and mitigation policies, and they must be kept under strict supervision, he continued, adding that:

[The regulators] shall adopt a forgiving attitude, not be prohibitive for the time being, and set an observation period.

List of Prohibited Activities

Among the numerous rules Zhou proposed was a list of prohibited activities imposed on bitcoin exchanges. According to Caixin, this list includes:

1. Offering leverage and margin trades.
2. Producing fake volume and manipulating the market using zero fees.
3. Violating AML laws.
4. Violating regulations on foreign currency management and cross-border capital transfer with bitcoin.
5. Replacing fiat by using bitcoin to purchase goods.
6. Tax Evasion.
7. Engaging in false advertising or participating in Ponzi schemes.
8. Providing financial services without a permit, including credit, securities, and futures trading.

There will be penalties and fines for any bitcoin exchanges found to be in violation of these rules, Zhou warned, adding that they can be suspended or forced to withdraw from the market. Serious violators can even be forced to shut down their businesses.

Long-Term Regulatory Plans

Caixin also reported Zhou saying that bitcoin is “a special digital asset that is difficult to be controlled” given its characteristics such as anonymity, being globally distributed and having no physical entity. He said that the PBOC will research the properties of bitcoin, explore management policies for the exchanges at the national level, and also consider licensing a number of qualified exchanges.

The NPC Deputy then proposed a “calm and rational” approach when looking at bitcoin, noting that:

If oversimplified measures such as closing them down were taken, [investors] will be led into the underground black market or OTC markets, which are more difficult to control. Therefore, it is necessary to explore the establishment of long-term regulatory mechanisms.

He was also asked by a Caixin reporter whether the inspections of bitcoin exchanges could be extended upstream to suppliers or downstream to customers. Zhou replied: “From thePBOC Lists New Rules for Chinese Bitcoin Exchanges angle of AML, it is mostly the downstream that should be considered, including withdrawing bitcoin and withdrawing fiat currency. This is a critical step“.

Also, Zhou listed other aspects for exchanges to consider, including account identification, funding sources, capital flows, and abnormal transactions. He sees beneficial uses for blockchain technology, believing that it can be used for reference and for regulating the flow of bitcoin and fiat currency. He suggested how data from exchanges to regulators can be synchronized as the basis for regulation. “And with this data, some of the money laundering information and abnormal transactions can be identified”, Zhou told Caixin.

What do you think of the PBOC’s rules for bitcoin exchanges? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and PBOC; Translation by Bitcoin.com’s correspondents in China


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New Hampshire Exempts Bitcoin from Money Transmitter Regulations in New Bill

New Hampshire is known as the ‘Live Free or Die’ state. Living up to its nickname, the state house passed House Bill 436 early Wednesday morning. The bill exempts virtual currencies like bitcoin from costly money transmitter regulations and could pave the way for Bitcoin businesses to flock to New Hampshire.

Related: Washington State Liquor & Cannabis Board OK With Bitcoin for Pot

New Hampshire Exempts Bitcoin from Money Transmitter Regulation

New Hampshire Exempts Bitcoin from Money Transmitter Regulations in New BillListening to twenty politicians debate an esoteric issue is fantastically entertaining,” Jeremy Kauffman, who served as New Hampshire’s governor-appointed advisor for the virtual currency bill, tells Bitcoin.com. “At one point in committee, there was a fifteen-minute debate as to whether or not a previous bill [pertaining to virtual currency] would have regulated Beanie Baby trading, and whether or not such trading should be regulated even if it did.”

A significant portion of discussion time in committee, and on the floor, centered around the Silk Road and ransomware, according to Mr. Kauffman.

“There is tremendous conflation among politicians between the bad things that happen with bitcoin and the technology itself,” he said. “New Hampshire has the highest per-capita bitcoin usage and the longest-running bitcoin meetup. Due to the Free State Project, a lot of early bitcoiners were residents here.”

According to Google Trends, the state ranks sixth in terms of ‘Bitcoin’ search volume for the U.S., behind states like California, Nevada, Washington, New York and Utah. 

Representative Keith Ammon, the bill’s sponsor, and long-time Bitcoin enthusiast spoke in favor of the bill on the floor. Representative Barbara Biggie co-sponsored the bill. Representative John Hunt, who helped get the bill out of committee, also defended the bill on the floor by suggesting that regulating the currency would be akin to regulating Beanie Babies

Avoiding an Exodus of Bitcoin Businesses

Bitcoin regulation in other states has led to an exodus of digital currency companies. Just recently Hawaii virtual currency regulations led Coinbase to leave the island state.

“We understand the Hawaii [Department of Financial Services] has further determined that licensees who hold virtual currency on behalf of customers must maintain redundant fiat currency reserves in an amount equal to the aggregate face value of all digital currency funds held on behalf of customers,” Coinbase stated.

A French man is suing the New York Division of Financial Services over the ‘Bitlicense,’ claiming there has yet to be enough research on the topic of digital currency for regulations to be implemented.

“There are significant and irreconcilable factual differences between the arguments presented by Plaintiff-Petitioner and by Defendants-Respondents which can only be resolved through limited discovery,” the ‘Bitlicense’ lawsuit’s most recent filing reads. “Those fundamental factual differences and disputes involve whether bitcoin is a ‘financial product’ or service which impacts whether Defendants-Respondents had the authority to regulate bitcoin, and whether Defendants-Respondents acted in an arbitrary and capricious fashion when they designed the Regulation.”

Helping Bueuracrats Understand Cryptocurrency

Mr. Kauffman has some advice for those looking to engage politicians in virtual currency discussions.

“My top advice for advocating for the passage of similar bills is to talk about how many smart people are betting a lot of money on this being ‘Web 3.0’ or similar,” Kauffman imparts. “Talk about how the states that encourage this kind of innovation will get the jobs. Reference New York as an example of doing it wrong, and all the businesses that fled and closed.”

Kauffman wonders: Is New Hampshire the best place to run a cryptocurrency business?

“It already has the highest per-capita bitcoin usage,” he writes on the LBRY blog. “And very soon it is likely to have the most favorable regulatory climate.”

You can see some of the discussion about virtual currency regulation in New Hampshire in the video below:

What do you think of New Hampshire’s House Bill? Let us know in the comments


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Free Keene


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Craig Wright Wants to Kill Satoshi by Becoming Him…Again. Why? And How?

The Australian computer scientist Craig Wright, who once claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto, is continuing his effort to obtain hundreds of digital currency and blockchain patents.

Why: For profit. How: By some 400 patent applications on Bitcoin and blockchain-related technology. A recent Reuters report (March 2, 2017) referred to the onslaught as an unprecedented “land grab for intellectual property”.

It is also a desecration of the gift Bitcoin’s creator Satoshi Nakamoto gave to average people – economic autonomy. It is a slap at Satoshi and at his open-source masterpiece which was intended to be a weapon of independence against the very institutions to which Wright kowtows. The insult is worsened by Wright’s claim to be Satoshi.

Also Read: Major Chinese Exchanges to Postpone the Return of Withdrawals

Timeline of the Satoshi Claim

Craig Wright Wants to Kill Satoshi by Becoming Him...Again. Why? And How?

On December 8, 2015, a Wired article entitled “Bitcoin’s Creator Satoshi Nakamoto Is Probably This Unknown Australian Genius” declared, “Either Wright invented Bitcoin, or he’s a brilliant hoaxer who very badly wants us to believe he did”. Wired based its assumption of Satoshi-hood on “a collection of clues” and on documents leaked by an “anonymous source close to Wright”. The publication later switched to the “hoaxer” explanation because of severe problems with Wright’s story. The Bitcoin community concurred.

On May 2, 2016, Wright proclaimed himself to be Satoshi on his personal blog and to a non-crypto trio of media: the BBC, the Economist, and GQ. The technical evidence he produced was disputed by leading cryptographers and developers, however, because it did not constitute verification of his identity. Nevertheless, some community leaders accepted Wright’s claim, notably Jon Matonis, one of the Bitcoin Foundation’s founding directors and Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin’s former `chief scientist´ (according to Bitcoin Foundation). Wright secured a crumbling toehold of credibility as Satoshi.

The general community remained skeptical. So, on May 4, Wright’s blog promised proof. He would move bitcoin from one of the early blocks to which only Satoshi had the key. Instead, the next day, Wright deleted all posts from his blog, leaving only a notice that said, “I’m Sorry”. (The notice was subsequently deleted but was reprinted in full by Ars Technica.) Wright reneged on publishing “the proof of access to the earliest keys” because he lacked “the courage” to withstand further attacks on his “qualifications and character”.

In a BBC interview, Wright proclaimed: “I don’t work and invent and write papers and code by coming in front of TVs. I don’t want money, I don’t want fame, I don’t want adoration, I just want to be left alone”.

His delicacy and purported indifference to money did not prevent the Satoshi wannabe from making headlines a month later. Jamie Redman’s article entitled “The Impostor Emerges: Craig Wright Files 50+ Blockchain Patents” (June 20, 2016), explained: “Sources coming from EITC Holdings Ltd., which employs two of Wright’s former associates, say Wright is still filing blockchain patent applications through Britain’s Intellectual Property Office”. Successful patents could be worth billions and ‘being Satoshi’ could enhance Wright’s prospect of success.

The identity grab will not succeed in the crypto-community. But, if it is accepted by a less savvy mainstream, then being Satoshi could add weight to Wright’s patent applications. Certainly, Reuters is providing good PR. After waxing on “Wright’s expertise” that makes him “a potentially formidable force in shaping the future of Bitcoin and blockchain”, Reuters stated, “It remains unclear whether he is Satoshi Nakamoto or not”. The agnosticism coupled with praise leaves the door wide open.

It may be time for more exposés…and of the loud variety.

The Persistent Spectre of Patents

Craig Wright Wants to Kill Satoshi by Becoming Him...Again. Why? And How?Patent applications that name Bitcoin and/or blockchain are nothing new. In his article entitled “Things Bitcoin Companies Try To Patent” (January 15, 2017) Justin Connell provided context, “Because Satoshi Nakamoto published the Bitcoin white paper and disappeared shortly after releasing the early versions of the digital currency, Bitcoin is part of the public domain. Only novel additions, variations, and use-cases might be patented around the technology”. Only improvements or original applications should be legally eligible for a patent.

Connell may be technically correct although some intellectual property experts disagree. Whichever camp is correct, a patent race is on. Wright is competing with “other players”, including some 70 banks, and it is difficult to believe that anyone will easily accept defeat. It is also difficult to believe that a patent office in one nation or another won’t eventually succumb to pressure from powerful elites who want to monopolize as much of Bitcoin as possible. The moment an advantage is secured, patent treaties will be invoked to globalize it.

The Reuters report on Wright was announced under the headline “Bitcoin’s ‘creator’ races to patent technology with gambling tycoon”. The tycoon is Calvin Ayre – a Canadian online gambling entrepreneur who is a fugitive from American law enforcement. Ayre is almost certainly funding Wright with the expectation of sharing patent profits but, since both men operate as secretly as possible, details are scarce.

But their campaign is unprecedented. For one thing, it envisions up to 400 patent applications, with over 70 currently being processed. As Reuters noted, this total “compares with 63 blockchain-related patents filed globally last year, and 27 so far this year by multinationals from credit card companies to chipmakers…. The patents range from the storage of medical documents to WiFi security, and reflect Wright’s deep knowledge of how Bitcoin and blockchain work”. To date, patents have been filed through EITC Holdings – a company based in Antigua where Ayre resides.

The crusade is unprecedented in another respect. Although the basics of Bitcoin do not seem patentable, Reuters commented, “The range of patent applications lodged by Wright and colleagues is wide. Five, registered on Dec. 14, were made…with the bland description ‘computer-implemented method and system’….One, registered on Dec. 28, was described as ‘Determining a common secret for two blockchain nodes for the secure exchange of information’ – apparently a way to use the blockchain to exchange encrypted data. Other applications…relate to…a blockchain-based operating system for simple electronic devices”.

This may be a well-funded ‘Hail Mary’ move. Or, it may be a calculated gamble by men who know how to game the system and how to maximize the chance of winning. First, Wright becomes Satoshi to the media and the courts. Then, he relies on the ignorance of the audience. Finally, he rides the growing rush of Bitcoin developers to partner with government to offer Bitcoin as a servant of the state.

In a sense, it doesn’t matter whether it is possible to tame the wild Bitcoin any more than it is possible to silence free speech. A great deal of damage can be done.

Conclusion

There is good news. No patent seems to be in place yet, and a patent of substance might be impossible to effectively enforce. The attempt to do so could make other cryptocurrencies surge forward. For example, Zcash’s new algorithm was publicized last month in Banking Technology which said it “offers more privacy and equality than the famous Bitcoin”. We live in a world of alternatives.

There is also troubling news. Bitcoin is drifting far from its roots as a peaceful revolution through which individuals could taste real freedom in their lifetimes. The blockchain is an amazingly efficient engine, but it also has a soul – that of Satoshi. He used it to free individuals from the corruption and oppression of authority, and he did so without bloodshed. Satoshi offered individuals the dignity of independence through creativity and cooperation. He believed so deeply in the potential of common people that he created a door to a different future and then walked away, leaving it wide open to all.

The crypto-anarchist Sterlin Luxan wrote: “Bitcoin is the catalyst for peaceful anarchy and freedom. It was built as a reaction against corrupt governments and financial institutions. It was not solely created for the sake of improving financial technology. But some people adulterate this truth. In reality, Bitcoin was meant to function as a monetary weapon, as a cryptocurrency poised to undermine authority. Now it is whitewashed. It is seen as a polite and unassuming technology in order to appease politicians, banksters, and soccer moms. Its purpose is sometimes concealed in order to make the tech palatable to the unwashed masses and power elite. However, no one should forget or deny why the protocol was written”.

It may also be time for a “Free Satoshi” movement that argues passionately for preserving his anti-authoritarian spirit.

What do you think about Craig Wright acquiring Bitcoin and blockchain patents? Let us know in the comments below. 


Images via Pixabay and GQ


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Mainstream Media Columnist Says SEC Should Reject Bitcoin ETF

A recent opinion piece coming from the publication the Hill has exclaimed that if the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approves a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), it will lead mainstream investors to “slaughter.”

Also Read: The New 110% Unlimited Bitcoin.com Mining Pool is Now Open to Everyone

Hill Author Believes SEC Approving a Bitcoin ETF Bolsters Criminal Activity

Mainstream Media Columnist Says SEC Should Reject Bitcoin ETFA contributing columnist for the Hill, Jim Angel thinks a bitcoin ETF is a bad idea and not in the public’s best interest. Essentially, the author does believe in ‘blockchain technology’, but bitcoin is primarily used for “money laundering, ransomware, tax evasion and other criminal activities” according to Angel. The article states that if SEC approves these bitcoin-backed ETFs it will only further bolster these types of illicit activities.

“Blockchain has many legitimate applications, but Bitcoin 1.0 is not one of them,” explains the Hill opinion piece. “Bitcoin is a payment system ideally suited to the black market. The anonymity of bitcoin transactions makes it ideal for drug-running, terrorist funding and human trafficking. Bitcoin is the “coin of the realm” in the dark web.”

The author details the last time he discussed bitcoin with others he asked if anyone had used the digital currency before. He explains the last time he talked about bitcoin and asked this question one person disclosed they were hacked by ransomware. In his opinion, the primary use for bitcoin is only for criminal activity, and he believes no one has explained this detail to the SEC agency. “For this reason alone the SEC should reject them based on inadequate disclosure,” the author concludes.

Coin Center Fires Back

Mainstream Media Columnist Says SEC Should Reject Bitcoin ETF
Coin Center’s Jerry Brito.

Following the article, the digital currency and blockchain legislative advocacy group Coin Center’s Jerry Brito blasted back at the Hill author for being very “misguided.” Brito explains the author just spouts off personal opinions and doesn’t cite substantial evidence proving them.

“The advent of the Internet led to rampant piracy, the proliferation of porn and illegal gambling, easier criminal communications, anonymous harassment, as well as new kinds of confidence scams,” Brito explains. “Could you imagine if the government in the early 1990s took advice like that of Mr. Angel? Advice that amounts to, ‘Please look only at the potential costs of this technology and ignore all the potential benefits because they’re too unproven and uncertain.’ We would be much, much poorer today.”

Mainstream Media Columnist Says SEC Should Reject Bitcoin ETF

Bitcoin Funds Far Less Illegal Activity Than Traditional Payments

Time and time again mainstream media has tried to portray bitcoin in a negative light. Moreover, the Hill author forgets to mention that many other payment rails like cash and credit cards fund quite a bit of illegal operations. It is true that bitcoin has been used in ransomware and other illicit activities. Just as it is true malicious malware also uses Paypal and pre-paid cards. Ransomware has been around since 1989, well before bitcoin. The rest of the illegal black market deeds mentioned in the Hill article are also heavily funded by fiat reserves, credit cards, mainstream payment providers, as well as by gold and diamonds.

The small twenty billion dollar bitcoin economy pales in comparison to the criminal activities financed by traditional mainstream mediums of exchange, even ones that have ETFs.

What do you think about the Hill opinion piece against a bitcoin ETF? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Coin Center, and Twitter. 


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Bitcoin Price Consolidates on ETF News

After falling $100 on Tuesday morning, bitcoin’s price continued its decline on Wednesday. The price, which peaked at $1,285 on Monday according to the exchange Bitstamp, dropped 1.5 percent the next morning. Within thirty minutes of this decrease, the digital currency had fallen to $1,160. The price then climbed to $1,229 before taking another downturn.

Related: Don’t Miss the Fine Print on that Bitcoin ETF

There are numerous dynamics at play in the bitcoin market. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) recently stated that the digital currency needs to be strictly regulated. Exchanges there announced last month that they would cease withdrawals until March, only to extend the wait further.

In the past year, according to Google Trends data, search interest for the term ‘buy bitcoin’ has steadily increased. In early February, it began a steep climb indicative of a future increase in buying interest.

Bitcoin Price Consolidates on ETF News

The forthcoming SEC announcement about whether or not a Bitcoin ETF would be allowed could have also played a role in recent price movements. Some have suggested that the declines resulted from insider trading and speculators betting that the Bitcoin ETF would not be approved.

According to people “familiar with the matter”, and anonymous source Bitcoin.com has been in contact with, the ETF decision could come as early as Friday, and perhaps even earlier. Others say the decision might arrive on Monday.

The hedge fund Global Advisors Bitcoin Investment Fund (GABI), in a letter to subscribers, noted this week that it believes there is only a 25% chance the ETF will be approved.

Despite the recent lull in price and uncertainty over the Bitcoin ETF, many analysts remain optimistic about the future of the price of bitcoin.

Increased regulation from Chinese authorities, demonetization in India, recently passed legislation in Japan, as well as the general decline of the value of fiat currency, are all seen as impetuses to bitcoin’s price rise. Analysts share a wide range of future price predictions.

“I think you’ll see rapid growth in adoption”

“In terms of price this year, I think [bitcoin] will go up to $3,000. As it becomes more pervasive and more generally accepted, I think you’ll see rapid growth in adoption”, Adam Davies, a consultant at Altus Consulting, told CNBC in an interview on Tuesday. “People are unsure about what is going on in the world, and digital currencies unlike the U.K. pound sterling have been hit badly because of Brexit, so people are looking to divest into bitcoin. There is a definitely upward trend. So the drivers will be hedging against currency fluctuations and insecurity in the markets”.

Clif High, an analyst who some have called a modern-day Nostradamus, predicted that the recent price decrease is no more than a minute lull. “Bitcoin is gonna be $13,008 by February of next year”, predicts Mr. High. “Bitcoin is simply escalating. And bitcoin doesn’t explode [in price] until 2019”.

In a study of the effects of Bitcoin halvings on the bitcoin price, Bitcoin.com found that it would not be unreasonable to anticipate a more-than-$10,000 price per bitcoin in the period of time following the 2016 ‘Bitcoin halving’, in which Bitcoin miner rewards were reduced by one-half.

Bitcoin’s price increased 120 percent in 2016, making it the best performing currency the second year in a row. If last year is any indication, bitcoin’s price could reach $2,200 by the end of 2017.

What do you attribute the recent bitcoin’s price action to? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Google Trends


Do you want to vote on important Bitcoin issues? Bitcoin.com has acquired Bitcoinocracy, and rebranded the project to Vote.bitcoin.com. Users simply sign a statement with a non-empty Bitcoin address and express their opinions. The project focuses on determining truth backed by monetary value and transparency.

The post Bitcoin Price Consolidates on ETF News appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Bitcoin Projects on Github Surpass 10,000

In the world of open source code, Bitcoin is already one of the most popular projects and protocols being worked on today. Like price, regulations, and merchant adoption, software development is a major metric that can be used to gauge the growth of Bitcoin. The number of projects involving Bitcoin on the leading development platform and repository, Github, crossed over 10,000 last week and is currently sitting at 10,055 at press time.

Also read: Zeronet Wants to Replace the Dark Web by Marrying Bitcoin to Bittorrent Over Tor

Popular Open Source Projects

Like Bitcoin, most projects on Github are open source, meaning that anyone can copy them to make new versions with the changes they want. These spin-off projects are called ‘forks’. Bitcoin currently has 7,535 forked projects on Github, many of which are altcoins.

Bitcoin Projects on Github Surpass 10,000Meanwhile, a search on the site for “Bitcoin” yields 10,055 Bitcoin-related projects. Putting this number into perspective, Bitcoin.com examined the search results for other protocols for comparison.

Protocols with more projects than Bitcoin
The largest protocol, Http, which all website developers use, has 291,882 projects on Github today. Wifi is another extremely common protocol but only has 14,889 projects listed while Bluetooth technology has 13,624. Since Bitcoin currently has 10,055 projects and is climbing, it could surpass Bluetooth this year.

Protocols with fewer projects than Bitcoin
Bitcoin has already surpassed so many other popular protocols. For instance, FTP, the old standard for uploading files from desktops to any servers, has 8,657 projects on Github today while Secure Socket Layer (SSL), used for standard website communication, only has 7,129 projects.

VPNs have 4,036 open source projects, which include all reputable VPN service providers. SMTP mail server projects total 3,693, and surprisingly, the basic protocol of the internet itself, TCP/IP, only has 1,861 projects on Github currently.

Top Money Protocols

Bitcoin is already the most popular protocol for money over the internet. The entire Bitcoin Projects on Github Surpass 10,000category of cryptocurrency, excluding Bitcoin, has 2,147 projects running today. Meanwhile, Paypal and Visa only have 3,904 and 1,672 open source projects respectively, since at least some of their code is closed source.

In other categories of protocols, home automation is one of the largest niche markets to compete with Bitcoin, currently having 5,161 projects. Bittorrent has 1,940 projects while the Interplanetary File System (IPFS) has 777.

Most Popular Projects Using Bitcoin

The vast number of complementary projects to Bitcoin on Github represents the greater Bitcoin ecosystem. They include everything from wallets to code libraries to exchanges Bitcoin Projects on Github Surpass 10,000and even bitcoin trading bots. Many reputable companies like Bitpay and Blockchain place the code for their products on Github to help create transparency and build confidence among their customers.

Projects are also ranked by popularity on Github. Other than Bitcoin’s code libraries and other versions of the Bitcoin code itself, the most popular Bitcoin projects include Zeronet, the Brave Browser, a Bittorrent/Github fusion called Gittorrent, Andreas Antonopoulos’ book entitled “Mastering Bitcoin”, Bitpay’s operating system called Bitcore, a trading bot called Gekko, the Electrum wallet, an Arbitrage trading bot, and the classic CPUMiner software.

What do you think of the number of Bitcoin projects on Github? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Github


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The post Bitcoin Projects on Github Surpass 10,000 appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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The Crypto Show with Trace Mayer, Paul Puey, Stephanie Murphy, Tatiana Moroz and Ashe Whitener

This is 2 separate interviews at Anarchapulco 2017. First up is Trace Mayer and Paul Puey with general discussion on bitcoin. Then Stephanie, Tatiana and Ashe sit in for a quick and fun discussion.

Trace & Paul video

Stephanie Tatiana & Ashe video

Sponsored by: Dash, CryptoCompare Bitmain and GhostGunner2

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Tip with Crypto

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ETH: 0x10cfd6916832566e82b3ab38cc6741dfd7e6164f

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