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Bitcoin Price Breaks $2,000 in Historic All-Time High

Bitcoin Price Breaks $2,000 in Historic All-Time High

Bitcoin Price Breaks $2,000 in Historic All-Time High

 

Bitcoin price has, for the first time in its history, reached $2,000 and beyond during trading on Saturday.

The world’s most prominent cryptocurrency began trading in 2017 at $1,000 per coin, with today’s new all-time high representing a doubling of value for bitcoin. On an average, bitcoin price climbed to $2,040.88 in global trading markets. On the Bitstamp Price Index (BPI), price struck a high of $2,020.

Trading leading into Saturday saw global average prices climb to $1,968.48. A steady period of trading during the day saw prices climb throughout before crossing the symbolic $2,000 milestone at 18:00 (UTC) on Saturday.

“Nearly seven years ago to the day, the first real-world Bitcoin transaction was completed in Florida, when two pizzas were bought for 10,000 bitcoins,” reminded eToro senior markets analyst Mati Greenspan in conversation with CCN. “If you’d invested $100 in bitcoin that day and left it there, you’d be sitting on over $20 million right now.”

He added: “The $2,000 mark is a historical moment for Bitcoin”.
 

Intriguingly, trading over the last 24 hours was led by US markets followed by Japan, the inverse of recent trading trends of the past few months. Bitfinex, GDAX and Bitstamp led the way in the US marketplace, altogether leading to over 35% of trading in the past 24 hours. Trading markets in Japan, China and South Korea combined for over 45% of trading volumes.

Bitcoin prices have gained 50% in May alone, a month that saw bitcoin in the headlines for being abused by ransomware extortionists behind the global WannaCry cyberattack.

“One might have expected that the WannaCry cyberattack – in which hackers asked for payment in Bitcoin – would have had a negative effect on price, but it seems like not even a ransomware attack can prevent the rise of Bitcoin,” Greenspan added.

The analyst also revealed that bitcoin’s soaring gains hasn’t put off existing investors from continuing to invest in the cryptocurrency. “Bitcoin is gaining some serious momentum among investors on our platform, with 88% of Bitcoin traders still buying the asset.”

Bitcoin’s flourish comes during a time of marked gains for the wider cryptocurrency ecosystem, led by the likes of Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple.

After hitting an unprecedented $100 for the first time on Thursday, Ethereum’s ether token is now trading above $125.

Altogether, the entire cryptocurrency market cap is now valued above $70 billion, up from less than $30 billion a little over a month ago.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

Author:Samburaj Das

 

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin Price Could Double with Scaling Resolution: Hedge Fund

Bitcoin Price Could Double with Scaling Resolution: Hedge Fund

Bitcoin Price Could Double with Scaling Resolution: Hedge Fund

 

Global Advisors, a U.K.-based investment firm that has developed an investment program to provide market exposure to the price of bitcoin, recently offered an upbeat outlook on bitcoin. The assessment noted that Litecoin’s recent soft fork gives reason to think the scaling solution could be applied to bitcoin, possibly doubling its price.

Taking measure of the range of news around bitcoin of late, the Global Advisors’ assessment quoted the late Jesse Livermore in saying “a prudent speculator never argues with the tape.” Livermore, an American who lived from 1877 to 1940, shorted the stock market crashes of both 1907 and 1929 and was worth $100 million at his peak before committing suicide following a series of losses.

While much negative news has been reported on bitcoin, the prices have been strong.

Media Focuses On The Negative

On the negative side, which the media tends to focus on, China has clamped down on bitcoin trading by imposing trading fees and AML/KYC controls. There has also been a ban on withdrawals from cryptocurrency exchanges. There has been a roll-over on the temporary ban and a discount of up to $250 for trapped coins.

Looking further back, the IRS last year subpoenaed Coinbase to release client records for bitcoin trades.

More recently, the dispute between different factions within the bitcoin community over the future development of the bitcoin protocol continues.

The SEC denied the Winklevoss bitcoin exchange-traded fund.

Bitfinex, which suffered a hack last year, continues to lack fiat withdrawal capability.

Why The Price Keeps Rising

Bitcoin’s price, nonetheless, has been on an upward trend throughout all the various challenges.

Global Advisors’ assessment points to Japan, the new hot spot of bitcoin bitcoin trading. The BitFlyer exchange has been successful with Japanese investors, likely due to its advertising campaign. BitFlyer’s sign ups set a new record on Facebook.

Litecoin also creates reason for hope. Segregated Witness, a protocol designed to shorten bitcoin transactions and improve the capacity of the transaction blocks, has been successfully implemented by Litecoin. Litecoin’s price, as a result, has tripled.

Litecoin’s SegWit success holds promise for bitcoin. The price impact on bitcoin could be “shocking,” and a price doubling wouldn’t be unexpected.

The hedge fund stated:

 

“Even though one can find no evidence whatsoever that there were scaling pressures in Litecoin, this upgrade went ahead and if it is even slightly predictive of a path that can be taken in bitcoin, one that will at least show progress if not resolution, the price impact could be significant. A double up wouldn’t be shocking.”

Altcoins overall will serve as “test beds” for bitcoin. New features developed for altcoins can be incorporated into bitcoin. ZCash, Ethereum and other altcoins offer desirable features.

Altcoins Gain Market Share

Ethereum’s and Litecoin’s rises have changed the “bitcoin dominance” metric, the assessment noted. Bitcoin dominance is based on the cryptocurrency’s market capitalization as a percent of all coin market capitalization. This dominance has been dropping as the total value of all coins has increased.

Bitcoin comprised 95% of the total crypto market capitalization three years. It now stands at 60%. Global Advisors termed this a “stunning progression.”

But as noted above, growing altcoins bring positive influences for bitcoin.

Arbitrage opportunities: What do they mean?

Global Advisors noted that it receives a lot of requests for an “arbitrage-only” product, which is not the best use of a company’s time that remains upbeat on bitcoin’s price and on scaling its product offerings.

Arbitrages are a consequence of fragmented bitcoin trading venues and limited capital in each trading venue. Hence, a big unidirectional flow can alter a given price deck, yielding an arbitrage opportunity.

Exchanges have three areas leading to wider arbitrage opportunities: credit/reputation risk, difficulties moving coins and problems moving cash. Chinese domestic coins are currently frozen, for example, while Bitfinex and other exchanges have banking issues.

Combined, these factors present arbitrage opportunities, some of which are untradeable, others requiring patience and still others requiring speculation.

Rather than focus on arbitrage opportunities, Global Advisors believes bitcoin’s best days are still ahead.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

Ripple Market Capitalization Soars, Surges Past Ethereum

Ripple Market Capitalization Soars, Surges Past Ethereum

Ripple Market Capitalization Soars, Surges Past Ethereum

 

Ripple tokens have hit a massive upswing in market capitalization over the last day, surging past Ethereum and nipping at bitcoin’s heels.

At end of day May 14, Ripple’s market capitalization was at about $8,345,000,000. Ripple continued surging well into the next day at about $11,500,000,000, continuing to climb. This has occurred in an oscillating fashion over the last few weeks, as Ethereum and the blockchain transfer token duke it out for supremacy.

Several news sites and other sources suggest this upswing in market capitalization was spurred by recent partnerships in the ripple network. These partnerships include large banking conglomerates and other banking organizations opting to work with or adopt the Ripple network.
 

An April 26 Ripple press announcement said,

Ripple is proud to announce the addition of 10 new customers to our growing global network. These financial institutions include MUFG, BBVA, SEB, Akbank, Axis Bank, YES BANK, SBI Remit, Cambridge Global Payments, Star One Credit Union and eZforex.com, representing some of the world’s largest banks, innovative smaller banks, and payment service providers (PSPs).

Differences Between Ripple tokens and Bitcoin: Ripple is a “Bank Coin”

Even though Ripple is gaining ground on market capitalization, there are distinctions between Ripple tokens and currencies like bitcoin and Ethereum. For instance, Ripple has enjoyed its market capitalization skyrocket as a result of gaining the aforesaid partnerships.

This happened because Ripple is a “bank coin.”Ripple Market Capitalization Soars, Surges Past Ethereum Several commentators pointed out ripple is not a decentralized cryptocurrency. It is a centralized bank-to-bank transfer coin. Ripple’s own commentary from their labs suggested the same when they mentioned being able to use a global freeze feature.

“The freeze protocol extension gives gateways the ability to 1) globally freeze all their issued funds, or 2) freeze funds issued to a particular user. Frozen funds may only be sent back to the gateway who issued them.”

This ability to freeze funds means that Ripple is not a decentralized blockchain protocol, but instead a distributed database that maintains control of the network from a central hub. This is a feature that would be impossible to execute if the coin was founded on decentralized algorithms.

This comes to no surprise to many, though, because this fact is not a hidden agenda. Ripple’s website explained the purpose of their technology: Its purpose is to be an inter-bank transfer protocol to smooth out the financial interactions between banks.

Conclusion: Ripple’s Market Position

In this regard, Ripple’s market cap has increased as a result of their partnerships. These alliances caused the market capitalization to swell beyond Ethereum, even though Ripple is not in the same category of coin.

It happened as a result of their positioning in the market. It happened because of a business alliance. By definition and design, Ripple is not meant to be a cryptocurrency. It is a “database coin” that is controlled via centralization and economic engineers.

Will Ripple’s token continue to grow on into the future? Can it maintain the second position in terms of market capitalization?

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

By Sterlin Lujan

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

U.K. Land Registry Looks to Register Property on a Blockchain

U.K. Land Registry Looks to Register Property on a Blockchain

U.K. Land Registry Looks to Register Property on a Blockchain

 

Her Majesty’s Land Registry, a U.K. government agency responsible for registering land ownership, has announced it is seeking three non-executive board members as it undertakes a project using blockchain technology to register property.

The posting noted that the agency recently committed to making HM Land Registry “the world’s leading land registry for speed, simplicity and an open approach to data.” It referenced the project as the most substantial transformation in the registry’s 150-year history.

State-Backed Ownership Guarantee

The registry, an executive agency of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, provides state-backed guarantee of ownership on the register rather than requiring title insurance.

To meet its objectives, the registry will have to become more digitized. It plans to launch a live test in the near future of a “Digital Street” to allow property ownership changes to close instantaneously. The Digital Street will also allow the registry to hold more granular data than is presently possible.

Digital Street would be the world’s first such registry, having great transformational potential for the property market, the posting noted. Blockchain technology is an underlying technology for the project.

 

Three Positions Needed

The registry seeks three non-executive board members to ensure the right mix of expertise. Experience in transformational/digital issues is being sought, along with finance and legal issues.

The transformational/digital member is expected to have experience delivering transformational change to provide service improvements and cost savings.

The person will have to deliver change across most transformation disciplines, including technology, process and people. The candidate is expected to have knowledge of information technology developments, including the delivery of digital services to customers and in data rich organizations.

The closing date for applications is June 22, 2017. Remuneration is £20,000 per annum.

 

Other Governments Have Similar Tests

The U.K is not the only country to explore blockchain technology for registering and managing property.

In February, the Republic of Georgia teamed with Bitfury Group, a provider of blockchain infrastructure, to use the bitcoin blockchain to validate property related transfers, marking the first time a national government used the bitcoin blockchain to validate and secure government actions.

Blockchain technology has also be tapped to improve land ownership in developing countries.

Last year, a team of blockchain technology pioneers from Ghana, Denmark and the U.S., launched the Bitland initiative to establish usable land titles and free up trillions of dollars for infrastructure development in West Africa.

The Bitland initiative will educate the population about technology and provide the benefits of documented land ownership to those who don’t have it. It will begin in Ghana and expand throughout Africa, with hopes of catapulting infrastructure development and strengthening democracy.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Contributor: Lester Coleman

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin Value Set to Increase Because of Asian Influence

Bitcoin Value Set to Increase Because of Asian Influence

Bitcoin Value Set to Increase Because of Asian Influence

 

Like it or not, Bitcoin is on the ascent and the cryptocurrency is in no place close to be done climbing. As the coin turns out to be more standard in Asia and finds more noteworthy acknowledgment in Western socioeconomics, its esteem is certain to surge higher in the mid-term. This is as per investigators like Joseph Young, who demand that market endorsement will be Bitcoin’s most noteworthy driver for the following couple of months.

A solitary Bitcoin went for about $425 back in April 2016. A year later, the cryptocurrency has dramatically multiplied in esteem. It hit a high past $1,300 in March 2017. The coin is presently shaking off the impacts of late China and US imperatives, yet skimmed around the $1,200 check for the greater part of April.

Be that as it may, any individual who thinks the shot has gone to make unfathomable increases off Bitcoin will kick themselves later on. Examiner accord is in, and it looks just as more dangerous development anticipates this blasting cryptocurrency. In the east, Japan’s affection for Bitcoin is making the money a value-based top choice. In the meantime, India is demonstrating a ton of fondness to the coin also. In the event that bits of gossip are valid, the nation will see organizations and numerous prevalent retailers start tolerating the cash. Bitcoin exchanging the locale is set to get somewhat more remissed also.

Bitcoin has been required to have a tremendous effect in India throughout recent years. The nation stands to be an enormous coin cash driver because of the country’s poor foundation, monetary stage and broken account management framework. Around 40 percent of India’s working populace, which positions in the billions, is without a ledger. Poor govt. benefit conveyance, casual employments, an absence of occupations all together and poor instruction are recently a portion of the many reasons why such a variety of Indians don’t utilize banks.

The inhabitant is alluding to a current govt. activity that has sent India into monetary turmoil. The entire of India, regardless of whether with a financial balance or without, is attempting to pull back money for day by day exchanges. The nation’s legislature has quite recently demonetized their Rs 500 and Rs 1000 certified receipts, making it harder for banks to meet the day by day monetary necessities of the populace.

The legitimization of Bitcoin as perceived legitimate in India would send it taking off. It would likewise ease a large number of the nation’s fiscal disappointments. Countries like China, Japan and South Korea have broadly done this, pushing up the estimation of the cryptocurrency impressively throughout the years. India going with the same pattern would just send the coin soaring so far another populace in the billions lawfully exchanges and uses Bitcoin once a day.
 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Source: Coin News Asia.

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin Recognised as a Currency in Japan

Bitcoin Recognised  as a Currency in Japan

bitcoin recognised as a currency in japan

Bitcoin has finally gained the recognition of a mainstream currency along the lines of other fiat currencies. The privilege follows the implementation of a new law in Japan which categorizes Bitcoin as a legal payment option within the country. The much-awaited law went into effect on April 1, 2017 (beginning of a new fiscal year in many countries).

With the new law’s implementation, Bitcoin exchanges will also come under additional regulatory scrutiny. The recognition of cryptocurrency as a legal tender also means the applicability of regulations governing banks and financial institutions to cryptocurrency exchange platforms. They will be required to comply with strict anti-money laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements, alongEntrepreneur with annual audits. Other requirements include meeting the stated capital and cyber security requirements to ensure consumer protection.

The recognition of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as legal payment instruments is good news for the global cryptocurrency ecosystem. Adoption of cryptocurrency is expected to increase among people, which will, in turn, drive demand and price.

However, reports indicate that the cryptocurrency platforms are still trying to figure out ways to achieve compliance with the new regulations. Recognizing the exchanges’ needs, the Accounting Standards Board of Japan has announced that it has started working on creating an accounting framework for both user and businesses dealing with cryptocurrencies.

It might take a while before companies and individuals get acquainted with the accounting practices, which has raised concerns about legal implications of inaccurate reporting’s/filings due to lack of understanding. Also, few publications have raised concerns about the volatility of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and how it might impact those making cryptocurrency transactions.

The new developments are expected to drive the cryptocurrency usage in Japan to over $9 billion in the next three years (2020), which is more than five times the 2015’s $1.7 billion worth of cryptocurrencies in circulation.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Author: Gautham

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin vs Gold: Which is a Better for Long Term Investment

bitcoin v gold which is the better investment

Bitcoin vs Gold: Which is a Better for Long Term Investment

 

Imagine that you have $100,000 at your disposal. You must spend all of it on either bitcoin or gold – no mixing and matching – and the assets will then be stored in a trust that cannot be accessed again for 50 years.

Which option would you choose?

With the two commodities now in roughly the same price range, it's worth putting aside some of bitcoin's short-term volatility and liquidity concerns to compare them as long-term stores of value side by side.

Sure, you might argue bitcoin is newer and flashier, and that it has arguably more utility in the digital era than gold. But, gold has the indisputable track record, having been a cherished store of value for thousands of years across human civilizations.

However, bitcoin's traits have led to those backing the cryptocurrency to believe it could potentially unseat gold over the long haul.

Spencer Bogart, an analyst with Blockchain Capital and formerly of Needham & Company, told CoinDesk:

"If we think about the qualities that make gold a respected 'money' or store of value, bitcoin is actually superior in many regards."

Inflation vs deflation

Another key advantage bitcoin has over gold is that its supply level is fixed and transparent – eliminating fears of the typical inflationary pressures associated with overproduction that could diminish the value of the asset.

"A well-known characteristic about bitcoin is that it’s on a disinflationary supply schedule. While many people think of gold as being the same, gold is actually a sneakily inflationary asset," said Chris Burniske, blockchain products lead with ARK Investment Management.

Burniske added that the global supply of gold has clandestinely increased by 1–2% annually over the last century.

He continued:

"If you were to ask people what gold's supply schedule looks like over time, they probably wouldn't draw you something that looks like an exponential curve. With gold being sneakily inflationary, it’s not set up to preserve value in the way that bitcoin is."

Such characteristics, in theory, serve to increase bitcoin’s future utility as a means of account, exchange and storing value.

They also suggest that bitcoin's value, usefulness and importance to society will only continue to grow as commerce becomes more digitized.

"As more infrastructure is built around [bitcoin], we think that demand will rise relative to its mathematically metered supply, increasing its price support," Burniske wrote in a recent white paper.

Slow and steady

The clear advantages that gold has over bitcoin are trust and reliability, according to those surveyed for this article. However, a change in consumer preferences, new technological disruption or a crackdown by a government could easily kick bitcoin to the end of the bench.

"Gold has something very important that bitcoin lacks: a more than 1,000-year history of being a decent store of value. This is very important for trust and people's willingness to store value in that particular asset," said Bogart.

Gold has also proven itself to be of value even when governments attempt to restrict its usage or outlaw it completely.

This happened in 1933, when President Franklin D Roosevelt implemented measures to prohibit and criminalize its possession in the US.

"For more than 5,000 years gold and silver have been tried-and-true money. They've lasted basically the duration of organized civilization," said Dave Kranzler of Investment Research Dynamics.

In this light, Kranzler was keen to highlight bitcoin's 'counterparty risk'.

Gold's advantage over bitcoin is that it's not dependent on the operation of the internet, thus affording it a degree of protection from heavy-handed regimes, he said.

"There’s nothing to stop any government from shutting down the internet in their country under the guise of national security purposes or what not,” he said, adding:

"We’ve seen democracies come and go, but totalitarianism always seems to creep back in. And when that happens, the government controls everything."

Elemental value

Gold has also proven itself immune to technological disruption.

According to Burniske, while bitcoin has generated significant cultural cachet, it remains at the bleeding edge and could still be dethroned relatively easily.

"That position is not necessarily going to remain the case if bitcoin is not able to attract new users and provide a happy medium in terms of user experience," he said.

Yet, as asset classes like Dutch tulips, Japanese real estate, dot-com companies and the US housing market have boomed and busted, gold has consistently plodded ahead, withstanding the test of time.

"I don’t think anyone can say with any certainty that any man-made system is going to be valuable 50 years from now," said Josh Crumb, co-founder of GoldMoney and a former commodities strategist at Goldman Sachs.

He continued:

 

"People forget that gold is not a pet rock or a speculative asset, it's an element. Gold is a very low-risk store of value. Fifty years from now it’s going to still be valuable."

While investors like Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss have suggested that technological developments as far fetched as asteroid mining could eventually put upward pressure on the total supply of gold (and reduce its scarcity), Crumb reckons that technological creative destruction poses a much greater threat to bitcoin.

"People have been trying to crack gold for 600 years. I think it's much more likely that we're going to have quantum computing that can change cryptography than asteroid mining that's going to bring back loads of gold," he said.

Complementary or substitutionary?

Perhaps asking whether bitcoin will ever unseat gold as the universal store of value isn't quite appropriate, as it's plausible that the two can, and will, co-exist as complementary assets.

"I like bitcoin, particularly in the short-term, so it's kind of like saying 'Do you like gold or do you like investing in Facebook in 2011?'" said Crumb. "To me, it’s two totally different things."

As is standard practice across other realms of investing, the correct answer to the bitcoin versus gold question will ultimately be determined by the risk profile of each particular investor.

"In terms of proper portfolio construction, you want to diversify. You want to have different types of assets that don’t necessarily move together," said Burniske, concluding:

"There's always room for collaboration. It’s sensational to pit [bitcoin versus gold] as a fight to the death."
 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur
 

Author: Aaron Stanley

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

Indians Petition Government Demanding Legal Status for Cryptocurrencies

indians petition government demanding leagal status for cryptocurrencies

Indians Petition Government Demanding Legal Status for Cryptocurrencies

The Indian cryptocurrency ecosystem recently woke up to a shocking news on leading media outlets. It was reported that the use of Bitcoin in the country is illegal and could attract penalties under anti-money laundering laws. However, the report was not entirely accurate, and the news platforms were quoting a Member of Parliament seeking the implementation of cryptocurrency regulations by calling Bitcoin a “Ponzi scheme”.

While the confusion was eventually cleared, the incident has sown the seeds of mistrust about the government’s stance on the digital currency. Going by the example of few drastic decisions taken by the government in the past, they have come together to demand some clarity from the government regarding its stance on cryptocurrency. They have started an online signature campaign, petitioning the government to award a legal status for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the country.

The petition is probably the first strong public campaign organized by the recently formed Digital Asset and Blockchain Foundation of India. Addressed to Arun Jaitley — India’s Finance Minister, Urjit Patel – Governor of the Reserve Bank of India and S Selvakumar – the Joint Secretary of the Department of Economics Affairs Room, the petition makes a mention of various benefits offered by Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies and how it can be used for the betterment of the country. Also, it asks the government to take steps towards stopping bad actors who misuse the cryptocurrency than banning the technology and its use.

The petition on Change.org also says,

“Cryptocurrencies will be available irrespective and the illegal users do not care about its legal status. Please do not take hasty steps and prevent innovation, economic activity and jobs. This will only stop good uses of cryptocurrencies.”

In a country which has a considerable percentage of the unbanked population and ranks at the top for receiving the highest remittance, Bitcoin can offer an efficient and inexpensive solution. The use of cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology will not only speed up the financial services sector but also a range of other industries. With the adoption of distributed ledger technology, the government can also combat rampant corruption and red tape. But strict cryptocurrency regulations will stifle progress in this regard, preventing the country from keeping up with the global trend.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Author: Gautham

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

Ethereum style smart contracts for Bitcoin in June

Ethereum style smart contracts for Bitcoin in June

Ethereum style smart contracts for Bitcoin in June
 

Ethereum has gained a lot of attention over the past year or two as it became the second most valuable cryptocurrency by market cap. The platform enables the execution of smart contracts, a feature coming to Bitcoin in the form of RSK.

On a recent episode of Coin Interview, RSK’s co-founder, Gabriel Kurman, claimed that RSK’s private testnet will turn into a public testnet on May 22nd at the 2017 Consensus conference. RSK will then be launched on Bitcoin’s mainnet approximately a month later.

“RSK goal is to add value and functionality to the Bitcoin ecosystem by enabling smart-contracts, near instant payments and higher-scalability.”

A smart contract is simply a computerized transaction protocol that executes the terms of a contract. According to the Elements Project, smart contracting platforms with more expressive scripting systems, such as Ethereum and RSK, are attractive to developers as Bitcoin’s scripting system is limited by design for security reasons.

Ethereum is in essence a programmable blockchain. Rather than giving users a set of predefined operations, such as bitcoin transactions, the platform allows users to create their own operations, of any complexity. In this way, it serves as a platform for many different types of decentralized blockchain applications, including but not limited to cryptocurrencies. “Ethereum allows us to move much faster than building on Bitcoin due to its turing complete script,” explains Augur co-founder Joey Krug.

The team behind RSK has done everything they can to make it easy for Ethereum developers to move to their platform. According to the original RSK white paper, the platforms virtual machine is backwards compatible with the Ethereum virtual machine (EVM), which “gives the opportunity to developers working on Ethereum to benefit from the robustness of the BItcoin blockchain.” The EVM allows developers to create applications using programming languages modelled on existing languages like JavaScript and Python.

Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson has hypothesized that the smart contracts written on top of these kinds of systems will be released on multiple platforms. The process would look similar to releasing mobile applications for both iOS and Android, developers may decide to release their applications on Ethereum, RSK, and Ethereum Classic.

In addition to RSK’s advanced smart contract capabilities, the sidechain also has the potential to decrease the transaction burden on the main Bitcoin blockchain. “We have the Lumino Transaction Compression Protocol (LTCP), which allows 2,000 transactions per second on chain and the Lumino Network which will allow up to 20,000 transactions per second off chain,” said Kurman. “Every single developer is going to be able to plug in, and run their contracts. It’s going to operate against the Bitcoin testnet for a month approximately, and then we’re going to apply [it] to the Bitcoin mainnet.”
 

“We expect RSK to be multiple times more secure than other platforms because it has Bitcoin’s hashing power behind it, and it's fuel should cost 1/10th of that of Ethereum. RSK is subsidized by Bitcoin, plus its virtual machine is six times faster than Ethereum’s given Sergio Lerner's improvements.” – Gabriel Kurman RSK co-founder

The initial version of the RSK sidechain will not require any changes to the underlying Bitcoin protocol to implement the necessary 2-way peg (2WP) to work with Bitcoin. The 2WP allows the transfer of bitcoins from the Bitcoin blockchain to a secondary blockchain and vice-versa. The “transfer” is in fact an illusion: bitcoins are not transferred, but temporarily locked on the Bitcoin blockchain while the same amount of equivalent tokens are unlocked in a secondary blockchain. The original bitcoins can be unlocked when the equivalent amount of tokens on the second blockchain are locked again in the secondary blockchain.

 

In the short term a federation will manage the multisign keys to release the bitcoin on the way back from the peg, Kurman explains. According to the RSK website, well-known Bitcoin companies, such as Xapo and Bitpay, have signed up to be notaries for the sidechain. According to Kurman, these notaries will participate in the governance of the federation, and provide more services to RSK. “The federation will provide multiple services in the future on top of the peg such as security checkpoints in each block, oracle services, and providing liquidity,” he said.

 

According to Kurman, miners already have the ability to merge mine the private RSK testnet. “Bitcoin India is already merge-mining with 100% of it's hashing power. Most other major pools are testing the plugin,” said Kurman. “Once a separate soft fork is implemented in Bitcoin, the release [of bitcoins on the sidechain] will be done by a combination of miners and federation — hence a hybrid 2-way peg.”

RSK currently has 30 partners building on the platform from multiple different industries. “Once the source code becomes public and the platform open on May 22, we expect a lot of use cases being ported to RSK given its full compatibility with Ethereum,” Kurman stated.
 

David Ogden
Entrepeneur

 

Kyle Torpey, – Author

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin wobbles as traders turn to other cryptocurrencies

bitcoin wobbles as traders turn to other cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin wobbles as traders turn to other cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin wobbles as traders turn to other cryptocurrencies

It's been a volatile period for Bitcoin investors, as holders of the cryptocurrency prepare for a potential 'fork' in the blockchain.

From Friday morning until Monday afternoon, Bitcoin was trading under the $1,000 level, and even fell beneath $900 on Saturday. This is significant as, barring the weekend of March 18 and 19, Bitcoin has traded above $1,000 since early February and hit a fresh all-time high of around $1,325 on March 10.

Bitcoin is currently back above the $1,000 handle, but is well off these recent highs, wiping billions off of its market cap value.

There are several causes for the recent volatility: Chinese regulators cracked down on Bitcoin exchanges, while U.S. authorities rejected a proposal for a Bitcoin-backed exchange-traded fund (ETF). The current concern is over the future of the Bitcoin technology.

Bitcoin faces a scaling issue, where the number of Bitcoin transactions that can happen on the blockchain at any one time is limited. This is creating a backlog of transactions that are needed to be processed and slowing down the system.

A group called Bitcoin Unlimited advocates for increasing the size of the blocks on the blockchain in order to process more transactions, but this has split the community. To increase the block size would involve splitting the blockchain, causing a fork and creating two major blockchains. This would effectively create two different coins and it's not clear which would become dominant.

As a result, investors are hedging their bets or selling out of Bitcoin, waiting to see whether or not the fork will happen, and if so, which blockchain will be favored by the market.

Data from Bitfinex indicates around 49 million more coins have been sold than bought, or roughly 5 percent of total coins traded, in the last 30 days. Through March, the number of long Bitcoin positions held by investors has decreased from 26,858 to above 23,142, while the number of short positions has increased from 9,820 to 14,731.

Meanwhile, the market cap of blockchain assets other than Bitcoin, such as ether, dash and monero, has more than doubled since March 10 from $3.5 billion to more than $7 billion, according to Chris Burniske, blockchain products lead analyst at ARK Invest.

"At the same time, Bitcoin's market cap has gone from $19 billion to $16 billion. Hence, Bitcoin's market cap has lost $3 billion in value while the combined market cap of all other blockchain assets has added more than $3 billion," he told CNBC via email.

"Given these market indicators, it would appear investors are diversifying their blockchain asset holdings, positioning themselves for a generally rising tide in this emerging asset class."

Whether or not the fork happens is hard to tell, but it may harm Bitcoin's brand, according to Jani Valjavec, co-founder of ICONOMI, a digital asset management platform for cryptocurrencies. Valjavec argues the brand is the main thing behind Bitcoin's value.

"It has wide acceptance now, real world use cases, it can be a great store of value, and it is currently trusted by the community. Our understanding is that a hard fork, instigated by two parties with very competing interests, will primarily weaken the brand," he told CNBC via email.

"The next biggest brand in the distributed economy is Ethereum, and that's why we believe it will benefit the most."

However, Fran Strajnar, co-founder & CEO of data and research company Brave New Coin, says the market is still within the parameters of a Bitcoin bull cycle.

"The proposed contentious fork is unlikely but better to happen now than in the distant future. We would end up with the original Bitcoin and remaining miners activating segwit (a well-designed package of system upgrades) and a new, much smaller, privatized alternative version of Bitcoin," he told CNBC via email.

"The sum result of all the network fork (fear, uncertainty and doubt) is we are seeing investors hedge by buying into ether. We expect a price drop if there is a fork but a similar outcome to Ethereum, where the long term market capitalization increases for both assets."

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Luke Graham

 

 

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member