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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

How Are New Bitcoins Created? A Brief Guide to Bitcoin Mining - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

How Are New Bitcoins Created? A Brief Guide to Bitcoin Mining
CoinTelegraph
Bitcoin is often compared with gold, and one of the chief factors of similarity it the way they're both obtained. Similarly to gold, new Bitcoins are created via the process called “mining.” In fact, Bitcoin mining has a two-fold purpose: it allows for ...
Why Are Miners Involved in Bitcoin Code Changes Anyway?CoinDesk

all 3 news articles »

Posted on 28 July 2017 | 9:46 am

Euroclear and Paxos End Blockchain Gold Settlement Partnership

The partnership between blockchain startup Paxos and Europe's largest settlement service has ended.

Source

Posted on 28 July 2017 | 9:35 am

Russia Considers Official Crypto Asset Platform As Court Bans Bitcoin Info - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

Russia Considers Official Crypto Asset Platform As Court Bans Bitcoin Info
CoinTelegraph
Russia's National Settlement Depository (NSD) is considering building a platform for handling cryptocurrency assets to corner the nascent market. As local news portal Kommersant reports, the NSD is currently researching proposals to formally interact ...

Posted on 28 July 2017 | 9:15 am

Alleged bitcoin fraud 'mastermind' sought by US held in Greek prison - Reuters


Investorplace.com

Alleged bitcoin fraud 'mastermind' sought by US held in Greek prison
Reuters
ATHENS (Reuters) - A Russian national suspected of masterminding a money-laundering operation using bitcoin was transferred to prison in Greece on Friday, while the United States prepares documentation to back an extradition request for him. Russian ...
Hackers have lost their favorite bitcoin laundering service after an arrest in GreeceQuartz
Bitcoin: Trust in the Land of DistrustInvestorplace.com
Price Analysis, July 27: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, ZCashCoinTelegraph
Dark Reading -Sky News Australia -DailyFX
all 23 news articles »

Posted on 28 July 2017 | 9:06 am

Bitcoin Price Reacts to SegWit News - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

Bitcoin Price Reacts to SegWit News
CoinTelegraph
After consolidation on a large volume near the support zone - $ 2,400, which supports the market and does not allow it to go below since June 17, Bitcoin price showed a sign of strength in the form of a long candle. The main culmination will take place ...

and more »

Posted on 28 July 2017 | 8:02 am

$8.2 Million: Court Orders Default Judgment Against Cryptsy CEO

A U.S. district judge has handed down a default judgment worth $8.2 million against the CEO of the collapsed Cryptsy exchange.

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Posted on 28 July 2017 | 7:00 am

Bitcoin: In Need Of An Activist Investor - Seeking Alpha


Bitcoin: In Need Of An Activist Investor
Seeking Alpha
What most people missed with the plunge in Bitcoin (OTCQX:GBTC) prices was that it wasn't the bubble bursting - or Dot-com bubble 2.0 happening - rather it was genuine concerns over internal conflict. A potential splitting of Bitcoin was leading to a ...

Posted on 28 July 2017 | 6:50 am

Hyperledger Blockchain Project Adds 10 New Members

The Hyperledger blockchain consortium has grown its ranks again, with the addition of 10 new members.

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Posted on 28 July 2017 | 6:00 am

German Chemical Company Pilots Supply Chain Blockchain

German chemical giant BASF has revealed it is investigating blockchain's potential in tracking supply chains.

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Posted on 28 July 2017 | 5:01 am

AMD: Cryptocurrency Mining Isn't 'A Long-Term Growth Driver'

Chip maker AMD has seen its sales buoyed in recent months by big demand for graphics cards by cryptocurrency miners.

Source

Posted on 28 July 2017 | 4:00 am

Overstock's TØ Has Already Built a Platform for Trading Regulated ICOs

A new wave of blockchain-based securities could help propel forward the blockchain strategy of one of the largest US retailers.

Source

Posted on 28 July 2017 | 3:30 am

Bitcoin Crash? Futures Price For Bitcoin Cash Plunges 50%, BTC Up 7% - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

Bitcoin Crash? Futures Price For Bitcoin Cash Plunges 50%, BTC Up 7%
CoinTelegraph
Bitcoin is surging higher as Bitcoin Cash (BCC) futures value crashes 50 percent prior to its proposed Aug. 1 activation date. Data from ViaBTC shows the Bitcoin fork, which does not yet exist, fell from around 0.15 BTC to 0.08 BTC per coin in the last ...
Bitcoin Price Goes up by $160 as $3000 Target is Within ReachThe Merkle
Bitcoin Price Analysis - Expect volatilityBrave New Coin
Bitfinex to provide Bitcoin holders equivalent balances in Bitcoin CashCryptoNinjas
FT Alphaville (registration)
all 19 news articles »

Posted on 28 July 2017 | 3:24 am

Howard Marks says bitcoin isn't real—and we can all blame millennials for its rise - MarketWatch


MarketWatch

Howard Marks says bitcoin isn't real—and we can all blame millennials for its rise
MarketWatch
Howard Marks has some harsh words for the bitcoin community and the rise of digital currencies, which have become all the rage lately. “Digital currencies are nothing but an unfounded fad,” said the co-chairman of Oaktree Capital Management, who was ...
Billionaire Investor Warns Bitcoin is Pyramid SchemeCoinTelegraph
Bitcoin SCAM warning: Currency is 'pyramid scheme' says top investor who predicted crashExpress.co.uk
There they go again, again [pdf] - Oaktree CapitalOaktree Capital

all 25 news articles »

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 5:14 pm

Bitcoin Startup KeepKey Ends Support For Multibit Wallet Software

The long-running bitcoin wallet Multibit is being discontinued, the firm that bought it last year has announced.

Source

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 4:00 pm

The Future of “Bitcoin Cash:” An Interview with Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet

The Future of “Bitcoin Cash:” An Interview with Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet

If all goes according to plan, August 1st will see the launch of a new cryptocurrency, described as an “airdrop altcoin,” a “spinoff-coin,” a “fork-coin,” a “clone-coin,” or — as the people behind the project call it — “a new version of Bitcoin:” Bitcoin Cash (“BCC”). Anyone who holds bitcoin (BTC) on this day, at 12:20 UTC precisely, will automatically receive the equivalent amount in BCC, attributed to their Bitcoin private keys.

Bitcoin Cash is the realization of the “User Activated Hard Fork” (UAHF) that was first announced as Bitmain’s contingency plan in case of a chain-split caused by the BIP148 user activated soft fork (UASF) — although the mining hardware producer has sent out mixed signals about the project since.

A first software implementation of the Bitcoin Cash protocol, called Bitcoin ABC, was recently revealed by its lead developer, Amaury “Deadal Nix” Sechét at the Future of Bitcoin conference in Arnhem, the Netherlands. Sechét worked at Facebook for the past years and decided to focus on Bitcoin full time earlier this year.

Bitcoin Magazine spoke with Sechét about his vision for Bitcoin Cash.


Anyone in favor of increasing the block size could have forked off for years now. What took you so long?

Well, I wasn't expecting the whole situation to last this long. Bitcoin Classic seemed to get a lot of traction last year, and then the Hong Kong Roundtable Consensus happened, so it seemed like things were working well enough for a while…

This year I started to do research on a scaling solution for Bitcoin myself, at first focusing on extension blocks. Bitcoin ABC was initially a base I could use to build various experiments on top of. I was later contacted by “Freetrader," a developer on the r/btcfork subreddit, who wanted to implement an adjustable block size limit on top of Bitcoin ABC.

Then the whole UAHF plan was proposed by Bitmain. Freetrader and I both thought it was a good idea, so we implemented it.

What is your relationship with Bitmain? Are they funding you in any way?

I got a sponsorship from the Bitcoin Development Grant to do my scaling research. This was mostly thanks to other research I’d done prior. I’m not funded to work on Bitcoin ABC specifically. That was not the original plan; but sometimes you can't predict where things are going to lead.

The BIP148 UASF seems to have been made obsolete by BIP91. Why is this “UAHF” still happening?

That BIP148 was made obsolete only became clear very recently. Uncertainty remained even after SegWit2x [the scaling proposal based on the New York Agreement, and backed by a number of Bitcoin companies and mining pools] was released. Depending on how fast miners would adopt it, the UASF could happen or not. So we continued to push forward with the UAHF.

By the time it was known that the UASF wouldn't happen, it was also very clear that there was strong market demand for the UAHF anyways.

What made that clear to you?

A lot of people contacted us and wanted to launch Bitcoin Cash.

“Random” people? Or also companies, miners or perhaps well-known individuals in the space?

All of the above. But I do not wish to mention anyone specifically. Some, like ViaBTC and OKCoin have gone public. If others want to do that too, they'll have to do it themselves.

More to the point, then: Bitcoin Cash will remove Segregated Witness (SegWit) and will have a default block size limit of 8 megabytes. Why eight, not two or seven or unlimited?

There is a judgment call there. Eight megabytes is large enough to make sure we have a mechanism to adjust it by the time we get anywhere close to the limit. On the other hand, you don't want to go unlimited cowboy style. As the size of blocks grow, there is a lot of work to be done to ensure they keep being processed efficiently.

What if 8 megabyte blocks fill up very fast? It seems evident that the Bitcoin network endured a lot of spam over the past year, for example, that could happen again...

It could, and increasing the block size to 8 megabytes is not a perfect solution in this sense, but it's an improvement. At least at 8 megabytes it’d be more expensive to keep the attack going.

It would be even more expensive to spam blocks full at 16 megabytes. Yet, you won’t increase the blocks to 16 megabytes when the 8 megabyte limit is hit quickly?

I think most people are going to use the default settings at first, so that’s 8 megabytes. After this fork is behind us, we'll make sure to deploy some mechanism to handle the block size so we don't need to play central planners.

What kind of mechanism will that be?

Perhaps BIP100, or one of the other many proposals that have been made.

BIP100 hands control over the block size to miners, which is also controversial. Don't you think it will be hard to get everyone to agree on a solution?

I think that people will come to an agreement. The reason there is a split now, is because people have different ideas of where they want Bitcoin to go. Once blocks on Bitcoin Cash fill up, people will still want to go to the same place, so I'm confident they'll stay in the same boat.

Where do you see Bitcoin Cash in relation to SegWit2x?

When I got into this, my idea was that either SegWit2x will fail and we'd get a UASF chain and a UAHF chain. Or SegWit2x would succeed and we’d get neither the UASF or the UAHF. But as mentioned, a lot of people will value the UAHF even with SegWit2x. I don't want to speak for everybody, but concerns about SegWit2x range from the 2x part not being acted upon, some feature of Segregated Witness hurting long-term scalability or simply thinking that the conflict is just delayed and will restart later on.

I do hope we can have a friendly relation with the SegWit2x team. Whoever is better wins in the end.

So that brings me back to my previous question. Those in favor of a block size limit increase hard fork are rallying behind different proposals. And that’s not even taking into account Bitcoin Unlimited’s “Emergent Consensus” and other ideas. If you can’t agree on a single way forward now, what makes you think you can when blocks fill up?

I see all these different proposals as the symptom of a fast moving environment. When I started Bitcoin ABC with Freetrader, SegWit2x and the UAHF did not even exist yet.

Besides, I could say the same for the other side. There was the Hong Kong Roundtable, then SegWit-only, then the UASF, and now SegWit2x which is kind of a compromise between the two sides.

Bitcoin Core has a pretty clear and consistent policy: no contentious hard forks. Without such a policy, don’t you see a cryptocurrency splitting into factions for each disagreement?

That's possible. But Ethereum did a contentious hard fork once as well and did not split any further after that. There is a strong incentive to stick together: People will split only if there is a strong difference of vision.

You’re not the first to have a “difference of vision” for Bitcoin’s direction. Litecoin was created to offer a better payment experience. Dogecoin was, likewise, lauded for its micropayment potential. Why not just use an altcoin, instead of forking away from Bitcoin?

Litecoin developers seem to mostly have the same vision as Bitcoin Core developers, so I don't think that’s a good substitute. Dogecoin has infinite inflation, which doesn’t make for a sound money. I could go on for each altcoin, but that'd be a very long list.

Let me slightly re-phrase the question, then: Why not create a new altcoin from scratch, specifically designed for the purpose you have in mind?

Most altcoins try to do something more than Bitcoin, which is fine. But we aren’t. Bitcoin decided to take a road with Segregated Witness and off-chain solutions. We are trying to continue to do what Bitcoin has been doing for some time.

I also ask this because the name “Bitcoin Cash” could be confusing for people, to the point where some consider it misleading or even fraudulent…

I did not come up with that name, but I like it. People will complain no matter what. This project wants to continue Bitcoin and grow it to become a peer-to-peer electronic cash used worldwide. Adding “Cash” seemed like a good way to differentiate and also convey the vision.

According to Merriam-Webster, “cash” means either “ready money” or “money or its equivalent (such as a check) paid for goods or services at the time of purchase or delivery.” How does that not apply to Bitcoin itself?

The second definition in particular doesn't quite work with high fees. If I buy something for $5 and I pay a fee of 50 cents, that's a big deal. Too much friction.

“Low fees” or “low friction” is not part of either definition.

But I want bitcoin to be a widely used electronic cash. A cryptocurrency that is used for day-to-day inexpensive stuff, as well as expensive purchases.

Because of the risks presented by bigger blocks, Bitcoin Core developers generally prefer to offload the day-to-day inexpensive stuff to layers built on top of the blockchain. Does Bitcoin Cash have no plans to adopt SegWit, or the Lightning Network, or other second-layer technologies at all?

I’m not against Layer 2 technologies themselves, they can add value. I’m just against not growing the base layer.

Bitcoin Cash will probably not see SegWit in its current shape, not as a soft fork. But fixing malleability and enabling Layer 2 solutions will happen. Technology to enable building blocks over time, such as weak blocks, is also important to improve 0-confirmation security and scale to bigger blocks.

Another reason some rallied behind SegWit is that it would block covert use of the patented AsicBoost mining technology. Do you have any plans to block AsicBoost?

I crunched the numbers for the potential benefit that miners can get from AsicBoost, and I think SegWit doesn’t change that much. It’s a lot of noise for nothing. I don’t really plan to spend much time to either help or hinder it. There are more interesting and important things to do.

Who’s going to be developing Bitcoin ABC, or the Layer 2 solutions you mention? Because, let’s be honest, you don’t have much support from Bitcoin’s development community so far.

We do not plan to develop Layer 2 technologies; we plan to enable them. We ourselves will focus on the protocol itself, so on malleability and weak blocks. We have enough people to make it happen.

Who, exactly?

Apart from myself and Freetrader, Bitprim has been helping. That is a company that's building infrastructure for Bitcoin. Bitcoin Unlimited developers Andrea “Sickpig” Suisani and Antony Zegers have been helping out with Bitcoin Cash as well. And like other open-source projects, we have a kernel of people that contribute on a regular basis and even more that add a patch or two or help us with a specific problem.

The Bitcoin Unlimited developers in particular don't exactly have a pristine track record, with network-wide node crashes caused by bugs. Will this be any better for Bitcoin Cash?

We have a very different way of doing development than both Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Unlimited, mostly derived from my work at Facebook as well as LLVM where I worked prior. We focus on doing many small incremental changes rather than fewer, bigger changes. This makes code review easier.

Surely Bitcoin Core has a lot more review happening though, simply because they have more developers?

Core has a lot of developers, but also a process that is slow. Slow processes generally tend to have fewer errors, but also make errors more costly because the slow processes also apply to fixing errors. There is a sweet spot between those two. I think we strike a good balance with Bitcoin ABC.

Let’s assume you are right about being being capable of maintaining a multi-billion dollar project — but wrong about it ever becoming a multi-billion dollar project. What if users don’t choose Bitcoin Cash over Bitcoin? Are you committed to Bitcoin Cash even as a smaller coin?

“What if I’m wrong?” That's a question I'm asking myself all the time. In fact, this is the very reason I think it is misguided to bake economic constants, such as the 1 megabyte limit or the weight system, into the protocol. Not only do I know I may be wrong, but I'm also convinced that most people don't know any better than I do. Figuring out what the market wants is a fool's errand. You got to try to do what you think is best and adapt as the situation changes.

I think it is pretty much inevitable that BCC starts as a minority coin. But longer term, it will either overtake Bitcoin or it will create an incentive for Bitcoin to scale. In either case, that'd be a win.

Yet, I may be wrong. Maybe the value of BCC will quickly drop to zero or close to zero. But unless it does, I will continue to work on Bitcoin Cash.

Disclosure: Aaron van Wirdum, the author of this article, holds BTC and will therefore also own BCC on August 1st.

The post The Future of “Bitcoin Cash:” An Interview with Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 3:43 pm

Boxing Champ Floyd Mayweather Just Promoted an ICO on Instagram

Boxing champ Floyd Mayweather, Jr., has promoted an ICO on his Instagram account.

Source

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 2:34 pm

'First' Ethereum Decompiler Launches With JP Morgan Quorum Integration

What could be the first-ever ethereum smart contract decompiler was demoed at a hacker event in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Source

Posted on 27 July 2017 | 2:15 pm

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Investor Howard Marks: Cryptocurrencies Aren't Real

A noted investor is taking aim at bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, deeming them in a recent investor note as "not real".

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Posted on 27 July 2017 | 12:51 pm

Indian State Officials to Weigh Policies for Public Sector Blockchain Use

Officials in Karnataka are planning an event on blockchain and governance in the near future.

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Posted on 27 July 2017 | 11:10 am

A New SegWit Lock-In Period Has Started and All Mining Pools Are Signaling

A milestone has been hit in the potential activation of Segregated Witness, code that would upgrade the network's capacity.

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Posted on 27 July 2017 | 10:00 am

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Irish Central Bank Chief: Blockchain is One of 'The Largest Policy Challenges'

New technologies like blockchain represent a major policy challenge, according to the head of Ireland's central bank.

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Posted on 27 July 2017 | 9:05 am

Bitcoin Investment Vehicle Fined $120k by Nasdaq Exchange

The provider of a publicly traded bitcoin ETN has been fined by Nasdaq Stockholm for infractions of internal rules and financial regulations.

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Posted on 27 July 2017 | 8:05 am

Washington's New Cryptocurrency Exchange Rules Are Now in Effect

New regulations that apply money transmitter laws to cryptocurrency exchanges have gone into effect in the U.S. state of Washington.

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Posted on 27 July 2017 | 7:00 am

The DAO Report: Understanding the Risk of SEC Enforcement

A legal expert discusses the potential impact of a new SEC report on the use of blockchain-based tokens for fundraising.

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Posted on 27 July 2017 | 6:30 am

The Uniform Law Commission Has Given States a Clear Path to Approach Bitcoin

Legal analyst Peter Van Valkenburgh offers a positive take on new model legislation designed for state lawmakers.

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Posted on 27 July 2017 | 5:30 am

Four Visions for Scaling Bitcoin: A State of Digital Money Panel

Four Visions for Scaling Bitcoin: A State of Digital Money Panel

At the recent State of Digital Money event in Los Angeles, Bitcoin scaling was the topic of conversation for a panel consisting of Airbitz CEO Paul Puey, derivatives trader Tone Vays, Yours CEO Ryan X. Charles and Bitcoin Core contributor Eric Lombrozo. During the panel discussion, each participant was able to share his vision for how Bitcoin should be scaled to handle a much larger userbase.

Ciphrex CEO and Bitcoin Core Contributor Eric Lombrozo

For Lombrozo, scaling Bitcoin is about getting the greatest gains in terms of throughput increases while also limiting the amount of risk and security vulnerabilities involved in those improvements.

“Obviously, if you have just a few entities that are validating the transactions for everyone, then that creates a point of attack or a single point of failure,” said Lombrozo. “Part of the whole philosophy of Bitcoin is you should be able to validate your own transactions.”

Lombrozo added that scaling Bitcoin means users are able to validate their own transactions without necessarily being forced to validate everyone else’s transactions as well.

“That’s the trick,” said Lombrozo.

An example of this method of scaling Bitcoin is the Lightning Network, in addition to other Layer 2 protocols.

From Lombrozo’s perspective, using a blockchain for every transaction is like going to court every time a deal is made with a counterparty. The Lightning Network allows users to interact directly rather than dealing with the blockchain as a third party of sorts to process the transaction.

In the past, Joseph Poon, who is a co-author of the original Lightning Network white paper, has shared similar comments related to the use of Bitcoin’s underlying blockchain as a court for smart contracts.

“Instead of viewing [the blockchain] as simply a payment system, if you view it as a smart contracting system, which enables the blockchain to act as a dispute mediation system, viewing the blockchain as a judge is a lot more understandable and a lot more powerful,” said Poon at the 2016 MIT Bitcoin Expo.

Lombrozo added that second-layer protocols like the Lightning Network act as a sort of paper IOU to bitcoin’s gold — except in the case of the Lightning Network, the user knows they will always be able to redeem the paper for gold.

In addition to Layer 2 protocols, Lombrozo would also like to see different signature schemes implemented in Bitcoin to lower the resource requirements of operating a full node. Schnorr signatures are an example of such an improvement that has been in development for Bitcoin.

Another key point made by Lombrozo during the panel discussion was that different players in the Bitcoin ecosystem desire different features in the protocol; for example, long-term holders may not care as much about $10 on-chain transaction fees as those who have built businesses around the use of the blockchain for coffee purchases or other low-value transactions.

In summary, Lombrozo referred to a user’s ability to only need to validate their own transactions (while still remaining secure) as the “low-hanging fruit” of scaling Bitcoin.

Yours CEO Ryan X. Charles

While Charles claimed he was happy to see progress made on the eventual activation of Segregated Witness (SegWit) via the activation of BIP 91, he also added, “SegWit doesn’t go far enough.”

From Charles’s perspective, SegWit will not sufficiently lower on-chain transaction fees, which he sees as the key issue for users at this time. In his view, much lower on-chain transaction fees are needed for mainstream adoption of Bitcoin to occur.

According to Charles, the main disagreement between various parties when it comes to the best way to scale Bitcoin has to do with how much transactional activity should happen on the blockchain, as opposed to secondary layers of the network.

“I am very much in favor of radical increases to the block size,” said Charles.

Charles added that it would take 30 years to send every person in the world a bitcoin transaction with the current 1MB block size limit.

“That just doesn’t work from the point of view of mainstream adoption of bitcoin,” said Charles.

Charles also noted that the Lightning Network white paper stated that a 130MB block size limit would be necessary for mainstream adoption to be possible, even with various Layer 2 scaling options.

According to Charles, the key question to answer is: How does Bitcoin get from 1MB to 10GB blocks?

“Computers get faster and cheaper,” said Charles. “It doesn’t just have to be technical software and cryptographic optimizations.”

Derivatives Trader Tone Vays

When Vays spoke about his vision for scaling Bitcoin, he first noted that the digital cash system may not be able to do all of the things that were promised in the early days. He specifically mentioned privacy, security, instant transactions and cheap payments as examples of features that were promised by Bitcoin enthusiasts back in 2013.

“In reality, having all of those things at once is almost impossible,” said Vays. “There’s a chance Bitcoin can’t do all that.”

Vays reiterated Lombrozo’s point about different users wanting different features in Bitcoin. In his view, the censorship-resistant properties of the system should be viewed with the highest level of priority.

“The reality is a censorship-resistant payment method is way more important,” said Vays. “You have so many other ways to pay for your cup of coffee, but you don’t have a lot of ways to donate to Wikileaks. You don’t have a lot of ways to buy “other” things...”

Last year, Vays published a post on his blog where he examined some of these use cases involving censorship resistance.

Vays added that he trusts the current group of contributors to Bitcoin Core, the reference implementation of the Bitcoin protocol, to focus on this priority of censorship-resistant digital cash.

For Vays, the next area of focus for developers after the activation of SegWit should be privacy-focused improvements, such as MimbleWimble and Confidential Transactions.

Airbitz CEO Paul Puey

Before talking about anything else, Puey stated that he is very much for the activation of SegWit. However, he then shared his belief that much more on-chain capacity is needed on the Bitcoin network, as Charles had previously stated.

“We’re not going to be able to live with a 1MB block, and it was an arbitrary number,” said Puey.

Puey added that computers are now four to five times more powerful than when the block size limit was originally added to Bitcoin by the system’s creator. He also indicated that the correct “magical number” to define the block size limit is hard to figure out, which is why he believes the free market should decide.

“I don’t think the developers should make that decision,” said Puey.

Puey did not elaborate on how the free market would be able to make this decision. It’s unclear if he was talking about Bitcoin Unlimited’s concept of emergent consensus or simply users choosing between different blockchains with different block size limits.

The Airbitz CEO then prefaced the rest of his comments with the fact that he still has a tremendous amount of respect for the people who have been contributing to Bitcoin Core over the years as they’re trying to solve an incredibly hard problem.

Puey noted that he, as a developer, knows his limitations when it comes to developing a proper user experience for software applications.

“How many of you people want the developers designing the user experience of your protocol, your application [or] your website?” Puey asked the audience.

In Puey’s view, the idea that every Bitcoin user is going to run their own full node, even at a 1MB block size limit, creates a flawed user experience and will prevent the technology from being adopted by the masses.

“Every party in this debate wants decentralization, but they all define it differently,” Puey added.

While Puey suggested that more users running their own full nodes is helpful, he also shared his belief that having greater adoption of bitcoin as a currency would also help the system become more resilient to attackers.

“The more people that are using it, the more that the economy is dependent on it, the harder it is to stomp out a technology,” said Puey.

Puey concluded his response to the scaling question by stating that he was happy to see BIP 91 help end the stagnation in the adoption of protocol improvements.

The full panel discussion was streamed on Periscope by Civic Business Development Manager Vivek Kasarabada and can be viewed in its entirety here.

The post Four Visions for Scaling Bitcoin: A State of Digital Money Panel appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 26 July 2017 | 2:10 pm

London Stock Exchange Partners With IBM to Develop Securities Data Blockchain

London Stock Exchange

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) subsidiary Borsa Italiana has announced plans to digitize securities certificate data with the adoption of IBM Blockchain.

The partnership between LSE and IBM will give small private European companies the opportunity to interact with shareholders and vice versa. It will also simplify the tracking and management of information by recording all shareholder transactions.

Commenting on the deal to Bitcoin Magazine, Ed Clark, senior press officer at the LSE, said, “It has the potential to allow private SMEs [small- and medium-sized enterprises] to replace the paper-based system that currently exists that is both opaque and inefficient. Greater transparency could lend itself to trading opportunities in the future.”

Clark stressed that the development with IBM was initiated by the Italian subsidiary, adding, “This was a business-led initiative that came from Borsa Italiana — not built by LSE tech guys and then applied to a business-case, bottom-up approach.”

The solution is undergoing an initial test phase with a small group of LSE partners and clients. So far, the move is being met with approval by blockchain and exchange specialists.

Patrick Young, executive director of DV Advisors, an advisory company for exchanges, told Bitcoin Magazine, “The LSE deploying blockchain [technology] for private company data management makes eminent sense. It’s a simple first-level deployment as opposed to a radical shift involving retirement of legacy non-DL [distributed ledger] technology.”

This blockchain solution, developed in collaboration with IBM, is built on highly secure infrastructure technology with the highest levels of encryption commercially available.

The LSE is not the first European exchange to announce the use of blockchain technology. This year there have been a number of European banks that have said they are using blockchain-based trade finance for SMEs. This includes the American International Group and Standard Chartered Bank.

Eddy Travia, CEO of Coinsilium, a firm that finances and manages the development of early-stage blockchain technology companies, said to Bitcoin Magazine: “Blockchain technologies offer the potential for greater efficiencies and streamlined processes by reducing operational costs through automated transactions and smart contracts, thus removing costs usually associated with intermediaries.”

IBM is seeing blockchain technology as an important part of its security plans. The technology is built on Hyperledger Fabric version 1.0, a blockchain framework. The projects are hosted by the Linux Foundation, and the system will allow sensitive securities data to be shared with permissioned network participants while remaining secure and gated.

Travia added: “Hyperledger is clearly targeting large corporate clients with their permissioned blockchain solution, but in the future it is likely that we will see the adoption of a range of blockchain propositions such as RSK, which offers a balanced solution between true decentralized public blockchains and federated nodes.”

“Sharing secure and transparent critical network data across shareholder networks is difficult using traditional system[s],” said Marie Wieck, general manager of IBM Blockchain, in a statement. “Blockchain [technology] is poised to help remove some of these barriers in traditional methods for the transfer of value — much as the internet did for the exchange of information in the late 1990s.”

The post London Stock Exchange Partners With IBM to Develop Securities Data Blockchain appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 25 July 2017 | 7:31 pm

Eleven Global Cities to Participate in Bitcoin Airdrop 2017

Eleven Global Cities Announce Participation in Bitcoin Airdrop 2017

The Blockchain Education Network (BEN), a global network of blockchain communities, has announced a global Bitcoin Airdrop powered by bitJob to begin this new school year. Fintech communities and universities in 11 regions have agreed to participate including McGill University and the Richard Ivey School of Business in Canada; UC Berkeley, Wake Forest University and St. Petersburg in the United States; University of Queensland in Australia; Trivandrum and Bangalore in India; St. Petersburg in Russia; and Puerto Rico and Colombia.

The first airdrop event begins on August 11 in Colombia, where Jorge Pérez, the director of BEN Colombia, is hosting a meeting at a restaurant. The airdrop then moves to St. Petersburg in Russia on August 16, where the giveaway is being held in unison with the ICO-Hypethon, an ICO-focused hackathon where blockchain developers will build infrastructure around ICOs to pitch to investors. The airdrop will continue on to other campuses and cities until the network has distributed the entire amount of donations.

Rodion Mikhalev, the director of BEN Russia and one of the organizers of the ICO-Hypethon, explained in a statement that “the Hypethon is a mix between a hackathon [and] an accelerator. It’s a 48-hour event hosted by Crypto Friends, where Eberhard Lindfordt will screen the top 20 projects out of hundreds of applicants. Teams chosen will receive help from experienced [b]lockchain experts which will help them finalize their business and lead them into successful ICO launches.

“There will also be ICO angels ready to invest their money into projects on the spot and whom will receive additional bonus coins if done so at the event. This is the perfect event in Russia to host the airdrop and to distribute bitcoins to the hundreds of innovators who will pass by in the 48-hour window, and we are excited to participate in it! This is a very rare and exciting opportunity which will attract some of Russia’s best talent and will pave the way to a better future worldwide.”

Alberto Jauregui, the director of growth of the Blockchain Education Network, said in a statement that he believes the “Bitcoin Airdrop serves as an engine to introduce students to the disruptive blockchain industry and incentivize them to band together to form new BEN chapters or regions.”

Last year, Jauregui hosted a small airdrop outside the main library at the University of South Florida and hid paper wallets throughout the campus. This year, he plans to coordinate an airdrop alongside a BitCrawl on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida. The date is to be announced. “Who doesn’t like free Bitcoin?” Jauregui added. BitCrawl is an event started in Montreal by the McGill Students Cryptocurrency Club and then continued by the Decentralized Tech Association at the University of Toronto, in which a main street agrees to accept bitcoin for an evening and a group of blockchain enthusiasts go between different venues.

High schools are also going to be giving away bitcoin at this airdrop. Sunrose Billing, the director of BEN’s high school network, said in a statement to Bitcoin Magazine that “blockchain [technology] and cryptocurrencies are really taking off and will absolutely continue to grow at a rapid pace. That’s clear when you see teenagers day trading, analyzing macro landscapes and taking the time to educate themselves about innovation in this space in their spare time.” Billing plans to airdrop bitcoin to his friends at University of Toronto School, a high school in Toronto, and he expects that many of his friends at other high schools will join this year’s event.

The title sponsor of the event is bitJob, a decentralized marketplace based on blockchain technology that connects students with part-time work. BitJob has already partnered with many of the blockchain clubs at the participating campuses of the airdrop, including McGill University and the Richard Ivey School of Business, that have agreed to seed the marketplace with the first students looking for work on projects that can help them become fully employed in the blockchain industry.

“It is a true honor to be sponsoring the 2017 Blockchain Education Network’s Global Bitcoin Airdrop across university campuses. BitJob shares a similar mandate with BEN to empower students and give them the necessary tools to compete in today’s marketplace. This year’s event is shaping up to be the largest ever as the popularity of Bitcoin and [b]lockchain [technology] continues to rise globally,” said Dror Medalion, co-founder and CEO of bitJob, in a statement to Bitcoin Magazine.

The airdrop is being supported by blockchain media firms Blockchain TV and BTC Media, digital identity startup DIID and blockchain consulting and development firm MLG Blockchain.

“I am very excited to be a sponsor in this year’s Blockchain Education Network’s global Bitcoin Airdrop 2017. BEN is a driving force behind empowering the youth of tomorrow, which makes for a great story to tell!” said James Gonzalez, co-founder and CEO of Blockchain TV, in a statement.


The post Eleven Global Cities to Participate in Bitcoin Airdrop 2017 appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 25 July 2017 | 12:16 pm

Bad Karma: Community Objects to “Opportunism” of Buddhism on the Blockchain

Lotos

Last week, startup company Lotos published its new project on Reddit aiming to create a decentralized religious community, supporting Buddhism and meditation, based on the Ethereum blockchain. According to the company’s white paper, the community’s structure will be segmented into three parts: “an off-blockchain software platform” connecting the teachers and the students; “an internal economy supported by ERC20 tokens purchased by subscription fees and a central banker smart contract;” and “a website and
database backend connected to the network with Swarm.”

The ERC20 compatible Karma (KRM) token will be used for on-platform exchanges and for crowdfunding the development of the platform. In addition to that, if users are able to grow the network, they will receive KRM as a reward.

The company believes they can create a blockchain-based community by combining science and religion in a radical way. There is even a statement from Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, included in the whitepaper:

“If scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false… then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims.”

The Lotos community will be divided into two parts: students and teachers. Teachers will be either elected or assigned by the company’s owner. They offer religious services for the students including “facilitating student retention and progress,” creating content for the network and “recruiting” new students. The teachers will earn Karma tokens for their activities.

On the other hand, the students can freely register into the community, although, for a price. Lotos will allow students to join “temples” and classes but they have to pay KRM tokens to do so. Furthermore, there is “Karma-gated” content, which is only available if certain students pay a flat monthly subscription fee. Students can also earn KRM bonuses if they meditate, the more regular their activity is, the more bonuses they can earn, the whitepaper detailed.

When Lotos published its whitepaper in the Ethereum community on Reddit, they received hard criticism. Most of the users argue that Buddhism does not comply with materialism.

“I think ‘searching meaning beyond materialism’ and material ‘reward of spiritual practice’ don't mix together very well. Just a thought,” one user wrote.

“Dude what you are doing is not Buddhism it's Opportunism. Buddhism is about Simplicity, you are leading people into Complexity. Basically with your System people's Incentive to meditate IS TO MAKE MONEY (NOT LIBERATION),” another user wrote on Reddit.

Others in the community suspect that the whole project, which is planning to launch an ICO, is a scam or some sort of money grab.

“Here's the problem man: you are coming out with an ICO right at a time when the inherent corruption in ICOs is very much a public thing. I like the idea of a decentralized meditation app, I really do. However the fact that you are doing an ICO for ‘decentralized religion’ on something that isn't non-profit ESPECIALLY BUDDHISM screams scam, and I believe it is one. If this is really your passion to help people around the world learn to meditate and become spiritual, you wouldn't have a for-profit business model. Without a non-profit, you really don't have a leg to stand on when it comes to spirituality,” a user named “PJBRed27” said about the project.

Surprisingly, it seems the negative opinions on the project made Lotos change some of the concepts of the project:

“We are changing direction a bit now:

  1. Remove ICO mention from all marketing material / stop the crowd-fund campaign and work on building our community.

  2. Start playing the slow and steady ‘snowball going down a mountain’ game.

  3. Write blog posts at least once per week, each post highlights one of the community's biggest concerns with our project (like why we need ERC20 tokens).

  4. This also gives us time to find both blockchain and buddhist advisors.

  5. Move away from 'Buddhist’ to ‘Secular Meditation’.”

The post Bad Karma: Community Objects to “Opportunism” of Buddhism on the Blockchain appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 24 July 2017 | 2:14 pm

Mastercard and Cisco Join Enterprise Ethereum Alliance

Mastercard

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) was recently joined by 34 new members, including Mastercard, Cisco, Scotiabank and the Government of Andhra Pradesh, bringing the total membership of the consortium to over 150 organizations.

On July 18, 2017, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance published a press release claiming that — with the 34 new members and the total size of 150-plus participants — the EEA became “the world’s largest open-source blockchain initiative.” According to the consortium, which focuses on developments on the Ethereum blockchain, the newest members of EEA represent a “wide variety of business sectors, including technology, banking, government, healthcare, energy, pharmaceuticals, marketing, and insurance, as well as a number of fast-growing Ethereum startups.”

The main concept of the nonprofit is to “build, promote, and broadly support Ethereum-based technology best practices, open standards, and open source reference architectures.”

There was a bit of confusion in the Ethereum Reddit community since Mastercard was not listed among the new members in EEA’s press release. However, Andrew Keys, head of global business development at ConsenSys, cleared up the issue.

“Mastercard is indeed a new member of EEA. They asked not to be in the press release document but approved being on the EEA official website. They may be doing their own communications on this,” he wrote.

CEOs and representatives of many of the newly joined members of the EEA expressed their gratitude and commitment toward the project.

“As Fintech Valley Vizag in Andhra Pradesh aims to become a vital financial technology hub, it is working on adopting more robust systems that are cost-effective. With security issues all over the world, there is no doubt that blockchain technology is set to be the biggest disruptor not only in the financial world, but also [in] a number of online and offline sectors. We are keen on integrating blockchain technology into governance and look forward to our collaboration with Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and provide market access to the community,” J. A. Chowdary, special chief secretary and IT advisor to the chief minister at the Government of Andhra Pradesh (India), stated.

“OTP Bank keeps focusing on innovative technologies. Nowadays we think that the most valuable asset is the trust between the bank and the customers. Blockchain technology gives several advanced solutions in [the] security industry. OTP Bank has chosen Ethereum as a partner, because we consider it a state-of-the-art blockchain technology. Via joining the Ethereum community, OTP will be able [to] achieve its goals smoothly. Through the common standards and best practices evolving in Ethereum Enterprise Alliance, our IT systems will be more secure and highly developed,” László Popovics, head of IT innovations at OTP Bank — the leading bank in Hungary and one of the largest independent financial service providers in Central and Eastern Europe — wrote.

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance was formed in late February by a group of financial institutions, blockchain startups and innovators. The consortium — with J.P. Morgan and Intel as the most prominent names among the founding members — aims to standardize blockchain tech for enterprise settings. At the time of the EEA’s launch, the participants created a reference architecture for their project, called “EntEth 1.0,” which has a stronger focus on privacy.

Excluding Mastercard from the list, the newest members of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance include:

2Advise; Amalto Technologies; Antibiotic Research UK (ANTRUK); Aquilon Energy Services, Inc.; ASSETH; BLOCKO Inc.; Bloq; Cisco Systems; Cybersoft Digital Services Corp.; Enter Corporation Co., Ltd.; Equities.com, Inc.; Finclusion Labs, Inc. (WeTrust.io); Government of Andhra Pradesh; HashCash Consultants; HEAL Alliance; iEx.ec; Lazarski University; Loyyal Corporation; MadHive; Mattr; NetObjex Inc.; OTP Bank Plc.; QIWI Blockchain Technologies LLC.; Revelry; RISKebiz; Scotiabank; Streami Inc.; Talkcrypto.org; Technical University of Munich; Texcent Asia Pte Ltd; TIS R&D Center, Inc.; TokenCard/Monolith; Ventured and Ypse IT Solutions.

The post Mastercard and Cisco Join Enterprise Ethereum Alliance appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 24 July 2017 | 2:06 pm

Bitcoin reaches new all-time high: $ 3,000

Posted on 12 June 2017 | 1:06 am

CRYENGINE now accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 29 March 2017 | 1:24 am

Major Magazine Publisher to Accept Bitcoin Payments

Posted on 18 December 2014 | 12:43 pm

German Newspaper "taz" accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 22 July 2014 | 1:32 pm

airBaltic - World’s First Airline To Accept Bitcoin

Posted on 22 July 2014 | 11:03 am

Expedia to accept Bitcoin payments for hotel bookings

Posted on 12 June 2014 | 12:41 pm

July 28, 2017 -
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