What’s Bitcoin exactly, and should I invest in it?

What's Bitcoin exactly, and should
I invest in it?

 

Bitcoin, the best-known of the upstart digital currencies,

is still a mystery to many Americans. If you've heard about Bitcoin, it's mainly from startling headlines about its 400% price gain earlier this year, or its surge to nearly $5,000 last month, making it the the most-valuable player in the mushrooming space for so-called crytocurrencies. Or because Wall Street skeptics call it a “fad,” a “fraud” and a “speculative bubble.” Believers in Bitcoin say it’s the money of the future, a digital alternative to the dollar or euro or yen. Non-believers say it’s not real money. After all, you can't dig into your pocket and pull one out like a $10 bill and hand it to a cashier at Dunkin Donuts to pay for your morning coffee. Some investment pros say it’s a new asset class, no different from a stock, a bond or an ounce of gold, and that it has great investment promise. Skeptics say it’s not an investment because there’s no good way to value it.

So what exactly is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital currency and digital payment system that allows people to send and receive Bitcoins — or digital tokens — to anyone, anywhere in the world. It runs on a decentralized network of computers where all transactions are recorded, verified and updated by technology known as blockchain, which is akin to an online public ledger. Unlike traditional payment networks such as Mastercard, Bitcoin isn’t owned by anyone.There’s no central authority, such as a bank or government, that's in charge of it.

How do you buy Bitcoin?

An easy way to get started is to set up an account with a Bitcoin exchange like U.S.-based Coinbase, which allows you to purchase Bitcoins with money from your bank account or credit card. And just like the New York Stock Exchange is a place you can go to buy and sell stocks like Apple or Amazon, these exchanges will let you trade cryptocurrencies.

How do I access my bitcoin “money”?

Bitcoins purchased on an exchange or received in a transaction can be stored and accessed in a so-called "Bitcoin Wallet," which is like a bank account. A Bitcoin Wallet lets you receive Bitcoins, store or save them, and send them to others. There are apps that allow you to install a Bitcoin Wallet on your computer or mobile device.

Where can I spend it and what can I buy with it?

You can spend your Bitcoin at any retailer set up to accept Bitcoin as money to pay for purchases. But Bitcoin hasn’t yet enjoyed widespread adoption, and those retailers that do accept it, mostly are set up online. You can use Bitcoin to buy over 1,000 products at discount retailer Overstock.com. You can also go online and use Bitcoin at Microsoft to buy apps, games and videos on Xbox, book airline tickets from CheapAir.com or hotel rooms from Expedia, purchase a satellite TV subscription from Dish Network or buy a sub sandwich from an Allentown, PA, Subway store. One way to get around retailers not accepting Bitcoin is to purchase gift cards for retailers like Amazon or BestBuy at gift card makers like eGifter that accept Bitcoin.

How are Bitcoins priced?

The price is determined by supply and demand – and market forces. The Bitcoin supply will be limited to 21 million, and currently there are roughly 16.6 million. Whether Bitcoin rises or falls in value depends on whether investors believe it will gain widespread acceptance, whether it can avoid being shut down by governments and whether it can continue to dominate the digital currency market or be surpassed by one of more than 1,100 other cryptocurrencies.Bitcoin has so much flavor of the month because it is a relatively new alternative currency demanded by hackers. Video provided by TheStreet Newslook

What do investors need to know about Bitcoin?

Bitcoin has gained most of its notoriety as an investment. A single Bitcoin ended 2016 at around $950 but skyrocketed to nearly $5,000 on Sept. 1. That's a gain of around 425%. But one of Bitcoin’s downsides is that it has proved to be wildly volatile. Three weeks after hitting its 2017 peak, it had given back more than 25% before rallying back 20% to around $4,350 Friday.

Bulls and Bears collide on Bitcoin

That rapid ascent has been accompanied by wildly different prognostications about Bitcoin’s future. Bulls like Thomas Lee, founder of Wall Street firm Fundstrat Global Advisors, see promise. His firm thinks Bitcoin could be worth $6,000 by the middle of 2018, 40% higher than current levels. His long-term target is as high as $25,000 by 2022. He believes Bitcoin will enjoy “expanded acceptance” as a digital currency and payment platform as well as “broader adoption” as a “store of value” similar to gold. He also sees a growing interest from big institutional investors, largely because the market cap of the cryptocurrency market has grown to an estimated $147.4 billion, according to CoinMarket.com.

But there's some  big bears out there. Jamie Dimon, CEO of J.P. Morgan, has called Bitcoin a “fraud.” At a recent investment conference, Dimon said, “Right now, cryptocurrencies are kind of a novelty.” His fear is that when people start to lose money, governments around the world will eventually “shut down” exchanges that trade digital currencies. “It will end badly,” he said. 

But where Dimon sees trouble, others see profit-making opportunities. 

Bitwise Asset Management, a San Francisco-based startup, has just introduced a new cryptocurrency investment fund. The Bitwise HOLD 10 Private Index fund tracks the top 10 cryptocurrencies weighted by market cap, including No. 1 Bitcoin and others such as Ethereum, Ripple, and Zcash. Citing risk  and a need to “proceed with caution,” Bitwise co-founder Hunter Horsley says it makes more sense for investors to be able to buy a basket of cryptocurrencies to reduce risk through diversification. His firm's new fund will track the biggest cryptocurrencies like the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index tracks the largest U.S. stocks.

“Our view is that, over time, as cryptocurrencies continue to ascend along with their potential, that more people will want to participate via investing,” Horsley told USA TODAY. He says owning a basket of cryptocurrencies is better than owning just Bitcoin. He notes that Bitcoin, which made up roughly 85% of the total cryptocurrency market earlier this year, now accounts for about 55% of its total market cap. “You don’t want to be trying to pick the winners,” he says.

There are now at least 55 crypto-focused hedge funds, according to financial research firm Autonomous Next. And Goldman Sachs, a big Wall Street bank, is reportedly looking into a new trading operation involving Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Don’t buy the hype, counters value investor Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital Management. “In my view, digital currencies are nothing but an unfounded fad, based on a willingness to ascribe value to something that has little or none beyond what people pay for it,” Marks told clients in a letter back in July.”

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614

TriForce Tokens Blockchain Gaming Supported by Coventry University Enterprise Ltd, Going Through IP Audit Process With Innovate UK

TriForce Tokens Blockchain Gaming Supported by Coventry University Enterprise Ltd,
Going Through IP Audit Process With Innovate UK

 

Gaming solutions company TriForce Tokens confirms support

from Coventry University Enterprises Ltd and an ongoing IP audit with the U.K. government's innovation agency Innovate UK. Pre ICO scheduled for Oct. 14th. Blockchain gaming solutions start-up TriForce Tokens continues to build momentum, partnering with Coventry University Enterprises Ltd for corporate and business cooperation, while initiating an IP audit with the U.K. government's Innovate UK for its technology and brand. For more information on TriForce Tokens's vision and development objectives, visit the TriForce Tokens website and read the official whitepaper. TriForce Tokens Steam-like blockchain-based gaming platform is in Early Alpha and can be accessed for players and for developers.

Taking the booming online games industry into the blockchain era

More than 2 billion people – almost a third of the entire planet — will be playing games online by the end of 2017, generating revenues in excess of $100 billion*. This number is set to increase by more than six percent annually, as mobile users join a growing legion of console and PC gamers. TriForce Tokens seeks to shake up the multi-billion dollar online games industry with a decentralized platform that will enhance game development and improve player experiences.

The TriForce Tokens revolution: decentralized gaming for new revenue models

TriForce Tokens' chief objective will be to address the main issues that prevent independent developers from producing successful titles, acknowledging that they work with smaller budgets, limited resources and tight deadlines. A decentralized platform promises a way to rapidly deploy common features such as tournaments, P2P trading and peer ranking, across games and platforms.

Players on separate games and platforms will not be forced to abandon their digital empires, as TriForce Tokens will look to harmonize all existing digital assets into a single ecosystem of digital wealth. Using a tokenized system, players can trader with others, earn rewards from competitive events. Developers can use the same tokens to compensate users for tasks and charge custom fees for P2P transactions.

Blockchain transparency is a feature of TriForce Tokens, encouraging communities that foster happiness, safety and ethical conduct. Helpful players who contribute to collaboration are recognized by a unique and transparent honor system, rooting out fraud and negative elements such as "toxic communities" harmful to player retention.

To mitigate player attrition, developers can benefit from TriForce Tokens' big data algorithms and behavioural analysis, learning deep player insights that will greatly assist in creating novel gaming experiences. TriForce Tokens features another blockchain innovation in its authentication network, that hopes to assist developers in copyright and piracy protection. It will also provide alternative methods for developers to still extract some revenue from already pirated content.

Strengthening its position through strategic partnerships

TriForce Tokens recognizes that a multi-faceted approach must be taken to position themselves as a serious leader in online gaming, with sound business, compliance and corporate structures as vital as technology development. TriForce Tokens now has the pleasure to announce that it has initiated an IP audit process with the U.K. government's innovation agency, Innovate UK. The audit will assess TriForce Tokens' technology and brand, helping to provide a stronger business focus to ensure they deliver maximum value. Innovate UK will work with TriForce Tokens to connect them with relevant partners through its innovation networks.

TriForce Tokens will also receive business support from Coventry University Enterprises Limited.  Coventry University Enterprises Ltd's award-winning Technology Park is a prestigious location that hosts some of the region's most innovative businesses and is home to the Serious Games Institute. It already benefits from the synergy of membership with two of the industry's foremost advocates: TIGA, a games and publisher network, and trade association with proven political clout in the U.K., and Swiss-based Crypto Valley Association, a collective of the world's leading blockchain and cryptographic tech initiatives.

TriForce Tokens and Crowdsale

TriForce Tokens (TFT) will be the currency powering payments and rewards on the decentralized gaming ecosystem. They will also be available to trade on external platforms, driving significant appreciation of value as the project grows in strength. TriForce Tokens Steam-like blockchain-based gaming platform is now available for testing. The Early Alpha can be accessed  for developers. As part of a fundraising exercise to support the development of its platform, TriForce Tokens will conduct a public crowdsale of tokens via an Initial Coin Offering (ICO).

A pre-ICO will open on Oct. 14, 2017 (1.30pm GMT) for 48 hours only. Participants in the pre-ICO are able to buy tokens with a 60% discount on top of the standard rate of 1 TFT at $0.20. In addition, 50 random pre-ICO participants will be chosen to receive a free Ledger Nano S hardware wallet. Following this, TriForce Tokens will launch its main ICO event from Nov. 12, 2017 to Nov. 25 (1.30 p.m. GMT), 2017. TriForce Tokens also has ambitions to become the first fully-compliant U.K. ICO, and is working on ISO27001 certification and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) compliance.

The Team

TriForce Tokens is backed by an ensemble of experts from a range of sectors, including corporate management, online gaming, computer security and blockchain development.

Some of its key team members include:

Pete Mardell, CEO

Mardell established himself as a strong engineering professional with his work on a range of technical web applications when he was Head of Development for a recruitment agency in the UK. An avid gamer, Mardell is also a long-time cryptocurrency enthusiast.

Raza Ahmed, CTO

Ahmed has vast experience as a Senior Full Stack Web Developer and qualified blockchain developer, with expertise in Solidity (Ethereum), Javascript, SQL, Node.js, and AngularJS, among others. An MSc holder in Software Development, Ahmed has developed web applications for almost eight years. An associate professor at Coventry University's Faculty Research Centre for Manufacturing and Materials Engineering, Dr. Shah currently lectures in Ethical Hacking and Computer Security.

Jakub Kafarski, Front-end Engineer

Kafarski has worked on front-end engineering for the likes of Noveo, Madkom and Ericsson across Poland, U.K., and Sweden. He works as a front-end software engineer at CycloMedia Technology, a leader in its field. He is skilled at JavaScript, React, Redux and Node.js and is a member of Mensa.

Sorina Rusu, System Developer

Rusu is a passionate developer with extensive experience in PHP and Node.js. Her good organization skills and dedication has been key to her successes with consulting and tech firms in Romania as well in the U.K.

Haider Malik, Senior Full Stack Developer

A Javascript expert, Malik also doubles as an instructor at learning academies Udemy and Fullstackhour.

Simona Patrut, Marketing

Patrut has a strong marketing background, including a management role at Romania's Hilmi Medical Center, where she has managed entire product marketing cycles. She is an expert at building new partnerships for strong brand awareness.

Mihai Bratoi, Brand Designer

Bratoi is a Platinum Designer at U.K. designing firm 99designs. His work focuses on creating unique, memorable designs that respond well to customer needs for corporate needs and social media. TriForce Tokens is the source of this content. Virtual currency is not legal tender, is not backed by the government, and accounts and value balances are not subject to consumer protections.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614

Cryptocurrencies you should know about besides bitcoin

Cryptocurrencies you should know
about besides bitcoin

 

After years of being seen as a nerdy collector's item

for programmers and computer geeks, bitcoin has recently gained the attention of mainstream investors, day traders, Wall Street, and probably your crazy uncle Jimmy, too. The cryptocurrency's ridiculous 330% price gain in 2017 has left many to wonder whether bitcoin is a get-rich-quick investment that could actually pay off. Bitcoin has undoubtedly made some early investors rich, but the incredible interest in the cryptocurrency has far exceeded the market's understanding of how the underlying "blockchain" technology works.

That gap in knowledge has created an opportunity for the creation of hundreds of new cryptocurrency tokens looking to cash in on investors' greed and ignorance — but that doesn't mean all should be avoided. If you're serious about the technology — and you're ready to do your homework — then you may want to consider adding one or more of these five cryptocurrencies and tokens to your portfolio.

Ether (ETH)

Ether — the currency of the Ethereum network — is the second-most valuable cryptocurrency, with a total value of about $28 billion. It started the year priced at just $8 apiece before settling near $300 recently. While Ether is sometimes confusingly called Ethereum, the currency's long-term value lies in the unique Ethereum network and blockchain. What's the blockchain? Think of it as a new form of internet. You don't need to know how it works to use it, but it's essentially a distributed database without a single gatekeeper. That means all information on this new internet is verifiable by everyone, anywhere.

Part of the value of the Ethereum blockchain is that it can run and execute smart contracts — agreements executed by software code upon the completion of specified tasks — between any combination of machines and humans. The upcoming Metropolis release will move the platform closer to its true potential by making it easier for smart contracts to be created and executed by individuals and businesses.

What's the point? With smart contracts and well-designed blockchain protocols, there will be no middlemen extracting fees at each step of a transaction, nor will there be a time delay. Transferring value, whether for utility bills or payroll, would become instantaneous and effortless; you could literally be paid by the hour. If the world ever moves to a truly digital economy, then it will need digital currencies that share many characteristics of the Ethereum ecosystem. Ether, in my opinion, is the best cryptocurrency available for a long-term investment.

 OmiseGO (OMG)

Perhaps the biggest value provided by the Ethereum network is that it can support an ecosystem of decentralized apps, or DAPPS. If Ethereum is a new internet, then DAPPS are the individual websites. Confusingly, although Ethereum uses its own currency (Ether), each DAPP can also have its own unique currency in the form of a token.

When tokens (similar to shares of a company) are offered publicly for the first time, it's called an Initial Coin Offering, or ICO. Companies have raised over $2.3 billion through ICOs this year, and since not all are trustworthy or credible, many have criticized the ICO craze as a bubble. That's not entirely false, but like it or not, ICOs are a new way for companies and start-ups to raise capital — and not all are fraudulent. The venture-backed fintech start-up Omise is a great example. It's nearing the public launch of its OmiseGO blockchain technology, which will be used to bring digital wallets mainstream by enabling real-time, peer-to-peer payments with low transaction fees and instant fund settlement. Think Venmo or Paypal, but without any delay in money transfers and in the form of a decentralized exchange.

OmiseGO tokens boast a combined value just shy of $1 billion. Investors who own a token will receive a cut of the transaction fees (similar to a stock dividend) from the company's digital wallets when they go live in the fourth quarter of this year. The digital wallets will be backed by nationally licensed reserves (similar to how banks are regulated) and will be currency-agnostic (meaning they'll handle transactions and value transfers made in U.S. dollars, Ether, bitcoin, or other popular asset types), which will allow each currency to succeed or fail on its own merits. That helps to protect OmiseGO from volatility in the long run and may allow it to thrive no matter which cryptocurrency is the flavor of the week. 

Qtum (QTUM)

 A businessman holding a smartphone flat in the dark, with bright business icons floating above the surface.The creators of Qtum (the company and token share the name) decided to focus on business customers. By combining some of the best aspects of bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains, they have made Qtum a tool that allows businesses to easily design and build smart contracts for automating supply chain management and business-to-business transactions. 

The goal is to create a platform for smart contracts, including secure and tested templates tailored to specific industries and uses, and develop the technology needed to translate contracts from software code to language humans can read and understand. Qtum has invested heavily in ensuring mobile compatibility and ease of use, which could enable widespread adoption among many businesses (especially those in emerging economies) interested in decentralized operations. The tokens currently boast a market cap of $580 million, although the Qtum network has only been publicly available since Sept. 13.

Rialto.ai (XRL)

The incredible attention garnered by cryptocurrencies in 2017, and the resulting spike in their usage, has led to frequent delays in transactions. Cryptocurrency exchanges are much less efficient and liquid than, say, stock market exchanges, where trades can be executed in milliseconds. Rialto.ai is looking to solve that problem by providing algorithms that exploit these deficiencies. Think of it as a cryptocurrency arbitrage network. When exchanges are having problems meeting trade demands or converting between various currencies, Rialto.ai will step in to provide liquidity from its trading portfolio. That will reduce transaction times, ensure open orders are fulfilled instantly, and improve the overall efficiency of any cryptocurrency exchange approved by the creators.  

In addition to providing market liquidity, Rialto.ai will conduct trades to profit from market inefficiencies, behaving in a way similar to the robo-traders of Wall Street. The network will collect tiny transaction fees each time and distribute them to token holders twice per year (see a trend here among reputable tokens?), which could really add up if Rialto.ai takes off. Additionally, the algorithms will have knowledge of major transactions in real time. It would be the same as knowing Warren Buffett's every move the second he makes it, rather than waiting for a quarterly filing with the SEC. However, Rialto.ai tokens may not be legal to own for asset accounts in the United States (yet), as they may run afoul of SEC regulations at the moment. If that changes, then these tokens could be an intriguing way to diversify your crypto holdings.

PembiCoin (PBC)

Not every cryptoasset doubles as a software tool. Some just serve as more traditional assets. That's the idea behind PembiCoin from the venture-backed start-up Pembient, although the asset is anything but traditional. It may sound wild (and it is), but Pembient is developing a technology platform that it hopes will manufacture rhino horn products in the lab through a combination of genetic engineering and 3-D printing. The idea is that this biofabrication tech will more than meet market demand for rhino horn products, making it unnecessary to poach wild rhinos and drive them to extinction. If the company can meet its goal of producing genetically and chemically identical rhino horn products and mass-produce them, then it could drop the price of rhino horn globally — and drive poachers out of the market. (Of course, it's more complicated and controversial than that.)

Pembient needs a few more years to optimize its technology platform, so it created PembiCoin to gauge interest in its future rhino horn product. Think of it as a commodity futures contract: For every PembiCoin token purchased today, you'll receive 1 gram of its fabricated rhino horn in November 2022. You can also sell PembiCoin between now and then.

This cryptoasset is risky, because Pembient may not meet its technology goals. It's also controversial, given that each token is being offered for one-tenth the current price of rhino horn, which has led some to argue that if the technology works, the tokens will become futures contracts on the extinction of black rhinos. However, it highlights one often overlooked potential application of cryptocurrencies and cryptoassets — low-cost futures contracts — and reinforces the idea that we're only scratching the surface of blockchain technology's potential.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614

Why Fidelity Is Mining Bitcoin and Ethereum

Why Fidelity Is
Mining Bitcoin and Ethereum

What Happens to Your Bitcoin When You Die? If you don’t prepare, it might vanish forever.
 
 

It's not about profits.

Fidelity CEO Abby Johnson surprised a tech conference this spring by revealing the brokerage giant didn’t just study cryptocurrency. It was also mining the digital assets—and making money while doing so. It turns out Fidelity has been at this for three years, using its own computers to harvest the digital currencies bitcoin and Ethereum, which today trade for around $4,300 and $300 respectively. Hadley Stern of Fidelity Labs tells Fortune that the U.S. based mining operation is very modest, however, and the undisclosed profits—CEO Johnson reportedly told the conference the mining “is actually making a lot of money”—are mostly the result of cryptocurrencies’ dramatic rise in value. (Bitcoin traded as low as $200 in early 2015, while the newer Ethereum was just $8 at the start of this year.)

Those profits are nice, of course, but for Fidelity they are not the point. Stern says the real purpose of the mining is to learn about the burgeoning cryptocurrency market. “Think of it as an experiment. The real reason we began mining, and still do, is to learn how the network works, how consensus works, how difficulty levels work,” says Stern, referring to aspects of the mining process, which involves a network of computers competing to solve complex math problems.

Stern adds that Fidelity’s mining project is not sophisticated compared to professional operations, which involve companies, most of them in China, connecting giant rooms of specialized computers to cheap sources of electricity. But he says Fidelity continues to learn valuable lessons, including about recent campaigns by miners to create so-called “forks” in blockchains, which serve as an immutable record of all cryptocurrency transactions. (The most famous fork occurred this summer when some miners created a rival to bitcoin called “Bitcoin cash.”)

The lessons Fidelity (FNFV, -1.10%) is learning could give it a valuable advantage at a time when other big financial institutions are dipping their toes into the world of cryptocurrencies, which are together worth well over $100 billion today. In the last month, J.P. Morgan (JPM, -0.19%) has begun handling customer orders for bitcoin-related financial instruments, while Goldman Sachs (GS, -0.02%) has stoked rumors it might open a trading desk dedicated to digital currencies.

Fidelity’s mining operations aren’t the only way the company is gaining insights into cryptocurrency. This summer, the brokerage entered an arrangement with Coinbase, a popular San Francisco-based exchange, to let customers view the value of their digital currency alongside stocks and others assets on their Fidelity homepage. The Coinbase tie-up is a convenience for customers, but also lets Fidelity gain insight into how many how investors are interested in cryptocurrency.

Meanwhile, Fidelity has also included bitcoin in a program that helps individuals donate specialized assets, such as fine art, to charity. Stern says the company often conducts interviews with customers who donate bitcoin, in part to learn about their interest in the cryptocurrency. “It’s another way to assess market demand, get our hands a bit dirty with the technology, and learn what’s going on,” says Stern.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614

Yet Another Bitcoin Fork Aims to Take Power Away From Big Miners

Yet Another Bitcoin Fork Aims to Take Power Away From Big Miners

 

Is Bitcoin Gold the people's fork?

In 2009, there was only one kind of imaginary internet money to scratch your head over: Bitcoin. Now there's Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and soon, Bitcoin Gold. Lordy. The trouble began earlier this year when a group of cryptocurrency upstarts cloned Bitcoin to create their own version, called Bitcoin Cash. The split, called a "hard fork," came after a long and acrimonious disagreement about how to get Bitcoin to handle more traffic failed to resolve amicably. Now, another group of Bitcoiners wants to create yet another version of the world's most popular digital money on October 25. They're calling it Bitcoin Gold.

Bitcoin Gold is taking aim at democratizing Bitcoin's lucrative infrastructure layer—"mining"—taking it out of the hands of giant firms and into the purview of at-home enthusiasts. The project was co-founded by Jack Liao, CEO of Hong Kong-based Bitcoin mining company LightningASIC, Bitcoin Gold's anonymous lead developer "h4x3rotab" told me. (LightningASIC also just so happens to sell the hardware this new market of miners will need.) The fork mainly seems to be a reaction to widespread ire directed at one Bitcoin mining giant in particular, China-based Bitmain. Bitmain was an important player in the Bitcoin Cash fork.

"The current situation, where one erratic company in a totalitarian jurisdiction that is very hostile to Bitcoin has near monopoly domination over the manufacturing and distribution of the mining hardware that is required for the security of the global network, is unacceptable to anyone who understands the importance of decentralization to Bitcoin," hx3rotab wrote me in an email. Hx3rotab also told me that he is based in China. Bitcoin Gold is different from Bitcoin Cash and yet another upcoming fork—"Segwit2x," scheduled for November—because those versions address issues related to speeding up the Bitcoin network to handle more traffic. Bitcoin Gold is instead looking to cut more people in on the mining industry's profits.

Miners are people who build computers solely dedicated to crunching numbers in an effort to "solve" a block of data and receive a reward in cryptocurrency. These blocks are chained one after another to make up the blockchain, Bitcoin's ledger technology. In the early days of Bitcoin, anyone could mine the currency on their home computer. But since then, Bitcoin's hashing algorithm has been monopolized by specialized, powerful mining chips called ASICs and large mining firms. It's a multi-million dollar industry. Bitcoin Gold will, if it materializes on October 25, switch out Bitcoin's algorithm for another called Equihash that is, well, more equitable. It's a "memory-hard" algorithm, which means common home computer hardware like GPUs will be able to profitably mine Bitcoin Gold for the foreseeable future. Because they have different mining algorithms, "Bitcoin Gold is not a competitor of Bitcoin," h4x3rotab wrote.

Bitcoin's next-most-popular competition, Ethereum, currently allows GPU mining but will eventually be moving to a new mining scheme, so there will be a whole lot of GPU rigs out there just looking for cryptocurrency to mine. Bitcoin Gold will, if all goes according to plan, be there for them. There are some potential red flags. The first is that there is essentially no technical information about Bitcoin Gold anywhere on the internet. Not on the project's website, not on its GitHub, and not in its Slack channel. That's unusual, considering it's supposed to launch in under a month. The team has also not yet deployed a "testnet" to safely test the network, h4x3rotab wrote, but it should be coming soon.

Bitcoin Gold will also have the same address format as Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin, which could be very confusing. There have been reports of people unwittingly sending their Bitcoin Cash to Bitcoin addresses, losing it forever. This problem will only be compounded by yet another incompatible cryptocurrency using the same address format. Bitcoin Gold has a plan to introduce new address formats for the fork, h4x3rotab said, but that will come after launch and they will have to first entice users to migrate over to the new format.

Still, none of this necessarily precludes Bitcoin Gold from getting off the ground. Forking code is easy—it's getting people on board that's the hard part. Since Bitcoin Gold is a fork of Bitcoin, anyone holding Bitcoin at the time of the fork will receive a mirror balance in Bitcoin Gold. The promise of free money may be enough to draw the needed interest. On October 25 there may be three versions of the world's most popular and valuable cryptocurrency: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin Gold. Then, in November, another scheduled split will likely create a fourth version, which is currently only known as "Segwit2x." This fork could soon be… a rake?

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614

Crypto Debit Cards are Taking Bitcoin Mainstream. How Entrepreneurs Can Benefit.

Crypto Debit Cards are Taking Bitcoin Mainstream.
How Entrepreneurs Can Benefit.

Cryptocurrency is the future of money,
 
This entrepreneur believes; and it's a field, he says, that has a lot of room for new startups.Bitcoin's got a spending problem, and entrepreneurs are reacting with crypto debit cards to solve it. Say you've got some crypto-currency — maybe a Bitcoin or a little Ethereum — and it just went up 10 percent, and you now want to splurge on a long-overdue vacation to Europe. In the past, you had to go to an exchange, like Coinbase, and turn a set amount of your cryptocurrency into a set amount of national fiat currency ($U.S. ?U.K., etc.). After that, you moved your fiat currency into a bank account. And only then, finally, could you spend it.

Enter crypto debit cards — the old-meets-new innovation that's poised to light a fire under cryptocurrency adoption among regular consumers — and is primed for entrepreneurial action. Crypto debit cards are like regular debit cards. They've got a Visa or MasterCard logo. They work everywhere. But, instead of pulling from your bank account, they pull from a cryptocurrency wallet. Confused? Here are the basics:

What is cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is virtual money. It's created by algorithms and sustained by computer networks run by real people and serviced by profitable corporations. It's money that isn't subject to direct devaluation through political means, the way fiat currencies are. And it's very hard for governments to confiscate. Cryptocurrency can move across political borders without delay, taxation or notice — much like email. It's also relatively new, less than a decade old, and it's just seen its first unicorn (Coinbase). That means it's primed for new waves of venture capital in the short term.

One unit of the most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, is currently worth three times the value of one ounce of gold, and it's considerably more portable. Bitcoin has a hard limit of 21 million total units, which is expected to result in deflationary pressures once that limit is reached. Ethereum, second in popularity after Bitcoin, is not just a currency but also a smart contract platform. You can program smart contracts to help people exchange anything of value in a conflict-free way, without middle men — sort of like a vending machine.

Speaking of middle men, what about banks? Cryptocurrency has the potential power to eliminate them, along with their fees and limits. And its transactions are nearly anonymous and shockingly inexpensive. In short, cryptocurrency — and I write this, having no direct financial stake in it — is the future of money, and it's a field that has a lot of room for new startups.

Spending is the challenge.

With more than 900 cryptocurrencies out there, access to opportunities for earning, trading and investing them has not been a problem. The challenge now is how to spend them in the real world. So far, we've relied on a ragtag DIY network of ATMs and QR-code apps. The new thing, however, is that we can now use crypto debit cards — a bridge between the crypto world and the bank-card point-of-sale world that everyone is familiar with. Crypto debit cards are frictionless for beginners and easily understandable. They're making crypto mainstream for regular consumers.

Why crypto debit cards?

Crypto debit cards offer a lot of benefits over both the old way of trading cryptocurrency for fiat at exchanges and the traditional spending of fiat currency via credit and debit cards. They include:

Freedom.
You can now spend dozens of cryptocurrencies and tokens at businesses worldwide without having to worry about exchanges or exchange rates. You can buy just about anything you want with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This could be the tipping point for cryptocurrency.

Usability.
You can spend your crypto holdings now as easily as you use your Visa or MasterCard. Buy groceries, order pizza and pay the bills all without having to pre-convert your cryptocurrency at an exchange. Or withdraw cash at thousands of ATMs. Conversion is now painless and invisible. You can spend freely, and live purely on Bitcoin — and no one will be the wiser.

Universality.
Visa and MasterCard are accepted almost everywhere. Never again will you need to ask if a vendor accepts Bitcoin. No more hunting for buyers on LocalBitcoins.

Flexibility.
Many crypto debit cards enable you to spend Bitcoin, Ethereum and other coins and tokens, so you've got lots of choices when it comes to how to hold your money and which of your crypto holdings you want to liquidate.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614

The $20 Bitcoin Investment Jackpot Could Generate Massive Fortunes

The $20 Bitcoin Investment Jackpot Could Generate Massive Fortunes

The cryptocurrency market is RED HOT…

Bitcoin has surged over 125% in the past few months… Ethereum has seen gains over 3,467% this year alone. But that’s NOTHING compared to the lightning-fast returns seen from dozens and dozens of little-known “penny cryptocurrencies.” Like the new currency called AllSafe, which skyrocketed by 15,808% in a single day!

Or how about AMIS, a brand-new cryptocurrency that hit the markets on April 21st, 2017… which surged by 29,693%… OVERNIGHT! But as exciting as that is, it’s nothing compared to a new alternative currency for folks living in the “Big Apple”… called NewYorkCoin. Prices of NewYorkCoin have jumped a staggering 56,606% over just a week’s time… turning every $20 into over $11,321. Of course, gains this high are incredibly rare…

But if you had decided to plunk down $2,000 a few weeks back… you could be sitting on over $1.1 million today. Sound impossible? It’s not… The truth is… hundreds of these “penny cryptocurrencies” are DOUBLING in value every week. As Bloomberg reports, “While the record-breaking rally in Bitcoin has captivated markets, demand for other digital coins is surging as companies raisemillions inminutes, or even seconds…”

This gives us a rare chance to generate a fortune from these emerging currencies.How to purchase cryptocurrencies Which penny cryptocurrencies to buy When to buy themThis might be the best opportunity for the little guy to grow rich! Again, to discover everything you need to get started.

 

If you want to make the most money in the penny-cryptocurrency market… you need to get started very soon.That’s when 260,000 new retailers are expected to begin accepting certain cryptocurrencies as official forms of payment… which could drive the markets to unbelievable heights.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614

Sweden Use Crypto Tech To Become Cashless Pioneers

Sweden Use Crypto Tech To Become Cashless Pioneers

 

Sweden, the Scandinavian nation famous for ABBA, Björn Borg, and Volvo,

is leading the way when it comes to becoming the world's first cashless country – and the technology behind Bitcoin, and the cryptocurrencies it has spawned, is catalysing the process. Two years ago, in October 2015, Niklas Arvidsson, a researcher in industrial economics and management at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, helped to produce a study that predicted his country would be the first to introduce a cashless society. "Cash is still an important means of payment in many countries' markets, but that no longer applies here in Sweden," he said.

The progressive Swedes are on course to achieving their lofty aim, and other Scandinavian nations are following suit. Consider that reports indicate that 56.3 per cent of the country's 1,600 bank branches – 900 of 1,600 – neither hold cash nor accept cash deposits any longer. Further, circulation of the country's traditional currency, the Swedish krona, has been falling for some time; in 2009 the figure was SEK106 billion whereas last year it was just SEK60bn.

Why is this happening?

According to data obtained from Visa, Swedes use bank cards three times more often than the average European. And a Riksbank report, published in December 2016, showed that 97 per cent of the country has access to cards, compared with 85 per cent cash.

There are many additional benefits to living in a society that does not need to use cash – not least when it comes to personal safety. People are less likely to be robbed, and also thieves will not as easily be able to sell on their stolen items. Another key factor is the rise in popularity of Swish, an app owned by six Swedish banks (Danske Bank, Handelsbanken, Länsförsäkringar, Nordea, SEB and Swedbank). It allows anyone with a smartphone to transfer money from one bank account to another, in real time. All that is required is the sender and receiver's phone numbers.

Swish was launched in 2012 and by the end of 2015 it had attracted 3.6 million users, which is more than a third of Sweden's 9.9 million population. Also that year some $515 million was transferred using the app. Those eye-opening numbers have increased significantly since, and now even churches have started to reveal their telephone numbers at the end of each service to make it easier for parishioners to boost their coffers.

This trend has forced Sweden's central banks to consider introducing a digital form of government-backed money, and the technology behind Bitcoin, the pioneering cryptocurrency launched eight years ago, is being promoted as a leading option. A major concern about going cashless in Sweden is that it could exclude the 'unbankables' – that is people without a bank account – and those who do not own a smartphone. Bitcoin, however, has the ability to solve those problems through technology. Users do not require a bank account, and they can, in effect, spend their money anonymously.

Bitcoins and other top cryptocurrencies – Ethereum, Ripple, Dash, Litecoin, and Ethereum Classic – can be purchased outright, and in a straightforward manner, from investment platform eToro, for instance. It has six million members across 140 countries and the company's motto is "crypto needn't be cryptic". Trading on eToro is attractive because it has a fast online verification process, global offices (including in the United Kingdom), and members can use the CopyTrader tool to match the strategies of top-performing traders. Many in the FinTech space believe the Blockchain, a decentralised ledger which is the backbone of cryptocurrencies, is the real game-changing innovation. In Sweden, and elsewhere, they have already toyed with ways in which it can be used in their public services. And sooner rather than later it could well underpin the world's first cashless society.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614

Bitcoin Mining Software in Popular Websites Like Pirate Bay Hijacks Computers

Bitcoin Mining Software in Popular Websites Like Pirate Bay Hijacks Computers

 

 

Bitcoin mining software is exploiting the computers and smartphones

of visitors to popular websites, according to a report. Researchers discovered that websites including Showtime and the torrenting site The Pirate Bay were among those containing a tool that hijacks the computing power of visitors to generate bitcoin and other cryptocurrency. The bitcoin mining software, which is invisible on a surface level to the sites’ visitors, has led cybersecurity firm Cloudflare to block sites that use it, TorrentFreak reports. Visitors to websites running the mining software may experience slower computer speeds, though the software can often be blocked by using an adblocker or by disabling Javascript.

Bitcoin mining website hijack cloudflare

The software can be loaded to a website by hackers, as appears to be the case with Showtime, or it can be loaded intentionally by the site’s owner to generate revenue. One site that used mining software intentionally was ProxyBunker.online, a site that links to streaming and torrenting websites. The owner of the site told TorrentFreak that its website was blocked from using Cloudflare services as a result of running a cryptocurrency miner.

“Multiple domains in your account were injecting Coinhive mining code without notifying users and without any option to disabling the mining,” wrote Justin Paine, head of trust and safety at Cloudflare. “We consider this to be malware, and as such the account was suspended, and all domains removed from Cloudflare.”

Bitcoin miner monero cryptocurrency software

One of the most popular tools being used to secretly mine cryptocurrency is Coinhive, which mines for the bitcoin-like virtual currency Monero. Coinhive was the chosen tool of The Pirate Bay, who was criticized for not warning visitors to its site that it was using the software. The file-sharing site posted a statement last week saying that the Monero miner was only a test. The technique of hijacking users’ web browsers to mine cryptocurrency, referred to as “cryptojacking” by some experts, appears to be more popular for newer cryptocurrencies that contain features that are untraceable to law enforcement.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614

The race to create the Amazon or Instagram of cryptocurrency

The race to create the Amazon or Instagram of cryptocurrency

  • Although the extreme hype around blockchain and cryptocurrency today attracts hucksters and scammers, investor Chris Dixon and Coinbase founder Fred Ehrsam argue that the significance of the rise of cryptocurrencies is undeniable.
  • Just as Amazon created the first web-native e-commerce site, and Instagram the first mobile-native photo site, somebody's going to create the first blockchain-native business.
  • What could it be? Dixon and Ehrsam had no predictions, but contributor Eric Jackson has some ideas.

 

What will be the first native app that taps into the power

of the blockchain, cryptocurrencies and tokens? That's the provocative question posed last week by venture capital investor Chris Dixon and Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam in Andreessen Horowitz's tech podcast "Why Crypto Tokens Matter."

Although the extreme hype around blockchain and cryptocurrency today attracts hucksters and scammers, Dixon and Ehrsam argue that the significance of the rise of cryptocurrencies is undeniable. The analogy they use to explain the significance is this: in the way that the web allowed for the programmability of information for the first time, cryptocurrencies and tokens allow for the programmability of money or value for the first time. The development of the web allowed for new businesses operating at a global scale which the world had never seen before. They believe cryptocurrencies will offer the same potential.

However, Amazon didn't become a $500 billion business overnight. It's taken over 20 years to get to its current size. Dixon and Ehrsam argue that it required the development of a whole ecosystem around Amazon and other web companies – including web servers, databases, logistics, and payment systems – for them to maximize their potential. There will be the same need for a massive build out in infrastructure for cryptocurrencies and tokens to reach the same potential.

But the most intriguing idea in the podcast is how both Dixon and Ehrsam agree that the companies which have the greatest chance to capture the most value with every big wave of technology – such as web, mobile, and now crypto – are the ones who "burn the boats" to yesterday's technology and go all-in on being the first native app for the new wave. For instance, Amazon set the example when it came to native web apps for e-commerce. Unlike Barnes & Noble, they didn't try to keep one foot in traditional retail with their brick-and-mortar stores and one in the web world. They showed the world what a total focus on e-commerce looked like.

The mobile-only world arrived 10 years ago with the unveiling of the Apple iPhone. However, the initial mobile apps were modeled after websites – cramming a large amount of data fit for a web page on to a tinier mobile screen. Flickr was the dominant photo site in 2007. It created a mobile app for itself but still was geared to you going to your computer and uploading photos. It wasn't until Instagram came along when the world saw what a mobile-only photo app looked like. For a long time, there wasn't even a webpage for Instagram. Users flocked to it, and Facebook bought it for what seems like a bargain price of $1 billion in 2012. It's still the dominant photo-sharing app today

What this business might look like

So what will be the first "blockchain-only" native business? Dixon and Ehrsam don't have any predictions of what that business will be or when it will arrive. But it's helpful to think about what such a business could look like, if you're an investor like me and interested in keeping your eyes open to find out what to look for.

To me, what's most interesting about the whole advent of cryptocurrencies in the past year is Etheruem and how it allows for "smart contracts" to program the relationship of money between parties. The basic idea is that, if something happens, then someone should get paid automatically. You can imagine intricate conditional patterns that allow for people to be generate value for themselves automatically while stripping out a bunch of intermediaries which have existed up until now taking out a toll at every step along the way. The businesses that can pop up, go after big markets, and put these old intermediaries out of business should have a big leg up on future competition.

Here are some ideas of possible businesses to look for in the years ahead (and invest in if you're lucky):

  • The first all-blockchain insurance company that only issues policies in smart contract form.
  • Human futures. On my recent podcast with Balaji Srinivasan, he spoke about the company Upstart. It was founded a few years ago with the idea of actually allowing you to invest in an individual's potential future income stream. You could decide to lend to them based on their background and ask for a share in their upside career (almost like an agent). Smart contracts would make that business model feasible. Upstart pivoted away from that model a few years ago but it will be possible in the future.
  • We already have have online law firms like LegalZoom which allow you to more easily incorporate your business for example. What about a law service only focused on creating smart contracts without a lot of expensive overhead of top laywers running around billing by the hour?
  • Why not a LinkedIn career service focused on matching short-term gigs that tap in to your specific expertise and pay you in some cryptocurrency?
  • The first institutional investment bank allowing only blockchain-based trading of securities with immediate settlement. They could also finally crack the IPO code for the perfect "dutch auction" of new issues with a perfect matching of buyers and sellers to the optimal amount of money raised goes to the issuer, instead of the investment banking clients.
  • The first blockchain-based rewards system that rewards participants with special offers if they allow advertisers see when they perform certain tasks or reach certain levels.
  • The first blockchain-based mortgage lender or credit card issuer.
  • With the whole Equifax scandal of the past few weeks, why not a blockchain-based (hyper secure) credit bureau to replace the status quo credit bureaus of today with a promise of better confidentiality and better credit information?

We need to get beyond the Jamie Dimon type of discussion about bitcoin being a fraud or the speculative bubble around cryptocurrencies. Instead, we need to look at the underlying technology around these currencies, especially smart contracts that are programmable and enforceable. These contracts will allow for many new disruptive businesses to be formed on top of them. If you find the first new "native app" to be built on top of the blockchain in a big product category, it's likely that you'll find an attractive long-term investment.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614