Bitconnect Shuts Down Its Exchange Citing a String of Excuses

In a move that will surprise few observers, Bitconnect has announced that it is closing its lending and exchange platform. The company has widely been accused of operating a Ponzi scheme and was recently rocked by cease and desist notices in two US states. Immediately after the firm declared its intention to wind things up, its BCC coin plummeted from $290 to under $10 before recovering slightly. With the exchange offline, many holders have been left locked out and powerless to sell their heavily deprecated assets.

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Bitconnect Bids Bye Bye

Pressure has been mounting on Bitconnect for months, with leading figures within the crypto community, from Vitalik Buterin to Jameson Lopp, speculating that the exchange was not all it was cracked up to be. News.Bitcoin.com reported on these rumors back in November before revealing, less than a fortnight ago, that the company had been slapped with an emergency cease and desist order in Texas. Among many red flags to have set alarm bells ringing were Bitconnect’s extremely odd marketing videos, described by one commenter as being “like scientology merged with hillsong infused with dorks and used car salesmen”.

Bitconnect Shuts Down Its Exchange, Citing a String of Excuses

In an update posted on the Bitconnect website, the company said it was halting its lending and exchange service due to the spate of cease and desist notices coupled with “bad press” and a string of DDoS attacks. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing DDoS attacks, the blog post can’t be accessed at this time. The “bad press” that Bitconnect cites, otherwise known as accurate reporting, has been invaluable in helping guide crypto newcomers away from the platform.

Bitconnect Shuts Down Its Exchange, Citing a String of Excuses

A Secret Blend of Herbs and Spices

The exact workings of Bitconnect’s secret sauce that purportedly makes its investors generous returns has never been disclosed, but the general consensus is that the whole operation is little more than a pyramid scheme. It is almost certain that Bitconnect’s “intelligent trading bot” which makes profitable trades and then shares those dividends with the community, does not exist.


The Bitconnect statement in full

It is not clear whether the news of Bitconnect’s lending service shutdown heralds the end of the company altogether, although it is hard to imagine it being able to limp on in any shape or form after shuttering its main hub. DDoS attacks are a tactic that a number of deep web marketplaces have used to sow confusion ahead of an exit scam. It is impossible to ascertain the origins of the distributed denial of service the site is under, though it it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the attack may have originated from close to home.

Bitconnect Shuts Down Its Exchange, Citing a String of Excuses

Bitconnect Token Falls Through the Floor

Historically, Bitconnect’s BCC token has been remarkably stable, maintaining steady growth in a pattern not dissimilar from that of bitcoin. But as news.Bitcoin.com noted back in November:

With most of the BCC in existence locked in the company’s exchange, if its founders were to perform an exit scam or wind up behind bars, millions of dollars of bitcoin would instantly be locked up and BCC would be rendered worthless.

That prophecy has now come to pass. Coinmarketcap reports zero trade volume on the Bitconnect platform in the last 60 hours, leaving its token still listed at $290 there. On other platforms though, such as Coinexchange, which recorded 24-hour BCC trade volume of $1.26 million, the token dropped to $8 before recovering to around $25 at the time of publication. Coinmarketcap, the web’s go-to cryptocurrency checker, has previously come in for criticism for hosting ads promoting Bitconnect. Coincodex, in comparison, has elected to post a notice alongside BCC warning investors away. Its CEO Marko Stokelj previously told news.Bitcoin.com:

Bitconnect employs a number of dubious methods in order to operate and promote its business. The business model outlined by the company is economically unsustainable with the current level of returns unable to be validated by any legally known investment system.

While some observers in the crypto community may feel a touch of schadenfreude at Bitconnect’s demise, it is worth being mindful of the many victims who will have suffered heavy losses. Thanks to its marketing strategy, including use of referral schemes, Bitconnect preyed on newbs who lacked the necessary understanding to differentiate legitimate cryptocurrencies from get rich quick schemes.

Bitconnect Shuts Down Its Exchange, Citing a String of Excuses

If the news emanating from Bitconnect’s 404’d website does prove to be terminal – and it’s hard to imagine the company coming back from this – there will at least be some good to come out of this story. A number of similar sites with names such as Ethconnect have appeared in recent months, each with the same opaque business model. The fall of Bitconnect will hopefully serve as a warning to other crypto startups not to go down the same route. For Bitconnect bag-holders, though, this cautionary tale will provide little consolation.

UPDATE: This post has since been updated to include a screenshot of the Bitconnect statement in full.

A Crying Foul Coinbase Withdrawal Delays Leave Users Frustrated

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) received yet another request to approve Wall Street bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). This time, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) wishes to list five new ETFs, so-called leveraged and inverse funds which increase risk and reward.

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Wall Street Wants Bitcoin ETFs with Twice the Risk/Reward

Wall Street Goes Short, Gets Bear, with Proposed Risky Bitcoin ETFs

The trope for years has been bitcoin’s volatility, risk, is too great for the sober adults of professional finance to be bothered. That myth was thoroughly smashed on 4 January 2018 when the NYSE Arca filed a fifty page request with the SEC. Wall Street wants Direxion Asset Management’s five ETFs, known as leveraged or inverse funds. The proposed funds up the risk level by twice, in either direction, and are short term investments. They’re easily some of the riskiest funds put forward.

ETFs are prized because they’re traded like stocks with the muscle of mutual funds. The SEC has yet to approve bitcoin ETFs, and applications for rule-changes are stacking up. Some estimates have requests for the cryptocurrency to be formally listed at nearly a dozen. This year enthusiasts will learn the financial product’s fate, most experts believe.

Direxion is presently asking five funds be listed: Direxion Daily Bitcoin Bear 1X Shares, Direxion Daily Bitcoin 1.25X Bull Shares, Direxion Daily Bitcoin 1.5X Bull Shares, Direxion Daily Bitcoin 2X Bull Shares, and Direxion Daily Bitcoin 2X Bear Shares. If approved they’d trade on the NYSE’s Arca market. Investors could see their returns as much as double; they could also see losses compound in the other direction just as fast.

Wall Street Wants Bitcoin ETFs with Twice the Risk

Twice as Fast in Either Direction

The funds aren’t necessarily tethered to bitcoin’s spot price, but are instead a way to track bitcoin futures on markets such as those created by NYSE rivals Cboe and CME, with “investment results (before fees and expenses) that correlate positively to either 125%, 150%, or 200% the daily return of the target benchmark,” according to the filing.Wall Street Wants Bitcoin ETFs with Twice the Risk

That assumes a bull market, but, again, losses are multiplied as well which logically means these are for short term investing (longer options are available). ETFs would bring even more mainstreaming to bitcoin with regard to the broader investment community.

It’s a curious move, but the risks are sure to attract investment. One would assume the natural bitcoin price spikes would be enough for adrenaline junkies. But there is still widespread skepticism and worry about actually owning and holding bitcoin among Wall Street types. Nevertheless, such short-term volatility is something many traders value. Indeed the filing insists the Direxion ETFs “enhance competition among market participants, to the benefit of investors and the marketplace.”

What do you think of bitcoin ETFs? Let us know in the comments section below

After Coinbase Rejects Rumors of Adding New Assets Ripple Dips

Ripple has taken a hit by a move to end rumors that Bitcoin’s centralized competitor might be introduced to the leading trading platforms in the US. No decision to add new assets to either GDAX or Coinbase has been made, the exchange said in a blog post dismissing any statements to the contrary. Ripple lost some $30 billion of market capitalization on the day of the announcement.

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God Giveth, God Taketh

The clarification on the matter came in response to unverified rumors and unfounded reports that Coinbase might add Ripple to its cryptocurrency markets. They have most certainly helped fuel Ripple’s surge that doubled its price in a week. After Coinbase stated it had no intentions to change its Digital Asset Framework in the short run, Ripple wobbled in charts and lost 20 percent of its value before it rebounded a little. Its capitalization is now below $125 billion, down from Thursday’s peak at almost $149 billion. One XRP coin is currently trading for less than $3.25 USD at the time of publishing according to Coinmarketcap.

Ripple Dips after Coinbase Rejects Rumors of a New Asset

Coinbase is the biggest cryptocurrency marketplace in the US and operates the Global Digital Asset Exchange (GDAX), a platform for trading a variety of digital assets, and a broker processing crypto-fiat transactions. It trades Bitcoin, Litecoin, Etherium and has added Bitcoin Cash support last month. BCH jumped 70% after the latest update of its Digital Asset Framework. The December 17 announcement had been proceeded by a leak that attracted a lot of criticism and led to an internal investigation.

Yesterday Coinbase made it clear that it had no immediate plans to start trading Ripple, although XRP was not explicitly mentioned in its blog post:

We have made no decision to add additional assets to either GDAX or Coinbase. Any statement to the contrary is untrue and not authorized by the company.

Coinbase also reminded that its Digital Asset Framework, released a few months ago, highlights the criteria for supporting new assets. It added that a committee of internal experts was responsible for determining whether and when new assets would be added and insisted that these employees were subject to confidentiality and trading restrictions.

Ripple Dips after Coinbase Rejects Rumors of a New Asset

Ups and Downs, and Peace of Mind

Ripple’s rise made it the second most valued cryptocurrency after Bitcoin during a spell when BTC saw its market share falling below 40%. XRP was trading for as little as $0.006 in January and ended 2017 at a price of $2.30 USD. A few days ago the current and former CEOs of the company, Chris Larsen and Brad Garlinghouse, were ranking among the wealthiest Americans according to Forbes. Larsen, cofounder and Executive Chairman, who reportedly has the largest stash of ripples, would have placed somewhere between Steve Ballmer and Mark Zuckerberg in the 400 richest people list on Monday. But there have been some ups and downs since then – Ether passed the $1,000 barrier and Bitcoin is touching $16,000 again.

In the volatile world of digital money, following experts’ advice and staring at charts doesn’t always help to find a way to sustainable growth and lasting wealth. Reading the Holy Scripture, however, may bring some peace of mind and a sense of intrinsic value: “Naked came I…, naked shall I depart! The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away!”

Do you think Ripple has a chance to compete with Bitcoin, despite its centralized design? Tell us in the comments section below.

Bitcoin Fees Are Falling Amidst Greater Segwit Adoption

Transaction fees, a bugbear for many in the bitcoin community, are on their way down. Spiraling fees were a contentious issue that reached fever pitch in the twilight of 2017. But with the dawn of a new year, bitcoin has been blessed with reduced fees, set against a backdrop of increased Segwit adoption.

 

Fees Have Halved from Their December Peak

After spending the final quarter of 2017 ramping up, transaction fees on the bitcoin network have finally begun to decline. Bitcoinfees.info indicates an average fee of $15.79 to have a transaction mined within the next six blocks, rising slightly to $16.54 for the next three blocks and $17.29 for the next block. The median withdrawal fee from exchanges such as Bitfinex this week has been closer to $14 however.

While $14-$16 is still more than many people would like to spend, it’s an improvement at least over the $30 bitcoin fees that were reached during December. Estimatefee.com quotes an average of 358 satoshis/byte to move a transaction within the next six blocks. The number of transactions in the mempool waiting to be confirmed is now below 90,000, from a peak of over 115,000 on December 30.

Bitcoin Fees Are Falling Amidst Greater Segwit Adoption
The average cost per transaction in $ has dropped considerably.

More Bitcoin Wallets Add Segwit Support

In the last 24 hours,many sites have added Segwit support to their wallets. In a blogpost, mining pool and bitcoin wallet provider BTC.com wrote: “As a BTC.com wallet user, you will experience a drop in the transaction fees and faster transaction times when you send bitcoin to another address.” It has now added this functionality to both its mobile and desktop wallets.

Bitcoin Fees Are Falling Amidst Greater Segwit Adoption

Peer-to-peer exchange and online wallet LBCbitcoin-fees-falling-1068x1068 has also followed suit. The site is used extensively in countries as diverse as the Dominican Republic and Poland, and has reached record weekly trading volume of almost $140 million in the US. It will be a while before recent Segwit adoption by wallet providers filters through and impacts upon average bitcoin fees across the network. Segwit adoption is only around 11%, showing there is still a long way to go before the scaling technology nears universal adoption.

Bitcoin Fees Are Falling Amidst Greater Segwit Adoption

As always, the greatest absentee from Segwit is Coinbase, which has yet to formalize plans for introducing the Segregated Witness technology. CEO Brian Armstrong appears to be more interested in experimenting with ethereum Dapp browsers, much to the chagrin of many Coinbase users. Bitcoin pioneer Nick Szabo, meanwhile, has been urging the community to favor Segwit, endorsing a Whalepool tweet listing Segwit wallets.

Bitcoin Fees Are Falling Amidst Greater Segwit Adoption
Segwit adoption is still barely into the double digits.

2018: The Year of Cheaper Fees?

Bitcoin fees are likely to remain a hot topic throughout 2018 as efforts to lower the median cost of transacting the decentralized currency intensify. With the Lightning Network now having been successfully tested live, there are hopes that the off-chain scaling solution could be introduced sooner than initially expected, bringing with it the prospect of lower fees for all.

The high cost of sending bitcoin has forced many to look elsewhere, either to bitcoin cash, with its famously low fees, or to other altcoins which can be sent for less than a cent in many cases. In bitcoin’s earliest days, when blocks were empty, it was equally easy to complete low-cost transactions. The cryptocurrency markets are no exception to Metcalfe’s law, however, and should any altcoin start to approach the size of the bitcoin network, it will succumb to the same problem: a growing number of users trying to use a resource that can only process a finite number of transactions per second.

Speaking of laws, prominent bitcoin thinker Tuur Demeester cited Kleiber’s law, which governs the size of the world’s largest cities. Applying it to cryptocurrencies, he tweeted:

If “Bitcoin City” remains the largest of cryptocurrencies, Kleiber’s law suggests that over the long run it will be the ecosystem where resources are allocated in the most efficient way.

Fees and transaction times are still higher than desired, but if Kleiber’s law applies, it’s only a matter of time until the bitcoin metropolis becomes a model in city planning.

Do you think bitcoin fees are still too high? Let us know in the comments section below.

Cryptocurrencies See Volatile Prices After Canceled Fork

The price of bitcoin (BTC) has been on a bearish run over the past 72 hours, after reaching $7,900 the day the Segwit2x fork was ”canceled”. Since then bitcoin’s market cap has shaved off over $20B, and the price per BTC is hovering just above the $6,475 range. Moreover, while bitcoin has been dipping, at the same time bitcoin cash (BCH) has been rallying hard as the currency has reached a high of $1,300 per BCH on November 11.

 

Bitcoin Markets See Some Bearish Sentiment

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies See Volatile Prices After Canceled Fork Market action on Saturday, November 11 is mirroring the day before, where traders saw bitcoin markets plummet over 7 percent in value to a low in the $6,400s range. When markets in Japan and South Korea opened, the price rebounded a touch coming close to capturing $7K, but traders failed to reach that point. During the earlier hours of Saturday morning, bitcoin’s price started diving again, dropping seven legs down to a low of $6,300. BTC trade volume is still holding steady and has been capturing roughly $5B or more in trades over the past 72 hours. The top five exchanges pushing significant trade volume this weekend include Bitfinex, Bithumb, Bittrex, Bitflyer, and GDAX.

BTC Technical Indicators

Bitcoin’s weekly and daily charts are not looking that great as red candles continue to dominate. The two Simple Moving Averages (SMA) crossed paths during the late evening of November 10. Now the long-term 200 SMA is well above the 100 SMA, indicating the road back to the upside is a long ways away. So far bitcoin’s price has corrected to levels bulls obtained on the first of November. Both the Relative Strength Index (RSI) and Stochastic oscillators have been heading south for hours, confirming bitcoin’s bear market might be just getting started. Order books show consolidation could happen in the $6,300-6,400 region as there is some good temporary support in that zone. After that, we could see a bounce back to $6,600-6,700 if buyers manage to take the reigns. If prices continue in bear mode, then a price below the $6K region could be on the cards. The key zone to watch is if the Displaced Moving Average (DMA) breaks $6150. If it does the downward push will likely follow suit.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies See Volatile Prices After Canceled Fork

Bitcoin (BTC) prices reached a low of $6,300. BTC is hovering just above the $6,475 zone.

The Top Five Cryptocurrency Markets

Digital asset markets, in general, are following bitcoin’s drop except for bitcoin cash, ethereum classic, and tether. Ethereum (ETH) markets are down 3.4 percent, currently averaging $298 per ETH. Ripple (XRP) markets are down 1.4 percent reaching a low of $0.20 per coin. Lastly, the fifth highest digital currency market cap held by litecoin (LTC) is down 3.2 percent as one LTC is $59 per token. Bitcoin dominance among the entire $197B cryptocurrency market cap is 53 percent, dropping from its previous high of 60 percent. One notable spike this weekend comes from ethereum classic markets which have seen ETC rise by 25 percent.

Bitcoin Cash Bulls Push BCH Markets Up Over 57 Percent

Bitcoin cash (BCH) markets have been on a tear all week long and even more so after the Segwit2x hard fork was canceled. BCH trade volume has surpassed BTC’s volume at $5.2B worth of BCH trades over the past 24-hours. The currency’s market cap is commanding $20B right now, and is just $8B away from knocking ethereum out of the second highest position. The top exchanges swapping bitcoin cash this weekend include Bithumb, Bitfinex, Bittrex, Coinone, and Korbit.

BCH Technical Indicators

BCH weekly and daily charts show the bullish momentum is strong but could see a slight correction in the short term. In contrast to BTC charts, the Simple Moving Averages for BCH are opposite. The 100 SMA is above the long-term 200 trendline, indicating the upside swing is not over just yet. However, RSI and Stochastic trends are showing oversold conditions as we speak and some resistance may lead to some temporary pullback. Order books show a nice floor in the $900-1,000 range if BCH markets see some sell-off. If BCH bulls manage to break resistance above the $1,200 region, then some smooth sailing to $1,350-1,450 could be on the cards.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies See Volatile Prices After Canceled Fork

Bitcoin cash markets reached a high of $1315 per BCH on November 11. Currently, the price is $1,310.

The Verdict

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies See Volatile Prices After Canceled Fork

Bitcoin gold (BTG) will join the cryptocurrency landscape tomorrow.

Overall the cryptocurrency community is focused on the intense market action happening all across the boards. Since the hard fork was allegedly canceled, global cryptocurrency markets have gone haywire. Most of the digital assets besides bitcoin cash and ethereum classic are in the red seeing market losses. Over the past 72 hours, BCH markets have increased by 57 percent, showing a thrilling correlation between BTC markets. The upcoming week should be interesting to see if the Segwit2x fork still happens with a rogue group of miners, and the introduction of bitcoin gold markets into the overall cryptocurrency market cap. Bitcoin gold (BTG) futures are up 55 percent, averaging $285 per BTG this Saturday. Cryptocurrency markets going forward will likely see some more volatility over the course of the upcoming week.

Where do you see the price of bitcoin (BTC) going from here? What do you think about bitcoin cash (BCH) markets reaching $1,300 per BCH? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

 

Disclaimer: Bitcoin price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither http://blog.easypaypakistan.com  nor the aguahgfsd-1068x1068uthor is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”

 

Total Supply of Tethers Increases By 20% in One Week

The controversy surrounding the correlation between the release of new Tethers (USDT) and dramatic price spikes led by Bitfinex trading continues. 20 million new USDT were released shortly before a single market buy of approximately $13.5 million USD worth of bitcoin was executed on the 8th of November. The sudden spike in buying pressure quickly drove the price of bitcoin from $7075 to $7350 in less than 60 minutes. Since then, an additional 20 million USDT have been released into circulation on the 9th, and another 30 million USDT on the 10th of November.

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Approximately 110 Million USDT Have Been Released Since November 3rd

Many traders are noting an increasing correlation between the release of significant quantities of Tether and sudden movements in the price of bitcoin, with some expressing concerns at the speed with which a large volume of margin trades are executed following the release of new USDT.


Chart showing the release of USDT batches during the recent bitcoin bull run

Notorious Bitfinex critic Bitcrypto’ed has documented the market action that took place immediately following the release of 20 million USDT on the 8th of November. According to data shared by Bitcrypto’ed, $25 million USD worth of margin longs were executed in less than 30 minutes including a single market order estimated to be valued at $13.5 million USD. As a consequence, the price of bitcoin shot from approximately $7075 USD to roughly $7350 in less than one hour.

During 2017, the Number of Tethers in Supply Has Increased by More Than 3400%

The total supply of Tether has risen from less than 15 million in January to over 550 million as of this writing – comprising a more than 3400% increase since the start of the year. To some, this dramatic rise in the number of Tether has appeared significant as Bitfinex, a majority shareholder in Tether, appears to have failed to attain banking services since Taiwanese banks associated with Wells Fargo terminated the processing of wire transfers to the exchange, shortly after which Tether posted the following statement on their website:

“Tether is currently expecting continued delays in processing international wires to and from tether. to users… Since April 18, 2017, all incoming international wires to Tether have been blocked and refused by our Taiwanese banks. As such, we do not expect the supply of tethers to increase substantially until these constraints have been lifted.”

Although Phil Potter of Bitfinex has sought to distance the relationship between the two companies, stating that “Tether is a completely separate entity [from Bitfinex],” he has conceded that Tether “operates through the same money service money operator license that Bitfinex operates under in Hong Kong.” In response to questions regarding Tether’s banking relationships, Mr. Potter of Bitfinex has previously stated that Tether “ha[s] several banks in multiple jurisdictions, our principal banking relationships are in Taiwan.” Notably, however, he has failed to reveal what banking institutions provide services to the company since April, further arousing suspicions.

What do you make of the vast quantities of USDT that have recently been released? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Bitcoin Cash Markets Remain Resilient As the Network’s Upgrade Approaches

It’s been a crazy week for cryptocurrency enthusiasts as the digital asset ecosystem is still reeling over the canceled Segwit2x fork that was expected to take place on the Bitcoin network next week. Over the course of the past few weeks leading up to the planned 2MB Segwit2x hard fork, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) markets have doubled in value after hovering around $300 per BCH for weeks. Now the market has stabilized around the $625 region as the BCH network participants prepare for their own fork that’s just four days away.

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Bitcoin Cash Network and Markets Remain Vigilant After the Canceled BTC Fork Event

Bitcoin Cash Markets Remain Resilient As the Network's Upgrade ApproachesThe Bitcoin Cash network is thriving as the decentralized currency’s value has spiked quite a bit over the past few weeks. At the moment the price per BCH is hovering around $625 as markets currently command roughly $830M worth of daily trade volume. The price of BCH has allowed it to hold the third highest market capitalization at $10.4B just below the ethereum market cap. BCH markets are still seeing lots of trade volume from the South Korean won, as the currency typically captures around 49 percent or more of the daily volumes. The exchange rate stemming from BCH currently makes it the third highest digital asset trade volume within the cryptocurrency landscape. The exchanges trading the most BCH include Bithumb, Hitbtc, Bitfinex, Bittrex, and Korbit.

Bitcoin Cash Markets Remain Resilient As the Network's Upgrade Approaches
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) markets are holding above $600 per token at the time of writing.

Miners Have Started to Signal Intent to Fork the BCH Network

As the currency’s network hard fork approaches, the BCH chain is 8100 blocks ahead of the BTC chain. BCH this week is operating at 8 percent of the current BTC difficulty, and it’s 3.4 percent more profitable to mine BTC. Mining profitability and its fluctuations may change after the BCH network reconfigures the Difficulty-Adjustment-Algorithm (DAA). BCH miners are now signaling their intent to activate the fork and the change is estimated to occur around 2 pm EDT depending on hashrate speed.

Bitcoin Cash Markets Remain Resilient As the Network's Upgrade Approaches

Bitpay Prepares Users for the Bitcoin Cash Consensus Change

Because the fork is drawing closer the Atlanta-based company, Bitpay, has announced to its wallet users its plans for the BCH hard fork. The firm explains that with any blockchain protocol change it must always ensure that customer funds will be safe.

“For the November Bitcoin Cash protocol change, Bitpay and Copay wallets will follow the bitcoin cash chain with the most accumulated difficulty — With current miner signaling, this means that our wallets will be compatible with the new rules activated by the bitcoin cash mining majority,” explains Bitpay.

We don’t currently have any reason to think that this hard fork will be contentious or will result in a blockchain split for bitcoin cash. Users can continue to receive and send bitcoin cash transactions from their wallets up to, during, and after the hard fork protocol change.

Kim Dotcom Asks His Fans Which Cryptocurrency Will Dominate — BTC or BCH?

Also this week the notorious Kim Dotcom started talking about bitcoin cash with his 671,000 followers. Dotcom asks his fans, “By 2021 which of these two is going to carry the larger volume of Internet payments?” With just 11 hours left remaining for the poll bitcoin (BTC) is leading by 64 percent and bitcoin cash (BCH) has 36 percent.

Overall the BCH community seems pleased with the currency’s growing ecosystem and many supporters believe next week’s fork will be smooth. With Segwit2x gone and the rest of the cryptocurrency competition constantly nipping at BTC’s heels many spectators will be focused on bitcoin cash.

What’s your thoughts on bitcoin cash at the moment? Do you think the hard fork approaching will be smooth? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Bitcoin Cash Surges as Businesses Abandon Legacy BTC

Bitcoin cash is enjoying a new lease of life as major figures throw their weight behind the chain. In the wake of the abortive Segwit split, neither bitcoin nor B2x has prospered, with the latter failing to materialize and the former dropping below $6,800 for the first time in 10 days. BCH, meanwhile, hit $866 earlier today.

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All Aboard The BCH Express

As the elation, anger, and acrimony over Segwit2x has started to settle, focus has returned to the seemingly intractable problems of bitcoin scaling and transaction fees. Given the difficulty of attaining consensus for developments of the bitcoin network, many have grown frustrated by the stalemate, with widespread Segwit adoption and Lightning Network implementation still months or years away.

Bitcoin Cash Surges as Businesses Abandon Legacy BTCWith bitcoin currently unsuitable for small transactions due to high fees, various businesses and public figures have expressed their preference for a cryptocurrency more suited to everyday use. For some, this has meant looking to the world of altcoins, where the likes of Litecoin and Dash beckon. For those keen to stick with the bitcoin brand, however, bitcoin cash looks increasingly attractive.

One member of the Openbazaar team tweeted:

Hearing lots of great things about @BitcoinCash $BCH today. Many developers and businesses seem better aligned with the vision now that 2x has failed.

The team running the P2P marketplace have every reason to be extolling the virtues of bitcoin cash, having announced that they’ll be accepting BCH on account of its cheaper fees along with zcash. As businesses have wrestled over what to do with a legacy bitcoin that’s becoming increasingly un-transactable, the BCH team have wasted no time in wooing defectors, stating:

BTC’s utility continues to decline. Watch as businesses adopt BCH.

One public figure who has thrown his weight behind BCH is Pirate Party founder and bitcoin maverick Rick Falkvinge, who declared: “With recent developments, I’m putting all available dev resources to retool my software for #Bitcoin Cash. I suspect I’m far from alone.” He later added: “I’m moving my development effort to Bitcoin Cash, as Bitcoin Legacy now has hit a brick wall and needs to be dropped like a bad habit. I have no real reason to move the coins.”

One Coin to Rule Them All

Bitcoin Cash Surges as Businesses Abandon Legacy BTCThe Bitcoin Cash market has surged over the last 24 hours, with volume exceeding $2.5 billion, 57% of which was trading against the Korean won. Much of the fevered interest in BCH will simply have been market sentiment, fueled by the growing consensus that the legacy bitcoin chain is ill-equipped to handle growing volume. It would be speculative at this stage to suggest that BCH is gearing up for its own version of The Flippening, when Ethereum believers thought their coin might actually overtake bitcoin to become The One True Coin.

Make no mistake though, if BCH’s most ardent supporters have their way, not only will bitcoin cash steal bitcoin’s market cap eventually but it will also steal its name. In the wake of the Segwit2x furore, there were hopes that the in-fighting which had driven a wedge into the bitcoin community would cease and work could resume on infrastructure improvements. Instead, the BTC/BCH debate has been ramped up, with supporters of both chains adamant that theirs is the best bitcoin.

Bitcoin Cash Surges as Businesses Abandon Legacy BTC
Bitcoin cash

Bitcoin legacy’s decentralized nature is both its greatest strength and its greatest weakness. The BCH team is wasting no time in rolling out network upgrades and implementing a clear roadmap. More than 1,500 businesses are already accepting bitcoin cash, a modest figure but one that is rising steadily.

Do you think bitcoin cash will eventually overtake the legacy chain? Let us know in the comments section below.

This Developer is Bringing Atomic Swaps to the Bitcoin Cash Network

Atomic swaps between blockchains have become a hot topic that has sparked a lot of interest due to the decentralized nature of the exchange process. This week a developer that goes by the name of “Deswurstes” or “MCCCS” has accomplished a successful bitcoin cash atomic swap test.

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Introducing Bitcoin Cash to the Atomic Swap Protocol

This Developer is Bringing Atomic Swaps to the Bitcoin Cash NetworkOn November 4, bitcoin cash (BCC) was tested using the Decred/atomic swap protocol by a developer named Deswurstes. The atomic swap Github pull request #37 states, “the first Bitcoin Cash atomic swap has been made! — Proof at the end of this pull request.” Deswurstes says he’s been interested in the scaling debate since mid-2016 and has been a bitcoin fanatic (as a small scale miner/holder, not a developer) since then. The test is one of the developer’s first contributions using the bitcoin cash code, and he plans to design friendlier-looking software to allow users to use it more efficiently.

“Atomic swaps are interesting topics, and there are many alt-to-alt exchanges, but none of them are safe; there’s nothing that prevents the exchange from stealing your money,” Deswurstes explains to news.Bitcoin.com.

When I found atomic swaps, it looked like magic to me. I thought it’d be cool if bitcoin cash had this feature. First I asked its developers if they were going to implement bitcoin cash support, but they were busy. One or two weeks later, I tried and succeeded in coding my atomic swap dream.

‘In the Future, All Altcoin-to-Altcoin Atomic Swaps Will be Instant’

The developer’s first test was a bitcoin cash-to-bitcoin cash atomic swap contract. He tested it like this because it enabled him to debug both initiate and participate commands at the same time, and each time he got closer to the working software. “Currently the software works awesome, however, it doesn’t have dynamic fee support,” Deswurstes explains to news.Bitcoin.com. “The command that makes the node software choose inputs for the transaction (fundrawtransaction) has different syntaxes in different node software.”

Deswurstes says now, people can make trustless bitcoin cash payments, but the process of compiling the software and typing commands in the command prompt is complicated for average users. “When trustless, decentralized exchanges that have order matching come with good UIs, the atomic swap will replace the current exchanges — Especially BCC-BTC will have high volume,” the programmer explains.

In the future, all alt-to-alt atomic swaps will be instant — People will be trading BTC and BCC, which’ll be the highest volume trade, in a few seconds.

This Developer Aims to Bring Atomic Swaps to the Bitcoin Cash Network

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Will Have to Utilize Atomic Swaps, or No One Will Use Them

Deswurstes believes atomic swaps just need a good user interface (UI), and after a nice looking and easy to use UI is implemented there’s nothing that can prevent everyone from using atomic swaps, the developer explains. At the moment Deswurstes notes there are two startups working on friendlier atomic swap UI’s including Barterdex, and Altcoin.io.

“One day, all of the alt-to-alt exchanges will use atomic swaps, because of its safeness and it will be as convenient as the old style trades. There’s no reason for them not to use atomic swaps If they won’t, their users will no longer use them,” Deswurstes concludes.

What do you think about implementing atomic swap processes with bitcoin cash? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


A Step-by-Step Walkthrough:Preparing for the Bitcoin Hard Forks:

At the moment there are two forks planned for the Bitcoin network, and cryptocurrency proponents are curious about taking the best preparations. One fork is called Bitcoin Gold which is scheduled for October 25, while the other hard fork Segwit2x (BTC1) will take place roughly around mid-November or block height 494784.

 

The Tale of Two More Forks

This past summer news.Bitcoin.com wrote a lot about preparing for a fork when the entire Bitcoin network and its participants experienced the August 1 blockchain split. Currently, there are two bitcoin forks scheduled to happen over the next few weeks. This means if splits happen to occur between all of them, there could be a total of four blockchains that share the same transaction history of the original Bitcoin blockchain created by Satoshi Nakamoto.

Preparing for the Bitcoin Hard Forks: A Step-by-Step Walkthrough
The Bitcoin Gold project is expected to fork the bitcoin network on October 25. However, the network will not go live until November 1.

The Bitcoin Gold (BTG) project aims to fork the network so they can create an Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) ‘resistant’ version of bitcoin. The reason they are forking the network is because the team thinks ASIC mining is too centralized. So BTG developers plan to make bitcoin mineable using Graphic Processing Units (GPU), by changing the original protocol’s consensus to an algorithm called Equihash. This hard fork is planned for October 25 the developers have stated, but the network itself won’t be live until November 1.

Preparing for the Bitcoin Hard Forks: A Step-by-Step Walkthrough
The Segwit2x project is expected to fork the bitcoin network at block height 494784

The Segwit2x hard fork is a technical compromise stemming from the New York Agreement (NYA) this past spring, between a vast majority of bitcoin miners and businesses. Some people believe the NYA compromise helped push miners to use their hashrate voting power to ultimately implement the Segregated Witness (Segwit) protocol. But the activation of Segwit came with the agreement that three months later a 2MB block size hard fork would take place. This hard fork will take place at approximately block height 494784 or roughly around November 18 depending on hashrate.

At the present time, both of these forks may or may not take place on the expected dates.

Before During and After the Forks

Preparing for the Bitcoin Hard Forks: A Step-by-Step WalkthroughThere are a few things bitcoin holders should know before, during and after the fork. Before the fork, users should make sure their funds are in the right place, at the right time. This means choosing to leave money on an exchange, which some folks like traders do, or hold the funds in a non-custodial wallet. Most people agree the best practice, to remain in full control of any amount of bitcoin holdings, is to maintain your own funds by possessing your own private keys. So before the fork, if users keep their BTC stash in a non-custodial wallet they should make sure they have their seed phrases or private keys available. If an individual possesses their private keys, they are in full control of their funds before and after the fork.

If a user chooses to keep funds on a custodial wallet or a centralized exchange then they should be fully aware the provider is in control. Trading platforms will cease deposits and withdrawals during a fork and may even stop trades temporarily. Users keeping money on an exchange must always know they will be ultimately subject to that business’s discretion.

During the fork, most people would also agree that sending bitcoin transactions while the consensus change is taking place is not the best idea. People should remain patient until 100 percent of the dust has settled before they transact with the bitcoin network. There could be confusion with the fork like blockchain re-organizations, replay attacks, and prolonged confirmation times.

After the fork, it is still a good idea to remain patient, and you can start investigating reliable infrastructure for both forks before using the split networks. From here you can research how to import your private keys so you can claim split tokens, as well as wait for splitting tools from wallet and exchange providers. For instance, many bitcoin wallet users had to wait for the app maintainers to create a tool or fully support the new network that was born this summer. Some people may have to wait a few days or even weeks before wallet providers and exchanges follow through with support and special chain-splitting tools.

Replay Protection and Attacks

Preparing for the Bitcoin Hard Forks: A Step-by-Step WalkthroughAt the moment both of the planned forks, Bitcoin Gold and Segwit2x, do not have replay protection added to the specific project’s code. Segwit2x initially had an opt-in type of replay protection, but developers have since removed the protocol. Bitcoin Gold promises replay protection, but the code also has not been added to the Github repository. Both forks could add an opt-in version or a stronger means of replay protection before the forks happen. During a replay attack, it’s possible Unspent Transaction Outputs (UTXO) can be verified by miners on both chains making it easy for an attacker to manipulate or unknowing investors could make mistakes. Some individuals believe replay protection is necessary, while there’s also an argument against the implementation as well.

Additionally, light clients, otherwise known as Simplified Payment Verification (SPV) wallets, follow the chain with the most cumulative proof of work. SPV wallets don’t check the rules and ultimately sync transactions with the longest chain headers. Those using SPV wallets will want to make sure they are on the preferred chain. While some wallet providers let users decide on which node they should tether to, other light clients will choose for you. If you don’t like the wallet startup choosing for you, then it is probably best to move your bitcoin to a client that allows choice or is tied to the chain you prefer. You can also choose to use other wallet options like paper, hardware, and full node clients.

Hardware Wallets, Exchanges, and Full Nodes

Some people believe that hardware wallets and paper wallets are better places to keep funds during a hard fork. With paper wallets, an individual can obtain or spend their funds whenever they want after the fork on both chains. With a hardware wallet, you may have to wait for a tool to be released as hardware companies like Ledger, and Trezor had to launch firmware updates for their users regarding bitcoin cash.

Preparing for the Bitcoin Hard Forks: A Step-by-Step Walkthrough

Users can also choose to side with a chain of their choice by downloading a full node client. Full nodes will enforce the rules on the specific chain they are tethered to, and these types of wallets have keys that can also be imported to retrieve split tokens at a later date.

As explained above, leaving funds with an exchange during and after a fork exposes users to the will of a company’s decisions. The business may not let you deposit or withdraw between a specified period. So if you need access to funds that are on an exchange, you may not get them right away. Additionally, some exchanges may not release support for split tokens right away, and again you will have to wait. For instance, the exchange Coinbase has not yet released bitcoin cash (BCH) holdings to their customers who kept funds on the trading platform prior to August 1 and the firm aims to release the BCH in January 2018.

Keep Calm and Bitcoin On

Over the past few weeks, wallet providers and exchanges have been releasing their contingency plans, and more will likely follow shortly. News.Bitcoin.com has been covering nearly every popular bitcoin service’s contingency plan, and we will continue keeping our readers informed every step of the way. Further, our team will provide information regarding these forks before, during and after each event so users can be sure they know what’s happening throughout each period.

Lastly, we need to reiterate further that keeping private keys yourself is truly the best way to proceed during a fork, and also being patient during a blockchain split event by not sending or receiving transactions will ensure losses won’t happen.

How are you preparing for the upcoming hard forks scheduled to take place on the Bitcoin network? Let us know your game plan and thoughts in the comments below.hjgyttrreeww-1068x1068