Ethereum Over $1000 and $100B Market Cap, BTC Dominance at 32% Record Low

This day might be remembered in the history books as a major milestone for cryptocurrency diversification or as another colossal indicator of the altcoin bubble. There are now three cryptocurrencies with over a $100 billion market cap each. Bitcoin, ethereum (ETH) and ripple (XRP) are worth today a combined total of about half a trillion USD.

Also Read: bitcoin-price-reaches-another-peak-crossing-15000Untitled-design-2-1068x1068

$100 Billion Club

Ethereum long term investors and short term speculators are celebrating alike today as the smart contracts altcoin has broken through the $1,000 per coin psychological barrier. Standing at about $1,040 at the time of writing, the overall value of all ETH in circulation is now over $100 billion. It is the third cryptocurrency in this exclusive club, behind only bitcoin and ripple.

And despite all the warnings about ripple being centralized and freezable speculators keep pouring in to XRP. After rising about 160% from just a week ago and 28% in the last 24 hours alone, its market cap is now well over $140 billion. With a price of just under $4 per coin, part of this movement has to be due to penny stock mentality of new traders seeking a “cheap bitcoin” to bet on.

Ethereum Over $1000 and $100B Market Cap, BTC Dominance at 32% Record Low Altogether, with bitcoin over $250 billion market cap, the three top cryptocurrencies are now worth just shy of $500 billion. Putting this mind boggling number into perspective, its just about 10% below the combined stock value of Visa (NYSE:V $265 billion), Mastercard (NYSE: MA $166 billion), American (NYSE: AXP $87 billion), and Discover (NYSE: DFS $28 billion).

Entering a Multi-Polar World?

Bitcoin has been able to maintain an impressive price level at $15,000 and a quarter trillion USD market cap in the face of this altcoin onslaught, but its market share has suffered. The BTC Dominance Index is now just above 32%, a new all time low, which means that bitcoin is for first time worth less than a third of the crypto market.

While some of ripple’s staunch supporters, as well as fans that heard about it a week ago, are cheering on for “The Rippening” maybe its time to forget about the term and any other Flippening. It is possible that we are simply seeing a paradigm shift in the market, from one leading cryptocurrency and a thousand copy cats to a top heavy, multi-polar landscape. This can probably only be validated in the next big correction, when all the short term speculators will scatter away and either bitcoin will remain alone at the top or not.

Ethereum Over $1000 and $100B Market Cap, BTC Dominance at 32% Record Low

Do you think that bitcoin will continue to lose its market dominance to altcoins in 2018? Share your predictions 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.


Putin Confirms Russia Will Regulate Cryptocurrencies

Following the meeting with Vladimir Putin, Russian regulators announced that cryptocurrencies will officially be regulated in Russia. The central bank and the finance ministry will now work together to come up with one draft law to provide a basic regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, which is expected by the year’s end.

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Putin Has Spoken

At the meeting on cryptocurrencies between Putin and top Russian regulators on Tuesday, the decision to regulate cryptocurrencies in Russia was reached. “The Russian government has decided to officially regulate the mining and circulation of cryptocurrencies,” RT described and quoted Finance Minister Anton Siluanov announcing on Wednesday that:

We have agreed on the following: the state should regulate the process of issuing cryptocurrencies, the process of mining, the process of circulation…The state should head this situation and regulate it legally.

Putin Confirms Russia Will Regulate Cryptocurrencies
Putin’s meeting on cryptocurrencies.

The meeting was attended by Siluanov, Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina, Central Bank Deputy Governor Olga Skorobogatova, Presidential Aide Andrei Belousov, and Qiwi CEO Sergei Solonin.

In the meeting, Putin acknowledged the risks associated with cryptocurrencies. However, he also stressed that “it is important not to create unnecessary barriers, of course, but rather to provide essential conditions for advancing and upgrading the national financial system.”

Finance Ministry to Work With Central Bank

Currently, cryptocurrencies including bitcoin are not regulated in Russia despite many attempts by various government departments to put forward proposals to regulate them. Both the central bank and the finance ministry have been working separately on a draft law to regulate cryptocurrencies. A draft bill was supposed to be introduced in October but was postponed due to a lack of consensus among the regulators.

Putin Confirms Russia Will Regulate Cryptocurrencies
Finance Minister Anton Siluanov.

The finance ministry proposed to legalize cryptocurrencies but was opposed by the central bank due to “a loss of control over the money flows from abroad.” This week, the ministry proposed to register cryptocurrency miners and to license crypto exchanges.

After the meeting with Putin, however, Siluanov told journalists that the finance ministry and the central bank will now work together to prepare one basic draft law to regulate cryptocurrencies, Tass reported on Wednesday and quoted him saying:

We will prepare the draft law together with the Central Bank…I think we will be able to determine the basic regulatory positions before the end of the year.

“According to him, with regard to regulation, the functions of the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank and Rosfinmonitoring will be delineated,” the publication elaborated.

Possible Restrictions

In addition, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev indicated on Wednesday that there may be some restrictions. “Russia’s Finance Ministry supports the idea to limit the amount cryptocurrency that can be purchased by individuals,” Tass detailed and quoted him saying:

We said that restrictions are needed on purchases and sales, accounts, miners’ taxation and so on…Yes, there is such an idea, we support it. We should discuss the amounts. We should look at international practice.

This is not the first time Moiseev talked about restricting the purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies in Russia. In August, he proposed listing them on regulated exchanges but banning non-qualified investors from buying and selling them. However, his proposal did not receive a lot of support from other regulators. First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov promptly commented on Moiseev’s suggestion, stating that no legislation had been decided. The finance minister followed up with a suggestion that cryptocurrencies could be made available to anyone in the same way federal loan bonds (OFZ) are.

How do you think Russia will regulate cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.

Pakistan Government to Put the Searchlight on Bitcoin Traders Says Local Media

Powerful Pakistan government and media officials appear to be contradicting the domestic population’s embrace of bitcoin.   

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Pakistan Government on the Defensive, Maybe

Karachi, Pakistan’s Dawn, a widely circulated and read periodical and website in English, is rather cosmopolitan. Covering bitcoin, however, its website curation seems to have a decidedly negative slant.

Pakistan Herald Publications Limited is Dawn‘s owner, and its CEO is Hameed Haroon, noted regional journalist and member of a highly influential family in the country.

In one dispatch from Mr. Haroon’s flagship, reprinted all over the world, the headline announced, “FBR goes after bitcoin traders.”

Pakistan Government to Put the Searchlight on Bitcoin Traders Says Local Media
Faisal Khan’s only evidence Pakistan’s government is paying any attention to bitcoin.

FBR is Pakistan’s Federal Bureau of Revenue, its principal collector of tax.

“The top intelligence department,” the piece insisted, “is investigating cases where investors trade digital currencies probably to evade taxes or launder money.”

The sentence-inserted link refers to the site’s own coverage of bitcoin reaching 1000 USD early this year. Not a single reference to FBR nor an investigation.

“A senior tax official said people evade tax and launder money using cryptocurrencies,” the article asserts without a single quote or reference. “They buy bitcoin to launder their tax-evaded money […], adding that they park their black money out of Pakistan in many cases.”

Paraphrases are allowed, of course, but this drove news.Bitcoin.com to search relevant Pakistani government pronouncements on bitcoin specifically, cryptocurrencies generally.

Nothing.

The Dawn piece goes on in this manner, listing a veritable alphabet soup of agencies and investigators and laws employed to hunt bitcoin traders without citing a documented source.

Pakistan Government's and Street's Tensions with Bitcoin
Screen Shot of SBP by Faisal Khan, showing no reference to the bank’s position on bitcoin.

What Blogs and Independent Sites Know

Faisal Khan, financial technology scout for venture capitalists and payments consultant, based in Turkey, blogged his similar bafflement.

After he too read the Dawn piece, he “wanted to explore the basis under which these raids are being conducted and wanted to comment on this further.”

He searched and searched.

Mr. Khan writes, “I’ve searched […], trying to find any circular &/or notification, gazette, SRO, press release, etc. related to Bitcoin &/or Cryptocurrency – but I could not find it.”

His knowledge of Pakistan’s legal history is impressive, and he cites all the documents he examined.Pakistan Government's and Street's Tensions with Bitcoin

“For bitcoin to be considered for money-laundering,” Mr. Khan notes, “it has to be defined into an asset class whereby [bitcoin] has been declared [money] or some form of an asset as per ‘some’ legal definition in some law in Pakistan.”

He concludes, “Right now, the Government of Pakistan in no way recognizes [bitcoin] as legal tender or legal ‘anything.’ It has no legal standing under any law in Pakistan.”

Since the series of articles in Dawn, bitcoin seems to be capturing the attention of Pakistani rupee holders anyway.

Localbitcoins exchange activity in the region as of this writing has risen exponentially, matching a global pattern.

Citing Japan’s approach, long-time Pakistani commodity trader Shahan Rehman urged acceptance “by a country compels people to jump on the bandwagon, increasing its price massively.”

As of now, official government pronouncements are not available to the public.

Are Pakistan’s laws on bitcoin just not available digitally? Is the government on purpose holding back? Tell us in the comments below.

Lead Developer Amaury Séchet Discusses the Future of Bitcoin Cash

This week the lead developer of Bitcoin ABC, Amaury Séchet, engaged in a Reddit Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) discussion about the future of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and the protocol’s future scaling.

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An AMA With Amaury Séchet – Lead Developer of Bitcoin ABC

This summer Amaury Séchet (otherwise known as ‘deadalnix’), the lead developer of the Bitcoin ABC client, revealed the team’s intentions at The Future of Bitcoin event to hard fork the Bitcoin network on August 1. Since then Bitcoin Cash has been thriving, and Séchet recently explained his vision for the future of the BCH chain and the ABC client. Many other BCH supporters and developers were involved in the conversation with Séchet including Yours network founder Ryan X Charles, Openbazaar’s Chris Pacia, Bitcoin Classic’s lead developer Thomas Zander and others.

Developer Amaury Séchet Discusses the Future of Bitcoin Cash

A Configurable Block Size and Finding the Right Fee Structure for Bitcoin Cash

Developer Amaury Séchet Discusses the Future of Bitcoin Cash
Amaury Séchet, lead developer of the Bitcoin ABC client.

Participants asked Séchet questions concerning the current roadmap for bitcoin cash; such as future block sizes, BCH and BTC compatibility, and protocols like layer two solutions. For instance, the developer of the Electron Cash wallet, Jonald Fyookball asked the ABC developer what he thinks about “algorithm-based block size” solutions. Séchet explains the BCH block size can be configurable using the protocol in the ABC client.”

“I like these proposals,” explains Séchet. “Right now the block size is configurable in ABC, but I would like to have a way to determine this configuration automatically in the future.”

Yours network developer, Ryan X Charles, asks Séchet how the protocol can avoid ‘dust limits’ and fee management. “We [Yours developers] run into dust limits quite easily,” Charles explains regarding the software’s recent implementation of bitcoin cash.

“There is work to be done on fee management,” Séchet responds. “Finding the right fee structure will take time, if one exists at all.”

The next version of ABC will reserve a percentage of the block space for low fee transactions. This will improve over time.

BCH & BTC Compatibility and Layer Two Solutions

Developer Amaury Séchet Discusses the Future of Bitcoin CashFollowing this discussion, an AMA participant asked Séchet if he believes BCH and BTC can coexist in the future with different use cases or if he thinks all the hashpower will converge to one chain.

“Because of the way the difficulty adjustment works on the Bitcoin chain, it makes it very unlikely that it would survive being a minority chain,” Séchet states in response to the question. As a result, it is unlikely that this chain will survive if Bitcoin Cash gets a lot of traction. As long as Bitcoin Cash is a minority chain, both chain will continue to live.”

Séchet also gives his opinion about layer one and layer two scaling solutions. The ABC developer reveals he’s not against layer two solutions but believes pushing every issue towards a layer two solution is unrealistic.

“I have nothing against layer 2 per se, but I think some important points have been ignored,” Séchet explains. “First layer 2 can only be as reliable as layer 1.”

When blocks become congested and layer 1 becomes unreliable, layer 2 does so as well. Second, layer 2 will have different characteristics than layer 1 and thinking we’ll push everything into layer 2 is not a realistic roadmap.

Learning from Past Mistakes

Séchet explains a whole lot more about how he envisions the future of bitcoin cash and the ABC client, including BCH anonymity – where he hopes the protocol’s lower fees will allow for cheaper tumbling processes. The ABC developer also gives further opinions about programmers like Gavin Andresen and Jeff Garzik not being “protective enough” to keep the original values of the Bitcoin project in the past.

“It [Bitcoin] ended up being hijacked. We need to learn from this mistake and not reproduce it,” Séchet states.

Maxwell Claims Bitcoin ABC Developer Séchet Plagiarized Bitcoin Core Code

However, there is no shortage of drama around the Bitcoin Cash code base. In a recent Github post, Gregory Maxwell claimed the Bcash developer plagiarized a piece of code. He said that Amaury Séchet (deadalnix) copied the migration to the per-txout UTXO database from the Bitcoin Core project, and did not credit the original authors with it. Instead, he used his name and copied everything verbatim down to the “grammatical oddities,” according to Greg Maxwell.

Do Séchet’s Actions Infringe on a Licensing Agreement?

Furthermore, Maxwell claims Séchet’s actions infringe on an open source licensing Maxwell Claims Bcash Developer Séchet Plagiarized Bitcoin Core Codeagreement and constitute a copyright infringement. He said, “Beyond being fraudulent and sleazy behavior, this action is a violation of the very minimal requirements of the MIT license.”

There is controversy over Maxwell’s position, though. Some commentators believe there is no infringement on the commit, because there is information on the source code within it. Séchet further said the code was “backported” and is “mentioned in the series of commits.”

The schnorr code is backported from https://github.com/deadalnix/schnorr/blob/master/schnorr.d
The per txout db is backported from core and it is mentioned in the series of commits.

Is He Fixing it Faster? Multiple Copyright Violations by Séchet

Maxwell continued his accusations, saying Séchet is also claiming he fixed the issue quicker than Blockstream. Maxwell also mentioned Séchet was been accused of copyright violations before. This is not a first offense. He said, “Amaury SECHET has a well known history of these copyright violating false attribution events. To give a few other examples. I also understand that he is advocating in your private issue tracker to remove all attribution to Bitcoin Core in the codebase from your repository.”

Community Response

The community has responded to Maxwell’s accusations with dramatic flare. Some users are attacking Maxwell and Blockstream for focusing on trivial issues instead of updating Bitcoin Core. One user, sandakersmann, said, “So you guys are prioritizing this instead of releasing a new version of Bitcoin Core that is not vulnerable? Fits the pattern of backward priorities from you blockstreamers.”

Other users defend Maxwell and Core, saying people like sandakersmann were shifting the goalposts of the original post. They were trying to create a diversion from the serious issue of fraud and copyright infringement. User thijstriemstra responded to sandakersmann:

This has nothing to do with the fact you’re copy/pasting code and stripping out author. This is not done in any opensource project and you’re trying to divert attention away from it. It’s this project that creates unneccessary annoyance and extra work for the maintainers of bitcoin core.

Maxwell Asks Séchet to Discontinue Violating Copyright

Maxwell finished his blog post by asking Séchet to discontinue violating their copyright. He also wants him to correct his repository and credit the actual authors. At press time, Séchet had not responded to the request, other than to say the original code was “backported.”

 

Markets Update: Bitcoin Price Dives Deeper in the Midst of ICO Shakedown

dip-1068x1068The price of bitcoin dropping over 8 percent immediately after the digital currency’s all time high of $4,980. On September 4, bitcoin dropped to a low of $4,140. Speculators now believe the price drop today may be due to the recent announcement from the People’s Bank of China banning Initial Coin Offerings (ICO).

 

Bitcoin Markets Shave a Few Billion Again

There’s a bearish sentiment throughout bitcoin markets, just as we predicted would happen two days ago in our last price analysis. At press time, bitcoin’s price is trying to hold above the $4,150 territory as the currency’s value dropped another six legs down on Monday, September 4. Volume is still pretty decent with over $2.4B traded over the past 24-hours, but most of the action is stemming from this morning’s huge sell off. Bitcoin’s price dip caused the entire top eighteen cryptocurrency market capitalizations to drop, slashing prices from 5 to 34 percent, as most altcoins right now are in the red. This past week’s sell off has been the largest to date since mid-July, and we are seeing a similar 25-30 percent total correction during the bearish cycle.

Markets Update: Bitcoin Price Dives Deeper in the Midst of ICO Shakedown

Bitcoin price 11:30 am EDT September 4, 2017. Prices are now below the sub-$4,300 range.

Technical Indicators

Right now technical indicators show the Relative Strength Index (RSI) continues to head downwards, confirming that sellers right now have the upper hand. Of course, over the past three days, the two Simple Moving Averages (SMA) crossed hairs, and the long term 200 SMA is well above the short term 100 SMA. This again assures traders the storm is not yet over, and there is great resistance down the road. Looking at order books on some of the most popular exchanges, there are monstrous walls between the $4,600-5,000 positions. If support holds steady in the $4,160-4,200 area, bulls will have some work to do to eat through the next wave of resistance levels.

Markets Update: Bitcoin Price Dives Deeper in the Midst of ICO Shakedown

Bitcoin price, September 4, 2017. 200 SMA (white trendline) is well above the 100 SMA (green).

PBOC: ‘No ICOs For You’

Market sentiment seems to be geared towards the recent announcement from China’s central bank concerning ICOs. Cryptocurrency markets were already battling through a significant correction after bitcoin reached new price highs. So speculators think the recent banning of ICOs in China adds uncertainty to these types of markets. Otherwise, bitcoin is running its course through a typical 25-30 percent correction, after rocketing close to the $5K levels. Other spectators believe banks are spreading ‘fake news’ about bitcoin right now, because cryptocurrency popularity has risen exponentially. The UK publication the Mirror reports that certain banks are spreading these phony news stories to “restore the status quo.”

Bitcoin’s dip redlines the top eighteen altcoins below bitcoin’s market cap.

The Verdict

Right now bitcoin is holding above $4,150, so it may consolidate in this territory and push higher this week with some bounce back. Most of the top ten altcoins below bitcoin’s market cap lost larger percentages than bitcoin, which is likely tethered to the ICO news. This has pushed bitcoin’s market dominance up to 48.5 percent among the hundreds of altcoin market caps in existence. After the lull, bitcoin could follow its typical trend of moving up higher than before after a deep correction. So far this has been a consistent trend this year for bitcoin’s price, but we should never place all of our bets on this trend, because it may not be the case going forward.

Bear Scenario: Bitcoin markets could drop lower if the $4,100 floor collapses, bringing the price into the $4,000-3,900 territory. Right now big players have stepped off to the sidelines to catch more satoshis from weak hands and wait to choose a better entry point. Most technical indicators like the Stochastic, RSI, SMA, and order books are showing a strong negative sentiment at press time.

Bull Scenario: Right now, we are either going to consolidate in the $4,125-4,200 range, or we are seeing a short term bull trap at the moment. Bitcoin needs to break upper-level resistance past the $4,600 territory, but right now walls are considerably high. Of course topping the $5K range again is not out of the question, but it’s going to take some significant time to get there again.

Where do you see the price of bitcoin heading from here? Let us know in the comments below.

U.S. Pressures BTC-e Exchange as They Plan to Distribute Funds Next Month

Last week the Russian bitcoin exchange, BTC-e, told the public about the trading platform’s plan to repay customers. Now the exchange is back and says there will be a full update come August 30 and the organization will follow with daily announcements. Further, BTC-e answered multiple questions from customers who want access to their funds.

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Releasing 55% of Funds & Pressure from the U.S.

U.S. Pressures BTC-e Exchange as They Plan to Distribute Funds Next MonthEarlier this summer news.Easypaypakistan reported on the cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e being taken down by U.S. law enforcement for connections to bitcoin laundering and illegal money transmissions. Following the FBI arresting alleged employees and seizing funds, the exchange announced on August 3 it had control over its servers and “some of its bitcoin purses.” The trading platform has released a few messages through Twitter and the forum Bitcointalk.org over the course of the past two weeks.

In those messages the exchange spoke of rebranding, working with other partners, and utilizing a unique in-house token to pay customers back similarly to how Bitfinex handled their hack. Now the exchange says come August 30th the organization will update customers every day.

“To date, there is a process of transferring digital resources to an investment company,” explains BTC-e’s latest announcement. “The company is preparing the resource for our launch. As it was announced earlier, at startup users will be able to withdraw 55% of the funds.”

We want to notify all users that there is a political background in closing our service and pressure from the U.S.

BTC-e Claims Fully Functional Exchange is Coming and Bitcoin Cash Refunds

The exchange also fielded questions from forum visitors who said they lost a lot of money due to the trading platform “going under.” Many of the traders were not happy with waiting and called BTC-e’s situation a “circus.” “There was a problem, and we will try to solve it in the shortest possible time,” the exchange says to upset clients. Another person stated that he needed his money now and called the exchange “evil.” BTC-e responds by saying that if it were possible funds would have been given out earlier and the real ‘evil’ resided with a “flag with a bunch of stars.”

The organization says they are hoping to open this September and will publish a “FAQ” in the near future. The FAQ was delayed due to an agreement with lawyers, BTC-e explains, and they can’t release it until the investigation completes. The exchange also answers a trader who asks if the exchange will have only “minimal functionality” and the company seems to think trading will be fully operational. Moreover, the exchange also detailed when they disperse customer holdings next month, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) will also be given to customers at a 1:1 rate.

What do you think about BTC-e’s recent announcement? Let us know in the comments below.

Bitcoin’s Relationship With the ‘Mark of the Beast’ Theories

Over the past eight years bitcoin has been involved in a few conspiracy theories, and even though they are highly improbable, they are pretty humorous, to say the least.

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The New World Order and Bitcoin

Bitcoin's Relationship With the 'Mark of the Beast' Theories
Lots of people thought this man’s company purchased Bitcoin the other day. Baron Jacob Rothschild, of the Rothschild Family Baronetcy, allegedly the richest family on earth for three centuries.

Just recently we reported on the Rothschild Investment Corporation purchasing bitcoin shares and how some people thought it was Lord Rothschild, the alleged owner of the world’s largest fortune for three centuries.

Since the end of time, humans have always liked to tell ‘tall tales.’ Bitcoin itself is often considered a weird subject because an anonymous developer made the software and this has led to many conspiracy-like discussions involving the digital currency. Some have said the protocol was created by the CIA or some underground government agency plotting to rule the world. Today we will discuss two tales that have often been tethered to bitcoin by those who wear tin foil hats. After reading this, you may find yourself in a Faraday cage with your ‘bug-out bag’ waiting for the next EMP, so please proceed with caution.

The Mark of the Beast

Bitcoin's Relationship With the 'Mark of the Beast' TheoriesThis particular tale is tied to a religious belief based on the Christian’s book of Revelations where bitcoin could be considered the “Mark of the Beast.” Yes, there are a couple of random people on this earth who believe that the digital protocol may be the tool of the Antichrist that allows you to purchase food and survive under the Devil’s rule. The Illuminati has many tricks up their sleeve, and this one is fantastically clever.

The Mark of the Beast comes from a story in the Bible’s New Testament, in the book of Revelations chapter 13. In that section, particularly 13:17, it says that people on earth will have to get a mark on their bodies in order to purchase living necessities. The mark is forced upon everyone from “the great, the small, the poor and the rich.” Now because society is gravitating toward a cashless society some curious characters believe bitcoin will be the notorious mark.

“And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name,” explains Revelations 13:17

Bitcoin's Relationship With the 'Mark of the Beast' Theories
Microchip implants with bitcoin wallets have helped fuel the ‘Mark of the Beast’ and Bitcoin theory.

So you might be still asking yourself — How the hell is bitcoin associated with this mark? Well, more recently the subject of “biohacking” and microchip implants have become a popular trend. Some people in this movement have installed chips into their hands with a bitcoin wallet inside. Because Revelations states people will “receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads,” some consider this the missing link to bitcoin and the mark.

However, there are those in religious circles that think this theory of bitcoin being the mark might be the opposite of what’s really happening. The publication Christian Money says bitcoin might be a way people can fight the beast.

“One of the key elements of the Mark of the Beast is to be able to prevent those that refuse to take the Mark from buying and selling. Bitcoins are decentralized and prevent any such control,” explains Christian Money.

The One World Currency

Bitcoin's Relationship With the 'Mark of the Beast' TheoriesAnother story conspiracy theorists have up their sleeves is the “One World Currency” scheme. Another speculative theory thinks that the whole globe will share one single currency, likely owned by the Rothschilds and the Bilderberg group. Now, this conjecture is again tied to the ‘cashless society’ progression, and if you want to be even more clever, this theory can be related to the Mark of the Beast. The one world currency will be trackable, and everyone on the globe will likely be forced to use these funds. That’s where bitcoin comes in, and some speculators believe that because the blockchain is traceable and the technology is part of the ‘cashless society’ paradigm shift — Bitcoin will be the one world currency. For instance, the website Occupy Corporatism believes this may be the case.

“The technocratic push toward cyber-currency or e-money, is a march toward complete control over global currencies with the development of supporting technologies and the distribution of such that facilitate an online representation of money that can be used for exchange with another fiat system,” explains Susanne Posel, of Occupy Corporatism.

The reason why conspiracy theorists believe a global currency is on its way is because many Keynesian economists have bolstered this idea over the years. Even John Maynard Keynes himself has been cited as a single world currency advocate. This school of economic thinking believes it would help the global economy and improve international trade. The introduction of the Euro, a currency that covers many countries was considered the beginning of this effort. However, in recent times certain countries like Britain, for example, have distanced itself from the Euro during the Brexit vote. As far as bitcoin is concerned becoming the world’s reserve currency, some forecast it to be the sixth largest reserve currency by 2030.

So to some of these theorists, bitcoin is just another catalyst towards the cashless one world currency secretly crafted by the elite. In essence, any electronic currency is suspect for being part of the ‘1 percent’s’ plan to enslave the ordinary plebs of society. Even the other day on July 25, 2017, the publication Beforeitsnews published a report called “The globalist one world currency will be very similar to bitcoin,” so these theories still run rampant.

It’s Highly Improbable Bitcoin Will be a One World Currency or the Mark of the Beast

Bitcoin is indeed a strange phenomenon filled with curious characters like Satoshi Nakamoto. However it doesn’t mean bitcoin was created by the CIA, will be used for a one world currency or even the mark of the beast.

What do you think about conspiracy theories tied to bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below.

Greek Authorities Arrest Suspected BTC-e Mastermind

123Suspected BTC-e mastermind, Alexander Vinnik, was arrested on Wednesday whilst vacationing with his partner in Northern Greece. The 38-year-old Russian is suspected of directing a criminal organization accused of laundering over $4 billion through BTC-e since 2011. Accusations of Vinnik’s involvement in laundering bitcoins that were stolen during the devastating hack that resulted in Mt.Gox’s insolvency are also mounting.

 

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Greek Authorities Arrest Suspected BTC-e Mastermind

A 38-year-old Russian man has been arrested in Northern Greece for his suspected role in the operation of the shadowy bitcoin exchange BTC-e. The man, Alexander Vinnik, is accused of having facilitated the laundering of over $4 billion worth of bitcoin since 2011. Vinnik is currently in the custody of the Thessaloniki Court of Appeals, pending an application for his extradition to the United States to commence.

BTC-e is currently offline, hosting a static front page displaying the message “Site is under maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.” Updates are being provided via the exchange’s Twitter account.

The arrest was carried out by Greek authorities working in partnership with US agencies. The FBI had been surveilling Vinnik for over a year, as documents pertaining to his arrest make reference to a Webmoney account that was accessed from a luxury Abu Dhabi hotel in May 2016. Electronic equipment is reported to have been seized from his hotel room.

Evidence Is Compiling Linking Vinnik to the Mt.Gox Hack That Saw $2.1 Billion Worth of Customers’ Bitcoin Stolen

Greek Authorities Arrest Suspected BTC-e Mastermind

Greek have police made an official statement regarding the arrest, stating that “an internationally sought ‘mastermind’ of a crime organization has been arrested. Since 2011 the 38-year-old has been running a criminal organization which administers one of the most important websites of electronic crime in the world.” The US Department of Justice has described BTC-e as “one of the largest entities in the field of electronic money laundering and money laundering in the world”, stating that the company’s “illegal proceeds come from a number of high-level piracy, ransom repayment systems, drug trafficking and tax systems”.

Evidence is also compiling that links Vinnik to the infamous of Mt.Gox hack that saw approximately $2.1 billion worth of customers’ bitcoin stolen. Wizsec claims that approximately 300,000 bitcoin stolen in the hack was laundered via BTC-e. Crucially, their reports suggest that many of the stolen bitcoins were immediately moved from wallets owned by Vinnik to BTC-e internal storage, rather than customer deposit wallets. Similar patterns have also been identified in the circulation of bitcoin “stolen from Bitcoinica, Bitfloor and several other thefts from back in 2011 and 2012.”

Do you think that Vinnik will be extradited to the United States? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

How Time-locked Bitcoins Could Incentivize Smooth Hard Forks

There’s been a lot going on as far as development goes with the latest alternative clients and the Segwit2x plan also known as BTC1 on Github. One particular subject that came up on the BTC1 repository was the idea to incentivize the development community with time-locked bitcoins to smoothly activate a hard fork.

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Time-locked Incentive for a Bitcoin Hard Fork

Could Time-locked Bitcoins Incentivize Hard Forks?
Chain engineer Oleg Andreev.

The hard fork has gotten a bad name over time mostly because of the contentious fork that took place with the Ethereum network. Hard forks aren’t forward-compatible, which means that the entire ecosystem of miners, wallet providers, exchanges, and merchants need to upgrade to the new code. The Segwit2x plan aims to activate Segregated Witness (Segwit) and follow up with a hard fork a few months down the line.

This week Oleg Andreev, product architect of the blockchain network company Chain introduced Issue #72 to the Github repo called “Time-locked incentive for Bitcoin hard fork.” The scheme Andreev says is to incentivize the community with coins that cannot be spent for a period of time until after the completion of a successful hardfork. The idea comes at a time when Segwit2x offers a compromise of both Segwit and a 2MB hard fork, but the problem is some people think the second part of the agreement won’t be fulfilled.

“It is well-known that cryptocurrency development can be incentivized by long-term time-locked coins,” explains Andreev. “Meaning, that the coins cannot be spent in the peak of a bubble, or right before a disaster that was not prevented or worked around. For instance, Greg Maxwell claims that Blockstream uses such scheme.”

What Are Time-locked Bitcoins?

Time-locked bitcoins cannot be spent until a specified time or block height by using a distributed contract recorded on the blockchain. Over the years there have been added improvements to this type of time-locking infrastructure with code development like Check-Lock-Time-Verify, Relative locktime, and Check-Sequence-Verify. Bitcoin luminary and author Andreas Antonopoulos discusses the subject of time-locked bitcoins in his book “Mastering Bitcoin: Programming the Open Blockchain.” Moreover, in 2016 Thomas McCabe gave instructions on how he successfully spent a time-locked bitcoin transaction.

“Bitcoin’s scripting language is very powerful, but access to resources with regards to learning how to build a script is scarce,” details McCabe.

Could Time-locked Bitcoins Incentivize Hard Forks?

‘Measuring the Amount of “Skin in the Game” to Gauge Responsibility’

Chain engineer Andreev believes this technology could smooth the process of completing a successful hard fork.

“Considering that any hard fork by definition carries an increased systemic risk: from producing chain splits inadvertently (due to overlooked software incompatibility), to splitting the market and shattering the faith in the technology and perspectives of our social experiment.”

It makes sense to introduce a special kind of time-locked incentives that get unlocked only on a hard-forked chain. Such incentives allow community to measure the amount of “skin in the game” to gauge the responsibility of the people behind a hard fork proposal.

Forward Compatibility

Andreev gives specifications to his idea, and a few other developers including Jeff Garzik thought the concept was interesting. Additionally, Andreev’s proposal offers forward compatibility and “the code is expected to be modified to preserve the spirit of the proposal for the future hard forks,” explains the developer. Adding an incentive to smoothly activate a fork or fund bitcoin development, in general, is a unique concept but it’s likely this plan won’t be included in the Segwit2x working group’s current roadmap. There are multiple comments and suggestions made by developers that won’t make the final cut including funny ones like finding the Mt Gox missing bitcoins.

What do you think about incentivizing hard forks with time locked bitcoins? Let us know in the comments below.