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.

Japanese Internet Giant GMO Postpones Launching Bitcoin Trading Platform

Japanese conglomerate GMO Internet Group previously announced that its full-service bitcoin exchange and trading platform would open its doors to the public on May 24. The company has postponed the launch to May 31.

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One Week Delay

Japanese Internet Giant GMO Postpones Launching Bitcoin Trading Platform to May 31Z.com Coin is GMO Internet Group’s full-service cryptocurrency exchange. Its launch was announced on May 9 as the platform opened for account pre-registration. Bitcoin.com reported on the announcement with details of the trading platform at the time.

However, the company has delayed the launch for a week, due to the growing number of bitcoin and blockchain transactions since its May 9 announcement, stating that (loosely translated):

We will provide customers with a stable trading environment and judge whether it is necessary to conduct additional service verification and system adjustment for the platform to be used with confidence. The start date of the service has been postponed to May 31, 2017.

The company apologized to customers who have pre-registered for accounts. “We deeply apologize for the inconvenience caused to customers who have already applied and are waiting for our service to open.”

Trading on GMO’s Bitcoin Exchange

GMO-Z.com Coin Ltd was established as GMO Wallet Co. Ltd in October 2016 with the purpose of developing a cryptocurrency exchange. In November 2016, the company began testing the system in preparation for the full-scale operation.

Japanese Internet Giant GMO Postpones Launching Bitcoin Trading Platform to May 31Two types of trading will be available at launch; Virtual Currency FX trading and Virtual Currency trading. The former is GMO’s bitcoin margin trading service, which the company described as similar to traditional over-the-counter foreign exchange (FX) margin trading. The latter is a bitcoin exchange service, allowing customers to buy and sell bitcoins.

The company states that trading fees are “0 yen” for all orders. Customers can trade 24-7 on the Z.com Coin exchange, starting at 0.001 bitcoin.

GMO already owns the world’s largest FX brokerage, GMO Click Securities. Bitcoin.com recently reported on a significant group of potential new bitcoin traders. This group is called “Mrs. Watanabe” or retail investors who currently favor FX margin trading, which is a $40 trillion market. Many of them are already trading on GMO Click FX platform, so Z.com Coin bitcoin exchange will offer them a convenient way to start investing in bitcoin. Other Japanese forex brokers that have applied to operate bitcoin exchanges include Money Partners Group and Kabu.com.

How popular do you think GMO’s bitcoin trading platform will be? Let us know in the comments section below.

Fidelity Integrates with Coinbase, Mines Bitcoin and Accepts Bitcoin at its Cafeteria

fidelity-640x426The CEO of Fidelity Investments, Ms. Abigail Johnson, had a lot to announce at Consensus 2017 on Tuesday regarding the firm’s Bitcoin plans. The company is testing Coinbase integration, is already mining some bitcoin using 21 Inc computers, and employees can now pay for their lunch with bitcoin at the company’s cafeteria.

 

Fidelity CEO is Pro Bitcoin

Fidelity Integrates with Coinbase, Mines Bitcoin Using 21 Inc Computers, and Accepts Bitcoin at its CafeteriaMs. Johnson succeeded her father, Edward C. Jonhson, as the CEO of Fidelity Investments at the end of last year following his retirement announcement. Her father served as the CEO for nearly 40 years. The company currently has about $2.2 trillion in managed assets and manages retirement and savings plans for approximately 26 million people and 23,000 companies.

Consensus 2017 was her first major speaking engagement since she became chairman of the company. Ms. Johnson talked about Bitcoin and blockchain technology while giving the audience a glimpse of Fidelity’s plans for them. She said:

I am in a traditional financial services business – but we at Fidelity can see that the evolution of technology is setting our industry up for disruption.

Fidelity Cafeteria Accepts Bitcoin

Ms. Johnson announced that Fidelity employees can now pay for their lunch using bitcoin at the company’s cafeteria at its headquarters. However, she said that so far fewer than 100 employees have used this option, adding that:

I guess we have a lot of hodlers.

Fidelity Integrates with Coinbase, Mines Bitcoin Using 21 Inc Computers, and Accepts Bitcoin at its Cafeteria

Abigail Johnson

She then went on to share the experience of one employee, Alex. The “Bitcoin Viking,” as she calls him, bought a beverage at the cafeteria and paid with bitcoin. He then tried to return the drink. “But the Bitcoin network was being spammed that day,” Ms. Johnson recalled, therefore “the return process was taking hours.”

Alex then “gave up in despair,” she described then quoted him saying, “It’s like the matrix – I can’t actually use it in real life.”

The usability of bitcoin is slowing down adoption, Ms. Johnson claims. “If you are looking for bitcoin to beat Visa at the point of sale today, you are going to be disappointed.” However, she still has faith in the digital currency, affirming that:

I am still a believer.[…] It’s no accident that I’m one of the few standing before you today from a large financial services firm that hasn’t given up on digital currencies.

Integration with Coinbase

Fidelity Integrates with Coinbase, Mines Bitcoin Using 21 Inc Computers, and Accepts Bitcoin at its CafeteriaAnother big announcement by Ms. Johnson involves an integration with the bitcoin exchange and payment processor, Coinbase.

Since November 2015, the firm has been offering the ability for customers to contribute to their charitable giving accounts using bitcoin. So far, clients have donated $8 million worth, Ms. Johnson shared.

Fidelity customers have expressed an interest in the ability to track their digital currency holdings through the Fidelity website, where they have other financial holdings, according to Ms. Johnson. This feature has been tested with employees and is already available to those with digital currencies at Coinbase, she detailed. Soon, it will roll out to all customers and they will be able to see their Coinbase holdings on the Fidelity website.

Exploring Microtransactions & Bitcoin Mining

Fidelity Labs, the firm’s research group, has made venture investments in a handful of Bitcoin businesses as well as partnering with university efforts, including the MIT Digital Currency Initiative, Ms. Johnson revealed.

Fidelity Integrates with Coinbase, Mines Bitcoin Using 21 Inc Computers, and Accepts Bitcoin at its Cafeteria“We have built proofs of concepts that accept bitcoin micro-transactions,” she detailed. In addition to micropayments, the firm is also exploring various use cases of blockchain technology through these partnerships. “Blockchain technology isn’t just a more efficient way to settle securities. It will fundamentally change market structures, and maybe even the architecture of the Internet itself,” she noted.

Furthermore, Fidelity has set up computers built by 21 Inc to mine bitcoin. “We set up small Bitcoin and ethereum mining operations, just done in the spirit of learning,” Ms. Johnson said. So far, “my…computer has mined over 200,000 satoshis,” she conveyed:

I love this stuff … and what the future holds.[…] I’d like to think that huge new markets and products will be built on these open platforms.

What do you think of Fidelity’s various Bitcoin projects? Let us know in the comments section below.

India’s Government Seeks Public Comments on How Bitcoin Should Be Regulated

India is in the process of establishing a regulatory framework for digital currencies including bitcoin. Last week, the Indian government started soliciting public comments on how digital currencies should be regulated.

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Indian Government Wants Public Opinions

India's Government Seeks Public Comments on How Bitcoin Should Be RegulatedThe Indian Government’s Ministry of Finance on Saturday announced that the public is now invited to submit feedback or suggestions regarding the digital currency framework on Mygov.in. This website is designed, developed and hosted by the government of India’s National Informatics Centre of the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology. The deadline for submissions is May 31.

This move follows the recent constitution of an inter-disciplinary committee by the Ministry of Finance’s Department of Economic Affairs “to examine the existing framework” of cryptocurrencies.

Should Bitcoin be Banned, Regulated or Observed?

India's Government Seeks Public Comments on How Bitcoin Should Be RegulatedThe Indian government wants to know “whether Virtual Currencies (VCs) should be banned, regulated or observed?” according to the first question listed on the Mygov website.

For those suggesting regulation, the government further asks:

  1. What measures should be taken to ensure consumer protection?
  2. What measures should be taken to promote the orderly development of VCs.
  3. Which appropriate institution(s) should monitor or regulate VCs?

For those suggesting that virtual currencies should not be regulated, the government then wants to know:

  1. What should be the effective self-regulatory mechanism?
  2. What measures should be adopted to ensure consumer protection in this scenario?

Most Comments are Pro Regulating Bitcoin

At press time, over 120 comments have been submitted. The majority of them are in favor of regulating bitcoin and other digital currencies, citing they are “the future.” However, one user noted:

It’s almost impossible to regulate a currency which is decentralized, you can’t shut down a currency which is working on a peer to peer, decentralized system.

India's Government Seeks Public Comments on How Bitcoin Should Be RegulatedMany comments suggest that by legalizing bitcoin and other digital currencies, India could take the lead in digital currency adoption and the development of blockchain technologies.

Citing how Japan recently recognized bitcoin as a method of payment, a comment reads, “bitcoin should be introduced in India asap like in other developed nations.” Another proponent of legalizing bitcoin pointed out that “most of the countries already made it legal. It will definitely help boost the Indian economy.”

Some Suggest Banning

India's Government Seeks Public Comments on How Bitcoin Should Be RegulatedAmong positive feedback are also ones which warn the government about the danger of bitcoin such as the recent Wannacry ransomware scare. One user wrote “bitcoin is very dangerous for the country. It is suicidal for the Indian economy,” citing its use by terrorists and criminals. Another commenter claimed, “to allow bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency will be a disaster, it will lead to the outflow of black money easily.”

A cyber dispute risk management consultant, Vijayashankar Na, also known as Naavi, also voiced his opinion. He suggested banning bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies, claiming that the government has been misled by people with vested interests in the digital currencies.

India's Government Seeks Public Comments on How Bitcoin Should Be RegulatedHowever, there were also comments that urge the government to consider regulating bitcoin rather than banning it. One noted that “the main thing is to stop the misuses of cryptocurrencies instead of banning,” adding that “banning is not a solution, it is an action against innovation and technology.” This sentiment was echoed by another user who believes that “regulating it [bitcoin] is the solution and not banning it.”

There was also a comment which devalued all other comments. The user suggested that the Indian government already has the “most dependable and knowledgeable people” who can give advice on the matter. “I feel that public opinion in such matters should not be considered,” he wrote, adding that “all pros and cons should be discussed in parliament on advice given by a team of economists with the government.”

Do you think the Indian government will ban, regulate or just observe bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.


Japanese ATM Manufacturer Oki Gets into Bitcoin ATM Business

As the number of merchants accepting bitcoin in Japan grows, companies are incorporating the digital currency into their business models in different ways. Japan’s leading printer, info-telecom and ATM manufacturer, Oki Electric Industry Co Ltd, has entered into the Bitcoin ATM business. Their first line of Bitcoin ATMs is launching this month.

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Leading ATM Manufacturer

Leading Japanese ATM Manufacturer Oki Gets into Bitcoin ATM BusinessFounded in 1881, the Tokyo-based Oki Electric Industry Co. Ltd (Oki) manufactures and sells products, technologies, software and solutions for telecommunications systems and information systems. Among other offerings, Oki supplies ATMs, cash-handling equipment, bank branch terminals for financial institutions, automated check-in machines as well as ticket reservation and cash-handling equipment for the retail and service industries.

The company claims to be the first to develop the world’s first cash recycling ATM in 1982. These ATMs recycle banknotes by taking deposits from customers and dispensing them to other customers who withdraw cash at a later time. They are expensive but are more efficient and save on the cost of labor.

According to London-based Retail Banking Research, there were 3.3 million active ATMs in 2016, about 30% of which were cash recycling machines. Oki’s corporate brochure says:

Oki is a leader in ATMs, with a leading share in the domestic market for financial institutions and the retail/service industries. In overseas markets, we actively sell “ATM-Recycler G7”, a cash recycling ATM that can handle banknotes in multiple currencies.

The Recycler G7 (RG7) is the company’s latest line of legacy ATMs, which is the seventh generation of its cash recycling machines.

Oki Launching Bitcoin ATMs

According to Nikkei Asian Review, the company’s next line of ATMs will be launching this month, and they will be Bitcoin ATMs (BTMs). The Recycler G8 (RG8) will allow customers to withdraw local currency from their bitcoin wallets as well as charge expenses to them. The publication describes:

It [the BTM] lets users link their online bitcoin wallets to the machine in order to withdraw funds based on the virtual currency’s market price, as well as deposit physical cash into their digital stashes.

Leading Japanese ATM Manufacturer Oki Gets into Bitcoin ATM BusinessThere will be other functionality as well, such as settling payment on invoices sent via smartphone. The features an ATM will have depend on the country where it will be located and what services local banks offer.

Initially, Oki aims to launch the new machines in China and other emerging nations. “Oki has no plans to deploy the ATM back in Japan yet, given the relatively quiet demand for bitcoin by financial institutions here,” Nikkei Asian Review wrote.

While the company has not announced where these Bitcoin ATMs will be installed, the RG7 units are installed in high foot-traffic areas such as international airports in Narita and Haneda, and other commercial facilities in Japan. In June last year, Oki installed 600 RG7 units in the State Bank of India, which is the largest bank in the country.

What do you think of Oki entering into the Bitcoin ATM business? Let us know in the comments section below.

Ledger Holdings Generates $11.4 Million to Open U.S. Bitcoin Options Exchange

LedgerX, parent company of Ledger Holdings, generated $11.4 million in a financing campaign to open a regulated options exchange for bitcoin and other digital currencies in the U.S. The venture is led by Miami International Holdings Inc. and Huiyin Blockchain Venture Investments. 

shutterstock_136945139-640x410Ledger Holdings Generates $11.4 Million to Open U.S. Bitcoin Options Exchange

The company is in the process of being granted approval by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). When approval is granted, companies can leverage LedgerX’s platform to acquire bitcoin using exchange-traded and other centrally regulated distributed contracts.

“We believe a regulated bitcoin market could substantially expand the bitcoin economy. In this regard, a vibrant options market, which LedgerX plans to build, is a critical foundation to the entire ecosystem,” said James Wo, President of Huiyin Blockchain Venture Investments.

The president of LedgerX, Paul Chou, also commented on investments inside the bitcoin space:

In the short term, these investments will further our application to become a regulated exchange and clearing house for bitcoin options. In the long term, these strategic investors will help us enter additional marketplaces and territories.

Bitcoin Ecosystem and Company Asset Background

This new investment opportunity comes as bitcoin’s price hits $2275 on coinmarketcap.com. It appears the rising price and Japan’s recent acceptance of bitcoin has created a massive upward trend in the global ecosystem. Now, investment firms and hedge funds have taken an even more keen interest in developing strategies and expanding their regulated portfolios to include more bitcoin options.

The primary company involved Ledger Holdings Generates $11.4 Million to Open U.S. Bitcoin Options Exchangein the recent investment options, Miami International Holdings, Inc., is the parent company of Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC (MIAX Options) and MIAX PEARL, LLC.

The press release by LedgerX says that MIAX already offers trade options in 2,600 different classes. This implies bitcoin and other digital currencies will expand the company’s global monetary influence. This will put bitcoin into the U.S. securities and exchange limelight as the cryptocurrency tries to edge toward a price point of $3,000.

Do you see the creation of this centralized venture exchange for bitcoin as a net positive? Let us know in the comments below. 

Shapeshift Launches Decentralized Portfolio Platform Prism

Today at the Consensus Conference in New York City the Shapeshift founder and CEO Erik Voorhees has announced the launch of Prism, a “trustless asset portfolio platform”. The Swiss blockchain technology company says investors of all types looking to build a portfolio can do so using the decentralized digital asset holding application.

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Shapeshift Launches Prism – the Decentralized Digital Asset Portfolio Without Third Party Risk

Shapeshift Launches Prism the Decentralized Portfolio PlatformLaunched today, the Prism platform provides users with the ability to secure a basket of cryptocurrencies without exposure to third party risk. The platform is built using Ethereum-based smart contracts that enable investors to construct a crypto-portfolio with a broad range of cryptocurrencies to choose from including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Monero, and Ripple.

Shapeshift says bitcoin and altcoins as an alternative investment have grown exponentially over the past two years, as the combined market cap has expanded over 200% in the past year to over $40 billion, explains the company. Prism will forward the cryptocurrency fever by offering the first live platform in a trustless environment dedicated to the users’ crypto-asset portfolio.

“Prism enables investors to gain secure, transparent exposure to digital assets in a way that has never before been possible. The days of leaving funds at an exchange ‘because it’s easier’ are over,” Erik Voorhees, CEO of ShapeShift detailed during the announcement.

Prism’s digital asset portfolios, built entirely on non-custodial smart-contracts, demonstrates a new standard in financial security.         

A Diversified Crypto-Portfolio That Competes With Other Prism Investors

The company says that it has used its proven model from the Shapeshift design to build Prism. The new platform is a “diversified crypto-portfolio that was distilled down into a simple interface: buy, rebalance, and settle, all of which the user can execute with nothing more than their Ethereum wallet,” explains the Swiss startup.

Shapeshift Launches Prism the Decentralized Portfolio Platform

Moreover once a Prism portfolio has been created it is positioned on a leaderboard competing with other Prism users based on investment performance. Furthermore, users can learn from top traders and copy their portfolio choices as well by visiting the public Prism performance leaderboards.

Prism Aims to Open a Whole New World of Borderless Finance

After creating a name for a personal Prism portfolio, users choose from a wide range of digital assets and determine how to split their investments. The investor then provides an Ethereum address that enables them to fund and track their Prism assets. The address gives Prism users proprietary control over their funds and the ability to track the investment vehicle via the Ethereum network. Shapeshift says the following ether wallets have been tested and vetted for use on the Prism platform Exodus.ioJaxx.io and Myetherwallet.

If an investor wants to close out their Prism account, they are asked to send a zero ETH transaction to a provided Ethereum address that will signal the smart contract to close the portfolio. If the Prism’s components went up 20%, the investor will receive 20% more Ether back than they put in, minus displayed fees.

“Prism takes us one step closer to a world of truly borderless finance. We suspect it will kickstart a vast horizon of financial experimentation upon smart contracts,” concluded Voorhees.

What do you think about the Shapeshift’s new portfolio platform? Let us know in the comments below.

Three Services That Aim to Create Bitcoin Professionals and Experts

Bitcoin can be a very technical subject, and oftentimes people have to find various resources online to educate themselves. However, there are a few organizations that instruct cryptocurrency enthusiasts through training and curriculum in order to edify the growing field of bitcoin professionals.

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Education and Professional Expertise Helps the Growing Bitcoin Economy Flourish

As the bitcoin economy grows, there are many people looking to learn about the bitcoin protocol and the growing cryptocurrency ecosystem. A leading-edge network of professionals that understand the technology is needed to bolster the innovative technology into the future. In 2017, there are few ways an individual can become a certified bitcoin professional to advance their knowledge and careers.

Three Online Academic Bitcoin Courses

The Cryptocurrency Certification Consortium

Three Services That Aim to Create Bitcoin Professionals and ExpertsOne educational program called the Cryptocurrency Certification Consortium (C4) teaches students how to be certified bitcoin specialists. C4 has three types of courses that enable people to become either a Certified Bitcoin Professional (CBP), a Certified Bitcoin Expert, and a Certified Ethereum Developer.

A graduating CBP claims to give an individual a significant grasp at understanding the bitcoin protocol, transactions, and network operation. “CBPs are able to apply Bitcoin technology to their professional area of expertise and understand privacy aspects, double-spending, and other issues that relate to the currency,” explains the educational consortium. The cost to become a CBP involves two years of study at the cost of $95 for the course and a $30 renewal fee.

A CBX gives an individual “expert-level knowledge” about bitcoin, says the consortium. C4 also claims the certification gives a person the ability to develop blockchain applications as well. “CBXes understand how peers communicate on the Bitcoin network, how transactions are crafted at the byte level and how Bitcoin scripts can be written to customize the behavior of transactions,” C4 details. This course is three years long but is not yet available to students.

The consortium is backed by a board of directors which include Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Vitalik Buterin, and Michael Perklin. Furthermore, C4 has well-known advisers such as Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson, Director of the Bitcoin Education Project, Peter Todd, Bitcoin Core Developer, and Steve Dakh, author of Kryptokit and Rushwallet.

Digital Currency Council

Three Services That Aim to Create Bitcoin Professionals and ExpertsThe Digital Currency Council (DCC) was created in 2014 in New York by David Berger, the school’s founder and CEO. DCC claims to have over 1500 members from 90 countries worldwide utilizing the organization’s digital currency training, and certification. The group calls itself an “association of professionals in the digital currency economy.”

The DCC Professional Certification Training Program is shorter than the two-year consortium course with only a seven-hour online program. However, the course is far more expensive costing $299 for students taking the final exam. The DCC advisory faculty covers the six sections called “core competencies” which include cryptocurrency technical underpinnings, monetary implications, practical use, bitcoin’s ecosystem, accounting, and legal subjects. DCC also offers a self-assessment test to see if you qualify for the certification training program. The school is also backed by Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group and the Silicon Valley accelerator 500 Startups.

“The DCC Certification, like other professional certifications, allows us to hold professionals who are advising clients to a higher standard, and provide a benchmark for evaluating skill and professional value,” Barry Silbert, CEO of the Digital Currency Group explains on the DCC website.

Coursera: Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies

Three Services That Aim to Create Bitcoin Professionals and ExpertsPrinceton’s Coursera computer science class called “Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies” is a free course from Princeton University. Assistant Professor Arvind Narayanan instructs the class on a variety of lessons that cover the innovative technology at a “technical level.” The next class begins on May 15 and begins to discuss cryptographic building blocks and introduces the concept of cryptocurrency.

“After this course, you’ll know everything you need to be able to separate fact from fiction when reading claims about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies,” explains the Princeton Coursera website. “You’ll have the conceptual foundations you need to engineer secure software that interacts with the Bitcoin network. And you’ll be able to integrate ideas from Bitcoin in your own projects.”

The Coursera class is eleven weeks long discussing subjects like decentralization, the mechanics of bitcoin, regulation, mining, altcoins, and more. Every week the course offers an interactive textbook, pre-recorded videos, quizzes, and projects. Furthermore, students can connect with other peers and converse about course material.

Furthering Bitcoin Careers and Creating Crypto-Professionals

There are other ‘certification style’ digital currency education programs online but do some research on the course and organization before registering. Teaching a broader audience of professionals is a good idea to continue progressing the new digital economy.

These types of certificate programs may even further an individual’s career, and it’s also possible to learn at home for free. Besides Coursera’s free course, there is a boatload of information on bitcoin and its technical aspects. However, people often enjoy a class setting and a certificate from an organization from accredited luminaries in the bitcoin space could go a long way.

What do you think about these certification programs and courses covering the cryptocurrency environment? Let us know in the comments below.

Bitcoin Price Hits $1750 as Trade Volumes Continue to Soar

Bitcoiners woke up to a pleasant surprise on Tuesday, May 9 as the price per bitcoin once again touches new levels. The decentralized currency continues to trade higher as bitcoin’s fiat value is currently up over 15 percent with an average price of US$1720 per BTC.

Also read: Virtual Currencies Now Permissible Investments in Vermont

Bitcoin’s Price Ups the Stakes Soaring Past $1750

Just when traders thought the rally was getting exhausted, bitcoin’s price pushed up once again after remaining stable in the $1520-40 range for roughly 72 hours earlier this week. During the early hours of May 8 coincidently after the French election, bitcoin’s price shot up above the $1600 range and continued to climb all day. Now bitcoin has hit another all-time high touching $1750 per BTC at 8 am EST.

Bitcoin Price Hits $1760 as Trade Volumes Continue to Soar

After last week’s breakout to a high of $1620 on Bitstamp, bitcoin’s value subsequently dropped one hour later to a low of $1445. Following the dip, the price consolidated above the $1500 mark as buyers stepped off to the sidelines. The bull market is now charging full steam ahead as it seems buyers are playing their cards again hoping for winning hands and bigger gains. Along the way, the price has been shaky bouncing 20-40 in price at any given time giving plenty of room for intra-range strategy.

Weekly View and Short Term Indicators

Technical indicators show after bitcoin’s consolidation pattern buyers have regained confidence and stepped back into the trading atmosphere. Trading has been incredibly bullish as 24-hour bitcoin trade volume has been showing $1 billion USD worth of trades per day. There seems to be very little resistance on the upside until the $1750-1775 range where there are giant sell walls across order books. The 100 Simple Moving Average (SMA) is still well above the long-term 200 SMA indicating the upside motion should continue. Stochastic and Relative Strength Index (RSI) indicators are at odds with each other at the moment, as the first indicator shows overbought territory, while the RSI shows more bullish sentiment. Meanwhile, most traders are concentrating on Fibonacci ratio data as bitcoin’s price trajectory is well above what technical indicators in the past few weeks expected.

Bitcoin Price Hits $1760 as Trade Volumes Continue to Soar

Altcoin Markets Decline

Bitcoin Price Hits $1760 as Trade Volumes Continue to Soar As far as the top ten cryptocurrency market caps below bitcoin, most all of them have seen price dips over the previous 12 hours. Ethereum (ETH) prices have dropped to a low of $88 per ETH, but still holds $8 billion in market capitalization. Ripple (XRP) has seen an enormous jump over the past 48 hours as the price hit an all-time high of $0.23 cents per XRP. The Ripple market had also temporarily eclipsed the Ethereum market for a short period taking the number two position. However, Ripple’s prices have since dipped to a low of $0.17 cents per token.

The rest of the coins in the top ten are seeing price declines between 5-30 percent over the past 24 hours. Litecoin (LTC) is $27, NEM $0.11, Dash $90, Ethereum Classic (ETC) $6, Monero (XMR) $28, Stellar (XLM) $0.02, and Steem is back at $0.80 per token.

The Verdict

Overall bitcoin’s price trajectory seems to be moon-bound as many hope it could rise into the $2000 range this year. Bitcoin proponents are watching developments in Japan closely as the country now captures a considerable portion of bitcoin trade volume worldwide. Meanwhile, mainstream investors and well-known news outlets are highlighting bitcoin’s price performance regularly. No one knows what’s next but bitcoiners are undoubtedly celebrating the ‘Bitcoin Spring’ as the significant price rise in May is definitely a milestone for the digital currency’s history books.

Bear Scenario: At the moment if a big sell off occurs books show strong support in the $1625-1650 range. The price of bitcoin has been volatile, and there will be a slew of shakeouts with the price being so high. Technical indicators have been helpful for some short-term predictions, but long term predictions paired with past results have been fallible.

Bull Market: Bitcoin’s price could break above the $1800 mark in the short term, but there is significant resistance in the $1750-1775 region. Similarly, long term predictions at the current rate have been futile, and the only consistent indicator lately is the Fibonacci. Analysts, speculators and other traders do believe bitcoin’s price trajectory could top $2000, but anything could happen in the meantime depending on news and exchange liquidity.

What do you think about the price of bitcoin breaking $1700? Do you think bitcoin will hit 2K per BTC? Let us know 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 Bitcoin.com nor the author 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.”Screenshot_7