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What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital crypto-currency with no single point of failure due to its decentralized peer-to-peer architecture. The source code is publicly available and changes to the reference Bitcoin client are made via concensus within the community. Advantages of Bitcoin include irreversible transactions (i.e. no possibility of chargebacks as with credit cards), pseudo-anonymous, limited and fixed inflation, near instant transactions, multi-platform, no double-spend and little to no barriers to entry and more. It was created by an anonymous person known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Find out more at WeUseCoins.com.

Bitcoin Latest News

UK Regulator: DLT Startups Are Being Denied Banking Services

The U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority found that DLT businesses do not receive loans from banks as much as other companies.

Posted on 23 October 2017 | 1:00 am

When Governments Get Intrusive, Bitcoin Provides Way Out - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

When Governments Get Intrusive, Bitcoin Provides Way Out
CoinTelegraph
Governments across the world are using technology and banks to keep an eye on their citizens. Decentralized currencies like Bitcoin may be the only way out for people who want to maintain their privacy.

Posted on 22 October 2017 | 11:23 pm

Bittrex Issues Official Statement About Bitcoin Gold, Warns Users - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

Bittrex Issues Official Statement About Bitcoin Gold, Warns Users
CoinTelegraph
“If you have a Bitcoin (BTC) balance on Bittrex during the BTG snapshot block 491,407 occurring approximately on October 24, 3am PT (10am UTC), you will be additionally credited the equivalent amount of Bitcoin Gold (BTG) on a 1:1 basis. i.e. 1 BTC on ...
Bitcoin Service Providers Continue to Reveal Plans for Bitcoin GoldBitcoin News (press release)
Bitcoin market cap tops $128 billionThe Sydney Morning Herald
Bitcoin smashes through US$6k markThe Straits Times
The Merkle -CryptoCoinsNews -Hacked
all 34 news articles »

Posted on 22 October 2017 | 9:34 pm

3 Must Read Stories: Japan's Abe Wins Strong Mandate, Bitcoin Breaks $6000, Tesla Strikes China Production Deal - Barron's


Barron's

3 Must Read Stories: Japan's Abe Wins Strong Mandate, Bitcoin Breaks $6000, Tesla Strikes China Production Deal
Barron's
Much of the rise can be attributed to another upcoming split in bitcoin known as a "fork". This will lead to the creation of a new cryptocurrency called bitcoin gold. Holders of bitcoin will get some bitcoin gold when it is issued, essentially giving ...

and more »

Posted on 22 October 2017 | 7:04 pm

Bitcoin one step closer to being regulated in Australia under new anti-money laundering laws - ABC Online


ABC Online

Bitcoin one step closer to being regulated in Australia under new anti-money laundering laws
ABC Online
If the new laws are passed, the financial intelligence regulator AUSTRAC will be given new powers to police digital currency exchanges — where traders buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. These exchanges like Independent Reserve ...

Posted on 22 October 2017 | 1:15 pm

Is Bitcoin A Giffen Good? - Forbes


Forbes

Is Bitcoin A Giffen Good?
Forbes
In the case of Bitcoin, it seems clear to me that we are in a stage where rising prices fuels further demand - like a Giffen good. This makes sense, because as I have said, so many people I talk to are examining bitcoin (and cryptocurrencies) to see if ...
Will Bitcoin sow tulips or a financial revolution for young Australians?The Sydney Morning Herald

all 2 news articles »

Posted on 22 October 2017 | 7:13 am

To the Moon – Or Bust? Questions to Ask When Evaluating ICOs

Bruce Fenton offers a much needed uniform set of criteria by which investors can analyze ICOs and cryptocurrencies.

Posted on 22 October 2017 | 5:30 am

Dilbert Comics Mock Blockchain Mania

Initial coin offerings – the blockchain funding use case – are the latest subject of the long-running "Dilbert" comic strip.

Posted on 22 October 2017 | 3:10 am

This Chart Shows Why Bitcoin Can Go Higher Than $6000 - Fortune


Fortune

This Chart Shows Why Bitcoin Can Go Higher Than $6000
Fortune
If you thought you missed your chance to buy Bitcoin when the price broke $6,000 for the first time Friday, there's one argument that might convince you otherwise. It's not for the faint of heart. But with the Bitcoin price up more than 42% this month ...
Bitcoin surges above $6000 for the first time on heavy trading volumeCNBC
Bitcoin Climbs To Fresh All-Time Highs Above $6000Forbes
Bitcoin Breaches $6000 for the First TimeBloomberg
Reuters -CNET
all 75 news articles »

Posted on 21 October 2017 | 12:15 pm

Macroeconomics, Gambling and Crypto: A Perfect Storm?

Two small islands are showing us how blockchain-friendly legislation can help encourage development that could affect the whole industry.

Posted on 21 October 2017 | 5:40 am

Bitcoin smashes through $6100 to hit a new record high - CNBC


CNBC

Bitcoin smashes through $6100 to hit a new record high
CNBC
The cryptocurrency hit an all-time high of $6,147.07 just a day after pushing through the $6,000 mark, according to data from industry website CoinDesk. Much of the rise can be attributed to another upcoming split in bitcoin known as a "fork". This ...
Bitcoin Price Breaks $6000 at New All-Time HighFortune
Bitcoin breaks above $6000, and $100 billion in value for the first time in its historyMarketWatch
Bitcoin Breaks $100 Billion in Value, Soars Over $6000 for the First Time in HistoryFuturism
Business Insider -Investopedia (blog) -Bitcoin News (press release)
all 81 news articles »

Posted on 21 October 2017 | 5:37 am

Money at Risk? Mobile Wallets Become Battleground in Bitcoin Fork Debate

As bitcoin heads toward a controversial fork this November, debate is breaking out about how wallet users – and their money – might be impacted.

Posted on 21 October 2017 | 2:15 am

Bitcoin Is Now Worth More Than $100 Billion - Forbes - Forbes


Forbes

Bitcoin Is Now Worth More Than $100 Billion - Forbes
Forbes
Bitcoin's total market capitalization (market cap) has surpassed $100 billion, making it worth more than many U.S. companies. At this level, Bitcoin is worth more ...
Using Bitcoin to buy a sandwich could trigger a tax billCNBC
SegWit2X: For the Bitcoin Community, Drama is the New NormalCryptovest

all 11 news articles »

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 8:17 pm

Technology Will Kill Bitcoin - Forbes - Forbes


Forbes

Technology Will Kill Bitcoin - Forbes
Forbes
Big governments and big banks will crush Bitcoin, but they won't kill it. The technology that created Bitcoin will do it, one day. Investors chasing after Bitcoin as its ...

and more »

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 6:05 pm

BlackRock Strategist: There's No 'Right or Wrong' Price for Bitcoin

BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Richard Turnill says cryptocurrencies are in a bubble right now, but that blockchain technology is promising.

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 3:05 pm

TSMC: Cryptocurrency Mining Drove Strong Third Quarter Revenue

Cryptocurrency mining was a boon this past quarter for semiconductor foundry operator TSMC, according to new statements.

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 1:30 pm

Quiet Surge: Bitcoin Price Sets New High Above $6,000

Bitcoin's price has crossed the $5,900 mark for the first time, setting a new all-time high.

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 9:10 am

100 Diplomas: MIT Issues Graduate Certificates on a Blockchain App

Massachusetts Institute of Technology has used bitcoin's blockchain to issue digital diplomas to over 100 graduates as a part of a pilot project.

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 9:00 am

ECB President: Bitcoin Not 'Mature' Enough to Be Regulated

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank (ECB), has said that cryptocurrencies are not "mature" enough to be regulated.

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 7:30 am

Every Asset Ever: Circle Pulls 'Trigger' on Investment Product Pipeline

Circle is seeking to expand, and this time it's made a key acquisition to further its interests in applying cryptocurrencies to mainstream investing.

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 7:00 am

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Ether Prices Hold Above $300 as Fork Fears Fade

The price of ether continues to hold steady despite linger uncertainty surrounding a recent software upgrade.

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 6:30 am

Vote for CoinDesk's Most Influential People in Blockchain 2017

Who made the biggest impact this year? Complete our "Most Influential" survey for a chance to win a 50 percent discount for Consensus 2018.

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 6:00 am

DTCC Milestone: $11 Trillion in Derivatives Gets Closer to the Blockchain

Working through the issues of using ethereum's smart contract language, DTCC and Axoni move $11 trillion worth of derivatives closer to blockchain.

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 5:00 am

Russia's Government to Test Blockchain Land Registry System

The Russian Federation is launching a blockchain land-registration pilot project in 2018, according to the Ministry of Economic Development.

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 4:00 am

Cisco Seeks to Protect Blockchain System for IoT Device Tracking

In a new patent filing, tech giant Cisco describes a blockchain management system for monitoring Internet of Things devices on a network.

Posted on 20 October 2017 | 3:00 am

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Potential Wyckoff Distribution May Spring New All-Time Highs

Bitcoin Price Analysis

A potential Wyckoff Distribution phase is under way as bitcoin continues to climb on shaky ground. Days after having a strong $1,000 climb and nearly reaching $6,000 on most exchanges, we saw a strong rejection of the upper limits of the market as it plunged $600 over the course of a few short hours. Let’s take a look at the macro pattern and draw a few similarities to the Wyckoff Distribution schemes:

Figure_1.JPG

Figure 1: BTC-USD, 2-Hour Candles, Potential Wyckoff Distribution Phase

In order for the current distribution phase to be reliable, there are certain milestones the market must reach. As shown above, we previously established a point of Preliminary Supply, a strong Buying Climax, a knee-jerk reaction into an Automatic Reaction low, and a weak rally that ultimately led to a Sign of Weakness that pushed us down several hundred dollars. The rebound from this low was strong and occurred on very high volume. However, over the length of the rally post-sign-of-weakness, the volume has begun to taper as the momentum indicators are showing signs of bullish exhaustion as it finds its local high at around the $5,700 values.

One of the following milestones for the Wyckoff Distribution phase is one last dip as it tests the previous support around the Automatic Reaction low. As of the the time of this article, the current market trend is showing signs of bearish divergence on the 120-minute candles.  Zooming in closer, we can see clear signs of a potential small reversal:

Figure_2.JPG

Figure 2: BTC-USD, 30-Minute Candles, Waning Momentum

Both the RSI and MACD are showing signs of bullish exhaustion throughout the length of this rally. Any pullback will likely be supported by the Automatic Reaction support level. Historically, this has been a strong point of support and is made more evident on the 60-minute time frame:

Figure_3.JPG

Figure 3: BTC-USD, 60-Minute Candles, Strong Support Zone

The 200 EMA on the 1-hour candles is historically a great support level and provides traders a pulse on the market health. As of the time of this article, the 200 EMA is lining quite nicely with the support zone offered by the Automatic Reaction Zone. A test of these price levels would take a strong push to break and hold below. If the price continues through the Wyckoff Distribution, we can expect a test of the 200 EMA and a subsequent bounce triggering an Upthrust to new all-time highs. As mentioned in the last BTC-USD market analysis, we are trending along a macro channel:

Figure_4.JPG

Figure 4: BTC-USD, 1-Day Candles, Macro Ascending Channel

An Upthrust in this potential Distribution Phase would have a price target testing the upper channel in the $6,200–$6,300 price range.

Summary:

  1. A potential Wyckoff Distribution Phase is playing out.

  2. If the Distribution Phase plays as expected, we will see a test of the 200 EMA and a subsequent spring to new all-time highs.

  3. If an Upthrust to new all-time highs occurs, we can expect a price target in the $6,200s.

Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin, bitcoin cash and ether is highly speculative and comes with many risks. This analysis is for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice. Statements and financial information on Bitcoin Magazine and BTC Media related sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BTC Media and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

The post Bitcoin Price Analysis: Potential Wyckoff Distribution May Spring New All-Time Highs appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 19 October 2017 | 2:57 pm

This Blockchain-Powered Platform Aims to Disrupt the Esport Gambling Industry

This Blockchain-Powered Platform Aims to Disrupt the Esport Gambling Industry

Esports wagering is a large — and growing — global industry at the intersection between gambling, technology and entertainment. In their 2017 Global Esports Markets Report, Newzoo found that China and North America will generate $362 million during 2017, or 52 percent of global esports industry's revenue. If the esports industry continues on the same growth trajectory, the global industry is expected to generate $1.4 billion in 2020.

Unikrn’s blockchain-powered platform is tapping into this growth industry, offering services such as “skill and spectator betting applications, a tournament series, team ownership, a casino group and multimedia content for the esports fanbase.”

Along with launching an initial coin offering (ICO) in mid-September, the company has expanded its offerings to the European Union through a joint venture with RBP, a key player in the online horserace and sports betting market, and plans to launch a new skills-based product.

Expanding across the European Union comes after the platform was granted a much coveted gaming license from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). As one of the first European Territories to regulate online gambling, Malta has reportedly become a staunch regulatory supporter over the past several years. Today, over 100 companies currently hold a license issued by the MGA including software developers, online casinos and Remote iGaming operators.

Though obtaining a gaming license from the MGA took more than a year, for Unikrn, it has provided an opportunity to enhance their reputation as a legitimate esports wagering platform; something critical for their successful expansion and token sale. “They [MGA] are by every measure the gold standard and one of of the most respected authorities for responsible and ethical wagering,” said Unikrn founder and CEO Rahul Sood in a statement.

After creating the VoodooPC in 1991 then selling it to Hewlett-Packard, Sood spent 18 years as an entrepreneur. Next, he joined as general manager of Microsoft Ventures, Microsoft’s international startup accelerator and outreach program. Sood left Microsoft in 2014 to enter the world of live immersive esports betting by co-founding Unikrn.

Why Blockchain?

During its Series A round, Unikrn received funding from several notable investors including Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, actor Ashton Kutcher’s venture firm, Sound Ventures, media executive Elisabeth Murdoch’s venture fund Freelands Ventures, media executive Shari Redstone’s Advancit Capital and the largest betting company in Australia, Tabcorp. The commonality between most of these venture funds is that they typically pick portfolio companies working in a mix of media, technology and entertainment.

Anthony Di Iorio, serial entrepreneur and CEO of Decentral, joined UnikoinGold as an advisory team member because he finds the project both intriguing and well-supported.

I'm a big believer in the power of decentralized technologies, like blockchains, to empower entrepreneurs and individuals,” he told Bitcoin Magazine. “I'm motivated to support the entrepreneurs, the projects, and the communities that are pushing that technology forward by applying it in interesting and exciting ways to existing markets. Unikrn is a bit special.”

Unikrn’s Editor-in-Chief of content, Ryan Jurado, describes the platform’s journey toward the blockchain as a tool for product and community growth. In 2015, Unikrn released Unikoin, a free, internal, non-cryptographic token issued in 2014 that gives users the ability to bet on esports and win prizes in regulated markets where Unikrn is unlicensed to operate. However, Unikoin had no secondary market and customers persistently asked for more value or uses for the token.

Jurado explained that idea for Unikrn to use blockchain technology first came from Mark Cuban in early 2016. After investigating the technology, the team found using a blockchain-based currency would improve compliance and accountability, two activities paramount in bookkeeping.

“The distributed ledger makes Know Your Customer (KYC) and risk management easier and less costly,” Jurado said to Bitcoin Magazine. “It saves time and money used for converting currencies, and helps minimize engagement with banks.”

Along with a distributed ledger model, Jurado also pointed out that the blockchain “expands real-time betting, live betting and skill-based products that would be difficult, or impossible, using fiat currency.”

The blockchain’s ability to increase transaction options while decreasing the need for transactional trust was another value Unikrn sought, Jurado explained, resulting in “an Ethereum-based token with an open ledger that can be used to better rate risk and flag potential abuse.”

A gaming platform such as Unikrn which runs vast numbers of transactions per day manages a lot of risk benefits from “an Ethereum-based token with an open ledger that can be used to better rate risk and flag potential abuse.” Furthermore, as Jurado pointed out, “For users, it’s a home-run: Using blockchain is less expensive than using fiat, and less overhead means less expensive products.”

Tale of Two Koins

To run the token sale and crypto platform, Unikrn opened a subsidiary, Unikrn Bermuda Ltd. The token that Jurado hopes will become “the decentralized token of esports and gaming” is called UnikoinGold (UKG) and was made available in September.

Di Iorio described UnikoinGold as “the (decentralized) beating heart of the secure and seamless wagering ecosystem Unikrn has pioneered.”

As for the original non-cryptographic token, Unikoin, Sood has stated that Unikrn is undergoing a “forking” of their token system in which there will be two currencies: UnikoinGold and UnikoinSilver.

Anybody in the world can buy and use the Ethereum-based UnikoinGold utility token in non-betting applications, including jackpots and experiences, software, hardware, esports, teams and tournaments; however, only users in Unikrn-licensed regions will be able to use it to bet.

Though UnikoinSilver can only be earned, it can be used in most unregulated markets around the world. “The token will allow every non-minor esports and gaming fan to engage in all Unikrn betting products, regardless of where they live. It is a free, non-blockchain token, but will allow fans to unlock real prizes and non-betting operations including editorial, production studios, tournament organization and live broadcasting.” UnikoinSilver also appears to be an alternative “to unregulated skin betting for regions where real-money betting can’t be offered.”

ESPN Meets Esports Meets Vegas

Having already raised $30 million in ether, the UnikoinGold token sale is capped at $100 million. One advantage it has as a token sale is the ease of onboarding users who are already familiar with token transactions. Unikrn’s other advantages come from the fact that they already have an existing platform that is profitable and an online community that is engaged. “This isn’t an investment,” said Sood in a Medium post, “It’s a purchase for a product that we developed that has utility on our platform and our users love and demand.”

A clear caveat to UnikoinGold’s success is that its gaming/ICO combination is sure to keep them visible on every regulator’s radar, which is why earning a Maltese gaming license was such a significant step.

Even at such a unique intersection between media, gambling and gaming, Unikrn is not the only player. Other esports betting platforms using blockchain technology include FirstBlood.io, Eloplay, Gimli.io and Skincoin. And it has yet to crack the lists of top esport betting platforms on sites like OpenOdds and EsportsOnly.

Sood does not seem surprised by his company’s success, thus far. “UnikoinGold was designed and intended for use by our own esports community. It’s like ESPN meets Esports meets Las Vegas.”

The post This Blockchain-Powered Platform Aims to Disrupt the Esport Gambling Industry appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 19 October 2017 | 12:24 pm

What Lightning Will Look Like: Lightning Labs Has Announced Its User Interface Wallet

What Lightning Will Look Like: Lightning Labs Has Announced Its User Interface Wallet

Development of the lightning networkthe highly-anticipated second-layer Bitcoin protocol for instant microtransactions, continues to inch forward.

Lightning Labs, major contributor to the lightning network daemon, lnd, announced its cross-platform Lightning Desktop App last week. The open-source lightning wallet is essentially a user interface (UI) built on top of lnd and powered by Lightning Labs’ new open-source Bitcoin light client, Neutrino.

“This is the first functioning user interface for both sending and receiving lightning transactions with a light client mode,” Lightning Labs CEO Elizabeth Stark told Bitcoin Magazine.

The lightning network is currently being developed by several teams working on different but interoperable implementations of the protocol. Several of these implementations are functional, though only on Bitcoin’s test network (“testnet”): a sort of copy of the Bitcoin network with valueless coins specifically designed for testing new applications and more.

But, while there are already several lightning daemons available for testnet, most are only usable via command line tools. Developers Olaoluwa Osuntokun, Bryan Vu and Case Sandberg collaborated to now extend lnd with the new Lightning Desktop App to provide a user interface.

“I think the big takeaway is being able to visualize this technology and see what an early UI might look like,” said Stark. “It's one thing to be using the command line, as our lnd testers and developers have been, but it's another to be able to download the app. Being able to see this kind of progress is important.”

As part of the announcement, Lightning Labs also introduced Neutrino, the new open-source Bitcoin light client that powers the Lightning Desktop App. As a main benefit, Neutrino users don’t need to download the entire Bitcoin blockchain, which is currently over 140 gigabytes in size. This makes the desktop app much more accessible to regular users who transact small amounts, for which the lightning network is particularly suited. And because Neutrino uses a new method of transaction filtering (client side instead of bloom filters), it offers more privacy than most light clients, too.

The release of the new Lightning Desktop App kicks off a two-week “testing blitz,” as the company described it in their accompanying blog post. Developers are invited to experiment with the desktop app itself, as well as with Neutrino. Further, it makes it much easier for anyone to play around with lnd and the lightning network itself.

“The really cool thing about having our desktop app out there is now there's an easy way for people to interact with all of the apps that developers are building on Lightning, such as Yalls,” said Stark.

After the two-week testing period, the implementation will enter a regular release cycle. Releasing the wallet for Bitcoin mainnet, however, could take a while longer still, Stark explained:

“We're working toward testing and making the software more stable before releasing a beta. This is financial software and its a protocol dealing with money, so we want to ensure people can have a good user experience.”

There is no specific deadline for the beta release, but Stark added that, "The next step is for us to gather feedback from testers and develop it further, along with improvements in lnd and Neutrino."

The open-source Lightning Desktop App code is available on GitHub.

The post What Lightning Will Look Like: Lightning Labs Has Announced Its User Interface Wallet appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 19 October 2017 | 11:10 am

Connecting the Luxury Fine Art Industry with the Modern Digital Economy

Connecting the Luxury Fine Art Industry with the Modern Digital Economy

Latest figures from the Tetaf art market report, released by the European Fine Art Foundation, show that in 2016 global art market sales amounted to an estimated $45 billion, up 1.7 percent from 2015. The U.S. remains the largest country in the world art market, with 29.5 percent of the market share, followed by the U.K. and China with 24 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

Yet, while the industry remains a profitable one, it is slowly changing. One that is considered difficult to enter and resistant to change, a few sector players are aiming to bridge the modern digital world with the luxury arts sector.

Two art galleries are taking a blockchain and cryptocurrency approach. Eleesa Dadiani, is the founder and owner of Dadiani Fine Art in Mayfair, London. Marcelo Garcia Casil is the co-founder and CEO of Maecenas, a decentralized art gallery that aims to democratize access to fine art investment.

Dadiani & Partners

In July 2017, Dadiani’s modern fine art gallery became the first in the U.K. to accept seven different cryptocurrencies as payment: bitcoin, ethereum, ethereum classic, litecoin, ripple, dash and NEM.

Dadiani told Bitcoin Magazine that the decision to introduce cryptocurrencies wasn’t an instinctively demand-driven decision; rather, it stemmed from a desire to encourage demand and merge the two markets together.

“On a practical level, introducing cryptocurrency will broaden the market, bringing a new type of buyer to art and luxury,” she said.

Through her recently launched Dadiani & Partners — the U.K.’s first and only luxury asset and commodity exchange for cryptocurrencies — Dadiani is hoping to unlock the potential of the digital currency market for high net-worth (HNW) investors and consumers. Acting as an intermediary, Dadiani & Partners will enable HNWs a platform to purchase luxury goods in digital currency. Dadiani says that there has been an increase in demand with the number of people seeking the purchase of assets in cryptocurrency.

“Many bitcoin millionaires are unable to cash in their digital currency as the banks won’t convert large amounts of cryptocurrency for cash,” she added.

Passionate about cryptocurrencies, and the blockchain that underpins them, Dadiani believes that they will have a profound impact in every sphere of business and our everyday lives.

“The technology will allow us to reclaim power, paving the way for decentralized, peer-to-peer transactions without the intervention of an intermediary,” she added. “This is a revolution that goes far beyond the art market.”

Since introducing the acceptance of digital currencies the art gallery has sold a number of pieces. Going forward, all of the art, across all the exhibitions, will be available to purchase in the available digital currencies. Dadiani says that the artists are onboard and keen for their pieces to be sold this way.

“Any of the pieces we sell can still be purchased via conventional fiat currency, but purchasing via cryptocurrency enables buyers to purchase peer-to-peer, person-to-person, without the intervention of a centralized authority,” Dadiani said.

It’s hoped that by further globalizing the business and broadening their customer base, Dadiani Fine Art will appeal to bitcoin millionaires who are looking to purchase assets via cryptocurrencies.

“Digital currency is being embraced by people of all ages, creed and class, and as it’s happening in other sectors, there is no reason why the gap between the modern digital world with the luxury sector cannot be bridged.”

Maecenas

Investment in the art world can be an expensive proposition. Named after Gaius Maecenas, an ancient Roman patron of the arts, Maecenas, is attempting to remove this barrier by letting anyone buy shares of fine art. Through its blockchain-driven platform, Maecenas divides artwork ownership into fragments and connects art owners with investors where shares are bought and sold.

“By turning masterpieces into tokenized tradable assets, Maecenas democratizes access to fine art by letting a much wider audience invest in multi-million dollar artworks which would otherwise be out of reach,” Casil said to Bitcoin Magazine.

Buying access to the artwork’s investment value does not mean buying access to the actual artwork itself, however. According to Maecenas, art pieces are not put on display; rather, they are held in purpose-built art storage facilities, ensuring the work is safe and looked after. If there is a demand in the future, then they may introduce an art-leasing facility where art lovers can temporarily hold the piece of art for a fee. The fee would then be distributed among the shareholders as income.

By injecting liquidity and transparency into the fine art market, the platform claims to be adding aspects to the sector that have been missing. Determining a fair price of an illiquid asset is now made possible via the blockchain through the conversion of small and liquid tradable financial units, creating tamper-proof, digital certificates denoting ownership. These are similar to shares of a company and can be traded on an open exchange.

Through the implementation of a Dutch auction process, Maecenas permits investors to submit private bids stating how many shares of the artwork they want to own and what price they’re willing to pay for them.

“The Dutch auction smart contract then handles all the bids and uses a well-known algorithm to determine the optimal price for the artwork shares,” Casil added. “This process is transparent and discourages price manipulation.”

Maecenas’ ART utility token functions as a clearing and settlement mechanism for all transactions of artwork on the Maecenas ecosystem. Participating in Dutch auctions, leasing artwork or performing any other sensitive platform operation is handled via smart contracts that require ART tokens to operate, says Casil.

“In the case of the auctions themselves, the token represents the investor bid and commitment, and a dollar value equivalent of the tokens is escrowed in the contract for the duration of the auction.”

For instance, if an investor wants to bid $50,000 for an artwork, and ART is worth $2, then 25,000 ART tokens must be submitted to the smart contract to reflect the bid.

To ensure the work is authentic, Maecenas has an internal team that checks the full provenance of the artwork including certificates of authenticity, condition reports, insurance policies, certificates of storage and valuation reports. Independent reputable experts will also assess and appraise the artwork. The documents produced during the due-diligence process are then protected and stored securely on the blockchain.

Maecenas recently completed their token crowdsale which raised 50,744 ETH. They are aiming to launch their platform in the first quarter of 2018.

The post Connecting the Luxury Fine Art Industry with the Modern Digital Economy appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 18 October 2017 | 9:29 am

Chaincode Labs to Host a Second Run of Its Month-Long Bitcoin Coding Class

Chaincode Labs to Host a Second Run of Its Month-Long Bitcoin Coding Class

Chaincode Labs, the New York–based development company and major contributor to Bitcoin Core, is organizing a second edition of its Bitcoin residency program in the first months of 2018. The program intends to help developers overcome the steep learning curve associated with becoming a protocol-level contributor to projects like Bitcoin Core. In doing so, Chaincode Labs hopes to help expand Bitcoin’s development community.

“Last year was the first run,” Chaincode Labs developer John Newbery told Bitcoin Magazine. “We’ve now taken the good stuff from that and tried to make it even more focused and useful for residents this year.”

The Residency Program

Chaincode Labs, in collaboration with Matt Corallo — who worked at Blockstream last year but joined Chaincode Labs since — organized the residency program for the first time in September and October of 2016. The next edition will start on January 29, 2018, and will last until February 23.

Newbery himself was one of the attendees of this first residency program. He was later hired by Chaincode Labs and has since been one of the most prolific contributors to the Bitcoin Core project.

Now, he is coordinating the second of two legs of the new program.

“Chaincode Labs exists to strengthen Bitcoin,” said Newbery. “We mostly do that by contributing to Bitcoin Core, but each of us has a lot of freedom to do what we think is important. And the main purpose of this residency program is to try to strengthen the developer community.”

Specifically, courses will cover protocol design, adversarial thinking, threat models and security considerations, as well as address some of Bitcoin’s biggest challenges, like scaling, fungibility and privacy. Attendees will mostly learn by doing and could even start contributing to the Bitcoin Core project during the residency. Throughout the program they will be assisted by the entire Chaincode Labs team — Alex Morcos, Suhas Daftuar, Matt Corallo, John Newbery and Russ Yanofsky. There may also be guest speakers.

Two Blocks

Whereas the first edition of the residency program lasted four straight weeks for all attendees, this time the coding classes will be cut into two two-week phases. Candidates can either pick one of two legs or join both, with room for five or six attendees per session.

The first leg is coordinated by Corallo, who has been contributing to Bitcoin development since 2011.

“Session A is all about getting people to think about the security trade-offs and implications of the technical decisions we make,” Newbery explained. “There’s a lot of thought that goes into all the decisions that are made in Bitcoin, but that nuance is often lost. If we can help people to understand those trade-offs better and be able to communicate them, then perhaps we can raise the level of the conversations we have about Bitcoin.”

The second session will be more focused on the Bitcoin Core project itself, Newbery said.

“Session B is all about getting smart, talented people to start making useful contributions to Bitcoin Core. There’s a steep learning curve to becoming a contributor and if I can help people who want to contribute but have felt daunted or don’t know where to start, then I’ll feel like I’ve succeeded.”

Additionally, Chaincode Labs will organize a series of Wednesday night meetups ahead of the residency program. Contents of these meetups will be similar to the residency program, but these meetups are for participants who live in (or near) New York who can’t dedicate two or four full weeks to attending the residency program itself.

For more information on Chaincode Labs’ 2018 Bitcoin residency program and to find out how to apply, see the company’s announcement and the program website.

The post Chaincode Labs to Host a Second Run of Its Month-Long Bitcoin Coding Class appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 18 October 2017 | 8:05 am

Scaling Bitcoin Announces This Year’s Program and a New Developer Bootcamp

Scaling Bitcoin Just Released This Year’s Program and a New Developer Bootcamp

Today, Scaling Bitcoin, the international engineering conference focused on Bitcoin and blockchain research, released its program for the 2017 edition. The conference, to be held in Stanford, California, in the first weekend of November, will also introduce a new side event this year: Bitcoin Edge, a bootcamp for starting Bitcoin developers.

“The program is extremely interesting because it delivers cutting edge research on different blockchain scalability approaches, fungibility, consensus, data propagation, alternative techniques for handling blockchains and many other topics,” said Anton Yemelyanov, chair of the Scaling Bitcoin Planning Committee.

Scaling Bitcoin Stanford

After events in Montreal, Hong Kong and Milan, the fourth edition of the Scaling Bitcoin conference is taking place at Stanford University on November 4 and 5 of this year.

Where the first two editions of Scaling Bitcoin were mainly focused on scaling and scalability, the third edition broadened the scope of the conference to include a more diverse set of topics. This trend will continue in Stanford, where talks will range from highly technical topics concerning privacy and fungibility, to fee markets and fee estimation, censorship resistance and more.

“Bitcoin is the origin of all distributed ledger technology,” said Yemelyanov. “Scaling Bitcoin has been fortunate to act as a vehicle for bringing the audience technologies such as Segregated Witness and MimbleWimble, all of which have been adopted or incorporated into various blockchain projects. We hope that other material presented by our participants will be of similar value and help the industry advance the research and development of blockchains.”

Yemelyanov added that another key goal for Scaling Bitcoin conferences is to bring engineers and other technical minds together in a physical space where they can discuss their work in person.

“It is through collaboration where a lot of ideas are born and have potential of becoming reality,” he said.

Bitcoin Edge Dev++

In addition to the conference itself, Scaling Bitcoin is also introducing a two-day technical bootcamp for experienced developers getting into Bitcoin: Bitcoin Edge.

This nonprofit initiative is an effort to help scale the development capacity of the industry, Yemelyanov explained:

“One of the approaches of helping the industry scale is to scale the much needed development capacity of the industry. There is a clear talent deficit and we are trying to help all industry participants by running a nonprofit workshop that will allow developers to gain complete understanding of primitives that comprise Bitcoin and blockchains in general and be able to start working in this field.”

Bitcoin Edge will be led by well-known Bitcoin developers and academics Anditto Heristyo, Ethan Heilman, John Newbery, Karl-Johan Alm, Nicolas Dorier, Thaddeus Dryja and Jimmy Song. They’ll introduce participants to a range of technical Bitcoin-related topics, including Elliptic Curve cryptography, transaction structures, difficulty calculation and adjustments, and much more.

This workshop will take place on the November 2 and 3. For more information on the Bitcoin Edge initiative, visit bitcoinedge.org.

See here for the full Scaling Bitcoin Stanford program.

The post Scaling Bitcoin Announces This Year’s Program and a New Developer Bootcamp appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 13 October 2017 | 2:46 pm

Yes, Bitcoin Can Do Smart Contracts and Particl Demonstrates How

Particl Thumb 3

The Bitcoin blockchain is not known for its ability to enable smart contracts. In fact, most developers creating smart contracts use a different blockchain, like Ethereum.

 

But the truth is that the Bitcoin protocol can be used to create smart contracts. Particl.io, the blockchain eCommerce platform, is doing just that by using Bitcoin-based smart contracts to manage funds in their trustless escrow: Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) escrow.

 

For Particl, Bitcoin provides the ideal mix of smart contract functionality — enough to make smart contracts easy to implement but without the security and privacy risks of a more complicated platform like Ethereum.

Smart Contracts Overview

A smart contract is an agreement that can be enforced through a blockchain. Rather than relying on trust or a legal framework to ensure that each party that enters into a contract will adhere to its terms, you can use the blockchain to create a contract that is automatically enforced, between two people, in a decentralized fashion.

 

Ethereum has become the most popular blockchain for creating smart contracts. One of the major design goals of the Ethereum platform was to support smart contracts. From the start, this set Ethereum apart from Bitcoin, which was created first and foremost as a digital currency platform.

Smart Contracts on Bitcoin Codebase

As the Bitcoin protocol has evolved, it has gained support for smart contracts. Smart contract functionality is not as programmable and extensible on Bitcoin as it is on Ethereum. However, using features added to Bitcoin through improvement proposals, certain smart contract functionality can be achieved through Bitcoin scripting.

 

For Particl, the most important smart contract feature in Bitcoin is the OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY opcode, which was introduced by Peter Todd as Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 65. The opcode makes it possible to write scripts that prevent funds in a multi-signature wallet from being spent until a certain signature pattern is implemented or a certain amount of time passes.

Particl, Smart Contracts and MAD Escrow

MAD escrow is a technique that effectively prevents fraud in a transaction without requiring the oversight of a third party. In a MAD escrow contract, a buyer and seller both place funds into escrow. The seller starts by depositing an amount they want the buyer to match to symbolize a virtual handshake. This could be between 0 and 100 percent of the item’s purchase price. The buyer then deposits an amount equal to the handshake amount plus the price of the item they are buying. The escrowed funds are not released to anyone until both parties confirm that the transaction has been completed satisfactorily. The technique prevents either party from profiting through cheating in a transaction.

 

Particl uses the BIP 65 opcode to enable MAD escrow contracts by locking funds in a multi-signature wallet until all of the parties sign off on the transaction. With this approach, buyers and sellers on Particl’s ecommerce platform can operate without worrying about fraud or paying unnecessary fees.

 

They also don’t have to sacrifice privacy because no third party is involved in the transaction. Furthermore, and perhaps most significantly, because there is only basic scripting involved, security concerns are minimal.

 

Particl’s approach to MAD escrow smart contracts is arguably better than building smart contracts on a platform like Ethereum. While Ethereum provides more extensible support for smart contracts, that flexibility comes with a higher risk of security and privacy threats. The more code that goes into a smart contract, the greater the risk of introducing a vulnerability that could enable an intrusion.

 

Ethereum might be a strong foundation for writing very complex smart contracts, or ones in which security and privacy are not priorities, but Bitcoin provides a simpler and more reliable scripting framework for the private escrows that Particl requires.

Contributing to Bitcoin’s Future

 

Particl’s choice of Bitcoin as the backbone for its smart contracts is also a reflection of the team’s efforts to build a completely private platform on top of the Bitcoin codebase, arguably the most secure, battle tested and contributed to protocol on the market.

 

There are many dozens of Bitcoin-based blockchain projects out there, but most are simply building cryptocurrencies forked from Bitcoin. They’re not taking advantage of Bitcoin’s potential to create the foundation for a completely decentralized platform that supports a multitude of DApps and programmable functionality.

 

In this sense, Particl is helping to ensure that Bitcoin’s future will evolve more than just creating another cryptocurrency. Privacy enhancements Particl has already implemented onto the latest Bitcoin codebase such as Confidential Transactions and RingCT can just as easily be one day adopted upstream to further harden Bitcoin.

 

The post Yes, Bitcoin Can Do Smart Contracts and Particl Demonstrates How appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 13 October 2017 | 9:18 am

Bitcoin price climbs over $4,000

Posted on 14 August 2017 | 1:16 am

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

Posted on 12 June 2017 | 1:06 am

CRYENGINE now accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 29 March 2017 | 1:24 am

Consulting firm EY Switzerland accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 26 November 2016 | 12:47 am

Bitcoin Trading Bots

There have been a wide variety of situations in which algorithmic trading programs have proven to be beneficial for investors. However, investors who only trade a cryptocurrency can also take advantage of bitcoin trading bots. Through bitcoin bot trading, traders can become more flexible and prompt, minimize errors and process information more rapidly. At this… Read More »

Posted on 8 November 2016 | 6:20 pm

Steam accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 29 April 2016 | 1:09 am

Major Magazine Publisher to Accept Bitcoin Payments

Posted on 18 December 2014 | 12:43 pm

Microsoft accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 11 December 2014 | 5:06 am

Mozilla accepting Bitcoin

Posted on 20 November 2014 | 1:55 pm

PayPal and Virtual Currency

Posted on 23 September 2014 | 9:52 pm

Wikimedia Foundation Now Accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 30 July 2014 | 3:14 pm

German Newspaper "taz" accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 22 July 2014 | 1:32 pm

airBaltic - World’s First Airline To Accept Bitcoin

Posted on 22 July 2014 | 11:03 am

Expedia to accept Bitcoin payments for hotel bookings

Posted on 12 June 2014 | 12:41 pm

October 23, 2017 -
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