Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Luxury Jets, Cheap Air Tickets Now Offered for Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Luxury Jets, Cheap Air Tickets Now Offered for Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin in Brief today features a couple of announcements adding to the growing number of bitcoin cash adoptions. A luxury cryptocurrency concierge now accepts BCH for the items it offers to the crypto rich – a logical step, according to its founder. An online travel agency is introducing three new coins to its payment options, including bitcoin cash, after “a huge uptick in the number of customers requesting alternative currencies”. Also, a cold wallet for institutions hits the market soon.   

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Main Street Adopts Bitcoin Ahead of Wall Street

Luxury Purveyor White Now Accepts Bitcoin Cash

A US-based luxury crypto concierge service is now accepting bitcoin cash (BCH). The White Company, founded by former executive at Formula 1 and LVMH, Elizabeth White, offers high-end products and luxury brands, including fine watches and sports cars. It has become the latest business to take advantage of the benefits of BCH payments, which include substantially lower transaction fees.

This business is trying to fill the market niche for services to those rich customers who want to acquire luxurious items, like private jets, Lamborghinis, and famous artworks, in a more discreet way. That’s why the White Company accepts only cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Luxury Jets, Cheap Air Tickets Now Offered for Bitcoin Cash

It all started with payments in bitcoin core (BTC), litecoin (LTC) and ethereum (ETH). However, the exponential growth of the business, of crypto wealth, in general, and the growing popularity of bitcoin cash, in particular, have led to the introduction of BCH payments. It comes as a recognition of the lower transaction fees and faster processing times of the bitcoin cash network, in comparison to legacy cryptocurrencies. The New York headquartered company has also decided to discontinue the LTC option.

Noting that “trust is vital in this space,” Elizabeth White was quoted as saying: “I have watched with interest both the growth and the early-adopters of bitcoin cash and I can see that the White Company and BCH are natural partners.” And, according to a corporate press release, the partnership represents a logical next step for the development of the business.

Cheapair Introduces Payments in Three Cryptos, including BCH

Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Luxury Jets, Cheap Air Tickets Now Offered for Bitcoin CashOnline travel agency Cheapair.com has also announced it is now accepting bitcoin cash for booking flights and hotels. “It’s official!” the California-based company said in a post on Twitter, confirming it has added BCH to the available payment options, along with two other cryptocurrencies – litecoin (LTC) and dash (DASH). “Help us spread the word #cryptocurrency fans!” tweeted the agency, which also accepts bitcoin core (BTC).

According to Cheapair, the list of the supported cryptocurrencies has been expanded in response to customer demand. The company noted the development of a number of new cryptocurrencies aimed at avoiding some of the challenges that have emerged with BTC, whose network has previously been stressed by higher transaction volumes. In different ways, bitcoin cash, litecoin and dash all promise improved transaction potential over their predecessor, being either faster or with lower fees attached, Cheapair explained.

Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Luxury Jets, Cheap Air Tickets Now Offered for Bitcoin Cash

“Our cryptocurrency customers tend to be very vocal about what they want, something we appreciate very much. Over the last six months, we’ve seen a huge uptick in the number of customers requesting alternative currencies, so we’ve worked hard to integrate the three that were most requested,” Cheapair CEO Jeff Klee commented.

Klee added that the company has already streamlined the process of converting the accepted cryptocurrency to fiat money, which is then paid to airline and hotel suppliers. “That made adding litecoin, bitcoin cash, and dash a relatively minor endeavor for our development team, but a huge benefit for our crypto customers,” he said.

Bitun Releases Cold Wallet for Institutions

Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Luxury Jets, Cheap Air Tickets Now Offered for Bitcoin CashAn enterprise-level cryptocurrency cold wallet hardware has been displayed at the 2018 Global Summit in Japan this week. Developers at Bitun, a private bank of blockchain assets, claim that their product is different from any traditional cold wallet. It is completely isolated from the internet and employs a military anti-corrosion technique. The hardware CPU adopts the Secure Boot and Efuse mechanisms, combined with data encryption chips, they said.

The security level is recognized by licensed exchanges, according to a PRnewswire report, quoting Bitun representatives. The cold wallet also incorporates technologies such as NFC, face and iris recognition, and it’s verified simultaneously with the smart authorized device for signature. The user can also complete the multi-level approval in the signature process on the mobile hotspot APP. The official release of Bitun’s cryptocurrency cold wallet is scheduled for July this year.

What are your thoughts on the stories in today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitun.


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Darknet Market Rapture Has Been Down for a Week — Users Grow Leery

Darknet Market Rapture Has Been Down for a Week — Users Grow Leery

The website Rapture Market has been down for well over a week for users who frequent the darknet, causing concern that another DNM has committed an exit scam. Currently, the market’s customers and some vendors are freaking out as the online marketplace was gaining in popularity and enjoying solid ratings with decent uptime. However, Rapture Market hasn’t been around for very long and people are starting to believe another DNM has bitten the dust for a number of speculated reasons.

Also read: Darknet Markets: Learning How to Get There is Half the Battle

Darknet Marketplace Rapture Becomes Unavailable for Over a Week—Users Begin to Worry

It has been over eight days since the Rapture Market and its associated forums have been online, and patrons are growing concerned. According to the Deep Dot Web publication, the market is suffering from downtime and its 98 percent uptime rating has dropped to 97 percent. The marketplace hasn’t been around for as long as elder markets like Dream, and Wall Street, as Rapture was created this past January. Since the inception of Rapture, the market has received very good reviews and had a ‘trusted vendors’ referral system and affiliate program, alongside over 500 narcotic listings and other materials. Rapture accepted both Bitcoin Core (BTC) and Monero (XMR) and incorporated a forum and messaging system which have also been non-operational for over a week.

Darknet Market Rapture Has Been Down for a Week — Users Grow Leery
The Rapture darknet marketplace established in January 2018. 

Lots of Speculation, While Reliable DNM Information Is Harder to Gather These Days

These days it’s harder to find out information on the reputation and whereabouts of DNM vendors alongside down darknet markets since Reddit recently removed the most popular DNM forum. However, patrons searching for information about Rapture’s demise are still communicating through the r/darknetmarketnoobs subreddit and other areas on the clearnet.

“Has anyone been in contact with any staff or is there a Rapture PGP signed message about downtime?” One Rapture patron writes on May 15. “I’ve looked but couldn’t find anything. It’s been down a day and a half now, just wondering if anyone knows if its legit downtime or possible exit scam?”

Some Rapture users said the site will return soon and also revealed that the webpage was suffering from DDoS attacks, among other issues. After a few months of decent reviews on the website Deep Dot Web, a bunch of new reviews appeared last week, with people asking why the DNM was not available.

Darknet Market Rapture Has Been Down for a Week — Users Grow Leery
The Deep Dot Web’s DNM chart shows Rapture is down and unresponsive.

“The market is under DDoS owners are trying to get it back up no need for panic,” a user writes four days ago. The very last reviewer explains they have ‘inside’ information on why the site is non-operational and states:        

For security reasons I can not reveal how I have this information but I have very credible sources and the site is fixing some bugs and taking the market offline; bugs are minor but there are a few so it is better to take offline and take care of them all at once. So just chill out it could take a couple of weeks to fix according to sources but the market may be online before then but I do not have that information.

The DNM ‘Exit Scam’ Is the Oldest and Most Lucrative Tricks in the Book

No one has any solid information about the exact reasoning Rapture is down and annoyed patrons are therefore speculating. As usual the ‘exit scam’ is always the most dominant theory. An exit scam is when the marketplace administrators suddenly ‘disappear’ after accumulating a lot of customers’ money that sits in escrow alongside a large collection of vendor bonds that have been collected.

Darknet Market Rapture Has Been Down for a Week — Users Grow Leery
It’s uncertain if Rapture’s downtime means it is officially an ‘exit scam.’ However, the ‘exit scam’ is the oldest trick in the book.

It’s safe to assume that the Deep Dot Web and other DNM sites will remove Rapture if the market remains unavailable and classify it as an exit scam, but for some patrons, there’s still hope for a Rapture revival.

What do you think about Rapture being down for so long? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Darkowl, Deep Dot Web, and Pixabay. 


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Markets Update: Stormy Weather Continues to Plague Cryptocurrency Traders

Markets Update: Stormy Weather Continues to Plague Cryptocurrency Traders

Over the past few days, cryptocurrency markets have been losing steam as many digital assets have lost a good amount of value. Most coins are down anywhere between 3-15 percent over the past 24-hours. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) values have dipped 10 percent over the last day and prices hover around $1,055 today. Bitcoin Core (BTC) prices are under the $8K zone losing 4.1 percent today as BTC values average around $7,909 at the time of publication.

Also Read: Bank in Argentina Launches BTC Settlement Services

Stormy Weather Continues to Dump on Crypto-Markets This Spring

Last spring and more specifically in May of 2017 digital currency markets were on fire but this year is a whole different story. Cryptocurrency markets are not doing so well today as every single coin among the top 50 largest valuations are in the red showing losses. The overall market capitalization of all 1,600+ digital assets is around $345Bn today and 24-hour trade volume hovers around 17.8Bn. Trade volume pales in comparison to two weeks ago when cryptocurrency daily trade volumes where much higher. For instance, BCH 24-hour volumes today are around $722Mn when two weeks ago it was about $2Bn+. The same goes for BTC as its daily volumes used to be around $8-9Bn and now the metric stands at $5Bn during today’s trading sessions.

Markets Update: Stormy Weather Continues to Plague Cryptocurrency Traders

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Market Action

Markets Update: Stormy Weather Continues to Plague Cryptocurrency TradersBitcoin Cash values have dipped a good eight percent today, and roughly sixteen percent during the past seven days. The top exchanges today swapping the most BCH include Okex, Hitbtc, Bitfinex, Lbank, and Huobi. The top three currencies on these specific trading platforms traded for BCH includes tether (USDT), BTC, and USD. Today the most traded pairs with BCH is BTC by 39.3 percent, Tether (USDT 24.7%), USD (20.5%), KRW (10.3%), and the EUR (2.3%). Ethereum, the Japanese yen, and Waves are also capturing decent percentages of BCH trade volume on May 23.

Markets Update: Stormy Weather Continues to Plague Cryptocurrency Traders

BCH/USD Technical Indicators

Looking at the 4-hour BCH/USD chart on Bitfinex and Bitstamp shows bulls are attempting to regain some upper ground this morning after the dips. As we mentioned during our last markets update the two Simple Moving Averages (SMA) trend lines were about to cross hairs and this happened earlier today. The 100 SMA is now below the longer-term 200 SMA indicating the path to resistance will likely be on the downside. The Relative Strength Index is meandering in the middle showing some consolidation taking place and uncertainty towards the next big move.

Markets Update: Stormy Weather Continues to Plague Cryptocurrency Traders

MACd shows similar sentiment as the indicator is hovering around -23 but shows room for improvement. Order books on the upside show BCH bulls need to press past big sell walls between $1,090-1,160. On the backside if bears manage to bring BCH down there is decent support between $950-1,000 at press time but if that resistance breaks things could drop much lower. Presently it looks like bears won’t get prices that low in the short-term, but these ranges are not out of the question.

Bitcoin Core (BTC) Market Action

Markets Update: Stormy Weather Continues to Plague Cryptocurrency TradersBitcoin Core (BTC) prices are below the $8K region after holding above this zone for a couple weeks. Now prices are hovering around $7,927 per BTC and markets are down 4.6 percent during the last seven days. Daily trade volume is weaker than usual as traders are only swapping $5.6Bn worth of BTC during this morning’s trading sessions. The top exchange today trading the most BTC is Binance followed by Bitfinex, Okex, Huobi, and Bitflyer. The Japanese yen is the most dominating pair today with BTC at 55 percent and followed by the USD (19.8%), Tether (USDT 15%), KRW (3.7%), and the EUR (3.2%).

Markets Update: Stormy Weather Continues to Plague Cryptocurrency Traders

BTC/USD Technical Indicators

Looking at the 4-hour BTC/USD chart on Coinbase/GDAX and Bitstamp shows buyers are stepping up their positions this morning. The two SMAs have also crossed paths during the earlier morning BTC trading sessions as well with the short term 100 SMA now below the 200 SMA. This also indicates bears currently have the reigns and they may take the dips further in the coming hours if resistance above $8K cannot be broken. However, RSI levels show oversold conditions and this shows a bounce back may be in the cards today as well.

Markets Update: Stormy Weather Continues to Plague Cryptocurrency Traders

Looking at order books shows much less resistance on the BTC/USD side in comparison to the BCH/USD side. Bulls only need to muster past the $8-8200 zone to get to higher regions but things become more difficult between $8,500-8,750. On the back side buy orders show solid foundations between $7,400 and $6,900 but after that things don’t look so hot. Overall chart patterns show it’s unlikely prices will get below the $7,400 region anytime soon, and bulls are fighting back with some success at the time of publication.

The Verdict: Stormy Weather and Uncertainty is Slowly Breaking Optimism Down  

Overall most coins are feeling the losses and trying to regain some of the upper hand. Litecoin (LTC) and Ripple (XRP) are two coins who have managed to take less of a beating. Another market oddity today is the BTC/ZEC cryptocurrency fork called Bitcoin Private (BTCP) which is up 13 percent over the past 24-hours.

Markets Update: Stormy Weather Continues to Plague Cryptocurrency Traders

Top 24-hour trade volume coins today are Tether (USDT), Ethereum (ETH), EOS, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Tron (TRX). The losses today throw another black cloud on enthusiasts and traders hoping for long positions to pull through this spring. However, for cryptocurrency traders, it has been nothing but stormy weather with a few brief instances of sunshine here and there. Positivity is lessening and people are definitely more skeptical this week than the past three weeks prior.

Where do you see the price of BCH, BTC, and other cryptocurrencies headed from here? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: 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.”


Images via Shutterstock, Trading View, and Satoshi Pulse.


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How Bitcoin Cash Can Avoid the Same Mistakes as Bitcoin Core, Part 4 of 4

How Bitcoin Cash Can Avoid the Same Mistakes as Bitcoin Core, Part 4 of 4

The following opinion piece on Bitcoin Cash was written by Jonald Fyookball

We’ve already discussed 3 reasons why the bitcoin project was subverted: lack of education, lack of clarity, and centralized development. Today I will proffer two more: censorship and propaganda were allowed to run rampant; miners didn’t understand their power and responsibility. Last Friday, Coingeek.com held a fantastic conference in Hong Kong on the topic of blockchain commerce. The conference concluded with a panel discussion featuring 3 of the most well-known thought leaders in the Bitcoin Cash community: Roger Ver, Dr. Craig Wright, and Jihan Wu. Each of them said something important that pertains to these topics.

Also read: How Bitcoin Cash Can Avoid the Same Mistakes as Bitcoin Core, Part 3

Bitcoin Cash Avoiding Censorship

Censorship is an obvious barrier to an educated community and is motivated by a desire to control the narrative. Thus, it goes hand-in-hand with propaganda and the active promotion of misinformation.

How Bitcoin Cash Can Avoid the Same Mistakes as Bitcoin Core, Part 4 of 4

In Hong Kong, Roger shared that his biggest mistake was underestimating how effective censorship can be. He explained why: while established community members can easily dismiss misinformation, newcomers cannot. And since the community is a fast-growing one, the misinformed newcomers become a majority.

You can read more about the history of censorship in Bitcoin here.

Mindful Miners

In a recent “AMA”, former Bitcoin Core developer Mike Hearn pointed out that historically, BTC miners haven’t been rational economic actors. He said they’ve been incapable of disobeying the authority of the devs.

But we may be turning the corner on this. At the Coingeek conference, Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu expressed that the miners have learned from previous mistakes, and are starting to take more responsibility for understanding the protocol and making intelligent decisions.

How Bitcoin Cash Can Avoid the Same Mistakes as Bitcoin Core, Part 4 of 4

In the past, miners have followed Bitcoin Core almost unconditionally — perhaps overly fearful of “breaking” the network should their guidance not be followed to the letter. While its sensible to consult experts for their opinions, Bitcoin is not on the same order of complexity as nuclear engineering.

(Incidentally, nuclear engineering has been the very metaphor used to incorrectly suggest that the community should abandon independent thinking and blindly follow developers).

Bitcoin is an Economic System

One of the thematic ideas presented by Dr. Wright in Hong Kong (and in previous talks) is that Bitcoin is NOT a cryptographic system. It’s an economic system that happens to use cryptography.

This is the kind of revelation that’s obvious after you hear it expressed so succinctly. In my own words, it means that Bitcoin’s economic incentives are the foundation of what makes Bitcoin work. The cryptography is secondary to that. The economics are the “what” and the cryptography is the “how”.

If you investigate one of Bitcoin’s predecessors, Wei Dai’s b-money, you may be surprised at how similar it is to Bitcoin. The one major element that’s missing is the set of economic incentives.

Miners, Users, and the Public Discourse

Miners and users have a symbiotic relationship. Users don’t have a network without miners, and miners don’t have economic incentive without users.

In theory, miners are rewarded by providing the network that users want.

How Bitcoin Cash Can Avoid the Same Mistakes as Bitcoin Core, Part 4 of 4

But what if the miners don’t know what users want because the public discussion is being censored and brigaded with propaganda? What if they’re listening to the devs instead of the users, or they simply don’t understand enough about Bitcoin to make good choices?

Unfortunately, miners can participate in the system and earn rewards for securing the network without understanding anything about Bitcoin. But its quite dangerous for miners to be ignorant because they’re the ones directly responsible for making the bottom line decisions about consensus rules.

It’s therefore really encouraging to hear that miners are much more educated and involved than they were several years ago.

The Role of Developers

In the (flawed) Bitcoin Core paradigm, Bitcoin developers were the wizards and rulers. They handed down the proclamations from their ivory towers for the users and miners to follow. If you didn’t like it, you were told you could “fork off”, even as those developers denied they wielded influence over the protocol.

In the actual economic model of Bitcoin, miners set the consensus rules with the ultimate consent of the users who give economic value to the system.

Developers, although important, serve a tertiary role and are not directly part of the incentive model.

Development Funding

If developer groups need to compete (as we discussed in a previous article), then the obvious question is “what incentivizes that competition?”

How Bitcoin Cash Can Avoid the Same Mistakes as Bitcoin Core, Part 4 of 4

In the past, this has been a conundrum. How can we make sure there’s enough development resources and talent in a free, open-source software project?

Yet, if we look honestly at the incentive model of Bitcoin, the answer is clear: it’s ultimately the miners’ responsibility to pay for the software they are going to run.

Maybe that means mining pools directly sponsor development teams (which seems to be something that’s been irrationally shamed or presented as a conflict of interest)

…Or maybe it means miners should formulate some kind of system to donate a portion of the block rewards to protocol advancement, as was proposed in a recent strategy meeting.

Conclusion

How Bitcoin Cash Can Avoid the Same Mistakes as Bitcoin Core, Part 4 of 4

Bitcoin Cash is on the right track and will stay on the right track by following these 5 principles:

  1. Knowledge and education must be valued and promoted. Understanding Bitcoin is not the exclusive realm of wizards.
  2. Bitcoin (BCH) is peer to peer electronic cash. Anyone can send money to anyone else in the world, quickly, cheaply, reliably, and without permission. We can disagree on many things as long as we agree on this.
  3. We must never allow censorship, because we know propaganda and misinformation are sure to quickly follow.
  4. There needs to be multiple independent teams of developers and multiple protocol implementations. No one group should have control of the protocol.
  5. The mining community must be engaged, informed, and willing to make logical decisions that align with their own economic interests.

What are your thoughts on educating the BCH community? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support views, opinions or conclusions drawn in this post. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.

The post How Bitcoin Cash Can Avoid the Same Mistakes as Bitcoin Core, Part 4 of 4 appeared first on Bitcoin News.

This Week in Bitcoin: Smooth Bitcoin Cash Upgrade, BCH and BTC Tax Payments in Florida

This Week in Bitcoin: Smooth Bitcoin Cash Upgrade, BCH and BTC Tax Payments in Florida

A notable week for Bitcoin Cash (BCH) – the network successfully upgraded the blockchain protocol by extending the block size to 32MB. The change will allow a greater number of transactions to be processed with inexpensive and consistent transaction fees. Also, Seminole County in Florida will accept tax payments in both Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Core (BTC) thanks to a partnership with Bitpay.

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Warren Warned by Billboards, Coinbase Tempted by Banking

Bitcoin Cash Upgrades Blockchain Protocol

The Bitcoin Cash network has smoothly and successfully upgraded the blockchain protocol this Tuesday by extending the block size from 8MB to 32MB. The implementation of the new consensus rules went into effect at block height 530356.

This Week in Bitcoin: Smooth Bitcoin Cash Upgrade, BCH and BTC Tax Payments in FloridaThe change represents one of the largest block size increases in blockchain history. The upgrade also includes an increased default data-carrier-size, from 80-bytes to 220-bytes, and re-enabling previously disabled Satoshi OP_Codes, which could add the ability to code colored coins and binary contracts.

The fourfold block size increase will allow vast amounts of transactions to pass through the network with consistent and inexpensive transaction fees. It also gives developers plenty of breathing room to adjust the size if it starts getting closer to its limit and paves a path for mass adoption. The block size limits are currently set by the miner, and developers are able to set the capacity so that blocks cannot get full in the immediate future. This means that the fees will remain low for quite some time and also reliable, even when transaction usage becomes as extreme as in the last quarter of 2017.

Bitpay Enables BCH and BTC for Tax Payments in Florida County

US-based crypto payment processor Bitpay has announced a formal agreement with Florida’s Seminole County Tax Collector, Joel M. Greenberg. Both Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Core (BTC) can be used for tax payments starting this summer. County residents will be able to pay in crypto for driver licenses, ID cards, and even property taxes.

“We live in a world where technology has made access to services on demand, with same-day delivery and the expectation of highly efficient customer service, and we should expect the same from our government,” Greenberg said. He added that the aim of his tenure in office is to make customer experience faster, smarter, and more efficient, and to bring government services from the 18th century into the 21st. One way to achieve that, the official says, is to add cryptocurrency to the available payment options.

China Ranks Almost 30 Cryptos, Finds Over 400 Fake Coins

The government of China, one of the first to ban cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, has come out with official crypto rankings. The Chinese Center for Information Industry Development (CCID) will be judging leading digital coins according to three major criteria – innovation, technology, and application – although details about the applied methodology are yet to be shared. A total of 28 cryptocurrencies and their respective blockchains have been ranked. Of the top four coins by market capitalization, Ethereum was ranked first, followed by Bitcoin Core (BTC) at number 13, Ripple is 17th, and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) – 25th. The Chinese top five include Ether, Steem, Lisk, NEO, and Komodo.

This Week in Bitcoin: Smooth Bitcoin Cash Upgrade, BCH and BTC Tax Payments in FloridaAnother sign of growing attention to cryptocurrencies in China is the publication of a report on fake coins by a government-backed industry organization. The National Committee of Experts on the Internet Financial Security Technology (IFCERT) has identified 421 fake cryptocurrencies. The organization pointed out that 60% of these cryptos are deployed overseas. IFCERT also outlined some major red flags of the fake coins. According to the Committee, they often adopt “pyramid-based” business models and claim high returns. The cryptos have no real code – they either do not have a blockchain or cannot generate blocks for one. These coins are not traded on legitimate exchanges, the report also notes.

US Government Launches Scam Crypto Site

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has created and published its own version of an initial coin offering (ICO) scam website. “Combining the two most growth-oriented segments of the digital economy, blockchain technology and travel, Howeycoin is the newest and only coin offering that captures the magic of coin trading profits and the excitement and guaranteed returns of the travel industry,” the mock SEC website claims. It promises partnerships in all segments of the travel industry and “earning coins you can trade for profit.”

This Week in Bitcoin: Smooth Bitcoin Cash Upgrade, BCH and BTC Tax Payments in Florida

“The rapid growth of the ‘ICO’ market, and its widespread promotion as a new investment opportunity, has provided fertile ground for bad actors to take advantage of our Main Street investors. We embrace new technologies, but we also want investors to see what fraud looks like, so we built this educational site with many of the classic warning signs of fraud,” SEC Chairman Jay Clayton explained. He also noted that distributed ledger technology can add efficiency to the capital raising process, but promoters and issuers need to make sure they follow the securities laws. “I encourage investors to do their diligence and ask questions,” Clayton said.

EU Adopts Rules to Reduce Anonymity for Crypto Users

EU Adopts Rules to Reduce Anonymity for Crypto UsersThis week, the European Union moved closer to its goal to minimize anonymous crypto transactions. The EU Council adopted a directive, which updates the European anti-money laundering legislation. The new rules come with requirements for crypto platforms to introduce know-your-customer procedures. The amendments were adopted at a meeting of the General Affairs Council on Monday, following an agreement with the European Parliament form December. In April this year, MEPs voted to support the deal to “bring cryptocurrencies under closer regulation.”

The main changes involve addressing the “risks linked to virtual currencies” by taking steps to reduce anonymity for both crypto traders and crypto-related transactions. Providers of exchange services between virtual and fiat currencies, as well as custodian wallet providers, will be obliged to identify suspicious activities. The directive states that authorities should be able to monitor the use of cryptocurrencies through these platforms, and the national financial intelligence units should have access to information allowing them to associate crypto addresses with the their owners.

South Korean Regulators Widen Investigation of Crypto Exchanges

The government in Seoul is widening its probe on cryptocurrency exchanges focusing on the use of corporate accounts for crypto transactions, which the regulators say can lead to money laundering. The practice should have been discontinued when authorities introduced the real-name system at the end of January. However, only 30% of all crypto accounts have been converted into real-name ones so far. South Korea’s top financial regulators are now teaming up with prosecutors to widen the investigation.

This Week in Bitcoin: Smooth Bitcoin Cash Upgrade, BCH and BTC Tax Payments in FloridaThe six banks that can issue real-name accounts have chosen to only service the country’s largest crypto exchanges: Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit. Nonetheless, not all accounts at these exchanges have been converted into real-name ones. In addition, all small and medium-sized exchanges continue to use corporate accounts for crypto transactions. The regulators warn that the use of corporate accounts can lead to fraud. The announcement of the widening probe follows the launch of an investigation on the largest South Korean crypto exchange, Upbit.

What are your thoughts on the top stories we’ve covered this week? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Markets Update: Digital Assets Show Recovery After the Past Three Days of Dips

Digital asset markets are doing some healing during the past 24-hours of trading after touching some lows the day prior. At the moment the entire cryptocurrency market capitalization of all 1,600+ tokens is around $377Bn with around $16Bn worth of 24-hour trade volume. Bitcoin Core (BTC) markets are up 2.3 percent averaging $8,314 per coin while Bitcoin Cash (BCH) prices are up 1.5 percent at around $1,180 per BCH.

Also read: “Stablecoin” Trueusd Pumps After Binance Listing

The Week-Long ‘Consensus Pump’ Never Came to Fruition

The mid-May ‘blockchain week’ Consensus pump never materialized last week even though there was plenty of positive cryptocurrency news. During the course of the week, most digital assets in the top 500 lost a good portion of gains. This weekend is a different story as a bunch of markets are seeing some recovery from the dips. Bitcoin Cash markets are up 2.3 percent averaging roughly $1,188 per BCH at the time of publication. The decentralized currency’s 24-hour trade volume has dropped considerably to $683Mn which doesn’t give traders hope for a bigger weekend push. The top five exchanges swapping the most BCH today include Okex, Huobi, Hitbtc, Lbank, and EXX. BTC pairs with BCH has increased significantly as BTC represents 41 percent of today’s BCH trades. This is followed by tether (USDT 30%), USD (13%), KRW (11%), and the Euro (1.2%).

Markets Update: Digital Assets Show Recovery After the Past Three Days of Dips
BCH/USD prices on May 19, 2018.

BCH/USD Technical Indicators

Looking at the BCH/USD four-hour charts on both Bitstamp and Bitfinex shows bulls need to muster up more strength to break upper resistance. The two Simple Moving Averages (SMA) still have a gap with the 100 SMA above the 200 SMA indicating a good path to the upside. However even though there is a gap it looks as though the two trend lines may cross hairs shortly. RSI oscillator levels point towards an oversold region at 38, and the MACd indicates there will be improvement shortly as well. Looking at the order books towards the upside shows bulls have gigantic sell walls to eat through between the current vantage point and $1,250. On the back side if the BCH bears remain in power there are still some solid foundations between now and $1,130. Traders are looking out for some deeper consolidation before the next breakout as positions currently look like musical chairs at the moment.

Markets Update: Digital Assets Show Recovery After the Past Three Days of Dips
BCH/USD prices on May 19, 2018, Bitfinex $1,880 per BCH.

The Top Digital Currencies See Some Recovery

Overall most cryptocurrencies today are in the green and nurturing the market wounds from the past 72-hours. Bitcoin Core (BTC) prices are doing decent rebounding today at $8,318 per coin but trade volumes are also low at $5Bn. Ethereum (ETH) the second highest valued market cap is doing very well as markets are up 4.3 percent. One ETH is trading at $708 during Saturdays mid-afternoon trading sessions. Ripple (XRP) prices are up 2.1 percent as each XRP trades at $0.68 cents. Lastly, the fifth position held by EOS is doing the best out of the top five contenders as EOS prices are up 5.6 percent — a single EOS today trades for $13.13 per token.

Markets Update: Digital Assets Show Recovery After the Past Three Days of Dips

The Verdict: Bullish Optimism Wanes

Optimism is there among cryptocurrency traders and enthusiasts but people are becoming skeptical of the positivity and those predicting bullish pumps. Of course, while the dips take place traders are finding shelter in Tether, and True USD while they wait out the storm. For now, there’s a whole lot of consolidation happening until traders decide when the next big move happens which could go either way at this vantage point.

Where do you see the price of BCH and other cryptocurrencies headed from here? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: 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.”


Images via Shutterstock, Trading View, and Satoshi Pulse.


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Purse.io Adds Native BCH Support and Launches ‘Bcash’

Purse.io Adds Native BCH Support and Launches 'Bcash'

On Friday, May 18, 2018, the firm Purse.io, the company that enables up to 20 percent savings when users shop on Amazon with Bitcoin Core (BTC), announced native support with Bitcoin Cash. Now users spending Bitcoin Cash can get the same services the firm has been offering since 2014. Additionally, Purse has revealed its own Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Javascript library for node.js called ‘bcash.’

Also read: “Stablecoin” Trueusd Pumps After Binance Listing

Purse.io Adds Native Support for Bitcoin Cash

Purse.io Adds Native BCH Support and Launches 'Bcash'This week at the Coingeek conference in Hong Kong, the firm Purse announced native support for BCH alongside its new client release ‘bcash.’ Right out of the gate during this formal announcement, the firm details that a marketplace like Purse depends on cryptocurrencies that don’t rely on “speculative interest or enthusiasm alone.” The company says the average order on Purse is around $100 and the average discount is about $15 and two on-chain transactions. Then Purse says they witnessed the grueling debate last year, while BTC transactions climbed to $50 per transaction. Now Purse has added Bitcoin Cash to the platform with full native support.      

“We’re excited about the vision of a cryptocurrency for commerce and appreciate the overwhelming support from the Bitcoin Cash community — We’re thrilled to announce native Bitcoin Cash,” Purse explains in a blog post.

The update is being tested to ensure a smooth experience with a target live date by the end of May. In addition, once Bitcoin Cash goes live, users who missed the post-fork withdrawal period will be happy to see their balance restored.

Purse.io Adds Native BCH Support and Launches 'Bcash'

Introducing ‘bcash’ an Implementation Not a Currency

In addition to the native support Purse has also unveiled the bcash implementation — an open source fork of the client bcoin, for the Bitcoin Cash network. Basically, bcash is an alternative implementation of the bitcoin cash protocol, written in node.js. The client can act as a full and SPV node, a wallet backend with BIP-44 derivation, a mining backend, and a general purpose BCH library. The bcash implementation will be the sixth BCH client joining Bitcoin ABC, XT, Unlimited, Parity, and Bitprim.

“We’re delighted to announce bcash, a bcoin implementation for Bitcoin Cash,” Purse details.  

We’re excited about projects including Yours, Joystream, Memo.cash, and Openbazaar, and excited to see new use cases emerge. Bcash is open source and ready for testing today.   

Two Crypto Nerds Agreeing?

Purse says to celebrate the Bitcoin Cash addition they have collaborated with the Bitcoin Cash Fund and customers who shop will earn a BCH cashback bonus this June.

“Going to from ‘One to Two’ has been challenging on technical and emotional levels — Over 25 crypto nerds work at Purse — When’s the last time you heard even two crypto nerds agree on anything?” Purse adds.

What do you think about Purse adding native support for Bitcoin Cash and the new bcash implementation? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments below.


Images via Purse, bcoin, and Shutterstock. 


Now live, Satoshi Pulse. A comprehensive, real-time listing of the cryptocurrency market. View prices, charts, transaction volumes, and more for the top 500 cryptocurrencies trading today.

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Colorado Proposal Aims to Allow Cryptocurrency Donations for Campaigns

Colorado Proposal Aims to Allow Cryptocurrency Donations for Campaigns

The state of Colorado is considering giving political candidates the ability to raise funds using cryptocurrencies. This week the Secretary of State, Wayne Williams, presented the proposed guidelines and officials are looking for commentary from Colorado residents.

Also read: “Stablecoin” Trueusd Pumps After Binance Listing

Colorado Secretary of State May Allow Politicians to Accept Cryptocurrencies for Campaigns

Colorado Proposal Aims to Allow Cryptocurrency Donations for CampaignsColorado is a state that is well known for testing new laws and guidelines like allowing recreational cannabis throughout the state. This week politicians from the Rocky Mountain state are considering allowing political candidates to accept bitcoin and other forms of digital assets. Secretary of State Wayne Williams proposed the new rules in a draft submitted on May 16, 2018. The proposal states:  

A committee may accept contributions in cryptocurrency, up to the acceptable limit for a cash or coin contribution. The amount of the contribution is the value of the cryptocurrency at the time of the contribution. The committee must report any gain or loss after the contribution as other income or receipts.

Crypto-Campaign Acceptance: An Accounting Nightmare

In an interview with the Denver Post Suzanne Staiert, Colorado’s deputy secretary of state explains the proposal going through is likely to happen. “The FEC is doing it now,” Staiert details. “So we are just going along for the ride.”

However, the FEC advisory’s guidelines are making the accounting process more difficult explains the deputy. The FEC advisory laid out how the organization thinks committees should deal with the accounting aspects of accepting cryptocurrencies. “It’s going to be an accounting problem, potentially, for campaigns who want to use it,” Staiert further noted.

Colorado Proposal Aims to Allow Cryptocurrency Donations for Campaigns
Back in 2014, U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, from Boulder Colorado accepted $2,000 worth of BTC for his campaign. Polis thinks politicians who hold cryptocurrencies should also declare their holdings.

U.S. Politicians Have Already Accepted Cryptocurrencies in the Past for Campaigns

A Colorado state official already has accepted donations in Bitcoin Core (BTC) back in 2014 as U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder accepted $2,000 worth of BTC that year. Other bureaucrats have accepted BTC in the past for political campaigns as well such as Rand Paul and Gary Johnson. Further, news.Bitcoin.com recently reported on the largest BTC donation given to a candidate so far this past December. The Republican U.S. Senate candidate Austin Peterson accepted roughly 0.284 BTC which at the time was worth over $4,500 USD.

The Colorado Secretary of State is asking state residents to comment on this issue before officials come to a decision on the matter.

What do you think about the state of Colorado allowing politicians to accept cryptocurrencies for political campaigns? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, and Wiki Commons.


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Cryptocurrency Brokerage Service Genesis Global Granted Bitlicense

Cryptocurrency Brokerage Service Genesis Global Granted Bitlicense

On May 17 the Digital Currency Group initiative and Over-the-Counter (OTC) cryptocurrency service, Genesis Global Trading, announced that Genesis was recently granted the New York state Bitlicense. The company that provides OTC solutions to institutional buyers can now operate freely in New York — A territory that many call, ‘the financial capital of the world,’ as Genesis aims to provide significant BTC, BCH, ETC, LTC, ZEC, XRP, and ETH liquidity in the state.

Also Read: Bitcoin Cash Upgrade Milestone Complete: 32MB and New Features  

DCG Backed Genesis Global Trading Granted New York State Bitlicense

Cryptocurrency Brokerage Service Genesis Global Granted BitlicenseGenesis Global Trading has announced the firm has been granted the Bitlicense, and the company will be allowed to operate in New York with other approved businesses such as Coinbase, Circle, and Itbit. The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) approved the company and provided Genesis with the Bitlicense — which will allow the firm to trade the various digital assets it holds with institutional investors. Before the company was granted the Bitlicense the firm operated under the DFS “safe harbor” provision.

Genesis was launched in 2013 and is backed by the venture capital organization the Digital Currency Group (DCG), a firm founded by Barry Silbert. The company is a regulated cryptocurrency OTC dealer that “provides access to institutional investors and high net worth individuals looking to buy or sell large sums of digital currencies.” Genesis has offered deep pools of liquidity, 24-7 trading, and same-day settlement since the company’s inception.

“We are very pleased that DFS has approved the Genesis Global Trading BitLicense application,” said Michael Moro, CEO, Genesis Global Trading.

Although we have operated under a safe harbor provision in recent years, today’s decision is an important step forward and reaffirms the robust compliance measures we have enacted as an established trading partner.    

Barry Silbert Hopes More Cryptocurrency Businesses Are Approved in NY

Cryptocurrency Brokerage Service Genesis Global Granted Bitlicense
Barry Silbert.

To use the Genesis platform, traders have a $75,000 USD minimum deposit, and all users are subject to AML and KYC regulatory guidelines. In addition to being an approved brokerage service that can sell Bitcoin Core (BTC), the DFS has also approved to procure Zcash (ZEC), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ripple (XRP), and Litecoin (LTC). Genesis also states the firm is also registered with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and Finra as well.

The Digital Currency Group’s founder Barry Silbert was excited for Genesis commenting on the subject over Twitter.

“Congrats to the team at Genesis Trading on being granted a Bitlicense, joining Coinbase Circle, Ripple, Bitflyer USA, and Itbit,” Silbert states.

 

Hoping to see the NYDFS ramp up their licensing pace so that NY does not continue to fall behind.

What do you think about Genesis Global Trading receiving the Bitlicense? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter, and Genesis Global.


Want to see all those Memo posts and OP_Codes in the BCH Chain? Check out Bitcoin.com’s Block Explorer today! 

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32MB Blocks Means Bitcoin Cash is Prepared for Mass Adoption

32MB Blocks Means Bitcoin Cash is Prepared for Mass Adoption

On May 15, 2018, the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network upgraded the chain’s base block size from 8MB to 32MB. The software advancement makes blocks big enough to process lots of transactions over time  which gives developers plenty of breathing room to adjust the size if it starts getting closer to its limit. Unfortunately, many misdirected individuals assume the BCH chain will start processing 32MB blocks right away, which could lead to a blockchain chain that’s much larger in gigabyte size and takes longer to download. However, this is not the case right now at all, because BCH miners process blocks that are often still under 1MB, as the 32MB code is only set to ensure the network is capable in the future.

Also Read: Bitcoin Cash Upgrade Milestone Complete: 32MB and New Features

The Successful 32MB Block Size Increase Paves a Path for Mass Adoption

After the Bitcoin Cash network upgraded yesterday and even before the fork, a few misguided individuals asked why there was a need to raise the block size fourfold when 8MB blocks were not filling just yet. The reason developers raised the limit to 32MB is likely because the software is perfectly capable of handling such a task in the future. Right now block size limits are set by the miner, and developers are there to help set the capacity so blocks cannot get full in the immediate future, and fees will remain low for quite some time. Unfortunately for the Bitcoin Core (BTC) network, Core developers let the block size fill beyond capacity, and fees became unreliable during the last quarter of 2017. The 32MB BCH block size adjustment ensures this will not happen to the BCH network down the road, even when transaction usage becomes as extreme as 2017’s last quarter.

32MB Blocks Means Bitcoin Cash is Prepared for Mass Adoption
The Bitcoin Cash (BCH) community and developers are not afraid of forks and protocol upgrades. The May 15th upgrade is the second successful hard fork on the BCH network.

Looking at BCH blocks on Coin Dance — a website which records BCH chain data currently shows that mining limits are being set by the mining pool. Over the past nine months, there have been a few 2,4, and 8MB blocks processed, but typically blocks have been a megabyte or less. So in essence, once miners decide its necessary to increase the block sizes they process, they will do so based on transactions and adoption increasing over time. In fact, current data also shows the Bitcoin Core (BTC) chain is still 34.4GB larger than the Bitcoin Cash chain.

32MB Blocks Means Bitcoin Cash is Prepared for Mass Adoption
After the block size increase miners are not processing 32MB blocks, the upgrade was meant to ensure they can handle that capacity in the future.

 Transaction Data Shows Daily BCH Transactions Has Increased by 186% in Nine Months  

At the moment Bitcoin Cash transactions per day are less than BTC as there are roughly 20-25,000 daily BCH transactions. But there’s also been a misdirected notion that the BCH chain isn’t getting much use, but this is simply untrue as data shows over the past nine months that BCH daily transaction percentage rates have increased. The decentralized currency BCH has seen a steady incline (186%) of use since the August 1 fork and the expansion of BCH transactions are now only 5-10,000 transactions less per day than the Litecoin (LTC) network — a cryptocurrency that has been around for 7 years. This is due in part to many Bitcoin Cash-based on-chain platforms like the tipping bot Tippr, the social media apps Memo and Blockpress, and other applications that help increase BCH usage.

32MB Blocks Means Bitcoin Cash is Prepared for Mass Adoption
In just nine months Bitcoin Cash has more than doubled its transaction count, and the BCH daily transaction rate is just below LTC’s daily transactions per day.

32X the Capacity is Merely Preparation for the Future of Bitcoin Cash Adoption

Essentially the bottom line is the software is now capable of processing 32MB blocks as it was previously capable of 8MB blocks. So far BCH miners had proven the capability of mining much larger blocks than 1MB multiple times, clearing thousands of transactions from the mempool. After the successful fork on May 15, some BCH supporters are already asking developers to remove the block size limit entirely.

32MB Blocks Means Bitcoin Cash is Prepared for Mass Adoption
The hilarious TX Highway has updated to 32 lanes.

Moreover, we know from testing that the Bitcoin software is capable of processing gigabyte blocks, and research studies further suggest the network could handle terabyte blocks as well. Unlike other digital asset developers, BCH programmers have set the bar high for capacity based on the known advancements in scaling a cryptocurrency network. Instead of saying “we don’t need to scale now,” the 32MB increase establishes a base block size that can efficiently handle 32X more transactions than the BTC network’s highest daily transaction rate recorded this past December.

What do you think about the 32MB block size upgrade? Do you think that the developers should remove the capacity limit entirely? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Images via Pixabay, TX Highway, Bitinfocharts.com, and Coin Dance. 


Do you agree with us that Bitcoin is the best invention since sliced bread? Thought so. That’s why we are building this online universe revolving around anything and everything Bitcoin. We have a store. And a forum. And a casino, a pool and real-time price statistics.  

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Markets Update: Mid-May Price Dips Plague Cryptocurrency Markets

Markets Update: Mid-May Price Dips Plague Cryptocurrency Markets

Cryptocurrency markets are losing some gains today, as most digital assets are down between 3-15 percent during this morning’s trading sessions on May 16, 2018. The overall cryptocurrency market cap has shaved a few billion in losses since our last markets update, leading to the valuation of all 1,600 cryptocurrencies hovering around $374Bn today. During the last 24-hours Bitcoin Cash (BCH) value has dropped 10.4 percent and prices are around $1,258 per BCH. Bitcoin Core (BTC) prices have also dipped, but by only 5.6 percent with one BTC priced at $8,234 at the time of publication.

Also read: Circle Raises $110Mn With Plans to Launch USD-Backed Coin

BCH Markets Down 20% This Week

At least three-quarters of the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem has lost value today as many coins are seeing losses this Wednesday. Total 24-hour trade volume for today’s trading session is around $22.6B worth of exchanges. Bitcoin Cash markets have lost a bit of value since yesterday as the network experienced an upgrade which increased its block size to 32MB. BCH trade volume is thinner than the week prior as only $1Bn has been traded during the last day. The top five exchanges swapping the most BCH during today’s trading sessions are Okex, Bitfinex, Huobi, Upbit, and Hitbtc. Both the South Korean won and tether (USDT) BCH trading pairs have seen exponential volumes but BTC still dominates pairs by 34 percent. The BCH/BTC pair is followed by tether (USDT 25.4%), USD (22%), KRW (14%), and the EUR (1.4%).

Markets Update: Mid-May Price Dips Plague Cryptocurrency Markets
BCH/USD market action on May 16, 2018, according to Satoshi Pulse.

BCH/USD Technical Indicators

Looking at the four-hour BCH/USD chart on Bitfinex the price is seeing some deep triangular consolidation at the moment. The MACd is on the rise after the initial dip took place and show more improvement could be in the cards. RSI levels show the oscillator is around 38 right now, showing oversold conditions seem imminent. Looking at the two Simple Moving Averages indicates the path to resistance to the upside still looks obtainable as the short term 100 SMA rides above the longer term 200 SMA trend line. Looking at order books on the upside, BCH bulls need to muster up the strength to break past $1,330-1,355 in order to make headway northbound. On the flipside, if the dips continue there are some solid foundations between the current vantage point and $1,210.

Markets Update: Mid-May Price Dips Plague Cryptocurrency Markets
Bitfinex — BCH/USD May 16, 2018, at 10 am EDT.

A Brief Glimpse at Overall Cryptocurrency Market Action

The entire cryptocurrency ecosystem is seeing pretty decent losses today even though there’s been loads of good news coming from the industry this week. The number one cryptocurrency market cap held by Bitcoin Core (BTC) is wavering just below the $8,400 region with $7Bn in trade volume over the past 24-hours. Ethereum (ETH) markets has seen some dippage as well, as prices have lost 4 percent today. One ETH is hovering just above $700 USD at the time of publication. Ripple (XRP) markets are seeing heavier losses around 6.3 percent as one XRP is $0.69 cents today. Lastly, the fifth highest capitalization has been a contested position for a while now as many coins have been filling this area over the past year. EOS has held the number five spot for a few weeks now but its markets are down 11.7 percent today as one EOS is averaging $12 per coin.

Markets Update: Mid-May Price Dips Plague Cryptocurrency Markets
The top ten cryptocurrencies today according to Satoshi Pulse.

The Verdict: Mid-May Market Action is Lackluster but Positivity Remains

So far, the mid-May bull run lots of enthusiasts were hoping for has been nothing but a fizzle this week. Many believed cryptocurrencies would begin to see larger gains after the Consensus conference in New York started but that forecast never came to fruition, at least not yet. The only coins that are doing well today are a few miscellaneous tokens and stablecoins like tether (USD, and TrueUSD showing traders are likely using these ‘stable’ currencies as shelter from the current storm). Optimism and positivity among traders on social media and trader groups on Telegram still seems bright, even though markets have shaved some decent gains over the past 72-hours.

Where do you see the price of BCH and other cryptocurrencies headed from here? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: 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.”


Images via Shutterstock, Trading View, and Satoshi Pulse.


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Bitpay Enables Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Core (BTC) for Tax Payments

Bitpay Enables Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Core (BTC) for Tax Payments

Popular crypto payment processor, Bitpay, announced formal agreement with Florida’s Seminole County Tax Collector, Joel M. Greenberg. Bitcoin core (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) can now both be used for tax payments, beginning this summer. County residents can pay in crypto for driver licenses, ID cards, and even property taxes.

Also read: Coinbase Remains the Most Successful and Important Company in the Crypto Industry

Bitpay Allows Enthusiasts in Seminole County, Florida to Pay Taxes in Crypto

File under: bitter sweet. Joel M. Greenberg, Seminole County Tax Collector, explained, “We live in a world where technology has made access to services on demand, with same-day delivery and the expectation of highly efficient customer service and we should expect the same from our government. The aim of my tenure in office is to make our customer experience faster, smarter, and more efficient, and to bring government services from the 18th century into the 21st century and one way is the addition of cryptocurrency to our payment options.”

Bitpay Enables Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Core (BTC) for Tax Payments
Mr. Greenberg

Cryptocurrency isn’t necessarily moral nor immoral. It is an amoral technology, a tool. It can be used for terrorism, vacation getaways, housing, and, now, taxes. As governments are wont, they’re usually immune from innovation. But when it comes to revenue collection they’re surprisingly spry, alert, on it. Paying taxes by credit or debit has been a thing for a while, but always involved processors taking a heavy cut. The advent of crypto and the Bitpay Visa does away with a great many previous frictions, making the expropriation experience win-win: enthusiasts don’t have to do yet another conversion, and governments save in fees.

Holding Noses, Simplified

Head of Compliance at Bitpay, Jeremie Beaudry, detailed, “Bitpay was started because we recognized the potential for blockchain to revolutionize the financial industry, making payments faster, more secure, and less expensive on a global scale. With the Seminole County Tax Collector’s office, we have engaged our first government agency to accept bitcoin and bitcoin cash by making it easy and seamless for them.”

Bitpay Enables Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Core (BTC) for Tax Payments

And though the broader crypto community has its issues with funding governments, making paying them shouldn’t be any more cumbersome than need be. Bitpay and Seminole County teamed to allow bitcoin cash and bitcoin core for pretty much everything: car tags and titles, licenses, even property tax.

The county tax collector gets their money settled by the following business day, paid directly to the account in fiat. The local government is spared notorious price volatility and the usual risk associated with crypto. As Bitpay’s press release insists, through a “push transaction, the user sends the exact amount of bitcoin or bitcoin cash needed to pay the bill. This eliminates traditional credit card fraud and identity theft risks associated with credit cards.” The company’s fees are also better than merely competitive, as 1% per approval is way below market rate. And for those wishing to pay their taxes, the processor can be accessed through traditional computers or smartphones.

Is the ability to pay taxes with crypto a good way to increase overall adoption? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, Bitpay. 


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Coinbase Remains the Most Successful and Important Company in the Crypto Industry

Coinbase Remains the Most Successful and Important Company in the Crypto Industry

On its 6th birthday, Coinbase received high praise from Shapeshift’s Erik Voorhees. He Tweeted, “Coinbase remains the most successful and important company in the crypto industry.” Arguably, that is very much the case. The San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange with its barebone menu of offerings, combined with its easy user-interface and relatively smooth onboarding (almost no upfront deposit needed), provide an envious business model. That’s not to write the company is without faults, as it has many. It might not even be the future of retail crypto access, and perhaps it shouldn’t.

Also read: Zimbabwe Bans All Cryptocurrency Activity, Businesses Have 2 Month Grace Period

Coinbase is Easy, Light, Feisty

“Today is Coinbase’s sixth anniversary,” wrote COO Asiff Hirji. “We’re celebrating six incredible years working toward our mission to help create a more open financial system for the world! […] We are in the early days of our mission and there is still so much to do […] Have to know when to follow the rules, when to bend them and when to push to change them. Breaking them is neither ethical nor sustainable.”

It’s probably less of an exchange proper and more of a conservative cryptocurrency bank. It might be fair to simply label it a broker (without bids, asks, limit orders, margin trading, etc). Coinbase, founded six years ago this week, is arguably the most important company, regardless of its technical classification, within the space. It alone is responsible for introducing millions and millions of Americans to the wild phenomenon that is decentralized currency speculation.

Coinbase Remains the Most Successful and Important Company in the Crypto Industry

Offering bitcoin core (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), ether (ETH), and litecoin (LTC), its sparse choices work to underwhelm those new to speculating on cryptocurrency. The format is light and only requires a linked bank account. Without the bother of having to hold and maintain decentralized currency, users can simply use the Coinbase client and trade for fractions, sometimes as low as $2.00. Fees, of course, apply.

At the time of available statistics, the Northern California broker had something like 13 million users (Altana Digital Currency Fund), some days back in 2017 clocking them at 100,000 new sign ups every twenty four hours. For a little while there, Coinbase was a top ten downloaded application in the Apple Store. Its yearly revenue eclipsed venerable legacy houses such as Charles Schwab.

Embarrassment of Riches

It continues to nab top professional financial sector talent such as Asiff Hirji from TD Ameritrade; to that end, it poached Facebook Messenger’s David Marcus to join its Board, and the two are exploring ways to exploit the social media platform’s giant user base in terms of blockchain technology (probably a proprietary token is in the works, but that’s a guess). Heck, even its alumni go on to do big things: Charlie Lee of Litecoin fame was a former director of engineering.

Merchants Dell and Expedia use it as a point of sale processor. For trading professionals, its Coinbase Exchange was rebranded to Global Digital Asset Exchange (GDAX), becoming one of the earliest to offer ether to financial pros.

Coinbase Remains the Most Successful and Important Company in the Crypto Industry
Brian Armstrong

For better or worse, Coinbase is the most prominent version of mainstreaming the crypto revolution. It’s young (CEO, Brian Armstrong, is barely in his mid 30s), feisty, ambitious, cocky, and sporting for market share. Its flounders are largely an embarrassment of riches: demand so great the company’s system crashed a few times during the runups of 2017, and its customer inquiries languished at times in ten day backlogs. Mr. Armstrong fired back, “There’s so many people rushing into the space, if it’s a bit of speculation, I’m O.K. with that. But we can’t guarantee the website’s going to be up exactly when you need it. Everyone needs to take a deep breath.”

That particular hiccup hasn’t been put away altogether just yet, as in January of this year alone formal complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rocketed by more than 100%. Almost half were filed regarding “money not available when promised,” which is no small matter.

Coinbase Remains the Most Successful and Important Company in the Crypto Industry

Peril’s of Centralization

In the scaling debate, Mr. Armstrong came firmly down on the side of big blockers, and, according to various sources, holds most of his crypto wealth in ether. Under his leadership, the company embraced economic reality, choosing when to fight on principle and where to give-in. For example, it was one of the notable in its class to snag a controversial Bitlicense from New York. Howls of sell out and capitulation could be heard far and wide. But this move signaled to potential investors and the broader financial community the company was less strident and more pragmatic in the all-important ‘business sense.’

It would regain some of its punkier credibility, at least for a time, when the United States’ taxman came calling. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) evidently can read eye-popping price headlines. As market leaders such as BTC rose exponentially, so did United States citizens’ tax obligations. Yet nearly no one was complying. History will show the company did fight back, but history will also show it lost, having to hand over customer information for those who moved more than $20K in crypto (small percentage of its users).

Coinbase Remains the Most Successful and Important Company in the Crypto Industry

Then again, when New York’s top cop poked and prodded at exchanges, asking they account for this and that, Coinbase jumped as high as asked, issuing a very detailed letter. Kraken, on the other hand, went sideways at the presumption and hubris of such an invasion. The contrast could not be starker, and the more principled in the community noticed … as it did when it shut off access for Wikileaks, a seemingly purposeful separation from crypto’s anarchic roots. Such are the perils of centralization in the sense there are doors to kickdown, masters to please other than market demand. 

For the more cypherpunk among us, it is critical to acknowledge the truth. Coinbase is good people, but Coinbase is also in bed with the same folks who prompted crypto’s birth. That won’t do, and won’t do by a lot. If censorship resistance and decentralization are fundamental pillars, then we should look for exchanges in those images. Leave traditional banking schemes itching to please governments to their future: slow death.

Is Coinbase an overall positive or negative in the crypto community? Tell us in the comments below! 


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Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Lose Steam During the Weekend

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Lose Steam During the Weekend

Cryptocurrencies have been dropping in value this Saturday, May 12 as most digital assets are down between 3-15 percent. The price of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is hovering around $1,446 at press time while gaining 3.4 percent today  And Bitcoin Core (BTC) values are averaging roughly $8,473 per BTC and its markets are down 1.4 percent this weekend.

Also read: Court Orders Chilean Banks to Re-Open Crypto Exchange Accounts  

Digital Assets Take a Dip During This Weekend’s Trading Sessions

Traders and cryptocurrency enthusiasts are uncertain of the short-term path ahead for digital assets, as most cryptocurrencies have lost a bunch of value once again. Many believe digital assets will see a rise at some point next week, as cryptocurrency markets have consistently risen every year in mid-May year after year. News has been fairly positive as Wall Street seems to be embracing cryptocurrencies even more so these days as new indexes and funds have launched. However, crypto-proponents are still concerned about regulations as exchanges are still being raided in South Korea and other governments enforce new measures. Moreover, the infamous Mt Gox trustee has moved bitcoins once again, and many believe those coins are being liquidated for fiat.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Lose Steam During the Weekend
Top ten cryptocurrencies on Saturday, May 12, 2018, according to Satoshi Pulse. 

BCH Market Action

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) values have dipped considerably since our last markets update as BCH prices over the past seven days have lost 13.6 percent. Even though prices are down volumes have risen and the past 24-hours worth of trade volume is around $1.49Bn today. Right now the top five exchanges swapping the most BCH today are Okex, Upbit, Bitfinex, Bithumb, and Huobi. South Korean markets (KRW/BTC) have spiked considerably when it comes to BCH trades this weekend. BTC pairs with BCH have dropped but is still the most dominant pair as BTC encompasses 28.3 percent of BCH trades. This is followed by tether (USDT 26.4%), KRW (21%), USD (20.1%), and the euro (1.9%).

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Lose Steam During the Weekend

BCH/USD Technical Indicators

Looking at charts show some consolidation taking place and new positions being staked. The two Simple Moving Averages (SMA) show bulls could still take the game back to the upside, as the 100 SMA is still largely above the 200 SMA. MACd indicates some uncertainty at -42.17 which could show some improvement may take place in the near future. Relative Strength Index oscillator indicates the same sentiment, as it meanders around 42 at press time. Order books show bulls need to break resistance at $1,490 to move further ahead and from this vantage point, it still looks attainable. On the back side if bears try and short the market books indicate there are solid foundations between $1,360 and $1,250.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Lose Steam During the Weekend
BCH/USD Bitfinex May 12, 2018

BTC Market Action

Bitcoin Core (BTC) markets are down 14 percent over the past seven days and one BTC is priced at $8,473 per unit. BTC volumes are decent today with over $7Bn worth traded over the past 24-hours. The top five exchanges trading the most BTC today includes Binance, Bitfinex, Okex, Huobi, and Bitflyer. The Japanese yen is the dominant currency traded with BTC as the yen is capturing 52.9 percent of today’s trades. This is followed by the USD (21%), tether (USDT 16.7%), KRW (3.8%), and the euro (2.6%). The most popular swap today on May 12 on the peer-to-peer platform Shapeshift is BTC for BCH.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Lose Steam During the Weekend  BTC/USD Technical Indicators

Looking at the 4-hour BTC/USD chart shows the two SMA trend lines are currently different than BCH markets. The short-term 100 SMA is below the long-term 200 SMA which indicates the path to resistance may be towards the downside. At press time bulls have attempted to cross above the $8,550-8,650 range, with little luck. MACd shows this action just took place but more improvements can happen within the coming hours. RSI levels are around 45.5 which indicates some consolidation and some upwards movements are still in the cards. BTC bulls have to eat through massive sell walls to get above $9K again and then more mountains above $9,600. On the backside there are stiff foundations around $8,150, and if that area breaks we will see another pitstop at $7,800.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Lose Steam During the Weekend
BTC/USD Coinbase May 12, 2018

The Verdict: Market Optimism Remains

As stated above, there are a lot of cryptocurrency enthusiasts and traders betting on a rise in digital asset markets in the near future. But this past dip seems to show a bit of consolidation before any type of break out takes place, as most currencies touched a three-week low this week. Even so, most people still seem optimistic for the coming weeks ahead.

Where do you see the price of BCH and other cryptocurrencies headed from here? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: 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.”


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Gox Trustee to Flood Market with Thousands of Bitcoin, BTC Price Drops Below $9K

Gox Trustee to Flood Market with Thousands of Bitcoin, BTC Price Drops Below $9K

Notoriously hacked cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox isn’t done with bitcoiners just yet. Just as it appeared the world’s most popular cryptocurrency was ready to strike above the stubborn high nine thousands in price, Nobuaki Kobayashi, Tokyo-based, court appointed trustee of the remaining bitcoin to be distributed among creditors, seems ready to flood another 8,000 coins onto a fragile market struggling to recover.

Also read: Venezuela’s President Launches Crypto Funded Youth Bank, Encourages Mining Farms

Gox Trustee to Flood Market with Over 8,000 Bitcoin

The Tweets were unusually sure over the last three weeks. Luminaries who’ve seen it all wistfully claimed that, should the speculative price of bitcoin core (BTC) break above $10,000 again, and this was all but a foregone conclusion in their view, it would be the last time investors would ever see such a low. And then something happened along the way. The hot hand held by BTC enthusiasts was left cold: the price dropped to the low nine thousands. Then it broke below $9,000. It would finally settle very near $8,000 by press time.

Mt. Gox happened, again.

Gox Trustee to Flood Market with Thousands of Bitcoin, BTC Price Drops Below $9K

The exploded exchange from ancient history by crypto standards, 2014, is rearing its head in the form of trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi. Yet another flood of bitcoin selling appears to be poised, as Blockchain.info shows over 8,000 from the court ordered fund’s cold storage wallets (two) was recently shifted. As watchdog news of coin movement spread, the corresponding bitcoin core (BTC) price plummeted.

It is unclear whether Gox coins will be shed through mainstream markets or over-the-counter exchanges. Fear, doubt, uncertainty (FUD) has been heaped on the digital asset in particular this week not only surrounding a potential market dump but also through legacy business media incessantly quoting Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, and Bill Gates about the supposed inherent ills of crypto.

Not First Rodeo

Something on the order of 137 thousand bitcoin remain in the Gox trust, according to various sources and wallet monitoring groups. The ecosystem has long accused institutional whales of shorting the market at the expense of overall prices. And as BTC goes, so do, historically, the rest of the cryptocurrency listings across the board.

Gox Trustee to Flood Market with Thousands of Bitcoin, BTC Price Drops Below $9KNot quite two months ago, Mr. Kobayashi dumped nearly half a billion dollars worth of BTC and bitcoin cash (BCH) onto markets. The response, which the Gox trustee denied, seemed to be an economic law: prices bottomed out under the mere weight of momentary over supply. Mr. Kobayashi insisted his flood back then had been orchestrated through OTC outlets rather than more mainstream markets.

What is highly probable, however, is arbitrage of a sort. Keen OTCers could snap up discounted BTC and BCH, and then promptly unload them onto recognizable exchanges. The rub is always trying to avoid the fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc, exuberantly asserting because X happened before Y, it caused Y. But price movement charts are pretty compelling, correlating well between Gox floods and price drops.

Do you think the Gox trustee’s actions are influencing prices? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices See Relief After Three Day Losses

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices See Relief After Three Day Losses

Cryptocurrency prices have dropped significantly over the past 72 hours after reaching new highs on May 5. When Bitcoin Core (BTC) prices touched a high of $9,940 USD this past Saturday buyers met resistance and the price tumbled to a low of $8,975. BTC prices today are hovering along between $9,100 and $9,400. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) market values touched a high of $1,829 on May 5, but have subsequently dropped to an average of $1,625 during today’s trading sessions. Overall most cryptocurrency markets are seeing some gains today after suffering from three days of losses.

Also read: Court Orders Chilean Banks to Re-Open Crypto Exchange Accounts 

Bitcoin Cash Markets See 4% Gains Today

Cryptocurrencies have lost value over the past 72 hours but are starting to rebound at the time of publication. Currently out of the 1,595 different digital assets, the entire cryptocurrency market cap is around $437Bn today with $22Bn in 24-hour trade volumes. Bitcoin Cash markets today are up over 4 percent and have seen 14.3 percent worth of gains over the past seven days. BCH trade volume during the May 9 trading sessions is around $1.2Bn over the past 24 hours. The top five exchanges swapping the most BCH today are Okex, Upbit, Bithumb, Bitfinex, and Huobi. In terms of price compared to Bitcoin Core values, BCH is worth Ƀ0.1770 at the time of writing and has been slowly approaching the Ƀ0.2 region. BTC captures 35 percent of today’s BCH trades and this is followed by tether (USDT 22.8%), KRW (20%), the USD (17%) and the euro (1.3%).

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices See Relief After Three Day Losses
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) May 9, 2018.

Technical Indicators

Looking at charts shows BCH bulls are trying hard to push past resistance at the moment. The 4-hour chart reveals the two SMA trendlines still have a decent gap between the 100 SMA and the 200 SMA. The short-term 100 SMA is well above the 200 SMA indicating the path to resistance should be on the upside. MACd is dipping southbound at the moment while the Relative Strength Index oscillator is holding around 55 indicating some consolidation forming.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices See Relief After Three Day Losses
Bitfinex BCH/USD markets on May 9, 2018.

Bollinger Bands are extremely tight during the day’s trading sessions as a breakout could be imminent. Looking at order books shows that bulls have some thick resistance ahead up until $1,700, and then another large mountain of sell orders between $1,750-1,850. If things turn for the worse then foundations can be found on the backside between now and $1,550. A break below $1,550 will lead to another solid pitstop around $1,460. At the moment it doesn’t look like bears will take the reins anytime soon.

The Top Cryptocurrencies Today

Overall cryptocurrency markets are doing pretty well today. Looking at the number one market valuation shows Bitcoin Core (BTC) markets are up 1.4 percent and 1.99 percent over the course of the last week. Currently, one BTC is trading for $9,343 and has a 24-hour trade volume of about $7.2Bn. Ethereum (ETH) is the second largest market cap and its currency is averaging around $754 per ETH. Ripple (XRP) is down today around 0.53 percent and 5.2 percent over the past seven days. One XRP is trading at $0.80 cents per coin. Lastly, the number five position below BCH is the digital asset EOS which is down 1.9 percent today and is priced at $17.91 per token.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices See Relief After Three Day Losses
Cryptocurrency market caps via Satoshi Pulse on May 9, 2018.

The Verdict: Market Sentiment Remains Optimistic

Over the past week, most cryptocurrencies have seen some negative decline but a lot of traders are positive this month will be a turning point.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Prices See Relief After Three Day Losses
Data from the past three years just before the Consensus conference and this year’s charts make Tom Lee think that BTC will rally by 70% next week.

Nearly every year for the past four years just before the Consensus conference in New York BTC prices and other cryptocurrency values have rallied significantly. Fundstrat advisor Tom Lee thinks the same thing may happen during the event in mid-May stating that BTC and other digital assets could rally more than 70 percent soon. Even after three days worth of dips, market sentiment is still optimistic.

Where do you see the price of BCH and other cryptocurrencies headed from here? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: 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.”


Images via Shutterstock, Trading View, and Satoshi Pulse.


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Reddit Plans to Reinstate Cryptocurrency Payments

Reddit Plans to Reinstate Cryptocurrency Payments

After Reddit removed Bitcoin Core (BTC) as a form of payment for premium membership services this past March, the company seems to be planning to reinstate the digital asset soon. On Thursday, May 3 in an interview with Cheddar, the company’s chief technology officer (CTO), Chris Slowe, revealed it will be adding BTC again and more cryptocurrencies as well.

Also read: Telegram Rakes in Over $1.5 Billion, Ditches ICO for an Open Network & Token

Reddit CTO Says Cryptocurrency Payments Will Return to the Social MediaPlatform

Reddit Plans to Reinstate Cryptocurrency Payments In an interview with the media outlet Cheddar, Chris Slowe, the CTO of Reddit explained the firm would be adding bitcoin core payments to the platform again. This will allow users to pay for premium membership called, Reddit Gold, with BTC. The company had previously removed the BTC payment option this past March stating the reason was due to a “Coinbase change” and only Paypal was accepted. During his interview with Cheddar, Chris Slowe says one of the reasons they dropped BTC was due to network transaction fees “being too large.”

Every Cryptocurrency in Existence Has a Community on Reddit

The Reddit CTO further stated that Coinbase was the main payment processing platform for Reddit, and the company recently revitalized its user interface and API. Slowe says the firm just didn’t have time to add the Coinbase API integration but they have been able to address the issue again. At the time the Reddit development team using Coinbase didn’t have access to other markets Slowe says, like Ethereum and Litecoin.

“We have some of the oldest cryptocurrencies forums online,” Slowe explains in his interview.

Like I remember when way back in the day maybe eight years ago when someone in the office found r/bitcoin, and I wondered what is a bitcoin? And why would I want to spend seven cents on one? It’s gotten a lot further along since then and the community and now every cryptocurrency in existence has a community on Reddit right now.

Reddit Plans to Reinstate Cryptocurrency Payments
An interview with Reddit’s chief technology officer (CTO), Chris Slowe, about reinstating cryptocurrencies.

Meanwhile, Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian Feels BTC and ETH Markets Will be Extremely Bullish This Year

The interview with Slowe confirms Reddit is looking to integrate more cryptocurrencies shortly after a few weeks of hiatus. The CTO details that Reddit is looking at the cryptocurrencies offered by the Coinbase service which are Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum. The news also follows the Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian, stating on May 2nd that he believes BTC will rally to $20K by the end of 2018. Ohanian also thinks Ethereum will climb 20 times in value to a price of $15,000 USD per ETH by the end of the year.        

“I’m most bullish about Ethereum simply because people are actually building on it,” Ohanian detailed.

Last year, it was all about AI and machine learning, This year, it’s all about blockchain — Most of the really vital, protocol-level, basic infrastructure around software and blockchain will need to get built in the next year or two for us to really see the Web 3.0 we’re really hoping for.

What do you think about Reddit adding multiple cryptocurrencies to the platform for payments? What do you think about Alexis Ohanian’s predictions? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Images via Pixabay, Reddit, and Cheddar. 


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Telegram Rakes in Over $1.5 Billion, Ditches ICO for an Open Network & Token

Telegram Rakes in Over $1.5 Billion, Ditches ICO for an Open Network & Token

The Wall Street Journal reported Telegram has raised $1.7 billion in anticipation of an initial coin offering (ICO). However, the company has instead decided to scrap its much publicized ICO in favor of beefing up its popular messaging service and expanding into tokenization.

Also read: Microsociety Fort Galt in Chile Uses Bitcoin to Build Anew

Telegram Scraps ICO

Paul Vigna details how Telegram has “brought in so much money from a small group of private investors that it is calling off a planned sale of cryptocurrency to the wider investing public.” The company is effectively ditching its ICO after having raised a cool $1.7 billion.

It’s an interesting time for Telegram, to put it mildly. Recently, the encrypted messenger service celebrated gaining 200 million users. Almost immediately, the Russian government attempted to force it to provide user information, and a way to backdoor decrypt, in an effort to combat terrorism. Pavel Durov, Telegram’s charismatic founder, flatly refused, pulling lawyers from the determinative Moscow hearing. Soon after, the service was summarily banned throughout Russia.

Telegram Rakes In Over $1.5 Billion, Ditches ICO for an Open Network
An eventful few weeks for Telegram included colorful protests over Russia’s ban of the encrypted messaging service.

That, in turn, set off a wave of protests, including supporters in the country flying paper airplanes (the company’s logo) as a symbol of resistance. Even Mr. Durov openly engaged in the fight, using his personal channel to suggest ways to hack around the ban. If all that wasn’t enough, Telegram’s European services ghosted for most of the continent a few days ago, and sporadically throughout the rest of the world, causing major disruptions.

Perhaps then it’s no wonder Mr. Durov is looking not to explore the ICO realm further but will instead use that newly raised cash to beef up existing services.

Telegram Open Network

According to the Journal, the company is expanding into a “digital payments platform” to compete with the likes of Bitcoin core. It will point a great deal of its new money in that direction, titling the effort the Telegram Open Network. “The network, which will be built using ‘blockchain’ ledger technology, ‘can become a Visa/Mastercard alternative for a new decentralized economy,’ the company noted in a 23-page description of its plans,” Mr Vigna described.

If these plans sound vaguely familiar, they should. In 2017, the company looked toward raising over a billion dollars in hopes of bringing-forth a token, “gram,” which would exist on a larger online platform. The company, again, has often pit its future against that of bitcoin core (BTC), suggesting the reason BTC hasn’t been widely adopted is the result of fundamentally chronic and crippling issues.

Telegram Rakes In Over $1.5 Billion, Ditches ICO for an Open NetworkA first mover advantage Telegram might have is its near quarter of a billion user base, a built-in ready market for its services. And according to Mr. Vigna, “Telegram reported in a February Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it raised $850 million from 81 investors in a private deal. In March, the company said it raised another $850 million from 94 investors in a second private deal. The offerings were open only to accredited investors, which meant participants needed to exceed income requirements or have net worth of at least $1 million.”

Speculation, besides the above, is that the growing noose around ICOs and their pumpers from regulatory bodies around the world caused Telegram to shift away. This would also make a huge amount of business sense, as typical regulations would expose the likes of Mr. Durov to many more bureaucratic eyes. A private fundraising is just that, private.

Do you think Telegram is making a smart move? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Pixabay, Telegram. 


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