Top China Bitcoin exchange to stop trading

One of China’s biggest Bitcoin exchanges has said it will stop trading, after a government warning over virtual currencies.

BTCC said it would stop buying and selling on 30 September in response to tightening regulation.

It comes after authorities banned initial coin offerings on 5 September.

The country has seen an explosion of digital currency trading, sparking fears about the financial risks and speculative investing.

The price of Bitcoin tumbled sharply following the BTCC announcement late on Thursday but has since regained some ground.

Cracking down

Chinese authorities expressed concern over the investment risks involved in crypto-currencies and ordered a ban on initial coin offerings, or ICOs, earlier this month.

A growing number of tech companies are opting to sell digital “tokens” to raise funds because they are quick, easy and unregulated.

  • Initial coin offerings: Is this the next financial scandal waiting to happen?
  • Tech Tent: The crypto-currency craze
  • What is Bitcoin and how does it work?

Then on Wednesday this week, the state-backed National Internet Finance Association issued a warning that virtual currencies are increasingly being used as a tool for illegal fundraising and money laundering.

BTCC, one of the world’s biggest Bitcoin platforms, said in a tweet Thursday after “carefully considering” the directive from regulators, trading on its platform would cease and it would stop registering new users from Thursday.

Source: Coindesk

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SFI TIP OF THE DAY

Leadership Tool: Profile Scores

Identify potential future stars in your affiliate team with Profile Scores!

Here’s how it works: Our system reviews the responses your affiliates have given to questions on their Affiliate Profiles. We assign a point value to each response to help identify affiliates who have set high goals, committed to investing significant time or money into their new business, are experienced in network marketing or Internet marketing, and/or who have past leadership experience, and so on. These point values are all added altogether to create the affiliate’s Profile Score.

These Profile Scores allow you to quickly get an idea of your affiliate’s level of motivation and commitment, and maybe even an insight into the kind of affiliate this person is going to be.

That said, there are limitations to how much weight you should put on the Profile Score for any given affiliate. Keep in mind that the score is only a number based on Affiliate Profile responses. A high score does not guarantee a future Platinum Team Leader. Likewise, a low score doesn’t necessarily indicate that an affiliate is going to go nowhere. High or low, ALL your affiliates should be greeted with enthusiasm and strong support!

You can find Profile Scores in the e-mail notifications you receive whenever one of your PSAs completes their Affiliate Profile. You can also find Profile Scores in the PS column under the “Aff Mgr” tab in your Genealogy report

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Can Cryptocurrency Debit Cards Increase Day-to-Day Usage of Digital Coins?

With less than a quarter of Americans using cash in their day-to-day purchases, it’s more evidence that society is becoming an increasingly cashless environment.

On the other hand, cryptocurrencies are growing in popularity. However, most users only hold crypto to save and invest.

So with digital coins like Bitcoin, Ether and Litecoin becoming increasingly popular, why aren’t we seeing more widespread adoption?

Barriers

A majority of shoppers don’t see cryptocurrencies as a valid payment option, especially when it comes to physical purchases.  To many, it’s too foreign a concept.

We grow up being taught the value of money and how to manage it. We are confident in its deemed value by being able to easily turn it into a tangible piece of paper or coin. When we want to exchange it for a product or service, there are no questions asked.

To take that mindset and change it, to trust and fully adopt a completely digital coin, can take some time.

Another big hurdle is getting merchants to accept digital currencies. It doesn’t help if people are willing to use cryptocurrencies in everyday payments but retailers won’t, or can’t, accept it.

The road to widespread adoption is a two-way street: payment and acceptance.

Big brands like Amazon, Microsoft and Apple are helping the cause by accepting and facilitating Bitcoin payments, but this is mostly for online transactions.

For physical in-store payments, merchants need the right infrastructure. This can be costly and time-consuming to implement. Not many businesses will risk this for a payment method that’s not seen mainstream adoption yet.

Debit cards encourage widespread adoption?

Cryptocurrency debit cards could bridge the gap between users feeling comfortable enough to use digital coins in their everyday lives, and merchants being able to accept them with existing infrastructure.

Most of us are happy to use a card to shop, this would not necessarily change if the card was connected to a Bitcoin account. It’s the payment method, not the underlying currency, which makes us feel at ease.

Both Visa and MasterCard have filed patents for transaction systems that use Blockchain technology, and have been experimenting with these types of payments for some time now.

The fact that established payment companies are getting on board means that existing infrastructure can be used without requiring additional work on the merchant’s end. The customer can therefore pay in a chosen cryptocurrency, while the merchant still receives payment in a fiat currency like Euro.

Opponents will often cite volatility as the number one reason for not seeing widespread adoption. It is true, cryptocurrencies can fluctuate wildly, but this is no different than what is happening to the price of fiat currencies.

Just look at what has happened to one of the world’s strongest currencies, the pound, in the last year as a result of changes in the political environment. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether are still young. It’s only a matter of time for them to settle into the market and for prices to stabilize.

Users are comfortable using their debit cards through current payment channels, and merchants have the right infrastructure to accept such payments. If existing payment gateways can continue to develop and facilitate crypto transactions, we will see a much wider adoption of cryptocurrencies in day-to-day life.

There are currently more than 30 crypto debit cards available from different providers.

Source: CoinDesk

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Instagrammers with 50K to 200K followers can make more than $1,000 per post

Can you hack it making your living as an Instagram influencer?

The “profession,” if we’re ready to call it that, is an increasingly popular one, idealized especially by millennials afflicted with acute cases of wanderlust and a yearning for independence from corporate drudgery.

The money companies are pumping into it is steadily growing, too. It’s a $500 million industry today, and corporate muscle will bolster that to $5 billion to $10 billion by 2020, according to Mediakix estimates.

That money isn’t going exclusively to celebrities. “Microinfluencers” who have between 50,000 to 200,000 followers are taking a not-insignificant share of the pie as well, according to a recent profile in The New Yorker by Rachel Monroe.

Monroe spent a week hanging out with Emily King and Corey Smith, the itinerant duo behind the account Where’s My Office Now, which has 147,000 followers and counting. The account essentially documents the couple (and their dog) living out of a Volkswagen van as they travel from scenic mountain range to idyllic beach (#vanlife is a popular hashtag — more than 1.3 million photos have been uploaded to it — that King and Smith and countless others use).

But Instagrammers like King and Smith, with a sizable yet close-knit following, can be more appealing to some advertisers than accounts with over 1 million followers because they tend to generate more loyalty and interaction among their fans.

Monroe explains:

“Celebrity endorsements aren’t new, of course, but influencer marketing expands the category of ‘celebrity’ to include teen-age fashionistas, drone racers, and particularly photogenic dogs. Advertisers work with people like Smith and King precisely because they’re not famous in the traditional sense. They’re appealing to brands because they have such a strong emotional connection with their followers. Krishna Subramanian, the co-founder of captiv8, a company that has helped Where’s My Office Now connect with advertisers, said, ‘Their followers know what they’re doing day in and day out.'”

The best of the best social media influencers can earn tens of thousands for a sponsored post. Users with a few million followers, like the couple Jack Morriss and Lauren Bullen, make six-figure incomes and as much as $9,000 per post traveling the world and snapping eye-popping photos.

At this point, King and Smith only make between $500 to $1,500 per sponsored post.

But the couple, who are picky about the companies they’ll endorse (“We see every dollar as a vote,” King told Monroe), appear to be gathering steam. They had already booked $10,000 in endorsements two months into 2017, compared with the $18,000 they earned in all of 2016. They’ve gained more than 7,000 followers since the piece in The New Yorker published mid-April.

Their posts tend to get a few thousand likes each. Although, perhaps predictably, shots featuring King in a bikini or semi-nude will bump that up by a factor of two or three. From Monroe’s profile:

“King clicked on the account’s most successful post, which has more than eight thousand likes. In the image, the back seat of the van is folded down into a bed; King faces away from the camera, holding a sheet to her chest, her hair cascading down her naked back. The second most popular post was of King wearing a bikini, standing on the van’s front bumper. In the next most popular, King is in a bikini, slicing lemons.

“‘People really want to see beautiful locations,’ King said.

“‘They want to see Emily in a bikini, they want to see a sun flare, they want to see the van,’ Smith said. ‘Ones of Emily in the van waking up with Penny, they crush it.’

“‘It’s real and it’s kind of moody—’

“‘It’s a naked female,’ Smith said. ‘If I’m in that picture, it gets three thousand likes.'”

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Save money by Shopping

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Make money by trading

eToro was founded as RetailFX in 2006 in Tel Aviv, by brothers Yoni Assia and Ronen Assia together with David Ring.

In 2010, eToro released the eToro OpenBook social investment platform, along with its “Copy-Trading” feature. The eToro OpenBook enables investors to view, follow and copy the network’s top traders automatically.Later that year, eToro released its first Android apps so investors could buy and sell stock via mobile devices.

eToro is also the official sponsor’s of football club West Ham United F.C

What is eToro?

eToro is a social trading application that enables traders to benefit from one another’s knowledge and market insights. At eToro you can follow any traders you like, whether a friend or any other trader you want to track and learn from. In exchange, any other eToro users can follow your activities as well, so you too can gain a loyal following. With eToro you get live trading feeds of everyone’s activity, performance analysis and trading patterns of your own and other’s performances, and more social interaction features that can help you engage with other users.

What`s the best way to get started?

As an eToro registered user, you`re ready to go. Dive into anything you like, but on your way, you might want to check out these three main features:

See what real traders are trading in real time.
Find and Follow traders, based on your personal preferences.
Copy the trades you like instantly.

How is performance calculated?

The performance displayed in in your eToro account is based on a daily or accumulative gain percentage, winning positions ratio and the number of trades. In addition, eToro shows statistics based on your trading patterns such as instruments you trade, risk/reward levels, average trade duration and much more useful information.

How often do you update the data?

All data is updated constantly and automatically – most of the time you’ll see the live activity feed updated in real time. In certain times, it may take up to a few seconds to see your latest activities published. The public feed, in times of high volumes, is designed to omit activity to allow for better browsing experience. The filtered feed (traders you follow) is always accurate and displays all real time activity.

What is Copy Trading?

Copy trading is one of eToro’s most powerful features. It enables you to: See what real people are trading in real-time, find and Follow the traders you like and most importantly, Copy their trading activity with one “click.” Copy trading will change the way you and all people trade, as it enables you to build a real people-based portfolio.

How does it work?

Copy Trading is easy as 1 – 2 – 3!

1. Find the traders you want to copy
2. Set up your Copy Trade amount
3. Manage your people-based portfolio
We encourage you to engage with the trader you are copying in order to gain insight into their strategies. Our community is all about openness, and your Popular Investors would love to explain the reasons behind their decisions.

1. Picking who to Copy
I’d like to Copy the top performing traders. Where can I find them?

Use the search function on the trading platform, check the People page, or look for feature articles on the eToro blog, in the media or on YouTube.

How do you choose the top ranked traders?

The rankings are based on total gain or winning ratio. We use several different filters and criteria to rank our top traders. Filters include, but are not limited to the following and may differ for different time periods selected:

Minimum number of positions opened or closed for a time period
Minimal winning ratio for a period
Number of days/weeks which the investor was active (had at least one open position)
Minimal average position duration
Maximum ratio of high leveraged trades
Maximum leverage amount placed in a single trade
Minimal total investment for the period
We are continuously improving our ranking algorithms and therefore, our ranking criteria may change from time to time. If you want to keep up with our product updates please follow our eToro blog. If you believe you should have been ranked and don’t see your name on the list you are more than welcome to contact us.

How is gain calculated?

The gain is calculated based on the “Modified Dietz” formula.

Can I copy a trader that is not listed in the rankings?

Of course! We give you the freedom to copy whoever you like. If you have spotted someone you want to copy, go ahead! Functionality remains exactly the same as for a ranked investor.

2. Copying a Trader
How do I start copying a trader?

On any user profile page, you’ll see a big blue “Copy” button next to the trader’s profile. Click it and you will be prompted through the rest.

How much or little do I need to allocate to Copy a Trader?

You can Copy a Trader using as little as $100

Can I use my Practice account?

You can use your existing Practice account to try out eToro under real market conditions, but using virtual money. Your practice account completely replicates the live trading experience and gives you a chance to practice investing with no risk of financial loss. The drawback of trading with a practice account is that any profits you make will also be in virtual money, and cannot be withdrawn.

Does it cost to copy another trader?

No, you never pay to copy other traders! eToro is a social trading platform and you can set your account to automatically copy other traders without any charge. eToro is compensated through a portion of the bid/ask spread of the trades you place. Spreads remain the same regardless if you are copying someone or manually trading yourself.

How long does it take for trades to be executed in my account once I copy someone?

Trades are typically executed in less than a second from the instant the trader you copied executes their own trades. eToro has been built from the ground up, so you should not experience any delay whatsoever.

What does it mean to “follow” someone?

When you spot an interesting trader you would like to keep track of, you can click on the “follow” button on their profile pages or on any of their trading activity items. Following helps you keep track of these traders better. Once you start following other traders, their activity will start appearing in “My Friends” feed, and they will be listed as one of your connections.

Remeber before depositing any money in eToro make sure your account is verified, till your account gets verified start with the virtual practice account.

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Bitcoin Cash Price Heads Toward $1,000 As Trading Volume Outpaces Bitcoin’s

Cryptocurrency markets have a tendency to evolve in the most unusual direction these days. This is especially true where major currencies are concerned. Right now, Bitcoin Cash is taking up all of the momentum, while Bitcoin itself is going down ever so slightly. Additionally, it seems BCH has more trading volume than Bitcoin right now. Both currencies have around US$3bn worth of volume right now, but there is a big difference between the two markets.

BITCOIN CASH CONTINUES TO DOMINATE THE MARKET

A lot of people were surprised yesterday when they noticed Bitcoin Cash was no longer being dumped across all exchanges. This trend has lasted for a full week. Especially with platforms such as Poloniex finally allowing BCH trading and crediting user balances, a massive pressure was created in the markets. This has now subsided and it looks like things have taken a complete turn over the past 24 hours. A very remarkable turn of events, to say the least.

 

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Bitcoin Bear Peter Schiff Doubles Down: Even at $4,000 It’s Still a ‘Bubble’

The price of bitcoin continues to surge, defying critics to set a new all-time high of $4,500 today.

But even though bitcoin’s price has soared in recent weeks, there will always be bears who see the market through a profoundly darker lens. One of the best-known among the bears, investor Peter Schiff, is now making his case in even stronger terms for why bitcoin has advanced ever farther into bubble territory.

Schiff, who predicted the 2008 mortgage crisis, famously referred to bitcoin as digital fool’s gold and compared the cryptocurrency to the infamous bubble in Beanie Babies.

Moreover, the recent run-up in bitcoin hasn’t softened Schiff’s view: If anything, it’s reinforced his sense of impending doom.

 

In other words, bitcoin’s upward momentum ­– even the price more than doubling within 90 days ­– may be a kind of self-fulfilling pipe dream.

Schiff does acknowledge that, under certain circumstances, bubbles can lead to trading opportunities for investors who aren’t wedded to the long-term viability of the asset.

“People who get in and get out can make money,” he said. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. He added: “Most people never get out. Most people just don’t sell, because of the psychology, and what happens to most people is they just keep buying more. So, when it crashes, they don’t just give back the paper profits – they give back real money.”

In a wide-ranging conversation with CoinDesk, Schiff sketched out why he’s still okay leaving money on the table when it comes to the crypto asset class.

‘Bitcoin ain’t money’

The most fundamental of Schiff’s arguments can be summed up in one quote: “What it comes down to is that bitcoin ain’t money.”

Schiff, who is both a passionate advocate and long-time investor in gold, has a narrow definition of money. Simply stated: “Money must be a commodity,” he said.

While Schiff is clearly an advocate for the inherent value of gold, he acknowledges a role for fiat currency in the modern economy.

According to Schiff, government-issued money works because there are other valuable things people can do with money. All of the following , for example, are true of fiat currency: you can pay taxes using fiat money; you can buy insurance denominated in dollars; you can buy bonds denominated in dollars, which will pay you interest in dollars.

In Schiff’s view, based on this use case, “People have jumped to the conclusion: Since dollars have no intrinsic value, they jump to the notion that cryptocurrencies can work. Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

Based on this interpretation, Schiff doesn’t believe bitcoin can fulfill those functions.

Regulation looming

In Schiff’s telling, the nefarious uses of bitcoin are one of the primary reasons why regulators are going to go after operators in its market.

“The main benefit of bitcoin – the only segment of society where it’s used for something other than speculation – is crime,” he said, noting that when cybercriminals hijack computer systems they very often demand their ransom in bitcoin.

While Schiff acknowledges that early adopters of bitcoin have legitimately used it to purchase legal goods and services, he still believes its association with criminal activity is a net negative.

Schiff also points to the risks of future regulation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who recently weighed in on the DAO, calling its sale of DAO tokens equivalent to the sale of unregistered securities. If the broad strokes of that report were imposed on the industry as a whole, the large segments initial coin offering (ICO) market might quickly withdraw.

What makes bitcoin different?

While Schiff expressed skepticism about cryptocurrency, he’s bullish on the long-term potential of blockchain technology more broadly.

But he does pose an interesting question about the long-term use case for bitcoin.

“Even if you believe that cryptocurrency is going to work, how do you know that 10 years from now bitcoin is going to be the one? If digital currencies can work, someone can come up with another one. And another one. And another. And another. There’s nothing special about bitcoin that another cryptocurrency can’t replicate and improve on. Right now, bitcoin is just the most popular because it was first,” he said.

Schiff also noted that owners of bitcoin only have claims on the value of the currency itself, and don’t own a share of the process.

In this sense, owning bitcoin is roughly analogous to owning a single product made by a company, rather than owning the company’s stock, which represents a claim on corporate ownership. (If you own a share of Apple, you own a claim on the cash from future products, not just a portion of one model of iPhone.)

Schiff alludes to a kind of innovators dilemma: Very often, companies that are first into a market, or are the most impressive early innovator in a space, are not the ones that are ultimately most successful.

Or, as Schiff frames the problem: “How do we know that someone isn’t going to come around and do to Facebook what Facebook did to Myspace?”

If you extend Schiff’s metaphor to the cryptocurrency space, the implications are clear: What if the experience that the cryptocurrency world gains from bitcoin is leveraged in creating a newer, shinier cryptocurrency in the future?

The downside

When asked to sum up, Schiff was unequivocal:

“This is a speculative frenzy. Right now, this is a bubble. It’s a cult.  When you’re in it, obviously you need more people to believe in it, because the price can only go up if other people buy in. In that sense it’s a natural Ponzi scheme – a lot of it is just plain greed.”

Those are very tough words for any investor in bitcoin to hear — and ones they’ve heard from both inside and outside the market before.

So what’s Schiff’s advice to investors?

Mostly, Schiff urges investors in bitcoin who have seen outsized gains to take some profits: “If you think you’re smart, don’t be afraid to take 10% off the table. Don’t be afraid to sell into the rally. Don’t get greedy. Don’t lose all your money.”

While it may be disappointing to members of the cryptocurrency community to hear such criticisms, Schiff said he’s still “very sympathetic” to the idea of a free market alternative to fiat currencies, and would very much like to see something that can compete with the US dollar and the Yen as a reserve currency.

 

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New Goalposts Set For Bitcoin, $7,500 by Year End

 

n late July, an audacious figure of $5,000 per Bitcoin was predicted by stock researcher Ronnie Moas for the year end. However, the recent rally has seen Moas shift that figure by a full $2,500 to $7,500 as predictors try and keep up.

With this prediction, Moas is also expecting the market value of all digital currencies to jump from around $140 bln to $2 tln, with Bitcoin being the main influencer in that.

The floodgates are open

Moas is a staunch supporter of digital currencies, with 100 percent of all his investments now in Bitcoin, as well as other altcoins.

“What’s happening is the floodgates are opening,” Moas, founder of Standpoint Research, told CNBC on Monday. “I believe there are hedge funds and very deep-pocketed individuals going into this now, really hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Moas has been giving advice on Bitcoin with a bold statement coming at the end of July when his prediction sat at $5,000. Since the recent rise, which has seen Bitcoin break new records almost daily, Moas predicts $7,500 by next year and $50,000 in 2027 — representing a 28 percent annual compounded growth rate.

Mainstream growth

Moas, who has been involved in successfully picking mainstream stocks with aplomb, puts this rise and potential to keep rising to a number of factors, including digital currencies breaking into mainstream investing.

Moas sees digital currencies becoming part of strategic reserves and asset allocation models in the near future as institutional investor interest grows. Troubles in foreign lands can also help grow the coin as trust in national currencies fails, such as in Venezuela.

“You can’t look at this as a normal situation,” he said. “We’re in an industry that will probably go from $140 BLN to $2 TLN and the Bitcoin price will probably move with that.”

Money where his mouth is

Moas is a respected voice in the bridge between traditional trading and investing to cryptocurrency investing as the stock picker proudly states that 100 percent of his assets are digital. He never previously invested in stocks he picked.

“Any way that I look at these numbers, my forecasts are looking conservative. It looks to me as though we are at the same point in the adoption curve as we were in 1995 when we went from one mln Internet users to 10 mln. The following year the Netscape browser came online and we went from 10 mln users to hundreds of millions of users overnight,” Moas added.

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Russia’s Central Depository is Planning to Build Its Own Cryptocurrency Wallet

Russia’s National Settlement Depository (NSD), the central depository for Moscow Exchange, the largest exchange group in Russia, is developing a blockchain platform to provide deposit and settlement services for digital assets and cryptocurrencies.

Built in partnership with Waves Platform, the public blockchain project designed for the launch of distributed applications had previously said in a blog post that it had struck a deal to become the NSD’s technological partner, at the time, noting that it had has already started developing a prototype.

In an announcement today, the NSD confirmed that the first prototype will be presented during the first half of next year.

The platform would enable the NSD to issue a cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency wallet available for banks, pension funds and retail investors, one which would also enable the exchange of those assets for fiat currencies.

 

However, while the blockchain startup touts that the project is technologically achievable, the company’s founder and CEO Sasha Ivanov admitted the regulatory uncertainty – namely, the whether of whether the NSD would be legally allowed to deal with digital assets – poses a major challenge for the project deployment to market.

“Project implementation depends not only on technical development but on the development of a legislative framework that mitigates the risks of crypto asset ownership and ensures that the service is user-friendly,” the statement reads.

As reported by CoinDesk, while a legal framework that would capture bitcoin in Russia is being discussed by the country’s various central and financial authorities, no concrete regulatory proposals have been put forward so far.

Over the past a few years, Russia has taken a U-turn on its attitude towards cryptocurrency, moving from a possible ban to robust discussion and the exploration of use cases that could be adopted by government agencies.

For example, just days ago, the Russian Ministry of Health announced its work with the country’s state-owned banks Vnesheconombank to develop a blockchain platform to exchange patient data.

Image courtesy of the Waves Platform

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Bitcoin tops $3,400 as investor confidence boosts it to record high

Bitcoin tops $3,400 as investor confidence boosts it to record high

Bitcoin tops $3,400 as investor confidence boosts it to record high  

Bitcoin climbed above $3,400 to trade at all-time highs on Monday as investors gained confidence in the future of the digital currency.

Its price rose nearly 5 percent, to $3,451.86, up almost $600 from Friday’s $2,900 levels, according to CoinDesk. Bitcoin has more than tripled this year and has gained 18 percent in August.

“That’s what supports the cryptocurrency right now, confidence,” said Ronnie Moas, founder of financial research firm Standpoint Research.

“If there’s something that shakes people’s confidence in crypto then they will sell off. The further we get into this game the less likely you will get something like that,” Moas said. He said he’s “heavily invested” in digital currencies, and in late July he issued a report predicting bitcoin will reach $5,000 in 2018.

Bitcoin now has a market capitalization of about $56 billion. For comparison, General Motors has a market cap of $51 billion.

Most enthusiasts attributed the price gain to a relief rally after the relatively smooth split of the digital currency into bitcoin and “bitcoin cash.”

The currency split, or “forked,” on Aug. 1 after a minority of developers went ahead with their own upgrade proposal to improve transaction speed on the digital currency network. That upgrade, creating bitcoin cash, was incompatible with a more popular proposal called Segregated Witness, which the original bitcoin is set to lock in in the next few days.

“I think a lot of new investors were waiting on the sidelines until after the hard fork” into bitcoin and bitcoin cash, said Benjamin Roberts, co-founder and CEO of Citizen Hex, an ethereum-focused start-up backed by three Canadian venture funds.

“Now that it has happened with a favorable outcome (Bitcoin + Bitcoin Cash > Bitcoin), new fiat money is entering into the space,” Roberts said in an email. Fiat currencies include the dollar, the yen and the euro.

Bitcoin traded in yen accounted for nearly 42 percent of trade volume, up from about one-third in the last few days, according to CryptoCompare. About 26 percent of bitcoin traded in dollars, the site showed.

Bitcoin cash swung wildly in its first week from above $700 to below $300. As of Monday morning, the digital currency recovered from a weekend dip to near $200 to trade near $260, according to CoinMarketCap. That’s less than one-tenth of the original bitcoin’s record-high price.

Another digital currency, ethereum, edged up a quarter of a percent to near $269, according to CoinDesk.

 

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150 Bitcoin ATMs Are Coming to Ukraine

150 Bitcoin ATMs will be installed in Ukraine this year, including 20-30 machines set to be installed on the streets of Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine, by the end of the summer.

Approximately 20-30 Cryptomat Bitcoin ATMs (BTMs) will be installed in Kiev by the end of the summer, Michael Chobanian, founder of Kuna Bitcoin Agency and Kuna Cryptocurrency Exchange, told UBR this week. He also said:

By the end of the year, around 150 Bitcoin ATMs will be installed throughout Ukraine. This is at the request of one customer who contacted us. Plus, there is a constant demand from entrepreneurs across Ukraine who want to engage in this business, that is, buy terminals and sell cryptocurrencies.

 

Currently, there is only one BTM in Ukraine shownon Coinatmradar, a website that tracks BTMs globally. This 2-way BTM was installed in late April and is located in Odessa, a port city on the Black Sea in southern Ukraine. It is the first BTM in the country, according to UBR.

Other than this BTM, there are approximately 4,000 street terminals that reportedly sell bitcoin, the bitcoin service provider BTCU announced in 2014. They are not BTMs but customers can buy vouchers from them to redeem for bitcoin on the BTCU website.

The 150 Cryptomat BTMs to be installed later this year support the sale of bitcoin, ether, waves, and golos, according to its website. In addition, “unlike many competitors, Cryptomat does not require user identification.” Ukrainians will be able to purchase cryptocurrencies using the hryvnia, Chobanian detailed.

He also explained that anyone can get into the Bitcoin ATM business. “There is no need to obtain any licenses for this activity,” he detailed, citing the lack of cryptocurrency regulations in Ukraine. “No one gets licenses for coffee machine businesses. This is the beauty of Ukraine,” UBR quoted him saying.

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Bitcoin splits in two amid feud

Bitcoin is dividing in two. Disagreements about how to operate the cryptocurrency have led to a new strand called Bitcoin Cash, which is breaking off from the bitcoin system.

Bitcoin Cash launches Tuesday in what is known as a “hard fork” from bitcoin, a virtual currency based on peer-to-peer transactions without any central authority or bank behind it.

The new offshoot is a response to the increasing popularity of bitcoin, which is struggling to deal with massive numbers of transactions with its underpinning technology. The main bitcoin currency is adopting a system called Segwit2x that moves transactions out of the current blockchain, while bitcoin Cash will use bigger blocks within the blockchain.

Only some bitcoin exchanges will support the new cryptocurrency, but some bitcoin owners will find their stash automatically cloned into both types. It remains to be seen what the schism will do to market values.

 

 

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Cryptocurrency miners are renting entire Boeing 747s just to stay in the game

 

In a mining boom, buy the shovels.

It’s one of the oldest investing axioms, and anyone with shares in chipmakers AMD and Nvidia are reaping the rewards right now.

As the price of Bitcoin and Ethereum explodes, cryptocurrency miners are in a race to beat each other to the riches, and graphics processors are the tools they need.

They’re now in such short supply, one miner, Marco Streng, chief executive of Genesis Mining, made this extraordinary admission to Quartz:

“We are renting entire airplanes, Boeing 747s, to ship on time. Anything else, like shipping by sea, loses so much opportunity.”

Entire airplanes.

That echoes the rush, sparked by Bitcoin’s price rise in late 2013, for $10,000 mining rigs that would now be on the scrapheap, worthless up against today’s machines.

But there’s a lot more at stake now. Ethereum, while trading at $240 compared to Bitcoin’s $3,400, is more readily available.

As much as 36,000 units a day can be mined ($8.6 million), and at one stage in June, the price hit $400.

But even as the price of Ethereum rises, the hardware and power supply costs remain relatively stable. So demand for processing units is soaring, and time, for miners, is money. Lots of money.

“You risk the opportunity to mine for the days you are delayed,” Streng told Quartz. “If you are deploying 10 days later, you are losing 10 days of mining — that is the cost.”

Both AMD and Nvidia feature as stocks millennials invest most heavily in on Robinhood, the app that lets you trade stocks without paying fees.

For AMD, the rush to mine Ethereum has provided an unexpected boon.

“Relative to cryptocurrency, we have seen some elevated demand,” CEO Lisa Su said in the company’s earnings call following another beat last week.

“But it’s important to say we didn’t have cryptocurrency in our forecast, and we’re not looking at it as a long-term growth driver.

“But we’ll certainly continue to watch the developments around the blockchain technologies as they go forward.”

 

One Bitcoin price today is 2754.59 USD

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Startups Brace for Bitcoin Cash Fork in Wave of Policy Updates

What should we do about Bitcoin Cash?

That’s the question facing industry startups, as it seems likely that a group of developers and miners might actually fork from the main bitcoin network next week, forming a brand new cryptocurrency. 

Due to differences in opinion about how bitcoin should be governed and what technical features should be added to the cryptocurrency network, the idea of a split has been raised several times over the last few years. But this time, the developers behind Bitcoin Cash claim they plan to go through with it – and on a short timeline.

The cryptocurrency is breaking off from the “main” bitcoin blockchain on August 1, with the specific goal of creating a competing cryptocurrency. Everyone who owns bitcoin will have an equal amount of Bitcoin Cash – if and when users and miners split off.

While users are wondering how it will affect them (i.e. how to access Bitcoin Cash and whether they should buy, sell, or “hold” this new type of bitcoin) the ecosystem’s third-party companies are grappling with this question as well – especially those that retain custody of funds in some capacity.

Unsure if the new cryptocurrency will rally users – or if it will just fade away – wallet providers, exchanges and mining pools are all issuing statements about how they will deal with the split and how users can respond.

But for most, it’s more than a question of politics.

For the CEO of the bitcoin app Coins.ph, Ron Hose, the bitcoin scaling debate has been an economic drain, not only in the mental effort he’s put into wrapping his head around the changes, but also in the actions he might need to take to now secure potentially vulnerable customers funds.

 

Tech bottleneck

Often companies pick and choose which cryptocurrencies they support, usually based on how profitable they think it will be for them.

One key takeaway from recently released statements by startups – such as Hong Kong-based exchange ANXPro and mobile wallets Electrum and GreenAddress – though, is that they simply don’t have the time or technical resources to support a new cryptocurrency.

Bitstamp, one of the world’s largest bitcoin exchanges, stated in vaguer terms that it will “not be in a position” to support the “altcoin,” while Circle emailed customers to state “we may never support the new version and any value on it could potentially be lost to you.”

It might be hard to fault the companies that simply don’t have the money to commit to making Bitcoin Cash easily redeemable for users.

Still, some see this as a form of fraud, arguing that, since third-party companies that control users’ private keys will end up with all the Bitcoin Cash, they’re effectively stealing the coins from bitcoin users.

t’s worth noting that Bitcoin Cash has its supporters.

Some want to try out the bitcoin alternative because they support its vision for scaling bitcoin to more users by way of a block size parameter increase, while others anticipate gains in selling their free new coins.

(Others note that developers, by way of Segregated Witness, have made the block size irrelevant through technical breakthroughs that enable other forms of capacity increases.)

What should we do about Bitcoin Cash?

That’s the question facing industry startups, as it seems likely that a group of developers and miners might actually fork from the main bitcoin network next week, forming a brand new cryptocurrency.

Often companies pick and choose which cryptocurrencies they support, usually based on how profitable they think it will be for them.

One key takeaway from recently released statements by startups – such as Hong Kong-based exchange ANXPro and mobile wallets Electrum and GreenAddress – though, is that they simply don’t have the time or technical resources to support a new cryptocurrency.

Bitstamp, one of the world’s largest bitcoin exchanges, stated in vaguer terms that it will “not be in a position” to support the “altcoin,” while Circle emailed customers to state “we may never support the new version and any value on it could potentially be lost to you.”

It might be hard to fault the companies that simply don’t have the money to commit to making Bitcoin Cash easily redeemable for users.

Still, some see this as a form of fraud, arguing that, since third-party companies that control users’ private keys will end up with all the Bitcoin Cash, they’re effectively stealing the coins from bitcoin users.

Prepaid phone startup Bitrefill has developed a creative way of dealing with this problem. Like other small firms with limited resources, it does not plan to support the competing cryptocurrency. Instead, it plans to sell all of the Bitcoin Cash it accumulates in exchange for bitcoin – later dividing these funds between users, proportional to the amount of bitcoin each holds with the company.

Some startups are uncertain of the best path, though.

Cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift plans to “turn off trading” on August 1 for an unspecified amount of time, but didn’t say whether the firm will list Bitcoin Cash.

Meanwhile, in what seems to be a minority opinion, bitcoin payments provider BitPay said it believes “there should be no chain split and no disruption in service on the bitcoin network.”

As such, it does not plan to suspend its services.

Bitcoin Cash support

It’s worth noting that Bitcoin Cash has its supporters.

Some want to try out the bitcoin alternative because they support its vision for scaling bitcoin to more users by way of a block size parameter increase, while others anticipate gains in selling their free new coins.

(Others note that developers, by way of Segregated Witness, have made the block size irrelevant through technical breakthroughs that enable other forms of capacity increases.)

Either way, if users want to receive Bitcoin Cash on August 1, they need to move their bitcoin to a wallet where they control their private keys – or, at least, to a wallet that will support Bitcoin Cash.

Some wallets do indeed support Bitcoin Cash. Among these are hardware wallets Trezor and Ledger and mobile wallet Airbitz.

Users will also be able to trade the new coin for bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies on one of the few exchanges that will support it.

Mining pool ViaBTC has already launched futures trading for the tokens, which at time of writing is trading for 12.5 percent of what “normal” bitcoin are worth, at 2,203 Chinese yuan, or $327.

One of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Bitfinex, will list it under the ticker symbol BCH to “avoid confusion with bitcoin” (it has also been given the symbol BCC elsewhere). Chinese exchange Huobi indicated it will reveal more details about trading come August 1.

 

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Bitcoin prices rise as Ether extends recent weakness

Bitcoin accounts for more than half of total crypto assets for the first time since May

The price of digital currency bitcoin rose Friday, putting it on track for a modest weekly gain, while rival currency Ether extended its recent weakness.

At latest check, a single bitcoin BTCUSD, +3.70%  was up 2.7% to $2,771.45, according to cryptocurrency research-and-data site Coindesk. While it remains down from an all-time high above $3,000 on June 11, its recent trend has been largely positive. It is on track for its second straight positive session, and it is up 2.9% over the past week.

The market capitalization of bitcoin rose to a little more than $46 billion, meaning it once again accounts for more than half of the entire market cap of the cryptocurrency space, which stands at $89.6 billion, according to Coinmarketcap.com.

This is the first time since May that bitcoin has represented 50% of all crypto assets, according to Tuur Demeester, a bitcoin investor who is also the founder of Adamant Research. Earlier this year, cryptocurrencies topped $100 billion in market capitalization.

Thus far in 2017, bitcoin prices have gained more than 180%.

Ether, the digital currency that runs on the Ethereum network, fell 5.6% to $192.93 on Friday, extending its recent weakness. For the week, Ether is down more than 15%, trimming its market cap to $18.1 billion.

The chief rival to bitcoin remains the bigger year-to-date gainer by far — it is up nearly 2,300% in 2017 — although it has struggled since hitting an all-time peak of $395.16 on June 13. At current levels, Ether is trading at levels last seen in May, according to Coindesk.

Much of this weakness has come on recent regulatory moves, including a recent announcement from the Securities and Exchange Commission that signaled it would scrutinize a recent torrent of so-called initial coin offerings, or ICOs. ICOs refer to previously unregulated offerings of digital currencies, many of which were tied to the Ethereum blockchain.

More broadly, cryptocurrencies have come under increasing fire of late.

Howard Marks, the co-chairman of Oaktree Capital Management, said they were “nothing but an unfounded fad,” adding that bitcoin was “based on a willingness to ascribe value to something that has little or none beyond what people will pay for it.”

 

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Bitcoin Investors Should Not Fear August 1 Chain Split

Last week, some of the largest and leading Bitcoin exchanges and businesses including Coinbase and BitMEX clarified that they are not in favor of Bitcoin Cash and thus, cannot support the hard fork led by ViaBTC.

Coinbase emphasized that it is not willing to support Bitcoin Cash due to its contentious nature, while BitMEX noted that Bitcoin Cash will likely lead to serious security issues.

“BitMEX will not support the split or distribution of Bitcoin Cash, nor will BitMEX be liable for any Bitcoin Cash sent to BitMEX. Therefore, it is up to our users to withdraw from BitMEX prior to August 1st if they wish to access Bitcoin Cash tokens or any other hardfork,” said BitMEX.

Bitmain, arguably the most influential mining equipment manufacturer in the industry and the operator of the largest Bitcoin mining pool Antpool, initially introduced the possibility of hard forking the Bitcoin Blockchain in order to create Bitcoin Cash.

But, in its later announcement, Bitmain emphasized that the user-activated hard fork (UAHF) was merely a contingency plan for user-activated soft fork (UASF). Further adding that it did not intend to pursue the execution of a hard fork if the mining community, industry, and users came together and agreed on one activation mechanism to activate the Bitcoin Core development team’s transaction malleability fix and scaling solution Segregated Witness (SegWit).

In the end, the mining community locked in Bitcoin Improvement Proposal BIP 91, which led to the lock-in of BIP 141 and finalization of SegWit activation.

Bitcoin investors should not fear Bitcoin Cash hard fork

As analysts including Squeeze noted, Bitcoin price has held up well and maintained its upward momentum throughout the week, despite the high probability of the Bitcoin Cash hard fork.

For the most part, that is because the vast majority of the industry, its largest businesses, traders, investors and users will be considering Bitcoin Cash as merely an alternative cryptocurrency or altcoin, instead of Bitcoin.

In an open source development ecosystem, developers can free to fork off a project and create their own. Ethereum Classic drifted away from Ethereum, and it has become the sixth largest cryptocurrency in the market. Monero forked off Bytecoin and experienced a major success, becoming the ninth largest cryptocurrency while Bytecoin faded.

Investors or traders of Bitcoin will be credited with Bitcoin Cash due to its development team’s decision to implement replay protection. Some businesses including Bitrefill and Bixin plan to sell Bitcoin Cash and credit users with additional Bitcoin, which Bitcoin Core developers including Peter Todd described as a viable option.

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Dubai Set to Achieve Goal of Becoming First Blockchain Government by 2020

Dubai is quickly achieving its goal of becoming the world’s first blockchain-powered government to utilize the technology for all transactions by 2020.

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Speaking at the recently held CIOMajlis (Chief Information Officer’s) session on ‘Blockchain Technology,’ Ahmad Al Mulla, chairman of CIOMajlis, said:

Dubai is a frontrunner in adopting the latest technology and has set a goal to become the world’s first government to execute all implementable transactions on the blockchain by 2020. The government initiatives in this direction present tremendous business opportunities for the private sector in the UAE.

He added:

There is a current global shortage of object oriented programmers and developers. We need to ensure sufficient availability of trained manpower and as these opportunities are accruing across all sectors, we will see a lot of blockchain implementation in [the] near future across government as well as private sectors.

According to a report from Trade Arabia, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, launched the Dubai Blockchain Strategy. Through this it aims to explore and research technology innovations that could provide the chance to deliver improvements to the nation.

Dan Frankel, Blockchain City Adviser to Dubai at ConsenSys, which has been named the official company blockchain advisor for the city of Dubai, said that the distributed ledger technology could cut bank transactions by $15 to $20 billion a year by 2022. With the possibility to removing costs of manual processing, processing errors and re-work it could deliver savings as much as 75 percent.

 

Dubai Embraces the Blockchain

Keen to illustrate its embracive nature toward the distributed ledger the nation has taken significant steps to begin the fundamental shift.

So much so, that in June the Dubai government signed a new agreement with U.K.-based blockchain startup ObjectTech to create digital passports for entry at Dubai International Airport. Aiming to end manual passport verification, the partnership hopes to create the world’s first ‘gate-less border.’

Not only that, but the UAE retail banking giant Emirates NBD is due to implement the distributed ledger in an attempt to prevent cheque fraud and boost their authenticity with the best digital security systems available.

Meanwhile, with the government giving the greenlight for a citywide blockchain payments system in Dubai, it looks as though the nation is on track to becoming the world’s first country that is powered by the blockchain.

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Cryptocurrency Market Crosses $80 Billion As Ether, Bitcoin Prices Gain

he cryptocurrency market continued to rebound on Tuesday, crossing the $80 billion-mark after a weekend that saw steep declines across the asset class.

Overall, the market reached a high of $84.9 billion today, up nearly 40% from a low of $61 billion this weekend.

At press time, all of the top 30 cryptocurrencies had posted 24-hour gains, according to data provider Coinmarketcap.

Leading the recovery were the ecosystem’s three largest assets by market capitalization – bitcoin, ether and XRP, all of which were up more than 10% on the day’s trading.

After dropping to below $2,000 this weekend, the price of bitcoin is now trading above $2,300, while ether notably crossed $200 for the first time since July 14.

At press time, the total value of the market was down just over 25% from an all-time high of $115 billion set in mid-June.

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