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Category Archive: bitcoin

bitcoin fork

Bitcoin fork: why developers keep calm

Right now the debate about a possible Bitcoin fork is very noisy and maybe it is the main factor that is driving the cryptocurrency price at the moment.

At press time, bitcoin value is less than $1000 with some traders that are liquidating their positions.

Amidst one of the more volatile period of bitcoin, developers seem not to be scared or worried about this two-year scaling debate.

Several miners are running the so-called solution “Bitcoin Unlimited“, a popular alternative bitcoin software that opened a discussion of a possible fork of the network which could generate two different digital currencies, a result similar to what happened with the recent Ethereum hard fork that lead to the creation of Ethereum Classic.

 

Bitcoin Core contributor Eric Lombrozo has taken a skeptical point of view, explaining that the bitcoin community is not new to this issues.

Bitcoin XT and Bitcoin Classic,  or other software alternatives that aims at changing the bitcoin blockchain- related rules, have emerged, but also declined, over the last few days.

While users who support the Bitcoin Unlimited think that is the real future for bitcoin, arguing that a bitcoin fork will bring it as the winning software, critics view it as broken.

Lombozo explained:

 

“The idea you can change bitcoin by lobbying one group of stakeholders against another is fundamentally flawed, as is the idea you can force controversial consensus rule changes. Bitcoin requires more tactful politics.”

On the other hand, Bitcoin Unlimited supporter Peter Rizun believes that bitcoin will see a block size increase, making bitcoin competitive with the other alternative cryptocurrencies.

“In my opinion, there’s a 75% chance we get an upgrade to larger blocks in 2017,” he commented.

So, while some people substain that only one software will be able to survive after this possible bitcoin fork, other experts suggested that most people won’t move to a new blockchain, so Bitcoin Unlimited will lead to another digital currency.

But, of course, the greatest part of the community want only one bitcoin.

Bitcoin Core contributor Luke Dashjr said to Coindesk:

“A hard fork is by definition an altcoin that the entire community decides to adopt as a replacement. Since most of the community rejects Bitcoin Unlimited, it is impossible for it to become a hard fork. Anyone can fork at any time. That people don’t speaks to the strong incentives not to.”

 

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Nevada stops blockchain transactions taxes

A new bill has been proposed to the Nevada Senate and, if it pass, will stop local taxes and fees on the use of a blockchain ledger, both for payments and contracts.

Nevada Senate Bill 398 was filed yesterday and presented by Senator Ben Kieckhefer, who wants to create a legal level for the use of blockchain-based networks.

Notably, this bill will also stop local governments asking for taxes on the use of the distributed ledger or to require a special licensure in order to use it.

This new proposed bill explains:

“A local governmental entity shall not: Impose any tax or fee on the use of a blockchain or smart contract by any person or entity; Require any person or entity to obtain from the local governmental entity any certificate, license or permit to use a blockchain or smart contract; or Impose any other requirement relating to the use of a blockchain or smart contract by any person or entity.”

If this bill pass, its benefits won’t be applied only to these potential economic expenses.

Kieckhefer’s suggestion, in fact, will allow blockchain records to be used in proceedings, noting that “if a law requires a record to be in writing, submission of a blockchain which electronically contains the record satisfies the law”.

“A smart contract, record or signature may not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because a blockchain was used to create, store or verify the smart contract, record or signature. In a proceeding, evidence of a smart contract, record or signature must not be excluded solely because a blockchain was used to create, store or verify the smart contract, record or signature,”the proposed bill states.

Last month a similar proposal was made in Arizona, or a further move to legitimize the use of blockchain distributed ledger; a previous effort was also proposed in Vermont back in 2016.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
bitcoin exchange regulation

Bitcoin exchange regulation in China

Soon a new bitcoin exchange regulation in China may be required to ensure know-your-customers (KYC) verifications.

According to an article published by Caixin, the People’s Bank of China issued a new paper for the Chinese exchanges on which it is looking for comments for the proposed regulation.

This move is part of a effort by the Chinese central bank in order to have a bitcoin exchange regulation and avoid money laundering and other financial crimes.

According to the official press release, this paper explains both a regulation related to the anti-money laundering (AML) issues and the creation of a customer identification system.

Bitcoin users will have to own an on-site certification if they want to deposit funds. To do se, they will have to present identification at the time of registration. Also, for clients who hold more than ¥50,000 (over $7,200) in volume, a remote video certification will be required to authenticate their own identity.

The document also contemplates that there must be a senior management team who controls AML procedures and reports dubious transactions.

This news come after the PBoC’s decision made back in January that indicates to intervene in the Chinese bitcoin market during this period of heavy bitcoin price volatility.

Since then, bitcoin exchanges started to implement several new policies, ending margin trading and freezing withdrawals for a few cryptocurrencies.

At the moment, while I’m writing this article, bitcoin Chinese exchange withdrawals are still frozen.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
trump bitcoin

Trump Bitcoin – related new project: how will he use the Blockchain?

The newest Donald Trump Bitcoin – related project was announced this week during the DC Blockchain Summit held in Washington.

US regulators and officials explained their goal of increasing the adoption of blockchain technology within the government and the American private sector.

Also, a few representatives of President Trump, talked about the potential use cases of the distributed ledger, commenting that they are developing a new Trump Bitcoin project related to the public policy.

In fact, they underlined the ledger potential to streamline bureaucracy, empower consumers and drive economic growth.

Chief economist for Vice President Mike Pence, Mark Calabria, gave a speech in which he explained how the Donald Trump administration wants to exploit the blockchain technology and what possible applications can have the tech in government and finance, as Treasury Department is conducting a review of the whole American financial system.

“We are approaching this with an open mind. We recognize that we’re not necessarily the innovators, but what we can do is get out of the way and figure out where the government stops you from being innovative.”

Trump Bitcoin project benefits

The co-chairs of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus asserted that they are looking for understaning how the tech could be developed to be used within the public sector.

“We’re very interested in helping to facilitate the deployment of blockchain technology in federal agencies and across the government. Our role is to prod government agencies to look at more efficient ways of doing things,”  said Jared Polis.

Republican co-chair from Arizona, David Schweikert,  argued that one of the main goals is to keep policymakers updated about the technology’s potential .

“How do those of us who do policy not leap ahead and screw up what we don’t know is coming tomorrow? Sometimes those of us who get elected are arrogant sometimes in what we think we know. How do we help our brothers and sisters in congress understand this isn’t just about cryptocurrency? There’s an incredible world out there that’s so much bigger.”

 

Public and private

That said, private sector has a major role to play in the government’s blockchain adoption.

Managing director of financial services at Accenture, David Treat, explained that the public sector is not just a political advertisement.

“It was a completely different dynamic of not being reactive and not being, ‘Tell me what you did, and let’s opine on whether that was good or OK.’ It was actually, ‘We see this thing on the horizon, we know it has relevance – can you teach us?'”

Also, blockchain experts and analysts argued that its adoption by the government might help to normalize it for use in other sectors.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
bitcoin price

Bitcoin price: one month above $1000

According to the Coindesk Price Index (CPI) Bitcoin price has reached a new goal, as it is one month that its value is above $1000. 

The digital currency remained above this value despite any situation as the refusal of the bitcoin ETF related proposal by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, and the current debate over how to address the bitcoin’s technical limitations.

It was February 14th – is it a coincidence or a sign of destiny that this happened on the Valentine’s day? –  when Bitcoin price first hit $1000, so yesterday (March 14th) it was one month above this price.

During this month, bitcoin reached its all time high, reaching a value of $1,300. Experts argued that this higher price was a consequence of the hope in the bitcoin ETF approval.

But, if it is true that right after the SEC negative decision, the bitcoin price fell of about 30% ($from 1209 to $1022), it quickly rose again and at press time bitcoin is trading at $1256, so more than 25% above $1000.

As explained by Andreas Antonopoulos on his official Twitter profile:

“If you measure bitcoin’s success by the approval of the incumbent and obsolete industry it replaces, you’re doing it wrong”.

Also, currently a few altcoins such as Ether, Dash, Zcash and more are experiencing new highs.

 

 

 

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
bitcoin etf

Bitcoin ETF decision expected by Friday

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has to make an important decision related to the much-anticipated bitcoin ETF, or the bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund.

This decision is expected by Friday, as the SEC has an deadline fixed on March 11st to make the approve or disapprove a proposed rule change that would allow the creation of the first worldwide bitcoin ETF.

But, because the 11st falls on a Saturday, this decision could come before that date, maybe on Friday.

The proposal came three years ago, in mid 2013, by investors Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.

If the fund receives approval, several experts speculated that bitcoin price could grow and maybe this expected approval already drove the bitcoin price in recent weeks, setting new all time highs in the recent period.

In fact, Bitcoin price neared $1,300 in recent days, reaching $1,293.47 on 3rd March.

By the way, bitcoin price kept falling back to $1,300, experiencing a drop on 7th March, when markets drop below $1,200 for a few hours.

Otherwise, if the SEC decides to reject the proposal that would allow the Bats Global Exchange to list the bitcoin ETF, experts said that the digital currency price would be negatively affected.

Phil Bak, CEO atACSI Funds explained that generally the SEC wants to avoid the appearance of “publicly rejecting an ETF”, so if the agency didn’t plan on approving a fund, it would ask for the filing to be pulled ahead before any final decision.

“In this case, the government agency may want to show the world it is unsure about bitcoin. Alternatively, it could also be that the advocates want to support it to the end and let this proposed fund get its day in court, rejection or not.”

In the lack of definitive statements published by the SEC, it’s really easy to understand why a common return of uncertainty has emerged during this week.

Arthur Hayes, CEO at BitMEX, explained:

“I have heard good arguments for and against the ETF being approved. At this point it is a coin toss.”

 

Waiting for the Bitcoin ETF

At the moment people who are waiting for the SEC’s decision canno do anything instead of only watching and waiting for the 11th March deadline.

ETF expert and co-founder at RagingBull,  Jeff Bishop, commented that the SEC could make its decision further past the 11th, also because of the recent price gain.

“I have the feeling they will find a way to delay this even more though. With bitcoin at all-time highs and the SEC having a terrible record for allowing new ETFs to come to market at absolute tops, they will likely push back on this until things cool a bit. It should be up to investors to decide the true price of bitcoin. The more liquidity and options [there are] to trade it, the more transparent and accurate the pricing will be. It should not be up to a government agency to withhold something like this from the public.”

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
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value_of_bitcoin

Value of Bitcoin: the digital currency’s higher price

The value of bitcoin has grown a lot in the last period, reaching its all-time high set back in 2013.

According to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index, at the moment the value of bitcoin is less than $30 below the maximum ever value of $1,165.89 reached on November 30th, 2013.

This latest rise comes after bitcoin’s longest ever period at over $1,000, and a period of average volatility during the recent few months.

Also, this high might reflect the traders and investors confidence in an industry field that has been recently affected by the Chinese central bank’s plan to restrict the Chinese bitcoin exchanges environment, with the result of several of them to temporarily stop any withdrawals of the digital currency.

 

Click here to better understand what gives Bitcoin value with an infographic.

 

Another possible news to having an influence on the value of Bitcoin is the currently SEC decision on the Winklevoss brothers’ bitcoin ETF – an event that some experts explained that traders are already pricing in a potential approval.

On March 11st we could see the approval of the first bitcoin ETF within the U.S.A. market, opening the virtual currency to a larger group of investors.

However, many experts in the industry cannot see a high propension of financial regulators to approve this move.

For more charts about the Value of Bitcoin in the past, click here.

 

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Europe Bitcoin report published by the EU Parliament. Read it here.

Below you can read the full Europe Bitcoin research published by the European Parliament a few days ago.

It is related to the blockchain technology and digital currencies, exploring distributed ledger use cases including digital payments, patent protection, smart contracts and online voting.

This research provides an educational point of view for EU’s legislative members, so probably we will experience a new Bitcoin regulation in the next future.

Researchers who works at the EU Parliament have studied several aspects of the distributed ledger in the past.

For example, a working group sponsored by the Parliament studied how the blockchain’s power to secure data could provide transparency during elections.

“Although blockchains are not the solution for every problem, and even if they will not revolutionize every aspect of our lives, they could have a substantial impact in many areas, and it is necessary to be prepared for the challenges and opportunities they present.”

“Europe Bitcoin” paper

The research suggests a few possible approaches for the European lawmakers, who recently approved the creation for a new task force focused on blockchain and digital currencies.

Also, the paper suggests more future explorations by saying that regulators could regulate and yield legal legitimacy to digital currencies transactions. More and more countries are regulating bitcoin and other virtual currencies during the last few monts, as you can read by clicking here.

The document’s authors explained also that this revolutionary techbology could provide many benefits to European citizens, even if it seems to be applicable only in a few cases.

“While the most idealistic and revolutionary visions of blockchain development will probably remain no more than visions, even moderate implementation of blockchain may still promote some degree of redistribution and transparency,” explained the authors in the document.

Click here to read the full Europe Bitcoin document for free.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
glasgow_digital_currency

Glasgow digital currency: hope or reality?

Soon many cities around the world will issue their own digital currency.

According to Pavel Bains, in fact, within the next 10 years we’ll see the first city that have its own digital money and that is separates from the national fiat currency.

The Blockchain Role

This could be the right time for cities to exploit the blockchain and adop their own currency.

But for a new digital currency to be adopted quickly it needs the following characteristics, according to Bains (and we tent to agree with him):

  1. Cheap: fiat currencies are very expensive to produce, manage and distribute. Conversely, a digital currency deletes all those costs and can easily be distributed;
  2. Secure: as it is digital, cryptographic and based on pure algorithms, the chance of forgery or distrust is removed;
  3. Safe: a digital currency can be backed by other assets like gold, treasury bills, foreign exchange or equities, just like fiat money;
  4. Usable: cities such as Stockholm are going purely digital, so a digital city currency could be massively adopted quickly.

The newest Glasgow digital currency

Bains is pretty sure that the first city to adopt a digital currency will be Glasgow.

This because the Scottish city failed to benefit from the England pound and it came close to a recession back in 2015.

Also, Brexit opened a real issue for Scotland’s future with the potential loss of trades. Demand for Scotland’s products is already declining: in that year there was an 11% drop in exports compared to 2.7% for the UK and with Brexit the situation can only get worse.

But Glasgow has the right tools to adopt its own digital currency. These the major reasons according to Bains:

  1. It has the regional size and population: this could make the difference compared to smaller cities such as Dundee;
  2. It has a high record of academia, government and business working together. This unity could be great to manage a new-born digital currency
  3. Glasgow has a thriving financial base, moving to 74th in the world for financial centers and this demonstrates the city has a good base and an educated population to operationalize the new digital currency system.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
polish_bitcoin

Polish Bitcoin regulators recognized it within the country

Polish Bitcoin regulators decided to recognize the digital currency within the country.

In fact, the country’s Central Statistical Office (GUS) revealed its decision to recognize the trading and mining of digital currencies as an official economic business in Poland.

This is the reason why from now on companies active in the Polish industry are be able to register themselves with the agency.

Businesses who are involved in cryptocurrency trade and production activities can now apply to obtain an official PKD 64.19.Z registration, the GUS explained in a press release.

This news highlights a significant step forward for industry workers in Poland where currently there isn’t an official regulation or legislation about neither bitcoin or other digital currencies.

Earlier this year the Polish Ministry of Finance released a few documents that expressed the status of legality for bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general.

Also, in a statement published back in November, the finance ministry commented what follows:

“there is a lack of a general, legal definition of virtual currency in international, European and national law”.

This explains that digital currencies are subjected to income tax, even if they are not subject to any separate regulation according to the Polish legislation.

Polish ministry also commented:

“It should also be stressed here that their use in Poland is fully legal.”

Polish Bitcoin studies

To explore the legal and financial implications of the use of the Polish Bitcoin use, government of Poland has created a new group of blockchain and virtual currencies experts.

This Polish Bitcoin task force was established under the surveilance of the Polish Ministry of Digital Affairs, and according to thePolish government’s program titled From Paper To Digital Poland that was written by the Cabinet back in June 2016.

This task force will be responsible to prepare analyses for use by other government agencies in their legislative work and the possible chance of a Polish Bitcoin and digital currencies regulation is one of its goals and interests.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio