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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

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Cryptocurrency Trading Volume Hits $4.3 Bln, Nears Stock Exchange Volume

Cryptocurrency Trading Volume Hits $4.3 Bln, Nears Stock Exchange Volume

On May 25, the cryptocurrency trading volume hit $4.3 bln. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin and NEM drove the cryptocurrency trading volume to new all-time highs.

Bitcoin developer and entrepreneur Jimmy Song compared the cryptocurrency trading volume to the exchange volume of major stock exchanges such as NASDAQ. Although the cryptocurrency market’s trading volume is only a fraction of major stock exchanges such as NASDAQ, it is nearing the exchange volume of smaller stock exchanges such as Thailand and Australian stock exchanges.

In order for the cryptocurrency market to near the trading volumes of major stock exchanges, particularly the 16 stock exchanges in the $1 Trillion Dollar Club, the cryptocurrency market will need to achieve a multi-trillion dollar market cap. Currently, the market cap of the cryptocurrency market is $71 bln.

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Japan’s Bitpoint to Add Bitcoin Payments to 100,000+ Stores

Japan’s Bitpoint to Add Bitcoin Payments to 100,000+ Stores

Peach Aviation Ltd announced last week that it will be the first Japanese airline to accept bitcoin for tickets. Peach is Japan’s first Low-Cost Carrier (LCC) and is majority owned by the country’s largest airline, All Nippon Airways Co. Ltd (ANA).

To accept bitcoin, the low-cost airline has partnered with Bitpoint Japan Co, a bitcoin exchange and payments startup founded on March 3, 2016. In addition to allowing Peach to accept bitcoin for flight tickets, the companies are working together to add bitcoin Japan's Bitpoint to Add Bitcoin Payments to 100,000+ Storespayment options to souvenir shops, restaurants, and hotels at travel destinations. Furthermore, “we will jointly install bitcoin ATMs where customers can withdraw cash from bitcoin,” their partnership agreement reveals.

On Monday, Bloomberg reported that Bitpoint is “planning to give hundreds of thousands of Japanese retail outlets the ability to accept the digital currency.” The company’s president, Genki Oda, said, “We’re holding discussions with a retail-related company,” adding that:

"We’re also talking to a big convenience store operator about using it [bitcoin] … By going through a company providing payment terminal services to shops, we have the possibility of increasing its use at one stroke. It’s easier than talking to lots of individual retailers."

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Bitcoin Is Bigger Than Ever, And Here's Why That Matters

Bitcoin Is Bigger Than Ever, And Here

The money you've been using all your life is backed by a government of some sort, and it exists in a tangible way. Bitcoin is neither tangible nor backed by anyone, but it's still worth a great deal to some people. This digital currency began circulating on the internet in 2009 with each Bitcoin worth just a tiny bit of "real" money, but right now a single Bitcoin is worth more than $2,000. Bitcoin is fascinating from a technological standpoint, but it's also fueling online crime and violence because of the anonymity it offers. Here's how Bitcoin works and why you should care.

Bitcoin is what's known as a cryptocurrency, a digital asset that exists only as data. You probably have money in the bank that is digital, but those digits equal physical currency. Not so with Bitcoin. Bitcoin also has no centralized regulation nor innate legal framework. As such, the value of Bitcoin is dictated entirely by the market, and the market is hot right now.

Bitcoin is stored in a digital wallet, which you can save locally on a hard drive or phone, or online with any number of Bitcoin exchanges. Saving your Bitcoins locally is like keeping all your money under the mattress. If something happens to the digital wallet, all your money is toast. Sending and receiving money is handled by pointing your Bitcoin client or web exchange toward a Bitcoin address, which every wallet has. A few minutes later, the Bitcoin will leave your wallet and show up in another. Websites that accept Bitcoin are rare, but they are out there. Spending it in real life is considerably more tricky, but again, there are a few system in place to manage it.

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Bitcoin SegWit Activation August 1: New Bitcoin Improvement Protocol

Bitcoin SegWit Activation August 1: New Bitcoin Improvement Protocol

A new Bitcoin improvement protocol (BIP) has surfaced from the Core mailing list which includes Barry Silbert’s scaling solution.

The yet unnumbered BIP proposes a user-activated soft fork (UASF) August 1, as was included in BIP148, with a two-megabyte hard fork locking in six months later.

“This proposal is written under the assumption that the signatories to the Consensus 2017 Scaling Agreement[1] are genuinely committed to the terms of the agreement and intend to enact the updates described therein,” the introduction to the mailing reads.

Silbert’s proposal for ending the scaling deadlock had faced mounting criticism due to the closed nature of the discussions and its nature as a “compromise” rather than a full-fledged solution.

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A New Bitcoin Improvement Proposal Aims to Compromise

A New Bitcoin Improvement Proposal Aims to Compromise

It is still hard to envision that everyone in the bitcoin community will be pleased with a compromise. There are still some bitcoin proponents who vehemently oppose Segwit, and then there are those who fully disagree with a 2MB hardfork. On May 29 a developer named Calvin Rechner submitted a new bitcoin improvement proposal (BIP) that aims to cohere to the recent Barry Silbert scaling concept.

“This proposal is written under the assumption that the signatories to the Consensus 2017 Scaling Agreement are genuinely committed to the terms of the agreement, and intend to enact the updates described therein,” Rechner’s BIP details.

"This document describes a virtuous combination of James Hilliard’s ‘Reduced signalling threshold activation of existing segwit deployment’, Shaolin Fry’s ‘Mandatory activation of segwit deployment’, Sergio Demian Lerner’s ‘Segwit2Mb’ proposal, Luke Jr’s ‘Post-segwit 2 MB block size hardfork’, and hard fork safety mechanisms from Johnson Lau’s ‘Spoonnet’ into a single omnibus proposal and patchset."

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Bitcoin Exchange Woes See Almost $50 Mln Pass Through LocalBitcoins

Bitcoin Exchange Woes See Almost $50 Mln Pass Through LocalBitcoins

LocalBitcoins set a new all-time trading high of $45.7 mln last week as Bitcoin almost hit $3,000.

Data compiled by Coin Dance confirms the week ending May 27 was the P2P marketplace’s busiest ever with $45,710,741 changing hands.

Unlike previous records, the latest high was the result of a broad trend across all LocalBitcoins markets as traders rushed to cash in on Bitcoin’s steep climb.

While not yet shown by the statistics, trading likely tailed off equally as steeply through Saturday as prices corrected below $2,000.

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Bitcoin is outperforming major assets but hedge funds are still staying away from the cryptocurrency

Bitcoin is outperforming major assets but hedge funds are still staying away from the cryptocurrency

Bitcoin hit an all-time high last week, marking a year-to-date rally of 180 percent and potentially stellar returns for those who bet on the cryptocurrency, but it appears hedge funds are still not ready to touch the asset class.

The lighter supervision and more sophisticated client base enjoyed by hedge funds, as well as their ongoing search for market-beating alternative sources of return, provide just some reasons why such vehicles would be expected to venture more boldly into the booming but narrowly understood market for cryptocurrencies.

Indeed, bitcoin's rally has far outpaced the S&P 500 index, which is up 7.9 percent year-to-date, and the NASDAQ which has seen around a 15 percent rise. In the currency space, the euro has risen nearly 6 percent year-to-date against the dollar, while sterling is up around 4.2 percent. The euro and pound are the best performing major currencies so far this year.

Yet aside from dedicated vehicles set up with a sole or majority focus on trading cryptocurrencies, many hedge funds are still very reluctant to dip a toe into the asset class.

Full story at http://cnb.cx/2scKGn1

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Five Big Reasons Why People Are Still Skeptical About Bitcoin

Five Big Reasons Why People Are Still Skeptical About Bitcoin

Bitcoin’s astronomical rally has cryptocurrency bulls feeling vindicated. Not so fast, skeptics say.

The digital currency’s more than 100 percent surge in the past two months looks eerily familiar, argue the bears, pointing to November 2013, when the price quintupled in short order to top $1,000 for the first time. By Valentine’s Day it was worth around half that, and spent the better part of the next two years languishing below $500.

Then it absolutely exploded -- jumping more than $1,400 in two months. At its height last week, one bitcoin could buy about two ounces of gold. Its champions touted the arrival of blockchain into the mainstream, the coin’s underlying technology which they say can lift the poor out of poverty and make transactions more secure, inexpensive and efficient.

But signs of a top have emerged, detractors warn. On May 25, bitcoin surged more than $300 to a record only to turn tail and close little changed. The $600 round trip was the biggest daily swing in its history. It then slumped 8 percent the next day. Bitcoin was down 1.5 percent to $2,255.50 as of 12:35 p.m. in New York. For bears, that kind of volatility shows the asset’s unreliability as a store of value.

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Monday, May 29, 2017

Cryptocurrency Trading Volume Hits $4.3 Bln, Nears Stock Exchange Volume

Cryptocurrency Trading Volume Hits $4.3 Bln, Nears Stock Exchange Volume

On May 25, the cryptocurrency trading volume hit $4.3 bln. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin and NEM drove the cryptocurrency trading volume to new all-time highs.

Bitcoin developer and entrepreneur Jimmy Song compared the cryptocurrency trading volume to the exchange volume of major stock exchanges such as NASDAQ. Although the cryptocurrency market’s trading volume is only a fraction of major stock exchanges such as NASDAQ, it is nearing the exchange volume of smaller stock exchanges such as Thailand and Australian stock exchanges.

In order for the cryptocurrency market to near the trading volumes of major stock exchanges, particularly the 16 stock exchanges in the $1 Trillion Dollar Club, the cryptocurrency market will need to achieve a multi-trillion dollar market cap. Currently, the market cap of the cryptocurrency market is $71 bln.

Full story at http://bit.ly/2rynK4q

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We Plan To Open 5,000 Bitcoin ATMs in Europe in 2017: Bitlish

We Plan To Open 5,000 Bitcoin ATMs in Europe in 2017: Bitlish

Bitcoin ATM provider Bitlish was the first to open a bonafide BTM in Russia, but it is its expansion plans that are likely to get the market talking.

Despite the growing presence of BTMs in Europe, usage is still limited.

Not inconsiderable fees, as well as a lack of general consumer understanding, mean that online options remain the go-to source for both novice and experienced traders to exchange crypto for fiat and vice versa.

UK-based Bitlish thus surprised when one of its branded machines opened in Russia’s second city St. Petersburg, closely followed by another. Both were a result of a decision by the company’s local partner, who gained an opportunity to open there rather than the capital Moscow.

Full story at http://bit.ly/2rxXZkW

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BITPoint Joins Race To Take Bitcoin To Japanese Retail

BITPoint Joins Race To Take Bitcoin To Japanese Retail

Japanese payment gateway BITPoint is set to take Bitcoin payments to thousands of domestic retailers.

Having successfully partnered with Peach Air to facilitate its Bitcoin acceptance later this year, BITPoint is now seeking a considerably larger rollout.

“We’re holding discussions with a retail-related company,” Bloomberg quotes President Genki Oda on Monday.

“By going through a company providing payment terminal services to shops, we have the possibility of increasing its use at one stroke. It’s easier than talking to lots of individual retailers.”

Full story at http://bit.ly/2ry5XdA

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Bitcoin Future Is Bright, Just Be Patient: Bitcoin Investor Vinny Lingham

Bitcoin Future Is Bright, Just Be Patient: Bitcoin Investor Vinny Lingham

At the peak of the recent Bitcoin price rally, Vinny Lingham, the Bitcoin price prediction pundit, told Cointelegraph it was not healthy and would not end well.

Admittedly, it did not end as many wished, but it was unlike some of the scary bursts this ecosystem has witnessed in 2013 and 2015.

Bitcoin price actually tanked from the $2,900 range to the $2,000s when most of us were calling for $3,000. It is now struggling to find its feet at the $2,100 zone. On Sunday night, it dropped as low as $2,045 and some analysts on Bitcoin Powpow even predicted it will decline between $1,600 to $2,000.

At the time of filing this report on Monday Morning GMT, it was wavering around $2,119 with a negative growth rate. It is worth mentioning that all top 10 altcoins were in the red except the tenth ranked Golem.

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Top 3 Ways to Avoid Bitcoin Scams

Top 3 Ways to Avoid Bitcoin Scams

The recent pump across the cryptocurrencies was an exciting rally, that has since settled down a bit. However, it did expose Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to many new people who may not have known about it before. Many of these people may hear the term “trustless” and think that it only applies to the Blockchain. In reality many of these newcomers -and veterans alike- need to keep a watchful eye out for the multitude of Bitcoin scams. Here are some of the ways that I avoid getting scammed.

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India Local Politicians Criticize Government’s War On Cash, Bitcoin

India Local Politicians Criticize Government’s War On Cash, Bitcoin

Indian politicians have described Bitcoin as a “ransom finance platform” while criticizing the government’s digital economy reforms.

In a meeting of the country’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance quoted by the Economic Times, several local representatives “raised questions” about Bitcoin’s treatment in light of the WannaCry cyberattack.

“Members feared that it (Bitcoin) could become a parallel instrument for cycling black money and dodgy transactions and also a source for terror financing,” the publication reports quoting unnamed sources.

A further participant, Dinesh Trivedi, reportedly continued that “today data is the new oil and Bitcoin is the ransom finance platform.”

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The Latest Bitcoin Price Surge May Not Have Much to Do with Trade Speculation

The Latest Bitcoin Price Surge May Not Have Much to Do with Trade Speculation

Bitcoin, the popular cryptocurrency’s price has been on a constant upward trend until yesterday, creating new records every other day. The increasing price trend has reminded many of the Mt Gox times, where Bitcoin price rose beyond the $1000 mark before experiencing a massive crash.

The growing Bitcoin price trend has caused concern to many investors, confused about whether to invest in the cryptocurrency now or wait until the next price fall. The past 24-hour market trend seems to have addressed their concern, thanks to over 22% drop in the value. However, this situation is not expected to continue for long due to increasing adoption and stability of the cryptocurrency.

Meanwhile, cryptocurrency and investment experts believe that the recently witnessed price rally is just the beginning and this time, there is no need to draw similarities between the tech bubble in 2000’s and the “Bitcoin bubble”. They also go a step further by supporting their theory with three reasons.

According to reports published on media outlets, the cryptocurrency has reached a stage where it plays a significant role in the stability and integrity of distributed ledger solutions. This has resulted in increased demand for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, not only among traders and community members but also businesses involved in development, implementation and usage of blockchain-based applications. A trend which is not going to go out of date anytime soon.

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Japan, South Korea drive global bitcoin prices as retail investor pile in

Japan, South Korea drive global bitcoin prices as retail investor pile in

HONG KONG: Japanese and South Korean buying helped drive the price of bitcoin to an all-time high this week, with the digital currency more than doubling its value since the start of the year, analysts and market practitioners said on Friday.

Frenzied buying as the price peaked at $2,760.10 on Thursday caused website outages on Coinbase, the global bitcoin company that allows consumers to buy and sell bitcoins. The price has since fallen back to $2,632.74.

In Japan and South Korea, among the largest markets for bitcoin globally, bitcoin traded at a premium of more than $300 higher above the global average, according to CryptoCompare.com.

The rally appeared to have been driven by new buying from smaller retail investors, suggesting bitcoins are increasingly viewed among the general investing public as an alternative asset class much like gold, analysts said.

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How to Pull Bitcoin out of Darknet Stigma: Blockchain Startup Expertise

How to Pull Bitcoin out of Darknet Stigma: Blockchain Startup Expertise

With most new technologies, it's rare that mainstream investors dive in and take risks with the unfamiliar and untested. Organized crime, on the other hand, will invest in cutting-edge technologies to drive their initiatives, just like any legitimate business.

Criminals use the Internet, mobile phones, encryption technology, instant messaging and social media. But none of these technologies have sustained a bad reputation like Bitcoin.

From its launch in 2009, bad press has littered headlines involving Bitcoin, partially due to the Silk Road marketplace, the Darknet and other platforms that maintain their anonymity, finance terrorism, traffic drugs and allow them to launder money.

During this period, investment capital in Blockchain was a mere $93 mln in Blockchain investments according to CB Insights.

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