Thursday, April 26, 2018

How Bitcoin Cash Can Avoid the Same Mistakes as Bitcoin Core

 



The bitcoin cash (BCH) community understands key principles: Bitcoin should be a peer to peer Electronic Cash system; most users can use SPV wallets instead of running their own node; "second layer" scaling solutions are often unnecessary and problematic. While important, and it places the BCH ahead of others, education isn't only about the scaling debate. It's important to understand all aspects of Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Cash Knowledge is Power
If I were to ask a question: "Why did Bitcoin (BTC) fail its mission to become Peer to Peer Electronic Cash?" — you would likely hear many answers.

Some would say "censorship". Others would point to "centralization of protocol development" or "apathetic, complacent miners"… or even "Nakamoto Consensus doesn't work".

Those answers may be correct to a certain degree. I'll address each of them throughout this series, but there's an overarching principle that connects all of these.

And that principle is this: Not enough people in the Bitcoin community actually understood how Bitcoin is supposed to work.

I say that humbly — it's not that I'm so smart that I can explain how it's all supposed to work, but here's the point: Bitcoin is like a school of fish. We all have to be swimming together. Maybe not in perfect unison, but at least in the same direction.

Isn't it amazing how a school of fish can move together with coordinated body positions and synchronized movements? Scientists do not fully understand it, but it's believed to be rooted in genetics.

So how can we, the BCH community, be like the school of fish, and move together toward our destination without getting chewed apart by predators? Ultimately it boils down to this: Knowledge is power. The most important tool for liberty has always been a well informed populace.

Another word that means the same thing, is: Education.

A Deeper Problem than the Blocksize Debate
Many in the BCH community understand key principles… like how Bitcoin should be a peer to peer Electronic Cash system. Or that most users can use SPV wallets instead of running their own node. Or that "second layer" scaling solutions are often unnecessary and problematic.

Those things are very important. By understanding those (and other) fundamental principles, the BCH community is already well ahead of other communities, and that understanding goes a long way toward the goal of all swimming in the same direction.

But education shouldn't stop with knowledge of the scaling debate. We should understand all aspects of Bitcoin. Technical, economic, social… everything. The more we know, the better prepared we'll be against whatever form a future spectre takes to try to destroy Bitcoin.

As individuals, we should first take the responsibility to educate ourselves, and then educate others. And, perhaps education about the importance of education is the widest-scope principle we can formulate. It's a meme-worthy idea.

In Part 2, we'll take a closer look at consensus, decision making, and the social aspect of Bitcoin.

Written by Jonald Fyookball
Jonald Fyookball (pseudonym) is a cryptocurrency enthusiast, best known as the project leader of the Electron Cash wallet, and for a series of hard hitting articles on the Bitcoin scaling debate. Jonald is a computer scientist, businessman, investor, libertarian, and Bitcoin advocate.

In the Securities Era, ICOs Pleading Ignorance Have No Place to Hide

 


ICOs seeking to crowdfund their big idea have a quandary: should they register their token as a security, complete with the expense, delays, and paperwork this entails, or should they brand it a utility and hope the SEC doesn't come after them? Last year, virtually everything was labeled a utility and SEC-compliant crowdsales were almost unheard of. But in 2018, launching a utility token in the U.S. is fraught with risks and uncertainty. To tap into the lucrative U.S. market, the regulatory route is now the only viable path to follow.


Ignorance of Securities Law Is No Excuse
When token sales emerged, they were seen by advocates as a great source of capital that circumvented existing restrictions on fundraising. As it turns out, ICOs can be a great means of raising money, but they are not a new fundraising vehicle that is exempt from the law. For the first half of 2017, ICOs such as Tezos merrily raised funds from U.S. investors under the assumption that their crowdsale was above board because it involved a utility token rather than a security. But as subsequent lawsuits have shown, just because something's branded as a utility doesn't make it one.

In the Securities Era, ICOs Pleading Ignorance Have No Place to Hide

By late last year, the number of ICOs willing to accept U.S. investors had dwindled to a trickle and projects were tripping over themselves to preface every mention of their token with the words "UTILITY" for the avoidance of doubt. Others have published their responses to the Howey Test as further evidence that their token could not possibly be a security. Well-meaning as these attempts may be, they do not change the fact that most ICO tokens almost certainly constitute a security, a view espoused by SEC chairman Jay Clayton.

Litigation Lawyers Have Their Say
At Start Engine's ICO 2.0 Summit in Santa Monica on April 20, one of the most interesting panel discussions was loaded with litigators. "ICO Litigation and Enforcement Update" included Nick Morgan, a partner at Paul Hastings, Dan Moylan, a litigator at Venable, and Perrie Weiner from DLA Piper, all of whom are familiar with the inner workings of the SEC and securities law.

In the Securities Era, ICOs Pleading Ignorance Have No Place to Hide
Nick Morgan
Nick Morgan was senior trial counsel in the SEC's enforcement division, making him well aware of the reluctance of the SEC to say "Yes". "In 2017 we saw a lot of 'No'," he observed during the panel discussion. "The question is 'Can I offer my token for sale without registering it or being exempt?' The SEC in 2017 and 2018 has repeatedly said 'No'…What we're waiting for and hopeful to see…is a 'Yes' from the SEC."

He later added: "The first place we may get a 'Yes' will be from a judge," and explained how "institutionally [the SEC] are reluctant to do so, because once they say 'Yes', everyone goes through that channel…but we may see a judge, in a case that's being litigated, who says 'This is not a security'".

Fellow panelist and litigator Dan Moylan noted: "When you look at the various regulatory agencies' statements and actions in 2017 and so far in 2018, frankly in many ways they're predictable…they told you what they were gonna do. They made it very clear, whether it's the SEC or the CFTC or any number of other alphabet agencies."

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Indian Exchange Takes Central Bank to Court Over Bank Ban

 


The Indian bitcoin community keeps fighting for their rights to operate freely in the country like any other industry. The latest show of defiance is a petition to the court against the actions of the Reserve Bank of India by the operators of a local exchange.

RBI Ban Unconstitutional
Indian Exchange Takes Central Bank to Court Over Bank BanKali Digital Eco-Systems, the company behind the upcoming cryptocurrency exchange Coin Recoil, has appealed to the High Court in Delhi against the recent crackdown on banks providing services to bitcoin related companies by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

According to the petitioner, the RBI directive is arbitrary and a violation of the Constitution of India and the court should therefore quash it. The document presented to the count, which news.bitcoin.com has obtained, explains that due to the RBI Circular the company will not be able to secure banking services that are imperative for the business' operations rendering it "stillborn." It argues that the ban is unconstitutional on two main grounds.

Freedom of Occupation
Indian Exchange Takes Central Bank to Court Over Bank BanArticle 19 of the Constitution of India guarantees citizens' rights to carry on any occupation, trade or business. But by preventing exchanges' access to baking services the government is in affect preventing people from engaging in the business of their choice.

Article 14 prohibits discrimination based on arbitrary and unreasonable classification. The petition explains that the RBI did not provide a clear definition of what constitutes 'virtual currency' and that this ambiguity dilutes any reasonability in what may be alleged as a classification. For instance, reward points such as airline miles may also be unreasonably construed as virtual currencies.

Two months ago the Supreme Court of Israel issued an injunction order forbidding one of the biggest banks in the country from halting the account activity of a local bitcoin exchange. This was a major victory for the Israeli cryptocurrency industry that set a precedent for other bitcoin businesses struggling to get banking services in the country. Hopefully the Indian high court will follow this example, even though there is a difference between the authority of a commercial bank and a central bank. Meanwhile, over 42,000 Indians have now signed an online petition that against the RBI directive.

Bitcoin Cash Gains Advance 4% Above BTC

 


On Wednesday, April 18, cryptocurrency markets have been bouncing all around over the past twelve hours as a few coins have seen some higher gains than most. Three-day charts show bitcoin core markets took a slight dip after touching a high of $8,425 USD on April 15, as spot prices are up 2 percent today and the fiat value per BTC currently rests between $7,900-8,100. Bitcoin cash markets are on a tear and have seen a significant upswing in market action during the day's trading sessions. The value of bitcoin cash is up 6.8 percent at a price of $825 per BCH.

Cryptocurrency Market Volumes Remain Healthy
Markets Update: Bitcoin Cash Gains Advance 4% Above BTC Digital currency markets are seeing some action today, after a majority of coins took a slight tumble yesterday during the early evening trading sessions (EDT). At the time of publication BTC's market value is hovering between $7,900-8,100 with a decent amount of trade volume over the past 24-hours. Daily global trade volume for BTC shows an accumulation of $7Bn worth of trades. The top five trading platforms swapping the most BTC volume today include Binance, Upbit, Bittrex, Okex, and Bitfinex. With over 1,500 digital currency markets in existence and an overall cryptocurrency market valuation of $335Bn bitcoin core dominance has slipped today down to 41 percent. The Japanese yen is again dominating the global trade volume on April 18 as the currency covers over 57 percent of the BTC trades. This metric is followed by the USD (18.8%), tether (USDT 13.8%), the South Korean won (3.3%), and the euro (3%).

BTC/USD Technical Indicators
Looking at the weekly, 30-minute and 4-hour BTC/USD charts show bulls are trying to press past resistance at the $8,100-8,400 territory which is quite thick. The two Simple Moving Averages (SMA) both long-term (200 SMA) and the short-term (100 SMA) have a decent gap between them with the 200 SMA above. This indicates the path to resistance will look to the downside as bulls are showing some exhaustion. However, the 4-hour chart shows the trend lines are looking to meet again in the short term. MACd is heading southbound while the Relative Strength Index (RSI) is meandering between 50-60 showing some consolidation is taking place.

Markets Update: Bitcoin Cash Gains Advance 4% Above BTC
BTC/USD Bitstamp 4-18-18
Order books show on the upside bulls have to muster through some thick sell orders between $8,200 and $8,600 after that could be some smoother sailing. BTC/USD charts have shown a bullish reversal above the downward trend line and these attempts at resistance will likely take place today. If bears manage to claw prices down then there is some key support between $7,800-$7,700. If the Displaced Moving Average (DMA) breaks below these foundations, prices will likely find a way to the $7,500-7,250 territories.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Bitcoin Cash Price Technical Analysis – BCH/USD Could Test $700

 

Bitcoin Cash Price Support
There was a decent start of an upside wave from the $625 swing low in bitcoin cash price against the US Dollar. The price traded above the $640 and $650 resistance levels to move back in a positive zone. More importantly, the price is now well above the $640 pivot level and the 100 hourly simple moving average. It recently traded as high as $676 before a minor downside correction.

Key Points
Bitcoin cash price is moving higher and is currently placed above $650 against the US Dollar.
Yesterday's highlighted connecting bullish trend line with support at $650 is intact on the hourly chart of the BCH/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).
The pair is showing bullish signs and it seems like it could break $680 to test the $700 handle.
Bitcoin cash price is gaining pace against the US Dollar. BCH/USD is likely to accelerate higher as long as it is above the $650 support level.

It tested the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last wave from the $625 low to $676 high. However, the downside was limited and it seems like the price is about to resume its uptrend. A break above the $676 high could push the price towards the last swing high at $685. Above the mentioned $685 level, the price may even test the $700 resistance in the near term. On the other hand, if there is a downside correction, the $650 support may stop losses.

Bitcoin Cash Price Technical Analysis BCH USD

Moreover, yesterday's highlighted connecting bullish trend line with support at $650 is intact on the hourly chart of the BCH/USD pair. Therefore, the pair remains supported on the downside above the $650 level and it could continue to move higher towards $700.

Looking at the technical indicators:
Hourly MACD – The MACD for BCH/USD is moving nicely in the bullish zone.

Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for BCH/USD is currently near the overbought levels.

Major Support Level – $650
Major Resistance Level – $685

The Number of Cryptocurrency Exchanges Has Exploded

 


In bitcoin's earliest days, you could count the number of cryptocurrency exchanges on two hands: Mt Gox, Bitstamp, Btc-e, Vircurex and a handful of others, as well as P2P exchange Localbitcoins. Today, the landscape has changed dramatically. There are now over 500 exchanges to choose from – and that number is growing with every passing week.


There Are Now More Than 500 Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Calculating the number of crypto exchanges in the world is a lot harder than it sounds. Coinmarketcap lists 208, and there are dozens more listed on other cryptocurrency tracking sites. In addition, there are hundreds of regional exchanges that are only accessible within certain countries and continents. Canada has Einstein Exchange. Africa has Golix. Australia has ACX and will soon have Nauticus, a multi-asset exchange that is launching this year. Blockbid has also just gained its Australian license.

None of these platforms features on exchange listing sites such as Coinmarketcap. Neither do major sites such as Coinbase, because it is technically a broker (although its volume is listed on sites like Bitcoinity.org), or P2P sites like Localbitcoins and Localethereum. And what about other forms of P2P exchange such as Radar Relay, Kyber Network, and platforms that operate on the deep web? It is extremely difficult to classify and quantify the number of global crypto exchanges. All that can be said for certain is it's north of 500 and rising.

Choice Is Good – Up to a Point
Back when the bitcoin ecosystem was beholden to just one exchange – Mt Gox – there was a single point of failure that duly crashed the markets when Gox eventually broke. With hundreds of exchanges to choose from today, that shouldn't be an issue, and yet a glance at where the bulk of the trading volume lies tells a different story. In the last 24 hours, more than half of all cryptocurrency trading volume came from just three exchanges, with Binance accounting for 18% alone. If the exchange were to be hacked or go offline, it wouldn't cause a Mt Gox-level crash, but it would still inflict a sizeable dent.

24-hour trade volume by exchange
It is the meteoric rise of Binance, which has gone from nothing to billion-dollar platform in the space of 12 months, that has inspired many of the next generation of token-backed exchanges like Coinlion and Legolas. Each of these new entrants has a slightly different slant, whether it's knowledge-based trading, ICO launching or, in the case of Ezexchange, a focus on customer service that includes 24/7 support. It even offers the prospect of video tutorials and phone support for crypto investors who are still learning the ropes.

Oliver Isaacs is a cryptocurrency advisor and investor who's worked with a number of new exchanges. He ventures: "Customer service/tech support is important [with new exchanges] and so is the speed with which cryptocurrency deposit and withdraw transactions are executed. Getting your coin onto and off of an exchange quickly is important, especially for an arbitrage trader."

For so long as money keeps pouring into the crypto economy and the ICO sector remains vibrant, new exchanges will continue to proliferate. Should things go south, however, and a severe crypto winter set in, many exchanges could wind up as little more than ghost towns, with only the dominant players capable of maintaining liquidity and weathering the storm.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Bitcoin vs Oil and Gold: There Is a Difference

 

It's an easy comparison to make: Bitcoin mining versus gold and oil extraction. All – in the abstract sense for bitcoin – involve unearthing resources, all have had bumpy price histories, and all have been labeled as disruptive in their time.

Gold vs Oil vs Bitcoin
There are crucial differences between the three assets, especially when it comes to tracking what happens to supply after an increase in price. Twitter user @WallSt_Dropout produced a series of fascinating charts that help illustrate those differences perfectly.

First, oil. As the price of oil starts to climb, there's a marked response in oil production. Why? Because now there's extra incentive to invest in infrastructure/extraction capabilities.

As oil production begins to outstrip demand, there's a drop in the price of oil. It's now not as profitable to remove quite as much oil as before, so production eases off. As oil prices start to recover – thanks to restrictions in supply from the last cycle – the drillers turn their machines back on and produce more of the black stuff.

The same applies to gold. Beginning in 2008, monthly gold ore production is low, thanks to consistently low prices in the previous decade. As market forces begin to push the price of gold up – remember that financial crash? – production ramps up to keep track of prices. As gold prices take a dip in 2012, ore production levels off.

In bitcoin's case, the opposite is true. In 2010, when the block reward for production was higher, prices were low. As prices have climbed, the rewards for mining have dropped off. There isn't the same cyclical relationship between supply and demand found in oil and gold.

Bitcoin Is different
This is a key function of how bitcoin works. The bitcoin block mining reward halves every 210,000 blocks. At present the coin reward is 12.5 coins. According to Bitcoinblockhalf.com, by May 2020, the reward will drop to 6.25 coins.

How will miners make money after the block rewards end in 2140? Transaction fees. Gold miners don't control the buying and selling of the product, whereas bitcoin miners charge transaction fees for the confirmation work they complete. It would be the equivalent of an oil platform charging individuals a small fee for the oil they use in their cars.

It's a necessary part of the system. Think of it as miners creating a fixed amount of land every 10 minutes. People who want to make a transaction bid for a slice of that land. The sale of that tiny portion of land is what keeps miners mining.

As the Bitcoin inflation rate steadily trends downwards, the necessity of transaction fees to incentivize miners to keep mining will go up – in the far future.

Oil and gold are commodities that have no 'real' end date, i.e. there are still resources lying beneath the ground. Despite fears of peak oil and peak gold, companies keep finding more of the stuff as technology allows them to pinpoint their location and extract it with greater accuracy.

We already know how much bitcoin is left to be mined. Which makes bitcoin mining a very different proposition than mining other real world commodities.

India Searches for Ethereum Over Bitcoin

 



For nearly half a year, India's crypto enthusiasts have been searching for the cryptocurrency ethereum (ETH) over bitcoin (BTC). At the end of February, researchers confirmed ETH searches were twice as likely over BTC. Could the world's second most populated country be souring on the world's most popular cryptocurrency?

India Is Searching More for Ethereum, According to Researchers
According to Jana, a free internet provider in India, "Ethereum topped bitcoin as the most searched-for cryptocurrency in India over the past five months, commanding a 34.4% share of currency searches overall versus bitcoin's 29.9%," Quartz India reports. The results were published in Jana's Mobile Majority study, finding the "next most searched-for currency was Buyucoin (NEM) with a 21.2% share, and the rest captured 5% or less."

The CEO of Jana, Nathan Eagle, believes, "The government recommending shutting down exchanges and limiting currencies altogether, coupled with the decline in prices, has lead to the feverish pitch waning away dramatically. There are still quite a lot of searches but maybe we're getting closer to what a true steady state should look like." Part of the problem might be bitcoin's success, ironically. It tends to get the majority of attention when concerns about cryptocurrencies arise. In recent months, India's government and regulators have suggested everything from crypto not being legal tender to shutting exchanges.

Jana used its Mcent browser to find currency terms searched for and exchange visits over a five-month period, October of last year through February 2018. According to Quartz India, "Ethereum searches were double that of bitcoin during last week of February."

Thirty percent of all searches during that period happened at the height of bitcoin's run during December of last year. There seems to be an almost inverse relationship between searches for ethereum and bitcoin's price: the more of one necessarily means less of the other. Mr. Eagle explained how "search volume is a leading indicator of what has momentum and is showing signs of growth. It may not correspond to people buying more ethereum, but there's certainly a lot more interest," he told Quartz India.