Page 10«..9101112..2030..»

Category Archives: Bitcoin

Startups Brace for Bitcoin Cash Fork in Wave of Policy Updates – CoinDesk

Posted: July 29, 2017 at 6:50 pm

What should we do aboutBitcoin Cash?

Thats 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 timesoverthe 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 “hodl”thisnew type of bitcoin) the ecosystem’s third-party companies are grappling with thisquestion 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 splitand 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 actionshe might need to taketo now secure potentially vulnerable customers funds.

Hose told CoinDesk:

“The biggest cost is time and distraction from executing on what we see as core to our mission of providing financial services to the unbanked.”

Still, he called the features that Bitcoin Cash offers (not necessarily the project itself)”necessary for bitcoin to continue to evolve as a financial railway,” adding that a block size increase could become a “welcome improvement” despite the short-term headaches.

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 theysimply dont 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 hasdeveloped a creative way of dealing with this problem. Like other small firmswith limited resources, it does not plan to support the competing cryptocurrency. Instead, itplans to sell all of the Bitcoin Cash itaccumulates in exchange forbitcoinlater dividing these funds between users, proportional to the amount of bitcoin each holds withthe 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 tobe a minority opinion, bitcoin payments providerBitPay 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.

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

Somewant to try out the bitcoin alternativebecause they support its vision for scaling bitcoin to more users by way of a block size parameter increase, while others anticipate gains in selling theirfree 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 coinfor bitcoin or other cryptocurrencieson one of thefew exchanges that will support it.

Mining pool ViaBTChas already launched futures trading for the tokens, which attime 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.

It doesn’t seem like many mining pools or miners support Bitcoin Cash so far, so one of the remaining questions is how diverse and decentralized its computing power which works in part to add new transactions blocks to the blockchain will be.

Slush Pool, the first-ever mining pool, said it wont support it, arguing “we do not see any real demand from miners.” Mining pool Bixin, with about 5% of the hashrate, also stated that it will keep its hashrate dedicated to the main bitcoin chain and urged other miners to “stay rational.”

Mining pools Bitmain and Bitcoin.com both plan to uphold the Segwit2x agreement, including the block size parameter increase hard fork, scheduledto activatein three months. They are, though, open to supporting Bitcoin Cash in the future.

ViaBTC, one of the pioneers of the project, remains the only mining pool committed to the cause so far. Yet, it saysit isn’t putting any of itsownmining power toward the effort, instead givingusers the option to direct their hardware toward Bitcoin Cashin support.

All these pieces of the ecosystemconsidered, the bigger question might be, what’s the future of Bitcoin Cash?

Although companies are deciding whether or not to make it easy forusers to access and usethe cryptocurrency, theres still little evidence that more than a few companies, developers, users, and mining pools plan to actually move over to it and use it long-term.

Still, some users cite ethereum classic as an example of a cryptocurrency that exceeded expectations in the long run, due support from enthusiastic and ideologically driven supporters.

As usual, wewill just have to wait and see.

Disclosure:CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which acted as an organizer for the Segwit2x proposal, and has ownership stakes in Coins.ph, BitPay, Circle, Ledger and ShapeShift.

Split wires image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Interested in offering your expertise or insights to our reporting? Contact us at [emailprotected].

Excerpt from:
Startups Brace for Bitcoin Cash Fork in Wave of Policy Updates – CoinDesk

Posted in Bitcoin | Comments Off on Startups Brace for Bitcoin Cash Fork in Wave of Policy Updates – CoinDesk

Fork Watch: ‘Bitcoin Cash’ Support Grows as August 1 Draws Near – Bitcoin News (press release)

Posted: at 6:50 pm

The user-activated hard fork (UAHF) on the Bitcoin network is looming around the corner. Bitcoin Cash (BCC; BCH) is slated to break away as a new fork from the Bitcoin blockchain on August 1 at9:20PM JST or 12:20PM UTC.

Also read:Fork Watch: JP Powerhouse Coincheck Now Unlikely to Suspend Bitcoin Payments

Multiple bitcoin exchanges have signaled support for Bitcoin Cash. This news comes alongside the inevitability that a UAHF event will occur.

Last week, Bitcoin.com detailed many of the exchanges and platforms that will be rejecting Bitcoin Cash (BCC), but now more appear to be settling into the idea that it will exist as a legitimate digital token. At the time of writing, futures of BCC are being traded on Viabtcs exchange for roughly $390.

Kraken

The large bitcoin exchange Kraken made an announcement yesterday in support of Bitcoin Cash. They said they will be providing users with the ability to trade it on their platform. They pledged to credit clients with an equivalent amount of Bitcoin Cash based on their current holdings of bitcoin.

Although the Bitcoin Cash fork is expected to be minor, it may be successful. Provided that unforeseen circumstances do not make it prohibitively unsafe or difficult for us to do so, Kraken will support Bitcoin Cash

However, Kraken warned margin traders on their platform to be very cautious across the fork. They were told to either greatly reduce their position or cease margin trading altogether to ensure a smooth transition. In the least, they should set stops and not rely on Kraken to function optimally while the fork is in progress.

Bitfinex

The bitcoin exchange platform Bitfinex also announced they would be supporting bitcoin cash. They plan on providing an amount of bitcoin cash tokens equivalent to that of bitcoin in their customers wallets.

They said, A minority of Bitcoin miners will be forking on August 1st, 2017 to create a newchain calledBitcoin Cash. The fork does not impact Bitcoin balances, but it creates a new token. At the time of the fork, all Bitcoin addresses holding a balance will automatically have equivalent balances in Bitcoin Cash.

The company, however, mentioned they will not be using BCC for the bitcoin cash ticker symbol. They said it is already in useon their platform. Instead, they will use BCH. The company will distribute BCH tokens with the UTC timestamp of the first forking block, which will occur August 1. Their page contains details on how they plan on ironing out the kinks and managing technical issues.

Besides exchanges, major hardware wallets manufacturers are also supporting Bitcoin Cash. Both Trezor and Ledger have provided details on securing bitcoin cash in their wallets when the fork occurs.

Trezor wallet said they can safely adopt bitcoin cash functionality with their wallets sincethe currency supports replay attack protection. They said, Bitcoin Cash has implemented the necessary protection againstreplay attacks, meaning Trezor can support the currency safely. We will provide an interface, accessible from Trezor Wallet, where you can access and safely claim your Bitcoin Cash coins. You will be prompted by Trezor Wallet once you select Bitcoin Cash in the currency selector.

As a result of the in-built replay attack protection, Ledger will also provide full functionality for bitcoin cash via their wallets. They say users will be able to gain access to bitcoin cash after the fork by using a special tool. They said users could view bitcoin cash currency as free air-dropped money.

As a result, all bitcoin holders will be granted a new duplicated Bitcoin Cash balance (literally airdropped free money) if the fork activatesthis post and the follow ups will describe how you can best secure this new balance, then decide to trade it, hold it or sell it as you wish.

Both hardware wallet companies wrote details on their page explaining how to respond to the fork and gain access to freshly minted bitcoin cash.

Several other exchanges and wallet providers are also signaling their support for the hard-forked token. Exchanges include Quoinexchange, Viabtc, Kcoin, Btcbox, Bithumb, Kex, Mercury Cash, Huobi,Quadrigacx, Toubi, Korbit, Bittrex, and Btcpop. Wallet providers who are adopting Bitcoin Cash include, Bitcoin ABC, Bitcoinclassic, Electrum Cash, and btc.com.

The exchange Quoinexchange said, We have also received many inquiries regarding BCC(Bitcoin Cash) crypto currency. As an exchange, our goal is to provide a fair exchange platform which is highly secure and compliant. As a result of the fork, users that hold BTC in their balances at the time of the fork will be credited equivalent BCC. If your account balance at the time of the fork holds 1 BTC, youwill be credited 1 BCC.

These announcements seem to suggest stronger community backing for the fork token. It does not look like the currency will die immediately in the rip and roar of the fork. The future of the digital asset remains uncertain, for sure.

However, the basic rules of forks still apply to everyone regardless of what happens: keep private keys safe. No matter what coin wins out, every bitcoin user should try to maintain their coins with their own securely held private keys. This ensures that control of both coins remain in the users hands.

Will bitcoin cash continueto grow after Aug 1? Will it have more supporters? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, bitfinex.com, and crunchbase.com

Bitcoin.coms own store features a wide range of interesting Bitcoin-related products. Looking for a hardware wallet? We got em. Want a good-looking t-shirt? Its there. Want to gift a nice Bitcoin tea cup? Go shopping.

Read the original:
Fork Watch: ‘Bitcoin Cash’ Support Grows as August 1 Draws Near – Bitcoin News (press release)

Posted in Bitcoin | Comments Off on Fork Watch: ‘Bitcoin Cash’ Support Grows as August 1 Draws Near – Bitcoin News (press release)

Are Exchanges Safe Places to Keep Bitcoins? – The Merkle

Posted: at 6:50 pm

When most people start to get excited about Bitcoin there tends to be a list of frequently asked questions that they go through immediately. How do I buy it? Who accepts it? What can I buy with it? Is gambling with bitcoin legal? Where can I store it? How do I protect it?

Security is always one of the obvious concerns that first time bitcoin traders have. With physical money, the question of security has a pretty natural answer but when you are talking about digital currencies its just not as simple as keeping it hidden away under lock and key.

There are hackers out there that come up with new and innovative ways to steal bitcoin every day and its up to the individual to understand how to keep their cryptocurrencies secure. At this point a new batch of questions emerge. Where are the safest bitcoin exchanges? Whats the safest way to store my bitcoin? Are bitcoin exchanges safe places to store my bitcoins?

Major cryptocurrency exchanges are relatively secure ways to store your Bitcoin but its typically not advised for larger amounts. The major exchanges are essentially big money targets for hackers who are constantly developing new ways to steal bitcoin from people.

Over the years that Bitcoin has been in digital circulation, there have been multiple accounts of bitcoin being stolen via hacking of some of the major exchanges. The most recent crypto robbery was of one of busiest exchanges in the world based out of South Korea where over 30,000 customers information was compromised in the attack.

With that said, its easy to get into a comparative loop of digital security insecurities. While the major exchanges are those big money targets, they also reserve the right to cancel your account at any time for any reason and seize the funds that are in your account. That doesnt mean that they will just arbitrarily steal your money but if you are dealing with a less popular exchange its a possibility that does exist.

The common consensus on the internet through the crypto communities is that storing small amounts of Bitcoin on reputable exchanges is actually pretty harmless. However, if you have larger amounts that you need more security for youll need a more secure digital wallet.

For large amounts of Bitcoin where you need the maximum security you can opt for what is called Cold Storage. The term Cold Storage refers to when a person takes all of their bitcoin keys off of any known servers and computers and instead stores them physically on a device that is not connected to the internet so it cant be hacked.

People sometimes use USB devices or other mediums of data storage that arent connected. Some have even been known to buy a computer specifically for the storage of their bitcoins and go through steps to never connect it to the internet so hackers can find it and will never be able to access it. Here is a list of safe cold storage wallets that are popular in the crypto space.

See more here:
Are Exchanges Safe Places to Keep Bitcoins? – The Merkle

Posted in Bitcoin | Comments Off on Are Exchanges Safe Places to Keep Bitcoins? – The Merkle

Howard Marks says bitcoin isn’t realand we can all blame millennials for its rise – MarketWatch

Posted: at 6:50 pm

Howard Marks has some harsh words for the bitcoin community and the rise of digital currencies, which have become all the rage lately.

Digital currencies are nothing but an unfounded fad, said the co-chairman of Oaktree Capital Management, who was among the first to sound the alarm on the 2008 financial crisis.

Bitcoin BTCUSD, -1.02% is based on a willingness to ascribe value to something that has little or none beyond what people will pay for it, wrote Marks in his latest memo to clients.

Read: Bitcoin isnt real, and markets are darn hot, warns Howard Marks

The billionaire investor believes an increasing lack of faith in fiat currencies on top of millennials love of all things virtual have allowed cryptocurrencies to emerge as a potential investment tool.

Maybe Im just a dinosaur, too technologically backward to appreciate the greatness of digital currency. But it is my firm view that the ability of these things to gain acceptance is just one more proof of the prevalence today of financial naivet, willing risk-taking and wishful thinking, he said.

Marks boasts a net worth of $2 billion, according to Forbes. His investing letters are often parsed by market participants for insightful nuggets.

He freely admits he is stumped by cryptocurrencies and says he isnt alone among savvy Wall Street investors puzzled by its rise.

But they are not real!!!!! Nobody has been able to make sense to me of these currencies, he said.

One of the biggest pitfalls of bitcoin and its digital peers, according to Marks, is that they are mostly used to buy other imaginary money or to invest in companies that will create other new currencies.

But regardless of whether bitcoin is real or not, the more important question posed by Marks is whether the digital currency is suitable for investment or if it should be treated as just another tool for speculation.

Serious investing consists of buying things because the price is attractive relative to intrinsic value, explained Marks. Speculation, on the other hand, occurs when people buy something without any consideration of its underlying value or the appropriateness of its price, solely because they think others will pay more for it in the future.

Related: What are ICOs and why is the SEC taking steps to protect investors from them?

Francisco Blanch, head of global commodities and derivatives research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, earlier this week also stressed that for all the buzz generated by bitcoin, it still has some ways to go before it can be considered a legal tender.

Most regulated financial institutions allow their clients to borrow against financial or physical assets, but we are not aware of any major institution that takes cryptocurrency as collateral at the moment. Thus, in our view, a key step for bitcoin would be for it to become pledgeable collateral, he said.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said cracking down on illicit activity in cybercurrencies is a focus of regulators. I share your concerns about bitcoin and others and them being used for illicit activity, said Mnuchin during congressional testimony on Thursday, referring to the recent arrest of a Russian man accused of laundering some $4 billion using bitcoins.

Meanwhile, prominent financial adviser Josh Brown, who proclaims to idolize Marks, had a bit of an existential take on the whole cryptocurrency debate.

He agrees with Marks that bitcoin isnt real and its value is based on nothing.

But so what? he asks. Nothing is real, in truth.

He goes on to argue that anything that doesnt appear in nature may not be realeven countries, religion, and currencies.

Read: Bitcoin may have reached a tipping point, now that Downtown Josh Brown just invested

Things become real enough when people begin to believe and agree that they are. The Declaration of Independence didnt make America real, it made people believe that it could be real and then will it into existence with their cooperation and their actions, said Brown.

Read more from the original source:
Howard Marks says bitcoin isn’t realand we can all blame millennials for its rise – MarketWatch

Posted in Bitcoin | Comments Off on Howard Marks says bitcoin isn’t realand we can all blame millennials for its rise – MarketWatch

Bitcoin Investment Vehicle Adopts Open Strategy Ahead of Blockchain Fork – CoinDesk

Posted: at 6:50 pm

The provider of a bitcoin exchange-traded note (ETN) in Sweden hassaid that it will track what the market considers to be “bitcoin” following a possible network split next week.

XBT Provider AB released a statementoutlining its plans ahead of what could be a split in the bitcoin blockchain on August 1, one pursued by the proponents of an alternative implementation called Bitcoin Cash. The first of two ETNs launched by XBT Provider went live in mid-2015 following approval by the Swedish government.

The firm said that, as the ETN holders don’t actually possess any bitcoin, they won’t be directly affected. But XBT Provider said it is moving proactively to protect the bitcoin holdings that the ETN tracks, steps which include safeguarding the assets themselves in the event of a chain split.

“The Guarantor’s group companies have moved as much of their bitcoins held on account as is practicable in the circumstances to custodian infrastructure that will support both coins should a new coin result from the anticipated fork,” the company stated.

Ultimately, the firm said it will align with whichever chain the market deems to be “bitcoin”, explaining:

“The Issuer wishes to further clarify that its Certificates are designed to track “bitcoin” and not any alternative coin which results from a forking event and which shared a common transaction history prior to the fork. Therefore, the Issuer’s Certificates will, after a fork, be referenced to the coin which the bitcoin community and exchanges define, and consider to be, ‘bitcoin’.”

This approach isn’t set in stone, however, as XBT Provider will undertake a three-month observation period, during which it will wait and see which chain comes to attract the most support.

Train yard imagevia Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at [emailprotected].

Go here to see the original:
Bitcoin Investment Vehicle Adopts Open Strategy Ahead of Blockchain Fork – CoinDesk

Posted in Bitcoin | Comments Off on Bitcoin Investment Vehicle Adopts Open Strategy Ahead of Blockchain Fork – CoinDesk

‘Criminal mastermind’ of $4bn bitcoin laundering scheme arrested – The Guardian

Posted: July 27, 2017 at 9:51 am

Alexander Vinnik being led into a Greek court. Greek police described Vinnik as a an internationally sought mastermind of a crime organisation. Photograph: Giannis Papanikos/AP

The Russian internationally sought mastermind of a crime organisation accused of laundering more than $4bn in bitcoin, including funds obtained from the hack of failed bitcoin exchange Mt Gox, has been arrested in Greece.

A US jury indicted Alexander Vinnik on Wednesday after his arrest in a small beachside village in northern Greece on Tuesday, following an investigation led by the US justice department along with several other federal agencies and task forces.

Vinnik was described by the justice department as the operator of BTC-e, an exchange used to trade the digital currency bitcoin since 2011, which was allegedly used to launder more than $4bn for people involved in crimes ranging from computer hacking to drug trafficking.

US authorities also linked him to the failure of Mt Gox, the Japan-based bitcoin exchange that collapsed in 2014 after being hacked. Vinnik obtained funds from the hack of Mt Gox and laundered them through BTC-e and Tradehill, another San Francisco-based exchange he owned, they said in the statement.

Just as new computer technologies continue to change the way we engage each other and experience the world, so too will criminals subvert these new technologies to serve their own nefarious purposes, said Brian Stretch, US attorney for the Northern District of California.

Vinniks arrest is the latest in a series of US operations against Russian cybercriminals in Europe, including the taking down of two of the biggest dark web marketplaces for drugs, guns and other illicit items, AlphaBay and Hansa, last week.

The prosecutions also coincide with intensified scrutiny of Russian hackers after US intelligence officials determined that Russia interfered in the 2016 US presidential election using cyber-warfare methods to help Donald Trump, something Moscow denies.

During his time in the digital currency market, US authorities allege Vinnik facilitated crimes including hacking, fraud, identity theft, tax refund fraud, public corruption and drug trafficking. Greek police described Vinnik as a an internationally sought mastermind of a crime organisation.

BTC-e, which has been out of service for more than a day, attributed this to unplanned maintenance. In a tweet on Wednesday after the arrest of Vinnik, BTC-e said it would restore service in the next five to 10 days.

The exchange is one of the oldest virtual currency platforms. It allows users to trade bitcoin pseudonymously against a variety of fiat and virtual currencies, and is known in cryptocurrency markets as having relaxed standards for checking users identity, and for not collaborating with law enforcement.

Here is the original post:
‘Criminal mastermind’ of $4bn bitcoin laundering scheme arrested – The Guardian

Posted in Bitcoin | Comments Off on ‘Criminal mastermind’ of $4bn bitcoin laundering scheme arrested – The Guardian

Bitcoin LIVE news: Price latest as top investor warns cryptocurrency is an ‘unfounded FAD’ – Express.co.uk

Posted: at 9:51 am

Getty

Investor Howard Marks, who predicted the financial crisis and dotcom bubble implosion, warned that cryptocurrency is a nothing more than a fad or pyramid scheme style scam.

He said: In my view, digital currencies are nothing but an unfounded fad (or perhaps even a pyramid scheme), based on a willingness to ascribe value to something that has little or none beyond what people will pay for it.

The co-chairman of Oaktree Capital, compared cryptocurrencies to the Tulip mania of 1637, the South Sea bubble of 1720 and the internet bubble of 1999.

In an investor letter, he said: Serious investing consists of buying things because the price is attractive relative to intrinsic value.

Speculation, on the other hand, occurs when people buy something without any consideration of its underlying value or the appropriateness of its price.”

Bitcoin suffered a crash earlier this month but has since bounced back and is now up by almost nearly 160 per cent this year.

On Wednesday Bitcoin briefly fell as low as $2,433.83, its lowest price since the cryptocurrency dramatically rebounded last week.

The volatile digital currency saw a surge last Thursday after miners backed a new upgrade of the system designed to solve the cryptocurrencys scaling issue.

Although Bitcoin narrowly avoided a fork this month, there are still concerns that digital currency is at risk of splitting into two versions.

Here is the latest Bitcoin news, prices and live updates (All times BST).

CoinDesk

1.48pm: Todays high is $2,615.38 and the low is $2,541.71 so far. Bitcoin opened at $2,550.18 today, according to CoinDesk.

11.30am: Briefly fell below $2,500 on Tuesday and Wednesday. Last Thursday the price rose sharply after most developers backed BIP 91, a upgrade to the bitcoin system.

The BIP 91 lock-in was hailed as a victory as miners agreed to cement the first part of a larger effort to upgrade bitcoin, called Segwit2x.

Alex Sunnarborg, research analyst at CoinDesk, told CNBC: “I believe the market is currently somewhat torn between the optimism around BIP 91 locking in, which could lead to SegWit activating if all goes smoothly, and the fear of the second half of SegWit2x proposal, the 2MB block size hard fork, still being contested.

11am: Howard Marks, co-chairman of Oaktree Capital, compared cryptocurrencies to the Tulip mania of 1637, the South Sea bubble of 1720 and the internet bubble of 1999.

In an investor letter, he said: Serious investing consists of buying things because the price is attractive relative to intrinsic value.

Speculation, on the other hand, occurs when people buy something without any consideration of its underlying value or the appropriateness of its price.”

9am: A US jury has indicted a Russian man as the operator of a digital currency exchange he allegedly used to launder more than $4 billion for people involved in crimes ranging from computer hacking to drug trafficking.

Alexander Vinnik was arrested in a small beachside village in northern Greece on Tuesday, according to local authorities.

CoinDesk

US officials described Vinnik in a Justice Department statement as the operator of BTC-e, an exchange used to trade the digital currency bitcoin since 2011.

They alleged Vinnik and his firm “received” more than $4 billion in bitcoin and did substantial business in the US without following appropriate protocols to protect against money laundering and other crimes.

US authorities also linked him to the failure of Mt. Gox, a Japan-based bitcoin exchange that collapsed in 2014 after being hacked.

Vinnik “obtained” funds from the hack of Mt. Gox and laundered them through BTC-e and Tradehill, another San Francisco-based exchange he owned, they said in the statement.

CoinDesk

Go here to see the original:
Bitcoin LIVE news: Price latest as top investor warns cryptocurrency is an ‘unfounded FAD’ – Express.co.uk

Posted in Bitcoin | Comments Off on Bitcoin LIVE news: Price latest as top investor warns cryptocurrency is an ‘unfounded FAD’ – Express.co.uk

Bitcoin slammed by more than 10% to below $2500; Ethereum down big too – CNBC

Posted: at 9:51 am

Bitcoin fell to its lowest in five days Tuesday amid uncertainty over whether the digital currency will still avoid a split.

Bitcoin dropped more than 10 percent to $2,487.13, its lowest since last Thursday when it hit a low of $2,276.16, according to CoinDesk.

The digital currency last traded just below $2,500, unchanged for the month but still more than double in value for the year.

Bitcoin one-week performance

Source: CoinDesk

Last Thursday, more than 80 percent of developers signaled support for BIP91, a bitcoin improvement proposal intended to resolve differences between the Aug. 1 User Activated Soft Fork and SegWit2x.

Now, there’s worry that activation of SegWit2x might not go smoothly.

“I believe the market is currently somewhat torn between the optimism around BIP 91 locking in, which could lead to SegWit activating if all goes smoothly, and the fear of the second half of SegWit2x proposal, the 2MB block size hard fork, still being contested,” Alex Sunnarborg, research analyst at CoinDesk, told CNBC in an email.

Developers must unanimously agree on the 2MB block size by its scheduled November implementation, otherwise bitcoin will split.

Here is the original post:
Bitcoin slammed by more than 10% to below $2500; Ethereum down big too – CNBC

Posted in Bitcoin | Comments Off on Bitcoin slammed by more than 10% to below $2500; Ethereum down big too – CNBC

Bank Of America Warns Against Optimism over Bitcoin – CryptoCoinsNews

Posted: at 9:51 am

Francisco Blanch, Bank of Americas head of global commodities and derivatives research, warned that cryptocurrencies have major inherent risks and urged investors against optimism about bitcoins rising value, according to Bloomberg.

He said cryptocurrencies remain prone to fraud, theft, new protocol adoption and lack of acceptance. He also pointed out that it is not legal tender in many parts of the world.

For bitcoin to thrive, he said it needs to become a pledgeable collateral. He further noted that bitcoin must be viewed as safe to become a trusted store of value.

Bitcoin trading, meanwhile, has increased to more than $1 billion daily in recent months. On some days, trading has surpassed $2 billion.

Blanch said bitcoins volatility lessens as it builds liquidity and scale. But its volatility remains higher than emerging market currencies. In addition, he said, cryptocurrencies do not correlate with gold, oil, Group-of-10 currencies or equities.

Cryptocurrency returns rely on price appreciation that will mainly depend on faith from financial institutions, corporations and individuals, he said. Bitcoin currently trades at more than $2,500 per coin, which more than doubles the price at the beginning of the year.

Most regulated financial companies permit clients to borrow against physical and financial assets, but they do not take cryptocurrency as collateral at the present time, Blanch observed. This view matches that of Morgan Stanley analysts who stated in June that government acceptance is needed for cryptocurrency appreciation, coming at the cost of regulation.

Also read: Cryptocurrencies more assets than actual currencies, says Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley stated in a white paper in June that both investors and regulators view cryptocurrencies as assets more than actual currencies. The analysts, including James Faucet, stated that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum and Ripple, are more like investment vehicles than fiat currencies that people can spend on products and services. Morgan Stanley analysts added that bitcoin represents a marginally more inconvenient way to pay, and there are only a handful of reasons to use the cryptocurrency instead of a credit or debit card.

Morgan Stanley could only list some guesses about the price increase of bitcoin. According to the report, the analysts do not have a clear reason why the cryptocurrency has been on a massive surge.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Read more here:
Bank Of America Warns Against Optimism over Bitcoin – CryptoCoinsNews

Posted in Bitcoin | Comments Off on Bank Of America Warns Against Optimism over Bitcoin – CryptoCoinsNews

Feds: Jobless Montco man is no bit player in $50M bitcoin theft – Philly.com

Posted: July 26, 2017 at 3:50 pm

Depending on whom you believe, Ted Price of Hatfield is either one of the most audacious cybercriminals to hit the internet in almost a decade or a drug-addled fabulist with delusions of grandeur.

Federal investigators and the unemployed 30-year-old himself say he pulled off one of the largest bitcoin thefts in the short history of the supposedly fraud-proof virtual currency, stealing the equivalent of nearly $50 million.

He also claimed, during a rambling confessionto Homeland Security investigators July 12, to have developed hacking exploits for use by foreign governments and to have plotted his escape with the use of a fake passport and a private jet.

But his lawyer and family contend that the jet-setting expert hacker described in the story Price spun for investigators bears no resemblance to the man they know a jobless addict who they say still relies on his parents for gas money, and who was high on oxycodone and other opioids at the time of those damning admissions.

More details are expected to emerge Thursday, when both sides will ask a federal judge to weigh in on the likelihood that Prices claims are true at a probable cause hearing in Philadelphia. The judges decision onthe strength of the evidence willdetermine the future of what could be one of the most significant cybercrime prosecutions in years one that already has drawn interest from cybersecurity experts.

If this guy actually did what he said he did, thats breathtaking, said Edward McAndrew, a former federal cybercrimes prosecutor who now helps to lead Ballard Spahrs privacy and data security group. If he could actually pick the bitcoin wallets of this many people, that really calls into question the security of the system.

Yet there is reason for doubt, his lawyer Catherine C. Henry said at a hearing in federal court in Philadelphia last week chiefly, that the man who contends he has access to currency worth millions and a private jet to aid his escape initially came to the attention of authorities as a suspect in a string of petty thefts.

A review of Prices history in various online forums for bitcoin enthusiasts and hackers reveals that his screen name, cited in court filings, had relatively little activity in those worlds prior to this spring. It is possible that he used other online monikers in the past.

If he is a millionaire and has a private jet, then of course hes a flight risk, Henry said in court last week while arguing for her clients release. But if thats made up and if, on the other hand, he has no income, lives with his parents, and has a 7-year-old child, then these are just grandiose statements.

Police in Northampton Township, Bucks County,began probing Prices background this month after the parents of an ex-girlfriend accused him of stealing two laptops and a gold necklace from their home.

Officers later recovered the missing items from various resale shops where Price had sold them, according to the arrest affidavit filed in his case. His ex-girlfriend discovered the evidence of his alleged cybercrimes including 105 printed pages listingstrings of alphanumeric code later identified as bitcoin keys in two laptop bags she retrieved from Prices family condo when she went to confront him, the affidavit said.

Authorities concede that theyre not yet sure whether Price has the ability to access the bitcoins he claims to have stolen.

Although they initially charged him July 13 with one federal count tied to his alleged bitcoin thefts, they later withdrew the charge and refiled the case based on charges tied to dozens of stolen credit-card numbers also found in Prices laptop bag that he said hed bought from hackers on the dark web.

Investigators say they have been unable to verify Prices story in other ways, including locating the fake passport Price claimed he obtained to flee the country under the name of Jeremy Renner, an actor he says he admired after seeing him in the 2012 Marvel movie The Avengers.

And yet, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Bonney, the investigation continues and additional charges could be added by the time Prices case goes before a grand jury.

Most people dont carry around hundreds of pages of bitcoin keys with them, she said at a court hearing July 19.

Bitcoin, a decentralized, virtual currency existing entirely on the internet, quickly drew adherents after its debut in 2009 because it enables anonymous transactions untethered to third-party banks.

The system relies on what experts have described as a fraud-proof public ledger, known as a blockchain, that records every confirmed bitcoin transaction and provides a foolproof way to track currency assigned to the bitcoin wallets ofusers.

A user accesses his or herbitcoin with two strings of complex alphanumeric codes a public key, similar to a bank account number, and a private key, akin to a password or signature that allows the money to be spent or exchanged to a physical form of currency. At the current exchange rate, onebitcoin is worth about $2,600.

But the same qualities that make bitcoin attractive to users have made it a prime target for scammers. Unlike major banks or credit cards, nearly all of which offer some form of fraud protection, bitcoin transactions are irreversible. And although victims of theft might be able to track their stolen funds through the public ledger of the blockchain, the anonymity built into the system makes it nearly impossible to identify the thief.

Price, according to court filings, told investigators this month that he developed a malware program that would surreptitiously divert bitcoins into his own wallet by disrupting the transactions of other users. With the program substituting his own bitcoin keys for those on either end of an exchange, he managed to funnelbetween $40 million and $50 million into bitcoin wallets under his control, he said.

Because the bitcoin wallet address [was] a legitimate address, the user[did] not realize that bitcoin transaction [was] being diverted into a wallet other thantheirs, wrote Emily J. Evans, a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations, in the affidavit drafted for Prices arrest.

Yet now,two weeks after investigators took Priceinto custody, even hisfamily seemsuncertain what to believe. Most of his close relatives either did not respond or declined to respond to requests for comment.

But during a brief conversation outside the condo where he lived with his son, Prices father, Samuel Sr., appeared conflicted.

Its all hearsay, he said when approached by a reporter. The truth will all come out in open court.

Then the elder Price paused.

Did he do what they said, as far as those bitcoins? Probably, he said. But I guess theyre still trying to figure it all out.

Published: July 26, 2017 12:36 PM EDT | Updated: July 26, 2017 3:40 PM EDT

We recently asked you to support our journalism. The response, in a word, is heartening. You have encouraged us in our mission to provide quality news and watchdog journalism. Some of you have even followed through with subscriptions, which is especially gratifying. Our role as an independent, fact-based news organization has never been clearer. And our promise to you is that we will always strive to provide indispensable journalism to our community. Subscriptions are available for home delivery of the print edition and for a digital replica viewable on your mobile device or computer. Subscriptions start as low as 25 per day. We’re thankful for your support in every way.

Here is the original post:
Feds: Jobless Montco man is no bit player in $50M bitcoin theft – Philly.com

Posted in Bitcoin | Comments Off on Feds: Jobless Montco man is no bit player in $50M bitcoin theft – Philly.com

Page 10«..9101112..2030..»