Daily Archives: October 15, 2019

Letter: Is there any wonder? | Letters to the Editor – ECM Publishers

Posted: October 15, 2019 at 7:48 am

Wonder why were at the age of trying to discern among truth, lies and uncertainty? Consider continuous false claims; some see reality differently; our perceptions arent always the direct representations of the external world; technological developments abet warping of truth and normalization of lies; social media amplifies toxic misinformation on an unprecedented scale; cyberattacks on election machinery and voter-registration systems threaten not only election outcomes but our democracy itself. Why?

The most important political philosopher of our time is the novelist Ayn Rand. Her books Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead markedly influenced some of the best-known neoliberals in America, like Alan Greenspan, architect of the worlds economy after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Charles and David Koch, Paul Ryan, Clarence Thomas, Ronald Reagan, even President Trump, Rex Tillerson and Mike Pompeo are acolytes of the Rand way of looking at our nation and acting according to Rands principles.

What Rand teachings drive current opinion-makers?

Too many people are parasites who persistently avoid either purpose or reason; they ought to perish. Humans have no inherent positive value other than how much money they make. If someone is on welfare, he has negative value.

Selfishness is good. Watch out only for yourself. You have no responsibility for the fate of others outside your immediate family.

As Reagan summarized, The government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem.

Solidarity is a trap. Taxes are theft. Government is a swindler out to fleece people.

Rands acolytes hate weak, unproductive people and socialist policies and admire strong, can-do profit-makers.

Altruisms the poison of death in the blood of western civilization.

Climate change is inconceivable; it gets in the way of profits.

Truths not profitable. Lies are OK if they drive taxes on the rich toward zero. Making the world uncertain forces people who are worthless and on welfare toward self-elimination. Now you no longer have to wonder why Trump and his appointees act the way they do.

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With Whom Should You Trade? Three Steps To Win-Win – Forbes

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This column is the fourth in a five-part series on creating purposeful lives using the same business principles that guide decisions in corporate boardrooms. The target audience is you, the CEO of My Enterprise (ME) Inc.

Serving as a PhD supervisor is one of my favorite aspects of working in higher education. But when new students come to my office seeking a mentorship, I never say yes until they agree to one ground rule: They must think of themselves as my equal.

This does not mean they need the same level of education or experience as a tenured faculty member. Equality of status or rank is not required for two people to work together in a mutually beneficial way.

Instead, when a student and I commit to collaborate on knowledge creation, we are both on equal ground about the unknown. We must agree up front to exchange effort for effort and value for value, so both sides come out ahead.

Similar principles apply in all types of personal and professional exchanges, from long-term relationships to one-time interactions. Thats how the Trader Principle works.

A trader does not treat men as masters or slaves, but as independent equals, author Ayn Rand says. He deals with men by means of a free, voluntary, unforced, uncoerced exchange an exchange which benefits both parties by their own independent judgment.

As CEO of ME Inc., you must consider carefully: With whom should I trade?

Rajshree Agarwal


The question flows naturally from your work in the first three installments of this series. When put together, a new framework emerges for measuring the power of trade in a 2x2 grid.

The vertical axis represents the degree of benefit to others, an outgrowth of the value proposition you developed in the third installment.

The horizontal axis represents the degree of benefit to yourself when you exchange your time, talents and resources with others. It represents the alignment of your aspirations and abilities, as discussed in the second installment of the series.

Together, the two axes represent the twin elements of your purpose, bringing you back to this important touchstone, as discussed in the first installment.

Win-lose scenarios in the upper-left quadrant happen when someone else benefits more than you from an exchange.

The reverse scenario in the lower-right quadrant happens when you get what you want, but at the expense of your trading counterparts.

Relationships tend to break down in either case, pushing you toward lose-lose scenarios in the lower-left quadrant.

Productive, rewarding, sustainable relationships happen in the upper-right quadrant, where the miracle of trade occurs.

Both sides amplify the value proposition of the other, producing win-win results that cannot be achieved when individuals act alone. As Aristotle says, The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.


Many people reject the possibility of win-win outcomes. They think of trade as something adversarial, pitting one person against another.

They view markets as places of competition, rather than collaboration first and foremost.

Cynics who buy into this fallacy believe they must be selfish or selfless in their interactions with others.

If they want to make the world a better place, they assume they must sacrifice their own interests to help others. But if the one constant in your world is you, and you are not better off, how is your world a better place?

Shel Silverstein shows the long-term risks of the false dichotomy in his book, The Giving Tree, a cautionary tale of trade imbalances that persist over time.

The tree in the story plays the role of the martyr and enabler. It willingly sacrifices itself to aid another, until it eventually dies.

Unfortunately, the intended beneficiary is not better off in the long run. Taking what is offered, the boy grows into a man weakened by years of dependency.

The alternative does not work either. People who take more than they give through fraud or exploitation have a short-sighted notion of self-interest. As the above framework illustrates, such an approach rarely lasts in voluntary relationships.

A second fallacy is the notion that trade is about economics alone. Such a transactional perspective discounts the power of voluntary trade to promote human dignity, as I write about in a previous column.

People who collaborate without coercion have the satisfaction of knowing that others appreciate their contributions. They are neither beggars nor thieves. They are independent equals.

Underlying each win-win transaction is the assurance that individuals can fulfill their aspirations through a matching of complementary abilities offering value in return for value.

This enables each to thrive, not just economically, but psychologically and intellectually.

A third fallacy is the idea that trade partners must receive equal rewards or give in equal measure.

Win-win outcomes are not measured by equality in every aspect. The key is whether each party independently believes the other offers something of worth.

I learned this lesson early in my career. When working with my PhD adviser on joint projects, I probably put in 90% of the time invested. But his 10% created far more value in terms of insights and impact, resulting in a balanced exchange.


When building trade alliances as CEO of ME Inc., the first step is to identify people who share your purpose, values and vision. These are your mirrors.

Then look for people who complement your aspirations and abilities. They love what you hate and have skills that you lack. These are your duals, providing you a value proposition by enabling you to focus on optimizing your abilities and aspirations.

The best trade partners fit both descriptions. Once you identify them, the next step is to recruit them.

When somebody else has something you want, you have three options. You can beg for it, take it by force or earn it.

Traders have little appetite for the first approach. They neither seek nor want a handout.

They have an even stronger aversion for the second option. Only cronies and criminals resort to coercion. They either use the law as a weapon to impose their terms on unwilling partners or they step outside the law.

Only the third option produces win-win solutions that preserve the dignity of all involved. Each side trades something they want for something they want even more.

I see the payoffs with my PhD students. They push me to improve as an academic, the same as I push them. When questions emerge about study methods or conclusions, neither side stays silent.

We will focus on what is right, not who is right, I tell them. When we disagree, we will let facts be the final arbiter.

Anything less would cheat me, the students and the research, which is why we trade as independent equals in the marketplace for ideas.

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This New Bitcoin And Cryptocurrency Exchange Cant Be Hacked – Forbes

Posted: at 7:47 am


Bitcoin exchange hacks have plagued the cryptocurrency ecosystem since the first platforms for trading were launched in the early 2010s, and these events have caused major public relations issues for the entire crypto asset market. While exchange hacks dont have anything to do with potential technical problems related to the underlying Bitcoin network, its never a good look when millions or even billions of dollars worth of Bitcoin is stolen from thousands of exchange customers in a matter of minutes.

Although the Bitcoin exchange industry has improved its ability to deal with crypto asset security over the years, the threat of another large hack is always looming over the ecosystem. But that could soon change.

One of the main features of Bitcoin is that its programmable money, and developers have figured out new ways to build exchanges in ways that do not require users to turn over control of their funds until the exact moment they want to make a trade. One of the new exchanges that is taking advantage of this technology is Nash.

How Does Nash Secure Customer Funds?

In the past, exchange customers have always deposited their coins onto trading platforms with the exchange taking custody of the funds. That exchange platform then becomes a central point of focus for hackers because theres a big payday in it for them if theyre able to get into the exchanges internal wallet.

With platforms like Nash, users do not need to hand over custody of their crypto assets to a third party before they trade.

Many Bitcoin enthusiasts are excited about the Lightning Networks potential to cut transaction costs, speed up transactions, and potentially improve user privacy. And this same sort of technology can be used to vastly improve the level of security offered by exchanges.

Nash uses a system of state channel smart contracts to handle trades, and the system is currently live on the Ethereum and Neo blockchains. Notably, the Ethereum blockchain recently surpassed Bitcoin in a key measurement of overall adoption. However, Ethereums ETH token is also down heavily against Bitcoin over the past couple of years.

According to Nash co-founder and Lead Developer Fabio Canesin, Bitcoin support is expected to be added to their platform soon.

We initially demonstrated that our proposed architecture could deliver cross-chain markets that compete with the performance of centralized exchanges an extremely important parameter for liquidity, said Canesin when reached for comment. For this reason, we focused on the NEO-ETH market. Now that this is live and functioning well, we can move onto other networks. Bitcoin is the obvious next candidate owing to its importance in our industry.

State channels effectively allow multiple parties to transact with each other in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies without having to touch the blockchain. This works via a technical trick that involves two parties placing funds into a 2-of-2 multisig address and then creating valid transactions from that multisig address to each of their personal addresses as a way to update how much of the funds in the multisig address belong to each party. None of these generated transactions are actually broadcast to the blockchain. The only transactions that hit the blockchain are the ones at the end when each party is ready to leave the payment channel with the appropriate amount of funds (if this was too confusing try reading this longer explanation of the Lightning Network).

While decentralized exchanges have existed in the past, a key advantage of using state channels is they allow transfers to happen instantly, meaning users dont have to wait seconds or minutes for blockchain confirmations to execute their trades.

It should also be noted that, while customer funds cannot be stolen by hacking an exchanges internal wallet, hackers could still cause plenty of damage if they were able to push out a malicious software update to Nash customers. That said, this is still a huge security gain.

Updates require a signed payload using offline keys, said Canesin when asked about this potential issue. However, if a hacker did somehow manage to push a malicious update, users would also have to log in and sign a transaction before encountering an issue. The data in our software is not enough, since user-provided entropy is also required. We try to mitigate these risks by building several layers of protection.

The high level of security offered by Nash also relies on the integrity of the smart contracts backing the exchange, and vulnerabilities in advanced smart contracts have continued to pop up in 2019.

Other projects that are working on this type of non-custodial trading technology include SparkSwap, which is built on the Lightning Network, and Arwen, which has built its own plugin model for existing exchanges.

In addition to their trading platform, Nash is also working on a mobile wallet, browser extension, and payment processing service for merchants that will all be integrated with each other.

While even the developers behind Bitcoin admit the cryptocurrency is an experiment that could still fail, exchanges like Nash are another step in the right direction when it comes to improving both usability and security of this technology at the same time. This is also the sort of technology that makes it clear that it would be difficult for governments to implement a Bitcoin ban, as two members of the U.S. Congress recently admitted.

Note: This article was updated to point out the potential issues associated with complex smart contracts that are used as the basis for Nashs exchange and other similar platforms, as pointed out by Kraken CEO Jesse Powell on Twitter.

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Is This The Real Reason Behind Bitcoins Latest Sell-Off? – Forbes

Posted: at 7:47 am

Bitcoin has been struggling recently after a period of stability, suddenly moving sharply lower at the end of last month.

The bitcoin price, which is still up more than double from where it began the year, fell from its recent plateau of around $10,000 per bitcoin to just above $8,000 in a move widely put down to the lackluster performance of the hotly-anticipated Bakkt bitcoin and cryptocurrency platform.

Now, new data has suggested the slump in the bitcoin price might be more to do with the "coming of age" of bitcoin and cryptocurrency marketswith exciting new competitors distracting investors from the long-time crypto poster-boy.

The bitcoin price has fallen around 30% from this year's highs, dropping from over $13,000 per bitcoin to under $8,000 earlier this month.

Bitcoin, cryptocurrency and financial markets research company Indexica has found that bitcoins strongest predictive measure was its "quotability," it was first reported by Bloomberg, a financial newswiremeaning traders are treating it like any other investment asset and showing bitcoin is most often being talked about in conjunction with more traditional currencies.

"Now that bitcoin is a big kid, anything can make it move, just like anything can make gold or a G-10 currency move, said Zak Selbert, chief executive of Indexica told Bloomberg, adding bitcoins sensitivity to new competitors such as Facebook's troubled libra project and Mastercards partnership with R3 demonstrates the industry's maturity.

"Bitcoin is part of the financial landscape in a very intertwined and mature way."

Many bitcoin and cryptocurrency watchers had hoped that bitcoin's reputation as "digital gold" would mean it began acting as a so-called safe haven asset, with investors buying into bitcoin at times of political and economic uncertainty.

This appeared to happen earlier this year, until the bitcoin price moved sharply lower as gold and the Japanese yen, two traditional safe havens, climbed.

The bitcoin price hit a year-to-date high earlier this year, thought to be due to the interest in bitcoin and cryptocurrencies from some of the world's biggest technology companies, but has since fallen back.

Meanwhile, some have suggested bitcoin's recent bounce back over $8,000 earlier this week was due to the U.S. Federal Reserve's plans to pump cash into the financial market to boost bank balance sheets and drive inflation.

"We know that [Fed easing] has historically helped bitcoin," Joe DiPasquale, chief executive of the bitcoin and cryptocurrency investment firm BitBull Capital, told bitcoin industry news siteCoindesk.

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Latest Bitcoin price and analysis (BTC to USD) – Yahoo Finance

Posted: at 7:47 am

Bitcoin (BTC) is trading slightly upwards of $8,300 after losing about 5% in value since last week, when BTC was trading above $8,700.

BTC experienced a substantial dump earlier in the month, when the price crashed by 10%, from $8,500 to $7,700. Afterwards, it started a slow recovery, briefly touching.

Following a number of lower highs, Bitcoin now seems to be in a short-term downtrend, with the price dropping below its 200-day EMA.

Will price recover back to $10,000 and above? If so, when?

Lets take a look at Bitcoins chart.

BTC chart, courtesy of Trading View

As you can see from the chart above, BTC is now back to trading below its 20-day EMA, 50-day EMA and 200-day EMA. Price was swinging between the 20-day and the 50-day EMA during early to mid-September, however, since the last week of the month, we saw the price finally closing below all EMAs.

Last week, I stated Bitcoin should be bouncing back after the drop but we might have to wait for a few more weeks while Bitcoin consolidates between $7,000 and $9,600. It seems were going on that direction.

As history tells us, BTC is prone to huge drops between 30% and 40%, even during bull seasons. Hence, I dont advise to fight the trend, but to always surf it for as long as possible. Hopefully, within the next three to five weeks, we will see a major reversal after a period of serious accumulation by hodlers.

Volume has dropped from a peak of $27 billion earlier in the year to around $14 billion now, although its currently on a positive trend towards $15 billion.

Bitcoins market dominance has also slightly decreased about 2%, since early October, from 68,5% to 66,5% according to CoinMarketCap.

As veteran traders and investors usually say, smart money buys when theres blood on the streets. Looking at the overall market behaviour, Im quite confident that were still in a bull run, but we should enjoy these consolidation periods and take the opportunity to scoop up some more BTC.

These drops wont last forever.

Story continues

The reason why Im confident is because its hard to see a different scenario. How can the markets not push higher up throughout the year after the ECBs recent rate cuts, the continuous share buybacks from huge corporations, or the inverted bond yield shoving investors away towards riskier assets?

In addition, the repo market activity as in loans from central banks to commercial and investment banks has spiked to new monthly records. That adds up to another signal of weakness among most banks.

Safe trades!

Current live Bitcoin pricing information and interactive charts are available on our site 24 hours a day. The ticker bar at the bottom of every page on our site has the latest Bitcoin price. Pricing is also available in a range of different currency equivalents:

US Dollar BTCtoUSD

British Pound Sterling BTCtoGBP

Japanese Yen BTCtoJPY


Australian Dollar BTCtoAUD

Russian Rouble BTCtoRUB

In August 2008, the domain name bitcoin.orgwas registered. On 31st October 2008, a paper was published called Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. This was authored by Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin. To date, no one knows who this person, or people, are.

The paper outlined a method of using a P2P network for electronic transactions without relying on trust. On 3rd January 2009, the Bitcoin network came into existence. Nakamoto mined block number 0 (or the genesis block), which had a reward of 50 Bitcoins.

If you want to find out more information about Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies in general, then use the search box at the top of this page. Heres an article to get you started.

As with any investment, it pays to do some homework before you part with your money. The prices of cryptocurrencies are volatile and go up and down quickly. This page is not recommending a particular currency or whether you should invest or not.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice.

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2 Bitcoin Developers Explain How The Cryptocurrency Could Still Fail – Forbes

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In a few months, it will have been eleven years since the Bitcoin network was launched by Satoshi Nakamoto. The fact that the digital cash system has simply existed for this long is a grand achievement, but this is still an experimental project that could fail.

Bitcoin price predictions of anywhere from $42,000 by the end of 2019 to $100,000 by the end of 2021 have been made this year, but as Blockstream mathematician Andrew Poelstra has explained in the past, the developers behind the cryptocurrency are worried about just making sure the system doesn't completely fall apart more than anything else.

51% attacks are often brought up when it comes to ways in which Bitcoin could eventually fail, although improvements related to mining decentralization are in the works. Impending government crackdowns on Bitcoin are often talked about by skeptics of the digital cash system, but some U.S. lawmakers seem convinced they wouldn't be able to implement a Bitcoin ban.

So, what are the real threats to Bitcoin? MIT's Cory Fields and former Blockstream CTO Greg Maxwellboth of whom have contributed heavily to Bitcoin's development over the yearsrecently shared their thoughts on the matter in separate forums.

The Social Attack

Maxwell, who can often be found correcting people who are wrong about Bitcoin-related things on various subreddits, recently shared his view on one of the most pressing issues facing Bitcoin today in response to another Reddit user's question about 51% attacks. After explaining why Bitcoin's voting process for ordering transactions is necessary in the first place, Maxwell shared his view that 51% attacks may get more attention than they deserve.

"I think people obsess far too much about '51%' it has some kind of attractive mystery to it that distracts people," wrote Maxwell. "If you're worried that someone might reorder history using a high hash-power collusion just wait longer before you consider your transactions final."

According to the Blockstream co-founder, a social attack vector where the rules of the Bitcoin network are changed in favor of a more centralized model is a much bigger risk to the system.

"A far bigger risk to Bitcoin is that the public using it won't understand, won't care, and won't protect the decentralization properties that make it valuable over centralized alternatives in the first place," wrote Maxwell. "[A] risk we can see playing out constantly in the billion dollar market caps of totally centralized systems. The ability demonstrated by system[s] with fake decentralization to arbitrarily change the rules out from under users is far more concerning than the risk that an expensive attack could allow some theft in the case of over-eagerly finalized transactions."

It should be noted that Maxwell's concerns are not theoretical. In the past, proponents of two Bitcoin forks, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV, have declared their altcoins to be the true version of Bitcoin. That said, neither of those networks gained much traction in terms of being considered the "real Bitcoin" by cryptocurrency users.

Of course, this sort of attack could also pop up in the form of an altcoin that starts from scratch with a much more centralized model and overtakes Bitcoin's network effects to become the world's preferred form of digital money. For example, the innovations enabled by Bitcoin, such as its uncontrolled monetary policy and censorship-resistant transactions, would likely become useless if everyone decided to move over to Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency, which is likely to be much more easily controlled and regulated by governments.

Introducing a New Bug

Like Maxwell, Fields does not view a 51% attack as the most likely way in which the Bitcoin experiment could fail.

"My answer though is that the most likely sudden death scenario for a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin is an accidental bug that gets introduced internal to the system," said Fields during a recent talk at the 2019 MIT Media Lab Cryptoeconomic Systems Summit.

Fields's concerns are also not theoretical, seeing as critical bugs have been found in these sorts of systems in the past.

"There was a Bitcoin Cash bug that I found and disclosed and it kicked off a discussion about responsible disclosure in these systems and how to do it generally," said Fields during his talk. "I was a little smug for a few months until we were effected by a similar bug in Bitcoin Core which potentially would allow for money printing out of thin air."

At the end of his talk, Fields reached out to other Bitcoin developers to work with him on a ten-year plan for making it less likely that these sorts of bugs will find themselves in consensus-critical Bitcoin software again in the future.

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The U.S. Government Tried To Shut Down Bitcoin – Forbes

Posted: at 7:47 am

Bitcoin conspiracy theorists have long suspected the U.S. government, among others, would like to shut down bitcoin.

Bitcoin's first decade has seen its price explode, making early adopters overnight millionaires, and prompting some of the world's biggest technology companies to create their own versions of bitcoin.

Now, it's been revealed federal prosecutor-turned bitcoin and cryptocurrency expert Katie Haun was asked to look into "shutting down" bitcoin by her boss at the U.S. attorneys office in 2012.

Governments around the world have struggled with how to regulate and license bitcoin, with some trying to ban it or shut it down.

"They said 'we have this perfect assignment for you'theres this thing called bitcoin and we need to investigate it," Haun told CNBC in a wide-ranging interview, adding a colleague asked her to take down bitcoin.

"That was the first time Id ever heard of bitcoin."

Over the next few years Haun would go on to sit on the board of U.S. bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and teach a class on cryptocurrency at Stanford Law School.

Any serious attempt made by the U.S. Department of Justice to shut down bitcoin inevitably came to naught, with Haun saying, "it would have been akin to saying lets go prosecute cash.'"

Haun, who is now the first female general partner at U.S. venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and co-heads its $350 million cryptocurrency fund, has worked closely with social media giant Facebook in development of its troubled libra cryptocurrency project.

U.S. government opposition to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies has become far more transparent since Donald Trump entered the White House.

Earlier this year, U.S. president Trump sent shockwaves throughout the bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry when he tweeted a vicious attack on Facebook's bitcoin rival plans, branding it and bitcoin "unregulated crypto assets."

Others in the U.S. government were quick to tow the line, with U.S. Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin adding his voice to the assault on bitcoin, Facebook's planned Libra crypto project, and other cryptocurrencies, warning they pose a "national security" risk to the country.

Elsewhere, Apple chief executive Tim Cook has warned companies against creating their own cryptocurrencies.

"What we heard with libra were the same criticisms [I'd first heard about bitcoin]" Haun said.

Bitcoin's epic 2017 bull run catapulted cryptocurrencies into the global consciousness, with some of the world's biggest companies taking an interest in the technology.

"They were just heightened and they got more attention because of the high-profile nature of the project and the fact that Facebook was involved. I think it would be a really dangerous thing, and frankly a dangerous precedent to start shutting down technology before its built."

Facebook's libra has been under fire over the last week, with internet payments company PayPal, one of the Libra Association's founding members, suddenly pulling out of the group on Friday.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and chief executive, had hoped to work with global regulators to clear libra's path to launch in June 2020 but appears to have underestimated the level of opposition to the scheme.

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Bitcoin And Ethereum Suddenly Soar Despite SEC Blow – Forbes

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Bitcoin and ethereum, the two biggest cryptocurrencies by market value, suddenly soared yesterday despite the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejecting the latest attempt at creating a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

The bitcoin price is up some 5% over the last 24-hour trading period, while ethereum has risen almost 6%, both adding to gains earlier in the week.

The bitcoin and cryptocurrency market has swung wildly over the last few weeks as traders and investors seek direction.

"The news that the SEC is not going to approve a bitcoin ETF has not impacted the market with bitcoin heading higher again," Marcus Swanepoel, chief executive of London-based bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange Luno, wrote in a note this morning.

"Overall, global markets are also up and we are seeing some positive sentiment."

Bitcoin's bounce was attributed to the U.S. Federal Reserve's plans to pump cash into the financial market to boost bank balance sheets and drive inflation.

"We know that [Fed easing] has historically helped bitcoin," Joe DiPasquale, chief executive of the bitcoin and cryptocurrency investment firm BitBull Capital, told bitcoin industry news site Coindesk.

The SEC yesterday ruled the Bitwise Asset Management ETF proposal, filed with the NYSE Arca stock exchange, did not meet legal requirements to prevent market manipulation or other illicit activities.

"Because, among other things, [Bitwise and NYSE Arca] has asserted that 95% of the bitcoin spot market consists of fake and non-economic activity, but has not established that it has, in fact, identified the 'real' bitcoin market, or that the 'real' bitcoin market is isolated from the fraudulent and manipulative activity, we find, in each case, that NYSE Arca has not met its burden to demonstrate that its proposal is consistent with the requirements ... and therefore the Commission disapproves this proposed rule change," the SEC said.

The SEC has so far rejected all bitcoin ETF proposals due to concerns around fraud and market manipulation, with the regulator knocking back the closely-watched VanEck bitcoin ETF application last month.

Bitcoin speculators have long hoped a U.S. bitcoin ETF will mean traders and investors are more easily able to buy into volatile crypto markets without having to navigate clunky bitcoin exchanges.

The bitcoin price jumped sharply yesterday, adding some $400 per bitcoin in a matter of minutes.

Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies were sent sharply lower last month after the hotly-anticipated Bakkt bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading platform went live with underwhelming volumes.

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Europol: Bitcoin is the still the dark webs favorite cryptocurrency – The Next Web

Posted: at 7:47 am

Bitcoin BTC is still very much the dark webs favorite cryptocurrency, but those looking to cover their tracks are slowly learning to useprivacy-focused alternatives.

While we have previously reported a small shift towards more privacy-focused cryptocurrencies such as Monero, Bitcoin still remains the currency of choice for both legitimate and criminal use, reports Europol with its latest assessment of internet-based organised crime.

Europol notes that Bitcoins prevalence in the underground economy is a consequence of its familiarity within the customer base, particularly in dark web markets.

In particular, ransomware campaigns have continued to feature Bitcoin almost exclusively. Europol highlighted these attacks as the most prominent cybercrime it tackles.

Hard Fork has previously reported on numerous ransomware attacks thatve demanded Bitcoin to restore encrypted files.

Still, authorities say there has been a more pronounced shift towards more privacy-orientated cryptocurrencies, and expects this trend to continue as criminals become more security aware.

The main developments regarding this trend are on the Darknet [sic] markets, several of which also accept Monero, or in some cases exclusively trade in it, Europol added.

Join us inAmsterdamon October 15-17 to discuss blockchainandcryptocurrencywith leading experts.

Published October 14, 2019 12:45 UTC

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Bitcoin recovers to $8,300 after dropping 2% over the weekend – Decrypt

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The majority of the top-20 cryptocurrencies by market cap are holding steady today after an up and down weekend, and the market leader is no exception.

Bitcoin dropped by about $100, or roughly 2 percent, earlier today, but has recovered to just above the $8,300 mark. Nevertheless, it marks an overall drop of around $500 since the end of last week.

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Crypto traders, at the time, could have been forgiven for briefly thinking Bitcoin was on its way toward a massive recovery. Last Friday, the price of Bitcoin hit the $8,800 markonly to drop way back down again moments later.

For the last few weeks, Bitcoin has struggled mightily to break through the $8,500 resistance mark. Holders, however, might be heartened to know that Bakkt, despite its slow start, is now starting to catch on with institutional players, and has traded nearly $2 million in Bitcoin futures contracts since last Wednesday, according to Forbes.

So if Bakkts slow start really did contribute to Bitcoins tanking price as many analysts suggest, this might provide a glimmer of hope for the Bitcoin traders eager for good news.

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