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Bitcoin Cash Is Bitcoin? Lawsuits Won't Stop the Fight Over Bitcoin's Name

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Roger Ver's decision to call bitcoin cash "bitcoin" has dredged up a byzantine debate on how exactly the software should be defined and by whom.

US Central Bank Explains how Bitcoin is Like ‘Regular Currency’

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Christine Smith, a content strategist with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, suggests bitcoin is less “exotic” and more boring than people may think. Bitcoin’s two use cases are as a store of value and a currency, the latter of which Smith uses to argue a trio of reasons why the leading digital currency

The post US Central Bank Explains how Bitcoin is Like ‘Regular Currency’ appeared first on CCN

Dubai Police Arrest Suspects Behind $1.9 Million Bitcoin Heist

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Dubai police have apprehended a gang of ten individuals alleged to have stolen Dh7 million (approx. $1.9 million) from two victims in an armed theft involving the purchase of bitcoin. The victims, incidentally two brothers, sought to buy bitcoin worth AED 7 million in a peer-to-peer exchange that saw ten individuals purporting to be sellers … Continued

The post Dubai Police Arrest Suspects Behind $1.9 Million Bitcoin Heist appeared first on CCN

UNICEF’s “Hope Page” Mines Cryptocurrency Through Visitors’ Computers

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

UNICEF’s “Hope Page” Mines Cryptocurrency Through Visitors’ Computers

UNICEF Australia is using Coinhive — a crypto-mining service — to extract cryptocurrency through visitors’ computers and fund its ongoing mission in Bangladesh. The UN branch has long worked to provide humanitarian relief for both children and their mothers in developing nations. The organization has now created what representatives call the “Hope Page,” which allows users to donate through cryptocurrency.

UNICEF’s Director of Fundraising and Communications Jennifer Tierney explained, “We wanted to leverage new emerging technologies to raise awareness about current humanitarian crises and raise new funds to support children caught up in them. The Hope Page allows Australians to provide help and hope to vulnerable children by simply opening the page when they are online.”

Coinhive’s partnership with UNICEF could help to foster a more positive image for the software. Up until this point, Coinhive has widely been associated with a process known as “cryptojacking,” in which the computer processing power of individuals visiting certain sites is used to mine Monero without their knowledge or permission. In the past, Coinhive has targeted everything from government websites to even Google and YouTube users. As a result, Coinhive has been listed amongst the largest threats to web security.

In this case, UNICEF is using the software’s opt-in method to ensure visitors are aware of the organization’s intentions. While searching the Hope Page, web browsers use computer processors to solve cryptocurrency algorithms. Those examining the site can choose how much power (typically between 20 and 80 percent) they wish to donate to the task.

The website explains that the mining process is completely safe and offers the following instructional message:

“The longer you stay on the page and the more processor power you donate, the more algorithms get solved, which earns cryptocurrency … If you’re ever worried about power consumption, simply turn down the amount of processing power you’re donating. The cryptocurrency is automatically donated to UNICEF Australia and is turned into real funds that reach children through life-saving supplies like safe water, therapeutic food and vaccines. Turn the Hope Page into your homepage to give every day.”

Mining efforts will be used to fund the current Rohingya crisis. Several children and families that have fled their homes in Myanmar to escape military-led violence are now living in refugee camps in the neighboring country of Bangladesh and require certain necessities while they await placement.

Though part of the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF is not actually funded by UN efforts. Instead, it garners financial assistance through voluntary donations.

Visitors of the Hope Page are told that cryptocurrency mining isn’t free and may lead to further costs down the line. High amounts of electricity are used during the mining process, which may lead to higher energy bills for any donating individuals. In addition, the process is not tax deductible, and visitors are advised to consider cash or credit card donations prior to giving their mining consent.

This is not the first time UNICEF has used cryptocurrency to fund its global labors. In February, the organization launched Chaingers.io to raise funds for children of the Syrian civil war. At the time, the site was using the cryptocurrency mining software Claymore to extract ether through visitors’ computers.


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Want to Learn More About Bitcoin Mining? There’s a New Summit for That

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Want to Learn More About Mining? There’s a New Summit for That

For Emma Todd, it was a 2017 conference that transformed her newfound interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain into a passion. As she learned more, she had an epiphany: more people needed to better understand the esoteric world of cryptomining. Not one to be a flaneur, she is now harnessing this opportunity.

On May 18, 2018, Todd will launch the inaugural ADI Cryptocurrency Mining Summit (ADI stands for Advanced Digital Innovation) as a part of Blockchain Week NYC. This comes on the heels of the first ADI Summit which was held in September 2017 in Vancouver, B.C.

The mission of the ADI Cryptocurrency Mining Conference is to introduce new ideas, technologies and techniques around cryptocurrency mining. In addition to an investor panel, there will be discussion forums around security, compliance and legal issues; all critical elements for any successful mining operation. Finally, a hands-on workshop will explain the differences between industrial mining operations and hobby-mining systems, while demonstrating how users can set up their own home-mining rigs.

A number of well-known speakers in the industry will be presenting at the conference, including Samson Mow, CSO of Blockstream; Andrew Kiguel, president and CEO of Hut 8 Mining; Steve Schaeffer, president of MGT Crypto Capital Assets; Tim Bukher, a lawyer and partner at Thompson Bukher LLP; and Amber Scott, founder of Outlier Solutions.

Todd, who comes from a marketing and event planning background, told Bitcoin Magazine that she’s excited about the opportunity to address a largely unmet need by hosting a cryptomining conference.

According to Todd, what sparked the decision to have the conference were the endless questions she was receiving from so many people about mining. “Honestly, I had similar questions. So I started to look for conferences and couldn’t find any.”

Furthermore, Todd has recently witnessed a growing trend among Chinese mining companies that are wanting to come to North America because of increased regulations at home. “They’re asking, ‘Is there anything you can do to help us out?’”

She is hoping the conference will be of value to both the industrial mining sector as well as individual hobby miners. “We anticipate that many attendees will be interested in just the basics of how they can mine. Unfortunately, this is often harder for those without an engineering background. We are going to show people how to navigate this space, including how set up a mining rig. At the end of the day, we are going to show people the best path to mining.”

Besides these hands-on discussions, there will be attention given to some of the broader developments occurring in the mining arena. “By way of example, mining companies have been flocking to Quebec which has caused this Canadian province to put the brakes on due to potential energy and environmental factors. The good news here, given the fluidity of the crypto and blockchain space, is that someone is probably already out there thinking about this issue of greater (mining) energy efficiency.”

For Todd, one of her greatest goals for this conference is for it to engender discussion and allow people to ask questions. “The hope is that people will walk away having discovered things they didn’t know about, wanting to do a bit more investigation. Most importantly, I’d love to see people who are brand new to mining leave with all the tools they need to set a mining operation up for themself.”

She concludes: “To me, knowledge is power. So if we can offer people, the average individual, a chance to learn more about mining so that they can mine for themselves or invest in an operation, than I will absolutely be thrilled to have achieved my goal.”

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

What you need to know on Wall Street today

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Welcome to Finance Insider, Business Insider's summary of the top stories of the past 24 hours. Sign up here to get the best of Business Insider delivered direct to your inbox.

Mergers and acquisitions are back.

M&A bankers are set to split nearly $330 million in fees from three megadeals announced over Sunday and Monday, according to consulting firm Freeman & Co.

These deals include a $26 billion merger between telecom giants T-Mobile and Sprint; oil refiner Marathon's acquisition of Andeavor for $23 billion; and Wal-Mart's sale of its UK grocery business Asda to Sainsbury for $10 billion. Here's the latest:

Elsewhere in deal news, investors are frustrated with Botox-maker Allergan — and its CEO says it's "deep into the process" of figuring out what to do next.

WeWork has raised $6.1 billion and pioneered the co-working movement — but it increasingly looks like it doesn't understand commercial real estate. And DocuSign popped in its long-awaited IPO — now its CEO and CFO explain what's next

In related news, UBS has hired a top investment banker from Deutsche Bank amid a major ramp-up of its US dealmaking team

In finance news, Morgan Stanley's youngest bankers could be getting a 25% pay raise. And Goldman Sachs is battling to contain an outbreak of mumps on the trading floorAnd a bunch of former KCG staffers have found a new home at Wall Street broker Instinet.

In markets news, Business Insider recently spoke with Tobias Levkovich, Citigroup's chief US equity strategist, about what's keeping investors complacent. You can read the full interview here. Elsewhere in markets news:

And in crypto news:

Lastly, Jeff Bezos reveals what it's like to build an empire and become the richest man in the world — and why he's willing to spend $1 billion a year to fund the most important mission of his life.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Facebook's recent struggles have investors in a panic — and looming regulation could forever change how it does business

'There isn't really fear out there': Citigroup's equity chief explains why investors are complacent

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

tobias levkovich

  • Business Insider recently spoke with Tobias Levkovich, Citigroup's chief US equity strategist, about what's keeping investors complacent.
  • Levkovich explained why earnings may not produce the same stock-market gains witnessed in 2017, and what he considers the most underappreciated story in markets right now.

After a volatile first quarter, some investors were counting on earnings season to be the salve for the stock market this year. 

That isn't likely to be the case, according to Tobias Levkovich, Citigroup's chief US equity strategist. In fact, strong earnings growth is one of two things keeping investors complacent, in his view. 

Levkovich recently spoke to Business Insider about why this is the case, what sectors could contribute to the market's growth this year, and the folly behind looking for a straightforward market catalyst.  

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Akin Oyedele: The big story in markets lately is the 10-year yield hitting 3%, so I wanted to get your take on that and what it means for stocks.

Tobias Levkovich: Let me set the stage a little bit.

We started the year with the idea that it will be one of consolidation and rotation.

By consolidation, we meant that you would get very strong earnings growth, but you wouldn't see the full benefit of that in the price of stocks. In other words, you'd see multiple compression. So, if we believe earnings will be up 14%-15%, you might only get 5% in equity-market appreciation, and lose, call it 10 points on the multiple. I don't mean the P/E goes from 20 to 10 points, I mean you'd lose some of that appreciation. 

The move in the market in 2016 and half the move in 2017 was multiple-related, kind of anticipating a more pro-business, pro-growth agenda. And as you got it, you were earning your way into it — you already paid for it, you're not gonna get paid a second time. 

We also expected some inflation and some higher bond yields.

So again, this idea of consolidation was more about looking at history, trying to understand how markets trade, and the sense that there's probably more wage inflation than people perceive.

Number two, we talked about rotation. 

In an environment where bond yields are climbing, you typically see value beat growth. That doesn't mean week-to-week or in the earnings numbers, and I kind of almost don't respond to those day-to-day moves. I find them noise, not signal. 

We like financials, we like energy, we like more cyclical components of the economy. We've been underweight staples. Year-to-date as of last night [April 25], energy's outperformed tech. That's not on most people's minds.

We downgraded diversified financials about a week and a half ago from an overweight. We're still overweight banks and insurance. Some of the banks came through with some numbers that the Street clearly didn't love.

So let's talk just a moment about earnings in general.

Very few companies are going to stick their necks out and say "everything's fine."

Earnings have been far better than people thought, yet stock prices haven't necessarily reacted to them. We recently wrote a piece saying that earnings would not heal the troubles in the market. People were hoping that it would occur that way, and we said we didn't expect it to.

Most people want to get some sense of outlook into the latter part of this year and into whether 2019 is okay; there has been a lot of concern about end-of-cycle issues. So what I'd love to get from company A, B, or C is some feeling that I'm okay for earnings into the latter part of this year and maybe even into 2019.

It's April. Managements don't know that in April. You're asking them to make a call for what December or next April looks like. They just don't have that visibility. So what you're kind of really asking from the companies is not "did you have a good first quarter," but "how do the third and fourth quarter look?" Companies have visibility a quarter out, maybe if you're lucky, two quarters out, but you certainly don't have nine or 12 months out. And very few companies are going to stick their necks out and say "everything's fine" and "we think we can up the numbers for the year" when there's potential for them to disappoint. If that was the visibility that people wanted, they weren't going to get it in April.

Earnings have been far better than people thought, yet stock prices haven't necessarily reacted to them.

Two things are keeping people complacent.

One is, earnings are really good. Markets don't generally blow up if earnings are good.

Two, is there a Fed put out there at what strike price? Thus far, it's not down five, ten percent because the Fed hasn't indicated that, and we've already had that kind of correction. But is it 15%? Is it 20%? And, there's the sense that there's a potential feedback loop in that if markets go down enough, management teams and companies would be worried that there's some kind of discomforting, sinister signal from the market and as a result, the Fed will have to stop being aggressive.

I think those are the two things kind of keeping people complacent. There isn't really fear out there. You almost need fear, and you need some time, to prove that the concerns around end of cycle are overdone.

Oyedele: Your year-end S&P 500 target is 2800. How do we get there from here?

Levkovich: If earnings are up 14% or 15% and we lost a little multiple, getting up 5% is not asking for the moon.

We have eight to 10 different ways we target our S&P approach. We look to a variety of factors and see where most of them congregate. We don't use the signal factor.

I was talking to someone earlier today and said I'm getting clients asking to report on my recent trip to Asia, and one of the questions is, "what's the catalyst to make the market go up?" — that kind of magic-bullet question.

And this guy was telling me "I hate that question." And I said "that's not the question I hate, it's a reasonable question."

This idea of a nice simple ' if A occurs B follows' is not the market.

Here's the question I hate: what multiple should the market trade at? My answer to that typically is, who died and made me king that you have to follow what I say? I can have a view on what the market should trade at, but that doesn't mean investors will trade it that way. So what I need to do is look at how markets trade price-to-book against inflation, how markets trade on historical P/Es, what have been the market outcomes? 

I don't for a moment assume — and my ego just isn't big enough to assume — that everyone's going to listen to me because I think the multiple should be X. Honestly, who the hell cares what my viewpoint is on that? I'm honest about this. I don't have enough money to force the outcome. Mr. Bezos doesn't have enough money to force the outcome. It's a $26 trillion market. Why would you think that your opinion matters? 

You get my point. To me, these are foolish questions because they don't really matter.

Oyedele: So what are the right questions to be asking?

Levkovich: I think you have to look at a variety of things, and that's the problem: everybody likes a simple answer.

Here's the example I often give to people. If you eat a lot of food, you're going to gain weight. That sounds like a very reasonable cause and effect.

Now let me give you three things that say that's not true.

If you ate a lot of vegetables and fruit, you probably aren't going to gain weight.

Number 2, if you work out like crazy, you're probably not going to gain weight.

And number 3 — people who I've learned to really hate — people who have very fortunate, fast metabolism aren't going to gain weight.

So the starting statement was kind of true, except that I gave you three examples that shoot it down in a second.

So this idea of a nice simple 'if A occurs B follows' is not the market. The market has multiple influences and you have to think about, if there are 10 different things that affect it, where's the body of evidence leaning, which is, by the way, how our Panic/Euphoria model works. There are nine factors in the model. They sometimes conflict and that's okay because that's the real world.

The comfort level that people have in wage growth in the 2.6%-2.7% range is probably very inaccurate

We're all pretty good at pre-selecting information that backs up our fears. It's really bad when you're telling clients "I have a piece of evidence that supports me and I'll ignore the other ones that don't." That's not helping people.

Oyedele: What's an example of a viewpoint out there that you think is accurate, but perhaps unpalatable for investors to hear right now? Another way of phrasing that is, is there anything on your radar that you think the market's under-appreciating?

Levkovich: I think people have been under-appreciating what's been going on in the labor force. We've been hearing from companies for a while about how tight it is to get good workers.

It started off, let's say, in the homebuilders last year. Another example is the trucking industry. But we're hearing it from industrial companies, we're hearing it from energy companies, it's becoming much more widespread. And that's why the comfort level that people have in wage growth of February and March in the 2.6%-2.7% range is probably very inaccurate.

When you look at the gap between U6 and U3 unemployment rates, it tends to be a really good measure for what happens to wage inflation. And it is likely that gap is going to shrink based on some outlooks we've done in the course of the next six to nine months. That's going to put even more upward pressure [on wage inflation.]

Companies are going to try and raise prices. Not every company will be able to, but most will. And they're going to pass them on to you and me as consumers, and that will push some of the inflation data higher with some bond-yield reaction to it. 

Rising inflation expectations over the last 20 years meant buy cyclicals, not defensives. So if the market is going to do what it's done for the past 20 years, then it's probably going to do it again, unless you go think this time is different. 

It's a lot sexier to say "this time it's different." But every time you hear those great paradigms of change, they almost rarely play out. We all like new and exciting things, but are they really sustainable? 

And I won't even discuss bitcoin

Somebody brought this up to me earlier today, which was, it's interesting that the stuff you would have thought you were essentially safe in, like staples, you've just been crushed. It's one thing to underperform, it's another thing for some of these stocks to be down 10%-20% since the beginning of the year.

SEE ALSO: America is staring down a debt crisis — and there's one place to look for early signs of trouble

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Wall Street's biggest bull explains why trade war fears are way overblown

Comcast Ventures Executive: ‘There’s Real Value’ in Bitcoin, Blockchain

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The bitcoin price is hovering near its best levels of the year, and Comcast Ventures’ Managing Director Gil Beyda says it’s because people are realizing there’s “real value” in bitcoin and blockchain. While 2017 was a year where investors were focused on getting rich quick and doubling/tripling/quadrupling their money, the froth is now out of

The post Comcast Ventures Executive: ‘There’s Real Value’ in Bitcoin, Blockchain appeared first on CCN

CRYPTO INSIDER: A hot crypto hedge fund keeps poaching Wall Street bankers

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

goldman

Welcome to Crypto Insider, Business Insider’s roundup of all the bitcoin and cryptocurrency news you need to know today. Sign up here to get this email delivered direct to your inbox.

Cryptocurrency hedge fund BlockTower Capital keeps scooping up talent from Goldman Sachs, as Wall Streeters continue to flee big banks in favor of bitcoin firms.

Steve Lee, a former portfolio manager and trader at Goldman, is one of the most recent hires by the Connecticut-based hedge fund, which was co-founded by a former Goldman vice president, Business Insider's Frank Chaparro reports. 

Here are the current crypto prices:

Bitcoin price today crypto

In the news: 
New to Crypto Insider? Business Insider has a ton of articles to get you caught up to speed, including:

What other questions do you have about crypto? Ask them in Business Insider's Crypto Insider Facebook group today to discuss with readers from all over the world, as well as BI editorial staff. 

SEE ALSO: An 'ugly Christmas sweater' company is making a fortune on these bitcoin and Ethereum sweaters — and the crypto crowd loves them

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Wall Street's biggest bull explains why trade war fears are way overblown

CRYPTO INSIDER: A hot crypto hedge fund keeps poaching Wall Street bankers

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

goldman

Welcome to Crypto Insider, Business Insider’s roundup of all the bitcoin and cryptocurrency news you need to know today. Sign up here to get this email delivered direct to your inbox.

Cryptocurrency hedge fund BlockTower Capital keeps scooping up talent from Goldman Sachs, as Wall Streeters continue to flee big banks in favor of bitcoin firms.

Steve Lee, a former portfolio manager and trader at Goldman, is one of the most recent hires by the Connecticut-based hedge fund, which was co-founded by a former Goldman vice president, Business Insider's Frank Chaparro reports. 

Here are the current crypto prices:

Bitcoin price today crypto

In the news: 
New to Crypto Insider? Business Insider has a ton of articles to get you caught up to speed, including:

What other questions do you have about crypto? Ask them in Business Insider's Crypto Insider Facebook group today to discuss with readers from all over the world, as well as BI editorial staff. 

SEE ALSO: An 'ugly Christmas sweater' company is making a fortune on these bitcoin and Ethereum sweaters — and the crypto crowd loves them

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Wall Street's biggest bull explains why trade war fears are way overblown

Promoted: Blockchain Agnosticism: Resolving the Paradox of Choice

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Shocard

When bitcoin was the only show in town, things were a lot less complicated for blockchain developers. You either used some variation of colored coins to support your decentralized application or you did not.

Since then, a forest of blockchains has sprouted, each of them unique. Some are permissioned; some are public. Some use proof of work, while others rely on proof of stake. Some have substantial industry support, while some are rarefied and niche. How should decentralized application vendors choose one?

When faced with an overwhelming choice, perhaps the best approach is not to choose at all. Armin Ebrahimi, CEO and co-founder of blockchain identity management company ShoCard, is keeping an open mind. His team decided to adopt a multi-blockchain approach early on in product development, giving deployment teams the flexibility to choose their own. He said this blockchain agnosticism is essential in a fast-moving industry.

“I believe for the foreseeable future we will see blockchains evolve. They will improve and specialize in various forms,” said Ebrahimi. “Even when the underlying technology over the next three to five years becomes more stable and advanced, it is still prudent to be blockchain agnostic.”

By not picking winners, his argument is that ShoCard can more easily be interoperable with other blockchain-based identity management systems. ShoCard’s strategy can also allow them to support enterprises that have standardized their use of blockchain technology.

ShoCard does this by using a mobile application to gather user credentials. It then stores proof of these credentials on the blockchain using a cryptographic hash rather than the credentials themselves. This approach lets the user share only the credentials they are comfortable with, and only with those parties they trust.

The company needed a public blockchain to provide final verification of those credentials, explained Ebrahimi. “Using a public blockchain for the final proof of work means we cannot cheat the system, and the data can be as reliable as the underlying public blockchain that has the final hash,” he said. “This is an important part of the no-trust and no-central-control identity management platform.”

How do you use the trust of a public blockchain without forcing a choice in technology? ShoCard solved the problem using a blockchain adapter layer that acts as a proxy between the ShoCard service layer and the public blockchain layer. By reading and writing records indirectly through the proxy, the company can use a variety of public blockchains to suit user requirements.

ShoCard also designed its architecture to protect itself against public blockchain performance problems by using a mixture of side chains and caches. The sidechain stores the hashed credential data, accessing public blockchain through the API adapter approximately every 20 minutes. The system uses the public blockchain as proof of work while keeping the hashed certification data on sidechains replicated to improve performance.

Because the sidechain sits at the service layer, above the blockchain API adaptor, ShoCard had to choose a technology to run it. It based the sidechain on Ethereum open source, although as a sidechain rather than a public blockchain it will be less susceptible to the congestion now facing the Ethereum network. This means no CryptoKitties to worry about slowing the system.

To further enhance performance, the service layer also caches the public blockchain so that the system can service blockchain verification requests more quickly.

According to ShoCard, blockchain agnosticism provides several other benefits. It future-proofs an application against unexpected developments in the blockchain space, such as a public blockchain becoming obsolete. It also protects users against rising transaction costs, and it shields them from congestion, making the blockchain more scalable. The firm claims the ability to create and certify over 5 million new users, with proof of work, in under 30 minutes.

However, the company still had to settle on a blockchain to manage its token sale, and in March it chose Stellar, created by Ripple co-founder Jed McCaleb. Stellar can handle over 1,000 transactions per second with no transaction costs, which Ebrahimi said will make it easier to manage the many microtransactions that a well-prepared ICO can expect when selling tokens.

As blockchain options spread and grow more complex, blockchain agnosticism may become a more frequent fixture in decentralized startups. It stands out as a way of avoiding brittle technology commitments that could burden you with technical debt.

This promoted article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Promoted: Blockchain Agnosticism: Resolving the Paradox of Choice

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Shocard

When bitcoin was the only show in town, things were a lot less complicated for blockchain developers. You either used some variation of colored coins to support your decentralized application or you did not.

Since then, a forest of blockchains has sprouted, each of them unique. Some are permissioned; some are public. Some use proof of work, while others rely on proof of stake. Some have substantial industry support, while some are rarefied and niche. How should decentralized application vendors choose one?

When faced with an overwhelming choice, perhaps the best approach is not to choose at all. Armin Ebrahimi, CEO and co-founder of blockchain identity management company ShoCard, is keeping an open mind. His team decided to adopt a multi-blockchain approach early on in product development, giving deployment teams the flexibility to choose their own. He said this blockchain agnosticism is essential in a fast-moving industry.

“I believe for the foreseeable future we will see blockchains evolve. They will improve and specialize in various forms,” said Ebrahimi. “Even when the underlying technology over the next three to five years becomes more stable and advanced, it is still prudent to be blockchain agnostic.”

By not picking winners, his argument is that ShoCard can more easily be interoperable with other blockchain-based identity management systems. ShoCard’s strategy can also allow them to support enterprises that have standardized their use of blockchain technology.

ShoCard does this by using a mobile application to gather user credentials. It then stores proof of these credentials on the blockchain using a cryptographic hash rather than the credentials themselves. This approach lets the user share only the credentials they are comfortable with, and only with those parties they trust.

The company needed a public blockchain to provide final verification of those credentials, explained Ebrahimi. “Using a public blockchain for the final proof of work means we cannot cheat the system, and the data can be as reliable as the underlying public blockchain that has the final hash,” he said. “This is an important part of the no-trust and no-central-control identity management platform.”

How do you use the trust of a public blockchain without forcing a choice in technology? ShoCard solved the problem using a blockchain adapter layer that acts as a proxy between the ShoCard service layer and the public blockchain layer. By reading and writing records indirectly through the proxy, the company can use a variety of public blockchains to suit user requirements.

ShoCard also designed its architecture to protect itself against public blockchain performance problems by using a mixture of side chains and caches. The sidechain stores the hashed credential data, accessing public blockchain through the API adapter approximately every 20 minutes. The system uses the public blockchain as proof of work while keeping the hashed certification data on sidechains replicated to improve performance.

Because the sidechain sits at the service layer, above the blockchain API adaptor, ShoCard had to choose a technology to run it. It based the sidechain on Ethereum open source, although as a sidechain rather than a public blockchain it will be less susceptible to the congestion now facing the Ethereum network. This means no CryptoKitties to worry about slowing the system.

To further enhance performance, the service layer also caches the public blockchain so that the system can service blockchain verification requests more quickly.

According to ShoCard, blockchain agnosticism provides several other benefits. It future-proofs an application against unexpected developments in the blockchain space, such as a public blockchain becoming obsolete. It also protects users against rising transaction costs, and it shields them from congestion, making the blockchain more scalable. The firm claims the ability to create and certify over 5 million new users, with proof of work, in under 30 minutes.

However, the company still had to settle on a blockchain to manage its token sale, and in March it chose Stellar, created by Ripple co-founder Jed McCaleb. Stellar can handle over 1,000 transactions per second with no transaction costs, which Ebrahimi said will make it easier to manage the many microtransactions that a well-prepared ICO can expect when selling tokens.

As blockchain options spread and grow more complex, blockchain agnosticism may become a more frequent fixture in decentralized startups. It stands out as a way of avoiding brittle technology commitments that could burden you with technical debt.

This promoted article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Crypto Exchange Coinbase Thinks It’s Worth $8 Billion: Report

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Cryptocurrency exchange and brokerage giant Coinbase internally values itself at $8 billion, sources familiar with the company’s offer to purchase Bitcoin startup Earn.com say. Tech news outlet Recode reports that when Coinbase acquired Earn.com last month, its offer included an equity package that tacitly valued the exchange operator at $8 billion. That’s a significant step

The post Crypto Exchange Coinbase Thinks It’s Worth $8 Billion: Report appeared first on CCN

Buffett: Bitcoin Is More Gamble Than Investment

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The world's third-richest person, Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffet, has again made comments critical of bitcoin as an investment.

Japan Wants Cryptocurrency Exchanges to De-List Anonymous Altcoins: Report

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) is pressuring local cryptocurrency exchanges to de-list privacy-centric altcoins such as Monero, Zcash, and Dash. Writing in Forbes, Tokyo-based journalist Jake Adelstein reports that sources close to the FSA say the regulatory agency — which has sole authority to grant licenses to cryptocurrency exchanges — is “taking all available steps”

The post Japan Wants Cryptocurrency Exchanges to De-List Anonymous Altcoins: Report appeared first on CCN

There’s Only Four Million Bitcoin Left to Be Mined – Here’s Why

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

In today’s climate of ICOs with 100 billion token supplies, it can be easy to forget that the total supply of Bitcoin is incredibly low – 21 million. The 17 millionth Bitcoin has been mined, and there are only 4 million left. The built-in artificial scarcity is one of the most important characteristics of the … Continued

The post There’s Only Four Million Bitcoin Left to Be Mined – Here’s Why appeared first on CCN

Coinsecure Delays Compensation Claims after $3 Million Bitcoin Theft

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Indian cryptocurrency exchange Coinsecure is delaying the compensation process for customers impacted by the theft of 438 bitcoins earlier this month. In an announcement on its website on Sunday, Delhi-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinsecure has offered its reason for the lack of progress in reimbursing its users following the $3 million theft of customers’ bitcoins from

The post Coinsecure Delays Compensation Claims after $3 Million Bitcoin Theft appeared first on CCN

Bitcoin Price Corrects to $9,200 while EOS Drops 15%, Market Moves Toward $430 Billion

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The bitcoin price has slightly corrected to $9,200 after rising above $9,500. The valuation of the cryptocurrency market has increased to $425 billion, moving towards $450 billion, where it was in the beginning of March. EOS Down 15% EOS, the fifth most valuable blockchain protocol in the cryptocurrency market, has declined by more than 15

The post Bitcoin Price Corrects to $9,200 while EOS Drops 15%, Market Moves Toward $430 Billion appeared first on CCN

Massive Hacks, VC Wars, and Governments Embrace Blockcain: This Week in Crypto

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Make sure you check out last weeks post here, now let’s go over what happened in crypto this week.  Price Watch: Bitcoin is up 5% this week after a strong gain of 15% last week. Much of the price gain came in a giant green candle when the price hit $9,000 before soaring up to $9,230 and stabilizing … Continued

The post Massive Hacks, VC Wars, and Governments Embrace Blockcain: This Week in Crypto appeared first on CCN

A hot crypto hedge fund keeps poaching talent from Goldman Sachs

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST


goldman

  • Two former Goldman Sachs employees have joined prominent cryptocurrency hedge fund BlockTower Capital in the past three months, Business Insider has learned.
  • A number of Wall Streeters have been moving over to the crypto world in recent months.

Cryptocurrency hedge fund BlockTower Capital keeps scooping up talent from Goldman Sachs, as Wall Streeters continue to flee big banks in favor of bitcoin firms. 

Steve Lee, a former portfolio manager at Goldman, is one of the most recent hires by the Connecticut-based hedge fund, which was co-founded by a former Goldman vice president, a person familiar with the matter told Business Insider.

Lee, who worked for Goldman in Asia as part of its asset management unit, will leverage the relationships he made in Tokyo and Singapore for his new role at BlockTower, the person said. Lee moved from Japan to the US on Saturday and will work out of BlockTower's office in Connecticut.

The move follows two other Goldman hires by BlockTower, including Elizabeth Ralston, a former vice president at the bank. Ralston joined BlockTower in February as the firm's legal and complicate director, but the move had not been previously reported. 

Earlier this year, BlockTower said it hired former Goldman vice president Michael Bucella as head of strategic partnerships and business development.

Matthew Goetz, who founded BlockTower alongside Ari Paul in 2017, previously worked in Goldman's asset management division. 

BlockTower Capital is among the best-known crypto hedge funds in a booming space that now includes over 200 such firms, according to the fintech analytics firm Autonomous Next. The firm, which launched in August, raised $140 million from family offices and venture capital firms, Bloomberg News reported.

The moves from Goldman to BlockTower are just the latest departures among Wall Streeters hoping to chase bitcoin riches. 

Kraken, the cryptocurrency exchange, hired Nelson Minier, formerly of Credit Suisse, for its new over-the-counter trading operation, Business Insider first reported in April. He joined Nick Gustafson, a former senior vice president at Jefferies, on the desk.

A number of former employees of the New York Stock Exchange have joined crypto exchange Coinbase. Christine Sandler, the former head of sales for NYSE Euronext, joined the firm in April. Coinbase also hired former head of finance at the New York Stock Exchange Eric Scro as its own vice president of finance.

As for Goldman, it recently made its first crypto hire. Justin Schmidt joined the New York-based investment bank as a vice president and head of digital asset markets in the firm's securities division.

A media representative for BlockTower didn't respond to a message seeking comment.

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NOW WATCH: A $700 billion investor explains why traders should brush off an ominous market signal that's flashing

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