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More Than a Quarter of U.K. Male Millennials Prefer Bitcoin to Real Estate: Survey

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

In a sign of the shift in attitudes regarding traditional investments and finance, a study conducted by a real estate developer in the United Kingdom has revealed that 27% of male millennials consider bitcoin a better investment than property. According to real estate developer Get Living, part of the reason the particular demographic saw bitcoin as

The post More Than a Quarter of U.K. Male Millennials Prefer Bitcoin to Real Estate: Survey appeared first on CCN

Bitcoin’s Lightning Network Still Unsuitable for Large Payments, Research Suggests

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

A recent report published by cryptocurrency research firm Diar suggests that Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, a second-layer solution touted as the answer to the cryptocurrency’s scalability problem, is still unsuitable for large payments. According to the report, the network only ensures a 100 percent success rate for payments of $0.03 or less. The chance of successfully

The post Bitcoin’s Lightning Network Still Unsuitable for Large Payments, Research Suggests appeared first on CCN

Bitmain Nears 51% of Network Hash Rate: Why This Matters and Why It Doesn’t

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

btmn51p

Recent Bitcoin block data shows that Bitcoin’s mining pools BTC.com, AntPool and ConnectBTC, respectively mined about 25.7 percent, 16.1 percent and 0.2 percent of all new blocks over the past week. This makes for a combined hash rate of 42 percent; an all-time high for the Chinese mining giant’s mining pools.

Several media sources have since covered this news, reporting that this near-dominance is a major risk to the Bitcoin network.

How true are these claims?

51% Attacks

When mining bitcoin, new blocks are produced by mining computers. Each miner on the network competes with its counterparts to produce blocks, and the only way for a miner to effectively do this is to input different hashing combinations until they uncover a valid one.

Once a correct combination is found, the mined block is added to a chain. If there is more than one chain — for example, because different miners found different blocks at the same time — the mining nodes will try to add the block to the one with the longest history.

However, this also means that if one entity controls more than half of the computational power on the network, it can select an older block within the chain and begin re-mining everything from there. This new chain can then overtake the original one, and all previous transactions will become invalid. In other words, if a single entity controls over half of all hash power on the network, this entity can undo transactions, and therefore poses a threat to the network’s immutability, one of Bitcoin’s core features. This entity can also refuse to accept blocks mined by others, ensuring the competition never receives a fair shake, or blacklist particular Bitcoin addresses.

Incidents where a single entity gained control over half of all hash power on the network have occurred in the past. In July 2014, mining pool GHash.io exceeded the 51 percent mark and voluntarily brought itself down to 39 percent in response to growing concern. It subsequently advised other companies that exceeded certain limits to do the same.

Bitmain

Bitmain officially owns and controls three mining pools: AntPool, BTC.com and ConnectBTC. Combined, these pools control over 40 percent of the network hash rate, more than a company like GHash.io was willing to control.

But Bitmain may influence more mining pools. The company is, for example, the sole investor in ViaBTC, which controls about 8.9 percent of the network’s total hash rate. ViaBTC has had sudden rises of hash rate at times when this was of strategic advantage to Bitmain. This has lead many to suspect that ViaBTC was effectively a subsidiary of the mining hardware giant, even before the investment was made public. However, this has been officially denied by both Bitmain and ViaBTC.

In addition, sources close to the Chinese Bitcoin mining industry believe that Bitmain has a similar “unofficial” relation with mining pool BTC.TOP, which controls about 12 percent of the total network hash rate. BTC.TOP owner Jiang Zhuoer has also denied this.

Piecing all this together, it’s easy to see Bitmain’s influence on the network hash rate. Through the different mining pools it exerts influence over in one way or another, it may have already stepped beyond the 50 percent mark some time ago.

Hash Power

This doesn’t necessarily mean that Bitmain, itself, controls all the hash power directed at its pools. Even if the Chinese mining giant owns the mining pools, it’s possible that most of the hash power attributed to these pools comes from individual hashers. These hashers could easily switch to new pools at any time. Still, it’s also possible that Bitmain does, in fact, control well over half of all hash power on the network directly.

Bitmain has not disclosed how much hash power it truly controls, but the company does boast a major data center in China. This center is probably large enough to control most of the hash rate already. (Even if Bitmain does not own all of the mining machines in this data center, it has physical access to them, which is sufficient to mount an attack.)

The company’s 32-year-old co-founder and CEO Jihan Wu, did recently unveil plans for a potential initial public offering. Should executives decide to go mainstream, their books would be opened to the public and make them accountable to shareholders, some of whom might take issue with an alleged campaign for network dominance.

For now, while the combined hash rate of Bitmain’s official mining pools is an indication that bitcoin mining has become very centralized, the particular metric of pool centralization can be considered somewhat superficial. Mining pool centralization has been a reality for some time, while the true hash power centralization risk remains unknown.


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong Launches Cryptocurrency Charity Fund

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

Give Crypto

On June 27, 2018, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong announced his new cryptocurrency charity fund, GiveCrypto. Armstrong established the philanthropic venture to financially empower people with direct cryptocurrency distributions. Armstrong and partner Rose Broome, previously co-founder and CEO of HandUp.org, have already raised $1 million from prominent cryptocurrency community members. They plan to raise $10 million by the end of 2018 and $1 billion over a two-year time frame.

Purpose

The nonprofit’s mission is to give 100 percent of its cryptocurrency contributions to impoverished people, an altruistic goal that simultaneously drives cryptocurrency’s real-world utility.

GiveCrypto recognizes that there are roughly two billion people who have smartphones but who lack access to basic financial services. By directly distributing cryptocurrency to these people, the fund hopes to enable these basic financial services by allowing recipients to:

  1. Exchange cryptocurrency for their local currency.

  2. Buy goods and services using cryptocurrency.

  3. Hold cryptocurrency long term to (hopefully) increase their wealth.

Why Cryptocurrency?

“Given the enormous wealth creation from cryptocurrency, and the future potential upside, I believe there is a rare opportunity to create a large non-profit fund,” Armstrong explains on the GiveCrypto website.

With thousands of newly-minted members of the crypto rich, GiveCrypto sees this new, abundant wealth as ripe with fundraising opportunity.

Indeed, the fund has already raised capital from some of the industry’s most successful. Donors include Armstrong himself, Chris Larsen, Zcash founder Zooko Wilcox, bitcoin miner Bitmain, BitcoinCash’s Roger Ver, Coinbase founder Fred Ehrsam and a16z crypto General Partner Kathryn Haun, among others.

Cryptocurrency’s underlying utility as a low-fee remittance option also makes it easy to transfer funds across borders. What’s more, the charitable fund can deposit contributions directly into its beneficiary’s mobile and web wallets. This is especially important for the unbanked populations that the charity will most benefit as GiveCrypto won’t have to route or disseminate funds through traditional financial institutions.

Operations

As reported by Fortune, Armstrong notes that most challenges for GiveCrypto are on the distribution side –– i.e., figuring out who to fund and ensuring that corrupt governments and opportunistic actors don’t take a cut of the donations.

The fund plans to test various distribution strategies over the coming years, traveling first to selected regions for in-person handouts. In the future, the fund plans to partner with localized nonprofit distribution partners, and it is considering building a decentralized application to create a trust network for distributions.

GiveCrypto’s ethos puts it in the company of other crypto-backed charity efforts, including Ripple’s $29 million gift to classrooms around the U.S. and the millions the Pineapple Fund anonymously donated to various organizations.

Currently, the fund accepts tax-deductible donations in BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, XRP and ZEC.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong Launches Cryptocurrency Charity Fund

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

Give Crypto

On June 27, 2018, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong announced his new cryptocurrency charity fund, GiveCrypto. Armstrong established the philanthropic venture to financially empower people with direct cryptocurrency distributions. Armstrong and partner Rose Broome, previously co-founder and CEO of HandUp.org, have already raised $1 million from prominent cryptocurrency community members. They plan to raise $10 million by the end of 2018 and $1 billion over a two-year time frame.

Purpose

The nonprofit’s mission is to give 100 percent of its cryptocurrency contributions to impoverished people, an altruistic goal that simultaneously drives cryptocurrency’s real-world utility.

GiveCrypto recognizes that there are roughly two billion people who have smartphones but who lack access to basic financial services. By directly distributing cryptocurrency to these people, the fund hopes to enable these basic financial services by allowing recipients to:

  1. Exchange cryptocurrency for their local currency.

  2. Buy goods and services using cryptocurrency.

  3. Hold cryptocurrency long term to (hopefully) increase their wealth.

Why Cryptocurrency?

“Given the enormous wealth creation from cryptocurrency, and the future potential upside, I believe there is a rare opportunity to create a large non-profit fund,” Armstrong explains on the GiveCrypto website.

With thousands of newly-minted members of the crypto rich, GiveCrypto sees this new, abundant wealth as ripe with fundraising opportunity.

Indeed, the fund has already raised capital from some of the industry’s most successful. Donors include Armstrong himself, Chris Larsen, Zcash founder Zooko Wilcox, bitcoin miner Bitmain, BitcoinCash’s Roger Ver, Coinbase founder Fred Ehrsam and a16z crypto General Partner Kathryn Haun, among others.

Cryptocurrency’s underlying utility as a low-fee remittance option also makes it easy to transfer funds across borders. What’s more, the charitable fund can deposit contributions directly into its beneficiary’s mobile and web wallets. This is especially important for the unbanked populations that the charity will most benefit as GiveCrypto won’t have to route or disseminate funds through traditional financial institutions.

Operations

As reported by Fortune, Armstrong notes that most challenges for GiveCrypto are on the distribution side –– i.e., figuring out who to fund and ensuring that corrupt governments and opportunistic actors don’t take a cut of the donations.

The fund plans to test various distribution strategies over the coming years, traveling first to selected regions for in-person handouts. In the future, the fund plans to partner with localized nonprofit distribution partners, and it is considering building a decentralized application to create a trust network for distributions.

GiveCrypto’s ethos puts it in the company of other crypto-backed charity efforts, including Ripple’s $29 million gift to classrooms around the U.S. and the millions the Pineapple Fund anonymously donated to various organizations.

Currently, the fund accepts tax-deductible donations in BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, XRP and ZEC.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong Launches Cryptocurrency Charity Fund

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

Give Crypto

On June 27, 2018, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong announced his new cryptocurrency charity fund, GiveCrypto. Armstrong established the philanthropic venture to financially empower people with direct cryptocurrency distributions. Armstrong and partner Rose Broome, previously co-founder and CEO of HandUp.org, have already raised $1 million from prominent cryptocurrency community members. They plan to raise $10 million by the end of 2018 and $1 billion over a two-year time frame.

Purpose

The nonprofit’s mission is to give 100 percent of its cryptocurrency contributions to impoverished people, an altruistic goal that simultaneously drives cryptocurrency’s real-world utility.

GiveCrypto recognizes that there are roughly two billion people who have smartphones but who lack access to basic financial services. By directly distributing cryptocurrency to these people, the fund hopes to enable these basic financial services by allowing recipients to:

  1. Exchange cryptocurrency for their local currency.

  2. Buy goods and services using cryptocurrency.

  3. Hold cryptocurrency long term to (hopefully) increase their wealth.

Why Cryptocurrency?

“Given the enormous wealth creation from cryptocurrency, and the future potential upside, I believe there is a rare opportunity to create a large non-profit fund,” Armstrong explains on the GiveCrypto website.

With thousands of newly-minted members of the crypto rich, GiveCrypto sees this new, abundant wealth as ripe with fundraising opportunity.

Indeed, the fund has already raised capital from some of the industry’s most successful. Donors include Armstrong himself, Chris Larsen, Zcash founder Zooko Wilcox, bitcoin miner Bitmain, BitcoinCash’s Roger Ver, Coinbase founder Fred Ehrsam and a16z crypto General Partner Kathryn Haun, among others.

Cryptocurrency’s underlying utility as a low-fee remittance option also makes it easy to transfer funds across borders. What’s more, the charitable fund can deposit contributions directly into its beneficiary’s mobile and web wallets. This is especially important for the unbanked populations that the charity will most benefit as GiveCrypto won’t have to route or disseminate funds through traditional financial institutions.

Operations

As reported by Fortune, Armstrong notes that most challenges for GiveCrypto are on the distribution side –– i.e., figuring out who to fund and ensuring that corrupt governments and opportunistic actors don’t take a cut of the donations.

The fund plans to test various distribution strategies over the coming years, traveling first to selected regions for in-person handouts. In the future, the fund plans to partner with localized nonprofit distribution partners, and it is considering building a decentralized application to create a trust network for distributions.

GiveCrypto’s ethos puts it in the company of other crypto-backed charity efforts, including Ripple’s $29 million gift to classrooms around the U.S. and the millions the Pineapple Fund anonymously donated to various organizations.

Currently, the fund accepts tax-deductible donations in BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, XRP and ZEC.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Crypto Wallet Startup Blockchain Launches Institutional Platform

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

Bitcoin wallet provider Blockchain (formerly known as Blockchain.info) launched an institutional advisory platform, the company announced Thursday.

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.

Amazon's playbook for upending healthcare just got a lot clearer

After more than a year of speculation, Amazon just gave a clear indication that it's interested in getting into the pharmacy business.

On Thursday, it acquired PillPack, a small startup that mails prescriptions to people that take multiple medications. The news sent a whole host of pharmacy and drug wholesaler stocks tumbling.

For Amazon, that clears up a couple of hurdles that had previously hindered its ability to get into the pharmacy market. PillPack's physical pharmacy is located in Manchester, New Hampshire, and the startup can ship medication anywhere in the US with the exceptions of Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Amazon had applied for some wholesale pharmacy licenses in the past but those ambitions hit a snag in December 2017 when its Maine license had been canceled.

More here. 

Venture capitalists are still trying to figure out their crypto strategy

Andreessen Horowitz launched a $300 million specialist crypto fund this week, five years after first investing in the space through Coinbase. The venture-capital firm's long interest in crypto and sizable new fund make it a trailblazer — most VCs have largely ignored cryptocurrencies and are now struggling to play catch-up.

"If you look back a year ago at where we were, it really wasn't" on many venture capitalists' radars, Michael Jackson, a partner at the venture-capital firm Mangrove, told Business Insider.

Now the industry is reconsidering its position after an explosion of activity toward the end of 2017. Bitcoin rose over 1,000% against the dollar in 2017, with other cryptocurrencies recording similarly eye-catching returns. The market has more than halved since the start of 2018, but there is a sense that the technology is not going away.

Some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley have been checking out a hot VR startup

Sandbox VR, a Hong Kong-based virtual reality startup that licenses its technology to IMAX movie theaters, is raising a significant new round of funding, Business Insider has learned.

Andreessen Horowitz is in talks to invest in the round, according to two sources familiar with the matter. One of the firm's general partners, Andrew Chen, may be spearheading the investment, according to one person familiar with the talks.

Real-life robot marks BlackRock's latest foray into automation

Count this as another sign that automation is sweeping BlackRock, the largest money manager in the world.

For six months, a robot was meandering the New York City headquarters of the $6 trillion dollar asset manager, which notably made a big bet last year to rely more on algorithms over humans to make decisions on what stocks to buy and sell.

The robot bot, dubbed BLK Bot, doesn't appear to be much interested in finance. It's made by Knightscope, a company which makes crime-fighting robots that are used to patrol parking lots, sports arenas, and tech company campuses. 

In markets news

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Former Wall Street CEO reveals how most financial products designed for women completely miss the point

France Wants to Extradite Alleged Bitcoin Money Launderer

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

France, joined United States and Russia, is seeking the extradition of the alleged bitcoin money launder Alexander Vinnik.

WalletBouncer Announce Bitcoin Wallet Monitoring Service

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

This is a paid-for submitted press release. CCN does not endorse, nor is responsible for any material included below and isn’t responsible for any damages or losses connected with any products or services mentioned in the press release. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned

The post WalletBouncer Announce Bitcoin Wallet Monitoring Service appeared first on CCN

BANK OF ENGLAND: 'Cryptographic technologies have significant potential to benefit the financial system'

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

Bank of England Deputy Governor Sam Woods speaks at the 'Future Forum 2017' event in St George's Hall, Liverpool, Britain November 16, 2017.

  • Bank of England Deputy Governor Sam Woods has written to bank, insurance, and investment firm CEOs in a letter titled "Existing or planned exposure to crypto-assets."
  • Woods says these new assets are risky, but sets out a framework for companies to use when assessing the risks if they do want to invest.
  • "We... recognise that the underlying distributed ledger or cryptographic technologies, on which many crypto-assets rely, have significant potential to benefit the efficiency and resilience of the financial system over time," Woods writes.

The Bank of England has cautiously endorsed cryptocurrency technology and outlined a framework for banks that want to invest in crypto-assets.

Sam Woods, a deputy governor at the Bank of England and head of the Prudential Regulation Authority, one of Britain's key financial watchdogs, wrote a letter on Thursday to CEOs of banks, insurance companies, and investment firms titled "Existing or planned exposure to crypto-assets."

Woods did not ban nor caution against firms investing in crypto assets and in fact wrote: "We... recognise that the underlying distributed ledger or cryptographic technologies, on which many crypto-assets rely, have significant potential to benefit the efficiency and resilience of the financial system over time."

Distributed ledger technology was first popularised by bitcoin and allows multiple parties to view and edit a decentralized database. Fans of the technology believe it could help drive efficiency by cutting out middlemen in everything from trading to supply chains.

The Bank of England's position contrasts markedly with the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), often called the central bank of central banks, which dismissed the technology in a scathing report on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies earlier this month.

"Cryptocurrency technology comes with poor efficiency and vast energy use," the BIS wrote. "Cryptocurrencies cannot scale with transaction demand, are prone to congestion and greatly fluctuate in value."

Woods did flag issues around price fluctuation, illiquidity, fraud, price manipulation, terrorist financing, and money laundering related to cryptocurrencies and assets. But the deputy governor presents a framework for how to manage these risks rather than forbidding regulated firms from handling them.

Any firms dabbling in crypto should get "the board and highest levels of executive management" to consider the associated risks, the Bank of England said.

Remuneration policies should not be tied to risk-taking in the space and firms should seek out crypto experts to help them "conduct extensive due diligence before taking on any crypto-exposure." Companies should also consider their cybersecurity measures and potential reputational risk, the central bank writes.

Regulators around the world have been trying to get to grips with how to regulate cryptocurrencies and the lack of clarity has left many companies concerned about what could happen if they do invest in cryptocurrencies and assets.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has been particularly vocal about cryptocurrencies. The regulator said initially that most crypto assets it has seen resemble unregistered securities, but the SEC clarified earlier this month that it does not think ether, the second-biggest crypto asset by market value, is a security.

"Discussions are ongoing, including amongst authorities internationally, on the prudential treatment of crypto-assets," Woods writes in his letter. "We will communicate any supervisory or policy updates on the prudential treatment of crypto-assets... in due course."

2017 saw an explosion of new crypto assets being created through initial coin offerings, where startups issue their own digital tokens. There are over 1,500 in circulation, according to industry data platform CoinMarketCap.com. Tokens broadly fall into three categories: cryptocurrencies or crypto commodities, like bitcoin or litecoin that are used to transact and store value; utility tokens, which are used to fulfil some function within a new crypto ecosystem such as paying for decentralized file storage; and crypto securities.

"Although classification will depend on the precise features of the asset, crypto-assets should not be considered as currency for prudential purposes," Woods wrote in the letter.

SEE ALSO: Central bankers claim bitcoin could break the internet — the crypto world thinks they're missing the point

DON'T MISS: Ethereum spikes after the SEC declares it's not a security

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Millennials are leading an investment revolution — here's what makes their generation different

BANK OF ENGLAND: 'Cryptographic technologies have significant potential to benefit the financial system'

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

Bank of England Deputy Governor Sam Woods speaks at the 'Future Forum 2017' event in St George's Hall, Liverpool, Britain November 16, 2017.

  • Bank of England Deputy Governor Sam Woods has written to bank, insurance, and investment firm CEOs in a letter titled "Existing or planned exposure to crypto-assets."
  • Woods says these new assets are risky, but sets out a framework for companies to use when assessing the risks if they do want to invest.
  • "We... recognise that the underlying distributed ledger or cryptographic technologies, on which many crypto-assets rely, have significant potential to benefit the efficiency and resilience of the financial system over time," Woods writes.

The Bank of England has cautiously endorsed cryptocurrency technology and outlined a framework for banks that want to invest in crypto-assets.

Sam Woods, a deputy governor at the Bank of England and head of the Prudential Regulation Authority, one of Britain's key financial watchdogs, wrote a letter on Thursday to CEOs of banks, insurance companies, and investment firms titled "Existing or planned exposure to crypto-assets."

Woods did not ban nor caution against firms investing in crypto assets and in fact wrote: "We... recognise that the underlying distributed ledger or cryptographic technologies, on which many crypto-assets rely, have significant potential to benefit the efficiency and resilience of the financial system over time."

Distributed ledger technology was first popularised by bitcoin and allows multiple parties to view and edit a decentralized database. Fans of the technology believe it could help drive efficiency by cutting out middlemen in everything from trading to supply chains.

The Bank of England's position contrasts markedly with the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), often called the central bank of central banks, which dismissed the technology in a scathing report on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies earlier this month.

"Cryptocurrency technology comes with poor efficiency and vast energy use," the BIS wrote. "Cryptocurrencies cannot scale with transaction demand, are prone to congestion and greatly fluctuate in value."

Woods did flag issues around price fluctuation, illiquidity, fraud, price manipulation, terrorist financing, and money laundering related to cryptocurrencies and assets. But the deputy governor presents a framework for how to manage these risks rather than forbidding regulated firms from handling them.

Any firms dabbling in crypto should get "the board and highest levels of executive management" to consider the associated risks, the Bank of England said.

Remuneration policies should not be tied to risk-taking in the space and firms should seek out crypto experts to help them "conduct extensive due diligence before taking on any crypto-exposure." Companies should also consider their cybersecurity measures and potential reputational risk, the central bank writes.

Regulators around the world have been trying to get to grips with how to regulate cryptocurrencies and the lack of clarity has left many companies concerned about what could happen if they do invest in cryptocurrencies and assets.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has been particularly vocal about cryptocurrencies. The regulator said initially that most crypto assets it has seen resemble unregistered securities, but the SEC clarified earlier this month that it does not think ether, the second-biggest crypto asset by market value, is a security.

"Discussions are ongoing, including amongst authorities internationally, on the prudential treatment of crypto-assets," Woods writes in his letter. "We will communicate any supervisory or policy updates on the prudential treatment of crypto-assets... in due course."

2017 saw an explosion of new crypto assets being created through initial coin offerings, where startups issue their own digital tokens. There are over 1,500 in circulation, according to industry data platform CoinMarketCap.com. Tokens broadly fall into three categories: cryptocurrencies or crypto commodities, like bitcoin or litecoin that are used to transact and store value; utility tokens, which are used to fulfil some function within a new crypto ecosystem such as paying for decentralized file storage; and crypto securities.

"Although classification will depend on the precise features of the asset, crypto-assets should not be considered as currency for prudential purposes," Woods wrote in the letter.

SEE ALSO: Central bankers claim bitcoin could break the internet — the crypto world thinks they're missing the point

DON'T MISS: Ethereum spikes after the SEC declares it's not a security

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Millennials are leading an investment revolution — here's what makes their generation different

Mastercard Wins Patent for Anonymous Blockchain Transactions

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

Financial services giant Mastercard was awarded several new blockchain patents this week, continuing its trend of embracing distributing ledger research even as it expresses open hostility to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. However, one particular patent is raising eyebrows. The patent, awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Thursday, outlines a system that

The post Mastercard Wins Patent for Anonymous Blockchain Transactions appeared first on CCN

‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Jordan Belfort Claims Bitcoin Market Has ‘Run out of Fools.’

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

The ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ is saying “I told you so” about bitcoin prices’ recent retreat. In a video shared on his Youtube channel, former stockbroker Jordan Belfort, infamously known as the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’, has claimed it’s the “beginning of the end” for bitcoin as the market has run out of fools. He

The post ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Jordan Belfort Claims Bitcoin Market Has ‘Run out of Fools.’ appeared first on CCN

Messaging Giant LINE Announces New Global Crypto Exchange, Excludes U.S., Japan

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

Japanese messaging app LINE has announced plans to launch its cryptocurrency exchange BITBOX in July with support for 30 coins including bitcoin. In an announcement on Thursday, LINE revealed the new exchange will only allow for crypto-to-crypto trading with no exchange between fiat currency and cryptocurrencies. In an excerpt, LINE said: With the need to

The post Messaging Giant LINE Announces New Global Crypto Exchange, Excludes U.S., Japan appeared first on CCN

Bithumb Claims to Have Retrieved $14 Million in Hacked Cryptos

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

The Korean exchange says it has clawed back some of the millions lost in a theft of cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, XRP and bitcoin cash.

Bithumb Claims to Have Retrieved $14 Million in Hacked Cryptos

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

The Korean exchange says it has clawed back some of the millions lost in a theft of cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, XRP and bitcoin cash.

Bitcoin Price Defends $6K as Traders Go Long

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

Bitcoin's technical charts continue to call a drop below $6,000, yet investor activity indicates a corrective rally could be on the cards.

Indian Bank Kotak Mahindra Taps Ripple for Instant International Remittance

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

Kotak Mahindra, a major private bank in India, the latest financial institution to join RippleNet, Ripple’s enterprise blockchain network to enable inward remittances. In an announcement [PDF], Kotak Mahindra Bank revealed it use San Francisco-based Ripple’s blockchain technology to power inward international remittances in India, the world’s largest remittance receiver. Specifically, Kotak will use Ripple’s

The post Indian Bank Kotak Mahindra Taps Ripple for Instant International Remittance appeared first on CCN

Crypto Downtrend Expected Amid Low Volume, What Can Push Bitcoin to All-Time High?

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

Since June 25, for three straight days, the cryptocurrency market has remained relatively stable around the $250 billion region, struggling to initiate any movement on both the upside and downside. The volume of bitcoin remains low at $3.2 billion and as such, the market will likely not be able to sustain its current valuation in

The post Crypto Downtrend Expected Amid Low Volume, What Can Push Bitcoin to All-Time High? appeared first on CCN

A Plan to Send Millions in Bitcoin to Venezuela Is Moving Ahead

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

Developer Jonathan Wheeler plans to airdrop bitcoin across Venezuela, in an ambitious attempt at quelling the country's ongoing economic crisis.

'What the hell do you do with them?': Venture capitalists are still trying to figure out their crypto strategy

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

Marc Andreessen, co-founder and partner of Andreessen Horowitz, speaks during the panel discussion

  • Andreessen Horowitz this week launched a $300 million crypto fund, one of the biggest specialist funds in the space.
  • Andreessen Horowitz is an outlier: the majority of VC funds are struggling to get to grips with how to invest in the space.
  • The rise of ICOs means many crypto companies don't need VC cash and investing in crypto tokens presents headaches around custody and investment terms.
  • The problems are likely to be temporary and industry insiders expect to see a lot more VC investment in the space going forward.


Andreessen Horowitz this week launched a $300 million specialist crypto fund, five years after first investing in the space through Coinbase. The venture capital firms' long interest in crypto and sizeable new fund make it a trailblazer — most VCs have largely ignored cryptocurrencies and are now struggling to play catch-up.

"If you look back a year ago at where we were, it really wasn’t on many [venture capitalists'] radars," Michael Jackson, a partner at venture capital firm Mangrove, told Business Insider.

"Ethereum hadn’t come up, ICOs hadn’t started, bitcoin had been Mt Gox’d. There wasn’t any mainstream interest aside from bitcoin and I think most of the venture world was agreed that investing in a currency wasn’t for venture capital companies."

Now the industry is reconsidering its position after an explosion of activity towards the end of 2017. Bitcoin rose over 1,000% against the dollar in 2017, with other cryptocurrencies recording similarly eye-catching returns. The entire market has more than halved since the start of 2018 but there is a sense that the technology is not going away.

"[VCs] certainly want to talk more and more to us, in fact ever since 2017 they’re much more interested in talking to us to invest in us," Jon, the COO of digital cryptocurrency exchange Shapeshift, told Business Insider. (Shapeshift doesn't give out the second names of its employees for fear of phishing attacks.)

Unfortunately for VCs, the particular nature of cryptocurrency presents plenty of potential hurdles.

'They’re a little late to the boat'

2017 saw the emergence of ICOs — initial coin offerings — as a new fundraising method unique to the cryptocurrency space. ICOs allow startups to mint their own digital currencies or tokens and sell them in exchange for ether or bitcoin that can be sold for fiat as and when they need working capital.

Billions have been raised through this method, most coming from individual investors. It allows startups in the space to effectively circumvent the VC world if they want.

Even for crypto companies that don't do an ICO, the rising tide of cash in the industry means that many are bringing in huge revenues and profiting from money flowing into the sector.

The CEO of crypto derivatives platform BitMEX told Business Insider in January: "The mining firms, the trading platforms — they don't need VC money. They're perfectly capable of funding capex and opex from retained earnings."

Jon at Shapeshift said his business turned into an accidental hedge fund in 2017 due to the inventory of cryptocurrencies it holds.

"Of course, now we don’t need their money anymore," Shapeshift's Jon said. "They’re a little late to the boat."

Venture funds could theoretically buy crypto tokens offered in ICO raises but that presents problems too. Laws in some jurisdictions prevent venture funds from straying beyond equity and convertible debt investments, and most funds are bound by the terms of sales documents produced when raising money for their funds.

"We’ve historically written pretty boilerplate stuff in that, which is equity, convertible debt, and some amount of cash into companies and that’s it," Mangrove's Jackson said. "We have never included the term token, or cryptocurrencies or anything like that because they didn’t exist when the PPMs [private placement memorandum] were written."

'What the hell do you do with them?'

Even if funds find ways around these problems and buy tokens, there still the problem of how to handle these investments.

A diamond studded Ledger Nano S cryptocurrency hardware wallet is seen displayed for sale on the floor of the Consensus 2018 blockchain technology conference in New York City, New York, U.S., May 16, 2018."If you get a load of crypto tokens, what the hell do you do with them?" Jackson said. "You get a USB key. Well, to be honest, we’re not really geared up around USB keys and certainly having a USB key or a ledger in the office — it just goes against all the sort of governance and things that you’ve got used to.

"Everybody’s struggling. When I talk to [other investors] they’re looking at the token side of things and struggling with some of the practicalities and things around that."

Jackson, who authored a report last year on crypto's impact on venture capital, said he expects the problem to be a temporary one. Companies such as Bitcoin Suisse, Coinbase, and Ledger are all developing custodial solutions for crypto.

'Some of the biggest and best VCs saw ahead'

Still, given all these hurdles, why are VCs bothering with crypto at all? The answer is because the people who have invested in venture funds are asking for it.

"VCs wanted to invest in all those companies and were told by their LPs involved in their VC funds, ‘oh no we’re not interested in that,’" Shapeshift's Jon said.

"Now those same people who couldn’t get those deals done are now the ones having people come to them and say: ‘What’s our crypto strategy?’ Our crypto strategy was investing in all those companies a year and a half ago that I told you about and you all said no to — that was our strategy and now we’ve missed it."

Ari Paul, the CIO of Blocktower Capital, told a recent conference in London that traditional investors are increasingly moving from a fear of crypto towards "FOMO" — fear of missing out.

One Silicon Valley VC told BI recently that they had begun investing in ICO tokens after consulting with their limited partners (LPs), who are the institutions that back the VC funds. The LPs told the fund to go for it because "everyone else is doing it."

Cryptocurrency hedge fund Polychain Capital was founded in late 2016 and this week it became the first crypto specific fund to hit $1 billion in assets under management, demonstrating rising investor interest.

Thomas Bertani, the director of cryptocurrency app Eidoo, which raised $27 million through an ICO last year, expects to see a "huge wave of capital hit the market" by the end of the year as VCs wrap their heads around investing in the space.

Shapeshift's Jon said: "VCs tend to like a herd. When the herd move in, then everybody wants to move in. There are a few that saw ahead of that."

Jon praised the early adopters like Andreessen Horowitz, who took a chance on the space when it was still largely associated with the dark web and cyberpunk anarchists.

"Some of the biggest and best VCs I think saw ahead of those," he said. "Some of the VCs like Sequoia and Union Square and Andreessen Horowitz. They took the chance that no one was willing to take and now everyone else is jumping on board because it’s much clearer now. It’s kind of the way things go."

SEE ALSO: 'You just have more people annoying you:' The CEO of a cryptocurrency platform offering 100x leverage explains why he turns down investor cash

DON'T MISS: Andreessen Horowitz is launching a $300 million fund to invest in crypto — and it hired its first-ever female general partner to lead the effort

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Bitcoin Price Depends More on ‘Silent Majority’ Than Twitter ‘Thought Leaders’: Research

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

The louder they are, the less influence they have. This seems to be the conclusion drawn by Feng Mai, a researcher at the New Jersey-based Stevens Institute of Technology, after conducting a study investigating the influence of social media on the bitcoin price. According to Mai the comments and tweets of social media users considered

The post Bitcoin Price Depends More on ‘Silent Majority’ Than Twitter ‘Thought Leaders’: Research appeared first on CCN

EOS Founder Wants to Scrap the Platform's Constitution, Start Anew

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

EOS Founder Wants to Scrap the Platform's  Constitution, Start Anew

Daniel Larmier, the founder and technical architect of EOS, has confirmed that he wants to scrap the platform’s current constitution and build a new one. Speaking on the EOSIO Gov Telegram Channel, Larimer claimed he has doubts about the company’s current on-chain governance model and called the existing constitution “unwise.”

“I have learned a lot about human nature by watching the disputes, the witch hunts, the ‘bring everything before the ECAF [EOS Core Arbitration Forum]’ mindset,” he explained.

ECAF is the company’s arbitration body. The group is tasked with making decisions regarding EOS accounts that are in violation of the platform’s constitution. However, the platform drew heavy criticism a few weeks ago after executives froze as many as seven individual EOS public keys without receiving any order to do so from the ECAF.

While Larimer believes this was done with the “noblest” of intentions, forcing users to submit to such a system can only lead to trouble and mistrust. He’s now working on a new constitution in which arbitration would be limited to simply correcting the intentions of smart contract codes. Should users wish to do so, they can employ the assistance and arbitration services of third-party contracts, but this would no longer happen by default.

“An arbitrator can render an opinion, and the parties can either comply or not and the arbitrator can indicate whether a party is in good standing … that is it,” Larimer assured. “An arbitrator should not ever have the power to take assets unless said assets were previously placed in control of the arbitrator. I don’t agree with placing all assets under the control of producers. I want to eliminate fraud at all levels, including the governance layer,” he continued.

The proposal comes just two weeks after EOS’s eagerly awaited launch, though many critics say that Larimer and his team should have seen this coming. Bitcoin developer Jameson Lopp, for example, commented on Twitter, “As if it wasn’t obvious that such positions of power wouldn’t [sic] be exploited?”

Through the current model, arbitrators can handle disputes directly, and their means of power are not clearly defined. The new constitution would only allow them to decipher between codes and their intents, though Larimer is faced with another problem. Under the constitution’s present terms, Larimer would require up to 15 percent of token holders’ approval before a constitutional revision could occur.

Those for the change would have to outnumber those against it by 10 percent. They would then have to hold this position for 30 consecutive days within a 120-day period, so even if Larimer does get his way, we’re not likely to see the emergence of a new constitution for a minimum of four months.

At press time, EOS is the fifth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, with a $7.15 billion capitalization.


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Blockstream’s Lightning Network Implementation Enters Beta, Includes TOR Support

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

The 0.6 release of Blockstream’s scalability solution for Bitcoin, c-lightning, has been released. With this Lightning Network implementation, which is written in the C programming language, the client has moved to a new architecture that enhances its adaptability in meeting specific needs and infrastructure. “This complete rewrite of the previous implementation is the first fully

The post Blockstream’s Lightning Network Implementation Enters Beta, Includes TOR Support appeared first on CCN

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