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What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital crypto-currency with no single point of failure due to its decentralized peer-to-peer architecture. The source code is publicly available and changes to the reference Bitcoin client are made via concensus within the community. Advantages of Bitcoin include irreversible transactions (i.e. no possibility of chargebacks as with credit cards), pseudo-anonymous, limited and fixed inflation, near instant transactions, multi-platform, no double-spend and little to no barriers to entry and more. It was created by an anonymous person known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Find out more at WeUseCoins.com.

Bitcoin Latest News

Proof of Space: BitTorrent Creator Publishes Eco-Friendly Mining Paper

BitTorrent developer Bram Cohen has published a white paper setting out an eco-friendly alternative to bitcoin's energy-hungry proof-of-work process.

Posted on 19 September 2017 | 4:00 am

First Bitcoin-Only Real Estate Transaction Completed in Texas - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

First Bitcoin-Only Real Estate Transaction Completed in Texas
CoinTelegraph
In a new and interesting twist, an entire real estate transaction has taken place via Bitcoin. In other words, you can now buy your house with Bitcoin…at least in Texas. The transaction was for the purchase of a newly built custom home, and the full ...

Posted on 19 September 2017 | 3:23 am

Mexico readies bill to regulate fast-growing fintech industry - CNBC


CNBC

Mexico readies bill to regulate fast-growing fintech industry
CNBC
The proposed legislation, which Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said this month would be unveiled in the Senate before Sept. 20, seeks to ensure financial stability and defend against money laundering and financing of extremists. The bill will be ...
Mexico to Join Club of Countries with Bitcoin RegulationCoinTelegraph

all 3 news articles »

Posted on 19 September 2017 | 1:50 am

Bitcoin rebounds in India too, rises 20% in 3 days to wipe off losses - Economic Times


Economic Times

Bitcoin rebounds in India too, rises 20% in 3 days to wipe off losses
Economic Times
The currency came under strong pressure after BTCChina, one of the biggest bitcoin exchanges in the world, last week said it would shut down all trading activities on its platform from September 30 after the regulators clamped down on crypto-currencies.

Posted on 19 September 2017 | 12:39 am

Jamie Dimon, Here's Why You're Wrong About Bitcoin - Forbes


Forbes

Jamie Dimon, Here's Why You're Wrong About Bitcoin
Forbes
We've never met, and I never expected to find myself in the position of writing you an open letter. But this weekend, days after your observations on Bitcoin, strangers all over the world, plus old friends like my high school best friend's younger ...
Here's why the worst of the bitcoin pullback might be still to comeCNBC
JPMorgan Helps Clients Buy Bitcoin Despite CEO Calling Bitcoin 'a Fraud'Fortune
JP Morgan Hates Bitcoin But Seeks Bitcoin, Blockchain ProsCoinTelegraph
Economic Times -CNET -CNBC -Business Standard
all 167 news articles »

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 3:16 pm

Survey: Younger Americans More Likely to Invest in Bitcoin

New survey data from online student loan marketplace LendEDU suggests that younger consumers in the United States are more apt to invest in bitcoin.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 1:01 pm

Bitcoin Exchange bitFlyer Hopes to Win Big With the Japanese Bankers Association

bitFlyer.jpg

While China tightens its grip on its cryptocurrency community, Japan is openly embracing cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, legalizing bitcoin, and encouraging and funding blockchain research.

Even Japan’s banks are onboard, working collaboratively to develop a blockchain platform specifically for the financial sector. With its 120 member banks, the Japanese Bankers Association (JBA) is creating a Collaborative Blockchain Platform and is actively looking for a company to supply its blockchain technology on an ongoing basis.

Experimenting with the Collaborative Blockchain Platform, the JBA will initially determine which financial services best lend themselves to the new platform, likely including settlement/transfer services, know-your-customer (KYC) systems and financial infrastructure such as their Zengin System and Densai Net System.

Japanese bitcoin exchange bitFlyer is stepping up to the plate to take on tech giants including Fujitsu, Hitachi and NTT Data to be the supplier of the blockchain platform that will be used by Japan’s banks.

Although it is one of the largest cryptocurrency and blockchain startups in Japan, the Tokyo-based bitFlyer has its work cut out for it if it wants to upset these three corporate heavyweights and win the right to supply the bankers with a blockchain platform using its miyabi technology.

The company’s COO Bartek Ringwelski told Bitcoin Magazine:

“bitFlyer is the only startup in the event, and we have only raised $36mm since 2014, but we have deep expertise in blockchain technology through our virtual currency exchange (the largest in the world by volume, including margin trading) and our ‘miyabi’ product.”

By way of comparison, Hitachi posted $83 billion in revenue in 2016, Fujitsu posted $47 billion on 2015 and NTT Data posted $15 billion in 2016.

Acknowledging a sea change in Japan’s attitude to cryptocurrency, Ringwelski noted that Japan is actively encouraging and supporting both cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology:

“Japan is emerging as a leader in blockchain adoption. Japanese consumers are embracing virtual currencies, regulators are proactive, and banks are recognizing the power that blockchain, and specifically miyabi, can bring to the financial infrastructure.”

Miyabi Blockchain Technology

The name “miyabi” was first coined between the 9th to 12th centuries by Japanese aristocrats to refer to the theme of elegance and refinement.

According to Ringwelski, bitFlyer’s miyabi blockchain platform is the fastest in the world:

“Based on our research, ‘miyabi’ is the fastest enterprise-grade blockchain technology, delivering 1,500 - 2,000 transactions per second on average, and in some cases, even faster,” Ringwelski said.

Their processing speed of 1,500 to 2,000 transactions per second compares with Bitcoin’s two transactions per second and Ethereum’s seven transactions per second. They also estimate that among the other three competing companies, the maximum speed to beat is 1,000 transactions per second.

When it launched the competition, the JBA made it clear that security and immutability were their first priority. In their view, only a private, permissioned blockchain could satisfy this requirement.

Going Global

BitFlyer’s CEO Yuzo Kano has said he wants the company to go global in the near future and will start by expanding to the U.S. market this fall, initially offering bitcoin trading but expanding to other cryptocurrencies within the next year. The company says it has received approval to start trading from 34 U.S. states.

In the meantime, Ringwelski says that they are eagerly awaiting the decision of the JBA:

"The partner ultimately chosen by the JBA will stand to become part of the core Japanese banking infrastructure — it would be a big deal. Beyond the value of gaining the JBA as a new customer, securing a JBA contract would help spread miyabi to new enterprise blockchain applications and customers worldwide."

Investors in bitFlyer include SMBC Venture Capital, Mizuho Capital, Dai-ichi Life Insurance, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Venture Capital, Recruit Strategic Partners, Dentsu Digital Holdings, SBI Investment, GMO Venture Partners, QUICK and Venture Labo Investment.

The post Bitcoin Exchange bitFlyer Hopes to Win Big With the Japanese Bankers Association appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 12:45 pm

Op Ed: How Blockchain Technology Will Disrupt Digital Content Distribution

gp digital content.jpg

The way we consume media content has been on a continual overhaul for the past two decades. Every aspect of media distribution has become more streamlined from the razor-thin devices we use to consume media to the manner in which we purchase and store our coveted content. Books, music and movies have all seen their physical bodies and storage locations dissolve, to be replaced with on-demand downloads and digital copies.

The digital content revolution has done a lot for increasing access and visibility for artists and authors, but the current publishing giants have failed to adequately adjust to the times in a few crucial areas. While it's true that platforms such as YouTube and Medium have granted publishing access to the greater public and eliminated gatekeeping middlemen like talent agents and PR people, the current digital content sharing platforms have built their empires on the skeletons of the publishing giants’ templates that existed before and, unfortunately, have continued operating in ways that fundamentally undermine the artistic control and profits of their contributors.   

YouTube, for example, recently announced they will not allow users to earn any money until they reach 10 thousand views. Medium was recently very candid about the moral dilemmas and growing pains they have faced while trying to balance the selling of advertising space as well as respecting their contributing authors and readership. And it's no secret that Amazon and iTunes take a chunk out of authors’ and artists’ earnings, with iTunes currently pocketing 30 percent of its artists’ profits and Amazon taking a hefty 30–75 percent.

Though it’s easy to be critical, I am more interested in looking for a viable alternative to disrupt the existing system. This will require harnessing the decentralizing nature of emerging blockchain content distribution technologies. Here’s why:

Blockchain could be the solution to making micropayments a reality.

As media consumption has gone digital, a cost-effective way to charge per article or per song has been a limiting factor. Many platforms and publications have opted for subscription-based charging as high transaction costs make pay-per-use charging impossible. Amazon, for example, passes on its internal transaction costs to their clients, which currently equal 2.9 percent of the total transaction as well as a flat fee of 0.30 cents for every transaction.

The pricey transactions make processing small charges inefficient and not cost-effective, which has led many experts, such as editor of TechCrunch John Biggs, to predict that the future of digital publishing will depend on the adoption of micropayments.

Blockchain technologies allow for an incredible number of transactions to be processed at a low cost. Decentralized blockchain systems distribute the collective payment history across the entire network and don’t favor any single “auditor.” The network is maintained by all blockchain nodes as a whole.

Emerging blockchain transaction processing speeds have also recently shot past the leading blockchain currency, bitcoin, and would be capable of processing on a large scale. Where Bitcoin's transaction speeds average 7 transactions per second, new blockchain-based currencies are already approaching thousands of transactions per second; Bitshares claims they can process 100,000 per second.

In fact, a newspaper in Winnipeg, Canada, has already begun to use a micropayment system to charge per article for its news content and projects earning over $100,000 in digital revenue.

Blockchain could tilt the balance of power towards individuals, not publishing powerhouses.

As mentioned previously, YouTube and Medium have dramatically increased content creators’ access to audiences and established a more democratic, popularity-based promotional scheme. Unfortunately, they are both still centralized content distribution entities that can make arbitrary and unilateral decisions. YouTube and Medium both have the right to remove comments, content or entire channels or profiles without leaving a trace.

In contrast, a blockchain content distribution platform preserves an unchangeable record of all actions. The record produced by blockchain systems creates an environment of total transparency for both content creators and media consumers, and it also ensures that all views, comments and ratings reflect the real interactions the content has experienced, leaving no room for subjective, inflated ratings or deleted bad reviews.

With nothing deleted, content producers can create and post with the security that their work and reputation will remain intact, trolls can’t hide their past bad behavior and can easily be spotted via their comment history, and all content fairly reflects its actual popularity.

Blockchain technology could provide instant payouts and security.

Today, freelancers, authors and artists working with publishing platforms are accustomed to waiting multiple months to receive payment for their work. For big-name artists, this is just part of the business. But for smaller artists, it can be difficult to wait for reimbursement without any idea of how much they will eventually be paid. The financial uncertainty, prolonged waiting periods and lack of payment transparency in current digital content media sharing platforms could be discouraging potential artists and authors from seeing content creation as a viable source of income. Instead, the system encourages content creators to seek payment, not for the quality of their content, but through product sponsorships, PR and ad-focused content.

With blockchain-based content distribution, content creators can be paid within seconds of a consumer paying for a download. Consumers would also know their purchase was directly supporting the content creators they enjoy and effectively cut out the publishing middlemen eating up the content producer’s profits.

Though blockchain technology may, at times, sound a bit hard to conceptualize, digital media distribution really shouldn’t be rocket science. While the zeros and ones behind publishing platforms get more complex, the process for content creators and consumers has simplified and should continue to do so.

The bottom line is content creators who make good quality content that people are willing to pay for deserve a simple and transparent digital media sharing platform that fairly compensates them according to the consumer demand for their work. Media consumers equally deserve the ability to directly support the content creators they enjoy. And blockchain technologies may be the disruptive technology that digital media content distribution needs.

This is a guest post by Matej Michalko, founder and CEO of DECENT. The opinions expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Media or Bitcoin Magazine. 

The post Op Ed: How Blockchain Technology Will Disrupt Digital Content Distribution appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 12:40 pm

5 Big Bitcoin Crashes: What We Learned - Fortune


Fortune

5 Big Bitcoin Crashes: What We Learned
Fortune
September has been a wild ride for bitcoin owners: the digital currency began the month nudging an all-time high of $5,000 before losing nearly 40% of its value in a spectacular crash. Now, a recovery has seen bitcoin pop back over $4,000 as of Monday ...
Bitcoin's Wild Ride Shows The Truth: It Is Probably Worth ZeroWall Street Journal (subscription)

all 4 news articles »

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 11:47 am

SEC Advisory Committee to Discuss Blockchain's Investor Impact

SEC officials will discuss blockchain at an event in mid-October, according to public records.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 11:30 am

Bitcoin 'Double Taxation' Relief Bill Introduced in Australia

Australia has introduced a new bill that, if passed, would end the country's bitcoin "double taxation" issue.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 10:30 am

Bitcoin just might be forming a top when... your 68-year-old dad paints a picture of it - MarketWatch


MarketWatch

Bitcoin just might be forming a top when... your 68-year-old dad paints a picture of it
MarketWatch
The bull coupled with an upwards-facing, golden Bitcoin symbol that he is seen to be carrying represent the start of a bull market and a rise in the value of Bitcoin. The wall is composed of large rock formations that can be construed as the very ...

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 10:29 am

'End of Life Cycle': BIS Report Positions DLT as Needed Banking Update

Distributed ledgers could help update ageing central banking systems, says a new report, but issuing cryptocurrencies will be a more complex affair.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 8:00 am

$4000: Bitcoin's Price Shrugs Off China Exchange News - CoinDesk


CoinDesk

$4000: Bitcoin's Price Shrugs Off China Exchange News
CoinDesk
Bitcoin's price has bounced back above $4,000 following market losses linked to the recent regulatory crackdown in China. After China's early September ban on initial coin offerings (ICOS), news on September 15 that bitcoin exchanges were shutting down ...
Bitcoin Roars Back to $4000Fortune
Bitcoin surges past $4100 despite reports of a wide-ranging crackdown on trading in ChinaBusiness Insider
Bitcoin surges 30% from Friday's lowsFinancial Times
Forbes -The Verge -CNBC
all 619 news articles »

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 7:34 am

$4,000: Bitcoin's Price Shrugs Off China Exchange News

Bitcoin's price has bounced back above $4,000 following market losses linked to the recent regulatory crackdown in China.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 7:30 am

Inside the Blockchain Factory: How IBM's Distributed Ledger Work Went Global

IBM is building its blockchain work over a growing number of locations and employees, and Marie Wieck ties it all together.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 7:00 am

Bitcoin's Price Is Back Above $4,000, But Is All-Time High in Sight?

The price of bitcoin continued to recover into Monday as consolidation in pricing helped the cryptocurrency recovery Friday's steep losses.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 6:05 am

Japan Exchange Report: Cloud Edging Out DLT for Capital Markets Needs

A new Japan Exchange Group report throws cold water on the idea that distributed ledger tech may soon make inroads in global capital markets.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 5:32 am

Malta Unveils Blockchain Advisory Board as National Strategy Advances

The European nation of Malta is moving to advance its ongoing blockchain strategy with the creation of a new advisory board.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 5:00 am

Split on Forks? Blockchain Leaders Learn Tough Lessons from Bitcoin Scaling

The chaos of bitcoin's scaling debate has pushed other public protocol's consensus mechanisms into a more strict and orderly framework.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 4:00 am

Russian Central Bank Strikes Restrictive Tone on Cryptocurrency

Russia's central bank doesn't want to see cryptocurrencies classified as a form of foreign currency, according to statements from its governor.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 3:00 am

Now Boarding: Is AXA's Ethereum Test Blockchain's Ticket Mainstream?

CoinDesk's Noelle Acheson explains how AXA’s blockchain flight delay insurance test could point to the evolution of the insurance sector as a whole.

Posted on 18 September 2017 | 2:00 am

Canada Confirms Tokens May Be Securities and Pacific Coin Is the Test

A legal deep dive into how Canada's recent ruling on initial coin offerings could impact the market.

Posted on 17 September 2017 | 6:51 am

Estonia Wants to ICO, But Is Currency Law a Deal-Breaker?

Rather than issuing warnings or regulations, at least one progressive government is considering whether it can take advantage of ICO technology.

Posted on 17 September 2017 | 6:00 am

Bitcoin Price Analysis: How Rumblings From China Play Into Wyckoff Distributions

China BTC price.jpg

Unless you’ve been in a crypto-free cave for the past week, you might have noticed the crypto-wide market drop.

Last week, rumors of China’s crackdown on BTC to fiat transactions began to spread across the crypto-world. On Monday, mainstream news sources such as The Guardian, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg further supported or confirmed these rumors by releasing articles with the news of a Chinese crackdown on exchanges.

According to Chinese state newspaper Securities Times, “All trading exchanges must by midnight of 15 September publish a notice to make clear when they will stop all cryptocurrency trading and announce a stop to new user registrations." 

Within a day and a half, BTC-USD saw a 15% markdown as the price dropped from $4400 to $3750. After all was said and done, BTC-USD managed to squeeze out one last push before bottoming out around $3000. The bottom was immediately greeted by a strong rally that propelled the price upward by $900.

The price shot down, the price shot up — where does this leave us now?

Figure_1 (7).JPGFigure 1: BTC-USD, 6-Hour Candles, GDAX, Macro Bull Run

Since the beginning of this bull run from $1800, we have established very clear, very strong support and resistance levels along the Fibonacci Retracement set shown above. At the time of this article, BTC-USD is testing the macro 38% retracement line where strong, historic support will prove quite tough to penetrate. With such a large growth in such a short period of time, BTC-USD managed to climb about 150% in market value within the span of about a month.

One idea I’ve been considering during the climbs to toward the ATH is the the Wyckoff trading range schematic shown below:

Figure_2 (7).JPGFigure 2: Wyckoff Trading Range (A great breakdown of schematic details are found here)

Historically, as markets progress through time, they go through phases of accumulation (a phase where investors and traders begin to buy and accumulate assets) and distribution (a phase where traders and investors begin to sell off their accumulated assets). In order words, the market goes up and a bull rally begins, the market begins to top out, and then a bearish rally will bring the prices back down to a comfortable level. It’s a sort of give-and-take in the market as traders begin to place their bets on the future market direction.

In our current case, over the last couple months bitcoin has formed a very similar pattern to Distribution Schematic #1 shown above. The above schematic represents one of the possible ways a market can rise, find its top, and distribute assets to market.

Comparing the schematic above to the the current BTC-USD market pattern, we can see a lot of striking similarities:
Figure_3_again.JPGFigure 3: Wyckoff Schematic Within BTC-USD Trend

The nomenclature for this schematic is found here and is vital to understanding the upcoming discussion.

While a bearish continuation has yet to be confirmed, the most recent price hike this morning seems to fit the last test of the Wyckoff schematic LPSY (Last Point of Supply). The last point of supply is essentially a false rally where those who didn’t have an opportunity to sell on the previous LPSY now have an opportunity and will begin to sell into the more bullish traders who fall victim to a false breakout.

The SOW (sign of weakness) is marked by high sell volume that leads into an AR (automatic rally) where the sell pressure lets up and bullish traders assume a bottom has been hit. The automatic rally is marked by a bullish climb with great ease before finding its top near the previous lines of support shown above in green.

The LPSY is most notably described as a series of peaks and valleys on a fairly narrow spread as the bulls and bears exchange positions. During this LPSY, we will expect to see diminishing volume as the market pushes to new highs and becomes more and more difficult.

A closer view of the current trend reveals we have begun the process of weakening rallies with the LPSY:

Figure_4 (3).JPGFigure 4: BTC-USD, 5-Minute Candles, Bitfinex

Throughout the length of this small trend, we can see diminishing volume on each consecutive push toward new highs. If we manage to continue downward, expect turbulence at the $3000 levels and a possible secondary bounce as the $3000 level offers very strong, historic support.

It should be noted however, even though this current trend has a strong resemblance to the Wyckoff schematic, it is always important to confirm the trend before trading it. As with any market, it is entirely possible that this Wyckoff distribution pattern will fail and bitcoin will manage to continue onward and upward to new highs. A market reversal should definitely not be ruled out as the current market trend is showing a strong sign of uncertainty between the bulls and bears.

Whether the market breaks upward or downward, always confirm the move with strong volume to support a strong move in the direction the trend. Volatility is to be expected, but we approach the market with a level head and objectivity, seeing the proper positional entries and exits will much easier to spot.

Summary:

  1. Strong, bearish news hit the crypto community this week as China announced harsh regulations on the BTC to fiat transactions on exchanges.

  2. Currently BTC is seeing a strong rally off the $3000 levels but is showing signs of waning strength in the upward direction.

  3. A possible macro distribution pattern is unfolding and new lows could be in store for  bitcoin over the next few days and weeks.

Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin, bitcoin cash and ether is highly speculative and comes with many risks. This analysis is for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice. Statements and financial information on Bitcoin Magazine and BTC Media related sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BTC Media and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

The post Bitcoin Price Analysis: How Rumblings From China Play Into Wyckoff Distributions appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 15 September 2017 | 4:17 pm

Mexican Bitcoin Exchange Bitso Aids Red Cross Earthquake Relief Efforts

Bitcoin exchange Bitso helps mexican hurricane relief

Bitso, a cryptocurrency exchange in Mexico, has continues its campaign to aid the victims of the recent earthquake in Mexico.

A few days ago, Bitso announced their support for the Mexican people who were affected by the recent earthquake. The cryptocurrency exchange has enabled donation wallets that can be used by the company’s clients to send aid using different digital currencies, such as bitcoin, ether and ripple. According to Bitso, cryptocurrency donations are a quick and efficient way to help the victims since the assets are easy to transfer.

Unfortunately, some people have lost their homes, their belongings, and sadly even the lives of their loved ones. We are hoping this aid will help them return to their daily activities as soon as possible.

Thousands of homes were destroyed and nearly 100 people have died across the country as a result of an earthquake that struck just before midnight on September 7. It reached a magnitude of 8.2 on the Richter scale.

The donation details can be found on the cryptocurrency exchange’s blog:

“Join this campaign and help the efforts made by the RED CROSS in Mexico by using the hashtag #BitcoinAidMexico and make a donation to one of the following accounts:
Bitcoin (BTC) 1DaHfXsoPfZ2jznJhB62vR3QEVFhhZ2tMR
Ethereum (ETH) 0x88B6021aE4BB9830f2E9D5BB38B83427b9D7ffEc
Ripple (XRP) rEFMdiTbLmZq5ZiMGrWGoyP48DMFqXjNkM [No Destination Tag required]”

The Red Cross thus far has been able to set up collection and relief centers in several areas affected by the earthquake, especially in the southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, benefiting around 24,000 people.

Due to the transparency, traceability and real-time reporting of the technology, donations can be easily tracked by users at any time. The total amount Bitso has raised will be exchanged later for Mexican Pesos (MXN) at market rates. Bitso wrote:

“The equivalent amount in Mexican Pesos will be transferred using a local bank wire to Cruz Roja I.A.P. (RED CROSS Mexico) to the bank account CLABE 012180004040404062. This CLABE number can be validated on their website https://www.cruzrojamexicana.org.mx or on their twitter account: https://twitter.com/CruzRoja_MX/status/906600599864582144

The deadline for sending the funds is September 15; however, Bitso added that if they still receive funds later, the company will exchange those donations between September 15 and 22, and wire them to the Mexican Red Cross.

Bitso highlighted that there is no minimum amount for donations and that they will accept all transactions. The company wrote that the fundraising started with them donating MXN $50,000, which will be added to the total amount of donations.

The amount the company has raised and the transaction proof will be publicly displayed for total transparency.

Bitso emphasized that although the Mexican Red Cross will ultimately receive the funds, user contributions cannot be used as tax deductions.

“Important: BITSO will not make any user contributions tax deductible. Mexican Pesos will be transferred on behalf of third parties according to Mexican law LISR artículo 35, and the following TIN XAXX010101000 will be used in order to generate the corresponding payment as ‘General Public Invoice.’”

The post Mexican Bitcoin Exchange Bitso Aids Red Cross Earthquake Relief Efforts appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 15 September 2017 | 12:07 pm

Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 Is Released: Here’s What’s New

Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 Released: Here’s What’s New

Today marks the official release of Bitcoin Core 0.15.0, the fifteenth generation of Bitcoin’s original software client launched by Satoshi Nakamoto almost nine years ago. Overseen by Bitcoin Core lead maintainer Wladimir van der Laan, this latest major release was developed by nearly 100 contributors over a six-month period, with major contributions through Chaincode Labs, Blockstream and MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative.

Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 offers significant performance and usability improvements over previous versions of the software implementation. It also introduces several new features to better deal with the current status of the network.

These are some of the more notable changes.

Chainstate Database Restructure

One of the biggest changes compared to previous versions of the software involves how the state of Bitcoin’s blockchain is stored. This “chainstate” or “UTXO-set” is saved in a dedicated database, whereas previously it had been categorized per transaction. If one transaction sent bitcoins to several outputs (“addresses”), these different outputs were stored as a single database entry, referring to that one transaction.

With Bitcoin Core 0.15.0, these outputs are instead stored in a single database entry each. If a single transaction sends bitcoins to different outputs, every output is stored separately. While this method does claim more disc space, it requires less computational resources if one of these outputs is spent later on.

The most concrete benefit of this new data structure is that initial sync-time for new nodes is decreased by about 40 percent. It also introduces simpler code, reduces memory usage  and more. Additionally, it fixes a bug that could theoretically crash Bitcoin Core nodes, controversially revealed at last weekend’s Breaking Bitcoin conference in Paris.

Improved Fee Estimation

As Bitcoin blocks have been filling up over the last year or two, not all transactions fit in the first block that is mined. Instead, miners typically prioritize the transactions that include the most fees. If a user wants to have his transaction confirmed quickly, he should include a high enough fee. If he’s not in a rush, a lower fee should suffice.

However, the Bitcoin network deals with inherent unpredictability in terms of the speed at which blocks are found or the number of transactions that is being transmitted at any time. This makes it hard to include the right transaction fee.

Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 lowers this fee uncertainty: The newest version of the software includes significantly better fee estimation algorithms. This is mostly because the software takes more data into account when making the estimations, such as the fees included in older confirmed transactions, as well as fees in unconfirmed transactions — the fees that proved insufficient.

Additionally, users can enjoy more flexibility. For one, Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 for the first time allows users to include fees that could take their transactions up to a week to confirm. And, also newly introduced, users can choose to accept more or less risk that their transaction could be delayed due to a sudden influx of transactions.

Replace-by-fee in User Interface

Even with improved fee estimation, it is possible that users will still need to wait longer than they want for their transactions to confirm, perhaps because there is a sudden rush of transactions on the network, or maybe because a user changed his mind and prefers to have a transaction confirm faster than originally paid for, or for other reasons.

For these cases, some wallets let users add a “replace-by-fee” tag to their transactions. With such a tag, nodes and miners on the network know that the sender may want to replace that transaction with a newer transaction that includes a higher fee. This effectively allows users to bump the transaction in line to have it confirmed faster.

Bitcoin Core nodes have supported replace-by-fee for well over a year now: They already replace “replace-by-fee” tagged transactions if the new transaction includes more fees. But it was never easy to utilize for Bitcoin Core wallet users themselves.

Until now.

The Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 wallet introduces a replace-by-fee toggle in its user interface. This lets users include the appropriate tag, allowing them to easily increase the fees on their transactions later on.

Multi-wallet Support (Client and RPC Only)

Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 lets users create several wallets for the first time. These wallets all have their own separate Bitcoin addresses, private keys and, therefore, funds. Users can utilize the different wallets for different purposes; for example, one wallet can be used for personal day-to-day purchases, another for business-related transactions, and a third just for trading.

Using several wallets can offer a number of benefits. For instance, it makes accounting easier and more convenient. Additionally, users can more easily benefit from increased privacy as the different wallets cannot be linked to each other by blockchain analysis. It’s also possible to use different wallets for specific applications and more.

For now, multi-wallet support is not yet available for regular wallet users; only advanced users who operate from the command line or through connected applications can utilize the feature.

Other Improvements

Apart from the above mentioned notable changes, Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 includes a number of additional performance improvements, as most new major Bitcoin Core releases do. Concretely, these changes speed up how quickly blocks are downloaded from the network, they let nodes start up faster, and up-to-date nodes will be able to validate new blocks more quickly, in turn benefiting network-propagation time.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 will disconnect from BTC1 peers on the network. This means that the Bitcoin network will experience less disruption if the SegWit2x hard fork splits the network, as both types of nodes will more easily find compatible peers. While this change has gotten some media attention, this change shouldn’t really be noticeable.

Thanks to Chaincode Labs developer John Newbery for feedback and suggestions. For more details on what’s new in Bitcoin Core 0.15.0, see the release notes, or watch Bitcoin Core contributor Gregory Maxwell’s “deep dive” presentation at the San Francisco Bitcoin developers meetup.

The post Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 Is Released: Here’s What’s New appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 14 September 2017 | 8:41 am

Japanese Company Will Launch New Bitcoin Mining Operation With 7 nm Chips

GMO Internet Group Launches Massive Bitcoin Mining Operation With 7 nm Chips

GMO Internet Group, a Japanese provider of a full spectrum of internet services for both the consumer and enterprise markets, is launching a new Bitcoin mining business utilizing next-generation 7 nanometer (7 nm) semiconductor chips. “[We] believe this new business has high potential for increasing corporate value in the future,” states the company.

Headquartered in Tokyo, GMO IG comprises more than 60 companies in 10 countries. GMO IG’s size and financial muscle, as well as the novel technologies it wants to leverage, will make it a serious entrant in the Bitcoin mining industry, and one that could have a disruptive impact.

“We will operate a next-generation mining center utilizing renewable energy and cutting-edge semiconductor chips in Northern Europe,” GMO stated, emphasizing that they will invest in R&D and manufacturing of hardware including the next-generation mining chip. “We will use cutting-edge 7 nm process technology for chips to be used in the mining process, and jointly work on its research and development and manufacturing with our alliance partner having semiconductor design technology.”

The International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors defines 7 nm semiconductor chip technology as the next technology iteration following 10 nm technology, which, in turn, follows the 14-16 nm technology that currently represents the state-of the-art hardware in the Bitcoin mining industry. Commercial production of 7 nm chips is still in the development stage with GlobalFoundries, IBM, Intel, Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) competing for market leadership.

According to a recent article in Android Authority, TSMC seems to be in the pole position in this race, having already showcased a preliminary 7 nm SRAM chip — not yet a full system on a chip (SoC) but an important milestone. Intel is said to be planning the upgrade of a manufacturing plant in Arizona to start building 7 nm SoCs. Samsung and GlobalFoundries are also striving to catch up.

According to Quartz, 7 nm technology would be four times more energy efficient than the current Bitcoin mining industry standard. Therefore, once 7 nm chips are in use, all other miners will have to upgrade to stay in the game.

“It’s clearly the next generation of miners,” Diego Gutierrez, CEO of mining software developer RSK Labs, told Quartz. “The other [mining chip makers] will surely follow and create their own 7 nm chips if they are not already doing it. As [chip manufacturers] get the new technology, everybody can access it.”

“We believe that cryptocurrencies will develop into ‘new universal currencies’ available for use by anyone from any country or region to freely exchange ‘value,’ creating a new borderless economic zone,” notes GMO IG. “[Bitcoin] can be regarded as a distributed system whose credibility is secured by mutual monitoring by network participants, as opposed to legal currencies which are a centralized system whose credibility is secured by the issuer. And management of a distributed system such as [Bitcoin] requires a mining process.”

The entry in the Bitcoin mining sector of these new Japanese players with relatively deep pockets is likely to be welcomed by those concerned about China’s dominance of the mining industry. For example, Chinese mining operator and hardware manufacturer Bitmain plays a dominant role in the $70 billion Bitcoin economy. Its mining pools, Antpool, BTC.com and ConnectBTC, account for around 30 percent of all the processing power on the global Bitcoin network, while the company is also the market leader for specialized mining hardware, including ASIC chips.

In related news, another large Japanese company, DMM, announced the launch of its own Virtual Currency Division, scheduled to begin operation of a virtual currency mining business “DMM Mining Farm” in October 2017. According to the company, which hasn’t released further information, DMM will operate one of the 10 largest mining farms in the world before the end of 2018.


The post Japanese Company Will Launch New Bitcoin Mining Operation With 7 nm Chips appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 12 September 2017 | 11:58 am

How One Blockchain Startup Is Combatting Centralization of the Credit Industry

How One Blockchain Startup Will Combat Centralization in Credit Industry

Startup company Bloom seeks to take advantage of blockchain technology’s perks to create a platform where the participants will have global access to credit services.

According to Bloom, the traditional methods of credit checking leaves billions of people without basic credit services. The stats of the company show that fewer than 9 percent of the citizens in developing countries have ever taken a loan from a financial institution. The lack of access to credit services forces numerous people to take loans from the shady underworld of illegal lending, the company states. Bloom believes that, no matter the country or the region, access to credit “is a fundamental cornerstone of social mobility” since it is the key for individuals to reach their economic goals.

Bloom also pointed out the problem of governmental monopolies in credit checking. According to the startup, 90 percent of the top lenders in the United States use the FICO score, which is in the hands of the U.S. government. Bloom stated that, despite the popularity of FICO, the credit system leaves over 45 million U.S. citizens with no credit score, thus, they are not allowed to — or they have to work hard to — take loans from financial institutions. The blockchain startup also highlighted the issues of other countries:

“In China, your credit score is affected by your political opinions. France, Portugal, Spain and the Nordic countries do not have credit scores, opting to only report negative information to your file. In the United Arab Emirates, religious restrictions on lending have prevented the development of a consumer credit reporting system. In the United Kingdom, you will have trouble getting a high credit score if you are not registered to vote.”

With its Ethereum-based platform, Bloom seeks to migrate all lenders to the blockchain. The company is currently developing an end-to-end protocol for identity verification, risk assessment and credit scoring, all kept on the blockchain. By implementing blockchain tech, Bloom strives to find solutions to the issues within the credit system. Furthermore, the Bloom platform will offer cross-border, global services for 7 billion individuals, the company wrote.

Implementing blockchain technology within the credit system would also provide solutions to security issues. Equifax, one of the three largest U.S. credit agencies, was recently breached by cybercriminals, leaving approximately 143 million Americans exposed. The FBI is currently investigating the hack; however, the Equifax cyberattack ranks among the three largest data breaches of all time, according to The Wall Street Journal. The publication reported that the current breach could be the most dangerous of all since the attackers were able to acquire key personal identification documents — names, addresses, Social Security numbers and dates of birth — all at once.

“It’s certainly the worst single breach of personal information that I know of. This data is the key to everyone’s files and interactions with financial services, government and health care,” Avivah Litan, vice president of the industry-research firm Gartner Inc., said in a statement to the WSJ.

Equifax reported that the credit card details of approximately 209,000 U.S. customers were compromised in the hack. According to independent security researcher Andrew Komarov, the financial details could be sold for $500,000 on underground markets, such as dark net marketplaces.

Bloom published a blog post in response to the Equifax breach. The company seeks to solve the security issues within the credit industry by creating their own decentralized protocol. Bloom strives to implement globally federated, secure IDs on the blockchain. This way, according to the startup, they can “dramatically mitigate” the risk of identity theft by reducing their reliance on single-source forms of identity verification.

The post How One Blockchain Startup Is Combatting Centralization of the Credit Industry appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 12 September 2017 | 11:31 am

Bitcoin price climbs over $4,000

Posted on 14 August 2017 | 1:16 am

Bitcoin reaches new all-time high: $ 3,000

Posted on 12 June 2017 | 1:06 am

CRYENGINE now accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 29 March 2017 | 1:24 am

Consulting firm EY Switzerland accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 26 November 2016 | 12:47 am

Bitcoin Trading Bots

There have been a wide variety of situations in which algorithmic trading programs have proven to be beneficial for investors. However, investors who only trade a cryptocurrency can also take advantage of bitcoin trading bots. Through bitcoin bot trading, traders can become more flexible and prompt, minimize errors and process information more rapidly. At this… Read More »

Posted on 8 November 2016 | 6:20 pm

Steam accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 29 April 2016 | 1:09 am

Major Magazine Publisher to Accept Bitcoin Payments

Posted on 18 December 2014 | 12:43 pm

Microsoft accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 11 December 2014 | 5:06 am

Mozilla accepting Bitcoin

Posted on 20 November 2014 | 1:55 pm

Wikimedia Foundation Now Accepts Bitcoin

Posted on 30 July 2014 | 3:14 pm

airBaltic - World’s First Airline To Accept Bitcoin

Posted on 22 July 2014 | 11:03 am

Expedia to accept Bitcoin payments for hotel bookings

Posted on 12 June 2014 | 12:41 pm

September 19, 2017 -
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