Category Archives: Markethive

Apple Accepts Zcash as Legitimate Cryptocurrency, Now Available on iOS

Apple Accepts Zcash as Legitimate Cryptocurrency, Now Available on iOS

  

Apple Accepts Zcash as Legitimate Cryptocurrency

Jaxx, the multi-cryptocurrency wallet platform which supports Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Dash, has recently introduced Zcash support for mobile users on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms. Apple’s rigorous and extensive approval process of iOS applications and updates is familiar to most developers. In particular, Apple is sensitive toward services and applications targeted to serve users of cryptocurrencies and whichever cryptocurrency Apple perceives as unfit for its iOS ecosystem, app developers are not granted the permission to develop apps around it.

Rapid development of the Zcash ecosystem

In September of 2016, the Jaxx development team and the firm’s CEO Anthony Dilorio were requested by Apple to remove a privacy-focused cryptocurrency called Dash from its iOS application. The removal of Dash consequently reduced the financial privacy of Jaxx users on iOS. Understanding the strict requirements and high standards of the Apple and iOS development teams, engineers of Jaxx and Zcash underwent a long development period to integrate Zcash into the Jaxx mobile application.

Developers of both companies collaborated to ensure that Zcash is approved and accepted by the Apple development team. Ultimately, Apple approved the integration of Zcash into Jaxx and accepted Zcash as a legitimate cryptocurrency built on top of proper cryptographic work and technology. With the introduction of Zcash to hundreds of millions of iOS users, Dilorio reaffirmed the importance of financial privacy and the necessity of anonymity which Zcash offers. In an interview with Cointelegraph, Zcash CEO Zooko Wilcox also noted the significance of financial privacy for all iOS users and the rapid development of the Zcash ecosystem.

“It is very important to provide platforms that, like Jaxx, are easy to acquire and easy to use. I'm delighted that Jaxx and other companies and open source volunteers are extending the Zcash ecosystem. Privacy is essential to all commerce, whether buying a cup of coffee, taking care of your family's needs, or executing major business deals,” Wilcox said. Furthermore, Wilcox expressed his excitement over the integration of Zcash into a widely utilized multi-cryptocurrency wallet platform. He explained that the simple and user-friendly interface of Jaxx on both iOS and Android will allow Zcash users to send and receive transactions with ease and full anonymity.

Wilcox added:

“I'm delighted that now anybody with a smartphone (iPhone or Android) can send, receive, and store Zcash right on their phone. It is delightfully easy to send "Internet money" with this simple app, whether across a table or around the world. We were delighted when Jaxx decided to support Zcash, and we offered them free technical support.”

Zcash projects in 2017, including Ethereum

One of the highly anticipated projects eagerly awaited by the cryptocurrency community is Zcash on Ethereum. On January 19, Christian Reitwiessner of the Ethereum Foundation released an update on the joint initiative between the Ethereum R&D team and the Zcash Company. According to Reitwiessner, the project was established to share the advantages and strengths of Zcash and Ethereum networks: programmability and privacy.

Reitwiessner wrote:

“One of the goals of the Zcash company, codenamed Project Alchemy, is to enable a direct decentralized exchange between Ethereum and Zcash. Connecting these two Blockchains and technologies, one focusing on programmability and the other on privacy, is a natural way to facilitate the development of applications requiring both.”

In addition to various ongoing projects including Project Alchemy, Wilcox told Cointelegraph that five new features will be released to the public in the near future. Two of these features include payment disclosure and user-issued tokens, which allow users to reveal information about a specific payment and issue unique tokens for particular projects.

For a company or a project raising funds in unique Zcash-based tokens, revealing the amount raised during the crowdfunding or funding round and sharing the allocation of funds in a transparent manner will be made possible with the payment disclosure feature. As the Zcash development community grows and the ecosystem expands more interesting features, applications and integrations will be introduced to the community.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Top Cryptocurrencies That Can’t be Mined

Top Cryptocurrencies That Can’t be Mined

Crypto that can't be mined

Everyone involved in the cryptocurrency ecosystem is well aware of how bitcoin uses a proof-of-work algorithm. New coins are generated through the mining process, which becomes more difficult over time. However, not all cryptocurrencies in existence can be mined. Below are some of the more popular altcoins that offer no mining incentive, yet are still quite valuable.

Ripple

The Ripple network works in a rather different manner compared to Bitcoin or even Ethereum. Positioning itself as the global settlement network, Ripple is not your average cryptocurrency by any means. Obtaining Ripple can only be done by buying the currency from various exchanges, as there is no option to generate XRP by mining. A total of 100 billion XRP has been created once the project launched. A few coins are destroyed every time a transaction takes place.

NXT

NXT is a popular altcoin that cannot be mined in the traditional sense. It is possible for users to forge new coins, but it doesn’t require dedicated hardware to do so. Instead, users need to leave their wallet open – assuming it contains a balance – and they will earn small amounts of interest in the process. NXT runs a proof-of-stake algorithm, which makes mining in the traditional way obsolete.

WAVES

Mining WAVES is entirely out of the question as well, since the project makes use of a delegated and leased proof-of-stake algorithm. The entire supply of WAVES tokens was premined, although users will be able to “mine” tokens in the future using a computer or mobile device. However, the entire token supply will never surpass the 100 million mark. All of the available tokens were issued during the WAVES pre-sale and the team’s bounty program.

Factom

When Factom was first launched, there was a lot of excitement regarding this project. Considering how the project runs on top of the bitcoin blockchain, it cannot be labeled as an altcoin per se. Factom is something entirely different, although the project’s currency – called factoids – can’t be mined directly. One could call this system “proof of usage”, as users who hold factoids can convert them into Entry Credits to be used within applications using the Factom blockchain.

The network does not support mining, as a Factoid Software Sale was organized once the project was announced. Investors who bought Factoids can either sell them on an exchange or keep them as a tool to buy Entry Credits. It is also possible to earn Factoids, by sharing computing power and resources with the network. It is quite an intriguing project that anchors data into the bitcoin blockchain. In fact, Bitcoin’s proof-of-work algorithm ensures all of the data processed by Factom is safe from tampering.

MaidSafe

MaidSafe is another one of these projects that it not allow users to mine the native currency. All of the available tokens were issued two years ago, and no more tokens will be generated moving forward. This also makes it somewhat impossible to generate Safecoin right now, although it will be possible to mine the currency in the future. Investors hold 10% of the total supply, with 90% waiting to be rewarded to miners providing resources securing the system. However, Safecoin is not mined with graphic cards, but rather by users dedicating hard drive space to the project.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

The Most Promising Cryptocurrencies To Buy In 2017

The Most Promising Cryptocurrencies To Buy In 2017

  

                        The Most Promising Cryptocurrencies To Buy In 2017

The year 2017 kicked start with a booming bullish wave that pushed the price of bitcoin and many altcoins up to unprecedented levels. Bitcoin recorded its all-time high a few weeks ago, as it exceeded the $1300 price level for the first time ever since the genesis block was mined. This rise in the market capital of bitcoin, ethereum, monero and others was fueled by uncertainty towards the fiat economy secondary to Trump’s winning of the US Presidential elections, Brexit and the unrest in the Middle East.Throughout this article, we will point out the most promising cryptocurrencies that have the potential to grow massively and hence, can represent good investment opportunities in 2017.

Ethereum:

Ethereum is a unique cryptocurrency that presents a distributed computing platform that features the “smart contract” functionality. Many crypto-enthusiasts think that ethereum is undervalued at the moment and others believe that its real value is even greater than that of bitcoin. Ethereum is by far the most promising coin to invest in this year. During the past couple of months, ethereum has been witnessing a bullish wave that led to more than %300 rise in its price in March. Even more, ethereum has recorded last March its all-time high of $54. In my opinion, ethereum has the potential to be worth more than $100 by the end of this year.

Monero:

Monero is one of the most promising altcoins that will definitely witness enormous gains in 2017. Apart from most other cryptocurrencies, Monero’s transactions are anonymous, thanks to its CryptoNote protocol that relies on ring signatures. Similarly to ethereum, monero’s price spiked, recording more than 100% gains during the past few weeks. Interestingly enough, monero has also recorded, in the later half of last March, its all-time high of $25. Monero has the potential to grow to over $50, especially after AlphaBay, one of the major darknet marketplace, has chosen to add monero as a payment method late in 2016. Oasis, another darknet marketplace, also started to accept monero payments, and more markets are expected to do so too, during 2017, which will take the price of monero to the moon.

DASH:

DASH currently represents the third biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Similarly to monero, DASH’s transactions are anonymous via a unique coin mixing service known as “PrivateSend”. The year started with a bullish wave that has been controlling DASH’s market since then.  The bullish wave climaxed later in March by scoring DASH’s price all time high of around $116. DASH was the second cryptocurrency to be added as an accepted payment method on darknet’s marketplaces. It has the potential to grow to over $200 this year, especially that DASH is by far the cryptocurrency with highest anonymity levels.

Other Coins:

There are other coins that hold great potential for growth in 2017. Augur is a promising altcoin as it is presenting a new concept for decentralized market predictions. STEEM also holds enormous potential as it is by far the most successful decentralized social network. MaidSafeCoin’s price can also skyrocket during the upcoming months as it is supporting a new concept of crowd-sourced internet. GameCredits also hold great potential for growth during 2017, especially that it is introducing a new concept for online gaming markets.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

80% of all Bitcoins Will Have Been Mined In a year From now

80% of all Bitcoins Will Have Been Mined In a year From now

The World Bitcoin Mining

is in for quite a reality shock in about a year from now. As most people are well aware of, the amount of bitcoins being mined every day is much compared to a few years ago. What is even more intriguing is how the vast majority of BTC has been mined already. In January of 2018, 80% of all 21 million BTC will be mined and brought into circulation. A significant milestone that should not be overlooked by any means.

Inching Closer To 80% Of All Bitcoins

It is quite interesting to think about how far bitcoin has come since its inception. With a  hard limit of 21 million BTC to be generated by 2140, a lot of people assume there are still a lot of coins to be mined for the next few years. While that is true up to a certain extent, we are getting closer to 80% of the finite supply being brought into circulation already. Said milestone will take place roughly 365 days from now.

It remains a bit unclear as to what this will mean for the price per individual BTC, though. Asa mining becomes more difficult and less profitable unless continuous new investments take place, the price per existing bitcoin should go up in value. Moreover, with “only” 4.2 million coins to be generated after January 2018 = over the course of nearly 122 years – the demand for bitcoin should increase as well. However, neither of these factors are a given, as the cryptocurrency market does not operate like more traditional models.

At the same time, the 80% milestone could force some miners to shut down their operations. We have seen some major mining difficulty spikes over the past few weeks, and that trend will continue for quite some time. A higher mining difficulty requires more hash power and electricity to mine the same amount of bitcoin. For a lot of miners, January 2018 may become a good time to call it quits once and for all.

Should that happen, however, things will become even more intriguing. If there were fewer miners, it is expected the mining hardware manufacturers will take an even larger stake in the bitcoin mining process. Companies such as Bitmain and Bitfury have brought a lot of mining hardware online over the past few years. With more energy-efficient hardware still being developed, it is not unlikely a certain degree of centralization will occur in the mining world.

One of the lingering questions being asked aloud is whether or not we will ever see 100% of bitcoin’s entire supply be mined, to begin with. The final 5% could prove to be challenging, as the trade-off between costs and earnings will make it seem far less attractive to do so. It will take a very long time to mine the 21st million BTC, that much is already a given at this point. In fact, most people alive today in the bitcoin world will never that happen.

The coming year could become a very important one for Bitcoin as a whole. Albeit there are no guarantees or certainties, once 80% of the supply is mined, things will change eventually. Whether that will be in positive or negative fashion, remains unknown at this point. We live in very exciting times, especially when one has grown fond of the concept of bitcoin and cryptocurrency.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Cryptocurrency Versatility Creates New Opportunities

Cryptocurrency Versatility Creates New Opportunities

Crypto Coins

Over the last few years, the Cryptocurrency industry has been gaining popularity, and for a good reason. With the complexity that goes into making physical dollars, it’s clear now why people are opting to print a new form of currency. Making a digital currency is quite easier for someone with basic coding skills. Most are turning to the internet to gain ground and understand its use and value. Before, the concept was unfamiliar and scary just like the credit card some years back.

You might have come across the terms Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ether. These are cryptocurrencies that use the Blockchain Technology to ensure this currency and technology is safe. Here we look at the some of the new opportunities created by cryptocurrency versatility in different fields. But before that, let’s look at the basics.

What is Cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency is an encrypted digital currency that is created using advanced encryption techniques commonly known as cryptography. The concept became a reality upon the creation of Bitcoin in 2009. It captured the attention of significant investors in April 2013 when it recorded a price of $266 per bitcoin. So, will the currency eventually unseat the ruling currencies such as dollars and euros? The answer lies with the Bitcoin. That said, what are the new opportunities being created by the cryptocurrency? Find out.

Improvement in education

According to Gigaom reports, university students can now receive bitcoin once they enroll in school, and some universities are even accepting the currency as a form of payment for tuition. Dan Elitzer, the President of the MIT Bitcoin Club, and Jeremy Rubin, a computer scientist at MIT, successfully raised about half a million dollars for the enrollment of more than four thousand students worldwide in tech institutions.

The team together with the bitcoin community managed to provide students a chance to develop their own bitcoin wallets. This seems like a clever plan judging from the recent advancements in Bitcoin where they have developed the new Xapo Wallet. Today technology has enabled students to access different services including essay services and now cryptocurrency. Providing college students with access to bitcoin is a great step in cryptocurrency especially since universities are now accepting alternative currencies such as Bitcoin as payment for tuition.

Entrepreneurial innovation

The improved growth in the use of cryptocurrency leads to entrepreneurial innovation and it is said to foster growth in traditional banking infrastructure. Once the infrastructure is built and there is mass distribution of the currency, new businesses can build financial services without having to invest in expensive infrastructure. They just have to build applications and supportive services aside from the cryptocurrency system and they conduct their business without building a data center, huge hardware, and an IT department. The ability of an entrepreneur to access a source of payment method has fueled innovations in the financial services. These services are beneficial to the constituencies and areas that are underserved by the traditional banking providers.

Facilitates establishment of custom designed currencies

Cryptocurrencies are the latest technological advancements that have enabled groups to create custom designed currencies. Today we see banks and other institutions working hard to establish their digital currencies and this is a new chance to experiment new technology. Bitcoin has already set ground and proven to be quite dynamic and resilient amongst other currencies. It has undergone massive criticism but it has proven it’s powerful on the global perspective. Being an example of a successful digital currency, it is completely public and can be used in peer-to-peer transactions. It is a global financial utility that is accessible to anyone provided you’re connected to the internet.

Those who say that Bitcoin and Ethereum may become irrelevant may be surprised. Cryptocurrencies are high-grade financial tools that are made for legitimate and exciting function with a sense of global financial services that bypasses the infrastructure of traditional banking. Some experts even suggest that blockchain payment systems may beat the mighty U.S. Automated House financial transactions system come 2020.

With the technological advancement that is being experienced now, it is not a surprise to find that the cryptocurrency usage may accelerate to greater heights. The blockchain technology is expected to form a great part of the coming internet generation with massive transformation in commerce and overall structure of corporations and many other institutions across the globe. Be ready for this radical transformation. It’s worth checking out.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

What you need to know about mining Bitcoin in South Africa

What you need to know about mining Bitcoin in South Africa

  

What is Bitcoin mining?

Bitcoin miners use computing power to add transaction records to the blockchain, which is a public ledger of transactions. Miners earn a certain number of Bitcoins for the work they contribute to this process and are paid a transaction fee by users sending transactions. The process of mining and adding a new block to the blockchain comprises the following steps:

  1. Verify that the transaction is valid.
  2. Compile valid transactions in a block.
  3. Insert the header of the most recent block into the new block as a hash.
  4. Solve the proof of work problem.
  5. When a solution is discovered, the new block is added to the blockchain.

The proof of work is designed to require a large amount of computational power, as this prevents the public ledger of transactions from being tampered with and controls the rate of new Bitcoins being introduced. The proof of work difficulty is updated regularly in order to maintain a controlled flow of new Bitcoins and improve the security of the system.

  

Mining Hardware

During the infancy of Bitcoin mining, many people used desktop processors to mine Bitcoin. However, as the difficulty continued to rise with the popularity of the cryptocurrency, specialized mining hardware was developed in order for miners to remain competitive. These days, mining Bitcoin requires a large amount of investment and work to make a profit, as there are many mining farms around the world.

While this increases the security of the system, it means that using your graphics card to mine Bitcoins in your spare time is no longer a viable solution for most miners. Most serious Bitcoin miners use hardware designed to mine Bitcoin. The efficiency of these devices is measured in hashes per second and their price can vary depending on performance levels.High-end hardware also draws a large amount of power and can be prohibitively expensive for casual Bitcoin miners.

Below are several Bitcoin mining hardware solutions available in South Africa.

Bitcoin Mining Hardware Pricing
Bitcoin Miner Hashes per second Power Consumption Price
Avalon 721 + PSU 6.0TH/s 850-1000W R21,799
Avalon 741 + PSU 7.3TH/s 1150W R24,999
S9 Antminer + PSU 11-14TH/s 1372W R37,580
Avalon 741 5 Unit Farm + PSU 37TH/s 5750W R119,999

  

Software and Bitcoin Wallet

After purchasing the required mining hardware, you will need to download Bitcoin mining software. This software connects you to the blockchain and ensures you are in consensus with the official Bitcoin network. If you are mining in a pool with other miners, data requirements are relatively small. If you are mining by yourself, you will need to download the official Bitcore client to synchronize with the blockchain. Bitcoin mining software is freely available online, with the most popular using a simple command line interface.

Below are a few popular Bitcoin mining programs:

  • EasyMiner
  • MinePeon
  • CG Miner
  • BFG Miner

Miners also need a Bitcoin wallet to store their earnings. There are a number of Bitcoin wallets available online, but it is generally recommended that users download a wallet which allows them to hold their own security keys instead of an online hosting solution.

   Saving keyboard money

Saving keyboard money

Additional options

Instead of purchasing physical hardware and using your own resources to mine Bitcoin, some miners opt to purchase cloud mining contracts. Cloud mining involves renting an amount of processing power from a service provider and earning Bitcoin relative to the amount of processing power purchased. There have been many scams involving cloud mining contracts, and there is no guarantee of security when using these services.

Miners can also choose to mine different cryptocurrencies using different blockchains, such as Ethereum. Each of these currencies has its own advantages and disadvantages, with some catering more to individual miners or offering reduced block time.

  

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency on the rise in South Africa

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency on the rise in South Africa

  

Since the meteoric rise of Bitcoin, cryptocurrency has become increasingly popular across the world. While Bitcoin is the largest and most widely-used cryptocurrency on the market, there are other currencies experiencing steady growth – such as Ethereum and Dash. These cryptocurrencies also use a blockchain, or distributed ledger system, but feature different mining techniques and additional features.

Mining is the process of earning cryptocurrency based on the work done to confirm transactions and add them to the blockchain. The earning efficiency of this process is generally based on hardware processing power, and mining different currencies can require different hardware. While mining Bitcoin in South Africa generally requires a large investment, mining alternative cryptocurrencies can be a cheaper option for enthusiasts.

Cryptocurrency popularity in South Africa

BitMart CEO Jacques Serfontein told MyBroadband that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are becoming increasingly popular in South Africa. “The popularity of cryptocurrencies has increased tremendously in South Africa, and with the weakening rand it’s a great investment option – giving returns of between 6-15% per month,” said Serfontein. BitMart is a local online retailer which sells cryptocurrency mining hardware and hosts cloud mining services.

Serfontein said Bitcoin mining rigs remain the most popular choice among South Africans, despite the rise of alternative cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum. “Ethereum mining hardware is becoming more and more popular as the price gains value, but Bitcoin remains the most popular cryptocurrency among miners,” he said. “We deliver two Bitcoin miners for every other miner we sell.” Dash follows closely behind Ethereum in terms of popularity and is gaining rapidly on its competitors.

Mining alternative cryptocurrencies can be more viable than Bitcoin mining for beginners, and Serfontein recommends they purchase a GPU-based mining rig which allows them to mine a number of different coins. “We recommend the Thorium 2480 rig for beginners, as it is cheap and can mine Zcash, Ethereum, Monero, and various other coins,” said Serfontein. “You can choose to either mine the coin directly and keep it, or have our pre-loaded software convert the coin to Bitcoin.”

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Bitcoin Price Growth, Global Adoption Depend on Japan’s Confidence in Bitcoin

Bitcoin Price Growth, Global Adoption Depend on Japan’s Confidence in Bitcoin

  

Bitcoin Price Growth, Global Adoption Depend on Japan’s Confidence in Bitcoin

As long as Japan does not fail in what seems to be an effort that is making Bitcoin bigger, the world's top digital currency would always be a success. One latest example is the adoption of the AML/KYC rules for Bitcoin exchanges in the country. Like China, Japan is now impacting meaningfully on the Bitcoin market whenever the third largest economy in the world comes out with a move that causes a change.

Bitcoin price affected

With the recent development in which Japan recognized Bitcoin as a legal method of payment starting Saturday, April 1, the Bitcoin price has seen a steady climb over the $1100 range by the start of Monday. The recovery from the dip where the Bitcoin price had been over a week ago when the deadlock over the scalability issue had heightened has been attributed to a growth in Bitcoin demand from Japanese consumers after the government passed a law which basically says officially that Bitcoin users will not be taxed directly.

Rather, it brings up the issue of AML/KYC which caused a heated debate. Some users are in favor of it preferring exchanges operating legally so that they can be law-abiding, pay taxes on behalf of users and guarantee some form of protection for users’ money.

New law

Japan’s new law has been on debate for months following the collapse of the Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange. The law’s passing brings Bitcoin exchanges under Anti-Money Laundering/Know Your Customer rules as it is the case in China. The exercise in verification will expectedly increase trust in Bitcoin and probably forestall a recurrence of the Mt. Gox case.

Coincheck's Kagayaki Kawabata told Cointelegraph:

"While market cap and usage of cryptocurrency is scaling significantly in past few years, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are something that can't be ignored. The Mt. Gox incident took place in Tokyo. This experience I think has made Japan decided to regulate them in order to protect the customers. I think other countries will follow Japan if this new regulation works out."

Tax issues

The AML/KYC process will also serve as a link between the government and Bitcoin which is what many people believe is still missing for the ecosystem to grow into a regulated market. For Bitsquare's Ken Shishido, the development is a result of years of industry effort in lobbying policy makers and not necessarily the government taking a proactive approach nor wanting to make Bitcoin bigger and better.

Tax implication is not finalized yet but it is a huge deal that consumption tax is now officially exempted, he adds. From China to Japan and other countries, it is now clearer that governments are on the way of recognizing Bitcoin as a financial instrument. But to make the digital currency go mainstream everyday users need to support it as a common practice.

Why Japan Matters

Japan does not seem at all worried by the general attitude of some countries to digital currencies like Bitcoin. The country’s level of confidence in Bitcoin is overwhelming despite the negative history it has had with the digital currency. Based on this level of trust and interest in the currency, the success of the ongoing experimentation will help show how possible legislations can work with Bitcoin.

It will go a very long way to draw other countries that are still skeptical about Bitcoin into the fold as well be a good form of advertisement to the wider global community – especially governments. The legality of the state is always a boost for the justification of Bitcoin. For a big economy like Japan to trust Bitcoin as a payment method speaks volumes. It is a sign that it could be a significant tool that could bring advantages over sentiments that point to negativity.

Shishido says:

“Not sure other developed countries will follow suite anytime soon but maybe countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, Estonia, Switzerland and etc. If some countries do recognize it as a legal tender, it will be a game changer. Japan’s legal status is “currency-like property with consumption tax exemption. If one country recognizes it as a legal tender, all United Nations country will need to acknowledge, too.”

One other factor to note about Japan's impact on the Bitcoin price is that when it happens, the price increase tends to be usually real – it would correct at some point but not to its initial take-off point. Relatedly, one of the countries picking up on a similar move is Mexico which is working on the first draft of a fintech law that will make its central bank define the regulation that will apply to digital assets such as Bitcoin based on two criteria: widespread adoption of the public and the protocols, rules and mechanisms that allow their generation, identification, division and control.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

The Big Three: How China, India, Japan Set Pace For Bitcoin

The Big Three: How China, India, Japan Set Pace For Bitcoin

   The Big Three: How China, India, Japan Set Pace For Bitcoin

The Recent behavior of Bitcoin

reveals that developmental events around certain nations make huge impacts on the cryptocurrency. The most significant among these nations are China, India and most recently, Japan. With the mainstream adoption of Bitcoin in Japan and the subsequent acceptance of the cryptocurrency by several stores across the Asian country, Bitcoin has responded by its most recent surge in price, rising significantly above the $1,200 mark in the process.

Strength in numbers

Whether positive or negative, news and events out of the aforementioned Asian giants are always well respected by Bitcoin as an entity and the community as a whole.

Michael Vogel, CEO of Netcoins, says:

“China and India represent a significant portion of the world's population and each has a rapidly growing middle and wealthy classes. Both of these countries are also experiencing turmoil with government imposed capital controls, so the importance of Bitcoin is much more apparent to its citizens as opposed to North America, for example.”

One of the major issues that have come up repeatedly within these Asian climes is the attempt of the government to regulate Bitcoin. Earlier in 2017, there were a few significant events and pronouncements by both the Chinese and Indian government concerning the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

The majority of Bitcoin users have seen these government interventions as events that could negatively affect the growth and development of Bitcoin. On the contrary, these efforts by governments to control the use of Bitcoin may be having a rather positive effect on the cryptocurrency.

Governments are indirectly working for Bitcoin

Simon Dixon, CEO of BnkToTheFuture.com, believes that governments are driving demand in Bitcoin whether they know it or not. He continues by exemplifying the developments in India, where the government's war on cash was an attempt to force bank adoption in India. Dixon notes that India has less trust for banks than many other nations so some are experimenting with Bitcoin instead.

In addition to this, Japan has chosen to regulate Bitcoin exchanges which mean traditional financial institutions are now able to offer Bitcoin to their clients bringing in more demand. China has decided to implant tougher regulations on Chinese exchanges driving a huge spike in the peer to peer Bitcoin market in China and eventually more trust in the exchanges when they allow withdrawals again.

Dixon says:

“What is clear is that no matter what the government does, it is driving more and more demand for the two Bitcoin markets – regulated Bitcoins through exchanges and unregulated peer to peer Bitcoin. All these approaches show the rest of the world that government action drives Bitcoin demand in many unintended ways.”

Japan is a pacesetter

Another important factor identified by Vogel which may be responsible for the Asian dominance in Bitcoin is the fact that Asian countries, Japan, in particular, have always been ahead of the curve with mainstream adoption of new technology. Cell phones, mobile gaming, and mobile payments all gained popularity in Asia years before Europe and the US. It seems that Bitcoin is following a similar trajectory.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

These Investors Bought the Firm Behind Bitcoin’s Self-Proclaimed Inventor

These Investors Bought the Firm Behind Bitcoin’s Self-Proclaimed Inventor

  

A company built around the research of Craig Wright,

who has claimed to have invented the bitcoin cryptocurrency, has been sold to a private equity firm in a deal the company says is the biggest to date involving bitcoin's underlying blockchain technology. The deal swings the spotlight once again on to Wright, a 46-year-old computer scientist who is the cryptocurrency's most controversial figure. He hopes to remain central to the technology's future, telling Reuters the goal is to build bitcoin into a global "system with no ruler, no king."

"We will scale and grow bitcoin to become what it was envisioned to be," he said. "All I do is to help grow the use of bitcoin, and I want to see it in daily use by at least a billion people on-chain. We have the funds, the people and the technology to do this." According to a news release on Thursday, Malta-based High Tech Private Equity Fund SICAV bought nChain Holdings, "the world leader in blockchain-centric research and development." It put no value on the deal and did not mention Wright. Reuters previously identified nChain, formerly known as EITC Holdings, as Wright's vehicle for filing hundreds of bitcoin and blockchain-related patents.

U.K. records confirm that the target company—under both its EITC and nChain names—already filed more than 80 bitcoin and blockchain-related patents. A person close to the deal said $300 million had been invested in nChain, but it was not clear over what period of time. The Maltese fund did not respond to emails asking for comment.

Reuters reported last year that EITC planned to file hundreds of patents related to the blockchain, the distributed ledger technology that underpins cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. The financial industry and others are exploring its potential. The fund is managed by Liechtenstein-based Accuro Fund Solutions, part of Zurich-based Accuro Group. Accuro did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

DIVISIVE FIGURE

Wright remains a divisive figure in the bitcoin world. After failing to convince many in the bitcoin community that he was Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous founder of bitcoin, Wright retreated from view last year. Reuters reported last month that Wright was working with Calvin Ayre, a Canadian online gambling tycoon, to build a patent portfolio, though its purpose was not clear. Ayre was not immediately available for comment.

nChain said in an emailed response to questions from Reuters that neither Ayre nor Wright had a stake in it before or after the sale. It said the company previously acquired Wright's assets and intellectual property, and he now held the post of chief scientist. Although it was not possible to confirm Wright's identity as Nakamoto, a Reuters investigation found he was deeply involved in the early development of bitcoin and had told Australian tax officials he possessed more than 1 million bitcoin—worth $1.2 billion at the current exchange rate.

Patent lawyers have noted that open-source technologies like bitcoin are not easy to patent, and even if patents are approved, they are not always easy to defend. Thursday's announcement is the first time nChain has publicly acknowledged it is filing patents. Without confirming how many bitcoins he owns, Wright told Reuters he would never "dump bitcoin." "I will sell when I do this for goods on a daily basis, or I will go down with it. Past the basics of my family's well-being, all I have is dedicated to building the systems and institutions needed to make bitcoin successful globally," he said.

The news release also shed light on what Wright and nChain might do with its patents. nChain this year "intends to make some of its intellectual property assets available to the blockchain community through open-source software and royalty-free licensing." It invited interested parties to register via email. nChain's patent filings, seen by Reuters, range from the storage of medical documents to Wi-Fi security. Investors have spent more than $1.5 billion on blockchain and bitcoin start-ups over the past four years, according to CB Insights, an Internet research company.

The company said it was also working on software tools and applications to support the growth of blockchain. These include a software to develop applications on the bitcoin blockchain, solutions for bitcoin blockchain scalability, inventions to improve security, on-chain scripting for smart contracts, and a decentralized trading platform that uses autonomous agents. The company also called for a neutral standards body to be set up to coordinate bitcoin's development.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member