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41  Bitcoin / Press / [2017-03-23] Bitcoin Price Surpasses $1K, Recovers from Scaling Debate & PBoC on: March 23, 2017, 01:44:42 PM

Previously, Cointelegraph reported that Bitcoin price declined to $926 due to hard fork contingency and the likelihood of Bitcoin Unlimited being forked by its closed group of developers. Bitcoin price bounced back to $1,115 in the earning morning of March 22.

However, almost immediately after Bitcoin price recovered back to the $1,115 margin, it plummeted to $1,010, due to the ambiguity surrounding the execution of the Bitcoin Unlimited hard fork. Because of the possibility of Bitcoin Unlimited creating a split chains and two tokens of the Bitcoin network, both investors and traders worry that the introduction of BTU (Bitcoin Unlimited token) will lead to the decline of Bitcoin price in the short term.

Over the past few days, Bitcoin price highly fluctuated for the abovementioned reason. On March 19, Bitcoin price declined by 16 percent in one day as the tension between Segregated Witness (SegWit) and Bitcoin Unlimited supporters intensified. As long as support for Bitcoin Unlimited continues to rise as a result of the allocation of hash power from China, Bitcoin price will continue to fluctuate and fail to stabilize.

Second Bitcoin Unlimited bug & patch
Currently, the entire market, including the Bitcoin community, miners, developers and businesses are focused on the development of the block size debate and the progression of Bitcoin Unlimited. An increasing number of miners in China are starting to show their strong support toward Bitcoin Unlimited with the fear that off-chain transactions made by innovative solutions such as Lightning will decrease their revenues.

Although the miner profitability issue was already addressed by experts including BitGo engineer Jameson Lopp, miners in China are still concerned that the reduction of on-chain transactions will lead to lessened miner revenue. This concept emerged due to some of the miners’ failure in understanding that SegWit is, in fact, a real and actual scalability solution which can expand bitcoin block size by up to 3.7 times.

Earlier today, Cointelegraph revealed that the second Bitcoin Unlimited bug was discovered by its developers. As a temporary response, Bitcoin Unlimited developers released a closed-source code in order to prevent the bug from affecting miners and node operators.

The community is worried about a buggy and a faulty piece of software that is being developed by a closed group of developers will be forked and branded as Bitcoin. Lopp also noted that engineers like himself will never attempt to run unstable software as they are responsible for the well-being of their IT system and architecture.

If the hash power in support for Bitcoin Unlimited continues to rise, Bitcoin price will fluctuate intensely in the upcoming days. On the contrary, if the support for Bitcoin Unlimited dwindles due to the emergence of bugs and internal errors, as security and Bitcoin expert Andreas Antonopoulos stated, the probability of Bitcoin Unlimited being forked will be less than 10 percent.
42  Bitcoin / Press / [2017-03-23] Matchpool Announces New Partnerships with uPort & Bitproperty on: March 23, 2017, 01:42:16 PM

Matchpool, the online dating and matching platform, has announced a new partnership with two companies within the crypto industry: uPort and Bitpropety.

uPort is an open source software project to establish a global, unified sovereign identity system for people, businesses, organizations, devices and bots.

After talking with uPort engineers and visiting the offices earlier this month, Matchpool said that they will introduce their identity system later this year.

With users of Matchpool creating their own invite-only pools to add people with similar interests to their own, knowing the identity of someone is important.

“Identity on Matchpool is one of the key components to the platform succeeding to ensure safety and verifying identity,” Matchpool said on Medium. “Our partnership with uPort means we can decentralize identity, and keep the users’ information safe and secure.”

This, in turn, helps to create trust between the matchmaker and Matchpool’s platform, because as Yonatan Ben Shimon, founder of Matchpool, said recently to Cointelegraph, “every interaction in the world is based on trust.”

Bitproperty is a distributed network of REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) run by digital tokens. By using the network, people can invest faster at a lower cost and create a new trading market of REIT.

The use of the Blockchain to verify real estate transactions is becoming more prevalent. Earlier this year, Georgia became the first country to sign an agreement to utilize the Blockchain to verify property transactions.

Through Bitproperty, an investor will obtain BTP tokens and also real estate ownership rights and payouts, which are awarded by smart contract.

This news highlights the fact that Japan is fully committed and focused on its Blockchain development.

As an emerging leader within the crypto markets worldwide, Shimon said to Cointelegraph that the platform is looking forward to working with Bitproperty who have opened a pool on top of the Matchpool protocol.

“[Through] the partnership with Bitproperty, we are helping them to build an architecture and they are helping us to go into the Japanese market,” said Shimon.
43  Bitcoin / Press / [2017-03-23] Bitcoin Price Down Four Percent As LocalBitcoins Volume Surges Amid on: March 23, 2017, 01:40:31 PM

The weekly trading volume of LocalBitcoins China is on the rise again amid the People’s Bank of China’s meetings with Bitcoin exchanges on strengthening regulations surrounding Bitcoin trading. Meanwhile, the Bitcoin price has dropped again by around four percent overnight, according to CoinMarketCap.

Last week, the PBoC announced a series of meetings to be held this week with local Bitcoin exchanges. Officials and regulators from the PBoC planned to discuss current regulations and policies surrounding Bitcoin trading and the regulatory framework for Bitcoin exchanges moving forward.

So far, discussions between the PBoC and local Bitcoin exchanges including OKCoin, Huobi and BTCC have been optimistic, mostly because OKCoin and Huobi, the two Bitcoin exchanges flagged by the PBoC for having incomplete Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) systems, announced that they will enable Bitcoin withdrawals soon.

However, users of OKCoin and Huobi were requested to submit detailed information on their funds and the transfer of money between their bank accounts and the accounts of Huobi and OKCoin. As reported by Cointelegraph on March 23, users are now required to submit these documents in order to continue trading Bitcoin:

  • Your account info at Huobi:

Your login info.
Your account UID.

  • Explanations of the sources of your funds:

Bank transfer records to Huobi bank account.
Explanation of the sources of the funds you transferred.
Relevant proof that can back up point b.

  • Provide sources of funds:

Historical bank transfer record details.
Text description of the fund source.
Screenshot or pictures of bank information.

  • Use of Bitcoin or Litecoin, particularly how the user intends to use the funds.

Why more users are moving to LocalBitcoins
While the plan of OKCoin and Huobi to enable withdrawals was an optimistic and highly anticipated announcement for the local Chinese Bitcoin community, traders and investors within the Chinese Bitcoin exchange market didn’t expect the two exchanges to tighten their KYC systems to the point in which traders have to submit any information that pertains to Bitcoin purchases or trading activities.

For this reason, since February, LocalBitcoins volume for the BTC-CNY pair has continued to rise exponentially, nearly reaching 60,700,000 mln yuan weekly trading volume, which is equivalent to $8.82 mln. In consideration of the Chinese Bitcoin exchange market’s daily trading volume of $36.8 mln, more than three percent of trading is facilitated by LocalBitcoins.

Moreover, a significantly large number of high-profile traders purchase Bitcoin directly from miners or trade in a peer-to-peer platform apart from LocalBitcoins. In total, the OTC market could account for more than five percent of trading that occurs in China.

For the PBoC, the rise of the over-the-counter market and rapidly increasing volumes of peer-to-peer trading platforms such as LocalBitcoins may become a serious issue moving forward as these markets are very difficult to regulate. If LocalBitcoins continues to grow at the current rate, the PBoC could be pressured into improving their regulations and optimize policies to facilitate the growth of local Bitcoin exchanges.
44  Bitcoin / Press / [2017-03-23]Bitcoin Unlimited ‘Fails All Criteria For Supportable HardFork’:BtGo on: March 23, 2017, 01:31:22 PM

Bitcoin-for-business startup BitGo has said Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) “fails all criteria for being a supportable hard fork” in the current climate.

Adding its voice to the scaling debate, which has spread to include not just industry figures but businesses as well, the company said in a blog post that it would not support a contentious hard fork.

“BitGo considers any hard fork which is rolled out without industry-wide consensus and therefore splits the network, to be an altcoin, not Bitcoin itself,” the post states.

“This is irrespective of how much hash power the forked coin may have.”

Adding that any derivative of a contentious hard fork would be treated as an altcoin, BitGo echoes the consensus declared by many extant Bitcoin exchanges, released in a public letter last week.

On the topic of Bitcoin Unlimited, however, its position was also clear.

Citing three criteria to be meet in order for a fork to be recognized - “a clear on-chain activation mechanism,” “strong two-way replay protection” and “wipe-out protection,” BitGo stated BU did not meet any of them.

“In fact, it fails all three criteria,” the post continues.

“...As such, we will not be able to provide support for a hard fork caused by Bitcoin Unlimited in its current form. If the Bitcoin Unlimited team undertakes the efforts needed to make the fork in a supportable manner, our position on this would change accordingly.”
45  Bitcoin / Press / [2017-03-23] Bitcoin Holders Can Claim Free 16 Bln Stellar Lumen Tokens on: March 23, 2017, 01:29:39 PM

Decentralized payment network Stellar has announced the final round of its Bitcoin-Lumen Program, where Bitcoin holders can claim its lumen token for free.

The program, which began in April 2016, features 19 percent of the total lumen supply, which developers reserved at launch exclusively for Bitcoin users.

Of the 19 bln lumens on offer, only 3 bln formed the first round of the giveaway, with release details of the remaining 16 bln to be officially announced on March 28.

The value of the remaining tokens is approximately $16 mln.

“Bitcoin acted as a profound inspiration for Stellar, which is why we created this program at our launch. The Bitcoin network was the first to show that it’s possible for a group of untrusted parties to agree on a common database, and the Bitcoin community still influences our understanding of this technology’s impact,” Communications Officer Kim Vu said in a circular.

Lumens were originally known as stellar tokens, the name changed to avoid confusion with both the network and the nonprofit organization.

Stellar aims to offer near-instantaneous international payments at a significantly lower cost than mainstream alternatives. Its latest technology links partner organizations in a similar idea to how SWIFT operates with fiat institutions.

“Given the diverse nature of global financial services today, this interoperability can substantially lower global remittance costs by making transactions that cross national boundaries, currencies and financial institutions much more efficient,” CEO Jed McCaleb told Cointelegraph at the launch in December.
46  Bitcoin / Press / [2017-03-21] Bitcoin Stabilizes After 3-Day Nosedive on: March 22, 2017, 05:34:23 AM

Three days into what can only be termed a rout, shares of bitcoin have stabilized — if we accept the skewed maxim that one day’s trading makes a trend.

Reuters noted Monday that the digital currency gained at least some traction, after the previous three sessions slammed pricing to its lowest level since 2015. The peak seems far away, at $1,350. It came a week ago as there had been hopes among traders that the currency would be listed as part of an ETF. Conventional wisdom holds that such a listing would boost liquidity and transparency. Yet the bid for listing was denied by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which cited unregulated markets.

Thus the low came on Saturday to $944 per bitcoin. The Winklevoss twins, who had been looking to list those ETF shares, said efforts would continue.

The newswire also said that there have been disputes centering around the “blocks” in which bitcoin trades. That may leave the door open for inroads to be made by ether and other rival currencies. The former currency, ether, has tripled in value over the past month. Some observers have said that trading involved selling bitcoin, while buying ether.
47  Bitcoin / Press / [2017-03-21] Bitcoin is roaring back on: March 22, 2017, 05:30:57 AM
Bitcoin is higher for a second straight day on Tuesday, trading up 6.5% at $1,110 a coin as of 2:13 p.m. ET. The cryptocurrency has rallied about 17% since Sunday's low, rebounding from a slump over the weekend that followed a Wall Street Journal report that the cryptocurrency's developers were threatening to set up a "hard fork," or alternative marketplace for bitcoin.

The new platform would be incompatible with the current platform, thus creating a split and two versions of the currency. That news sent bitcoin crashing 20% over the weekend to about $950 a coin, its weakest since January.

2017 has been a volatile year for the cryptocurrency.

It gained 20% in the first week of the year after soaring 120% in 2016 to become the top-performing currency for the second year in a row.

Bitcoin then crashed 35% on news that China was going to consider clamping down on trading.

But it managed to rip higher by more than 50% even in the face of several pieces of bad news.

First, China's biggest bitcoin exchanges said they were going to start charging a 0.2% fee on all transactions (previously there was no fee). Then, China's biggest exchanges said they were going to block withdrawals from trading accounts.

Still, bitcoin put in a record high of $1,327 a coin on March 10 as traders piled in ahead of the US Securities and Exchange Commission's ruling on the Winklevoss twins' bitcoin exchange-traded fund. The SEC denied the ETF, sending the price crashing by 16%. Bitcoin, however, managed to quickly recover those losses.

Two more SEC rulings are on the way, the next being March 30. Neither one is expected to pass.
48  Bitcoin / Press / [2017-03-21] Bitcoin sidechain with a bigger block size limit may soon be a real on: March 22, 2017, 05:22:43 AM
Bitcoin’s block size debate is seeping into the mainstream press, the Wall Street Journal states that the “bitter split in the developer community behind the virtual currency threatened to literally break it in two.” The article echoes statements made by investors such as Vinny Lingham, the Civic CEO and Gyft co-founder, who states “I’ve been very surprised with the amount of vocal support for a Bitcoin Hard Fork.”

A fork happens when developers take a copy of source code from one software package and start independent development on it, creating a distinct and separate piece of software. The term often implies not merely a development branch, but also a split in the developer community.

The scaling debate revolves around the size of Bitcoin blocks, which hold the networks transactions. Bitcoin Unlimited is a hard-fork of Bitcoin that raises the block size, but isn’t backwards compatible with the current source code. Lingham is concerned that a hard-fork in Bitcoin will result in two competing cryptocurrencies, or “altcoins.”

”In the event that 35–50% of miners broke away and created an altcoin, in this case — Bitcoin Unlimited, we would essentially then have 2 coins, Bitcoin (BTC) & Bitcoin Unlimited (BTU).”
- Vinny Lingham, Civic CEO and Gyft Co-Founder

Previous attempts to increase the block size limit by way of a hard-fork, such as Bitcoin Classic and Bitcoin XT, have all failed. Bitcoin Unlimited is the latest such attempt, but 18 bitcoin exchanges released a statement last week indicating they will list Bitcoin Unlimited tokens as an alternative asset.

“While a contentious forking event may be inevitable, and may ultimately provide a path forward for on-chain capacity increases, we have an obligation to our customers to provide a clear and consistent plan to minimize potential confusion surrounding such an event,” the announcement states. “In the case of a Bitcoin hardfork, we cannot suspend operations and wait for a winner to emerge.”

However, a proposed soft-fork, Segregated Witness (SegWit), may increase the block size limit to over 2.1 megabytes, according to Bitfury’s Alex Petrov, based on current user activity. A soft-fork alters the current implementation of Bitcoin, maintaining a single cryptocurrency.

According to the associated Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP), the protocol change is scheduled to activate after 95 percent of the Bitcoin network's hashrate signals support, which is the deployment process outlined in BIP 9. Roughly 25 percent of miners are currently signaling readiness for Segregated Witness. According to Coin Dance, every major exchange and wallet provider is currently implementing or plans to implement Segregated Witness.

That said, a team of developers believe they have a second solution that will keep everyone on the same network. Paul Sztorc, who is an economist at enterprise blockchain startup Bloq, first introduced Drivechain late in 2015. The concept builds on sidechains, and promises to make altcoins, “obsolete.”

“The use of sidechains would indirectly remove the blocksize limit altogether.”
- Paul Sztorc, Drivechain Creator

Sidechains themselves are not new. The idea, and how to build them, has been discussed since 2014. The key idea revolves around sending a cryptocurrency to another blockchain. R3 Chief Technology Officer Richard Gendal Brown describes these blockchains as, “a Bitcoin-like system out there that you’d like to use.”

“Perhaps it’s litecoin or ethereum or perhaps it’s something brand new,” Gendal Brown presupposes. “Maybe it has a faster block confirmation interval and a richer scripting language. It doesn’t matter. The point is: you’d like to use it but would rather not have to go through the risk and effort of buying the native tokens for that platform.”

Sztorc explains how that process might work in drivechains, “You could take 3 BTC, use them to purchase 3 side-Litecoin at a fixed 1:1 exchange rate, send those Litecoin to a friend on the Litecoin-chain, and then this friend can then redeem them at the same same 1:1 exchange rate (for exactly 3 BTC, which re-appears on the Bitcoin chain).”

“It would take me all of five minutes to change the block size on a bitcoin fork,” Bitcoin developer Patrick Murphy tells BraveNewCoin. “I bet it would take an hour to get it all finished on the slow side.” Murphy is currently finalizing an implementation of drivechains.

“Sidechains are alternate chains of Bitcoin (‘Alt-chains’) which do not have their own token.”
- Drivechain

Sztorc tells BraveNewCoin he has been working on a new website explaining the drivechain concept, and a variety of alternative blockchain projects are already listed on the site. The project that will catch the eye of big block supporters is known as Extended Bitcoin.

The project is simply the current version of Bitcoin Core with Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 101 implemented on top of it. BIP 101 is the hard-fork block size increase implemented in former bitcoin developer Mike Hearn’s Bitcoin XT software client.

According to Sztorc’s original post on the subject, he does not think drivechains can do anything bad to bitcoin; however, there are some concerns among the greater technical community. Miners have to agree to start merged mining on the various blockchain chains, where two or more different cryptocurrencies based on the same algorithm are mined simultaneously.

“Lot's of people hate merged mining and lots of people hate miners having power,” Murphy told BraveNewCoin. Bitcoin Core contributor Peter Todd has stated that merge mined sidechains are, “much less secure,” and could lead to further centralization of the mining industry.

However, Sztorc believes he has "risen to the challenge" of these technical concerns through the use of what he calls blind merged mining. "When I describe sidechains to people, most people think 'it's too good to be true''s​ a kind of reverse wishful thinking," Sztorc explains. "Well, they're good, and they're true. And they're almost finished."

A third iteration of a drivechain implementation is currently being completed, and will be presented to the greater technical community for feedback and bug testing. “We’re trying to get something finished enough to prove the idea, and then we’ll have the developer community tear apart everything and go from there,” Murphy told BraveNewCoin.

After further technical review, it will then be up to the greater community to decide whether this is something they’d like to see in bitcoin. However, enabling each new sidechain in bitcoin would, according to Murphy, require a separate soft-fork change to bitcoin’s consensus rules.
“I think a fork to fix something actually broken would even be controversial right now. I'm biased, obviously, but I think sidechains of some form have at least the potential to make most people happy and possibly get majority consensus that it is a good idea.”
- Patrick Murphy, Drivechain developer
49  Bitcoin / Press / [2017-03-21] Bitcoin China launches Mobi wallet on: March 22, 2017, 05:10:48 AM

Bitcoin China (BTCC) recently announced the launch of Mobi, a multicurrency wallet for smartphones running iOS and Android. In addition to allowing conversion between an unprecedented 154 currencies, the wallet offers instant money transfers to any Twitter account or mobile phone number, as well as an optional Visa debit card delivered to your door worldwide for US$9.

“Mobi is the only mobile app that allows instant conversion, storage, and transfer of more than 100 currencies, including the United States dollar, the British pound, the euro, gold, silver, and bitcoin.”
- Bitcoin China

BTC China is the oldest Bitcoin exchange still in service, and offers live exchange trading for Bitcoin and Litecoin as well as a major mining pool, business payment processing, and their own line of physical Bitcoins.

The Shanghai-based exchange has been in the news several times this year and was rumored to have been raided by the People's Bank of China (PBoC). The rumour sent bitcoin’s price plummeting in the first week of the year, and turned out to be unfounded. The Bank and nearly all Bitcoin exchanges in the country have since agreed on a set of regulations.

The company is targeting several markets with this launch, from personal payments to remittances and bitcoin. BTCC recently stated, “we are taking bitcoin mainstream.” The app “simplifies cross-border payments” and “bypasses the 5-8 percent fees that banks charge for remittances.”

According to the announcement, BTC China has created its own blockchain for the app, which tracks all customer assets. Sending a few dollars to be received as yuan between customers is, therefore, a transfer of a blockchain asset, which gets instantly received.

Signing up for a Mobi wallet only takes one minute, according to a BTCC letter to customers. All a user has to do is download the app and enter a mobile phone number to install the program. At press time, GooglePlay Store shows over 1,000 installs with review rating of 4.2 by 13 users.

The app is said to be so easy to use that your grandmother can start using bitcoin today, and it allows users to add a message to any transaction. The wallet currently supports 15 languages, including English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish.

“Making bitcoin as easy as texting - Mobi is a highly secure and versatile bitcoin wallet that brings next-generation UX to bitcoin users worldwide.”
- Mobi

The optional Visa debit card is linked to users’ Mobi accounts, and can pull funds directly from a bitcoin balance. The card can also be used to withdraw cash, “at more than 2 million Visa™-compatible ATMs around the world,” according to the Mobi website, and can make purchases at any point of sale that accepts Visa cards.

The card has fees that are on the low side, but with limits and minimums that add up. According to the website, USD denominated purchases with their Visa card are charged, “no transaction fees whatsoever,” although there is a monthly service fee of two dollars, and ATM transactions are a minimum of $2.50.

Foreign transaction fees at three percent, making the card less useful for traveling. If users have bitcoin in the account, it may be easy to avoid this fee by converting bitcoin to the local currency when needed. Payment fees are straightforward, a simple $2,500 cap on spending for unverified accounts. The limit increases to $20,000 per day after verification, with no lifetime or other limits.

There are two tiers of transactions, one for users that have only given their phone number, and another for those who have gone through a full verification process. The limits for non-verified users are $200 per ATM withdrawal only twice a day, with a lifetime limit of $1,000 on withdrawals. After verification, those limits jump up to $1,000 per transaction with no lifetime and daily limits.

According to Reddit user btcc_official, an account that has been used by BTCC’s CEO Bobby Lee in the past, the routing of money is different in Mobi than it is with competitors like Xapo, Coinbase Shift, and Bitpay debit cards. For simple payments, such as paying for something in dollars while you hold a dollar balance, the transaction is straightforward. “Mobi is different from Xapo in that we support 100+ currencies,” he explained, “so for the debit card, if you have money in your USD wallet, the card will deduct funds from the USD wallet for purchases.”

However, the company automatically converts from Bitcoin when you don’t have the correct currency in any account. “If you don't have money in your USD wallet, we will automatically convert bitcoin into USD when you use your card,” the company representative explained.

Before they dropped Bitcoin support and all but exited the space in December, Circle Financial offered the closest service to Mobi, although with fewer currencies supported, and it attracted many customers just to buy bitcoins through the app. Both Circle and Mobi have a payments-through-chat interface and hail the in-chat experience with emojis the future way of payments.
50  Bitcoin / Press / [2017-03-21] FIRST BITCOIN CAPITAL Corp. Subsidiary is First Exchg .. on: March 22, 2017, 05:06:00 AM
VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / March 21, 2017 / FIRST BITCOIN CAPITAL CORP. (OTC PINK: BITCF) - CoinQx Exchange LIMITED, a wholly owned subsidiary of FIRST BITCOIN CAPITAL CORP (BITCF or the "Company"), and history's first publicly trading bitcoin business, is pleased to announce the launching of BITCOIN UNLIMITED FUTURES now trading under the symbol XBU.

Other Bitcoin exchanges are now preparing for the highly anticipated hard fork of Bitcoin into two coins, with the original to remain named as Bitcoin symbol BTC and the forked coin as an altcoin to be named Bitcoin Unlimited, symbol BTU. Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum emerged from its hard fork with the original coin renamed Ethereum Classic and their newly forked coin retaining the name of the original.

Many Bitcoin traders are anxious to begin trading in BTU. As a way to capitalize on this anxiety, and allow a mechanism to predict the BTU's future value, CONQX issued on the Bitcoin Blockchain 9,000,000 tokens known as "Bitcoin Unlimited Futures" symbol XBU. When/if BTU comes into existence, it will not be convertible or equal to XBU, however, once both BTU and XBU are trading on COINQX, they will be exchangeable by willing participants based on customers bids and asks matching.

After the hardfork is complete, XBU will continue to trade with the intention for it to survive as a third option to Bitcoin and Bitcoin Unlimited. Those currently owning BTC on CoinQx are not required to do anything regarding the upcoming hardfork, as the hardfork should only affect miners, so that owners of BTC should ultimately find the additional Bitcoin Unlimited coin in their account equal to the amount owned during the hardfork, barring any unforeseen complications.

First Bitcoin foresees the split of BTC into two coins to be not unlike that of a spin-off of a subsidiary from a public company. Owning BTC before, during, and after the split will help to ensure receipt of the additional forked coin. Whereas FINRA sets record dates and ex dividend dates for such events, no authority or procedures exists to assist owners of BTC to know when to buy, hold, and sell their coins. In this regard, the Company is planning to launch a numbering system for cryptocurrencies similar to CUSIP, as well as establishing an SRO to help the emerging industry deal with such issues.

First Bitcoin director, Patrick Dugan, commented on the pending fork, "Most likely Bitcoin Unlimited ( BU) would serve as a check to force market demands to come to the fore in Bitcoin Core, or conversely, BU could adapt Segwit. As someone who provides financial services and depends on the throughput of the Bitcoin blockchain for operations, I can say that more ruckus is preferable to the status quo."

While this newly issued coin is not directly related to the original Bitcoin or its pending hardfork, it is indirectly related by the fact that it was issued on the Bitcoin Blockchain similar to Tether, symbol USDT. As a consequence, XBU is already exchangeable on the DEX against other similar currencies, such as $USDT, $BTC, $PRES, $TESLA, $GARY, $BURN, $HILL, and $MAID via, and will soon be tradeable against additional currencies at

About the Company:

First Bitcoin Capital is engaged in developing digital currencies, proprietary Blockchain technologies, and the digital currency exchange - We see this step as a tremendous opportunity to create further shareholder value by leveraging management's experience in developing and managing complex Blockchain technologies, developing new types of digital assets. Being the first publicly-traded cryptocurrency and blockchain-centered company (with shares both traded in the US OTC Markets as [BITCF] and as [BIT] in crypto exchanges), we want to provide our shareholders with diversified exposure to digital cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. At this time, the Company owns and operates the following digital assets: cryptocurrency exchange, registered with FINCEN. real time cryptocurrency and bitcoin news site. providing mining pool management services. online daily election coverage and home page for $PRES, $HILL, $GARY& $BURN -commemorative presidential election coins. Open Loop merchant services for dispensaries.
A list of Omni protocol coins issued on the Bitcoin Blockchain owned by the Company can be accessed here:

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements contained in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements." Forward-looking statements provide current expectations of future events based on certain assumptions and include any statement that does not directly relate to any historical or current fact. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors as may be disclosed in company's filings. In addition to these factors, actual future performance, outcomes, and results may differ materially because of more general factors including (without limitation) general industry and market conditions and growth rates, economic conditions, and governmental and public policy changes. The forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of the date of this press release and these views could change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to the date of the press release. Such forward-looking statements are risks that are detailed in the Company's filings, which are on file at

Contact us via: or visit

SOURCE: First Bitcoin Capital Corp.
51  Bitcoin / Press / [2017-03-21] Bitcoin’s fake news problem on: March 22, 2017, 05:00:40 AM
Bitcoin was designed to be self limiting and scarce so as to endow it with value. But the limitation wasn’t just applied to the number of coins in circulation, it was also applied to the number of transactions/data that can be processed in any given block interval.

That latter constraint is now igniting a bitter schism in the community between those who feel the constraint must be removed to ensure bitcoin can scale universally and those who want it kept intact to allow cost structures to balance out organically.

All will eventually be decided in a forking event.

The forking is an opt-in software update called ‘Blockchain Unlimited’ intended to resolve bitcoin’s scaling limitation by expanding the amount of data that can be processed in any given block. To be successful it must be adopted by a majority of miners. Most miners, however, do not have a financial incentive to back an update that stands to increase their costs without necessarily increasing their revenues. Others fear that without constraints only the best equipped and most highly funded miners will survive a forking event, which would encourage further centralisation of the network.

Ahead of the forking, nevertheless, constraints on bitcoin’s capacity are already leading to higher transaction fees:

This has begun to undermine one of the most actively propagated myths about bitcoin/blockchain: that the network radically reduces the cost of payments and as a consequence can crush the cost of cross-border remittances.

To the contrary, FT Alphaville always argued the network’s perceived cheapness was illusory — the product of investor inflow subsidisation and share dilution in the form of mining awards. If and when capital inflow subsidisation was to abate, we argued, the true cost of funding the network would be exposed — since miners would only be incentivised to keep processing if the transaction fees made it worth their while. This in turn would reveal a core truth about bitcoin: that the network is and always was a luxury payments system, not a universal one.

Whether the Bitcoin Unlimited update is successful or not is unlikely to change this fact. Yes, transactions fees might fall for users temporarily, but the costs will still have to be borne by someone or something. Most likely this will be the miners in the form of infrastructure investments or the network at large in the form of centralisation effects.

To deal with the cognitive dissonance some enthusiasts are unsurprisingly resorting to revisionism, claiming bitcoin was never intended to be cheap or highly scaled. That narrative, they say, was always wrong. These purists cite the likes of Hal Finney, one of bitcoin’s earliest developers, who noted in 2010 that: “Bitcoin itself cannot scale to have every single financial transaction in the world be broadcast to everyone and included in the block chain”. They also quote Amir Taaki, a bitcoin activist, who said in 2014 that: “This vision of Bitcoin as a faster, cheaper and better payments-network is simply not tied to any technological grounding of what Bitcoin is really about.”

The counter-narrative goes on to claim bitcoin was intended from day one to be a neutral, transferable and less corruptible international reserve asset akin to the SDR or Keynes’ bancor – and a reserve unit against which local banking systems could issue their own units against. The elimination of middle-men, consequently, was never a direct objective.*

So how is it that this message was lost on almost everyone?

After all it wasn’t just a few rogue players stressing bitcoin would disrupt the cost of payments across the board, eliminate the middle man and bank the unbanked. It was literally everyone we ever came across in the community. In fact, between 2012 and 2016, there wasn’t a cryptocurrency themed conference, panel event or meet-up we attended that didn’t feature fervent rhetoric of this sort. Whole books were even written arguing as much.

It’s fair to conclude something profound may have happened in the intersection of bitcoin and media during those years: the messenger bearing the real story of bitcoin was shot dead — drowned out by the noise of the PRs and evangelists broadcasting alternative facts and claims. (Many of them communicated at poshly catered functions, panels, and debates at top-end venues across the city).

Did the purist bitcoin community become so distracted guarding itself from double-spending attacks that it missed an an attack of a different order on its network? Namely, a propaganda assault?

Or was this misdirection intentional all along? Who knows.

One thing we do know is that anyone who publicly rejected the propaganda-approved message (that bitcoin was cheap, disruptive, likely to get rid of all the middlemen) and argued bitcoin was mostly just recreating the same old system with new controllers in charge was met with highly hostile trolling attacks.

It’s worth noting that if the true purpose of bitcoin was always to reestablish a conventional and very much hierarchical banking system atop of a bitcoin reserve system — not the disruption of banking per se — distracting the world with fake news about its egalitarian attributes would certainly have served a purpose.

*It’s not a bad idea in essence. Though Finney’s presumption that this could pave the way to a free banking system within which banks’ money-like liabilities trade at varying discounts according to merit is hard to square with money’s need to be a stable and fungible store of value.
52  Bitcoin / Press / [2017-03-21] Coinbase has added margin trading to its bitcoin exchange on: March 22, 2017, 04:53:10 AM

GDAX, the cryptocurrency exchange run by Coinbase, has added margin trading to the platform.

Eligible traders can now trade up to 3X leveraged orders on Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin order books.

If you’re unfamiliar with trading and exchanges, margin trading is when you borrow money from your broker to buy or sell more stock than you can afford. It’s essentially a short-term loan. By buying or selling on margin, traders can increase their leverage and buying power, potentially generating profits beyond what their own cash balance would have supported.

This feature is mainly geared toward institutional investors. That’s because Coinbase has launched the feature attempting to fit within the boundaries of the Commodity Exchange Act.

This means that traders have to certify that they meet one of the qualifications to be allowed to trade on margin. While the full list is here, the requirements include things like being a corporation with a net worth exceeding $1,000,000 and trading on margin in order to hedge risks associated with your business. Individuals need to have a minimum of $5,000,000 invested on a discretionary basis in order to be allowed to trade on margin.

By deciding to build their product within the guidelines of the Commodity Exchange Act, Coinbase has at least initially excluded a large segment of their user base. Other exchanges, like, offers margin trading to all users — but probably wouldn’t stand up to U.S. regulators.

For Coinbase, moving slowly and maintaining a favorable relationship with regulators is necessary if the company wants to stick around. The company explained: “we’re committed to working with regulators as the blockchain space continues to develop, rather than take on unnecessary risk just to get features out more quickly. Some other digital currency exchanges have decided not to do this. For us, the best approach was to carefully design our margin trading feature and engage with the CFTC to make sure that GDAX remains compliant.”

Additionally, the exchange isn’t currently charging interest or fees to access Margin Trading because they “believe that consumer lending laws require specific licenses to do this.”

This move should also please Wall Street investors who were waiting on the recently denied Bitcoin ETF application. With the combination of margin support plus the strict regulatory focus, Coinbase and GDAX could be an ETF alternative for investors wanting to safely purchase bitcoin now.
53  Bitcoin / Press / [2017-03-21] Jackson pastor convicted in Bitcoin scheme on: March 22, 2017, 04:50:05 AM

SCOTUS nomination hearing day 2; Man sentenced to 40 years for murdering Rutgers student; Sesame Street's newest neighbor APP NewsBreak

A popular Jackson Township pastor has been convicted of illegally allowing Bitcoin scammers to launder dirty money through the pastor's credit union in exchange for kickbacks.

A federal jury in New York City found Trevón Gross, 52, pastor at Hope Cathedral in Jackson and former chairman of the now-defunct Helping Other People Excel Federal Credit Union, guilty of one count each of receipt of corrupt payments as an officer of a financial institution, conspiring to make or receive corrupt payments, obstructing a regulatory investigation and making false statements to regulators, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. The verdict was returned Friday following the pastor's trial. He was accused of accepting $150,000 in bribes but pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The scheme began in Florida, where Anthony R. Murgio ran, a bitcoin exchange service, with help from Yuri Lebedev, prosecutors said. Investigators charged Murgio and Lebedev with using a bogus antiques exchange as a front for the bitcoin service, skirting registration and reporting requirements on $10 million worth of bitcoin transactions. A bitcoin is a computer-generated digital currency that is used worldwide and is untraceable in most cases.

The owner of, Israeli national Gery Shalon, also was tied to a 2014 cyber attack against JPMorgan Chase bank, which federal investigators called the largest-ever theft of customer data from an American financial institution.

Murgio, Lebedev "and their co-conspirators engaged in substantial efforts to evade detection of their unlawful Bitcoin exchange scheme by operating through a phony front company called Collectibles Club, and by maintaining a corresponding phony Collectibles Club website," according to a criminal complaint against all three. They "sought to trick the major financial institutions through which they operated into believing their unlawful Bitcoin exchange business was simply a members-only association of individuals who discussed, bought, and sold collectible items, such as stamps and sports memorabilia."

Q & A: Bitcoin explained

Murgio and his associates opened bank accounts in the name of the dummy organization – one of them in New York – and told their customers to lie to banks about what they were buying through, according to the complaint.

Murgio and Lebedev roped in Gross in 2014, according to the complaint. Lebedev offered up $41,000 of his own money to help convince Gross to let him, Murgio and their associates take over HOPE FCU, a federal credit union based alternately in Lakewood and Jackson that catered to "primarily low-income members."

Gross had chaired the credit union's board. With Gross' help, Murgio "installed his co-conspirators, including Lebedev, on HOPE FCU's board of directors and transferred's banking operations to HOPE FCU," according to the complaint.

MIAMI JUDGE: Bitcoin is not money

The Florida-based crew used HOPE FCU "as a captive bank" into 2015, according to a March 2016 statement from then-U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, but the National Credit Union Administration – which charters and supervises federal credit unions – eventually caught on to the "substantial payment processing activity" that was going on there. The regulators "forced HOPE FCU to cease engaging in such activity."

Murgio moved his exchange offshore, and the regulators put HOPE FCU into conservatorship before killing it altogether, Bharara announced at the time.

According to a November 2015 statement from the regulatory agency, HOPE FCU had 110 members and $626,529 in assets just before it was liquidated.

Murgio, 34, of Tampa, Florida, pleaded guilty in January to one count of conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business, prosecutors said. The same jury that found Gross guilty also convicted Lebedev, 39, of St. Johns, Florida, of one count of making corrupt payments to an officer of a financial institution, participation in a conspiracy to make and receive corrupt payments, obstructing the regulators' examination, making false statements to regulators, wire fraud, bank fraud and conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud.

JACKSON: Council bans dorms amid accusations of bias

Gross is scheduled for sentencing on July 20.

Hope Cathedral's website still named Gross as pastor on Tuesday, as well as his wife, D. Qwynn Gross.

Gross "accepted his call to preach at a very young age. He was licensed to preach at the age of 14. Since that time, he has actively prepared for pastoral ministry," according to his biography on the church's website. "With degrees from the University of Virginia, Duke University and further graduate work at Harvard University, Pastor Trevón has a passion for teaching the word of God. His desire is to see people added to the family of God and growing in their faith so that they will see God's purposes for their lives unfold."

Gross could not be reached for comment. He faces 30 years in prison.

Henry Klingeman, Gross' defense attorney, said in an email to Newsweek magazine that, “On behalf of Pastor Gross, we will now seek a judgment of acquittal from the court and — if and when the time comes — a fair and lenient sentence.”

Alex N. Gecan: 732-643-4043;
54  Bitcoin / Press / [2017-03-21] Is This Massive Power Struggle About To Blow Up Bitcoin? on: March 22, 2017, 04:45:19 AM
Bitcoin's price plunged 25% over the weekend on rumors of a conspiracy theory to take over the network.

Long-simmering tensions between two factions hardened, with each side threatening the other with everything ranging from lawsuits to software changes that would completely cut off the opposing group.

Twitter, Reddit and Bitcoin forums were aflame with insults and tough talk as each stakeholder vied to ensure that their piece of the cryptocurrency, whose market cap fell from $20 billion to $15.5 billion, remained secure.

“We’re dangerously close to what could be the death of bitcoin,” said bitcoin developer Andrew DeSantis over the weekend after he posted a tweet storm Friday that set off alarm bells for many in the community.

What triggered the widespread panic was the possibility that the network would be controlled by an oligopoly rather than held in an equilibrium of competing interests.

From Thursday to Saturday, the value of bitcoin dropped 25%, though it has recovered somewhat to 15% below. That day, Vinny Lingham, an entrepreneur in the space known for his price targets, said, “The smart money left three days ago.”

The alleged bad actors maintained innocence.

“I think it’s conspiracy theorist stuff,” said Roger Ver, one of the most vocal advocates of a new version of the bitcoin software called Bitcoin Unlimited that, if it gains sufficient control of the computing power in the network, could become the main version of bitcoin and be incompatible with previous versions. (Ver is nicknamed Bitcoin Jesus because of his history evangelizing bitcoin.)

His fellow Bitcoin Unlimited supporter, Jihan Wu, the cofounder of bitcoin chip manufacturer Bitmain, said by phone from Beijing, “Definitely, I don't have such kind of plan.”

Whether or not the conspiracy theories are true, over the weekend, what has so far been a two-year-long he said-she said stalemate turned into an incredibly expensive game of chicken.

What They’re Fighting About

The crisis has its roots in a two-year-old debate over how to scale the network, which currently accommodates, on average, about a handful of transactions a second, based on a data cap of 1MB roughly every 10 minutes. On the surface, the argument is that some participants in the ecosystem want to raise that limit, called the block size, to what, under Bitcoin Unlimited, would be a flexible cap, while the developers who have been designing and maintaining the software for the last several years, a team called Bitcoin Core, want to keep the 1MB limit but make the system more efficient so it processes more transactions per block.

The argument stems from philosophical differences. “At the highest level, there are two camps that see bitcoin becoming two different things: digital gold or electronic cash,” says Adam White, head of GDAX, the professional trading platform of one of the most well-known startups in the space, Coinbase. “Neither is right or wrong. They’re just different perspectives on what the network can become.” The developers’ approach is one more of digital gold — not necessarily putting every coffee payment onto the bitcoin network itself, but having them processed by other, faster networks that would later connect to bitcoin’s to provide finality to the transaction. Bitcoin Unlimited’s vision, supported by a number of miners at this point, is of bitcoin as e-cash — a network that has room for every morning coffee to be processed on bitcoin’s network, which would, incidentally, give them more transaction fees.

However, what might, in the abstract, be called a philosophical disagreement has become, on the ground, an all-out power struggle.

To understand the fight, it helps to know the game theoretic aspects of bitcoin. Bitcoin miners are people and companies with computers that process transactions for the network by adding them to the blockchain, or the ledger of every bitcoin transaction since the network launched in January 2009. Miners are motivated by a payout that the bitcoin software makes as it mints new bitcoin with every block of transactions processed. (This so-called block reward is currently 12.5 bitcoins, or about $13,750 at press time.) In addition to newly minted bitcoins, miners also receive small transaction fees paid by every user sending bitcoin. Wu is involved in mining in two ways: He not only manufactures bitcoin mining chips through Bitmain but also runs the biggest bitcoin mining operation called Antpool.

Designing the game, and the incentives in it, are the developers. Their motivations can range from ideological to technical. Many developers simply want to see a decentralized financial system not controlled by one or a few entities, whether it’s a government or a few big miners. But they need the miners. Without miners, the network wouldn’t exist, and without enough of them it’s not secure. However, if too few of them dominate, then the delicate balance of no one party fully controlling the system falls apart since mining would be run by an oligopoly. Conversely, if the developers don’t do enough for the miners, the miners can retaliate against the developers.

Because the developers and the miners both need each other and have opposing incentives, they don’t fully trust each other. “Bitcoin is one of those things where nobody wants to be seen as controlling it,” says DeSantis. The magic of bitcoin has been the ability for various players with opposing interests to engage in a system that has so far led to an optimal outcome for all of them.

There’s one last group important to the game theory of bitcoin, but before we get to them: The detente between the two sides has lasted for a few years because the people who support bigger blocks (now in the form of Bitcoin Unlimited) had too little computing power on the network to take control of it. Also, certain technical upgrades, including a block size increase, require what’s called a hard fork, which runs the risk of creating two versions of bitcoin if not done with the full support of the community. Many consider this type of hostile hard fork a potential nuclear option in bitcoin — one that could destroy, or at least damage, the industry that, until last Thursday, had a $20 billion market cap.

From Impasse To Panic

On Friday, several exchanges announced that, in the event of a fork, Bitcoin Unlimited would not have the ticker symbol BTC. They were effectively preemptively awarding Bitcoin Core the reputation of being “the true bitcoin.” Many people in the community thought that that would deter Bitcoin Unlimited from forcing a hard fork.

But alarm spread when, later that day, DeSantis posted a 28-point tweet thread pointing out that Wu would soon be launching new facilities that would bring a lot more computing power to the network. (One deal was for U.S.-based facilities with John McAfee’s company MGT set to launch in the second quarter of 2017 and called MacPool.) While that wouldn’t necessarily give Wu or his companies more than 50% of the computing power, the worried developers hypothesized that since Wu’s company Bitmain manufactures the mining equipment that many miners use, purchasers of his mining equipment might feel pressure to support Bitcoin Unlimited so as not to have their supply of mining equipment cut off in the future. That could then tip Bitcoin Unlimited over the threshold that could allow them to, essentially, create a new version of bitcoin that cut off control from the current group of developers, which would then put the Bitcoin Unlimited developers in control and, at the very least, sow confusion in the market about which was the “true” bitcoin, if not make their version of it the dominant one.

The clincher? Bitmain owns, and Ver controls DeSantis asserts that, through search-engine strategies, Wu, Ver and their affiliates could lead many newcomers to believe that Bitcoin Unlimited is the “true” bitcoin. (The MacPool website, currently under construction, sports a ticker provided by; Ver is an advisor to MGT.)

As DeSantis puts it, “Most of the hardcore Bitcoiners are not good at talking to the press. They’d probably try to tell you about how the code is not the same and they’d go into some mathematical stuff and it would be a nightmare. You’d have a bunch of guys walking around, talking about math, and then other guys” — Wu, Ver, Bitcoin Unlimited — “saying, ‘We’re Use Bitcoin.’” (DeSantis also notes that McAfee has been accused of murder and Ver is a convicted felon.)

In response, the Core team, DeSantis and other bitcoin developers are contemplating their version of the nuclear option: that they change the Bitcoin software so that it no longer works on the hardware currently running it. It would be as if Microsoft decided to change Office so that it no longer ran on PCs, rendering an entire industry useless. (Such a move would hit Wu, as both a manufacturer of the equipment and a mining pool operator, doubly hard.)

But Eric Lombrozo, a Bitcoin Core developer, says, “I’d rather that not happen. I think it’d be dangerous for the network to go down that route. It’s basically a warpath…. But all the players have to consider that these things might actually happen.”

The Defense

Both Ver and Wu deny that they plotted to bring online new mining facilities that would force a fork to Bitcoin Unlimited and then push that as the “true” version of bitcoin. Their criticisms of Core are somewhat similar: Both are unhappy that the team has ignored what they believe is a need for bigger blocks, and both have personal gripes about the developers.

Ver says that Core is ignoring very real problems that currently exist on the network that not only slow transaction times but therefore make transactions less safe altogether. He also says that they treated “horribly” several developers who had been deeply involved in developing the protocol when they advocated for increasing the block size.

Wu thinks that Bitcoin Core’s current proposal to make the network more efficient (for technical reasons, called SegWit) is good technology that solves a number of problems. However, he is angry that about a year ago, a number of Core developers and miners came to an agreement in Hong Kong to adopt both SegWit and a small block size increase. Since then, the developers have proceeded with what they wanted — SegWit — but not the bigger blocks the miners desired.

(Calling the Hong Kong agreement “a diplomatic failure” and “botched,” Lombrozo wrote in an email, “The agreement was not signed by the Core team as a whole…it was signed by a few individual contributors and many of us felt that not only was it impossible to deliver what was expected but that it was contrary to the philosophical underpinnings of Bitcoin. … Ultimately, protocol changes cannot be negotiated behind closed doors by small numbers of people.”)

As for theories that purchasers of his mining equipment would feel pressure to support Bitcoin Unlimited, Wu says, “We have to look at the facts — whether I have ever done this to my customers before. No, I have never. Because the customers give us money to buy equipment. Maybe I can talk to them, maybe I can convince them about what is the best interest of bitcoin miners, but I never force them to do anything because that is anti-bitcoin.”

He also notes that some of the computing power in the new mining facilities will mostly be rented out to other miners (10% of the Chinese facility will be controlled by Bitmain) and so those miners, and not Bitmain, will choose whether to run Bitcoin Unlimited or Bitcoin Core on their individual machines. However, despite a March 1 press release announcing MacPool would go online in Q2, he could not give a launch date for either facility and said both were delayed.

When asked about the possibility of the Core team changing the software so it no longer works on his mining equipment (which involves changing something called the proof-of-work, or POW, algorithm), Wu, who first learned about bitcoin in 2011 and launched his company in 2013, said he remembers the first time he heard this threat in a chat forum in early 2016: “I was astonished. Switching the POW algorithm of bitcoin was never the kind of idea you can think of. If someone disagrees with you, you decide to what? I decided this was very political and was about interests, it’s not only about engineering. If it was only an engineering debate, it would not escalate to this level.” His conclusion: “Since they are doing such threatening, I think it’s OK that we run another kind of software, Bitcoin Unlimited.”

Wu says if Bitcoin Unlimited gets enough network power, the fork will occur. This could create two coins — one with less value than the other, as happened last summer when the Ethereum network split into two, creating Ethereum and Ethereum Classic, the latter of which is worth a fraction of Ethereum even though it is technically the original chain. When asked why he would be willing to risk losing what could potentially not only be a huge sum of money but his entire business, Wu says, “I will reject your assumption” — meaning, he refused to even entertain the possibility that Bitcoin Unlimited would become the chain of lesser value.

Hypothetically, the final touches on the Bitcoin Unlimited nuclear option would be if, after the fork, Bitcoin Unlimited allocated some of its computer power to attacking the other chain so that it was unable to function properly. It would be possible technically since, in order to fork, it would need to gain 80% of the computing power, which means the other side would have a fraction right after the split. (Unlimited has ramped up steeply, rising from about 20% to 37% share over the last month, while Core fell from 80% to 62%. Another miner today announced support for Unlimited.) When asked if Wu would undermine Core, he wouldn’t rule it out: “It may not be necessary to attack it. But to attack it is always an option.” Another way of harming Bitcoin Core would be if supporters of Bitcoin Unlimited dumped all their Bitcoin Core bitcoins, driving down the price for Bitcoin Core coins.

Meanwhile, the Bitcoin Core developers and DeSantis say they are working on a compromise to prevent the various nuclear options. Wu declined to comment on whether he is currently negotiating with anyone. However, just in case, Core is working on new versions of the software that wouldn’t run on current mining equipment.

The Way Forward

Back to our game theory analysis: The last group with an interest in bitcoin are the users, whose motivation is to make bitcoin transactions. (Note: exchanges have a role too, but they will ultimately follow the market, hence, for this discussion, we’ll lump them in with the users.) The way in which the network accommodates more transactions may be immaterial to many of them, making them neutral on the e-cash vs. digital gold question. However, their power over the system is economic: If, say, two versions of bitcoin came out — one that reflected the miners’ preferences and one that reflected the developers’ — the one that would prevail (or at least dominate, if both continued to exist) won’t necessarily be the one that the majority of miners support even though that network might be more robust. Nor would it necessarily be the one that the majority of developers support, even though that network might be perceived as being more technically sound or more decentralized. It would be whichever one the greatest number of investors put their faith in.

Wu suggests a futures contract to determine what the market response would be before any nuclear options are pursued. One currently on offer on cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex shows Bitcoin Unlimited having a fraction of the value of Bitcoin Core. But Wu says the contract is not structured correctly and instead suggests one with three possible outcomes: Bitcoin Unlimited after a fork; Bitcoin Core after a fork; and Bitcoin Core as it is now, no forks. (The current contract could be lumping together the latter two possibilities into one.)

Whether this death match ends in disaster or a truce remains to be seen. After all, Bitcoin's "death" has been pronounced many times. However, while Bitcoin’s price has been seesawing, the value of Ethereum has more than doubled in the past two weeks and quadrupled since January, giving it a market capitalization of almost $4 billion. Bitcoin’s has now risen to $18 billion by press time, though it was as low as $15.5 billion on Saturday. Still, many cryptocurrency traders talk of what they foresee as “the flippening” — the moment when Ethereum’s market capitalization surpasses that of bitcoin’s. Some industry players surmise that if bitcoin underwent some fiasco around the same time Ethereum gained more validation, the two market caps could cross and never reverse. (Bitcoin's block size debate may have also gotten at least one Ethereum developer contemplating reducing the reward to their miners.)

Lingham no longer even cares about DeSantis’s theory that Wu, Ver, McAfee and company planned to use their new mining facilities to force a fork to Bitcoin Unlimited. “I don’t want to delve into the details of whether this is true or not,” he says. “It’s irrelevant. The point is … this should not be possible in bitcoin.”

Despite the bitter grudges held on both sides, multiple sources said that they thought the most likely outcome was that no hard fork would occur. “My suspicion is these people aren’t dumb enough to try to actually, in such a public way, get control of bitcoin because they know it would lead to a big price drop in general, no matter how good the outcome was,” says Peter Todd, a bitcoin protocol researcher who is aligned with DeSantis and Core. “I think the most likely scenario is that nothing will happen. I really mean nothing.”

Laura Shin hosts the Unchained podcast (Google Play, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn) and wrote The Millennial Game Plan. Disclosure: I own some bitcoin and ether.
55  Bitcoin / Press / [2017-03-22] Investment Opportunity with InvestorBitcoin on: March 22, 2017, 04:24:40 AM
This is a paid press release. CoinTelegraph does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. Readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company. CoinTelegraph is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

Investor Bitcoin - received an influx of investment capital this past February to the tune of nearly four million dollars. How the company plans on using it should excite its members and inspire others to join one of its three investment plans.

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Investor Bitcoin expands and diversifies holdings to increase company solvency. The company will also utilize its newly earned assets to expand and diversify its holdings. Its team of financial experts have already begun reinvesting in a wide range of market investment assets including: stocks, bonds, futures, currencies, precious metals, oil trading, and others.

Strengthening the company’s overall financial profile is a goal that company spokesmen say will increase member confidence. Spokesmen also say it will expand bitcoin investment opportunities for everyone, and add more security for its members. Recently, bitcoin surpassed gold in value for the first time in its existence. It is market changes like this that the company says it can respond to with an established and well-rounded investment strategy that it will employ.

Three investment plans lead to big profits. The bitcoin investment company offers three bitcoin investment plans that are currently providing unprecedented returns on investments. The three levels of plans enable members the opportunity to earn significant profits by investing in bitcoins. The company’s three different investment plans include the following:

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56  Bitcoin / Press / [2017-03-21] Asian Banks Outline Blockchain Use Cases on: March 22, 2017, 04:19:24 AM
Financial Institutions are eager to identify the commercial opportunity that blockchain technology can offer their business and ways it can help reduce costs, improve reporting, reduce fraud and enhance security and visibility.

The Blockchain for Finance Conference, Asia Pacific (June 20-21, Singapore) will evaluate the latest use cases and POC’s to help you assess the viability of adopting distributed ledger technology. Highlights include:

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, China Construction Bank, Mizuho & OCBC Bank will set out their blockchain strategies helping you to understand the capability of this technology

The Monetary Authority of Singapore will review the Intellectual Property challenge and how the recent influx of patent filings may impact the wider financial services sector

Tackle the unknowns and business challenges associated with blockchain adoption with input from R3 to ensure all trepidations with this technology are properly addressed

Hear how Manulife see blockchain playing a vital role in optimising current processes in insurance and how a decentralised approach could help improve security and trust

PLUS hear from BNY Mellon, Nordea Bank, Japan Exchange Group, Metaverse, Astri, Standards Australia and ACCESS to improve your blockchain adoption strategy. Review the conference brochure now at:

If you have any questions about the conference or would like to discuss participating, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the conference director on:

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57  Bitcoin / Press / [2017-03-21] Chinese Central Bank Requiring Extreme Customer Verificate at Exchg on: March 22, 2017, 04:14:45 AM

A leading Chinese bitcoin exchange, Huobi, reportedly sent a letter to its customers to inform them of yet another set of new Anti-money laundering (AML) requirements. Customers are now required to provide explicit details and proof of the sources of their funds, destinations of bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies withdrawn, as well as their purposes for withdrawing.

New AML Requirements

In its letter, Huobi cites AML regulations imposed by Chinese regulators including the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and China Banking Regulatory Commission. Customers of Huobi, and Chinese Bitcoin Exchanges Requiring Extreme AML Customer Verificationspotentially of all Chinese bitcoin exchanges, must now provide:

1. Account information used to log in at the exchange.
2. Explanations and evidence of the sources of their deposits.
3. Destinations and evidence of the bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies withdrawn.
4. Explanations of the purposes of their withdrawals.

In an unprecedented move against privacy, all documents and proof submitted will be sent to the National Archives, the letter informs customers, adding that they will need to certify that all information and proof provided are authentic.

Required: Proof of Funding Sources

As proof of their funds, Huobi is asking their customers for a detailed list of historical transactions from the customer’s bank account used to deposit funds at the exchange. The burdensome requirements include: Chinese Bitcoin Exchanges Requiring Extreme AML Customer Verifications

1. The bank transfer records to the exchange’s account.
2. Written explanations of the sources of the funds transferred.
3. Screen captures and other relevant proof that can back up the explanations given above.

The letter suggests providing a historical record of items matching the deposit amount such as monthly salary, money withdrawn from other platforms or money borrowed from friends. For borrowed funds, IOU documents would need to be attached as proof. Wechat screenshots are acceptable evidence as well.

Required: Withdrawal Destinations & Purposes

The destinations of all cryptocurrency withdrawn will also be under the spotlight. Customers need to declare where the coins will be sent to, such as to a personal wallet or Chinese Bitcoin Exchanges Requiring Extreme AML Customer Verificationsanother platform. For example, screenshot evidence of the deposit pages of other platforms showing matching customers’ names and addresses are needed. The purposes for withdrawal, such as to use them for financial investment or arbitrage, must also be declared.

The exchange then warned their customers that the funds used to participate in illegal fundraising will not be protected by law and customers will bear the risks and responsibilities by themselves. It is also illegal to participate in money laundering and pyramid schemes, the letter states. Customers were also told that they would be held responsible for engaging in such activities.

Moving the Market Underground

The move is the latest in a long series of new regulations imposed by the PBOC this year on bitcoin exchanges. In mid-February, the Bank applied several new rules, including the end of zero-fee bitcoin trading in the country. This resulted in a large number of customers leaving those exchanges to purchase their bitcoins in underground markets like

Early this month, the PBOC listed a long set of rules for Chinese bitcoin exchanges to follow, and more guidelines have kept piling up since. Zhou Xuedong, a PBOC director whose department carried out the inspections of Chinese bitcoin exchanges early this year, said that the bank would concentrate on AML regulations of exchanges’ customers. Last week, bitcoin exchanges reportedly added an on-site identity verification requirement, including an in-person visit, to deposit or withdraw 50,000 yuan or more.

What do you think of the new requirements on customers of Chinese bitcoin exchanges? Let us know in the comments section below.
58  Bitcoin / Press / [2017-03-21]Bitcoin Withdrawals Expected to Resume As Chinese Exchanges Ask User on: March 21, 2017, 03:42:47 PM

Chinese exchanges have begun requiring customers to provide details of the source of cryptocurrency funds and where they will be withdrawn to.

The information, a first for the Chinese cryptocurrency market, suggests exchanges will shortly re-allow Bitcoin withdrawals after a month-long pause.

In a letter from one exchange, Huobi, translated by local news resource cnLedger, reference is made to “AML regulations by government departments” as the root motivation for requesting the details.

The letter states:
“According to AML regulations by government departments including the Central Bank and China Banking Regulatory Commission, you are required to provide explanation of the sources of your funds, and the destinations of the crypto-coins you withdraw.”

In a curious measure in terms of security, customers appear to be required to turn over exchange login details as part of the procedure.

In terms of withdrawal “destinations,” bank account information must be supplied, along with “explanations of the sources of the funds transferred” and “relevant proof that can back up [the explanations].”

CnLedger stresses the information is as yet unconfirmed.

LocalBitcoins activity
Chinese Bitcoin investors have renewed trading activities on alternative resources such as LocalBitcoins over the past week ahead of likely regulatory movements.

LocalBitcoins trading remains unregulated in China, the market setting constant new highs week on week in the seven days to March 18, transferring over 60 mln yuan.
59  Bitcoin / Press / [2017-03-21] Chandler Guo’s Mining Pool Makes the Jump to Bitcoin Unlimited on: March 21, 2017, 03:32:00 PM
During the first week of February bitcoin miner and angel investor Chandler Guo revealed he would begin supporting Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) in the near future. Now on March 21, Guo has announced he’s made the jump towards voting for BU with his mining pool’s hashpower.

Chandler Guo Supports Bitcoin Unlimited
Over the past two months, there has been a lot of support directed at the BU protocol as many miners have begun to vote for the bitcoin client. Last week the large mining pool Antpool pointed a majority of its hashpower towards BU. Antpool currently runs 19 percent of the global hashrate.

Following Antpool’s decision to support BU, another mining operation called the Bitclub Network mined its first BU block on March 20. Bitclub Network’s pool commands 3.7 percent of the global hashrate and pool owners detailed they were frustrated with network congestion

Last month Chandler Guo said he was creating a new mining operation called X pool and stated, “The pool will signal Bitcoin Unlimited.” Guo has always been opinionated and vocal within the cryptocurrency industry as he is well known for his stance during the Ethereum fork. On March 21 Guo revealed to his Twitter followers, he will now be directing his support towards the BU protocol.

I’ve made the jump to Bitcoin Unlimited today. Come join us, come to Bitcoin Unlimited.

Guo’s X Pool Joins the Fleet of Global Miners Supporting the BU Protocol

At press time 40.3 percent of blocks mined on March 21 supported BU. Pools signaling BU support include Viabtc, Antpool, Bitclub Network,, BTCtop, Canoe, GBminers, and Slush.

Chandler Guo's Mining Pool Makes the Jump to Bitcoin Unlimited
40.3 % of blocks mined on March 21 show Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) support.
With the additional push from Chandler Guo’s mining pool, roughly another one percent of the network hashrate will be added to BU support. If Guo follows through with his original plan and adds another 100PH to the X pool, the operation hopes it can accumulate 3.3 percent of the global hashrate in the near future.

Bitcoin Unlimited support at the time of writing has signals stemming from nine mining pools. represents Chandler’s Guo’s X pool.

The Chinese investor is a big believer in the cryptocurrency revolution stating last year he believes the global GDP will be based on bitcoin. Guo also has a vested interest in Ethereum Classic (ETC) and has offered capital to ETC startups working with the protocol. With X pool (which also consists of pointing its hashrate at BU, it shows Guo is once again stating his opinion publicly but also backing up his words with hash power.

What do you think about Chandler Guo supporting Bitcoin Unlimited? Let us know in the comments below.
60  Bitcoin / Press / [2017-03-21] Vietnam’s Central Bank Establishes FinTech Steering Committee on: March 21, 2017, 03:29:45 PM
The governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, the country’s central bank, has signed on the decision to establish a steering committee on FinTech, or financial technology.

Signed on Friday by State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) governor Nguyen Van Binh, the ‘SBV Steering Committee on FinTech will see representatives from departments within the central bank as well as the National Payment Corporation of Vietnam (NAPAS). The aim of the committee is to encourage the development of Fintech companies in the country with guidance from the government, according to a release by the central bank.

NAPAS is the operator and managing entity of the inter-bank payments system in Vietnam, responsible for switching and electronic clearing & settlement services in the country. Its inter-bank platform connects nearly 17,000 ATMs, 90 million domestic payment cards from 43 commercial and foreign banks operating in Vietnam. NAPAS is also tasked with building a system that enables electronic clearing automation for retail transactions, pushing cashless payments in Vietnam.

The influential body will now be responsible for devising and proposing an annual action plan for the new committee. The SBV Steering Committee on FinTech is to be led by the central bank’s deputy director Nguyen Kim Anh and its payment department’s deputy director Nghiem Thanh Son, the latter taking the mantle as vice chairman of the Committee.

The FinTech Committee will also advise the Governor with solutions to cement a strong FinTech ecosystem. A notable endeavor will see the establishment of a legal framework to facilitate performance and development of Vietnamese FinTech startups. Further, the Committee will submit strategies and formulate plans to accelerate the pace of FinTech development in Vietnam.

The Committee, which took effect as soon as the governor signed off on it, launches alongside a new working group established by the SBV governor. Comprising of official personnel and specialists from ‘functioning departments of the SBV and the NAPAS’ the working group will support the SBV Steering Committee. The working group will be led by Nghiem Thanh Son, who will also serve as vice chairman of the committee.

FinTech in Vietnam: Bitcoin & Blockchain Awareness

Among the fastest-growing economies of the world, Vietnam is also home to a sinking poverty line and a rapid rate of smartphone adoption. The emerging economy is a market ripe for disruption, with financial and basic banking services now a possibility to the unbanked via smartphones.

Vietnamese FinTech startup Remitano, a Fintech P2P trading platform, revealed plans toward expanding beyond its borders recently. This year, Hong Kong-based blockchain settlements platform OKLink, sister company of Chinese digital currency exchange OkCoin, enabled international remittances for Vietnamese users with near-instant settlements to Vietnamese dong, the local currency.

In early 2016, a partnership between Danish bitcoin merchant services provider Coinify and Bitcoin Vietnam Co. Ltd., Vietnam’s first bitcoin exchange, enabled merchants in the country to receive payments in bitcoin and 17 other digital currencies.

A Coinify representative told CCN at the time:

Owing to the fact that Coinify and Bitcoin Vietnam will launch the first merchant processing platform tailored for the country, this can be [used by] basically any online business/ shop owner in Vietnam.
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