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Today 26 news :

  • Asian Metals Market Update: June-01-2017, par Bethel, 1 June 2017

    Thursday 1 June 2017 :: Silver For The People - The Blog » bitcoin :: RSS / By: Chintan Karnani, Insignia Consultants / 1 June 2017
    Factors which can affect markets
    There are a lot of economic data releases today. There is even the US weekly crude oil inventory today. The next two days are make or break days for metals and energies. Either they rise or there will be a big crash.
    In June the factors that I will be looking at are: (a) The impact of May nonfarm payrolls on US interest rate hikes for the rest of the year (b) UK elections. A bad performance by Ms. Theresa May can result in zooming of gold prices on safe haven demand and vice-versa. (c) The situation in Philippines should never be ignored due to its strategic location. If the war with ISIS in Philippines spreads to some geographical area in the nation, gold prices will be positively affected. (d) Direction of bitcoin will also affect gold prices.
    The post Asian Metals Market Update: June-01-2017 appeared first on Silver For The People. Read more Bethel
  • gmaxwell commented on issue btc1/bitcoin#8, par gmaxwell, 1 June 2017

    Thursday 1 June 2017 :: gmaxwell’s Activity :: RSS
    Jun 1, 2017 gmaxwell commented on issue btc1/bitcoin#8 To the extent that current segwit disables asicboost, or not, that remains unchanged and unmodified. Good, but then I'm confused why PR#6 is stil… Read more gmaxwell
  • gmaxwell commented on issue btc1/bitcoin#8, par gmaxwell, 1 June 2017

    Thursday 1 June 2017 :: gmaxwell’s Activity :: RSS
    Jun 1, 2017 gmaxwell commented on issue btc1/bitcoin#8 Because this states that " This is outside the scope of the SegWit2x charter". This sounds like it is reinterperting the charter to say that it sho… Read more gmaxwell
  • gmaxwell commented on issue btc1/bitcoin#8, par gmaxwell, 1 June 2017

    Thursday 1 June 2017 :: gmaxwell’s Activity :: RSS
    Jun 1, 2017 gmaxwell commented on issue btc1/bitcoin#8 The agreement as stands already bans segwit incompatible covert asicboost: It says the signers will immediate deploy segwit. And segwit breaks the … Read more gmaxwell
  • Bitcoin Surges Back Above $2450 After China Eases Exchange Controls, par Cheery, 1 June 2017

    Thursday 1 June 2017 :: Silver For The People - The Blog » bitcoin :: RSS / by Tyler Durden / Jun 1, 2017
    Bitcoin has retraced over half its losses from last week‘s tumble, rallying back above $2450 oveenight after news that China’s three largest bitcoin exchanges are allowing customers to withdraw bitcoins from their accounts.
    As CoinTelegraph reports, on May 31, local Chinese Bitcoin and cryptocurrency news source cnLedger reported that OKCoin China resumed withdrawals for traders.
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    The post Bitcoin Surges Back Above $2450 After China Eases Exchange Controls appeared first on Silver For The People. Read more Cheery
  • INTERNET SHUTDOWN TO STOP BITCOIN? | Rob Kirby, par Cheery, 1 June 2017

    Thursday 1 June 2017 :: Silver For The People - The Blog » bitcoin :: RSS

    SilverDoctorsPublished on Jun 1, 2017
    The post INTERNET SHUTDOWN TO STOP BITCOIN? | Rob Kirby appeared first on Silver For The People. Read more Cheery
  • Nevada's Blockchain Technology Bill Enrolled, par (dinbits), 1 June 2017

    Thursday 1 June 2017 :: dinbits XBT News :: RSS

    NEVADA (USA) - The state of Nevada passed Senate Bill No. 398 outlining legality and provisions in regards to blockchain technology and it's use.

    On May 30th, 2017, Senate Bill 398, sponsored by Senator Ben Kieckhefer (R), was enrolled after unanimously passing the Senate. The bill "Establishes various provisions relating to the use of blockchain technology" and amends Chapter 719 of NRS (Nevada Revised Statues). 

    More formally the senate bill states:

    AN ACT relating to electronic transactions; recognizing blockchain technology as a type of electronic record for the purposes of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act; prohibiting a local government from taxing or imposing restrictions upon the use of a blockchain; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.

    The amendment covers the definition of a blockchain, including the term in it's definition of an "electronic record" in Sec. 3. NRS 719.090 and outright defines blockchain as:

    “Blockchain” means an electronic record of transactions or other data which is:
     1. Uniformly ordered;
     2. Redundantly maintained or processed by one or more computers or machines to guarantee the consistency or nonrepudiation of the recorded transactions or other data; and
     3. Validated by the use of cryptography. 

    The amendment goes on to say that the use blockchain tech will not be taxed and in Section 4 states "county commissioners"... "shall not":

     (b) Require any person or entity to obtain from the board of county commissioners any certificate, license or permit to use a blockchain; or
     (c) Impose any other requirement relating to the use of a blockchain by any person or entity. 

    If additionally amends Sec. 6. Chapter 268 of NRS to further prohibit any other "governing body of an incorporated city, whether organized under general law or special charter" to impose a tax or require a certificate or license for blockchain use of Nevada residents.

    For the most part, that encompasses the items amended with the enrollment of Senate Bill 938 indicating Nevada is another state getting serious about blockchain technology.


    The only thing missing was a snappy tagline like "whatever is written to a blockchain, stays on a blockchain..." but then again they really don't have a choice about that one.

    Which is the only concern in the matter, the bill accepts blockchain signatures (as in contract signatures) as actual signatures without the prerequisite of any requirements of blockchain constitution.

    It simply states a blockchain is "Redundantly maintained or processed by one or more computers or machines to guarantee the consistency or nonrepudiation of the recorded transactions or other data". The key words being "one or more" because 1 or even 100 machines combined to construct a blockchain is far from secure or tamper resistant enough to be considered a "signature" worthy of being legally binding.

    Nevada might want to go back and rethink that one. The result otherwise may end up being "Bob's blockchain" in the back shed legally recording records of signatures that could end up binding an instrument whereas "Bob's blockchain" may be about as secure as a safe made of glass or an Android cell phone ... and that's barely a step above two cups and a string.

    Written by dinbits
    Edited by Georgiana Quinn
    Artwork: Banner image created staff

    References: Nevada Senate Bill No 938

    The opinions expressed by authors of articles linked, referenced, or published on do not necessarily express, nor are endorsed by, the opinions the of or its affiliates.

    Read more (dinbits)
  • Bitcoin Is All That Stands Between My Family And Starvation, par The Foundation for Economic Education, 1 June 2017

    Thursday 1 June 2017 :: ValueWalk » Bitcoin :: RSS
    I’m writing this post in response to comments I get from people when I try and explain what Bitcoin is. Uneducated people have told me countless times that bitcoins are only used by criminals. I want to debunk that myth and explain how the real potential for bitcoins is so much bigger than the black market can ever be.
    Digital currencies
    MichaelWuensch / Pixabay

    Bitcoin is literally saving my family from hunger and giving them the financial freedom to immigrate in the near future. My parents and sister live in Venezuela. A lot of you might not know exactly what’s happening there so here are the cliff notes.
    1. An incredibly incompetent socialist government took power.
    2. They created strict currency controls that made it impossible for people to buy goods in anything other than their local currency. If you owned a business and needed to import something from overseas you needed the government’s approval to exchange the local currency to US dollars
    3. This made running a business almost impossible. To operate you had to buy US dollars on a black market or bribe a government official to exchange currency.
    4. When oil prices dropped the government quickly ran out of money causing an expected inflation of 1800% in 2017.

    For more about what’s going on in Venezuela check our
    Things started to get really bad in Venezuela around 2014. My father owned at the time a successful air conditioning repair business but he knew things were about to take a turn for the worse. We came up with a plan to open a US bank account and convert bolívars (Venezuelan currency) into US dollars so we would be protected from inflation. We quickly ran into logistical problems, physically getting and safely transporting the money out of the country.
    The economy is Venezuela is dead.
    Caracas is one of the most violent cities in the world. Carjackings are common and people are killed for their cell phones. The airport police are corrupt and just as likely to rob you, and the money can’t be put in the local bank because you aren’t allowed to have dollars.
    I’m 2014 Bitcoin was a new technology so we were very skeptical about it but we didn’t have any other options.
    Fast forward to 2017. The economy is Venezuela is dead. My father lost his air conditioning business and people like our neighbors that were middle and upper class a few years ago can’t afford food. Thanks to the rising price of Bitcoin and its relative stability (to the Venezuelan economy), my family is part of a very small fortunate minority that can afford to help feed their community and also potentially immigrate to another country.
    Now consider how big the Venezuelan economy is and that other countries like Brazil and Argentina are also experiencing similar problems. If citizens converted only a small amount of their savings into bitcoins this would represent an incredible amount of money.
    Bitcoin might not be the perfect hero we want but it’s what we need.
    Bitcoin can give anyone the ability to trade freely and protect themselves financially against corrupt and incompetent governments. In a world of 6 billion people, most of whom have no access or are ineligible for basic banking services, and an increasing number of governments opposing free speech and basic human rights, Bitcoin might not be the perfect hero we want but it’s what we need.
    So in summary, Bitcoin is used by criminals the same way cash is used by criminals. If you take one step back you’ll realize that the possible legitimate uses for Bitcoin are far greater than the black market can ever be.
    Reprinted from Reddit.

    The author of this essay requested to remain anonymous.
    This article was originally published on Read the original article.

    The post Bitcoin Is All That Stands Between My Family And Starvation appeared first on ValueWalk. Read more The Foundation for Economic Education
  • Silicon Valley Startup Lets Users Move Money Without Government Interference By Turning Their Phones Into Stand-Alone Banks [Reason Podcast], par Jim Epstein, 1 June 2017

    Thursday 1 June 2017 :: Bitcoin :: RSS

    The world's immigrants sent more than half a trillion dollars back to their home countries in 2016. This flow of capital—the largest and most effective foreign aid program by a long shot—is encumbered by high fees and other obstructions that are a result of government policies. In the U.S., the remittance industry has been cartelized by heavy regulation; other nations prevent the free movement of money through fixed (and extremely disadvantageous) exchange rates, taxes, and arbitrary caps on the amount an individual can send in a given year.Bill Barhydt ||| Abra
    Enter Bill Barhydt, the founder and CEO of the Mountain View, California-based startup Abra, which offers a simple way to send money anywhere in the world using a smart phone. The best part is that governments have no power to interfere with Abra's payment network.
    In contrast to apps like Venmo or PayPal, Abra parks digital cash on the phone itself so there's no need for a third party to clear transactions. It's also completely peer-to-peer, kind of like handing someone cash—but unlike cash, it's all digital and doesn't require a face-to-face hand-off.
    Abra's secret is that it's built on top of bitcoin, which is what lends it these amazing properties. What sets Abra apart from other bitcoin wallets is that its users don't need to know what bitcoin is. The complexity is packed under the hood.
    I sat down with Barhydt at the Consensus conference in New York City last week to discuss why he launched Abra, bitcoin as "regulatory arbitrage," and whether rising transaction fees on the bitcoin blockchain could undermine the company's mission.
    For more on Barhydt's vision, read my 2015 article on the company.
    Produced by Ian Keyser.
    Subscribe, rate, and review the Reason Podcast at iTunes. Listen at SoundCloud below:

    Don't miss a single Reason podcast! (Archive here.)
    Subscribe at iTunes.
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    Photo Credit: Abra.
    This is a rush transcript—check all quotes against the audio for accuracy.
    Jim Epstein: Let me actually start by just asking you what is Abra and what problem are you solving?
    Bill Barhydt: Abra is a money transfer service that allows people to use their own smartphone to send money between any two phone numbers in the world in real time. So you can hold for the first time dollars on a smartphone in the U.S. and send Renminbi to a smartphone in China and the money magically shows up on the phone. Think of it like Venmo but cross-border.
    Jim Epstein: With Venmo, you're ... I've never used Venmo, but you are hooking Venmo into a bank account, right?
    Bill Barhydt: Correct.
    Jim Epstein: Dilate on that for a moment. How is Abra different?
    Bill Barhydt: Sure. What is happening at Abra is very different than the way these traditional kind of mobile money services work. Usually, with a mobile money service like a Venmo, the money's held at a bank. Like in the case of Venmo, it's held at Wells Fargo. In the case of an M-pesa in Kenya, there's a Kenyan bank that holds the money. With Abra, there is no bank. We actually turn your phone into its own bank using bitcoin blockchain technology in the background in a way that's transparent to the consumer. So the user experience is very Venmo-like or very PayPal-like, but what's happening behind the scenes is totally different. This is really important because it's what enables Abra to work legally at global scale.
    Jim Epstein: The money is actually on the phone?
    Bill Barhydt: It is on the phone. The first time you-
    Jim Epstein: Explain that to me a little bit.

    Bill Barhydt: Sure. Let me just make this point. The first time you get money to the app, it asks you to create a backup of your wallet. If you don't do that backup and you lose your phone, you've actually lost your money. That's very important to us that we obviously don't want people to lose their money.
    When I say you get your own bank on the phone, the bitcoin blockchain technology uses this sophisticated what we call public private key cryptography to create entries on the bitcoin blockchain. With Abra, you're getting your own key, private key, directly on the phone and that is effectively, that's called a digital piggy bank.
    Jim Epstein: A key being like a string of numbers and letters?
    Bill Barhydt: Exactly.
    Jim Epstein: Which represent actual money, you could print them on a piece of paper and they would still be money.
    Bill Barhydt: That's right. They represent a series of transactions on this bitcoin blockchain that amounts to a balance of bitcoin that you own.
    Jim Epstein: But do you have to understand this to use the app?
    Bill Barhydt: That's the beauty here is that we completely hide the complexity of all of this tech mumbo jumbo to the average consumer so that they're just seeing a really slick, clean interface that looks just like they're sending dollars or euros or pesos or yen without having to understand all the tech.
    Jim Epstein: Probably more than Venmo, I think of M-pesa, which is a type of mobile money used primarily in Kenya, and you're not hooking into a bank, it's cell phone minutes almost turned into currency. That's really allowed, in Kenya, to make a lot of digital payments with your phone. How is Abra different from that?
    Bill Barhydt: Right. So, there's a couple of very key differences. With the M-pesa model, there's an e-money float that it issues. This e-money float is stored at a bank and it's centrally managed. They're using third-party agents, mostly wireless airtime dealers, to buy and sell the float to and from consumers. That model is still regulated because somebody else is managing your money. With Abra, there is no centralized float of currency. It is the bitcoin blockchain itself in the background that processes the transactions. When you buy and sell money to get it on and off your phone, you're doing it directly from someone else who's acting of their own accord, we call them "Abra tellers", to buy and sell digital currency to you to get it on and off your phone.
    Jim Epstein: This is sort of an Uber-like network.
    Bill Barhydt: Exactly. As an Abra customer, you also have the opportunity to sign up to become an Abra teller. Think of an Abra teller as a human ATM machine. This human ATM machine can process a deposit and a withdrawal for you into or out of your Abra app anywhere in the world for any currency. But these people are not acting on behalf of Abra, they're acting on behalf of themselves. They're actually buying and selling the money on and off their own phone directly to you.
    Jim Epstein: Then how do the foreign exchange transactions happen?
    Bill Barhydt: The foreign exchange transactions actually happen directly on the phone itself. This is super cool. So when you send money from a dollar phone, like a phone holding dollars on their Abra app, to a phone holding euros on their Abra app, the second you send the money, it's actually converted in the background back to pure bitcoin. Then when it lands on the phone of the consumer holding euros, it's re-converted to euros transparently to that consumer using this digital blockchain technology that we created. The whole process is completely transparent but there are no banks involved in the process. There's a whole ton of magic involved in the background making this work.
    Jim Epstein: Yeah, and what's nice about the Abra app is, unlike with most bitcoin use cases, you need to be a kind of a tech expert or a hacker. It's very complex. The goal is to make it simple, right?
    Bill Barhydt: Absolutely. The litmus test is, can my mother use it? And my mother can use Abra. My mother cannot use an off the shelf pure bitcoin wallet app. But she can use Abra with no problem.
    Jim Epstein: Okay. How long has the company been around, how much money have you raised, how big is your footprint right now?
    Bill Barhydt: Sure. Abra is two years old. We've raised about 20 million dollars, we're 40 employees, headquartered in Mountain View, California, near Google headquarters. We've got employees in several countries now, but primarily in Mountain View. We launched our service globally a couple of months ago. We spent a ton of time building out the network, testing, signing up tellers. We did a test launch in the U.S. and the Philippines last year, which allowed us to improve the user experience, get a lot of feedback, get the bugs out of the system. I'm happy to say we launched the service globally in mid-March and it's been going fantastic ever since.
    Jim Epstein: How are people using it? What are you seeing?
    Bill Barhydt: We're seeing a few different use cases. People have figured out that if I'm using bitcoin and I have a lot of bitcoin, and there's probably 10 million pretty active bitcoin users now, and of course those numbers have been going up lately, they can only traditionally send bitcoin to somebody who also uses bitcoin. But with Abra, bitcoin is just another currency. So I can send money from my bitcoin wallet through Abra to somebody who receives dollars or euros or yen or pesos, and they don't even know that I sent them bitcoin. I do demos all the time where people are asking me about how bitcoin works, and I say, "You want to receive some bitcoin?" They say, "Well, I wouldn't know how to do that." I say, "Well, just download Abra. I'm going to send you bitcoin and you're going to see it as dollars on your phone." They're amazed at how easy now it is to do that. So we have a lot of people doing that.
    We have people who buy gaming credits online using Abra at checkout. We have people doing transfers between U.S. and Philippines, U.S. and India, India and the U.S. ... There's a lot of countries now that are generating transaction volume in the system.
    Jim Epstein: To reiterate again, this is all peer to peer. Abra is not in between these.
    Bill Barhydt: Correct.
    Jim Epstein: It's non-custodial.
    Bill Barhydt: That is correct.
    Jim Epstein: And by non-custodial, what do you mean exactly?
    Bill Barhydt: Yeah. We use the phrase "non-custodial wallets" in technical and legal terms to describe Abra. Non-custodial is the opposite of what a traditional bank does. A bank takes custody of your money, meaning they are a custodial service from a money management perspective. With Abra, the phone becomes its own bank so there is no third party custodian. You don't lose possession of your money at any point in the Abra experiences, and that's what makes Abra non-custodial.
    Jim Epstein: I want to get into the implications of that from a regulatory standpoint, but first, let me just ask you one sort of technical question about the system that comes to mind, which is that every transaction, as I understand it, through Abra, is happening on the bitcoin blockchain.
    Bill Barhydt: Correct.
    Jim Epstein: Which is this decentralized ledger database which is shared, and that's what allows this direct peer-to-peer trade. Now, as people that follow this space closely know, the bitcoin blockchain has been having serious technical issues where the blocks are filled up, so it can take days for a transaction to be confirmed or you can pay very high fees. Thinking about the peer-to-peer transactions for small amounts of money, doesn't this present an issue?
    Bill Barhydt: It does. It presents an enormous issue and I'll tell you what I think is going to happen in this regard. Just to clarify, bitcoin basically accepts new transactions every 10 minutes, approximately. The number of transactions is dependent upon this so-called blocksize on the bitcoin blockchain. That blocksize is limited and is now basically generating what we call full blocks, which means that it's reached its capacity or is very close to capacity. As a result, people are competing to get their transactions accepted within the current 10-minute window.
    Jim Epstein: And it's a megabyte of data every 10 minutes, about.
    Bill Barhydt: Correct. Correct.
    Jim Epstein: Which is tiny if you compare it to a banking network or Visa, yeah.
    Bill Barhydt: Oh, compared to Wells Fargo or Visa it's close to zero. In terms of transaction throughput, for sure. But the original creator of bitcoin meant for the blocksize to be variable and even dynamic to the point where if the miners, meaning the people who accept new transactions, all agree, they can change the blocksize any time they want, and that's called a hard fork. Now, there's several people in the community who are against that and there's a whole to-do about why that has transpired. An agreement was actually announced today to actually increase the blocksize to enable more transactions through the system.
    So what's been happening ... First of all, Abra pays the mining fees on behalf of our consumers today. Whether you're sending money using bitcoin or just holding digital dollars with Abra, we don't expose the mining fee to our customers. As a result, Abra's been paying very high mining fees, to your point, to guarantee that the transactions get accepted very quickly, so that our consumers have a good experience. Now, our belief, and I'm quite certain this is the case, as soon as this blocksize increase is accepted and turned on, the mining fees will plummet, because there will be significantly less competition as the capacity increase that we're contemplating will no longer be generating full blocks.
    Jim Epstein: But for a long-term solution, I mean, for Abra to really scale to match the size of these credit card, banking networks, we're talking about enormous blocksizes.
    Bill Barhydt: We are.
    Jim Epstein: Which would really jeopardize the decentralization aspect of bitcoin, right?
    Bill Barhydt: Potentially. There are new technologies, we call them Layer 2 technologies in bitcoin nomenclature, or blockchain nomenclature, that effectively take lots of transactions off chain, which means they don't get published to the bitcoin blockchain as individual transactions. Think of it almost as like batch processing. You basically poke holes in the blockchain at various points to basically settle the transactions on. The way it works is very complex, but the net throughput of that, or the net net of that, is that you can now publish very high volume transactions. The downside, of course, is that the consumer has to trust that the transaction is being settled to the blockchain.
    Jim Epstein: Well, I would say the Layer 2 solution that people are most excited about is called the Lighting network.
    Bill Barhydt: Correct.
    Jim Epstein: Which is in effect, to use an analogy, it's sort of like a bar tab. People can trade money and then only at the end when you're ready to settle up at the end of the night do you have to publish to the blockchain.
    Bill Barhydt: Correct.
    Jim Epstein: It's a more efficient way. Will Abra potentially work on Lightning? Is there-
    Bill Barhydt: I believe that we will have no choice, to be honest. That's what I mean when I said you're kind of trusting that the transaction will ultimately be settled. Right now, it's a very trustless system we've created, and the price we pay, of course, is the mining fees, because we publish every individual transaction. Now if you use a custodial bitcoin wallet, like Zappo or Coinbase, when you move money between their users, the bitcoin never leaves Coinbase.
    Jim Epstein: It's like the bar tab, in a sense.
    Bill Barhydt: Yeah, exactly. But the downside of that, of course, is that you're trusting CoinBase.
    Jim Epstein: Did you foresee this when you were conceiving of Abra, that this blocksize issue, yeah.
    Bill Barhydt: Absolutely. We had this discussion with our early investors as one of our disclosures. We said, look, we're paying pennies for mining fees right now and if the blocks fill up, we could be paying dollars. We think that the right way to solve this problem is this kind of Lightning network-oriented solution and it's coming, and the good news is that it looks like, based upon today's agreement, that will be activated, which is this new technology that's required to make Lightning really secure.
    Jim Epstein: But currently, with every transaction now, through Abra, you're losing money, because you're paying those fees.
    Bill Barhydt: Well, remember, we also make money on foreign exchange. So while we do lose the mining fee, that is offset by other revenue sources that we're generating.
    Jim Epstein: What do you mean when you say you're making money on foreign exchange?
    Bill Barhydt: When you send money from an Abra app holding dollars to an Abra app holding euros, Abra sets the exchange rate and that's part of our business model for how we make money, is that while the consumer is usually getting a rate that's significantly better than using Swift or Western Union, for example, on the foreign exchange, we're still able to generate good income on that exchange rate.
    Jim Epstein: Okay, great. Let me, I want to talk a little bit about, talk about this idea of non-custodial and another problem that you're solving which is regulatory. Let's actually not start in the U.S. I mean, in many countries where I'm sure you're bringing tellers online, there are so-called capital controls, essentially meaning the government sometimes sets a fictitious exchange rate. Sometimes it sets arbitrary limits on the amount of money that can move in between these countries.
    Bill Barhydt: That's right.
    Jim Epstein: That happens through the traditional banking system.
    Bill Barhydt: That's right.
    Jim Epstein: Tell me about how Abra relates to this problem.
    Bill Barhydt: Sure. Take a step back and think about just bitcoin itself, right? I mean, bitcoin, some people will say that independent of the technology behind it, that it's biggest advantage is regulatory arbitrage. I don't know if that's true, but there are many people who certainly believe that. The problem with that perspective is the average consumer can't understand it. All right? My mother, like I said, would never use a bitcoin wallet. It's just not going to happen. She doesn't know what a private key is, she doesn't know what cryptography is, she doesn't know what encryption is, et cetera, et cetera.
    What Abra has done is that it's masked the complexity of that in a way that still preserves the core tenets of this regulatory arbitrage that you're getting, which means that you're holding your own money. There is no middle man in any digital currency transaction that uses this model. Right? So unlike those third-party services that hold your bitcoin, Abra's not holding your bitcoin. In theory, it doesn't really matter where you are when you start the Abra app. The Abra app works the same for you as a consumer whether you're in Turkey or Germany or Russia or New Jersey or Toronto, Canada. It's the same. You can hold any currency on your phone regardless of where in the world you are.
    Technically, what's happening behind the scenes isn't really a foreign exchange. It's just a movement of bitcoin in the background between a bunch of keys, where you're re-hedging the value to be euros, dollars, pesos when it lands on the recipient's phone. So from a legal perspective, there's no financial intermediary. There's nobody ever holding anybody else's funds that doesn't belong to them. There's really no physical cross-border movement of assets in the system. This is a model that governments have never contemplated.
    Jim Epstein: It's taking this approach to money that geographical borders actually don't matter. In a sense, the denomination in local currency is a fiction for your users to make it easy for them to use, yeah.
    Bill Barhydt: Sure. Easy for them to understand. I mean, if you want to get kind of metaphorical and philosophical about it, you could almost say that this transcends time and space because it really doesn't matter where you are. The system always works the same way. Now, we can put arbitrary controls in place. For example, if we see when you use the app that your IP address is in Iran, we're not allowed to let you use the app because, you know, the U.S. Treasury Department says you can't run your app in Iran, so we block it. But that's an arbitrary feature that we've added on top of the app which has nothing to do with the way bitcoin works, itself.
    Jim Epstein: Yeah, and again, it's because you're going through bitcoin instead of the banking system, and the banking system is where government gets involved.
    Bill Barhydt: Absolutely. Because they can control the inputs and outputs and they provide the licensure to these banks in the first place. They set out rules that they all sign themselves up to agree to before they even get their license to operate. Whereas here, there's no licensing because I'm not in the middle of any of these transactions. You're doing the transaction peer to peer, directly with other consumers.
    Jim Epstein: Now, talk about your background a bit. You came out of the traditional banking industry, right? You sort of saw regulation, I guess in the United States, primarily, up close.
    Bill Barhydt: I feel like Abra may be the first job I'm kind of qualified for, after 25 years. I worked in PKI, which is a lot of the background infrastructure used for encryption, in my Netscape days. I was a quant at Goldman Sachs, which served me really well when we were designing this synthetic currency technology for holding a digital dollar on a phone. I ran a company called Boom Financial, which is now part of Digicell, the wireless carrier, that basically tried to do money movements a la M-Pesa cross-border, between phones, and dealt with all the regulatory hassles that you were alluding to earlier. So all those things that I've done have, in a way, prepared me to build this end all, be all of person to person money transfer solutions.
    Jim Epstein: And getting being able to do international money transfer through phones, which is, moving money through phones is clearly where we're headed, that's the future. What is involved from a regulatory standpoint in the United States, for example.
    Bill Barhydt: Sure. The government can't stop you from holding ones and zeros on a phone, right? That's the basic idea of what you referred to earlier as the non-custodial wallet. Now, what the government can interfere with is the means by which you got those ones and zeros on or off the phone in the first place. Meaning, if I have cash in my pocket and I want to put that money on my phone to send it, how do I get it on the phone in the first place? Right? If I'm using my bank account, right, to get that money on the phone, how am I doing that in a way that's legal that the government will allow, right, versus something that they would consider to be an illegal money transfer, for example?
    What Abra has done is we've separated the business of storing and moving the money between Abra apps and the process by which you get the money on and off the Abra app in the first place. We go very deep with partners who provide services to our customers to get that money on and off the phones.
    There's effectively three ways today to get money on and off the phone with Abra. All have various means of regulation. The first is via your bank account, so if you're in the U.S., you can type in your login and password for your bank inside the app and it looks to you like you're actually just loading money from your bank account into the Abra app. You're actually not. You're actually buying bitcoin at an exchange directly from your bank account, which is then pushed to the Abra app and then the value is fixed in dollars or whatever currency your app is holding, which is pretty cool because it keeps Abra from holding the consumer's money in the transaction.
    The second way you can load money is from an existing bitcoin wallet. If you're already a bitcoin user, you can just push the money into Abra like you can by sending money between two bitcoin wallets. That is a big advantage for bitcoin users because it now allows them to send that money to somebody who has no idea what bitcoin is, which is one of the big advantages of Abra.
    The third way you can get money on is super interesting and that's using physical cash. We created this concept of the Abrateller, which is kind of like an Uber driver in our world. You can turn your app effectively into an ATM machine for everyone else to process deposits and withdrawals to and from their Abra app in exchange for a small fee.
    Those are all the means. In some countries, our exchange partners have bank licenses or e-money licenses. In some cases, they're not regulated at all because it's too early. Most countries don't regulate the Abratellers. New York seems to be moving in the direction of regulating the teller transactions as money transfer. California, for example, has explicitly said they're not interested in regulating those transactions. There's still a bit of unknown territory that needs to be defined around how the teller transactions will be regulated over time at scale, but it's early enough where very, very few people are even thinking about regulating those kid of transactions.
    Jim Epstein: But if you were, say, going to go through the traditional banking systems and say I'm going to create a competitor to the Western Unions of the world and make it possible to send even 50 bucks from here to Argentina, you would need money transmitter licenses in every state.
    Bill Barhydt: Banking partnerships.
    Jim Epstein: You'd need to go through FinCEN [The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network].
    Bill Barhydt: Correct.
    Jim Epstein: You'd need to go through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
    Bill Barhydt: Correct.
    Jim Epstein: I mean, it would be a multi-million dollar...
    Bill Barhydt: That's what I tried to do at my last company. Realized that I was fighting a multi-billion dollar, decades long battle to get this live globally, which was simply not tenable for a startup. Probably wouldn't be tenable for CitiBank. But it certainly was unrealistic for a startup, and so I realized a better approach was needed, and that's what led to the research behind what ultimately became Abra.
    Jim Epstein: Of course, this system, this complex regulatory system which can take any, many years to even acquire, that creates a cartel of money transmitters, right?
    Bill Barhydt: Absolutely.
    Jim Epstein: Which is very anti-consumer, ultimately.
    Bill Barhydt: Yeah, and keep in mind that in some cases the states generate income based upon transaction volume around the licenses from these money transmitters. So there's kind of an indirect collusion going on in some cases where the states don't want to lose that income, which creates a real problem, right? Because they shouldn't be generating fee income from money transfer services. They should be providing regulatory oversight and getting out of the way. And that's not what's happening.
    Jim Epstein: So bitcoin is sort of a way to sidestep that.
    Bill Barhydt: Absolutely. I mean, look, like I said at the beginning, there's clearly people who believe that its biggest value proposition is regulatory arbitrage. We see it a little bit differently. I see bitcoin as kind of like TCP/IP for money. So for the non-
    Jim Epstein: And TCP/IP being ... go ahead.
    Bill Barhydt: Yeah, I was going to say, for the non-technical in your audience, when you watch a Netflix movie, you're actually creating a TCP/IP socket connection from your computer to Netflix's servers. Basically that tunnel is transmitting the ones and zeros that represent your movie or your web page. You as a consumer don't have to know how that works. The web browser for the first time created a really pretty interface and this TCP connectivity that represents the underpinnings of the Internet. We see bitcoin as the same thing for money, so we want bitcoin to represent the underpinnings of new financial system where the complexity doesn't have to be understood by the average consumer but is totally there where you can dig into the software and the code itself, if you really want to.
    Jim Epstein: Though, if you imagined a world with more, saner regulatory policy where it was actually feasible to get into the space where you could trade fiat currency from the U.S. to a variety of countries, there might not be much of an opportunity of dealing with the various issues. Because bitcoin also has its technical problems.
    Bill Barhydt: That's a fair question. I think there's always a certain amount of protection that's going to be required. I mean, caveat emptor in banking is really hard to convince people of, right? The average consumer believes that there should be regulatory oversight of people who are managing their money. I'm guessing even your readers, who might be at the extreme of that, probably to some point would still agree with that. They just would want to see a little more freedom, but still, not free rein in terms of banks can do whatever they want with my money whenever they want. That's very different from having cash in your pocket and being able to do what you want with the cash in your pocket. The Abra model is closer to the cash in your pocket. It just so happens that-
    Jim Epstein: It's cash in your phone.
    Bill Barhydt: Exactly. The regulatory model has to be different if you're carrying cash in your pocket versus somebody else holding the cash for you. That's always going to be true. Even if they relaxed regulations a lot, it still wouldn't prevent me in the old model from having to have licenses all over the place. Having to have banking relationships all over the place. Having to have heavyweight AML and Know Your Customer requirements all over the place. It's just too much friction to get a global banking system to work like that.
    Jim Epstein: But you're very aimed, it seems like you're targeting the individual, peer to peer, someone who maybe wants to send 50 bucks a month to their family back home in a country ... Not, plenty of remittance companies are involved in business services, making payroll abroad, that's not your focus.
    Bill Barhydt: Yeah, look. Our average transaction size right now is probably one to two hundred dollars. We have people who do cross-border payroll with Abra already. They're testing that. We have merchants who accept Abra for cross-border payments. We're testing that as well. Ultimately, our core belief is that access to commerce is the only known tide that raises all boats. The ability to use the phone to get access to commerce at global scale, I believe changes everything. It may be the single biggest factor affecting the future of growing people out of poverty that the world has ever seen. Abra's all about providing that access. We have a set of core values and the company and one of them is we fundamentally believe in the individual's right to conduct all forms of transactions and all forms of business unencumbered by untenable regulation or other obstacles that shouldn't be there. We will do whatever we can to live that value forever.
    Jim Epstein: When I think about the hurdles that you have to clear, I mean, building a beautiful app that simplifies everything and sort of packs all the complexity into a simple, easy to use app actually seems like something you've accomplished, based on my use of it. You know, then this issue of the blocksize issue of can the bitcoin network sort of scale to accommodate your uses. Then a third thing that occurs to me, though, is bootstrapping. You talk about sort of this Uber-style model of users, you know, where your Abratellers, to kind of bootstrap that and have enough people like Uber.
    Bill Barhydt: Right, right.
    Jim Epstein: You know, what makes Uber great is there's always a car five minutes away. How do you do that? How many countries are you expanding in already?
    Bill Barhydt: Yeah. It's a very good point. We're live in 170 cities with Abratellers. Onboarding an Abrateller is not dissimilar to onboarding an Uber driver. We do a one on one interview, usually via Skype, with every single teller. We've spent hundreds of hours interviewing tellers one on one and there's always a continual backlog of new people that we're turning on. We have to find out, what is their current job? Do they carry cash today? Why do they carry cash today? Are they qualified to be a teller? Are they trustworthy?
    Jim Epstein: Do you collect their identity information?
    Bill Barhydt: We do. So we have to have some semblance that we've given our consumer comfort via a reasonable process that the person is who they say they are, that they're somebody that they should trust, et cetera, et cetera. I mean, the good news is is that most of the world's economy is cash-based. So there's plenty of people who are in trustworthy cash businesses where this is not a stretch. This is something that's a little foreign to most Americans and many Europeans. But outside of those Western markets, most of the world is still operating in cash. So this is, like I said, not a foreign concept to most people.
    Jim Epstein: Are you focusing on ... I'm sorry, one more question about identity. To just use Abra, not be a teller. Do you collect identity?
    Bill Barhydt: We do not. So you start the Abra app and you register your phone number, which is the only thing you have to do. You have to do that just so that somebody else can find you to send you money. If you try to load money from your bank account, then the exchange partner that processes that ACH transaction, does legally have to know who you are.
    Jim Epstein: I see.
    Bill Barhydt: So at that point, they'll ask you for your Social Security number or an ID.
    Jim Epstein: I ask just because, privacy, not having your identity attached, is actually very important to many people in the bitcoin world, yeah.
    Bill Barhydt: Yeah, absolutely. Here's an example, right, of a really cool transaction you can do. If you load bitcoin into the Abra app and send bitcoin from here in New York to somebody in Mexico in pesos, there's no ID required for that. Because you're doing a peer to peer transaction that effectively is the equivalent of taking cash out of your pocket and handing it to the person standing next to you. It's just that we use this digital magic to convert it to pesos in between. If the person on the ground in Mexico went to a teller and just converted that on the ground to pesos via a teller transaction to paper pesos, there would be no ID required. Now, if the person went to the banking system in Mexico and wanted to withdraw the cash via our exchange partner in Mexico, they would probably have to provide the appropriate ID to be compliant with the exchange's policies as a regulated entity. So you see the gamut of potential transaction types.
    Jim Epstein: But you're facilitating privacy yet in the digital realm as well, yeah.
    Bill Barhydt: Absolutely. It's a core tenet for us. We fundamentally believe that the whole idea of cash is around privacy rights. The war on cash is also a war on privacy. Now, cash doesn't have to be paper.
    Jim Epstein: What do you mean by "the war on cash?"
    Bill Barhydt: There's a concerted effort all over the world to eliminate paper cash, right? I mean, in one weekend, India outlawed the thousand rupee bill. Cash has all but been eliminated in certain European countries. Along with that goes a whole bunch of privacy issues that very few people pay attention to but are fundamental rights that I think are being thrown out the window unnecessarily.
    Jim Epstein: How does that relate to Abra?
    Bill Barhydt: By basically replacing the paper cash with digital cash. It's not 100 percent of the protections you get with paper cash, but it's probably as close as you can get and still interoperate with the real world.
    Jim Epstein: In terms of this teller network, are there any particular countries that you're focusing on and sort of really bootstrapping this technology?
    Bill Barhydt: Good question. For sure. India is super interesting to us. We get a lot of interest there. South America, we get a ton of interest there. Mexico and obviously North America, but in South America, Columbia, Brazil are really interesting markets for us.
    Jim Epstein: Is it word of mouth, are marketing on the ground, or ...
    Bill Barhydt: We're getting a lot of kind of word of mouth through the bitcoin community that this is a killer app that people should be paying attention to, you know, through social media, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, Abra's becoming fairly well-known in those circles. We don't do, for example, paid advertising in any kind of meaningful scale to acquire customers. We may in the future but we don't have to right now. But word is getting out. People in this community have been clamoring for something that really proves that the average consumer can use this. I believe we've figured that out with Abra.
    Jim Epstein: It sort of, when you talk about killer app, it sort of strikes me as it's like bitcoin made easy. It's kind of-
    Bill Barhydt: That's a key part of what we've done. That wasn't my intent. I was really trying to solve a very specific problem. I just couldn't figure out another way to solve the problem.
    Jim Epstein: The problem being ...
    Bill Barhydt: Sending money between any two smartphones in the world with no bank in the middle. Yeah.
    Jim Epstein: Or government.
    Bill Barhydt: Or government. Same difference, in some cases. Right.
    Jim Epstein: Okay. Well, thank you very much for joining me.
    Bill Barhydt: My pleasure.
    Read more Jim Epstein
  • The Real Reason To Own Bitcoin, par Sovereign Man, 1 June 2017

    Thursday 1 June 2017 :: ValueWalk » Bitcoin :: RSS
    In 1483, just as Johannes Gutenberg’s new moveable type printing press was spreading across Europe, Sultan Bayezid II of the Ottoman Empire issued a staunch decree banning the machine from his realm.
    geralt / Pixabay

    At the time the Ottoman Empire was the dominant superpower in the world, having conquered most of the Middle East, North Africa, and southeastern Europe.
    But Bayezid was afraid of the new technology.
    He and his advisors felt that the printing press would too easily allow information and new ideas to spread across his empire.
    And they believed this would threaten their control and offend the religious establishment.
    So not only did Bayezid ban the printing press, he imposed the death penalty upon anyone caught using one.
    The Ottoman Empire remained so closed off to new ideas, in fact, that the only western book to be imported and translated for the next 3 centuries was a medical text on the treatment of syphilis.
    Needless to say the Ottoman Empire did not remain the world’s dominant superpower for long.
    It was during this period that Europe underwent radical growth.
    Just a few centuries before, most of Europe was nothing more than a plague-infested backwater of irrelevant kingdoms.
    But by the mid-1600s, Europe had surged ahead, in part due to the rapid spread of knowledge made possible by the printing press.
    It was the Internet of its time.
    And scientists like Isaac Newton would never have been able to ‘stand on the shoulders of giants’ had it not been for that disruptive, revolutionary technology.
    Western civilization as a whole owes much of its prosperity to the printing press, which enabled the sharing of information and ideas.
    And the example shows how embracing new technology can make an enormous difference in the development of a society.
    Today most western governments probably still feel that they are embracers of technology who encourage innovation.
    But this is nothing more than a crude fantasy, especially when it comes to one of the most disruptive technologies of our modern time: cryptocurrency.
    Cryptocurrency is today’s printing press– a truly game-changing technology that the ruling elite sees as a threat to their control.
    This is why there have been so many ridiculous rules and tax policies that disincentivize cryptocurrency ownership– the technology is too disruptive.
    Banks have enjoyed unparalleled power and influence for eight centuries, going all the way back to the Medici rule in the early Italian renaissance.
    Bankers controlled the money, and were consequently able to control governments, laws, and even wars.
    In the fight against Napoleon in the early 1800s, for example, the fate of the British war effort was not in the hands of the generals and admirals, but in the hands of the Rothchild banking family that financed them.
    In the early 1900s, it was JP Morgan who engineered a revolution in Panama and imposed a puppet government so that his bank could finance the lucrative canal project.
    And just a decade ago the heads of the top Wall Street banks cajoled the entire US government into a trillion-dollar taxpayer-funded bailout.
    The only reason banks enjoy such immense power is because they control the money.
    But if you think about it, banks are nothing more than middlemen, taking money from depositors and loaning it out to borrowers.
    In fact the old joke in banking was the famous 3-6-3 rule: pay 3% on deposits, loan money at 6%, be on the golf course by 3pm.
    Cryptocurrency disrupts this absurd middleman monopoly.
    Think about it: when you send money to someone, those funds move from your bank, to the central bank, to another bank, and then finally to the recipient’s account.
    This is the same way that money used to be transferred 800 years ago…
    … which seems almost tragically anachronistic given that we have apps today to send funds directly to a recipient’s mobile phone or email address.
    Who needs a middleman anymore?
    Why should anyone borrow money from a bank when there are so many Peer-to-Peer and crowdfunding platforms available?
    Why pay exorbitant fees and commissions to exchange currency when there numerous websites that exchange money at almost no cost?
    Banks as financial intermediaries are about as quaint as taxi dispatchers in the age of Uber.
    Cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology are the final nails in the coffin, making it possible to hold your savings in the cloud rather than at a bank.
    And if that seems too esoteric, consider that your savings is already ‘digital currency’.
    Banks don’t keep bricks of physical cash in their vaults; your bank balance is nothing more than an accounting entry in your bank’s electronic database.
    It just happens to be 100% controlled by your bank.
    They can gamble your savings away on some idiotic investment fad, charge you ridiculous fees without your consent, and even freeze you out of your own account (‘for your own security’) or deny you the right to withdraw funds.
    Cryptocurrency de-centralizes this system. You become your own banker. No more middleman.
    THIS is the principal reason to own cryptocurrency.
    It’s not about price speculation. Too many people are buying Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc. to gamble on the price.
    This totally misses the point.
    The idea isn’t to trade paper money for Bitcoin, hoping to trade that Bitcoin back for more paper money later. It’s the same with gold and silver.
    There are far less volatile ways to make money and enjoy a great risk-adjusted return.
    Cryptocurrency is about divorcing yourself from an anachronistic financial system that has never missed an opportunity to abuse you.
    And that makes it worth understanding.
    This is especially true if you’re naturally skeptical of the idea or have already passed judgment on Bitcoin as a ‘scam’ without having learned about it first.
    Cryptocurrency is the future of finance. And just as embracing new technology can be prosperous for societies, it can also be prosperous for individuals.
    Note- I’m not suggesting you buy Bitcoin at $2,000+. Far from it. We’ll talk about that soon.
    Do you have a Plan B?
    If you live, work, bank, invest, own a business, and hold your assets all in just one country, you are putting all of your eggs in one basket.
    You’re making a high-stakes bet that everything is going to be ok in that one country — forever.
    All it would take is for the economy to tank, a natural disaster to hit, or the political system to go into turmoil and you could lose everything—your money, your assets, and possibly even your freedom.
    Luckily, there are a number of simple, logical steps you can take to protect yourself from these obvious risks:
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    The post The Real Reason To Own Bitcoin appeared first on ValueWalk. Read more Sovereign Man
  • Ethereum Forecast To Surpass Bitcoin By 2018, par Cheery, 1 June 2017

    Thursday 1 June 2017 :: Silver For The People - The Blog » bitcoin :: RSS / by Tyler Durden / May 31, 2017
    Back on  February 27, when bitcoin was trading in the mid-teens, we wrote Step aside bitcoin, there is a new blockchain kid in town.”

    In recent days, the world’s second most popular digital currency, Ethereum, has been surging (despite its embarrassing hack last June when some $59 million worth of “ethers” were stolen forcing the blockchain to implement a hard fork to undo the damage), prompting many to wonder if some big announcement was imminent. It appears that yet again someone “leaked” because on Monday, an alliance of some of the world’s most advanced financial and tech companies including JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, Intel and more than two dozen other companies teamed up to develop standards and technology to make it easier for enterprises to use blockchain code Ethereum – not bitcoin – in the latest push by large firms to move toward the holy grail of a post-central bank world in which every transaction is duly tracked: a distributed ledger systems.

    Commenting on the sharp – for the time – rise in ETH price (which had moved from $13 to $15), we said “the move may be just the beginning if most corporations adopt Ethereum as the distributed ledger standard: Accenture released a report last month arguing that blockchain technology could save the 10 largest banks $8 billion to $12 billion a year in infrastructure costs — or 30 percent of their total costs in that area.” Since then most corporations have indeed adopted Ethereum as the distributed ledger standard.
    The post Ethereum Forecast To Surpass Bitcoin By 2018 appeared first on Silver For The People. Read more Cheery
  • UK’s largest broker offers Bitcoin investment without the fuss, 1 June 2017

    Thursday 1 June 2017 :: Alltop RSS :: RSS
    Hargreaves Lansdown the UK’s biggest investment website allows anyone to invest in Bitcoin The UK’s biggest financial investing website is now offering the non technical savvy the opportunity to invest in Bitcoin. Customers who have a general trading or self-invested pension fund with Hargreaves Lansdown can now buy into a tracker that follows Bitcoin without … Continue reading UK’s largest broker offers Bitcoin investment without the fuss Read more
  • UK’s largest broker offers Bitcoin investment without the fuss, 1 June 2017

    Thursday 1 June 2017 :: Alltop - bitcoin :: RSS
    Hargreaves Lansdown the UK’s biggest investment website allows anyone to invest in Bitcoin The UK’s biggest financial investing website is now offering the non technical savvy the opportunity to invest in Bitcoin. Customers who have a general trading or self-invested pension fund with Hargreaves Lansdown can now buy into a tracker that follows Bitcoin without … Continue reading UK’s largest broker offers Bitcoin investment without the fuss Read more
  • There's an easy way to bet on bitcoin — but it'll cost you, par Joe Ciolli, 1 June 2017

    Thursday 1 June 2017 :: Business Insider: Bitcoin :: RSS
    Want to invest in bitcoin but don't know where to start? There's an exchange-traded fund for you.
    But wait, there's a catch: the ETF shares are double the price of the cryptocurrency itself.
    In order to buy the Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC), provided by Grayscale Investments, investors have to pay a 106% premium to the actual bitcoin rate, according to data from financial analytics firm S3 Partners.
    While that may seem like a steep price to pay, consider that the ETF surged 248% in May, more than three times the 72% increase for the bitcoin-US dollar currency cross. Still, that degree of outperformance is relatively anomalous, with actual bitcoin beating the fund in two of the prior three months. 
    So why does the GBTC ETF command such a lofty premium? It's simple supply and demand. As bitcoin demand has grown exponentially, the fund's shares outstanding have remained around 1.7 million since its inception in 2015. Don't expect that to change.
    "With the operational risk of buying and holding actual bitcoins to support ETF creation very high, and difficult and expensive to insure, it is unlikely that GBTC’s outstanding share amount will climb above 1.7 million anytime soon," said Ihor Dusaniwsky, the firm's head of research.
    The lack of new shares makes it very difficult for bearish bitcoin speculators to actively short the ETF, simply because there are so few units available to borrow. And the ones that are available can be prohibitively expensive. This creates a situation where expanding bitcoin premiums can go unchecked, aided by a lack of downward selling pressure, according to S3.
    However, it's important to note that paying a lofty premium for the GBTC ETF can also be a money-losing proposition, even if an investor makes a correct bet on the direction of bitcoin. Once demand for the fund starts to wane, the current 106% premium will start to collapse, making it difficult for new buyers to sell out of positions at a profit.
    But the ETF wasn't always this expensive. Prior to the recent spike in bitcoin, the fund traded at an average premium of 10% during 2017. It's only gotten so stretched since demand started exploding in May.
    With all this considered, the final question becomes: is there any way to wager on the decline of this GBTC ETF premium? Not unless you're willing to shell out, according to Dusaniwsky.
    "There are a substantial amount of potential profits to be made as the premium eventually erodes," he said. "Unfortunately, today there is no way to get into this trade in size."
    GBTC ETF premium
    Join the conversation about this story »
    NOW WATCH: A $385 billion fund CEO on why he is pumped about India Read more Joe Ciolli
  • Bitcoin – Seasonal Weakness in the Summer, par Cheery, 1 June 2017

    Thursday 1 June 2017 :: Silver For The People - The Blog » bitcoin :: RSS / Dimitri Speck / May 31, 2017

    Returns One Can Only Dream Of

    When I heard about Bitcoin for the very first time in May of 2011, it traded at eight US dollars.
    As I write this, almost exactly six years later on May 20 2017, it has broken through the USD 2,000 barrier for the first time [ed. note: since then it has streaked even higher].
    If I had invested USD 1,000 when I first became aware of it, I would have made a profit of USD 250,000 – the kind of return one can normally only dream of!
    Consider though that prior to that juncture, the price had already increased by a factor of 160 within just a few months, as it stood at a mere 5 cents in July 2010.
    USD 1,000 invested at that time would have become USD 40 million in less than seven years!
    The post Bitcoin – Seasonal Weakness in the Summer appeared first on Silver For The People. Read more Cheery
  • Bitcoin is taking off after China's biggest exchanges allow withdrawals, par Jonathan Garber, 1 June 2017

    Thursday 1 June 2017 :: Business Insider: Bitcoin :: RSS
    Bitcoin is back to its old ways after a few quiet sessions.
    The cryptocurrency trades up 4.1% at $2,407 a coin following news that China's three largest bitcoin exchanges are allowing customers to withdraw bitcoins from their accounts. 
    The news follows months of uncertainty for customers of the exchanges, who back in February were told they would be unable to take bitcoin out of their accounts. At the time, bitcoin was threatening its record high of $1,161 a coin before plunging more than 10% on the news. 
    Since then, however, things have been going pretty well for the cryptocurrency. Aside from the US Securities and Exchange Commission rejecting two bitcoin ETFs, bitcoin has seen a steady stream of good news. 
    In early April, Japan announced bitcoin had become a legal payment method in the country. Additionally, Russia's largest online retailer, Ulmart, began accepting bitcoin despite Russia's saying it wouldn't consider the use of the cryptocurrency until 2018
    Last week, the Digital Currency Group, representing 56 companies in 21 countries, reached a scaling agreement at the Consensus 2017 conference in New York. That caused the cryptocurrency to hit an all-time high of $2,798 a coin.
    Bitcoin has gained 155% so far in 2017. 
    Join the conversation about this story »
    NOW WATCH: HENRY BLODGET: Bitcoin could go to $1 million (or fall to $0) Read more Jonathan Garber
  • Panic! Contactless card fraud is on the rise!, 1 June 2017

    Thursday 1 June 2017 :: Finextra Research Payments channel :: RSS
    So, contactless card fraud hit £7m in the UK in 2016, up from £153k in 2014. Cue click-bait headline... Read more
  • Orocrypt Offers Digitized Precious Metals on Ethereum Blockchain, ICO Underway, 1 June 2017

    Thursday 1 June 2017 :: Alltop RSS :: RSS
    Bitcoin Press Release: Ethereum-based OROC token, representing shares in Orocrypt, which will provide tokenized precious metals on the Ethereum blockchain. June 1, 2017, Panama – Orocrypt, a Panama-based blockchain platform has announced the launch of its ICO starting June 14, 2017, at 6:00 AM (PDT). The month-long ICO will offer investors and cryptocurrency community members [...]
    The post Orocrypt Offers Digitized Precious Metals on Ethereum Blockchain, ICO Underway appeared first on Bitcoin PR Buzz. Read more
  • Orocrypt Offers Digitized Precious Metals on Ethereum Blockchain, ICO Underway, 1 June 2017

    Thursday 1 June 2017 :: Alltop - bitcoin :: RSS
    Bitcoin Press Release: Ethereum-based OROC token, representing shares in Orocrypt, which will provide tokenized precious metals on the Ethereum blockchain. June 1, 2017, Panama – Orocrypt, a Panama-based blockchain platform has announced the launch of its ICO starting June 14, 2017, at 6:00 AM (PDT). The month-long ICO will offer investors and cryptocurrency community members [...]
    The post Orocrypt Offers Digitized Precious Metals on Ethereum Blockchain, ICO Underway appeared first on Bitcoin PR Buzz. Read more
  • GOLD – The Ultimate Buy and Hold, par brotherjohn, 1 June 2017

    Thursday 1 June 2017 :: Silver For The People - The Blog » bitcoin :: RSS / by | May 31, 2017
    Last night, I was telling my wife of the frustration the past five years has wrought on Precious Metal holders – or, as they call them in the Bitcoin world, “hoddlers.”  It’s been far worse, and longer, in the “paper PM investment” world – as the Cartel has not only annihilated mining shares, but the mining industry as well; as not only have reserves been decimated, whilst mine production has – perhaps, permanently – peaked; but share counts and debt burdens have exploded, limiting shares’ upside potential even under the best case scenario – which fortunately, must inevitably arrive.
    To that end, since exiting mining shares six years ago, I have consisently said they were amongst the worst reward/risk investments imaginable – but that if timed extremely well (which in hindsight, has proven to be nearly impossible), they could provide outsized trading gains – as they did from late 2015 through mid-2016, for example.  Moreover, when the Cartel is inevitably broken – assuming it doesn’t occur due to the type of “black swan” event that shuts down stock exchanges – mining shares could easily generate extraordinary short-term gains; until, equally inevitably, governments nationalize mines and/or enact “windfall” profit taxes.  As trust me, when the Cartel is broken, it will result in – or be caused by – plunging confidence in fiat currency.  Which in turn, will cause Precious Metals to be viewed as the money they have always been – and consequently, governments to consider Precious Metal mines “national security assets.”  In my opinion, of course.
    The post GOLD – The Ultimate Buy and Hold appeared first on Silver For The People. Read more brotherjohn
  • Silk Road boss Ross Ulbricht denied bid for new trial, par Thomas Claburn, 1 June 2017

    Thursday 1 June 2017 :: The Register :Bitcoins :: RSS

    Appeals court sees no problem with life sentence

    Ross Ulbricht has lost his bid to set aside his life sentence for selling illegal drugs through the now defunct underground website Silk Road. Read more Thomas Claburn
  • RIPPLE Crypto-Currency Up 20% Today….. It’s The Wild West Out There, par brotherjohn, 1 June 2017

    Thursday 1 June 2017 :: Silver For The People - The Blog » bitcoin :: RSS / BY  / MAY 31, 2017
    After the crypto-currency, Ripple, fell 12% yesterday, it surged over 20% in trading today.  Folks, it’s the Wild West out there in crypto-currency land.  I have been spending some time looking into these crypto-currencies because there seems to be a great deal of mystery behind them.  And I like looking into and solving mysteries.
    Of course, the rapid increase in price has sparked some interest, but very few realize just how much energy and capital it takes to produce one Bitcoin today.  Actually, I was quite surprised.
    I want my readers to know that I will be doing some research and writing some articles and Reports on these crypto-currencies (along with Gold & Silver) as I believe we are going to be seeing a lot more about them as well as rising interest in the markets going forward.
    The post RIPPLE Crypto-Currency Up 20% Today….. It’s The Wild West Out There appeared first on Silver For The People. Read more brotherjohn
  • Brendan Eich’s Brave web browser raises $35M in ‘initial coin offering’, par Duncan Riley, 1 June 2017

    Thursday 1 June 2017 :: SiliconANGLE » bitcoin :: RSS
    Brave, the new web browser from former Mozilla Foundation Chief Executive Officer Brendan Eich, has broken at least one record as the company raised $35 million in an initial coin offering that sold out in 30 seconds, faster than any previous coin offering. The ICO offered for sale 156,250 Ethereum-based Basic Attention Tokens created by Brave Software Inc. […]
    The post Brendan Eich’s Brave web browser raises $35M in ‘initial coin offering’ appeared first on SiliconANGLE. Read more Duncan Riley
  • Kik’s new Kin currency is no revolution: It’s about chasing China, par Ran Avidan, StartApp, 1 June 2017

    Thursday 1 June 2017 :: VentureBeat » Bitcoin :: RSS

    Last week, Kik, the messaging app popular with teenagers, announced that it would be entering the digital currency game with the launch of its own cryptocurrency, Kin. Are you wondering why a messaging app needs a bitcoin-esque component? Well, what we are seeing here is an attempt to emulate the success of China’s hugely popular messaging apps, which include built-in payment services. Expect more Western messaging apps to follow Kik’s lead.
    As a company, Kik has never rested on its laurels. Over the past few years, it has experimented with video chat, group chat, and chat bots. The Kin virtual currency is the next step in Kik’s evolution — a strategic step based on Kik’s analysis of how messaging apps have grown in other markets.
    Through Kik’s relationship with China’s Tencent, one of its primary investors, the company has had the opportunity to learn how messaging apps like WeChat evolved in Eastern markets. Kik is able to apply these learnings to its development in the West — the key lesson being that the most successful messaging services in China go beyond messaging and have slowly transformed into full platforms.
    We’ve survived the mobile app boom and are now experiencing the industry’s consolidation. The average number of apps a regular mobile user has on their phone has gotten smaller and smaller, with consumers utilizing a singular app in order to perform more functions. We’ve seen these changes due to both storage limitations and convenience, and the smartest companies are taking note.
    In the Chinese market, users are already accustomed to doing everything from online dating to finding transport to ordering food delivery from within one mobile app, and we will see this trend catch on in North America, with Kik driving the adoption. But while most Asian messaging apps offer an easy in-app payment method (normally the app’s name with the world “pay” after it), these services don’t have a proprietary cryptocurrency. By deploying its own Kin currency, paying users in Kin for their loyalty, and laying down the foundation for a full-fledged digital economy that exists solely inside of Kik with no need for out-of-app technology — or even a credit card — Kik is ensuring users will be tied in to the app.
    Messaging apps are uniquely positioned to transform the entire mobile industry. Messenger, WhatsApp, Kik, and others are currently on the phones of almost 80 percent of mobile users. Messaging apps also have a high frequency of use, with consumers interacting with the app multiple times a day. By incorporating additional uses within their apps, messaging companies can provide a more convenient experience for users and encourage them to spend more time within the application. Kin will allow users to make purchases without ever leaving the app, meaning users will spend more time on the platform and are less likely to be distracted by other solutions.
    But the strategy won’t end with digital currency. We are going to start seeing more and more utilities within messaging apps. This will culminate with messaging apps being a one-stop-shop for all mobile needs, including browsing. Within a single messaging app, users will be able to communicate with other mobile users, purchase goods, consume news, and look up information. Messaging apps will continue to drive this consolidation and will start eating up smaller apps that only perform one task until users only have a handful of individual apps on their phones. This isn’t a grand prophecy. It’s already happening.
    WeChat, Line, and KakaoTalk, all extremely popular Asian messaging apps, are already benefiting from this consolidation. By expanding each platform to include payments, games, and other functionalities, these companies are engaging users in more frequent and holistic ways, driving growth and new revenue streams.
    If the digital currency catches on with Kik users, we will see users forgo other payment methods (like Venmo) and pay back their friends for brunch inside the same application they used to plan the brunch. Kin will also give Kik users traveling internationally an easy way to purchase items without dealing with foreign currency. Not only are the possibilities endless for Kik, but no one should be surprised to see other messaging apps begin developing similar technology to keep up.
    Ran Avidan is CTO and cofounder of StartApp.
    Read more Ran Avidan, StartApp
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