Archive February 2019

Lightning Network Adoption: Bitcoin Core Developers’ Ambitious Plans

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Luke Dash Jr, developer of Bitcoin Core (BTC) has caused an uproar of controversy following his idea to reduce the bitcoin block size from 1MB down to 300kb. While this isn’t the first time this concept has been brought up by Luke; with Lightning Network adoption rapidly growing, it may be a good time to do so now.
A Temporary Soft Fork
Luke Dash Jr initially proposed this idea back in January 2017. He gave his own Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) with a request of reducing the block size down to 300kb. This proposal was just months before we saw the network fees shoot up to around $30-$50 per transaction, but during this time, the mempool was already starting to fill up.
Be that as it may, this initial proposal didn’t gain any traction and people brushed it off. After all, around this time, the scaling debate started to increase, and the rising fees in the cryptocurrency market had everyone upset so there was plenty going on to draw attention from the proposal.
Today though, Dash Jr has returned, with his second proposal to shrink the bitcoin blocksize to less than a third of what they currently are. The difference now though, is that this could increase Lightning Network adoption.
This patch would enforce a very simple soft fork, reducing Bitcoin block sizes to ~300kb between Aug 1 and Dec 31 — It demonstrates how one can make a truly temporary soft fork,

There is never any guarantee. We need to reduce the block size just to have a *realistic hope* of it remaining feasible and *becoming practical again*.
The blockchain is *already* bigger than most people are willing to tolerate, and the situation is getting worse and worse.
— Luke Dashjr (@LukeDashjr) February 6, 2019

Increase fees and move transactions to lightning
Forced Onto the Lightning Network?
3 days later, John Carvalho of Bitrefill explained to his followers that Dash Jr’s proposal was something he wants to get behind.
I agree with Luke Dash Jr that the block size should be smaller. I feel more confident to say it now that we have Lightning Network making strides — I’ll run the soft fork
When Carvalho was asked about which benefits or financial incentives come with smaller blocks, he replied saying:
To increase fees (doesn’t even have to be malicious, could be for survival). To move transactions to Lightning Network (maybe miners realize they can make easier money by increasing fees on L2, under the right conditions). Reduced costs (new network/web conditions)

If #Bitcoin softforks such that blocks between Aug 1 2019 and Dec 31 2019 must be smaller than a reduced block size limit, what should that reduced limit be?
(Even if you don't currently support such a softfork, please give an opinion.)
— Luke Dashjr (@LukeDashjr) February 5, 2019

There is no way to use Bitcoin without downloading and validating the entire blockchain. That's how it works.
— Luke Dashjr (@LukeDashjr) February 12, 2019

Of course, the result of any proposed changes to Bitcoin resulted in controversy on social media. But, cryptocurrency entrepreneur Vinny Lingham joined the discussion stating he supports those changes. He said:
1mb is an arbitrary number and if Bitcoin is going to rely on L2 to scale, then it makes no sense to keep it at 1mb. — Reducing it to 350k as per the research from Luke Dash Jr is practical and can help move transactions to layer 2,
Despite him speaking his actual opinion, many people thought these claims were so far fetched that they had to be said in jest. It’s possible he was poking fun at the idea. Regardless, lightning network adoption is definitely growing worldwide, and this could be a catalyst for it.

You can only sell more rasberry pi's if you lower the blocksize pic.twitter.com/5mehAdnWV8
— Randy (@nondualrandy) February 11, 2019

Disagreements Within the Crypto Space
Be that as it may, many people disagree with the concepts proposed by Dash Jr, and Carvalho’s statements regarding higher fees. One user on Twitter said:
Smaller blocks simply means less transactions on the chain, purposefully hard-coding a lower limit — It doesn’t make any logical sense.
But he was dismissed after the user explained his standpoint; claiming the Lightning Network was “centralized, bloated and overcomplicated”

Exciting times for #BTC, a soft fork to smaller block size will accelerate the adoption of #LN (as fees go up) and cement BTC as the leader in off chain scaling, esp as #LTC and other chains adopt LN. Users who prefer on chain/low fee have #BCH, users who like off chain have #BTC https://t.co/rRNywBMH6V
— Mark Lamb (@MarkDavidLamb) February 11, 2019

All things considered, this may be the time that Dash Jr’s Bitcoin Improvement Proposal comes into fruition. This could potentially be a catalyst for greater Lightning Network Adoption. But some people disagree.
Cobra, anonymous owner of Bitcoin.org and Bitcointalk.org wants this discussion to end immediately. He has even gone as far as to ask the crypto community to ‘stop this madness’

Stop this madness! Last thing Bitcoin needs is yet more contentious forks in this key year for adoption! A soft fork to "reduce the block size" is a hard fork in all but name. This will split off from the established consensus, cause massive drama, and damage trust in Bitcoin. https://t.co/54tzz4UIli
— Cøbra (@CobraBitcoin) February 11, 2019

Conclusion
The lightning network has many people excited, some too excited for their own good. While the Lightning Network is an amazing new feature, forking the Bitcoin network is a risky move, regardless if it’s in hopes of greater Lightning Network adoption. It forces people to split into 2 groups. Those that want 300kb blocks, and those that want 1mb blocks.
What do you think of this potential Bitcoin fork? Do you support it or are you against it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
While talking about this, check out the bitcoin and other crypto prices!
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What Is The Lightning Network?

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The lightning network has earned a reputation of being one of the most potent solutions to the scaling problems faced by cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin in particular. Effectively, the Lightning Network acts as a second layer on top of the bitcoin blockchain. This layer is used to transact Bitcoin and some other cryptocurrencies much faster and cheaper than normal transactions.
Lightning Network For Dummies
In essence, there are 2 main parts to the Lightning Network that can be explained separately. 1 being the payment channels, then the lightning network itself.
Imagine your coffee shop begins accepting Bitcoin (BTC). Fees start to accumulate once people come back once and even twice a day for their coffee.
Opening a Lightning Network Channel

Create a multi-sig wallet. The act of spending from that wallet will require more than one cryptographic signature. In the case above, this would be you and the coffee shop.
From there, you agree on how much will be deposited into the wallet. (in the case of the coffee shop, if you deposit 1 BTC, the shop deposits 0 BTC. This is because they are not expecting to be sending you any payments as a customer.
Next, you create a half-signed ‘spending transactions’ from that wallet for the agreed amount of BTC and swap them. Either person involved in a transaction can add their own signature to the other’s half-signed TX before sending it back to the network at any point. This would allow them to receive the agreed upon balance.

1/ I HODL the #LNTrustChain torch. The lightning network is a profoundly important development in the history of #Bitcoin. Thread 👇 pic.twitter.com/mGXq7ENzkD
— Vijay Boyapati (@real_vijay) February 25, 2019

Transactions

Let’s say you’re buying a Pizza for 0.1 BTC. You swap new half-signed transactions in which you will receive 0.9 BTC and the coffee shop will receive 0.1 BTC. In order for this to work, nothing needs to be sent to the network, just swap any bytes that represent transactions over.
(you don’t need to touch the blockchain to trust that these transactions represent money claimable at any time).
Repeat as many times as you require or until the channel needs to be rebalanced. (for example, your side is now 0.00 BTC and you can’t subtract any more. Thus, you’d need to deposit more funds with an on-chain transaction.)

Closing Your Channel
So you’ve switched jobs and actually sign and broadcast the most recent transaction. You’re probably thinking ‘why the latest transaction?’
This is because for this whole time, in order to update the balances you have technically been giving that coffee shop answers to puzzles that could have potentially allowed them to take your money in the vent you try to sign and broadcast one of the older transactions.
They don’t have the answer to the most recent puzzle because each time you make a transaction, you swap answers for the previous TX. As a result, it’s always in your best interest to use the correct one. Trying to be smart and attempting to send the transactions where you still had a balance of 1 BTC will end with it being taken from you. You will not receive any outstanding funds that you may have previously owned. Thus, you lose the entire contents of the channel if you sign and broadcast an old TX.
So the main problem we have here is the introduction of a random retailer. What would happen if it wasn’t just you and the coffee shop? What if instead, it was you and a random e-commerce site where you were only trying to purchase a single item? Technically, opening and closing your channel would cost you more than a simple on chain transaction.
Summary of the Lightning Network

You open your own channel to a payment hub
The retailer will have open channels that go to other payment hubs
After a certain number of hops, someone finally has a channel to the webshop you’re aiming for.
Along the way, everyone swaps their half-signed transactions in the fashion explained above. In essence, this shifts the balance from you, all the way to the webshop, inevitably paying them.
The puzzles are constructed in a way that counteracts any dodgy business. If anyone is attempting to do anything fraudulent, the other participant in the route will not be negatively impacted. The most that will happen at this moment in time is some simple re-routing.

Have you used the lightning network yet? If so, what did you use it for? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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Lightning Nodes: Are they profitable?

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With a bear market lasting as long as this one has; it’s a great opportunity to look around for more business opportunities within the crypto space. Once we experience the next bull run, emphasis will revert back to the price alone. The focus on innovating new ideas will reduce, leaning towards making a profit on the price. Could Lightning Nodes change this?
The Lightning Network
One thing that has piqued our interest at iCE3X recently is the Lightning Network. The Lightning Network is a second layer which sits on top of the original Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain (and also various other blockchains). It gives the ability for extremely fast and cheap transactions on the bitcoin network, theoretically making Bitcoin the perfect payment method. Be that as it may, The Lightning Network still has a few obstacles to get over before it’s in full effect. However, I believe the team developing the lightning network will get us there.
I initially heard about The Lightning Network in 2017 and I’ve been following their developments ever since, in eager anticipation of what was to come for the Bitcoin network. After the first Lightning Network beta early in 2018; I saw the potential it had and started wondering if there was anything I could do to generate some money using this new innovation.
After looking into Lightning apps (Lapps) which are essentially a 3rd layer solution on top of a blockchain; I realized we had to set up a lightning node. So we did just that!
After it was fully configured (blog post explaining the whole process coming soon) we managed to secure over 100 open channels! While this feat may sound easy, it’s actually quite the opposite. Setting up your own lightning node is currently very time consuming and user-unfriendly.
Reaping the Benefits of A Lightning Node
While setting up a Lightning Node won’t exactly make you reach, there is potential to make some cash with it. Through the process of trial an error, we learned a lot about how the Lightning Network works. Many guides and predictions about the Lightning Network claim to only produce minimal amounts of profit. While this is true for the most part, 2 factors still remain which still make setting up a Lightning Node a good idea.

Visible node count
#1 Bitcoin – 10,336#2 Ethereum – 7,574#3 Lightning – 6,088#4 Litecoin – 1,869#5 Bcash – 1,589#6 Ripple – 1,047
— RideTheLightning⚡️ (@MediumSqueeze) February 10, 2019

One of those being the potential for a large number of transactions to flow through the Lightning Node you configured. The second is the fact that with the Lightning Networks rapid growth, more people using and transacting over Lightning will eventually increase the traffic flowing through your node. Essentially, the more the Lightning Network matures, the more funds that will be flowing through its channels.
After the first week of running our newly configured Lightning Node; almost half of the channels that were connected to us crashed. Thus, we added up all of the money accumulating in our node to see if we turned a profit or made a loss. Turns out we made $68.60 in the one week our Lightning Node went live (spread over 100 channels)! In total, we paid abour $25 in transaction fees in order to set up our nodes. So we practically made that back in a couple days; and everything after that we made was profit. Of course, that’s not counting the time it took to set up the nodes, as well as the cost of the server. But we can always close our channels and get our investment back as well as all fees we earned.
A Bright Future
While we were processing many transactions with our node, technically, we don’t actually know how we made our money. The Lightning Network is extremely new, so as of now, you can’t see which or even how many transactions were routed through your node. In addition to this, you also can’t see how much fees you made per transaction.
The Lightning Network currently rewards creativity and innovation in regards to implementation. Services like Tippin.me, LN Pizza and many more allow users to use the Lightning Network for various different use-cases.
We didn’t make much in the first week, so we challenge you to do better! Have you set up your own lightning node? If not, why don’t you set one up and try to see how much you can make passively in a week!
What do you think of the Lightning Network? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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Lightning Network Coming to Cash App?

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The lightning network, a solution to bitcoin’s scaling problems may soon be available almost everywhere. Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey recently announced his plans to integrate the Lightning Network with Square’s mobile app ‘Cash App’
Lightning Network Adoption
Square CEO and Bitcoin-oriented startup Lightning Labs investor Jack Dorsey stated in an interview with known podcaster Stephan Livera he has plans of integrating the Lightning Network into his apps.
It’s not an ‘if,’ it’s more of a ‘when,’ and how do we make sure that we’re getting the speed that we need and the efficiency. We don’t think it stops at buying and selling [bitcoin]. We do want to help make happen the currency aspect.
In addition to this, Jack Dorsey received the Lightning Torch on February 5. The ‘Lightning Torch’ went to Dorsey during a Lightning Network based social media event called the #LNTrustChain. In this game, each participant that is passed the torch adds some more satoshis to the payment chain. Next, they pass it onto someone else they trust on Twitter and the chain continues.

Bitcoin, last week:
– Lightning coming to Square Cash App– Bitcoin sent over radio frequency– Segwit transactions reach 60%– LN reaches 700 BTC capacity– Order pizza with BTC for less than a cent– BTC wealth distribution continues to improve– JP Morgan launches shitcoin
— Alec Ziupsnys (@AlecZiupsnys) February 16, 2019

Elizabeth Stark, CEO of Lightning Labs spoke on what she thought about the LN trust chain, stating:
What I think was so powerful about the torch was that it showed how quickly Lightning enables you to send money, across the internet, anywhere around the world. We’re doing to money what the internet did to information.
Rumors that lightning network features would be coming to the Cash App have finally been cleared up. In a conversation with CoinDesk, Elizabeth Stark claimed “The podcast speaks for itself”.
Conclusion
In other, similar news, independent Lightning Network fan Sergio Abril created a micropayments browser extension called ‘Lightning Tippin’. Also, Stark briefly spoke about this browser extension in the podcast. Since it’s initial launch in December, Tippin has managed to net over 3,200 users with thousands of invoices. This has facilitated around $7,500 worth of BTC transactions.

You can now buy Domino’s Pizza via the Lightning Network for *5% off* from anywhere in the US with <$0.01 fees, instant transactions and ~30 min delivery. Get it while it’s hot at https://t.co/3tn7O9eexo 🍕⚡️ pic.twitter.com/zvco9xU7mC
— Lightning Pizza (@ln_pizza) February 13, 2019

I’m excited to see more examples of people earning money with lightning as well,
Abril states he would love it if Cash App was able to interact or even integrate his lightning network payment project. He claims that only time will tell how mobile apps can factor into broader network experiments.

If lightning is added to cashapp eventually, can you add litecoin to as well? @jack pic.twitter.com/17M94hxsBH
— rallyqt (@rallyqt) February 13, 2019

In regard to the Cash App playing into the new emerging Lightning Network economy, Abril adds:
They have the power to bring lightning to the masses and turn it mainstream, there is no doubt about it.
All things considered, we believe the lightning network has a lot to offer the crypto space. To summarize, the lightning network has been growing at pretty much lightning speeds since its launch. Many people have been using it for various different use-cases such as tipping people online and even buying pizza.
What do you think about the Lightning Network? Have you set up a full node? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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Millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin lost after CEO of company dies

QuadrigaCX is one of Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, and investors are panicking over $250 million in lost crypto-currencies. Gerald Cotten, the company’s former CEO, died February 5, 2019 and was the only person with access to the private keys holding the funds. Without these keys, the Bitcoins and other cryptos will be inaccessible.

What are Stablecoins?

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Stablecoins have been rising in popularity recently. These cryptocurrencies have their value pegged to another stable asset such as gold or the U.S dollar. The benefit of this is the ability to use the coin for practical use such as everyday purchases.
An Answer to Volatility for Stablecoins
Cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum (ETH) or Bitcoin (BTC) experience high levels of volatility on any given day. Thus, it’s common to see fluctuations in price ranging between 5-15% up or down in a day. As a result, using cryptocurrency for day to day transactions is inconvenient. Imagine spending R50 on your coffee only to find out the next day that it actually should have cost you R25. For a consumer, these price changes are unacceptable. Thus, stablecoins aim to solve this issue. Could the adoption of stablecoins be the catalyst for the new crypto slowly becoming mainstream?
For a cryptocurrency to be completely optimal, it must have these four traits:

Stability
Decentralization
Privacy
Scalability

Of course, there are many other additional traits that assist in the greater adoption of cryptocurrencies. For stablecoins in particular, some of these are:

Easy integration points
Ability to work with a cryptocurrency exchange
Simplicity
Elegance of concept

Regardless of these, stability is key. Short term stability is important for currencies that people use for regular transactions. As a store of value or for holding, long-term stability will suffice.
As a result, there are several different projects currently under development in order to pose as a solution to this problem. Each of these projects has its own unique pros and cons. Let’s take a closer look at some of the popular stablecoins on the market.
USD Tether (USDT)
USDTether is fully backed by fiat currency. A set amount of USD assets Tether owns is kept in a reserve account. So long as all USDT coins in circulation are less than or equal to all of the FIAT in the reserve account, the currency will stay at $1.
Advantages: One of the closest options available for a like-for-like swap from fiat currency to cryptocurrency. Also well established with good integration.
Disadvantages: USDT is centralized. This means it’s also not trustless. USDT is known to refuse audit requests.
MakerDao’s Dai (DAI)
Maker is an autonomous organization with a cryptocurrency that has the value of the US Dollar; all while being completely backed by ETH. The stablecoin they use is DAI, with each coin being worth $1 USD. Dai maintains it’s stability via an autonomous system of smart contracts. In order to receive DAI, you must send your tokens to the MakerDao platform in order to lock them up
Advantages: One of the first cryptocurrencies to be backed by ETH. As it’s on the blockchain, it’s 100% transparent, contrary to USD Tether.
Disadvantages: A Highly complex system that also operates somewhat slowly when compared to others.

I'm a merchant, I'd rather accept a stablecoin than Eth/Btc because I don't want to add speculative currency risk to my operation
I'm a customer, I'd rather pay w/ a stablecoin than Eth/Btc because I don't want to add overpayment risk to my spend
Retail won't come w/o stability
— Ryan Sean Adams (@RyanSAdams) February 18, 2019

Havven
This cryptocurrency uses a structure that provides stability by creating a system that backs itself with 2 separate coins. The first coin, Nomins, is the stablecoin that people will use for day to day transactions. All tokens that are sitting in the reserve are Havvens. Each transaction done using Nomins will require a fee. These fees are sent back to the Havven company. Once Havven has the fees, they start sending them out to Havven token holders.
Advantages: Havven is fully decentralized and operates very quickly. In addition to this, the team behind Havven have business as a main focus
Disadvantages: This coin is very new. As a result, it’s unproven. With coins like these with less history, you might want something slightly more centralized.
Basecoin
Last but not least, we have Basecoin. Basecoin also locks their valuation to $1 USD. Though, the approach they use to achieve this uses a consensus method to contract and expand the total supply of the coin. When coins begin trading for less than a dollar; the supply amount contracts by allowing existing coin holders to buy bonds. If a person buys a bond using Basecoin, that specific Basecoin will self destruct. Thus, the supply decreases and the price increases. The same will happen in reverse to expand the supply.
Advantages: The coin has backing by prominent funds and is under development by Ivy League developers.
Disadvantages: The use of this coin requires faith in the protocol as well as the whole base bonds process.
Conclusion
The instability of cryptocurrency prices is the one thing that hinders it from mainstream adoption. Users need stable prices so they can confidently make daily transactions. Having to time your purchase correctly will be abolished once stablecoins become more popular.
Traders don’t mind volatility. If anything, volatility is a good thing for traders. But if you just want to use cryptocurrency for everyday use such as buying things or even selling things, then price instability is no good for you. If you were selling an item for $400 worth of bitcoin, and the price goes down by 20% in the 2 hours you made that purchase, you’ll be pretty furious.
I believe that all of the ambitious projects working on the development of stable coins are great. They bring us one step closer to a world where cryptocurrency can buy anything you buy on a daily basis.
What do you think about stablecoins? Do you use any? If so, which ones? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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Are the Crypto Whales Preparing for The Next Bitcoin Bull Run?

The post Are the Crypto Whales Preparing for The Next Bitcoin Bull Run? appeared first on Cryptocurrency exchange: buy/sell/trade bitcoin & altcoins | iCE3X.
Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market have been enduring a 13-month long bear market following the initial bull run of 2017. However, this hasn’t stopped the bitcoin enthusiasts and general supporters from gearing up in bullish preparation for the next one. Bitcoin has shed over 80% of its price since it hit its ATH in December 2017.
A Bullish Sentiment
Bitcoin (BTC) has been trading between $3,500 and $4,000 so far this year. Now, many cryptocurrency investors such as Digital Currency Group and Grayscale Investments Chief Executive Barry Silbert and Mike Novogratz, founder of Galaxy Digital Holdings are predicting a bull run that could be closer than you think.
In an interview with CNBC, Barry Silbert said:
As far as I’m concerned, bitcoin has won the race to be digital gold, I’m as bullish as I’ve ever been. I’m convinced that whatever money is in gold is not going to stay in gold. That gets handed down to millennials—I’m highly confident a lot of that will go into bitcoin.
In the meantime, the long-time bitcoin bull Mike Novogratz predicts institutional money to start flowing into the cryptocurrency economy within the next year or 2. This is the catalyst he expects will cause the price to rally.
In an interview with the Bloomberg newswire service, Novogratz said; “a small number of institutional assets is a lot of money.”, predicting the price of Bitcoin (BTC) to rise to $8,000 within 12 months.
This bear market the cryptocurrency market is enduring is known as the ‘crypto winter‘ due to its harsh effects on the industry. During this period, over $400 billion shed from the market cap of the worlds cryptocurrencies due to investors getting cold feet. It’s likely that most of them were worrying about institutional investment and mainstream adoption failing to come to fruition.
Cryptocurrency Fundamentals On The Rise
These bullish predictions started coming up after the news that Bitcoin and the blockchain asset management firm Morgan Creek Digital; recently got the first ever crypto asset investment from a U.S. pension fund.
In the rest of the crypto space, cryptocurrency fundamentals are rising. Bitcoin transaction fees are hitting new lows even as bitcoin transactions reached a one year peak last month.
In addition to this, Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter also says that his highly popular ‘Cash App’ will soon be implementing support for the Lightning Network. Small payments of bitcoin can be sent over the Lightning Network in order to be sent much faster and with little to no fees.
Thus, with new innovations coming to life day by day, many crypto investors and traders alike are looking towards new developments. Some of these include the highly anticipated Bakkt bitcoin trading platform; and a U.S bitcoin ETF as they could give Bitcoin (BTC) a boost in price.

NYSE parent firm @ICE_Markets is likely to spend over $20 million building its bitcoin futures trading platform @Bakkt in 2019, writes @WolfieZhao. https://t.co/R7SFdy2gkX
— CoinDesk (@coindesk) February 11, 2019

Be that as it may, many of these expectations have been somewhat watered down; following the US Securities and Exchange Commission frets over the potential price manipulation of Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies.
Growing Adoption
Bakkt has a bitcoin platform coming soon, currently in the development process with help from the New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange. They also have partnerships with coffee shop giant Starbucks, as well as Microsoft. This year, we see many plans to offer bitcoin futures trading from the first quarter of this year. This should open bitcoin and the wider cryptocurrency market up to the wider retail market.
In addition to this, Chinese Billionaire Zhao Dong (one of the biggest OTC traders of bitcoin in the world) stated; “Now is the time to stock up on Bitcoin. All you need is patience.”
Conclusion
It seems as though the aftermath of the ‘crypto winter of 2018’ has only caused increased bullish sentiment and morale amongst the crypto space. While it’s true the price of cryptocurrency isn’t what it once was. The technology and developments behind it have been growing at ridiculous rates. If things continue to move in this direction; maybe the predictions of another bull run coming soon could become a reality.
Have you invested in Bitcoin or cryptocurrency? If not, why? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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Did a Mt. Gox Trustee Cause the Bitcoin Crash in 2018?

Did a Mt. Gox Trustee Cause the Bitcoin Crash in 2018?

The post Did a Mt. Gox Trustee Cause the Bitcoin Crash in 2018? appeared first on Cryptocurrency exchange: buy/sell/trade bitcoin & altcoins | iCE3X.
Mt. Gox, the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange has reportedly liquidated ~$312 Million worth of Bitcoin (BTC). These events occurred from February 2018 up until June 2018, with the funds moving through BitPoint, a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange. GoxDox, an organization made to assist the Mt. Gox creditors, recently got involved.
New Information about Mt. Gox
GoxDox published a photo of a bank account statement. It shows the alleged transactions sent from the BitPoint exchange to the Mt. Gox trustee run by Nobuaki Kobayashi on February 5, 2019.

If this report by GoxDox is, in fact, accurate; then this trustee did whatever was necessary to disregard Kraken CEO Jesse Powell’s suggestions. Jesse explicitly told this trustee to refrain from selling any of the company’s Bitcoin (BTC) assets.
He also said that if absolutely necessary; then this trustee must liquidate any remaining Bitcoin assets on an over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency trading platform. This would be the best way to minimize any impact it could have on Bitcoin’s valuation.
Thus, it’s entirely possible that both the trustee and anyone else dealing with this Mt. Gox case didn’t know what to do when presented these circumstances. As a result, they prematurely liquidated a vast portion of the organization’s assets in order to move forward with their declaration of bankruptcy.
Did This Cause the Bitcoin Price Crash?
GoxDox claims that the Mt. Gox trustee initially began selling the cryptocurrency exchange’s Bitcoin assets during early 2018. From early February up to June, the trustee sold tens of millions of dollars in bitcoin per week. Researchers claim that frequent wire transfers supposedly came from BitPoint’s bank account, and sent to that of the Mt. Gox trustee. This is a clear indication of the trustee’s intent to obscure these transactions in the event of BitPoint seeing a security breach.
As a result, it’s possible the trustee was planning for public backlash in the event he got caught selling BTC. The reason for this is when someone sells large amounts of Bitcoin, the price of BTC is at a significant risk of falling.
It seems fair to conclude that the reason for sending frequent wires was to prevent counterparty risk. A hack at BitPoint could expose the MtGox Estate to a loss and the trustee didn’t want to get Goxxed. It follows that the trustee would have instructed BitPoint to wire JPY [Japanese yen] over as soon as he had it. This way, MtGox Estate assets wouldn’t be exposed to any hacking incident at BitPoint.
Based on the information sourced by GoxDox, the trustee received 3,822,436,400 Yen on May 2, 2018. From that point onward, on intervals of 1 – 4 days the trustee continued to receive tens of millions of dollars from BitPoint.
Bitcoin from 2018 to 2019

Pay attention to the image above. During the month of February 2018, the trustee began selling BTC assets on a pubic cryptocurrency exchange. Jesse Powell, CEO of Kraken; affirmed that the company (that was hired to track Mt. Gox’s lost coins) advised the trustee not to dump millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin (BTC) into the market. They state:
We were explicit about not dumping a large amount of coins on the market. Unfortunately, it looks like the trustee made their own decision or was taking advice from elsewhere — maybe whatever exchange they dumped those coins on. We had zero knowledge of these sales happening until it was announced at the recent creditors’ meeting.
Be that as it may, the correction of the cryptocurrency market during January 2018 could have been entirely unaffected by the Mt. Gox situation. Though, it isn’t hard evidence due to the lack of info present in the leaked bank statement. Thus, some analysts suggest that when the CME Bitcoin Futures market opened is when the price crashed.
In light of this, the San Francisco Federal Reserve claims; that the time in which the price of Bitcoin began to decline aligns with the initial release of the CME Bitcoin Futures market.
The rapid run-up and subsequent fall in the price after the introduction of futures does not appear to be a coincidence. It is consistent with trading behavior that typically accompanies the introduction of futures markets for an asset
Bubble coming to an end?
Many people claim that the short-term bubble of Bitcoin’s price during 2017 around this time was not caused by any specific factors.
However, from February onward, many traders believe that the random liquidation of a large number of bitcoin assets had a significant impact on the short-term trend of BTC.
Consequently, the trustee went under heavy scrutiny from industry experts, including GoxDox researchers. GoxDox state that the Mt. Gox creditors must demand an explanation from the trustee in order to clarify the reason for the dismissal of the advice given by Kraken.
Simple possession of a crypto license is not suitable criteria for selecting an expert. A non-expert judge’s approval does not equate to a sound plan. Reliance on an appeal to authority is never a substitute for good judgment.
Where does Mt. Gox Go From Here?
Cryptocurrency investor and Co-Founder of Blockchain Capital recently uncovered his ambitious plan to revive Mt. Gox, and pay all the creditors of the exchange. Despite the exchange being said to have around $1.2 billion worth of bitcoin; the liquidation of over $300 million worth of Bitcoin makes it hard to tell precisely how much BTC the cryptocurrency exchange currently has.

https://twitter.com/search?q=mt%20gox&src=typd

But it’s not possible (in the situation of Mt. Gox at least) to repay all of the creditors by liquidating the company’s BTC assets. Thus, Brock Pierce, a man claiming to have bought Mt. Gox for 2 BTC in 2014 from Jed McCaleb and mark Karpeles recently decided to reopen the exchange and pay all creditors using the equity of the company.
The first step in doing this had Pierce condemning the work of the Mt. Gox trustee, preventing him from liquidating anymore of the company’s holdings with his new authority over the company. According to GoxRising’s official statement, a British Virgin Islands-based company established to oversee Mt. Gox:
Acknowledging that the Mt. Gox trustee had done a laudable job of managing an unwieldy estate, the group suggested that the inherent limitations on the trustee’s discretionary powers as a fiduciary, prevented him from maximizing creditor returns going forward.
During the North American Bitcoin Conference (TNABC), Brock Pierce expanded on his points, stating that the company intends to revive Mt. Gox via a unified Civil Rehabilitation Plan. There is a law in Japan that forces lenders of any company to change the terms of a loan. Thus, in the upcoming months, the company is due to pay out $1.2 Billion worth of BTC to creditors as quickly as possible, then begin to continue operations.
A $16 Billion Hurdle
Technically, Mt. Gox is currently able to distribute all $1.2 Billion in bitcoin holdings within the next two months, then rush the whole process of obtaining a license from Japan’s Financial Services Agency in order to continue operations as a regulated cryptocurrency exchange.
However, the blockchain incubator CoinLab has reportedly filed a $16 Billion claim against Mt. Gox, claiming they breached a contract with the company. Prior to this, CoinLab filed a $75 million lawsuit until just 2 weeks ago when they bumped it up to $16 billion.

Even with a compromise, if these claims see court approval, a significant portion of Mt. Gox’s bitcoin’s holdings could be lost. Jesse Powell, Kraken Ceo expressed his disappointment in CoinLab following the filing of the complaint.
I’m disappointed to hear that this lawsuit is responsible for holding up payouts, and that any judgment for CoinLab would be treated on par with the depositor victims. I think people are having a hard time getting their heads around the $75m+ claim; given that common perception is that CoinLab never performed and owes $5m+ back to MtGox. If the deal had been carried out; it might be CoinLab on the hook for the shortfall of client deposits.
The main problem with this lawsuit is that it’s not against the exchange itself. Instead, the lawsuit is against the creditors of Mt. Gox.
This lawsuit today is not CoinLab vs. Mt. Gox, but CoinLab vs. the MtGox customers, now [current] creditors, who have done nothing to deserve being involved in this,
Thus, if this lawsuit powers on, it will be the creditors with Mt. Gox’s $1.2 Billion bitcoin holdings that will have to settle the lawsuit for $16 billion.
Could This Mt. Gox Revival Affect the Price of Bitcoin?
In the event that the $16 billion lawsuit filed by CoinLab is the only hurdle in the way of settling the creditors’ funds, it’s entirely possible that the creditors will receive their portion of the Mt. Gox bitcoin assets by the latter half of 2019.
In these situations, the distribution of funds primarily depends on the result of a court hearing or the settlement of this lawsuit. The outcome of the case could affect the number of Bitcoin assets that the creditors get back.
It’s in the hands of the individual / retail traders to do what they want with their bitcoins after this case is settled. Thus, there is a possibility that the creditors could sell their new Bitcoin holdings on the open exchange market, which could have a similar effect to what we saw in February last year.
However, it’s highly unlikely that the creditors would do such a thing. Dumping their newly obtained BTC assets on the open exchange market in the short term would do no good for the value of these assets. Especially during a period in which BTC is showing resilience in it’s new ‘low price valuation’ being down by over 80% since it’s ATH.
What do you think about Mt. Gox coming back? Do you think it will affect the price of Bitcoin in the future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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Are We Being Scammed by Bitcoin.com?

Are We Being Scammed by Bitcoin.com?

The post Are We Being Scammed by Bitcoin.com? appeared first on Cryptocurrency exchange: buy/sell/trade bitcoin & altcoins | iCE3X.
What is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that reached a somewhat miraculous price in 2017. In that very same year, the number of transactions for this cryptocurrency steadily began to increase. However, Bitcoin still has very low scalability. With only 7 transactions per second, Bitcoin is competing against Visa, able to process 24,000 transactions per second. Is Bitcoin.com truly an advocate for BTC though?
Bitcoin (BTC) VS Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
With arguments over the scalability of Bitcoin sweeping the crypto space, the community split into 2 groups. One group believes that Bitcoin doesn’t even need high scalability. The other believes that Bitcoin’s scalability needed improvement. Consequently, this conflict in ideas gave birth to Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in August of 2017. Thus, Bitcoin.com essentially diverged into 2 different cryptocurrencies. 1 Being Bitcoin (BTC), the other, Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
It is important to note that Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash are two entirely different cryptocurrencies. If you buy BCH and transact it thinking you have BTC, you risk losing all of your money and vice versa. It’s extremely common for newcomers to the crypto world to mistake Bitcoin for Bitcoin Cash. Although they resemble the same thing, they are in fact completely different digital assets.
Are Bitcoin.com Misleading People?
Bitcoin.com is simply taking advantage of newcomers to the crypto space. Differentiating between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash can be difficult if you’re new to cryptocurrency. They have similar logos, similar names, and even similar colour schemes. Roger Ver is one of the people who believe Bitcoin Cash is the superior cryptocurrency. He is also the owner of ‘Bitcoin.com’ and the Twitter handle @Bitcoin. On both of these channels, they market Bitcoin Cash as the superior implementation of the Bitcoin protocol, which would result in newcomers buying BCH thinking they were buying BTC.

despret attempt of fraud marketing by bitcoin(.)com @rogerkver pic.twitter.com/M9eep1UwtZ
— MoneyTrigz (@moneytrigz) November 23, 2018

Roger Ver’s love for Bitcoin Cash is no new information. Many people suspect he is the reason for the Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV Hash Wars. Once the Hash wars ended many more people in the crypto space became aware of Roger Ver. The Bitcoin.com app has been accused of misleading people (as can be seen in the screenshot below).

With all of the perceived misinformation, the community took action. Class action to be precise. The last straw for the community; was when Bitcoin.com changed the words ‘Bitcoin’ to ‘Bitcoin Cash’ and then changed the words ‘Bitcoin Cash’ to ‘Bitcoin’.  With thousands of people furious at these deceptive changes, a user (MoneyTrigz) took action into his own hands, setting up a class action lawsuit against the website.
Class Action Lawsuit
Following the chaos those changes made; a Telegram group was made in order to organize any potential victims of Bitcoin.com and create a base of operations. Just 2 days following the creation of this group; a website was made, giving people information on all the accusations regarding Bitcoin.com and Roger Ver. A few days after the lawsuit started to gain traction; Bitcoin.com was seen reversing many of the controversial changes they made on the website.
However, this Class Action Lawsuit didn’t get very far. MoneyTrigz announced to the Telegram group that he was going to be shutting down the lawsuit due to receiving a low volume of donations. With only less than $4,000 worth of donations, there wasn’t enough money to fund a controversial legal battle such as this one. Lawsuits of this kind often cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. As a result, MoneyTrigz refunded all 33 transactions he received. He claims:
Due to lack of donations we decided to cancel the initiative and refund the 33 transactions received a total of 0.39btc, we are happy at least we were able to make an impact with bitcoincom changing 90% of its dis-information campaign which was accomplished on our own dime and awareness with help from the media.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
While it’s true that there is controversy surrounding Bitcoin Cash, we do believe it is a good cryptocurrency. Many people have a firm belief in the future of Bitcoin Cash, which is why the Bitcoin Cash hash wars took place. During a period of disagreement within the Bitcoin Cash community, the coin forked, creating Bitcoin Cash SV. While lots of commotion came around following this, the root of it was just 2 similar beliefs that ended up colliding.
Both Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) are perfectly fine cryptocurrencies, but being told you’re buying one thing when you’re actually buying the other, isn’t good. If Bitcoin Cash is to grow, it should grow naturally, not forced down people’s throats. People have been comparing Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash for a while, but we believe both cryptocurrencies serve their own purpose.
Conclusion
With many people (the Telegram group in particular) upset with the outcome of the lawsuit; MoneyTrigz emphasized that without the correct funding, the case can’t go any further. However, I believe this situation is a glass half full. While Roger Ver may not have seen any real consequences following this suit, it did apply pressure. The looming lawsuit forced Bitcoin.com to at least change up the website to make it less deceiving. It’s definitely still deceptive though.
One user in the telegram spoke on the matter, saying:
Mate, you’ve done a fantastic job. Bitcoin.com changed [their] website, so even if it doesn’t go further at least you’ve put the fear in them.
What do you think of this? Is Roger Ver simply clever at marketing? Has he actually done anything wrong in the y he uses Bitcoin.com? Let us know in the comments below!
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The New Gold is Bitcoin, yet It Seems Mining Bosses Still Exist

The post The New Gold is Bitcoin, yet It Seems Mining Bosses Still Exist appeared first on Cryptocurrency exchange: buy/sell/trade bitcoin & altcoins | iCE3X.
Bitcoin is the New Gold. Bitcoin has matured over the last decade to become the defacto digital equivalent to real gold. It has the same economic properties as gold, yet it has an advantage in terms of ease of transfer.
Why is Bitcoin a new form of gold, you ask?
Many people see Bitcoin as the new gold. It is a controversial issue because the perspective which both sides use is important in order to get context around the subject. “Bitcoin is the new gold” proponents believe that its properties of scarcity, divisibility, fungibility and the ease of transfer, make Bitcoin the natural option to replace the US dollar as world reserve currency (which in turn replaced the gold standard in 1971). In contrast, the naysayers argue that cryptocurrencies have no real use case, except that it is like the tulip craze of the 1600s.
What is Gold Really used for?
Measuring wealth. For as long as we humans have recorded history, Gold has been the defacto symbol of wealth. It is used to symbolise wealth and also to transfer wealth. Furthermore, we measure wealth and even create wealth through derivative products.
Unlike Gold, Bitcoin cannot be confiscated or taken from you without your consent.
The Gold Standard
The whole world used Gold until as recent as 1971 to measure the value of FIAT currency. The US dollar is now our “world reserve currency”.  As a result, the United States has an unbalanced degree of power and influence over the world economy. This is a problem. To have a central entity with a small select group of people who decide for the masses with no counterbalance is a BIG problem.
We object to Gold as the world reserve currency for two reasons {neither of which can really be used as a credible justification for not using the Gold Standard}:

Scarcity
Gold deposits are unfairly distributed around the world and some governments will have an unfair advantage in terms of accessibility. This, however, did not stop Britain or America (Anglo-American…) from building a behemoth mining conglomerate.
Divisibility
Some argue that we would not have enough gold in the world to sustain a world economy (we would not have enough gold in order to divide at current market rates) – (uhm… de-value FIAT currency against gold and you solve that problem).

The Mining Bosses
Where there is wealth, there is greed. Unfortunately, gold deposits are unevenly distributed across the globe. Different governments have official mining policies which vary. Furthermore, small groups control these markets which are fragmented across the globe. Companies build whole “other” layers of economies on top of the gold mining industry.
The disparity in distribution causes a situation of the have’s and the have not’s. A breeding ground for corruption, labour abuse and just about every other form of economic abuse where the privileged become yet more privileged and the masses have zero economic mobility.
We all know who the biggest benefactors or “mining bosses” in the mineral mining industry are. We will not discuss this here. {They deserve (and have) blogs of their own, which are dedicated to their pillaging}.
So who are the “Bitcoin Mining Bosses”?
With Bitcoin, you solve the problem which we identify as uneven distribution of the asset. Bitcoin is open to anyone. This does cause an issue, namely that it is easy to manipulate an uneducated market. We have always taken the approach of regulating markets to keep out bad actors, but this requires autonomous control of the said market. No single one entity can control bitcoin.
Ponzi Scheme Owners & Brokers
They are simply confidence tricksters. If bitcoin is the new gold, then we can equate them to “gold prospecting certificate” brokers hanging around pubs and bars waiting for the next fool to ride into town, seeking his fortune.
If its sounds to good to be true, it usually is
Forked Token Supporters
Many tokens are simply forks or derivatives of a predecessor. We have two sides to the coins.
Firstly we have legitimate attempts at improving a coin; so far none of these implementations has been able to mount a challenge in terms of FIAT valuation. The best performer, BitcoinCash, could only manage a rate of 5:1 against Bitcoin during the last peak (Dec ’17).
Secondly, there are imitations. Many see BitcoinCashSV as such a coin because it does not have the perceived pedigree of the original implementation of Bitcoin. {“Bitcoin Cash SV is the new Gold” does not roll off the tongue now, does it?}
Consequently, there are coins which are difficult to classify. They come in different forms and have different attributes, yet when seriously questioned on a technical and economic level do not appear to have substance, are usually not limited in supply and are not decentralized at all. SAFcoin, for example, has very little explanation of its value proposition. On the other hand, we have some who wrongly believe the Ripple Token XRP, will be in use by the banking industry in the near future.
Co(i)n-check
What do all these groups have in common? They all liquidate their positions in favour of Bitcoin. Fresh investors who come into the crypto space and are likely to fall foul of a crypto scam or two, invest FIAT money into bitcoin which they subsequently convert to other tokens. The creators or marketers behind the derived token will now convert the BTC to FIAT. Moreover, they stifle the Bitcoin market and leave new investors holding a bag of potatoes.
Bitcoin is Better New Gold
If you hold bitcoin as an investment, it is a risk, yet it is a calculated risk. It could make you rich, just like the first gold miners in the Wild West of America.
Top Ten Tips to Keep your Coins from the Mining bosses 

If bitcoin is the new Gold, you need to treat it as such
Store your own Private Keys.
There is no such thing as investing bitcoin to make more bitcoin. Buy bitcoin from an exchange and withdraw it to your own wallet.
Backup your Private Keys.
Bitcoin has a limit in supply, increased adoption and use translate into scarcity. Scarcity = higher value.
Not your keys, not your coin.
Bitcoin is not a database or a payment mechanism
Control the private keys, you and you alone control the coin
Bitcoin is an experiment, do not invest more than you can afford to lose if it all goes wrong
Keys, Keys, Keys. Make sure you backup your keys
Nobody can confiscate your bitcoin.

Conclusion
Regardless of what perspective you decide to look at Bitcoin from, it still looks like Gold in the right light. The difference is, Bitcoin does a better job at being gold than gold itself. As it’s digital, there’s no need to pay a small military unit in order to move thousands of Bitcoins (as there would be for moving thousands of gold bars). Sending Bitcoin across the border is almost free. Imagine sending a few kilos of Gold over the border.
What do you think of Bitcoin? Out of Gold and Bitcoin, which would you rather invest in? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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