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What is Bitcoin?

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

Bitcoin Latest News

How Can Users Securely Withdraw and Store Bitcoin Cash - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

How Can Users Securely Withdraw and Store Bitcoin Cash
CoinTelegraph
Only a handful of Bitcoin wallet platforms and exchanges are supporting Bitcoin Cash deposits and withdrawals. Bitcoin users who received Bitcoin Cash (BCH) after the Aug. 1 hard fork can utilize secure wallet platforms from Trezor, BTC.com and BitGo ...

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 4:19 pm

Swiss digital asset exchange buys US wallet maker in all-bitcoin deal - Reuters


Reuters

Swiss digital asset exchange buys US wallet maker in all-bitcoin deal
Reuters
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Swiss digital currency exchange ShapeShift AG said on Wednesday it has acquired Seattle-based KeepKey Holder LLC, a maker of devices known as digital wallets, in an all-bitcoin deal. Financial terms were undisclosed. KeepKey's ...
Cryptocurrency Exchange ShapeShift Acquires Bitcoin Wallet StartupCoinDesk

all 7 news articles »

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 3:32 pm

Investor Naval Ravikant Wants to Disrupt Twitter With Blockchain 'XPRIZE'

Early Twitter investor Naval Ravikant to back "XPRIZE" for a blockchain-based Twitter using Blockstack technologies.

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 1:10 pm

Disgraced US Secret Service agent coughs to second Bitcoin heist - The Register


The Register

Disgraced US Secret Service agent coughs to second Bitcoin heist
The Register
An ex-Secret Service agent who stole Bitcoins from the Silk Road dark web drugs bazaar he was supposed to be investigating has admitted stealing even more sacks of the digital currency. Shaun Bridges, who is already serving a six-year sentence for ...
Disgraced Secret Service agent pleads guilty to second bitcoin heistWashington Times

all 5 news articles »

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 1:07 pm

Opinion: How you can make easy money from the bitcoin bubble - MarketWatch


MarketWatch

Opinion: How you can make easy money from the bitcoin bubble
MarketWatch
These digital currencies may be rubbish — more on that below — but it looks like we're in big, fat bitcoin bubble right now. If so, there is seriously easy money to be made. Bitcoin BTCUSD, -2.05% shrugged off a crash in July and is now setting new ...

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 11:59 am

CULedger Credit Union Consortium Launches Blockchain Services Business

A blockchain initiative backed by a group of US credit unions has formed a new organization to support its efforts.

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 11:20 am

Crypto Exchange Shapeshift Acquires KeepKey Hardware Wallets

ShapeShift Acquires KeepKey

Today, Shapeshift.io announced its acquisition of hardware wallet manufacturer KeepKey. According to the cryptocurrency exchange, by pairing the KeepKey hardware wallet with ShapeShift, users will be allowed to safely store their coins on a secure physical device while trading their assets directly over the ShapeShift API, which can be reached from KeepKey’s interface.

“Security is of critical importance when it comes to holding and trading digital assets. One of our priorities has always been to make the exchange experience as safe and easy for users as possible, and our pairing with KeepKey enables us to provide an unmatched customer experience. Users can hold their coins on the hardware device and exchange them on demand within the wallet, without even visiting a website. When you pair the KeepKey hardware wallet with ShapeShift’s exchange, the experience is magical,” Erik Voorhees, CEO of ShapeShift, said.

KeepKey already had integrated ShapeShift’s API a year ago, allowing it to supporting the most popular cryptocurrencies. The firm’s objective is to support all leading digital assets providing the users with the “most secure storage wallet available.”

“This partnership will not only guarantee the future success of the KeepKey brand and product line, but joining the ShapeShift team will enable us to focus on continuing to work on developing better technology and security for crypto-holders,“ said Ken Hodler, Chief Technology Officer at KeepKey.

ShapeShift confirmed that the company will preserve KeepKey’s brand and product line. Furthermore, the acquisition of KeepKey will allows ShapeShift to “provide increased capital for inventory and security expertise.”

“Amid heightened interest in the concept of digital currencies, a simple, user-friendly cold storage wallet with native exchange functionality is one key to wider adoption,” said Voorhees.

The combination of ShapeShift and KeepKey reflects both companies’ commitment to security and privacy. ShapeShift does not collect any personal information on its users. Furthermore, customer funds are not collected on the company accounts and users maintain control of their keys at all times.

The KeepKey drive is physical hardware device that protects users’ funds from “hackers and thieves.” It uses wallet software located on the user’s computer. The device takes over the management of private key generation and storage along with the signing of transactions. The hardware has a built-in random number generator for private keys, which works in combination with the “randomness” provided by the user’s computer. After the private key is generated, the user is given a twelve-word recovery sentence, which can be used to recover the device without compromising its private keys.

The post Crypto Exchange Shapeshift Acquires KeepKey Hardware Wallets appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 10:12 am

Cryptocurrency Exchange ShapeShift Acquires Bitcoin Wallet Startup

Cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift has acquired the bitcoin hardware wallet startup KeepKey.

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 10:00 am

Bitcoin's Next Battle May Already Be Looming - Fortune


Fortune

Bitcoin's Next Battle May Already Be Looming
Fortune
Hi everyone, it's Yuji from Tokyo. I've been writing about the trials and tribulations of bitcoin for more than a year. The recent bitcoin civil war has been an ugly, highly politicized affair, with each side trying to manipulate the media and tilt ...
Block 494784: Segwit2x Developers Set Date for Bitcoin Hard ForkCoinDesk
How SegWit Made for a More User-Friendly BitcoinInvestopedia

all 9 news articles »

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 9:16 am

AMD Releases New Software Package for Cryptocurrency Mining

Graphics card (GPU) maker AMD is rolling out a new software driver geared specifically toward cryptocurrency mining.

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 9:00 am

Swiss Bank to Sell Ether and Bitcoin Cash to Customers

A private Swiss bank is expanding a digital asset management service it launched earlier this summer to include new cryptocurrencies.

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 7:10 am

Why Bitcoin, Cryptos Aren't Gold - Forbes


Forbes

Why Bitcoin, Cryptos Aren't Gold
Forbes
As humans, we're always looking for signals, particularly from markets. Are stocks likely to decline or rise? Will interest rates drop? What about the value of the dollar? When it comes to cryptocurrencies, the same questions nag at us: Bitcoin, for ...
Bitcoin is back above $4000Business Insider
Some Investors See Bitcoin Better Than Gold, Morgan Stanley SaysBloomberg
Bitcoin Will Hit $5000 This MonthSeeking Alpha
CoinTelegraph -TheStreet.com -CoinDesk
all 114 news articles »

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 7:08 am

Bitcoin Down $100 as Price Seeks Support Above $4000 - CoinDesk


CoinDesk

Bitcoin Down $100 as Price Seeks Support Above $4000
CoinDesk
At press time, average bitcoin prices were down just over $120 across major exchanges, declining from an opening value of $4,204 at 0:00 UTC to $4,080. The drop comes a day after the bitcoin price shed $178 in value on Tuesday, declining from $4,382 to ...
Bitcoin at $4000: Even 50 Percent Collapse Would Preserve Best Asset StatusCoinTelegraph

all 2 news articles »

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 6:23 am

Blockstack Partners with VCs to Launch $25 Million Blockstack Signature Fund

blockstack.jpg

New York-based decentralized internet and developer platform Blockstack has partnered with a number of venture capital groups to launch the $25 million Blockstack Signature fund.

The Blockstack Signature fund is backed by Lux, OpenOcean, VersionOne, RisingTide, and Compound, and funding will go toward apps being built in the Blockstack ecosystem.

Patrick Stanley, growth partner at Blockstack, explained to Bitcoin Magazine that “Blockstack is not launching the VC fund but facilitating.” That is, the company’s role in the fund has been to gather the venture capital groups, attract the developers and facilitate the partnerships that will result in quality app development on the Blockstack platform.

According to Blockstack, the VC fund will dedicated to “rapidly accelerating startups building decentralized applications on the platform, and tools for developers to bootstrap their apps, with tokens on the Blockstack network — just like you see with Ethereum.”

Muneeb Ali, co-founder at Blockstack, told Bitcoin Magazine: “We are at a stage where some of the developers are incredibly excited about building apps and usually get in touch with us. If developers get in touch with us with an app that they are excited about, this is one funding channel we can point them to.”

Ali added: “The VCs involved in the fund will take a look at that application and make a independent decision to fund that company or now. Our intention here is to bring together sophisticated investors, people who have been thinking a lot about decentralization and can do their due diligence.”

VC investing is a type of private equity, a form of financing that is provided by firms or funds to small, early-stage, emerging firms that are deemed to have high-growth potential, or which have demonstrated high growth in terms of number of employees, annual revenue or both.

Ali explains: “If you look at this space in general we feel that there are a lot of low quality apps which are raising an insane amount of capital from token sales, for example. We want to bring some quality and sanity to the picture. We feel that VCs can still have a seat at the table … we want to open up that channel as well.”

Blockstack was formerly known as Onename and passed through its young company status in the summer of 2014 as a startup looking to streamline bitcoin transactions.

Watch the video here.

blockstack video


The post Blockstack Partners with VCs to Launch $25 Million Blockstack Signature Fund appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 6:23 am

Bitcoin Down $100 as Price Seeks Support Above $4,000

Bitcoin prices are beginning to move sideways, just a day after setting a new all-time high.

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 6:15 am

IT Giant NTT Data Enlists 13 Companies for Blockchain Consortium

Japan's largest IT services firm, NTT Data, has announced a new consortium aimed to investigate use cases for blockchain technology.

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 5:00 am

'Boiler Room' Crypto Scam Targeted by London Police

British police arrested an individual last week for allegedly fleecing would-be investors via a fake cryptocurrency investment scheme.

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 4:00 am

Bitcoin Is Literally Soaring Into Space After Rocket-Like Surge - Bloomberg


Bloomberg

Bitcoin Is Literally Soaring Into Space After Rocket-Like Surge
Bloomberg
Blockstream Inc. plans to make the digital ledger underpinning the cryptocurrency accessible via satellite signal so people without Internet access, or in places where bandwidth is expensive, can trade and mine bitcoin. The company also touts the ...
Blockstream Is Using Satellites to Beam Bitcoin Down to EarthCoinDesk

all 9 news articles »

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 1:07 am

A Bitcoin Is Worth $4000--Why You Probably Should Not Own One - Forbes


Forbes

A Bitcoin Is Worth $4000--Why You Probably Should Not Own One
Forbes
Even though most people don't even know what they are, Bitcoins increased in value from about $570 to more than $4,300 — an astounding 750% — in just the last year. Because of this huge return, more people, hoping to make a fast fortune, are becoming ...

and more »

Posted on 15 August 2017 | 5:15 pm

S&P 500 or Cryptocurrency: Just How Big Is Bitcoin's Price Explosion?

Bitcoin price gains are impressive. But when compared to traditional asset investment, how big is big? And are there downsides?

Posted on 15 August 2017 | 1:01 pm

Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Expands Legal Industry Working Group

Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Expands Legal Industry Working Group

On August 14, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance announced the addition of more than a dozen organizations to its blockchain collaboration under the umbrella of its Legal Industry Working Group, responsible for creating enterprise-grade applications on the Ethereum blockchain. The new members include law schools, legal departments of universities, academic institutions and leading global law firms.

According to the EEA, the swift expansion of the Legal Industry Working Group is due to the fact that an increased number of legal professionals are showing interest in blockchain technology. The Ethereum blockchain consortium believes this working group will serve as a base for the success of “various efforts taking place within the organization.”

“We are thrilled to see robust interest in blockchain technology by forward-looking law firms and institutions. Lawyers are poised to serve as the catalysts for blockchain technology, and the Legal Working Group will serve as a neutral space to explore blockchain-based legal technology, develop standards for “smart” legal agreements, support emerging enterprise use cases and tackle important policy issues raised by this new impactful technology,” Aaron Wright, Chair of the EEA Legal Industry Working Group, Associate Clinical Professor and Co-Director of the Cardozo Law School’s Blockchain Project, and co-founder of the smart contract project OpenLaw, said in a statement.

The Legal Industry Working Group isn’t the only part of the blockchain collaboration to be experiencing a rapid growth in new members. On July 18, 2017, the EEA announced that the alliance had onboarded 34 new organizations, bringing the number of the participants to more than 150 members. The newly joined participants included Mastercard, Cisco, the Government of Andhra Pradesh (one of the 29 states of India), Scotiabank and many others.

Formed in late February 2017 by founding members such as Intel and J.P. Morgan, the EEA strives to create, promote and support open standards, best practices and open source reference architectures on the Ethereum blockchain. The consortium serves as the major research and development body of the Ethereum blockchain, helping Ethereum to evolve into an enterprise-grade technology. In terms of development and research, the EEA focuses on multiple areas, including privacy, confidentiality, scalability and security, as well as investigating hybrid architectures and industry-specific, application-layer working groups.

The 14 new members of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance include:

Cooley, Debevoise & Plimpton, Goodwin, Hogan Lovells, Holland & Knight, Jones Day, Latham & Watkins, Morrison & Foerster, Perkins Coie, Shearman & Sterling, Cardozo Law School, Duke Center on Law & Technology, and the Department of Legal Studies and Business Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

In addition, existing members of the consortium will be joining the EEA Legal Industry Working Group, including BNY Mellon, ConsenSys, ING and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The post Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Expands Legal Industry Working Group appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 15 August 2017 | 12:45 pm

Bitcoin Price Surges After Agreement on Software Update - New York Times


New York Times

Bitcoin Price Surges After Agreement on Software Update
New York Times
The price of Bitcoin has rocketed to new highs after a long battle over the rules of the software was resolved, at least temporarily. The price of a Bitcoin has risen nearly 50 percent since the beginning of the month, raising the total value of all ...
Goldman Sachs says bitcoin may rise about $500 more, before losing half its valueCNBC
Bitcoin has doubled in value in a month. Here's whyCNNMoney
Bitcoin tumbles below $4000Business Insider
USA TODAY -NPR -Fortune -CoinDesk
all 319 news articles »

Posted on 15 August 2017 | 12:25 pm

$45 Million: Ukrainian Lawmakers Reveal Big Bitcoin Holdings

Three lawmakers in Ukraine have more than $45 million worth of bitcoin, recent disclosures reveal.

Posted on 15 August 2017 | 12:01 pm

Prosecutors: Rogue Silk Road Agent Stole 1,600 BTC After 2015 Guilty Plea

New charges have been filed against a former Secret Service agent previously plead guilty stealing bitcoins during the Silk Road investigation.

Posted on 15 August 2017 | 10:45 am

Ripple Confirms China Expansion Plans, Shoots Down Alibaba Rumor

Rumors are flying about Ripple's China expansion. Ripple elaborated on plans for the country, and shut down speculation they're working with Alibaba.

Posted on 15 August 2017 | 9:45 am

Blockstream Is Using Satellites to Beam Bitcoin Down to Earth

Blockstream says people most in need of bitcoin aren't getting it because of their lack of internet, but its satellite – yes, satellite – can help.

Posted on 15 August 2017 | 7:59 am

Bitcoin Bill Delayed as Russian Lawmakers Seek 'Optimal Solution'

A working group within Russia's state legislature is further delaying work on a cryptocurrency legalization bill.

Posted on 15 August 2017 | 7:01 am

Bitcoin Sets New Record High of $4,483 in Overnight Trading

The price of bitcoin continued its recent bullish surge last night, reaching a new all-time high of $4,483.

Posted on 15 August 2017 | 4:00 am

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Still More Room at the Top, For Now

Bitcoin Price Analysis

While many fear BTC-USD is entering bubble territory, others are calling for even higher price targets.  Politics aside, there is a clear push for higher BTC-USD prices and it’s creating market uncertainty.

Here are the facts:

  1. 30 days ago, BTC-USD was $1800.

  2. Today the price of BTC-USD has risen 130% and has managed to establish an all time high at $4300.

  3. In 5 days alone, the price of BTC-USD has increased its market value by 30%.

Taking a look at the macro trend since the rise post-$1800s, we see clear lines of support along the Fibonacci Retracements:

Figure_1.JPG
Figure 1:  BTC-USD, 6-Hour Candles, Bitfinex, Macro Fib. Lines

Across the length of the bullish push from the $2700s (the 61% line) there are signs of sustained momentum in the RSI and MACD.  Looking at the volume profile, there is no clear decline in volume and it appears to show market interest in higher values as the volume’s moving average has remained mostly flat.  However, since the bullish push from the $3200s (the 38% line) we can see signs of bullish exhaustion in the form MACD and RSI divergence.  

Zooming in on a smaller timescale, we see evidence of a higher push to new all time highs:

Figure_2.jpgFigure 2:  BTC-USD, 1-Hour Candles, Bitfinex, Potential Bull Pennant Breakout

At the top of BTC-USD’s strong run from the $3200s stands a classic bullish continuation pattern called a “Bull Pennant.”  The pennant is characterized by price consolidation within a convergent pattern and has decreasing volume throughout the length of the pennant body.  To accompany this pattern is a 1-hour RSI and MACD that began to consolidate toward its centerline.

At the time of this article, BTC-USD appears to have broken out of this pennant with a sharp increase in volume.  Currently, based on typical price projections for Bull Pennant breakouts, this pennant breakout has a price target of $5000.

Although this is a rather aggressive price target for this bull pennant, there are some considerations on a macro scale that should be addressed and discussed.

Figure_3.JPGFigure 3:  BTC-USD, 1 Day Candles, Bitfinex, Bollinger Bands

For the fourth day in a row, BTC-USD continues to push outside the Bollinger Bands.  Historically, this sort of push has led to market pullback or consolidation.  Even on high timescales, the current 3-day candle (not shown above) is fully formed outside the Bollinger Bands and shows, on a macro scale, that the market is overbought.  To accompany this push of the Bollinger Bands, a clear decrease in volume is seen on the moving average that shows, since the rise from $1800s, there has been waning bullish sentiment.  

While there is a lot of hype surrounding BTC’s recent rise, it is paramount to remain objective and skeptical of market activity and to view the market soberly.  The price target of $5000, on a micro level seems plausible.  However, on a macro level the bullish market appears to have slightly bearish divergence.  To remain a reliable price target, the market needs to see a push to newer all time highs accompanied by increase in volume to sustain the next $800 of price movement.

Summary:

  1. BTC-USD has broken out of a bullish continuation pattern called a “Bull Pennant” with a price target of $5,000.

  2. On a macro scale, there are signs of bullish momentum loss in the form of bearish divergence and overbought signals on the Bollinger Bands.  

  3. While the market can remain overbought for days and weeks, it’s important to keep in mind that the higher the market pushes into overbought zones, the more necessary market consolidation becomes in order to prevent a market pullback.  So far, there has yet to be any considerable market consolidation during this 130% rise.

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


The post Bitcoin Price Analysis: Still More Room at the Top, For Now appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 14 August 2017 | 3:35 pm

Last Week on LTB Network: Factom's Paul Snow Shares Thoughts on Bitcoin Cash

Last Week on LTB Network: Factom's Paul Snow Shares Thoughts on Bitcoin Cash

Some confusion still exists around Bitcoin Cash (or Bcash), the new token that resulted from a split in the Bitcoin network on August 1. Many bitcoin (BTC) holders are still wondering how to safely remove the new tokens (BCH) from exchanges (and wallets) without putting their BTC at risk.

In a recent episode of the Crypto Show, Paul Snow, the founder of the blockchain-based data management solution Factom, offered some suggestions. He also talked about the potential benefits of holding onto BCH a little while longer.

First, while some exchanges may be offering to extract BCH for some users, Snow firmly advises people not to hand over their private keys to exchanges. He thinks sharing private keys is a bad policy in general. “Don’t do it,” he said.

“It is kind of like, you don’t wear underwear on the outside of your pants; you don’t give people your private keys,” he said. But for those anxious to cash in on their BCH right away, he describes a safe way to do it.

Create New Addresses

Snow suggests users separate their BTC from their BCH first, as follows:

If you had any number of addresses holding BTC before August 1, then you will now have an equal amount of BCH on those same addresses.

Snow recommends you go into your BTC wallets and move the entire amounts of BTC in those addresses, (imagine three addresses we’ll call A, B, C) to three new addresses (D, E, F). Now, the second set of addresses (D, E, F) will have BTC in them, but no BCH because those addresses did not exist before August 1. The first set (A, B, C) will have BCH in them, but no BTC.

“To reiterate,” Snow said, “move your Bitcoin addresses from where they were on August 1 to new addresses. Step two, input those private keys into your Bitcoin Cash wallet. Step three, profit,” he said.


For more info on how to handle your BCH safely, read A Beginner’s Guide to Claiming Your Bitcoin Cash (and Selling It).


Neutral on Bcash

Bitcoin Cash has, in a sense, divided the community. Some like Bitcoin Cash because it raises the Bitcoin block size limit to 8MB, while others are appalled at how the new chain is attempting to usurp users and hashpower from the main Bitcoin network.

Snow maintains a neutral stance. “I’m not sure I have an opinion on any particular blockchain out there,” he said.

After all, Bitcoin is not the only game in town. He pointed out that right now there are nine cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin with a market cap of $1B or more. Those are the facts. “I don’t care whether you think Bitcoin should be the only blockchain or not. They [those other coins] exist,” he said

Moveover, he thinks Bitcoin Cash played fair and square in launching an alternative currency. Everyone who had BTC got their share of BCH in the airdrop. Nevertheless, nearly everyone he hears from is looking to reinvest that money back into BTC.

“I am seeing a lot of people who are going to cash out on the Bitcoin Cash as fast as they can and buy Bitcoin with it,” he said. 

“Hodling” Bcash

Of course, there is another option. People could hold onto (or “hodl”) their BCH just like they hold on to their BTC and see if the price goes up.

After all, Snow said the market for BCH won’t hit its stride until mid September when the mining difficulty on the new chain eases up to the point where Bitcoin miners consider it economically viable to redirect their hash power over to it.

“Right now, anyone mining on Bitcoin Cash now is effectively donating their power,” he said. “That [Bitcoin Cash] bandwagon doesn’t leave town until September 18th. Until then, it is just kind of puddling along and not quite getting anywhere.”

Dropping Anchor

But, say the Bitcoin Cash chain were to beat all odds and become super successful. If that were to happen, would Factom anchor onto the Bitcoin Cash chain instead of the Bitcoin chain?

To explain Snow’s business, Factom is a protocol that runs on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. By doing so, it allows any kind of data to be time-stamped and secured using the Bitcoin blockchain. So hashrate is essential to Factom’s security.

“We are anchoring into a chain for its proof of work,” Snow said. “But if proof of work is largely in Bitcoin Cash, then we will anchor onto Bitcoin Cash.”

He added that if the hashrate between the two chains were to split 60/40, Factom could anchor on both chains and still get 100 percent of the hashpower.

“We can anchor as many chains as we want,” he said, but added that he doesn’t think Bitcoin Cash will ever capture that much hashpower. With BCH currently only valued at less than one tenth of BTC, the economic rewards for miners just aren’t there.

But as Snow pointed out, all of this plays into Bitcoin’s security. “Bitcoin is designed so that it is very, very hard to split off and be successful,” Snow said.

During the course of the interview, Snow also discussed the mechanics of how Factom anchors onto the Bitcoin network and the third annual Texas Bitcoin Conference, which he founded and helps organize. The conference will take place from October 28-29.

Listen to the entire podcast here.


The post Last Week on LTB Network: Factom's Paul Snow Shares Thoughts on Bitcoin Cash appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 14 August 2017 | 1:28 pm

Ethereum Classic Forges Its Own Identity With New Mantis Client

Ethereum Classic Mantis

A group of Ethereum Classic developers wants Ethereum Classic to be known as more than a “cut-and-paste” version of the Ethereum blockchain. So they spent seven months building Mantis, a unique Ethereum Classic client, from scratch.

And it is not hard to understand their motivation.

Since Ethereum Classic split away from Ethereum as a result of the DAO hard fork last summer, the two smart contract platforms have shared the same codebase, the same smart contract development tools and more.

In fact, aside from a few protocol changes, like defusing the difficulty bomb and capping the monetary policy on the Ethereum Classic chain, for all intents and purposes, the two networks have been nearly identical.

But now Ethereum Classic is striking out on its own in a move developers behind the effort hope will position the platform as a viable alternative to Ethereum. Earlier this week, Alan McSherry, Ethereum Classic developer and Mantis project lead, announced the beta version of the new Ethereum Classic client in a blog post.

Built in the functional programming language Scala, Mantis represents a serious effort by the Ethereum Classic community to gain recognition for having its own team of developers on par with those of Ethereum. Mantis also sets the foundation for future innovations in Ethereum Classic.

“This is a good starting point for our influence in the Ethereum Classic community,” said McSherry, in speaking with Bitcoin Magazine. “We are able to say we have built from the ground up a client in Scala. And, when it comes to the future direction of Ethereum Classic, we have a pretty good handle on what we are talking about.”

But before getting into why the developers of the project chose to build a client in Scala, first, what is a client?

A Blockchain Client

In a distributed ledger, a client refers to the software that runs on a computer, or “node,” connected to the network. A blockchain client is responsible for downloading and keeping up to date an entire copy of the blockchain. In a sense, it also acts like a server in that it also serves the other nodes in the network by doing things like verifying blocks, checking that transactions include signatures and so on.  

In that respect, Mantis essentially represents a full end-to-end copy of Ethereum. It contains the mining verification algorithm, the consensus algorithm, all the network logic, the cryptography that allows users to spend their coins and the logic to verify smart contracts.

As a client, Mantis also provides interfaces for creating transactions. Still in beta, Mantis supports a command-line interface version of a wallet for making transactions. Users can also access the client from the Mist browser over HTTP.  

To be clear, Mantis is not the only client available to Ethereum Classic users. Other groups may be working on other clients, said McSherry. And the Ethereum Classic community maintains two other Ethereum clients: Geth, written in Go, and Parity, written in Rust. But McSherry explained that the hope is that Mantis will eventually become the flagship client for Ethereum Classic.

Functional Language

Mantis is different from existing Ethereum clients in that it was written in Scala, a functional programming language.

Scala is touted for benefits that include ease of testing and predictability, characteristics that allow developers to audit the code for bugs and security flaws more easily than other languages. “If you have more predictable code, that will leverage itself up to the overall quality of the product,” McSherry said.   

But there are levels of functional languages. Scala is more of a hybrid language that sits between heavyweight functional languages, like Haskell and OCaml, that draw the academic and science crowd and the user-friendly world of Java.

And this means that while Scala allows developers to write in a functional style, it still has a fairly easy learning curve, making it accessible to a broad community of developers who may want to contribute to the open-source code.

McSherry explained that because Scala is a functional language, it is also open to applying frameworks, such as Stainless, that use rigorous mathematical proofs to check that the code performs as intended. It is a theme that plays well in the Ethereum Classic community’s stance on immutability and the idea that if “code is law” then smart contracts need to run in a more secure environment.

“The ultimate goal is a much higher-quality code, and obviously, that means much higher security for the funds that are controlled,” McSherry said.

Moving Forward

In terms of a road map for Ethereum Classic, Mantis is a stepping stone to bigger things and perhaps a greater technical divergence from Ethereum.

For instance, plans are to eventually connect Mantis to IOHK’s cryptocurrency wallet platform Daedalus, giving Mantis a graphical interface. “That’s the next focus,” McSherry said.

But for now, Mantis is being made available to other developers who are willing to try out the code in a testnet environment and provide their feedback.

“We are delighted to have gotten to this stage where we have the functionality out the door,” says McSherry. “The next phase is to polish the functionality, look at the performance of it, go back and clean up, and make it a top, top client.”

He said he expects the next release of Mantis as soon as September.

The post Ethereum Classic Forges Its Own Identity With New Mantis Client appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 11 August 2017 | 11:26 am

Who Created Ethereum?

Who Created Ethereum?

While working on a number of Bitcoin projects, a 19-year-old programmer from Toronto, Vitalik Buterin, conceived the idea for Ethereum. Ethereum was intended to be a robust platform that allows developers to build blockchain applications. Buterin was inspired by some of the shortcomings he faced when trying to build applications on the Bitcoin blockchain. He believed that the potential of blockchain technology was not limited to financial applications and quickly set out to create a blockchain that could support more common computations.

Vitalik Buterin was first introduced to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in 2011. That same year he co-founded Bitcoin Magazine and wrote many articles explaining his views on the digital currency’s future. He later worked on Mastercoin and some alternate coins based on the Bitcoin codebase. This work led him to believe the Bitcoin blockchain was limited in scope.

The Ethereum white paper was released in 2013, and it documented a new open-source protocol for creating decentralized applications.   

Ethereum was officially announced on the Bitcointalk forum in 2014. In addition to Buterin, Ethereum was co-founded by Mihai Alisie, Anthony Di Iorio and Charles Hoskinson. Buterin also announced that he was working with developer Dr. Gavin Wood and Joseph Lubin. Wood soon released the Ethereum yellow paper, which covered the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), the runtime environment that executes all of the smart contracts on the network. Lubin would go on to found ConsenSys, a venture studio focusing on decentralized applications.

The Ethereum Foundation held an ether crowdsale in July 2014 during which they sold 60 million tokens. 12 million ether (ETH) tokens were created so the Ethereum Foundation could expand its development and marketing efforts. The Frontier was the first release of the Ethereum network. It was released a year after the crowdsale and provided a bare-bones mechanism for developers to interact with and build apps on the network.  

Both the Ethereum network and community have grown substantially over the last year. The Ethereum Enterprise Alliance, an initiative working to connect the world’s largest companies to the Ethereum network, recently announced 86 new partners including Microsoft, Intel and BP. Similarly, a multitude of new blockchain projects leveraging the Ethereum blockchain have gained attention and capital.

Ethereum broke into the mainstream in early 2017 when the price of ETH increased by 1000 percent over the course of a couple months. This led to a similar rise in the price of alternative blockchain tokens, dubbed “altcoins.” A slew of new investors quickly entered the space as Ethereum was covered by large media outlets including CNBC, Reuters and Quartz. Investors and developers are awaiting the release of Metropolis, the next update to the Ethereum network promising to abstract a lot of functions and pave the way for user-friendly application designs.

The post Who Created Ethereum? appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 10 August 2017 | 1:22 pm

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August 16, 2017 -
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