A Bitcoin exchange in Tokyo halted services on July 12 and announced a major hack. Bitpoint, a Japan-based and licensed cryptocurrency exchange, was hacked for $32 million or $3.5 billion yen. Customers received an email alerting them to the fact that Bitpoint would cease all services while it investigates. Read More
What is surprising, novel, ironic or controversial about Bitcoin in Q2 2019?
MK: I think it’s the recognition now by mainstream analysts and media that bitcoin represents a store of value. I think that story, which we’ve been talking about for years, seemed ludicrous a few years ago. But, more and more on the institutional level they’re getting to understand that this does represent a risk-off store of value safe haven. Read More
Bitcoin is poised to move beyond $10,000. At the time of writing, it currently sits at $9,922, and has already surpassed $10,000 on Chinese exchanges. Its record high is $19,666. Bitcoin is currently at its highest price since May 2018.
Bitcoin has tested the technical resistance set in April 2018 of $9,949, and the psychological resistance of $10,000 is next. Since April 1, Bitcoin is up 140 percent. Read More
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced that starting in September it will disallow U.S. residents from using its flagship exchange. Instead, it will launch a U.S.-based service, called Binance US, where U.S. passport holders will face restrictions when using the website.
Binance has been known for letting anyone use its services to trade tokens. The Malta-based exchange will partner with Bam Trading Services, a FinCEN-registered company with links to Binance-backed Koi Compliance, the “fully-managed solutions” department of over-the-counter (OTC) crypto trader Koi Trading. Binance Labs invested $3 million in Koi Trading on January 24. Read More
Crypto Wendy, who is keeping her eye on Bitcoin ETFs, futures and institutional interest in the crypto market these days, wants you to know that she is no trading expert.
“…I am here to learn and grow with everyone,” she says.
She started out in the space as a trader and hosting free meetups at Cryptospace in San Pedro, teaching and talking about basic trading methods. Three times a week, she does a live stream and discusses news and current events that impact the market on her YouTube channel. She believes we’ve seen the bottom in the crypto market for now. Read More
Ziya Sadr spoke with Let’s Talk Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency podcast, about the importance of Bitcoin in Iran. He discussed how it allows great financial freedom for the Iranian people, and how Bitcoin is superior to other cryptocurrencies in Iran.
“The thing about bitcoin is that we are on equal ground with the rest of the world and that is nice for a change,” Mr. Sadr, who is 25 years old, told the long-serving podcast. “We’ve never been on equal ground. We’ve had inflation, we’ve been sanctioned by the whole world. With Bitcoin, we are on equal ground with the rest of the world and this is kind of new.” Read More
Jim Rogers believes governments will interfere with the rise of bitcoin and cryptocurrency, but not blockchain.
“The blockchain has a great future,” the famous investor told BBLOKK OFFICIAL. “Blockchain is changing everything we know, and it’s going to change even more. A lot of people are going to lose their job because of blockchain, but a lot of people lost jobs because of electricity, and electricity turned out to be a good thing for all of us; likewise with blockchain.” Read More
Bitcoin is acting similar to a safe haven asset with uncertainty plaguing the stock market amid President Donald Trump’s aggressive trade policies. Bitcoin was trading at over $8,700 earlier this week and traded above $7,800 on Wednesday morning.
“I watch bitcoin as a signal, as an indicator, not because I want to own it,” said Bleakley Advisory Group’s Peter Boockvar, who is generally bearish on bitcoin. “Over the last couple weeks, we’ve seen this sharp rise in bitcoin, and to me, that was saying something in terms of what markets were thinking about what the Fed was going to do [and about] the turmoil created by the threatened tariffs. ” Read More
In spite of bitcoin’s recent gains, the digital currency’s exchange volume still remains well below historic highs. The peak for Bitcoin exchange volume was December 2017, just before the entire crypto index collapsed after the 2017-2018 ICO craze.
US exchange volume fell precipitously after a November high. On May 28, the available stat, US trade volume for bitcoin sat at 150,000,000. When it peaked in December 2017, exchange volume shy of 4,000,000.
In bitcoin’s history, USD trading volume has increased exponentially. In April 2013 amid bitcoin’s first bullish run to $1,000, USD bitcoin exchange trading volume touched $55,000,000. Later that year, in November 2013, bitcoin USD exchange trading volume peaked at shy of $175,000,000.
More recently, in November 2018, amid what many termed a crypto bear market, bitcoin’s exchange trading volume surpassed half a billion. The current 150,000,000 is comparatively small for USD exchange trading volume compared to bitcoin’s recent bull runs.
What this means is ambiguous. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts have long claimed major crypto exchanges falsify trade data. Furthermore, the cryptocurrency market in late 2017 was much different than it is today, for 2017 was the Age of the ICO, when projects were spinning up tokens, launching crowdsales, and paying money to be listed on exchanges.
Now that the ICO craze has calmed down, and the market has returned to earth, increased scrutiny on the token space has forced exchanges perhaps to implement further reaching AML and KYC.
When we zoom into the 30-day timescale for Bitcoin trading volume on US based exchanges, trading peaked on May 13, 2019 at just over $7,000.
Coinbase, perhaps the leading bitcoin exchange, has been busy adding tokens in recent months in order to establish itself in a market where Binance came out of nowhere.
The San Francisco-based exchange hinted this week that it could introduce bitcoin margin trading, bringing ever more sophistication to what’s still, admittedly, a nascent industry. Bitcoin margin trading has been BitMEx’s territory until now, but that could be changing.
With the halvening one year away, and bitcoin USD exchange trading volumes nowhere near all time highs, its easy to imagine increased trading volume and price in the mid-t0-long term. In the short term, with $9,000 showing formidable resistance, there’s no telling where bitcoin could go.
In 2020, the next Bitcoin halving will take place. Increasingly over the coming months, this will become discussed on internet forums, social media, and at conferences. The current bullish cycle we see, even if shortlived, is most likely a sign of what’s to come throughout the rest of 2019 and 2020 due to the halving event.
There are currently 17,700,000 bitcoins in circulation. That means just shy of 85% of the bitcoins to ever be produced have already been mined. There are just over 3 million bitcoins left to mine. There are at present 1,800 bitcoins minted per day.
The next Bitcoin halving takes place on May 24, 2020. The block reward for miners on the network will decrease from 12.5 to 6.25 bitcoins. This represents the third “halving” event ever in the history of bitcoin. Due to Bitcoin’s overall controlled supply of just 21 million, that the supply halves every four years ensures scarcity for bitcoin.
“Large drawdowns are not unique to digital assets and occur across all asset classes and markets, typically following periods of excessive risk-taking,” wrote Grayscale about halving. “These ‘re-pricings’ can create compelling investment opportunities and in many cases offer above-average risk-adjusted returns in the years that follow. For investors with a multi-year investment horizon and a high-risk tolerance, the confluence of discounted prices, improving network fundamentals, strong relative investment activity and the upcoming halving may offer an attractive entry point into Bitcoin. This is especially relevant for investors building core strategic positions in Bitcoin over time.”
The daily price change in May has averaged 4.7%, compared with 3.5% in April and 1.1% in March, reports Bloomberg. December, the last time prices had swung so much, averaged 4.2%.
While bitcoin fell on Tuesday 2.4%, it had not fallen in the four days prior. Bitcoin is currently at $8,860. The last time the price of bitcoin reached $9,000 was a year ago.
“The recent surges in Bitcoin are mainly based on the supply side,” wrote eToro’s Mati Greenspan in a note this week. “There’s already a shortage of Bitcoin in the world and with the halving event coming up next May, the countdown to even less supply has already begun.”
The Crypto Index pushed its upper band during Tuesday’s trading sessions and then fell. Bitcoin makes up 30% of that index.
With Brexit still looming over the UK, and the end of Theresa May’s leadership putting the country in yet another stage of transition, the pound has endured its longest losing streak against the euro since the creation of the latter currency 20 years ago. In recent weeks, the sterling has recorded its steepest losses ever when compared to major world currencies.
The pound dropped from just over €1.17 to under €1.14. It fell from over $1.32 to less than $1.27 versus the dollar – its lowest level since February.
Financial markets have declined over the past month over US and China trade war fears. Donald Trump’s administration raised the stakes by ramping up US tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. Tensions raised as the US blacklisted the Chinese telecoms company Huawei. The FTSE 100 has fallen by more than 2% to trade at about 7,270.
UK inflation increased to above the government’s 2% target in April. Last week, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May resigned as the leader of Britain’s Conservative Party.
“It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit,” said May outside No. 10 Downing St. in London during a speech at the end of which she shed a tear. May spent nearly three years trying to deliver the result of the 2016 Brexit referendum.
The Bitcoin Brexit Boon
According to one expert, increasing numbers of millionaires in the UK are moving their cash into cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, due to fear over the possibility of a Jeremy Corbyn-led government.
With Conservative Party support waning thanks to Brexit chaos, a Corbyn-led Labour Party could take power. Nigel Green, founder and CEO of deVere Group (which has more than $12 billion under its advisement), believes the nation’s rich, fearing such a result, are turning to Bitcoin and Ethereum.
“High-net-worth individuals in Britain and wealthy international investors with UK assets and business know that they will be hit by Mr. Corbyn’s tax hikes on wealth, income and inheritance,” Green said. “As such, many of them aren’t waiting to find out how his anti-wealth rhetoric would play out, and more and more of them are seeking advice on established, legitimate overseas opportunities to create, build, and importantly, protect their wealth.”
He adds: “An increasing conversation we’re having with clients in this regard involves investing in cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP, in lower tax, crypto-friendly jurisdictions. In a broader sense, high-net-worth individuals are increasingly seeking exposure to the associated benefits of these digital assets as our recent global survey highlights. It can be expected that a Corbyn-led government will help fuel this trend.”
In analyzing the state of the Bitcoin network as a payment system, people often point to transactions per day. Yet, since Bitcoin is a one-to-many payments solution, meaning one transaction can have multiple recipients, to truly know the state of the payment network, one must dig a bit deeper.
Increasingly, people are catching onto the fact that outputs per day, as illustrated at Outputs.Today, which is a feature used by exchanges and senders of considerable bitcoin transactions to minimize the fees they must pay to miners.
Critics of Bitcoin as a payment network point towards high transaction fees, which have at various points through the lifecycle of bitcoin, such as in mid-2017, been a main critique of the network.
Exchanges have faced pressure to batch transactions, and thereby make better use of this scarce block space. Bitcoin’s scaling issues during periods of increased transactions meant that transactions took longer and cost more.
Exchanges, mixers, payment processors, and mining pools employ ‘batching’. A sender can do this by combining transactions into one input. This means the transaction input has multiple outputs (addresses to send bitcoin or recipient).
The Bitcoin mempool is a pool of bitcoin transactions that have as yet been confirmed. Sometimes this becomes congested and transactions slowed. By combining, say, 10 payments into one transaction, block space might be freed up. Transactions can have unlimited outputs. Batched transactions might have three or more outputs.
Outputs Per Day
Outputs.Today tracks ‘outputs per day’. The top of the website reads, “better indicator of overall economic activity on the bitcoin blockchain than transactions per day.”
The website claims the number of total outputs is a more accurate indicator than the number of transactions. “Large players in the Bitcoin space use batching – the process of including multiple outputs in a given transaction – to reduce their overall transaction fees,” the site says. “Therefore, looking at only transactions misses an important part of the picture.”
As seen in the chart above, the Average Outputs to Transaction Ratio declined throughout 2018. The ‘Average Outputs Per Block’ in 2018 approximately mirrored ‘Average Transactions Per Block’.
On January 4, 2018 we saw the average output per block reach a high of 7,420. The peak for Transactions Per Block came much earlier when there were 2,532 transactions per block on January 4.
Throughout 2018, the Average Outputs to Transaction Ratio has declined. So far in 2019, the use of transaction batching has been on a steady rise, and just recently, accompanying the price rise, it spiked.
This could be indicative of one particular important price indicator: buying demand.
The folks over at Robbins Research International – the website for Tony Robbins – recently penned a piece on Bitcoin. We thought we’d break down some of the advice which appeared first on the acclaimed investor’s blog.
The piece first defines bitcoin. “It is a digital system of (non-physical) ‘tokens’ which have an ascribed value and are used for trading goods or services, much like cash or credit.” Read More
Hackers threatened the Bengaluru-based IT giant Wipro with a biological attack if the company did not pay $77,760,498 USD (500 crore) in bitcoins by May 25. In an email sent on Friday the sender threatened to use Ricin, a natural toxin, in food served in cafeterias, drones or on toilet seats. The email, with a link for payment, contends a two gram sample of the toxin will be sent to a Wipro office in the coming days.
“The mail has mentioned that a biochemical powder (Ricin) will be sent in covers to your (Wipro) offices to assure that the threat is not fake,” said a police source on the condition of anonymity. The toxic protein (Ricin) is made out of castor bean, from which castor oil is also produced.
The company, who is not changing its operations but is bolstering security, registered a complaint with local authorities. “Wipro confirms that it has filed a complaint with the local law enforcement authorities after receiving a threatening letter from an unidentified source. Wipro has augmented security measures at all its office locations. There is no impact on the company’s operations. We have no further comments as the investigation is ongoing”, the IT major said in a statement.
The Bengaluru police cyber crimes unit is investigating the case, currently looking to find the origin of the email. Police have said the email might be a hoax.
“We will have to explore and find out whether these are genuine are not,” noted Additional Commissioner (Crime) of the Bengaluru police S Ravi.
“We have registered the case under Section 66F of the IT Act (cyber terrorism) and are investigating it,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Anand Kumar. Although the company declined to mention who sent the threat mail, police sources said it was from some “firstname.lastname@example.org” mail ID.
“Though we got some clues, we cannot share, as the investigation is underway. We have to also find out who all are involved in it from the IP address from where the threat mail was sent,” noted Kumar.
The IT behemoth received a similar threat, which turned out to be a hoax, in 2013. An anonymous letter threatened to blow up the company’s campuses in Bengaluru.
Since the threat, WiproBSE shares are down an unnotable one-tenth of a percent. The ransom threat underscores the useful nature of bitcoins in the now.
While Wipro has been threatened with a biological attack, hackers typical merely threaten to destroy a person or company’s important data while demanding bitcoins. Reports say Wipro is bolstering security in the wake of threats at all of its offices.
“We have augmented security measures at all office locations, though there is no impact on our operations,” said the city-based IT firm in a statement emailed on Saturday.
The toxic material can be fatal if inhaled, taken as a pill or mixed in water for anyone. “As the investigation is going on, we would not like to comment further on the issue,” said Wipro in the statement.
Chamath Palihapitiya, an owner of the Golden State Warriors professional basketball team, recently took to twitter to celebrate the digital currency Bitcoin.
“Reiterating my belief about $BTC,” the venture capitalist from Sri-Lanka (raised in Canada) tweeted. “It’s the ultimate insurance policy against autocracy, currency curbs and other forms of value destruction.”
Reiterating my belief about $BTC. It's the ultimate insurance policy against autocracy, currency curbs and other forms of value destruction.
— Chamath Palihapitiya (@chamath) May 4, 2017
When asked to compare Ethereum with Bitcoin by a fellow Twitter user, Mr. Palihapitiya replied: “Coke v Pepsi. Pick the more mainstream option that more people can easily consume. Both will make money but bigger is always better.”
Mr. Palihapitiya has told his friends it is “entirely rational to allocate one percent of your assets to Bitcoin.” It’s what he’s done.
As Alan Silbert, founder of luxury Bitcoin marketplace BitPremier, correctly pointed out on Twitter, Mr. Palihapitiya has called Bitcoin “schmuck insurance.”
He wrote: “As the 2008 crisis proved, schmucks can cause world damage.”
Coke v Pepsi. Pick the more mainstream option that more people can easily consume. Both will make money but bigger is always better.
— Chamath Palihapitiya (@chamath) May 4, 2017
It’s no secret that Mr. Palihapitiya, a former executive with Facebook, invests in bitcoins and is also one of the largest holders in the world alongside the Winklevoss Twins. The serial entrepreneur likes Bitcoin for its electronic, peer-to-peer nature.
“Bitcoin today is in roughly the same development phase that TCP/IP was back then,” he once wrote for Bloomberg. “Instead of IP addresses and websites, Bitcoin has unique strings that represent money and a mechanism to send these strings securely and safely wherever you want. It is a protocol that is allowing money to flow around the world much like TCP/IP allows information to flow — in an orderly, predictable way.”
In his support of Bitcoin, he underscores not bitcoin’s future, but the ways in which Bitcoin is working today.
“Bitcoin is being used all over the world in a wide range of ways already: to avoid the high fees of using a Visa card in San Paulo; to settle the purchase of a million dollar home in Buenos Aires; to pay a mechanic for services in Lagos; to provide Egyptians access to a liquid currency,” the Silicon Valley veteran wrote in the Bloomberg article that appeared in 2013. “The list goes on.”
It’s a diverse range of uses for the digital currency, he notes.
Because “the world needs more red pills”, he says, he hopes Bitcoin succeeds.
“There is a famous scene in the Matrix where Morpheus asks Neo if he wants to take the blue pill and go back to life as he knows it or take the red pill and see life as it is,” he once wrote about Bitcoin. “Neo takes the red pill and begins a period of exploration about humanity, hierarchy, rules, etc. Bitcoin is a red pill. There will be some bad and awkward moments, but lots of good, useful and powerful things will also ensue. It will reallocate financial strength and power to the people versus keeping it within a few centralized authorities.”