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New Airbitz Bitcoin Wallet Update Offers Significant Improvements / JP Buntinx / July 29, 2016

Bitcoin wallets are not that difficult to find, but there are not all that many good ones either. For mobile users, the number of choices is somewhat limited. Breadwallet, Mycelium, and Airbitz are three of the most commonly used Bitcoin wallet solutions across devices. Airbitz has recently released an updated client, which makes the wallet more power efficient and reliable.


Mobile Bitcoin wallet developers have to remain vigilant at all times. Providing updates is necessary to keep their wallet solution competitive. Airbitz has released version 2.1.0, which is a significant speed improvement compared to previous versions. Moreover, the battery drain has been reduced significantly, which is something all mobile users can enjoy.


Real Estate Crowdfunding Company – BRELION – Launches Bitcoin Digital Currency Investment Opportunity / PRWeb / July 29, 2016

Bitcoin digital currency users now have a new option to invest in real estate by using the funds they’ve stockpiled on Bitcoin and make up to 24% return. True to its cutting edge, alternative investment approach, real estate crowdfunding website Brelion is venturing into Bitcoin with a pilot property, making it the only company offering a Bitcoin digital currency real estate investment option.

Cleveland, Ohio (PRWEB) July 29, 2016

Bitcoin digital currency users now have a new option to invest in real estate by using the funds they’ve stockpiled on Bitcoin and make up to 24% return. True to its cutting edge, alternative investment approach, real estate crowdfunding website Brelion is venturing into Bitcoin with a pilot property, making it the only company offering a Bitcoin digital currency real estate investment option.

The property – a suburban, four bedroom, 1.5 bath residence – was purchased for approximately 30.83 XBT (click here for Bitcoin exchange rate), renovations are expected to cost an estimated 65.49 XBT. The project manager expects the property to appraise for approximately 120.21 XBT at the project’s close and be refinanced to return the equity invested in the home.


Florida Judge Rules Bitcoin is not Money / Matthew Dyckman / 7/28/2016

On July 25, a Florida Circuit Court judge dismissed state criminal charges against a defendant who attempted to sell bitcoins for $30,000 in cash on the ground that bitcoins are not money. Defendant Michell Abner Espinoza allegedly had agreed to sell bitcoins to an undercover Miami Beach police detective who had indicated that he would use the bitcoins to purchase stolen Russian credit-card numbers. Espinoza was charged with one count of unlawfully engaging in business as a money transmitter and two counts of money laundering. Espinoza argued that he had not committed any crime as bitcoin was not money and the purchaser’s intended use for the bitcoins was not his concern. In her opinion, the judge dismissed all charges on the grounds that “bitcoin has a long way to go before it is the equivalent of money,” stating that “Bitcoin may have some attributes in common with what we commonly refer to as money, but differ in many important aspects. While bitcoin can be exchanged for items of value, they are not a commonly used means of exchange. They are accepted by some but not by all merchants or service providers. The value of bitcoin fluctuates wildly and has been estimated to be eighteen times greater than the U.S. dollar. Their high volatility is explained by scholars as due to their insufficient liquidity, the uncertainty of future value, and the lack of a stabilization mechanism. With such volatility they have a limited ability to act as a store of value, another important attribute to money.”


iPayYou Aims to Simplify Bitcoin / Jul 28, 2016

Executive Brief

Like all things technology based, the digital currency industry faces a constant challenge of making the idea and processes of cryptocurrency use and ownership easier for those with no understanding of the technical workings of the systems. While many have focused on ever more elaborate uses of blockchain, digital wallet company iPayYou have sought to address this ease of use issue by offering a simply way to send bitcoins to another person even if they do not have a bitcoin wallet. The latest advance offers Pay-by-Twitter, allowing users to directly send funds to others over twitter for convenient payments.

Read the full story below. 

Ease of use will always be a critical component if Bitcoin or any digital currency is ever going to fulfill its potential and deliver on the promise of a border-less payment and monetary system for all. After a focus on the technology itself, the industry does seem to be waking up to the need for a digital currency ecosystem that is easy for new users to enter and carry out the kind of every day transactions they want without a significant understanding of the technology involved. In other words, making Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency easy to understand and use for people outside the industry itself.


Multisig Wallet Security on the Rise, Protecting 13% of Bitcoin Today / Joël Valenzuela / 2016-07-28 

Today, 13% of Bitcoin is protected by multisig technology.

A growing minority of Bitcoin users employ a multi-signature wallet, which uses more than one private key to access the wallet. By using this approach, wallets are much less vulnerable to security breaches, as no single party possesses all the information necessary to decrypt the wallet.

Princeton professor Arvind Narayanan tweeted about the significance of the multisig uptick:


Mounting Number of Bad Coding Mistakes Haunts The Ethereum Ecosystem / JP Buntinx / July 29, 2016 

The ongoing debate over the Ethereum hard fork decision has brought some interesting concepts to light. Unfortunately for Ethereum investors and holders, it turns out not all of the hyped projects were created through proper coding. Even the Ethereum code base itself is rather fragile, as showcased by the replay attack vector.

The DAO Was A Mistake, Plain And Simple

On paper, the concept behind the DAO was a very solid one, as it holds a lot of promise. Letting users create their own autonomous organizations on the blockchain is one of the many possible outcomes for the future. Unfortunately, this project was ahead of its time by quite a margin, despite raising over US$150m during their crowdfunding efforts.

It became apparent rather quickly this project was very rough around the edges, though. Attackers managed to drain funds from the DAO not once, but twice due to a vulnerability known to the developers. Despite knowing the risk, the team went ahead and continued to hype their project. A lot of people put money into The DAO, and when funds started going missing, panic ensued.

Luckily, the situation got resolved by the Ethereum developers, even though they should have abstained from intervening. Then again, most of them put a lot of money into this project as well, and they wouldn’t take the financial loss and roll over. Instead, they decided to hard fork Ethereum, removing any censorship-free aspects ever associated with this project.

Hard Forking Was A Bigger Mistake

If every Bitcoin investor who lost money due to a failed project would ask for their money back, there would have been hundreds of hard forks. No one took action when Mt. Gox went under. A lot more money was lost back then compared to The DAO’s problems. Plus, The Mt. Gox issue was not due to sloppy coding.


Researchers Claim Bitcoin’s Blockchain Can Be Secured Even if 51% of Miners Are Malicious / Andrew Quentson / 29/07/2016

One of the fundamental assumptions of blockchains, whether public or private, is that 51% of actors, especially miners, are honest. Logically, the more actors there are, the more the assumption stands. However, numerous bitcoin developers, including Gregory Maxwell, Peter Todd, Luke-Jr and others, have stated that bitcoin mining is centralized in two or three individuals.

The invention of ASICs, in combination with economies of scale (although some research suggests after a certain point – around 25% – it becomes more economical to have less hashing power) has led to giant mining farms in remote areas of China where electricity is cheap, making Bitcoin mining highly profitable. It is, however, much more profitable to be rewarded for mining, through blocks or fees, rather than maliciously attack the network, but the option is there and facts can change.


The Bitcoin Subreddit Censorship Debate Reignited by Roger Ver? / Gautham / July 29, 2016 

Roger Ver takes on Theymos and Greg Maxwell about censorship on Bitcoin Subreddit. Read more…

There has been a lot of friction between the Bitcoin community members since the block size debate. The Bitcoin scalability issue has polarized the community into those who support the increase in block size, and those who don’t. Things between these two camps often leads to ugly debates on social media platforms.

The Bitcoin subreddit on renowned Reddit social platform continues to be one of the important platforms to host these debates. Created as a discussion forum for all the bitcoin users, the subreddit is now being accused for turning into a propaganda machine for promoting Bitcoin Core, and opposing block size proposal. Many prominent people from the Bitcoin community, including Roger Ver, have spoken on multiple occasions against the censorship policies of the moderators.

The opposing forces in the ongoing Bitcoin ‘civil war’ were at loggerheads all over again following Ver‘s recent take on /r/Bitcoin’s moderators for supporting censorship. Ver accused Theymos, one of the Bitcoin subreddit moderators, of banning threads that speak against Bitcoin Core.

Roger Ver went on to say that the aforementioned practices have turned this discussion board suitable for only a handful of people, a practice that has a detrimental effect on the enthusiasm of the whole Bitcoin community. In addition, he also called out people to protest against such censorship.


Coinbase’s First Employee is Leaving to Start His Own Hedge Fund / Pete Rizzo / July 28, 2016

Olaf Carlson-Wee, the first employee at venture-backed bitcoin exchange Coinbase, has departed as head of risk and product manager to focus on a new digital currency hedge fund, dubbed Polychain Capital.

While the firm does not yet have investors or even its own website, Carlson-Wee believes that his vision for Polychain Capital will be enough to turn it into one that generates significant returns for those who invest, given that the fund plans to invest solely in cryptocurrencies and other blockchain-based tokens.

In interview, Carlson-Wee asserted that, owing to the poor returns shown by VCs so far in the industry, investors are better off investing in bitcoin, ethereum, steem, as well as projects like The DAO.

Carlson-Wee told CoinDesk:

“Most of the hackers I know have made 50x returns and they’re not VCs. I think we’re entering a new model, where people who will be rewarded are the token holders themselves. You’re supporting the protocol, not a company.”

That said, Carlson-Wee believes he’s identified three reasons why large investors aren’t already active in digital currency markets.


Threat of Blockchain Prompts New Strategy for Germany’s SAP / Aaron Ricadela / Olga Kharif

Nearly 400 miles from its German headquarters, in the computer-science hotbed of Potsdam, SAP SE’s engineers are trying to head off the latest challenge to its software empire: the blockchain.

The World Economic Forum has identified blockchain technology, which underpins the virtual currency bitcoin, as one of six computing “mega-trends” shaping society in the coming decade. In a paper issued last year, the WEF estimated 10 percent of global GDP could be stored in blockchains by 2027.

Companies including Deloitte LLP, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. are looking into using, or experimenting with the de-centralized blockchain system, which threatens to supplant some enterprise planning software created by market-leader SAP and others.

“The potential for disruption is huge,” said Juergen Mueller, SAP’s chief innovation officer, who joined the Walldorf-based company three years ago. “If we would not move, this would be a huge threat.”


7000 New BTMs In Canada And Australia / Iyke Aru / 2016-07-28 04:02 PM

Developing events reveal a pronounced step in the expansion of the Bitcoin market in Canada and Australia if the recent actions of Netcoins is anything to go by.

Bitcoin in gas stations and grocery stores

Netcoins who recently announced its partnership with Flexepin, a prepaid paper voucher system available in denominations up to $500, claims that this move will provide 7000 new Bitcoin access points in Canada and Australia.

Michael Vogel, CEO at Netcoins, says:

“Next time you fill up at the gas station, you might just be able to buy Bitcoins there too. Netcoins’ partnership with Flexepin takes pre-paid Bitcoin vouchers into a variety of convenience and grocery stores in Canada & Australia, including all Esso & Canadian Tire Gas Stations.”


Bitcoin Could Actually Skyrocket Here / David Seaman / 07/27/2016 09:22 pm ET

I don’t like what I’m seeing in Bitcoin recently. Or, more specifically, what I’m seeing is very good news for Bitcoin holders potentially – which is bad news for a more diversified user like me, as I reduced my bitcoin balance at around $661.20. But now, at $654, I’m uniquely bullish. I had a feeling about it earlier today; yes, a feeling. I was thinking about how perhaps the block halving has a delayed impact, but when it does kick in, it might kick in more severely than if prices had immediately exploded in response to the reduction from 25 BTC to 12.5 BTC reward per block.

Also, I like the recent Bitcoin trading volume. US $140,069,000 around the world over the last 24 hours and no sign of letting up.

Also, the recent Ethereum vs. Ethereum Classic collective hysteria has sadly – I think – made a compelling case study in favor of the camp that believes it is wise to separate the “pure value transfer blockchain” (Bitcoin, that is) from the “decentralized apps blockchain.”


Bitcoin Sale Ends With Knifepoint Robbery in Florida / Stan Higgins / July 28, 2016 at 15:50 BST

A Florida man was reportedly robbed at knifepoint during a sale of $28,000 in bitcoin this week.

According to the Sun Sentinel, a Palm Beach, Florida-based news service, Steve Manos, a 32-year-old Lake Worth resident, arranged to meet two individuals in West Palm Beach to exchange cash for the digital currency.

Manos is said to have told local authorities that he had met with the two previously for other bitcoin sales. Yet, on 26th July, one of the two sellers pulled out a knife after Manos provided them with $28,000 in cash (worth about 40 BTC at press time). In the ensuing struggle, one of the alleged robbers attempted to take a gun owned by Manos, and ultimately the two individuals fled with the money.


Bitcoin Price Watch; Here’s Today’s Focus / 

Here’s a look at what we are focusing on in the bitcoin price this morning.

A look at the daily chart reveals the frustration we’ve experienced across the last couple of weeks in the bitcoin price. It shows the difference between action throughout May, June and Early-July, and action seen across the last ten to fourteen days. Specifically, the former time period brought with it plenty of volatility. Price rose into June, peaked, and then dipped into a period of range bound momentum. We were able to bring both our intraday breakout strategy and our intrarange strategies to the table pretty much every session, and had plenty to go at from a reward perspective on our positions.


Evolve or Perish say Bain & Company to Banks on Using Bitcoin Blockchain / Shivdeep Dhaliwal / 2016-07-28 02:44 PM

Banks are not moving fast enough to adopt the Blockchain and this may lead to their quick demise. Recently in an article authored by Glen Williams, David Gunn, Eduardo Roma and Bharat Bansal, the consulting firm Bain said that banking companies are missing out on Digital Currency.

In its article Bain said about Blockchain, “Distributed ledger technology, first showcased by the Bitcoin digital currency network, has the potential for such dramatic change—yet most banks have not adequately prepared for the ensuing battles to retain control of customers and of merchant payment interfaces.”

Bain & Company are a management consulting firm who work with top executives all over the world and help them make ‘better decisions’ and convert those decisions into actions and success.

Blockchain is a rare opportunity

Bain & Company think that changes to ‘complex pipelines’ that make payments rarely occur.

They are of the view that removal of intermediaries, simplifying ‘connections’ between counterparties and using an immutable Blockchain holds the key to improving speed, transparency and efficiency of payments systems.

The consulting firm cities Bitcoin as a success story and mentions that since 2012 nearly US$ 1 billion in capital has been pumped into various types of distributed-ledge investments.


Bitcoin Price Impact Debated Ahead of Possible Japan Stimulus / Charles Bovaird / July 27, 2016 at 22:40 BST

The price of bitcoin has benefited from macroeconomic uncertainty this year, rising more than 50% over the last six months as China devalued the yuan and the UK dramatically exited the European Union.

As the calendar rolls ahead to August, and excitement over these price drivers fades, market observers are beginning to wonder if further global events will benefit the digital currency’s markets in 2016.

Against this backdrop, a Bank of Japan (BOJ) meeting approaching later this week has many digital currency market observers wondering how any new easing announced by the central bank could come to impact the price of bitcoin.

If the central bank uses additional stimulus, this move could place downward pressure on the yen’s buying power, motivating market participants to flee the currency and purchase safe haven assets like bitcoin instead. Of course, the perception that this event could occur may be just as powerful given that the bitcoin price is often driven by speculation, in both senses of the word.

A majority of economists participating in a recent Reuters poll – as well as the most respondents in a survey conducted by Citi – indicated their expectation is that further easing will come from the BOJ’s meeting, to be held on 28th and 29th July.

CoinDesk received similar responses when speaking with economists.

For example Usha Haley, professor of International Business at West Virginia University, stated that the market is still expecting “some form of easing” at the BOJ’s policy meeting next week, even if the extent of this stimulus is not clear.


Blockstream Acquires Bitcoin Wallet GreenAddress to Advance Sidechains Project / Samburaj Das / 28/07/2016

Open source blockchain developer Blockstream, notable for its endeavor for developing sidechains for the bitcoin blockchain has acquired multi-wallet provider GreenAddress. The acquisition, it says, will help the strengthen its sidechain platform.

In an announcement yesterday, bitcoin blockchain-centric Blockstream revealed its acquisition of European multisig bitcoin wallet GreenAddress, in a move that will further accelerate its sidechains development platform.

Founded in 2014, Malta-based GreenAddress was among the earliest bitcoin wallets to provide features like per-transaction two-factor authentication, multi-signature and a deterministic design at its core which enables users more control over transactions. One of its “key features”, as Blockstream President Adam Back states, is the complete avoidance of storing users’ private keys.

“GreenAddress’s excellent reputation is the product of a three-person team with a deep commitment to Bitcoin,” Back wrote, in a blog that revealed the acquisition.


Ethereum Fiasco Justifies Principled Decisions of Bitcoin Developers / Joseph Young / 2016-07-28 12:47 PM

Ethereum, a network still in its infancy which was introduced on July 30, 2015, is already dealing with a major conflict amongst its community  as a result of a hard fork which was implemented without the full consensus of the community.

Even worse, the hard fork was executed to benefit a certain party of the Ethereum community, not the network as a whole.

Bitcoin and scaling dilemma

Bitcoin Core developers and the Blockstream team have constantly received heavy criticism over the past few years from the Bitcoin community for their inability to reach consensus on the everlasting blocksize debate.

Eventually, as the Bitcoin network and its underlying technologies matured, a number of sophisticated proposals emerged, such as Segregated Witness and the Lightning network, to scale the network in a more cautious manner.


The Morning Risk Report: Bitcoin Ruling May Not Have Broad Impact

Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co., on May 12. BLOOMBERG NEWS / SAMUEL RUBENFELD / Jul 28, 2016 7:17 am ET

Bitcoin isn’t money, according to a Miami-area judge. The closely watched case involved felony charges against a man who had been charged with illegally transmitting and laundering $1,500 worth of bitcoin. Observers thought the ruling could change how bitcoin are treated in an anti-money laundering context, but an expert said the ruling could have limited impact.

Ellen Zimiles, the global head of investigations and compliance at Navigant Consulting, said existing federal rules governing money transmitters are broader than Florida’s statute, limiting the broad implications of the judge’s ruling on bitcoin. “It may have an extensive impact in Florida, but I think [Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network] will look at it and see if it’s consistent with their interpretation,” she said.

Ms. Zimiles said Congress, when writing the federal anti-money laundering criminal statute, likely wouldn’t have excluded a transaction such as the one in question in the Florida case. “It’s the kind of transaction that the money-laundering statute was intended to address, but whether it does is something courts will decide going forward,” she said.


ItBit Hit With String of Departures in Bitcoin-to-Blockchain Transition / Michael del Castillo / July 27, 2016 at 20:32 BST

A series of recent departures at itBit have left the company looking much different than it did just a few months ago.

Following the release of itBit‘s enterprise clearing and settlement network Bankchain last year, three directors (and at least three other employees) have gone on to other endeavors. The exits appear to come amid a larger company transformation from bitcoin-only exchange to enterprise blockchain service provider.

Multiple former employees have confirmed with CoinDesk that at least seven itBit employees have transitioned to other companies in that time. Only six have updated their LinkedIn, while the seventh one has not replied to requests for comment. ItBit has also declined to comment.

Two of the three departing directors have moved onto investment companies in the digital currency space, with the third launching a recruiting firm.

After departing itBit earlier this month, the company’s former director of institutional clients, Daniel Kim, took a position at Gemini Exchange. Also this month, itBit’s former global director of talent, Leanne Wong, departed the company and is now listed as a founding partner of MC Partners, a New York-based recruiting firm, on LinkedIn.