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Argentina’s Stock Exchange Hosts VCs and Finance Pros for Bitcoin Roundtable

coindesk.com / Tanaya Macheel / October 29, 2014 at 20:00 GMT

The Buenos Aires Stock Exchange played host to the Argentine Venture Capital Meeting yesterday, an annual presentation and networking event meant to connect Argentina’s financial markets and venture capital industries.

The event was free for attendees and planned by financial social network Puerto Finanzas in collaboration with Buenos Aires-based VC fund Primary Ventures and the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange, the organisation responsible for the operation of the country’s primary stock market.

Six panelists showcased their ideas on different subjects ranging from the role of central banks in global finance to money laundering and know-your-customer (KYC) policies. The meeting focused on bitcoin in an effort to bring members of both industries greater understanding of a topic that the main organizer, Puerto Finanzas founder Augusto Hassel, sees as increasingly relevant to VCs and financial professionals.

Hassel said that while many entrepreneurs in Argentina are trying to launch new bitcoin ventures, these efforts have so far failed to gather traction.

He said:

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APPLE PAY STRUGGLES – NOW RETAIL PAYMENTS RIVAL CURRENTC IS HACKED

insidebitcoins.com / Inside Bitcoins / Oct 29, 2014 4:59 PM EDT

NEW YORK (InsideBitcoins) — These are difficult days in the alternative payment space. First, Apple Pay, the newly-launched payment platform from Apple has struggled to gain acceptance — from retailers. CVS and Rite-Aid abruptly pulled support for the payment system last weekend, citing a contractual conflict. It seems the pharmacy chains are a part of the 50-member Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) group, a consortium that includes retail powerhouses Walmart and Best Buy. The association has been working to develop its own Apple Pay-competing payment platform.

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How to Protect Your Bitcoin Business from Regulators

cointelegraph.com / Allen Scott / 2014-10-30 10:46 AM

Mike Gropp is the co-founder of the BitBays Bitcoin exchange and is in charge of the company’s compliance to the ever-changing landscape of cryptocurrency law.

After working in the financial sector in California, Mike moved to Beijing in 2010 where he launched his own corporate training company focusing on sales, professional speaking, and negotiations. While expanding his business, Mike taught undergraduate business courses at Beijing University of Chemical Technology in the prestigious IBC (International Business Curriculum) Program.

Mike is also an associate member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, which is the world’s largest anti-fraud organization and premier provider of anti-fraud training and education.

“Different companies have different legal strategies,” said Mike to CoinTelegraph via email. “Right now there are a lot of companies in the gray or so they think. They will send letters asking for clarification of their status whilst operating as an illegal money transmitter […] also, asking for a ruling while operating illegally doesn’t cover one legally.”

We would like to thanks Mike for timely sharing his advice regarding regulatory compliance in light of the US regulators’ moves earlier this week when FinCEN and the SEC issued a pair of guidance documents and allegedlysent out secret requests to several Bitcoin companies, respectively.

CoinTelegraph: What is you background as far as regulatory compliance is concerned?

Mike Gropp: I’m apart of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Fraud Examiners investigate financial fraud from petty cash skimming and larceny up to financial statement fraud where liabilities are understated or revenues are overstated in the millions (like the Enron and WorldCom scandals.) I’m also a Co-Founder of BitBays.com, a Bitcoin exchange, and I’m handling our compliance and risk programs.

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GREENSPAN: QE Has Not Worked

Former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan (L) watches former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke

businessinsider.com / TYLER DURDEN, ZERO HEDGE / OCT. 29, 2014, 8:19 PM

It appears it is time for some Hillary-Clinton-esque backtracking and Liesman-esque translation of just what the former Federal Reserve Chief really meant. As The Wall Street Journal reports, the Fed chief from 1987 to 2006 says the Fed’s bond-buying program fell short of its goals, and had a lot more to add.

Mr. Greenspan’s comments to the Council on Foreign Relations came as Fed officials were meeting in Washington, D.C., and expected to announce within hours an end to the bond purchases.

He said the bond-buying program was ultimately a mixed bag. He said that the purchases of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities did help lift asset prices and lower borrowing costs. But it didn’t do much for the real economy.

“Effective demand is dead in the water” and the effort to boost it via bond buying “has not worked,”said Mr. Greenspan. Boosting asset prices, however, has been “a terrific success.”

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Traders flock to new Aussie Bitcoin exchange

afr.com / JESSICA SIER / 29 OCT 2014

Traders were initially willing to pay as much as 40 per cent above market rates just to get their hands on Bitcoins on the new Sydney Independent Reserve exchange. Photo: Bloomberg

Trading volumes on Australia’s newest Bitcoin exchange were higher than anticipated in its first week with users willing to pay up to 40 per cent higher than market price for Bitcoins.

Independent Reserve opened in Sydney last week and has seen more than 1000 users subscribe to the platform.

“We saw very heavy volumes on the buy-side right from 12am on Tuesday October 23 when we launched,” chief executive Adam Tepper said.

“We had lots of Australians signing up which indicates to us that there’s very strong interest in being able to purchase Bitcoin without being hit with GST.”

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Lasse Birk Olesen, Coinify

Published by tv.digitalwinners.no on October 29, 2014

MIT BITCOIN PROJECT IS LIVE – UNDERGRADUATES RECEIVE $100 IN BITCOIN

cryptocoinsnews.com / Giulio Prisco / October 30, 2014 at 3:51 pm CET.

The MIT Bitcoin Project, aimed at stimulation knowledge and use of the cryptocurrency in the MIT student community, is live. All the MIT undergraduates who complete the initial survey before Sunday, November 2nd at 11:59pm will receive $100 in Bitcoin.

The project was established by MIT students Jeremy Rubin and Dan Elitzer, who raised half a million US dollars in a plan to distribute Bitcoin to every undergraduate at MIT.

 Moving MIT to the Forefront of Bitcoin Research

Alex Morcos, an MIT graduate with a background on Wall Street, who recently co-founded cryptocurrency think-tank Chaincode Labs, funded half of the project. He said:

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Singapore-based Bitcoin brokerage reaches $1 million turnover; strong growth ahead

theindependent.sg / October 29th, 2014

Singapore-based Coin Republic, a Bitcoin brokerage and consultancy founded by David Moskowitz, recently hit SG $1 million in turnover. A significant milestone, this helps to cement Coin Republic’s status as a key player in the growing Bitcoin ecosystem that’s taken root in the city-state.

Asked about its significance, Moskowitz stated “It shows that there is demand by the general public in Singapore for an alternative asset class and means of exchange.”

This growth bodes well for the Bitcoin ecosystem locally and in the wider region, in terms of growth prospects. With prices having stabilised from the decline of the past few weeks, this turnover implies growing demand for the volatile digital commodity, which remained stable despite market turmoil last week.

Moskowitz explained the decline of the last few months as part of Bitcoin’s growing traction. Its acceptance by major merchants, such as Dell, Paypal and Expedia have created downwards pressure on the virtual currency.

Many merchants were also converting their Bitcoin holdings to fiat currency, rather than circulating it back into the ecosystem by paying suppliers and employees in Bitcoin.

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Spells of Orbital: The First Game that Uses Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology Announced

cointelegraph.com / Amanda B. Johnson / 2014-10-30 12:08 PM

What do you get when you cross Dungeons & Dragons with blockchain technology? – The world’s first deckmaking fantasy game that rewards its players in actual crypto tokens.

Spells of Orbital is a unique combination of an arcade game and a trading card game, which will be published on smartphones and tablets (iOS and Android),” reads an anonymous post on CryptocoinTalk post by one of the game’s presumed developers. “Bitcoin will not only be a payment system to make an app purchase, but it will also work as a core of the whole game economy, system and background story.”

From Physical Cards to Digital Tokens

EverdreamSoft is the game design company set to release Spells of Orbital. They’re also responsible for releasing an earlier online trading card game Moonga. What the team learned from running Moonga set the stage for Spells of Orbital. The anonymous developer says:

“We saw some of our players trading rare cards in the game for more than 1,000 USD. . . A whole economy had emerged in the game. Then we thought how we could go beyond that and leverage digital goods ownership. This is how Bitcoin naturally emerged.”

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POLISH COMPANY FINANCES EXPANSION WITH BITCOIN CROWDFUNDING

insidebitcoins.com / Ian Jackson / Oct 29, 2014 8:49 PM EDT

LONDON (InsideBitcoins) — As bitcoin continues to move from a niche market into widespread understanding of how it operates on a conceptual level, certain milestones are being reached which when viewed independent of one another seem far less significant than when one views them collectively.

One such milestone was reached last week in Poland, when InPay SA announced that shares in its company were on sale to the public for bitcoin, something of a global first. The company is crowdfunding itself through Beesfund.com, through November 16th.

Poland: A surprising springboard to European bitcoin success

With European Federalism more of a dream than a reality, Europe’s lack of political homogeneity has to a certain extent acted as a barrier to a more widespread adoption of the currency.  Inroads though, have been made. Whilst bitcoin has become concentrated within the national borders of certain countries, Poland, despite being home to two of Europe’s largest bitcoin exchanges, does not immediately spring to mind when one considers bitcoin’s place in Europe.

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HDD PROOF OF CAPACITY MINING, IS IT VIABLE?

cryptocoinsnews.com / Drew Cordell / October 30, 2014 at 11:15 am CET

HDD Mining is now possible through a coin called Burstcoin. While there are methods of mining Burstcoin using PoW methods, BurstCoin is meant to be mined using a unique proof of capacity algorithm.

Prior to mining, miners generate segments of data known as plots that are saved to the hard-drive. The more plots stored; the faster a miner can mine. With every unsolved block, the miner’s hard-drive will search through the saved plots to estimate a timeframe for which it can mine a block if that block has not been found. Once the hard-drive reads through the plots, it will sit idly until the block can be solved. In theory, this means that HDD mining is incredibly power efficient and can be safely done on a laptop, unlike PoW mining.

Disclaimer: The author has no holdings in Burstcoin, nor has he ever personally mined Burstcoin.

The Burstcoin wallet is a web-based java wallet that requires some java knowledge to setup. The setup instructions are fairly vague, and a lot of people have been having troubles setting up everything they will need to mine. Miners will need to edit.BAT and SH files with specific perimeters that are not well documented. Generating the plots requires both significant HDD space, and time. To generate plots for a 2 TB hard-drive, the process could take up to 24 hours based on your computer’s hardware. HDD Mining with less than 1 TB at this point probably isn’t worth it.

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China has nipped Bitcoin in the bud

businessspectator.com.au / FERGUS RYAN / 30 OCT, 2:12 PM

In the year 2000, Bill Clinton famously quipped that trying to control the internet in China would be like “trying to nail Jello to a wall”.

Fourteen years later and, for the most part at least , the Chinese government has managed to pull off what was then deemed impossible and make it stick.

The same phenomenon is repeating itself with the latest digital disruptor de jour, the crypto-currency bitcoin.

 Many analysts believe bitcoin is at around the same level of development and recognition as the internet was when Clinton made those remarks.

Recognising the game-changing economic upside to the internet, the Chinese government accepted it, but on its own terms. Bitcoin has followed a similar logic.

In his new book Chomping at the BitcoinShanghai-based financial analyst Zennon Kapron charts the recent history of bitcoin in China and sketches out the contours of its likely future there.

 In mid to late 2013, China entered the bitcoin story in a big way. Chinese retail investors, always on the look out for the next get-rich-scheme jumped onto the bitcoin bandwagon with gusto, sending the price sky-rocketing to a high near $US1,200.

It’s easy to see why bitcoin took off in China. Chinese people are eager investors, but with limited investment vehicles at their disposal, many are eager to jump head-first into get-rich-quick schemes.

 The Chinese stock market has been in the doldrums for years and real-estate, though booming at the time, presented a high barrier of entry to smaller players.

It was against this backdrop, he argues, that the main state-owned TV station CCTV broadcast a documentary about the new craze in May 2013, this exposure sent prices soaring.

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Study: Half of US Small Businesses Aren’t Ready to Accept Bitcoin

coindesk.com / Stan Higgins / October 29, 2014 at 21:35 GMT

A new study suggests that consumers and businesses in the United States remain apprehensive about the prospect of using digital currency, as well as digital payment tools and platforms currently available on the market.

Software research firm Software Advice surveyed roughly 400 small business owners and customers, who answered a series of questions regarding their willingness to use digital currencies should they become more widely adopted.

About two-thirds of consumer participants suggested that they are unlikely to use bitcoin or other digital currencies, with 49% specifying that they are “not likely at all”. 50% of business owners surveyed said their companies are not equipped to handle digital currency usage, though 19% said that they have taken steps to accept it.

The results of the survey echo previous surveys of consumer and business sentiment toward bitcoin in which those groups have expressed an unwillingness to buy or use digital currencies.

As the report noted:

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Decenteralize – Vitalik Buterin (Ethereum) Interview

Shift ↑ שיפטPublished on Oct 28, 2014

The Mixed Fortunes of Bitcoin in Australia

cointelegraph.com / William Suberg / 2014-10-30 01:30 PM

While even the Bitcoin Foundation seems to be skeptical of increasing Bitcoin merchant diversity, an existing start-up has come forward to deliver some unadulterated good news on the Bitcoin ecosystem.

The US Bitcoin scene is palpably strained following increased FinCEN regulations on money transmission, but the picture elsewhere, as painted by Coinarch, is apparently a lot rosier – even a cause for celebration.

Coinarch is a trading platform registered in Singapore but primarily serving the Australian market, an environment which has recently also become more problematic for certain types of Bitcoin start-ups. In August, regulatorsannounced that fiat-digital transactions would be subject to Australian general sales tax (GST), increasing costs for those wishing to explore Bitcoin using AUD.

“The interesting thing with all of this is, of course, the response of government,” Co-founder Mark Hergott said in an interview.

“The federal government is due to commence a Senate committee inquiry into Bitcoin shortly, with its findings due early next year. The hope is that this committee sees sense and avoids silly rules like those recently announced by the ATO which said that Bitcoin purchases are GST applicable, something which could greatly affect the practicality of using Bitcoin.”

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Andreas Antonopoulos on air at Decentral Toronto

decentral.tvStreamed live on Oct 29, 2014

Hacker Dreams Up Crypto Passport Using the Tech Behind Bitcoin

wired.com / ROBERT MCMILLAN / 10.30.14

If bitcoin’s true believers ever found their tax-free libertarian utopia, Christopher Ellis could be in charge of the passport office.

Ellis has built software that lets anyone create what he calls a “World Citizenship” passport. Using PGP encryption software and the bitcoin blockchain—a cryptographically secured public ledger that runs on machines across the internet—the project creates a mathematically iron-clad identification paper that would be extremely difficult, perhaps impossible, to fake.

This is the next generation of bitcoin. It came of age as a digital currency, but developers are pushing the blockchain and blockchain-like technologies into whole new areas. Last month, a project called Ethereum raised $15 million, promising to use a blockchain clone to provide distributed computing resources. And Overstock.com announced a plan to use the blockchain for an online stock exchange.

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UBS LIKES BITCOIN — THEY JUST DON’T KNOW IT YET

insidebitcoins.com / Kyle Torpey /  Oct 29, 2014 7:39 PM EDT

NEW YORK (InsideBitcoins) — In a recent profile of UBS CIO Oliver Bussman in Financial News, the chief information officer was found to be a believer in blockchain technology. This follows the general sentiment that came from a full UBS report on bitcoin earlier this year in which the bank seemed pessimistic about the long-term viability of bitcoin as a currency.

The recent statements from Bussman should be applauded by bitcoin enthusiasts, as it means he’s on the normal path towards adoption of bitcoin as more than just a technology.

UBS does not like bitcoin

Although UBS has shown that they understand the value of tax evasion in the past, it does not seem that they are bullish on bitcoin as a vessel for tax evaders of the future. Perhaps they are not fans of the new, unrestricted competition.

In a report from late March of this year, analysts at UBS noted, “Bitcoin’s speculation-driven volatility prevents it from being a stable store of value or unit of account.” The report went on to note that there are a variety of “economic, technical, and regulatory challenges” that make adoption as a true currency unlikely.

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BITCOIN PRICE CORRELATION WITH GOLD POST-QE

cryptocoinsnews.com / Venzen Khaosan / October 30, 2014 at 4:00 pm CET

Yesterday, following the eagerly anticipated Fed Policy Statement in which it acknowledged the termination of Quantitative easing (QE), the Bitcoin price took a downward path along with Gold. We consider the outlook for the global economy in the weeks ahead as well as the implications for the Bitcoin price.

Start of the Post-Fed QE Era

The Fed being the world’s most powerful central bank – a veritable “center” of all central banks – their decisions and policy lead cascades to all other economies across the globe.

The immediate effect of yesterday’s announcement of the termination of quantitative easing (QE) is that the US equities and bond markets will begin a necessary decline. The inevitability of this outcome is guaranteed by the stated aim of the Fed to spent the money it prints ($85 billion a month at the peak of QE) on two distinct targets: US Treasury bonds and equities (stocks), via agreements with banks to prefer loans destined for equity and mutual fund investment.

Another effect of stopping QE (liberal dollar printing) is that now the Dollar will reflate as can be witnessed across forex charts today. Consider that the Fed does not want a strong Dollar precisely because it will undermine their efforts at increasing the rate of US inflation. So, although the Fed has pledged to increase interest rates, they’re caught in a trap: as soon as they start increasing rates, the Dollar will immediately strengthen as investors move their wealth into USD – perceived as strong and yielding higher interest than other currencies in country economies with lower interest rates.

The core problem is that the Fed applied QE in an effort to artificially kickstart a new Keynesian business cycle. However, the behemoth QE experiment failed miserably. Had it succeeded, we’d see:

  • increasing employment in the US,
  • rising inflation,
  • greater productivity,
  • greater manufacturing output and
  • increases in quarterly GDP.

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‘It is Impossible to Technically Ban Decentralized Cryptocurrencies Due to the Nature of the Internet’ – Evgeny Volovik

cointelegraph.com / Allen Scott / 2014-10-28 03:44 PM

Evgeny Volovik is the head of the Information and Communication Department at Russia’s Federal Financial Monitoring Service Resource Center.

The Federal Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring) reports directly to the President of the Russian Federation and is a federal executive body responsible for combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

The agency also develops and implements state policies, assesses threats to national security arising from money laundering, financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and develops measures to counter these threats.

Back in August at the #CryptoForum Conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, Evgeny Volovik made some interesting statements that appeared to counter the official stance of Russia’s Central Bank on cryptocurrencies. Heremarked that:

  • Bitcoin is not a monetary surrogate; The Federal Financial Monitoring Service has evidence that terrorists prefer fiat over digital currencies;
  • If Russia is excluded from the world’s financial system then Russia will revert back to the time of the USSR and will trade with gold;
  • International sanctions against Russian companies and officials don’t have teeth. If Russian is included into the FATF blacklist, it will drop down to the level of Iran.

CoinTelegraph had the chance to interview Evgeny for a detailed explanation about his comments, get an idea of what we can expect from the Russian authorities as far as Bitcoin regulations are concerned, and whether a “Bitcoin ban” is in the cards for Russia.

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