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Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis for 4/3/2015 – Transmutation Consolidation / nikhil gupta / Mar 4, 2015 9:47AM GMT

Bitcoin price continues to consolidate near $280 in the absence of any positive trigger. Even though the price structure for the past week has been that of higher-top, higher-bottom, there are several parameters pointing towards a correction.

A thorough technical analysis on the 4-hour price chart of BTC/USD reveals some very important trading considerations:


COLOMBIA GETS FIRST LOCAL BITCOIN EXCHANGE / P. H. Madore / March 4, 2015 at 11:28 am CET

Until now, Colombians have had to rely on foreign services and exchanges in order to buy and sell Bitcoins. The problematic nature of this was illustrated best by the failure of Tokyo-based exchange Mt. Gox many moons ago. Regardless of whether you trust a foreign exchange are not, in the event that you lose your money, your options for recuperation are limited.

Enter CriptoBanco, a trading platform launched by Merkabahnk with the help of Mimetic Markets. It has a wallet hosted by the world leader in cryptocurrency security, BitGo, who, as we recently reported, now offers the additional security of insurance to its clients in the unlikely event of catastrophic failure.

CriptoBanco believes that the world banking cartels and government monopolies on money are due largely to a lack of options at the consumer level. To this end, a recent post on their website reads:


Lack of Randomness: Why Hackers Love It / Alireza Beikverdi / 2015-03-04 08:47 AM

Random numbers, perhaps have different analogues among the humans and machines. Tossing a coin is assumed to be truly random for humans with the uniform distribution and probability of 0.5 to get heads or tails. However it’s a different story for machines.

Determinism vs. Randomness

Machines are created in a way to get an input, process the input and release the output. They only follow the patterns that are programmed.

“Machines are deterministic, which means that if you ask the same question you’ll get the same answer every time,” says Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Steven Ward. “In fact, such machines are specifically and carefully programmed to eliminate randomness in results. They do this by following rules and relying on algorithms when they compute.”

Ward then raises a very important question:

 “So what happens to our random number then when it comes to a machine? In fact many things are built based on the idea of generating a random number. Consider casinos using old-fashioned slot machines. Can they work without generating a random number? How can these machines generate random numbers then?”

In fact, a simple answer to the latter question is that they do not. Machines do not generate truly random numbers yet. However, instead of taking an input (seed) from users to generate a random number, machines can get that from many other unpredictable processes such as thermal or atmospheric noise, rather than from human-defined patterns. That is why we always call any machine generated random number a pseudo random number. There are plenty of interesting random number generation techniques that can be used at the website.


Gallery: CoinDesk Launches ‘Expert Briefing’ Series / CoinDesk / March 3, 2015 at 18:01 GMT

Wallet numbers are “BS” as a way of measuring bitcoin adoption, according to Jeremy Allaire, founder of Circle, the bitcoin buying and storage firm pitched at consumers.

Bitcoin wallets can be easily generated by automated means and for myriad reasons, so their numbers are a poor estimate of bitcoin’s popularity, Allaire said during a panel discussion at CoinDesk’s first Expert Briefing in London yesterday.

Allaire was joined by Elliptic co-founder James Smith, who agreed that wallet figures are a problematic way of tracking the cryptocurrency’s growth.

Smith discussed his firm’s efforts in the enterprise side of the bitcoin space, acting as a custodian for bitcoin funds. The London-based firm stores and insures client funds in an attempt to develop into a “custodian bank” for the digital currency.


The U.S. Government Should Pay Anonymous in Bitcoin to Fight ISIS / EMERSON BROOKING / MARCH 3, 2015

We are Muslims, Christians, Jews,” the wire-frame Guy Fawkes mask announces in an eerie robot voice. “We are hackers, crackers, hacktivists, phishers, agents, spies, or just the guy from next door…. ISIS, we will hunt you, take down your sites, accounts, emails, and expose you…. You will be treated like a virus and we are the cure. We own the Internet.”

The “we” here is Anonymous, the vaunted global hacking collective that launched a furious online offensive against the Islamic State in early February, and which declared war on the group shortly after the fall of Mosul last June. As the alternative Counter Current News reported (and as Anonymous #OpISIS YouTube videos proudly trumpeted), these attacks exposed more than 6,600 Islamic State-linked Twitter accounts, along with 2,000 email addresses and about 100 IP/VPN channels. Several of the group’s major recruiting sites were also knocked offline.

But Fawkes’s wire-frame visage sounded about as frustrated as a robot voice can in a subsequent video released on Feb. 11, announcing a third attack. “With our last Operation ISIS, we showed the world and especially governments it’s not that hard to fight back ISIS online. So why’s no government doing it?”

Great question. How is it that the U.S. government, capable of coordinating a complex air campaign from nearly 6,000 miles away, remains virtually powerless against the Islamic State’s online messaging and distribution network? For months, the militant group’s horrifying, crisply edited videos of death marches, beheadings, and immolations have churned their waythrough the social media landscape, commanding near-instantaneous global attention. Add to this the group’s use of more intimate web platforms for international recruiting (20,000 foreign fighters from 90 countries at last count), and the scope of the problem only widens.

These online mouthpieces carry immense strategic value. The Islamic State’s June 2014 offensive into Mosul, for instance, was accompanied by a well-choreographed social media campaign, sowing terror and confusion far in advance of its fighters. Tellingly, when the Iraqi government finally acted, it did so by banning its own citizens’ access to Facebook and Twitter. Within the last month, videos of the Islamic State’s atrocities have resonated so strongly with citizens of Jordan and Egypt that they’ve provoked armed escalation and retaliation by these Arab governments. This is arguably exactly what the Islamic State wants.


Multiple Teams Creating Bitcoin-based Prediction Markets / Kyle Torpey / Mar 3, 2015 10:41 AM EST

NEW YORK (InsideBitcoins) — Truthcoin is a concept for decentralized prediction markets created by Paul Sztorc in late 2013. At the core of the system is an attempt to create a low-trust oracle that could be used to resolve bets on the blockchain. Sztorc has stated that this oracle could be the basis for superior versions of everything from Bitshares to Ethereum, and that he’d like to eventually see the concept implemented as a sidechain to bitcoin. In a recent update to the Truthcoin website, it was revealed that multiple teams are working on various implementations of the Truthcoin protocol. These teams plan to complete their work around April or June of this year.

Building Truthcoin as a sidechain

Sztorc has been in touch with Blockstream (the company currently working on a sidechains implementation for bitcoin), but, unfortunately, the final version of sidechains is not ready yet. Bitcoin core developer and Blockstream co-founder Gregory Maxwell recently stated that a demo, federated version of sidechains would be available in “a few months,” but it does not appear that anyone is working on a Truthcoin implementation for that beta stage of sidechains development.

Instead of working on a  sidechain directly, the Blockstream team recommended that Sztorc simply work on an altcoin. It should be noted that this is not actually an altcoin in the traditional meaning of the word. Sztorc explained:


Bitcoin Price Hits Fresh Weekly Highs; Now down, but not out. / Samuel Rae / Mar 4, 2015 9:26AM GMT

It’s been a few days since we published an article addressing the bitcoin price on a short-term basis over the last 24 hours or so, and in turn, our forecast for the coming European session. Since the beginning of the week, we’ve seen some pretty dramatic action in the BTCuSD, and a quick look at the 15 minute timeframe chart across the BitStamp exchange suggests that this is unlikely to change over the coming 24 hours. This does not mean, however, that there is not a viable set up from which we can draw profit from the fluctuations in the bitcoin price as we head into the European morning. With this in mind, what are the levels to keep an eye on? Take a look at the chart.


BITCOIN VALUE TRADING BY CLOCKWORK / Venzen Khaosan / March 3, 2015 at 10:25 pm CET

It wasn’t the news. It wasn’t an announcement about regulation. It had nothing to do with Silk Road – it was simply the Time of Day. As has been the case for three days running, the Bitcoin price was sold-off on the hour at 12h00 UTC in heavy trade.

Bitcoin Value and Price Analysis

Bitfinex 15-Minute Chart


ECB Issues Calls Cryptocurrency ‘Inherently Unstable’ amid Grexit Irony (Op-Ed) / William Suberg / 2015-03-03 04:46 PM

The European Central Bank releases a second report on digital currencies criticizing “stability” while struggling to bail out its failing members in a way which will guarantee future economic health and growth.

As the saying goes, “plus ça change…,” and this week’s report by the European Central Bank (ECB) terming digital currencies “inherently unstable” is likely to be viewed by more than usual as a particularly delicious case of banking sector irony.

The Eurozone’s struggle to contain the financial crises of Cyprus and now Greece, as well as the threat to larger economies such as Spain and Italy, certainly removes the sting from any concerted attempt at criticism of digital currency. Add to this the recent Reuters survey showing consensus regarding a Eurozone breakup fluctuating between 6% and 72% of experts over the course of just two years, and the contradictory nature of the ECB statements is immediately palpable.

“The new aid programme for the country does not seem to be convincing, rather a ‘Grexit’ is now bound to be a constant topic among investors for the months to come,” Sentix analyst Sebastian Wanke told Reuters.


How Rivetz Uses Your Smartphone to Secure Your Mobile Bitcoin Wallet / Stan Higgins / March 3, 2015 at 20:05 GMT

A security technology startup is aiming to grab a share of the growing mobile payments market through a blend of hardware-isolated security and bitcoin.

Rivetz develops software that, when released later this year, intends to leverage secure hardware environments embedded in Android-enabled smartphones to manage private keys for mobile bitcoin wallets. The company has partnered with several companies including mobile security firmTrustonic, identity computing solutions provider Intercede and BitPay.

The app will be available to users in the second quarter of this year, and according to Rivetz CEO Steven Sprague the project has garnered interest from several wallet providers including Mycelium and Breadwallet.

Sprague said that bitcoin’s use as a mobile payment instrument has greater ramifications for the broader development of trusted computing and the Internet of Things. The company recently demoed its software solution at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The question of how bitcoin users protect the all-important private key is an old one. In a recent interview he said:


LazyCoins Launches Intending to Be ‘the Exchange That People Just Trust’ / Cheryl Hulseapple / 2015-03-02 08:59 PM

UK-based LazyCoins announced its official launch on March 2. Lazycoins is a digital currency exchange offering fully licensed platforms for both trading and merchant payments in GBP and euro markets.

LazyCoins Managing Director Peter Heigho told CoinTelegraph that they received their MSB credentials on January 2, one of only a couple exchanges in the UK to do so. This allows them to offer the “rare” service of fast payments and same-day deposits.

Speedy transactions are rare in the UK because banks there have historically acted with strict policies toward Bitcoin businesses, either refusing to open accounts or closing them without warning or explanation. LazyCoins says they have successfully secured a banking relationship, but out of respect to firms in the crypto space that this has been difficult for, they would “rather not” yet say which one.

In the meantime, their “careful decision” to launch comes after more than six months spent in beta, “learning from the mistakes of others,” conducting extensive security testing, and seeking customer feedback. Heigho said:


Bitcoin Price Builds on Friday’s Gains / Mar 2, 2015 10:02 AM EST

NEW YORK (InsideBitcoins) — After a spark lit bitcoin’s fire late Thursday night, the digital currency continues to build on the gains through mid-morning, New York time. The price of bitcoin has risen to $260 just after 10:00 a.m. ET, according to the Inside Bitcoins Price Tracker.

The Winkdex is reporting volume exceeding 20,000 bitcoins on three occasions since late Thursday night. The price of bitcoin “closed” Thursday at $234.62, notching a more than 10% gain since. The Winklevoss Index (Winkdex)  is a blended price of “qualified” bitcoin exchanges using a volume-weighted exponential moving average.


Bank of England Examines Bitcoin for financial stability / nikhil gupta / Mar 3, 2015 6:12AM GMT

The Bank of England, in its latest “One Bank” research, has pointed towards digital currency as a “potential channel” to address the financial and economic instabilities that cripple the global financial system today.

The central bank noted that,

Digital currencies, potentially combined with mobile technology, may reshape the mechanisms for making secure payments, allowing transactions to be made directly between participants.

While raising the systemic issue of launching its own digital currency, the Bank also linked the Bitcoin revolution to the Internet revolution that continues to transform our lives even today. It ascertained that,

creating such a system would entail creating a protocol for value transfer over the internet, akin to what Berners-Lee (1989) did for information.


Is $518 the Fair Price of Bitcoin? / Pete Rizzo / March 2, 2015 at 18:25 GMT

Ask your average bitcoin enthusiast, and he or she will be quick to list the reasons why the price of bitcoin, even at $260, is undervalued, or at least, not properly reflective of its long-term value.

Now, however, those with a more bullish outlook have a new tool that can help them uncover bitcoin’s ‘intrinsic value’.

Recently launched by ALFAcoins, the ALFAquotes Fair Bitcoin Price indicator aims to illuminate what it considers the true value of bitcoin by factoring for the cost of bitcoin mining, or the production of the commodity itself.

At press time, ALFA quotes contends, while most bitcoin traders are buying and selling bitcoins for $259.46, the fair price is roughly double that, at $518.59.


MEET THE NEW BITCOIN DIRECTORS / Joel Dalais / March 2, 2015 at 8:35 pm CET

Starting with 13 Candidates in the first election round, the Bitcoin Foundation has chosen its new Directors after the elections ran to a secondary, runoff round. The Foundation allowed only the top four candidates from the first round into the runoffs, Bruce Fenton, Jim Harper, Michael Perklin, Olivier Janssens. And each candidate still required 50% approval to win a seat.

The Bitcoin Foundation runoff elections have finished. Jim Harper and Olivier Janssens have won the two seats; the final tally was;

Jim Harper 264 (60)%
Bruce Fenton 218 (50)%
Michael Perklin 229 (52)%
Olivier Janssens 277 (63)%
~Bitcoin Foundation.

Jim Harper has previously worked for the Foundation as Global Policy Counsel, so arguably knows the ropes and knows where there is room for improvements. He had previously outlined plans of forward development, but these were assumedly put by the wayside as other matters took priority in the wake of the decline of bitcoin value during 2014.


Barry Silbert’s BIT wins the race to become the first publicly traded bitcoin investment vehicle / MICHAEL CARNEY / MARCH 2, 2015

Even for those investors interested in finding exposure to bitcoin, you could forgive them for feeling skeptical about even the most high profile of exchanges within the category. Bitcoin exchanges have proven a high profile target for hackers and internal fraud, with many of the most widely traded platforms falling victim to such attacks. But thanks to a new investment vehicle hitting a major US stock exchange, these bitcoin-specific exchanges are no longer an investor’s only option.

Bitcoin Investment Trust (BIT), which launched in 2013 as a private investment fund for accredited investors, is poised to become the world’s first publicly traded bitcoin fund. FINRA, the financial industry regulatory body, has approved the company’s listing on the OTCQX, the most heavily regulated of over-the-counter exchanges (formerly known as the “Bulletin Boards”) and assigned the stock a ticker symbol of “GBTC.” The Merriman Capital will be BIT’s exclusive market maker for the fund’s first 30 days of trading.

BIT is currently trading under a temporary symbol, “BTCV, on the OTC Markets (aka, “Pink Sheet’), but founder Barry Silbert says he expects the official listing to begin shortly. Each BIT share is worth approximately one tenth of a bitcoin and unlike when BIT was raising capital privately, there will be no minimum purchase for its publicly traded shares. BIT is an open-ended trust, meaning that it sells new shares – still privately, pending SEC approval – as it purchases new bitcoin.


MGT Capital Investments, Tera Group to Create First Publicly Traded US Bitcoin Derivatives Exchange / GIULIO PRISCO on MARCH 2, 2015

MGT Capital Investments announced a planned merger with Tera Group, which operates the first regulated U.S. Bitcoin derivatives exchange. The merger will create the first publicly traded U.S. Bitcoin derivatives exchange.

As observed by The Wall Street Journal, this is a reverse merger where Tera will take a controlling stake in MGT. Tera doesn’t seem too interested in MGT’s gaming operations, so the operation is primarily a way for Tera to go public. In other words, Tera is buying a public listing on the stock market for its Bitcoin operations.

Tera has played a leading role in the development of Bitcoin derivatives. In September 2014, Tera launched TeraExchange, the first regulated U.S. Bitcoin derivatives exchange, and TeraBit, a spot Bitcoin price index based on real-time data from a number of Bitcoin exchanges. The TeraBit price index is used as the settlement rate for USD/Bitcoin derivatives transactions.


US Application for Bitcoin Trademark Turned Down / Gola Yashu / Mar 3, 2015 9:44AM GMT

United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) recently rejected a patent application (Reg 86135516) for the trademark ‘Bitcoin’ filed by Urban Trend LLC, a Californian household product company.

The motion came to rest as a part of default judgment, when Urban Trend failed to submit an answer to the patent’s opposer Russ Smith, the owner of Atlantic City Bitcoin, LLC and HELP.ORG LLC. In his application, the opposer had described himself as the registered owner of the trademark ‘MILLY BITCOIN’ (Reg 4435599) and had accused Urban Trend of committing a fraud during the application for registration.


Epicenter Bitcoin #68 – Kamikaze Attack, Block Halving And The Perils Of Proof-Of-Work

Published on March 2nd, 2015 by Epicenter Bitcoin

Reddit Engineer Explains Why Cryptocurrency Plans Were Scrapped / Kyle Torpey / Mar 2, 2015 5:08 PM EST

NEW YORK (InsideBitcoins) — Former Reddit Cryptocurrency Engineer Ryan X. Charles (a pseudonym) was recently interviewed on the Let’s Talk Bitcoin podcast, and he tried to explain exactly what happened while he was working behind the scenes at “the frontpage of the Internet.” The bitcoin community was excited to hear about the hiring of a cryptocurrency engineer when it was first announced, but it doesn’t seem that Reddit had much of an actual plan when it came to what they were going to do with the digital currency. Charles described a state of turmoil from the day he arrived at the company, and the lack of organization could be blamed for the failure of the reddit notes project.

Crazy times at Reddit

Before he was hired as Reddit’s new cryptocurrency engineer, Charles had a chat with Yishan Wong, who was the CEO at the time. He noted that Wong seemed to understand the potential of bitcoin and how it could “enable the financial infrastructure of Reddit.” Due to Wong’s belief in bitcoin, Charles decided to leave his job at BitPay and start working on cryptocurrency applications for Reddit.

Although the company’s CEO was completely behind finding a way to bring bitcoin to Reddit, that didn’t matter when Wong suddenly quit about a month and half into Charles’s time at the company. The exact reason for Wong’s decision is not known, but he made a post on Quora saying that he was simply exhausted. Charles claims that this explanation is plausible due to all of the turmoil that was going on at Reddit during this time.