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Bitcoin Skyrockets and is Now Up More Than 100% This Jubilee Year

TheDollarVigilante, Published on May 29, 2016

Is Bitcoin Really Money? Economics Professor Says ‘No’ In Landmark Criminal Case / DAVID GILBERT / 

Should bitcoin be considered money? It is a question which banks, government, regulators and financial institutions around the world have been grappling with for years, but now the question could finally be answered in a ground-breaking court case, the result of which could have significant impact on the cryptocurrency market all over the world.

Michell Espinoza, a 32-year-old computer programmer, was arrested for attempted money-laundering in 2014 when he sold $1,500 worth of bitcoin to undercover FBI agents who said they were going to use them to buy stolen credit cards. Now in a Florida courtroom, Espinoza and his lawyers are trying to get the charges dismissed on the grounds that bitcoin, under Florida law, should not be defined as actual money.

This is thought to be the first case of its kind and the ruling by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Teresa Mary Pooler will be watched with great interest not only in the U.S., but around the world. “This is the most fascinating thing I’ve heard in this courtroom in a long time,” Pooler said on Friday. A ruling is not expected for several weeks yet.


Fix Cut Set to Push Yuan Low; Bitcoin Bubble Continues / 

Over the past few days, there has been a growing demand for Bitcoin by Chinese investors. The Bitcoin price has surged because of this situation, and as more people start to see the value of cryptocurrency, this trend is likely to continue.

The Chinese Yuan has seen its largest monthly decline since August of 2015, which comes on the heels of the Fed hinting at potential interest-rate increases. Additionally, this decrease was also caused by the PBOC cutting the fixing by 0.45%. Bitcoin, on the other hand, keeps gaining momentum while these woes haunt the financial ecosystem.

Cutting the fixing of the Chinese Yuan by another 0.45% drives it to the weakest level since February of 2011. Financial experts attribute this cutting to the strengthening US Dollar, which is set to an enormous monthly gain. In fact, the US Dollar may see its biggest gain since September of 2014, and higher interest rates may be the result.


Bitcoin & Ethereum MOONed in 2016… will it continue?

David Seaman, Published on May 30, 2016

Ex-Citi Trader’s Bitcoin Exchange Skirts Currency Curbs / Shai Oster / May 30, 2016 — 6:00 AM CST

It was after Arthur Hayes got laid off from Citigroup Inc. in 2013 that he stumbled across one of the simplest ways to make money he’d ever seen. He was living in Hong Kong and saw the price of bitcoin across the China border was much higher. He hopped on a bus, opened a China account and started buying low in one market and selling high in the other. “It was too easy,” he says.

The price discrepancy eventually disappeared, but it gave him an idea: He could make more money if he gave others the means to take advantage of similar trading opportunities between countries. So in early 2014, he started the Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange with two friends. The mission is to create an institution like the Chicago Mercantile Exchange that will let people use the cryptocurrency to bet on securities not easily accessible in their home markets, especially China.

China restricts the ability of companies and individuals to exchange their yuan for other currencies, part of the government’s strategy for managing its economy. That can make it complicated and expensive for citizens to invest in overseas securities, while foreign investors face restrictions in trading China stocks. Hayes’ idea is to let Chinese investors use bitcoin to buy synthetic versions of offshore stocks that would normally be off-limits, like Apple or Facebook. Conversely, foreign investors could effectively short a basket of the country’s shares not typically exposed to such strategies.

“Our goal is to let anyone bet on anything at any time,” says Hayes, an American who is now 30 and works in Hong Kong.


Now could be a good time to keep an eye on bitcoin again

Image: Zach Copley/Flickr / 5/ 31/ 2016

The currency is now valued at €477 per coin, matching the valuation it had back in August 2014.

BITCOIN COULD BE on the way back up after it hit its highest value in 20 months.

The cryptocurrency is now valued at €477 per coin, matching the valuation it had back in August 2014.

After that, the currency value fell to under the €200 mark before stabilising and climbing back up. The latest rise happened started on Friday although it still has a long way to go before it matches the peak of €1,033 in November 2013).


Why ABN Amro Wants to Separate Bitcoin from the Blockchain / Pete Rizzo / May 29, 2016 at 18:08 BST

For ABN Amro’s director of transaction banking, the company’s strategy on blockchain tech can be best described with a restaurant analogy.

If you were looking to enter the business, Karin Kersten argues, you might first invest in a restaurant. Next, you might try to get a feel for the workflow, washing dishes and observing existing staff. It’s then, she said, that you might be ready to enter the kitchen.

It’s that final last stage that Kersten contends is most indicative of the activity at the Dutch bank, which boasts more than 22,000 employees across business lines including retail, private and corporate banking. A member of banking consortium R3CEV and the Linux-led Hyperledgerproject, and an investor in Digital Asset Holdings, ABN Amro has 30 employees actively working in the proverbial kitchen to investigate blockchain applications.

Kersten told CoinDesk:

“We are doing experiments and seeing if they work. We are learning by doing, and working on different levels. There’s not just one team working on the blockchain.”

That’s not to say that ABN doesn’t have a more clear strategy for how it intends to move forward and which versions of the technology it deems more relevant for its business. As with many other major global banks, ABN is focused on distributed ledger aspects of the technology, and isn’t working with digital currencies such as bitcoin.


Bitcoin ATMs Are Popular With the Unbanked, But the Regulatory Future Is Unclear / JUSTIN O’CONNELL / 30 May 2016 // 12:00 PM CET

A trend is emerging in the Bitcoin ATM industry. Demand for the services among the underbanked and unbanked has seen steady growth in the two years since the industry’s first Bitcoin ATMs—often referred to as Bitcoin Transaction Machines, or BTMs—were installed.

“These customers may have a passport and valid ID but may not be interested in setting up a local bank account,” Chris McAlary, CEO of Coin Cloud, a Bitcoin ATM operator in the western half of the continental U.S., said of underbanked customers.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) describes the unbanked as adults without an account with a bank or other financial institution. The FDIC estimates 10 million households in the U.S. are unbanked or underbanked. Estimates posit that approximately two billion people are unbanked globally.

Most are American born, but immigrants make up a considerable percentage overall. Research suggests immigrants who have lived through a banking crisis in their home countries are less likely to open a U.S. bank account.

Coin Cloud customers purchase on average $250 worth of bitcoins and sell on average $500 at the machines, according to McAlary. He observes that some individuals use smartphones for their finances—perhaps by downloading a Bitcoin wallet onto it—in place of a traditional bank account. To be sure, the machines don’t work exactly like a traditional ATM. Instead, they are more akin to a vending machine for the digital world or a brick-and-mortar Bitcoin exchange that looks like an ATM.


Argentina Tops List of Countries with Greatest Bitcoin Adoption Potential / Olusegun Ogundeji / 2016-05-30 10:00 AM

Argentina has the greatest potential for Bitcoin adoption in the world.

According to the Bitcoin Market Potential Index (BMPI), Argentina tops the list of ten countries with the highest relative potential for Bitcoin adoption followed by Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Malawi and the United States. China ranks only 27th in this survey conducted by the London School of Economics.

Index for investors

The survey is the first attempt at assembling a new data set to rank the potential utility of Bitcoin across 178 countries. In effect, it has confirmed that not much has changed since the first ranking was released in 2014.

Economic historian at the University of Cambridge and London School of Economics, founder of MacroDigest, Garrick Hileman, summed up the results of the survey to Cointelegraph:

“…assuming the same ranking criteria, for the vast majority of countries the picture today is likely still largely similar to what it was two years ago, with a few exceptions.”


Dubai looks to improve fintech credentials with bitcoin technology / Robert Anderson / May 30, 2016

Emirate plans to position itself at the forefront of blockchain technology with several new initiatives

Dubai has announced several world first initiatives in healthcare, wills and diamond transactions using bitcoin database technology blockchain, with the intention of positioning itself as a hub for digital financial products.

Under the plans announced at a Dubai Museum of the Future Foundation event today, block chain – a distributed database list system designed to prevent tampering and revision – will be used by several prominent entities in the emirate including healthcare providers, Dubai International Financial Centre and Dubai Multi Commodities Centre.

The move follows the formation of the Global Blockchain Council by DMFF in February.

The first to be announced by local telecoms provider du will see patient healthcare records made directly accessible to doctors in the emirate using the blockchain system. The initiative is designed to prevent mistakes, make sure doctors have access to the most up to date records and reduce the need for patients to carry their own paperwork.

Elsewhere, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre said it planned to combine the Kimberly Process initiative with a blockchain record system to combat the trade of conflict diamonds. The free zone also plans to digitise the transfer, storage, and trade data provided by each country on diamond transactions. DMCC director of business development James Bernard said this data would be “immediately visible to everyone across the world”, limit risk and “vastly reduce” the costs and complexity of current systems by creating a permanent database.


What Is Bitcoin? 5 Things You Need to Know / John Whitefoot / May 30, 2016

What Is Bitcoin, Anyway?

Bitcoin, the world’s most popular digital currency, has been on a tear in 2016, up 32% since the markets bottomed in mid-January. But what is bitcoin? Should investors jump on board?

Before you start investing in bitcoins and counting your profits, it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into—just like you would with any currency or equity.

What Is Bitcoin?

What is bitcoin, anyway? Bitcoin is a decentralized, digital currency that is created, held, and used electronically. Unlike a traditional, fiat currency, bitcoin is not controlled by anyone, nor is it issued or backed by a central bank.

Bitcoin is sort of like the Wild West of currencies; it is decentralized and unregulated by a central bank. Instead, bitcoins are produced by people and businesses on computers around the world using software that solves a complex mathematical equation.

Because bitcoins are an independent, global currency, they cannot be manipulated. New bitcoins are minted every day but there is a limit to the number that can be created. This helps prevent inflation, but not speculation, hence the investor appeal.

Bitcoins are unlike the U.S. dollar, which the Federal Reserve can print off at will. Well, really, it’s all done online and transferred to different banks with the touch of a button…not all that different from bitcoin in practice.


BitLicense Has Done More Good Than Bad to the Bitcoin Sector / 

BitLicense, introduced in the New York state did more harm than good to the digital currency technology industry. Other governments intend to avoid making the same mistakes. Read more…

When BitLicense was introduced, it was hailed as a defining moment, where the government-less and regulation-less cryptocurrency platforms meet regulatory machinery set up by governments and centralized organizations. A bit over one year down the line, BitLicense is being constantly referred back to, in order to avoid doing the same mistakes.

BitLicense, introduced by Benjamin Lawsky, then Superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services led to the implementation of a stringent regulatory framework for the digital currency industry. The license was seen on par with the regulatory practices mainstream financial services are subjected to. However, the requirements stated by BitLicense, in order to overcome the decentralized and pseudonymous nature of Bitcoin far exceeded the AML and KYC practices otherwise followed by traditional banks and financial institutions. These factors proved to be detrimental to the majority of Bitcoin businesses operating in the State of New York.

Bitcoin was and still is relatively new, the sector being in its nascent stage makes most of the companies working on Bitcoin and Blockchain technologies startups. The stringent requirements stated by BitLicense was impossible to adhere to unless the company had venture capital backing. In addition, the BitLicense also threatened the very principle of Bitcoin, which was developed as a decentralized currency for peer to peer transactions where governments or any third party has no business meddling with.


A Venezuelan pastry shop starts accepting bitcoin / May 30, 2016 5:41 AM UTC

Tortas Don Eduardo, a Venezuelan pastry shop accepts bitcoins due to bitcoin’s growth as a currency, its market value, and its ease of transaction.

Founded over 4 years ago by the pastry chef Guillermo Eduardo Hernandez, his decision to take cryptocurrency came after investigations while using the web in his work. Being a chef confectioner, he said, “At first the concept of Bitcoin is strange, but if you work on the web like me or if you sit to investigate the matter turns out to be a possibility when doing business.”

Despite the fact that acceptance of bitcoins in Venezuela is slow, the main reasons Hernandez adopted bitcoin is due to its market value, its growth as a currency and the facilities offered when making any kind of transaction.


Gary Johnson Wins Libertarian Nomination, Only Major Candidate to Accept Bitcoin Donations / Joël Valenzuela / 2016-05-30 12:00 PM

US presidential candidate Gary Johnson has won the Libertarian Party nomination. He is also the only major presidential candidate to accepting donations in Bitcoin.

May 29th at the Libertarian Party convention in Orlando, Florida, Johnson was chosen as the party’s nominee. He placed first on a first ballot vote, though with insufficient margins to win outright. On the second ballot, Johnson secured the nomination, edging out Austin Petersen and John McAffee, respectively.

According to the donation page on the Johnson campaign website, Bitcoin is mentioned among the accepted forms of donations.


‘StartChat – Telegram with Bitcoin’ now available on Apple app store / May 30, 2016 6:31 AM UTC

‘Telegram with Bitcoin’ application by StartChat which is designed for both iTunes and iPad is now available at Apple iTunes store.

iTunes website description states that, StartChat combines the backend encryption and secure messaging of Telegram with the convenience of 2-click Bitcoin transactions and wallet currencies conversions display such as USD, EURO, GBP, Ruble, Yen.

Few features in this includes that it is automated and user friendly, no wallet information is needed to send any bitcoin transactions to contacts, free to download and  compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.


Tierion Launches API to Anchor Data in Bitcoin Blockchain / 

Tierion has announced the launch of its latest API last week. The new high-performance API can be used to anchor data in the blockchain. Read more…

The Hartford, Connecticut-based blockchain company, Tierion has announced the launch of its latest API last week. The new high-performance API is made available for free to the developers, and it can be used to anchor data in the blockchain.

According to a blog post on Tierion’s website, the new Hash API can be used to generate proofs and audit trails while maintaining the privacy of the data. Currently, the Hash API is free for creating about 1000 per hour at the rate of about 3 records per second. However, if a business needs to process more records then the company is ready to offer a custom version of Hash API capable of processing much higher volumes.


Bitcoin Price Analysis (Week of May 29th) / Denis Harrison / 2016-05-29 05:24 PM

After an almost month-long correction toward the upward trend, Bitcoin has continued its long-term upward movement. What is the nature of that growth, and what should be expected now?

The current growth was anticipated

The possibility of the long-term upward trend contuing was evident since May 22. The likelyhood of that movement was determined with the help of a number of interconnected analysis instruments. The market is cyclical. Every movement contains another one, of a lower scale, within itself. The traders’ behavior is manifested in that. The big picture of the market’s sentiment can be determined through the use of instruments, which are capable of separating movement cycles of different scale from each other. That’s what we did on May 22. Firstly, we have determined that the movement at that time was a correction, as there was no turn on a medium-term scale. For a turn to decline Bitcoin’s price had to first break through an important resistance line at $440, which didn’t happen. And secondly we have analyzed the intraday trend and found a key level, from which the price has later started its movement.


Bitcoin exchange Kraken announces support for DAO trading / May 30, 2016 6:25 AM UTC

San Francisco-based bitcoin exchange Kraken has announced its plans to add The DAO tokens to the list of assets supported on its platform.

The DAO tokens will trade under the abbreviation “DAO” and the trade pairs available at launch include DAO/XBT (bitcoin), DAO/ETH (ether), DAO/EUR (euro), DAO/USD (US dollar), DAO/CAD (Canadian dollar), DAO/GBP (British pound), and DAO/JPY (Japanese yen).

Earlier this month, Kraken announced that it is offering Ether (ETH) Dark Pool trading to its clients, allowing them to place large ether orders discreetly. However, the company stated that margin trading and the dark pool will not be available for the DAO at launch.


Revisiting The Bitcloak Bitcoin Mixing Service / JP Buntinx / May 29, 2016

The primary purpose of a Bitcoin mixing service is to provide additional anonymity and privacy to its users. Bitcloak is a new mixing service trying to make a name for itself, and it looks like some things have changed since its initial launch in February of 2016.  


Albeit we were initially skeptical regarding the potential of Bitcloak, it appears there is a lot more under the hood than anticipated. The platform generates a PGP signed message with order details, providing verifiable proof to the user, as well as a way for the platform operators to help the user. Additionally, this also reduces the chance of phishing attempts, as fake websites would generate an invalid message.

Bitcloak imposes particular transaction limits as well, ranging between 0.028 and 25 Bitcoin per order. Running multiple transactions is certainly possible, although it is advised to use the same value for every order. However, Bitclock can deal with a 10% variance for bulk orders. Do keep in mind there is a random fee around the 2$ range for every order as well.


Donald Trump KNOWS Why Bitcoin’s Soaring!

David Seaman, Published on May 29, 2016