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Bitcoin Price Watch; Here’s What’s On This Morning / 

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

So, we’re half way through the week, and things are hotting up in the bitcoin price from an intraday perspective. After what was a pretty slow day yesterday, we saw a little bit of up and down overnight and then this morning, just as European markets kicked off for the day, we got a spike in price and some fresh intra-weekly highs produced. Spikes like this are great because they not only serve as an opportunity to get into the market on the breakouts they represent, but they also give us some pretty solid levels to use as our defining range parameters. In this instance, with the spike being an upside break, we can use its peak as resistance. Sometimes if the pull back from highs is strong enough we can also use the pullback to set our support. With this on, unfortunately, it’s not really strong enough to allow us to do so.


The First Bitcoin Exchange in Moscow Is Open for Business / Aug 24, 2016

Executive Brief

The idea of a digital currency has spread across every continent and almost every country since the launch of Bitcoin in 2009, but it has met resistance throughout that journey from law makers and regimes right across the world. One of the most hostile regimes towards digital currencies has been that of Russia, who were even going as far as criminalizing the use of a digital currency, with a penalty of a fine of up to $40,000 or even prison sentences. However, last week that proposal was scrapped, and with a slightly less aggressive stance towards cryptocurrency in the country, just days later Moscow saw the opening of its first Bitcoin exchange.

Read the full story below. 

Russia has had a rocky relationship with the digital currency industry almost since its inception, at various times considering banning the use of any cryptocurrency outright along with various levels of restrictions also being considered by the lawmakers. Indeed, it was only a week ago that they rowed back on plans to criminalize Bitcoin use that could have seen fines of up to $40,000 or even prison sentences for those caught using any cryptocurrency. However, in the short time since that particular approach was abandoned, a Bitcoin Exchange has been launched in Moscow itself.


Bitcoin Exchange BTCTurk Terminates Operations in Turkey, Right After PayPal / Joseph Young / 2016-08-24 03:05 PM

BTCTurk, a Turkish Bitcoin exchange which launched in July 2013, has finally terminated its operations in Turkey after local banks closed the main accounts of the company without prior notice. Such abrupt termination of services from banks and major financial institutions was seen last in Australia, when the country’s leading banks, including the multi-billion dollar banking group Commonwealth Bank, closed the bank accounts and financial services of Bitcoin startups in the region.

Tough choice for BTCTurk team

In contempt of their connections with the banks the company has collaborated with since 2013, local banks and financial institutions denied to provide any financial assistance or support to BTCTurk, which forced the Bitcoin exchange to terminate its operations permanently and return all user funds.

According to the Daily Sabah, one of the largest media companies in Turkey, BTCTurk team stated that it is virtually impossible for the company to create any bank accounts to support its operations, which left the firm no other choice but to shut down the exchange and pull out from the Turkish market.


MIT Study Reveals New Data on Free Bitcoin Airdrop / Pete Rizzo / August 24, 2016 at 15:23 BST

In the spring of 2014, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology unveiled an ambitious plan.

Spurred by active enthusiasts on campus, the prestigious US university raised $500,000 with the goal of distributing $100 in bitcoin to every student on campus. Completed in the fall of 2014, the project would spur similar experiments at campuses around the globe.

But despite the buzz around the so-called bitcoin airdrop, not much was known about its success or the impression it left on students. Now, a study by MIT researchers has provided new details by using the event as a way to research “early adopters“, or individuals likely to be among the first to use or evangelize for a new technology.

Though the study seeks to broadly answer questions about early technology adoption, the incidental findings in the report provide context about how the bitcoin airdrop was received by students.


Japanese Banks, E-Commerce Giant Ramp Up Blockchain Development / Diana Ngo / Aug 24, 2016 02:58 PM

Blockchain technology has gotten a major boost in Japan as Rakuten has committed itself to the research and development of blockchain solutions for e-commerce. Meanwhile, Ripple’s Asian branch has announced a new bank consortium to build and deploy a blockchain-enabled platform for payments and settlements.

Japan’s internet and e-commerce giant Rakuten has opened a new blockchain lab in Belfast, Ireland, dedicated to developing blockchain applications for the fintech and e-commerce sectors. The launch of the Rakuten Blockchain Lab (RBL) follows the firm’s acquisition of Bitnet Technologies, a bitcoin startup specializing in merchant payment solutions.

Rakuten, which participated in Bitnet’s US$14.5 million Series A funding round in late 2014, had been partnering with the startup since March 2015 to allow bitcoin payments on its e-commerce platform.

The new lab is headed up by Bitnet co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Stephen McNamara and Vice President of Engineering Fergal Downey.


Bitcoin Core Loses Support Amidst Lingering Scalability Issues / JP Buntinx / 11:00 am August 24, 2016

Based on block size voting results, only 27.94% of the community is in favor of the Bitcoin Core solution.

The Bitcoin ecosystem is divided into multiple camps. With the lingering scalability issues, and other proposals representing an immediate solution to this problem, there is an interesting mid shift taking place. As it turns out, the majority of miners is still supporting Bitcoin Core in the block size debate. But they are losing ground at a rapid pace.

Right now, there are different proposals on the table to solve the Bitcoin scalability issue. One thing everyone seems to agree on is how the block size will need to be increased. By how much that increase will happen, remains to be seen, though. Bitcoin Core, which is the main branch of development, is working on Segregated Witness who would warrant a 2 MB block size.


Big banks buckle down to build better bitcoin / 24 Aug, 2016 11:45

UBS, Deutsche Bank, Santander and BNY Mellon have partnered up to create a new digital currency to facilitate intra-bank settlements, the FT reports. The cryptocurrency will use blockchain technology underpinning the Bitcoin.

The banks are working with London-based blockchain startup Clearmatics, and the official launch is expected in 2018, according to the media.

“Today trading between banks and institutions is difficult, time-consuming and costly, which is why we all have big back offices. This is about streamlining it and making it more efficient,” Julio Faura, head of R&D and innovation at Santander told the FT.


US Nuclear Research Lab Developing Bitcoin Analysis Tool / Stan Higgins / August 23, 2016 at 20:15 BST

A federally funded research lab run by Lockheed Martin is developing a bitcoin analytics tool for the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The project, first detailed in a 19th August newsletter published by Sandia National Laboratories, marks a continuation of previously detailed efforts at the DHS. The project is being funded by the DHS Science and Technology Directorate, which late last year issued a call for blockchain research.

Thus far, the bitcoin project appears to be in the early stages – Sandia has reportedly created a set of “requirements” for an analysis tool and is moving to develop a user interface to enable additional tests.

Andrew Cox, an R&D analyst for Sandia, said during an interview published in the newsletter that the tool would be best utilized as part of a broader investigatory effort involving multiple angles.

He remarked:


Bitcoin Has Some Competition as New Online Currency ‘Monero’ Steps In / 

The “dark net” has found an online currency even more secretive then Bitcoin.

Criminals on the dark net have always sought after an anonymous currency to carry out illegal and illicit activity. Cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin has been the payment of choice for most people who are buying and selling drugs and other illegal items on the dark net.

However, although it allows criminals to buy drugs with a degree of privacy, it is also set up to allow every transaction to be traceable on a public ledger called blockchain, which means that if you wanted your transaction to remain secret, it’s not exactly ideal.

Alphabay, one of the largest online markets for drugs and other illicit items announced that they will be accepting Monero as alternative payment to Bitcoins, starting from September 1, 2016.


Bitcoin-Tech Firm Thinks This Name Can Unify Wall Street Behind Blockchain / PAUL VIGNA / 

R3 CEV, a startup working to build new Wall Street infrastructure using bitcoin technology, said it had filed for a patent this week and named its product Concord for the harmony it aims to build among more than 60 banks.

The patent application is the New York firm’s first, shedding some light on what has so far been a widely followed but opaque firm.

R3, launched in September 2015 with a consortium of nine multinational banks, has since grown to more than 60 and includes Barclays PLC, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

The goal of the firm has been create standards for financial services based on “blockchain,” the open-ledger system used to trade the virtual currency bitcoin. It hopes to sell its wares both to the participant banks and others.

With the filing, the firm is essentially unveiling its plans. What it has built is something that looks in some respects like the cryptocurrency bitcoin, but with significant differences to appeal to banks.

Concord aims to be a universal software platform connecting bank operations both within firms and across markets, aimed at digitizing so-called middle- and back-office functions, like trade clearing and settling, asset registry, and reconciliation, even the recording of cash balances.


Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis for 08/24/2016 – Channel Support Bounce or Break? / Sarah Jenn / 3:55 am August 24, 2016

Bitcoin price is testing the ascending channel support, still deciding whether to resume the uptrend or break lower.

Bitcoin Price Key Highlights

  • Bitcoin price is still trending higher, moving inside the ascending channel visible on its 1-hour time frame.
  • As illustrated in the earlier article, price made its way back to the channel support after getting rejected on its test of resistance.
  • Support around $580 seems to be holding so far and technical indicators are suggesting that the climb could continue.

Bitcoin price is testing the ascending channel support, still deciding whether to resume the uptrend or break lower.

Technical Indicators Signals

The 100 SMA is above the longer-term 200 SMA, hinting that the path of least resistance is to the upside and that the trend could carry on. Bitcoin price is finding support at the 200 SMA dynamic inflection point as well, which could be the line in the sand for this uptrend. A break below the 200 SMA could be an early signal that a downtrend is in the works.


Bitfinex customers offered equity in compensation for bitcoin lost in hacking / Duncan Riley / Aug 24, 2016 

Customers of bitcoin exchange Bitfinex are being offered equity in the company in compensation for the losses imposed on them, following the hacking of the exchange in early August.

Under the deal, customers who were issued BFX tokens following the decision by the company to socialize the losses caused by the hack will be able to use those tokens for equity in iFinex, Inc., the British Virgin Islands-based parent company of Bitfinex.

The management of the equity issue is being handled by bitcoin equity crowdfunding service BnkToTheFuture (Bnk To The Future Ltd.), which will be facilitating the exchange of tokens via a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV).


The Feds Just Turned a $1.6 Million Profit on Seized Silk Road Bitcoin / Michael Nunez / August 23, 2016 10:27am

An anonymous bidder purchased 2,700 bitcoins worth about $1.6 million in an anonymous auction held by US Marshals Service on Monday. The Feds confirmed the sale to CoinDesk, a site that reports on the digital currency, and said that four bids were received in the auction.

The US Marshals announced earlier this month its plans to auction off some of the assets seized through criminal, civil, and administrative cases involving the dark web commerce market the Silk Road. The agency made 2,719 bitcoins available for purchase during the auction.


Ocean Colonisation Project Marinea Sees Bitcoin As The Future / JP Buntinx / August 24, 2016

The Marinea initiative is an intriguing concept. The people running this project see the future of humanity on the sea, rather than on land. Organising a community at sea will be a difficult challenge, though, as an infrastructure for commerce needs to be created. Interestingly enough, they see Bitcoin as the answer to those problems, as everything else has many drawbacks.


It has to be said; the Marinea project is a bit utopian. Colonising the oceans seems like an impossible task right now, albeit it is not unlikely we will have to venture into the ocean at some point. The population keeps growing, and we are running out of land to accommodate living and growing food. With two-thirds of the earth being an ocean, there are opportunities waiting to be explored.


XCOINS.IO Cuts the Wait out of Getting Bitcoin / Cointelegraph / 2016-08-24 10:25 AM

Menlo Park, CA, August 22, 2016 – announces the official launch of its innovative peer-to-peer bitcoin platform after three months of beta testing.

Peer-to-peer bitcoin trading websites have become very popular with bitcoin buyers, because they provide what most bitcoin exchanges do not, quick access to bitcoin. Instead of waiting for a bank transfer, which may take several days at a regular exchange, users can arrange a quick person-to-person trade through a peer-to-peer website.

But, peer-to-peer bitcoin websites have their own pitfalls and shortcomings. Users have to invest time and effort to use them. They have to sift through offers. Buyers have to communicate with sellers and agree on terms. Then, they have get “approved” by each seller. Finally, a payment is made and the buyer has to rely on the seller to confirm the receipt of funds and release bitcoin. The platforms do not track these payments and only step in, if there is a disagreement between the parties.

xCoins has addressed these shortcomings by creating a one of a kind automated system, which allows users receiving bitcoin instantly and without the effort required at other peer-to-peer websites.


Bitcoin Trading Alert: Any Change in Short-term Outlook? / Mike McAra / 17:42 GMT

In short: short speculative positions; stop-loss at $657; initial target at $527.

California has postponed its effort to regulate digital currencies, we read on CoinDesk:

The state assemblyman [Matt Dababneh] behind efforts to regulate digital currency businesses in California cited the $65m hack of Bitfinex this week as evidence of the need for tighter industry controls.

In a statement issued following his state’s decision to temporarily shelve further regulatory deliberations this year, he said that more time was needed to strike a balance between giving virtual currency businesses a firm foundation and ensuring consumers are protected.

Dababneh first proposed the bill last year shortly after becoming chairman of the state’s Banking and Finance Committee, and a revised version was once again introduced this year amid resistance from industry advocates.

In remarks, Dababneh credited conversations with “virtual currency experts, consumer organizations” as a deciding factor in the determination to suspend the proposed legislation until January of next year.


BitGo bitcoin wallet adds new improvements to its service / August 24, 2016 10:49 AM UTC

BitGo Inc., a leading multi-sig bitcoin wallet provider, has announced few recent enhancements in its services in a move to come out of the recent Bitfinex hack.

According to the company blog, CEO of BitGo Mike stated that the company is constantly seeking to improve its security services in order to better serve customers. He added that the recent improvements are the result of acting upon some of the “lessons learned” coming out of the Bitfinex hack.

“It has now been several weeks since the Bitfinex hack. I still believe in the future of bitcoin and I am encouraged by the ways we’re working to improve security and implement standard practices for the industry,” he added.


Bitcoin… You Haven’t Heard The Half Of It / Dan Andersson /  24/08/2016 12:54

Last month a major event happened in the cryptocurrency community: Bitcoin’s block reward halved for the second time in its history. The halving event or “Halvening” saw the cryptocurrency’s reward reduce from 25 to 12.5 bitcoins.

This halving mechanism is part of the mechanics of cryptocurrencies, designed to act as an inflationary brake to stabilise the currency. All of these types of currencies will start out with a predefined monetary policy i.e. a fixed monetary supply. At LEO this means that only 1 billion LEOcoins will ever be in existence. Halving happens about once every four years, ensuring that the total supply of coins doesn’t exceed its cap too fast.

These events are highly anticipated but can have damaging consequences; miners who work on high-powered computers to verify the transactions will as a result receive half the Bitcoin reward that they would previously. The sudden drop in income can lead to miners shutting down their hardware, which can have a destabilising effect on the network.


GDAX Users Can Now Trade Litecoin Against USD and Bitcoin / JP Buntinx / August 23, 2016

Although it had been a rumour for quite some time now, the Litecoin community will rejoice at the news GDAX has added LTC trading. This news is great for the community, although it does not give Litecoin any more usability than it had before. Moreover, the volumes on GDX are small to nonexistent right now. Then again, there was enough demand for this addition, according to the exchange operators.


It has to be said, a lot of people will be disappointed when they hear this news as well. While it is positive to see Litecoin added to GDAX, the platform is not a big name by any means. Granted, it is a sister company of the Coinbase exchange, which decided not to add Litecoin themselves for some unknown reason.

According to the company statement, there was a big demand to enable Litecoin trading on GDAX. That seems rather surprising, considering the number of use cases for LTC is very limited From a speculator’s point of view, this choice could be justified, though. Since most people in cryptocurrency are speculators, they will hope for a price increase based on this news.


If You Want To Buy Bitcoin, Avoid Greyscale Bitcoin Investment Trust For Now / Thom Lachenmann / Aug.23.16


  • GBTC is a good way to get exposure to Bitcoin.
  • Unfortunately, it trades at a hefty premium to NAV.
  • With Bitcoin available to retail users directly through wallets like Coinbase and other ETFs on their way, GBTC should not be a necessity at this point.

There are only a limited number of ways to get exposure to Bitcoin on the public markets right now. Until the Winklevoss twins are able to launch theirCOIN exchange traded fund, options are limited for investors who want access to Bitcoin.

One of those methods to gain exposure to Bitcoin is to buy Greyscale Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX:GBTC). GBTC “is a private, open-ended trust that is invested exclusively in bitcoin and derives its value solely from the price of Bitcoin. It enables investors to gain exposure to the price movement of bitcoin without the challenge of buying, storing, and safekeeping Bitcoins. The BIT’s sponsor is Grayscale Investments, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Digital Currency Group.”

One GBTC share is about 0.094 Bitcoin right now.