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What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital crypto-currency with no single point of failure due to its decentralized peer-to-peer architecture. The source code is publicly available and changes to the reference Bitcoin client are made via concensus within the community. Advantages of Bitcoin include irreversible transactions (i.e. no possibility of chargebacks as with credit cards), pseudo-anonymous, limited and fixed inflation, near instant transactions, multi-platform, no double-spend and little to no barriers to entry and more. It was created by an anonymous person known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Find out more at WeUseCoins.com.

Bitcoin Latest News

European Banks Select IBM Blockchain for Small Business Trade Finance

IBM has been chosen by Digital Trade Chain, a consortium of major European banks, to build a new blockchain platform for SMEs.

Source

Posted on 26 June 2017 | 4:08 pm

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Bear Run Shows No Decrease in Momentum

Bitcoin Price Analysis

Over the weekend, BTC-USD market cap dropped from $45 billion to a current (and still falling) market cap of $39 billion. BTC-USD brought the entire crypto market to a screeching halt as traders continued to see devaluations in nearly every tradable coin on the market. So, let’s take a look at what has happened and see just how bad this dive will be for BTC-USD and the other cryptocurrencies.

On a macro scale, BTC-USD has been in the process of making a massive Head-and-Shoulders (H&S) pattern on the 6-hour candles:

BTC Macro HS.png

Figure 1: BTC-USD, 6HR Candles, GDAX

Head and Shoulders are common, highly predictable market reversal patterns. They have well-defined criteria for price movement and price projections once the pattern breaks to the bottom. A H&S pattern is characterized by the following, illustrated above:

  1. There is typically an ascending trend line;

  2. A left shoulder that is smaller than a central peak (head) and a right shoulder that is smaller than the central peak;

  3. The two shoulders are connected by the “Neck Line” of the Head and Shoulders.

  4. There is first a test of the ascending trendline. A test and rejection of the ascending trend line’s support will bring us to the test of the neck line.

  5. A test of the neck line is usually the ultimate deciding condition for whether or not the pattern will continue downward.

At the time of this article, BTC-USD has broken the ascending trend line and is in the process of testing the Neck Line of the H&S pattern. If condition #5 is broken, the price projections are calculated in the figure below:

BTC Macro HS Price Target.png

Figure 2: BTC-USD, 6HR Candles, GDAX, Price Target for Head and Shoulders

Price targets are not guarantees of price movement. Rather, a price target should be used as more of a target “zone” rather than a discrete point in the price-space. In our case, BTC-USD happens to have a price target with a very reliable, major support line in the $1800s. Whether BTC-USD drops that far down remains to be seen. However, it is important to note the following in the figure below:

BTC Macro HS no volume.png

Figure 3: BTC-USD, 6HR Candles, GDAX, Steady Downward Momentum

  1. The momentum indicators, RSI and MACD, are showing no sign of downward momentum loss;

  2. The steady downward momentum is coupled with very little relative buy-back volume.

During previous bearish periods, there was a significant increase in buy volume. However, something we are not seeing in this current bear run is a volume increase. The market could reverse at any point (after all this is crypto!), but on all major long-term scales, the momentum indicators show no sign of slowing down.

If we break the Neck Line of the Head and Shoulders, below are the major support lines you can expect BTC-USD to rest on during its downward spiral:

BTC Macro HS Fib Lines.png

Figure 4: BTC-USD, 6HR Candles, GDAX, Fibonacci Retracement Levels

At the time of this article, the market is testing the 38% Fibonacci Retracement Level, but the market doesn’t appear to be interested in buying at these values. If the BTC markets don’t see an increase in volume, BTC-USD will continue to hemorrhage in value — as will the entire crypto-market.

Summary:
  1. BTC-USD completed a Head and Shoulders pattern that brought the entire crypto-market into a Bear Market.

  2. Current price projection based on Fibonacci Levels and Head and Shoulders price target has BTC-USD on a course for the $1800s.

Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin and ether is highly speculative and comes with many risks. This analysis is for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice. Statements and financial information on Bitcoin Magazine and BTCMedia related sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BTCMedia and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

The post Bitcoin Price Analysis: Bear Run Shows No Decrease in Momentum appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 26 June 2017 | 4:01 pm

What Is Bitcoin's Elusive Intrinsic Value? - Forbes


Forbes

What Is Bitcoin's Elusive Intrinsic Value?
Forbes
As the market value of a single Bitcoin comes down off its lofty all-time maximum of over $2,800 to a still-bubbly $2,500 or so, aficionados and skeptics alike wonder whether the Bitcoin speculative bubble is finally popping, or whether the recent ...

and more »

Posted on 26 June 2017 | 3:24 pm

Crypto Correction: Bitcoin and Ether Dive as Market Sheds $13 Billion

Cryptocurrencies suffered widespread losses today, as traders took profits and rebalanced their portfolios.

Source

Posted on 26 June 2017 | 2:48 pm

Make Or Break August 1st Event Is Coming For Bitcoin Investors - Seeking Alpha


Make Or Break August 1st Event Is Coming For Bitcoin Investors
Seeking Alpha
This article aims to explain the chain of events that happened and going to happen in bitcoin space. Let me start with few basics so that for the benefit of non tech savvy long term investors. Though some of the terms mentioned below are technical, it ...

Posted on 26 June 2017 | 1:34 pm

Ethereum is crashing by 20% right now after confidence in bitcoin rival shaken - CNBC


CNBC

Ethereum is crashing by 20% right now after confidence in bitcoin rival shaken
CNBC
Bitcoin rival ethereum plunged Monday despite a major exchange's efforts to shore up confidence by announcing a credit for customers who lost money during last week's flash crash. Ethereum, also known as ether, traded 20.9 percent lower at $239.63 ...
As Bitcoin & Ethereum Fall, Coinbase Goes Offline & GDAX Halts TradingCryptoCoinsNews
ETH-USD Trading Update #2 – The GDAX BlogThe GDAX Blog
ETH-USD Trading Update – The GDAX BlogThe GDAX Blog

all 34 news articles »

Posted on 26 June 2017 | 12:38 pm

Bitcoin Shows What Banking Should Be: American Banker - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

Bitcoin Shows What Banking Should Be: American Banker
CoinTelegraph
American Banker, a daily trade newspaper that has been covering the financial sector since 1836, recently featured an analytical piece by its editor-in-chief Marc Hochstein entitled “How I missed the point of bitcoin,” to demonstrate how Bitcoin has ...

and more »

Posted on 26 June 2017 | 11:36 am

GDAX Exchange to Reimburse Traders After Ether Flash Crash

Digital asset exchange GDAX is moving to issue refunds after a stunning flash crash last week stoked anger amongst affected traders.

Source

Posted on 26 June 2017 | 11:25 am

Proof-of-Life: Vitalik Buterin Uses Ethereum to Disprove Death Hoax

Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin was at the center of a debunked story suggesting that he had died this weekend.

Source

Posted on 26 June 2017 | 10:25 am

Where's the Missing Mt. Gox Bitcoin, Now Worth $2 Billion? - Investopedia


Investopedia

Where's the Missing Mt. Gox Bitcoin, Now Worth $2 Billion?
Investopedia
Mt. Gox was one of the earliest and most public downfalls of the Bitcoin era. In early 2014, Mt. Gox stood atop the field of Bitcoin exchanges as the largest, until it declared bankruptcy following a devastating theft or disappearance. The exchange ...

Posted on 26 June 2017 | 9:56 am

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Barclays Pitches UK Finance Regulator on Cryptocurrencies

Barclays has been in contact with one of UK's top finance regulators, a senior official for the bank said today. According to Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays UK, the bank communicated with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to bring cryptocurrencies  "into play". Vaswani disclosed the conversations on Monday in an interview with CNBC. Vaswani did not […]

Source

Posted on 26 June 2017 | 9:25 am

Bitcoin Tumbles to Lowest Level in More Than a Week - Bloomberg - Bloomberg


Bloomberg

Bitcoin Tumbles to Lowest Level in More Than a Week - Bloomberg
Bloomberg
Bitcoin declined as much as 11 percent to an intraday low of $2409.50. The slide follows declines last week by rival digital currencies such as ether, which ...
Crypto Correction: Bitcoin and Ether Dive as Market Sheds $13 ...CoinDesk
Crypto in Crisis? Ether and Bitcoin Drop - Barron'sBarron's
Bitcoin, Ether Lead Slide as Digital Currencies Drop From Highs ...BloombergQuint

all 3 news articles »

Posted on 26 June 2017 | 7:32 am

The US Navy Wants to Connect Its 3-D Printers with a Blockchain

The US Navy will run a blockchain trial this summer – a test largely aimed to boost the security of its manufacturing systems.

Source

Posted on 26 June 2017 | 7:15 am

Bank of China, Tencent to Trial Blockchain in New Research Effort

The Bank of China is partnering with Tencent, one of the country's biggest internet companies, to trial blockchain tech in financial applications.

Source

Posted on 26 June 2017 | 6:30 am

How The Bitcoin Revolution Will Affect Entrepreneurs - Forbes


Forbes

How The Bitcoin Revolution Will Affect Entrepreneurs
Forbes
It's been dubbed digital gold for Millennials and anybody else with a sense for good investments. Virtual currencies like Bitcoin are revolutionizing how we make transactions and interact with our global financial system. These unconventional and ...
Bitcoin is tumblingMarkets Insider
Bitcoin Price, ExplainedCoinTelegraph
Why a Respected CEO Believes “Bitcoin Is a Tool for Freeing Humanity”Futurism
Business Insider -Bitcoin Magazine -Investopedia
all 78 news articles »

Posted on 26 June 2017 | 6:01 am

Counting Chickens: Can Blockchain Restore Trust in China's Food Supply?

A new Chinese food-tracking initiative hints at the power of blockchain to improve society's deeper issues.

Source

Posted on 26 June 2017 | 5:03 am

Can Bitcoin's First Felon Help Make Cryptocurrency a Trillion-Dollar Market? - Fortune


Fortune

Can Bitcoin's First Felon Help Make Cryptocurrency a Trillion-Dollar Market?
Fortune
Bitcoin's first felon is in his favorite mode: full-on bluster. We're in Sarasota, where he lives, perched on stools at Pangea Alchemy Lab, a faux-speakeasy tucked behind a curtain in the back of a sandwich shop. The bartender is a bearded anarchist ...

Posted on 26 June 2017 | 4:31 am

Are Smart Contracts Smart? A Critical Look at Basic Blockchain Questions

A lawyer breaks down the existing legislation that determines whether smart contracts are smart, legally binding or a even contract at all.

Source

Posted on 26 June 2017 | 4:00 am

'Flippening' Flop? As Ethereum's Price Pulls Back, Market Remains Bullish

After weeks of growth, it seems ether's much-hyped 'Flippening' – overtaking bitcoin as the most valuable cryptocurrency – is on hold.

Source

Posted on 26 June 2017 | 3:00 am

ICOs: Why There's More Than One Way

EY's Pascal Leblanc discusses an alternative approach to ICOs, putting forth a new model aimed to mitigate the price volatility of tokens.

Source

Posted on 25 June 2017 | 7:00 am

Analyzing Ether: A Bitcoin Investor's Skeptical Take

Miner and investor 'P4man' looks at the altcoin market to see if there is a credible alternative to bitcoin. Can ethereum cut the mustard?

Source

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 4:00 am

Changing Exchanges: Will the Coinbase of Tomorrow Be Decentralized?

A new wave of decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges that exist almost entirely on a blockchain could do away with middlemen.

Source

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 3:03 am

Local Government in China Trials Blockchain for Public Services

A city district in southern China is using blockchain to streamline government services for its one million residents.

Source

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 3:15 pm

OneCoin 'License' is a Fake, Says Vietnamese Government

OneCoin doesn't have a license to operate in Vietnam despite claims to the contrary, the government said this week.

Source

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 1:25 pm

Top Secret? Bitcoin Scaling Plan Segwit2x Leaves More Questions Than Answers

While SegWit2x has significant support, according to some in the bitcoin community, the group is closing off software development to outsiders.

Source

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 11:20 am

U.S. Bill Requiring Travelers to Declare Digital Currencies Resurfaces

U.S. Bill Requiring Travelers to Declare Digital Currencies Resurfaces

The United States Senate has introduced a bill that would require all travelers entering the U.S. to declare digital currency holdings in excess of $10,000. Despite concerns raised by the invasive nature of the bill, the likelihood of it being passed is extremely low simply due to the incredibly challenging infrastructure that would be required.

In fact, the new bill is actually a reintroduction of an older bill that was originally introduced in 2011. The 2011 bill never made it out of sub-committee deliberation.

Speaking about the recent legislation development, David Siegel, founder of Twenty Thirty AG and Bitcoin enthusiast, tells Bitcoin Magazine, “It’s disappointing. It’s a step back toward 1934.”

The bill would require the Secretary of Homeland Secretary and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner to submit a joint report to Congress withinthat meets the following two conditions over 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act:

“(1) detailing a strategy to interdict and detect prepaid access devices, digital currencies, or other similar instruments, at border crossings and other ports of entry for the United States; and;
(2) that includes an assessment of infrastructure needed to carry out the strategy ...”

The amount of technology that would have to be developed in order to enforce this law is incredible. How could they detect these crypto assets? The infrastructure investment that would be needed would be quite prodigious.

“My position on regulation is that there should be strong evidence supporting its effectiveness,” says Siegel. “I don’t see declaring moving money as a transparency issue, so I would say it’s a strong step in the wrong direction. I think regulation should be scaled way back to the point where we can show it’s actually better than no regulation.”

The bill, S.1241, would add “prepaid access devices” under the definition of U.S. monetary instruments in section 5312, title 31, of the U.S. Code. Specifically, a “‘prepaid access device’ means an electronic device or vehicle, such as a card, plate, code, number, electronic serial number, mobile identification number, personal identification number, or other instrument, that provides a portal to funds or the value of funds that have been paid in advance and can be retrievable and transferable at some point in the future.”

These prepaid access devices, in theory, could extend to include electronic ledgers, cryptocurrency wallets and even private keys. These are all portals where individuals can gain access to their private funds. Thus, individuals with more than $10,000 worth of crypto assets tied up on the blockchain would have to declare their crypto net worth to the U.S. Government by filling out a Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments, often called the FinCEN105. This could have a serious impact on digital currency holders traveling to the United States. Punishment for not reporting could include up to five years of jail time and forfeiture of those funds in the form of criminal and civilian penalties.

Formally known as the “Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act of 2017,” the bill was introduced on May 25, 2017, by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and is co-sponsored by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). It has been referred to the Committee on the Judiciary for further deliberation, but has a tremendous number of obstacles that must be overcome before reaching the President’s desk for final approval.

The post U.S. Bill Requiring Travelers to Declare Digital Currencies Resurfaces appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 22 June 2017 | 10:54 am

Cambodian Central Bank Is Trialing Blockchain Technology

cambodia.jpg

The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) announced that it plans to launch a blockchain trial at the end of 2017 that aims to improve the central bank’s ability to monitor and facilitate interbank lending.

In April, the Cambodian central bank entered into a partnership with Japanese blockchain startup Soramitsu to co-develop the Hyperledger Iroha ledger to build a new payment infrastructure on top of distributed ledger technology. Hyperledger Iroha is an open-source blockchain software that allows users to store and transfer data as well as develop smart contracts, which makes it suitable for the development of digital payment systems.

However, the National Bank of Cambodia stated that it is not focusing on creating a new digital currency at this point. Instead, the new blockchain trial will aim to reduce the costs in Cambodia’s interbank lending market, according to a local news publication.

“We expect the new technology to provide smooth, efficient, safe and affordable interbank transactions which will ultimately benefit end users. At this stage we will focus on the operational functionality of the system, but we believe the system can further be customized with application development to benefit the [central] bank’s monetary policy, including the use of the local currency,” NBC Director-General Chea Serey told the Phnom Penh Post.

Having said that, Serey also mentioned that “a cashless system is less costly and more transparent for the whole economy. This has always been on our agenda, but we needed time to study the different platforms available,” suggesting that a digital Cambodian riel is not off the table in the future.

Serey further added that the National Bank of Cambodia’s motivation for developing blockchain solutions is to give the central bank greater control over the country’s monetary policy, which is constrained by the Kingdom’s heavy use of the U.S. dollar.

Central Banks Around the World Look to the Blockchain

The National Bank of Cambodia is not the only central bank looking at possible implementation of blockchain technology.

The People’s Bank of China, for example, announced in January that it has completed a blockchain trial for a new Chinese digital currency by digitizing the Chinese yuan and transacting with a range local banks. The Canadian central bank, the Bank of Canada, is also interested in what blockchain technology can offer, having run a similar trial to test blockchain-based digitized fiat currency for interbank payments.

The Bank of England is also exploring blockchain opportunities through its multi-year research program that explores the implication of central banks issuing digital currencies. For Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, the most interesting use case for blockchain technology is the securities settlement process. He called it “ripe for innovation.”

“A typical settlement chain involves many intermediaries, making it comparatively slow and keeping operational risks high. Industry has begun to work together to determine how distributed ledger technologies could be used to solve these issues at scale,” Carney added, speaking at a fintech conference in London in April.

Given the number of blockchain trials that central banks are conducting across the globe, it will not be surprising to see a wave of digitization of fiat currencies taking place in the years to come.

The post Cambodian Central Bank Is Trialing Blockchain Technology appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 22 June 2017 | 9:43 am

Ether Price Analysis: Here’s What Just Went Down

Ether Price Analysis

A few days ago, just before a 25% market pullback, ETH-USD reached all-time high values upward of $420 as ICO investors desperately tried to accumulate ether to purchase Bancor tokens. The Bancor ICO was single-handedly responsible for congesting the Ethereum networks as users scrambled to get their ICO orders in time. This created a scenario where individuals were spending large sums of ETH to expedite their transactions and push other transaction times further and further back — the sheer volume of which could not be handled by many exchanges and wallets.

Coinbase Status.png

Figure 1: Coinbase Ethereum Transactions Delayed

Across multiple exchanges, messages like the one above began popping up yesterday as the perfect storm of ICO congestion from “Status” met a flood of ETH being sold off to BTC via the ETH-BTC markets (shown in yellow in the figure below). At the time of this article, the aftermath of the Status ICO is still being felt as many wallets and exchanges still have Ether-related services disabled. coinbase-ethbtc-Jun-21-2017-14-41-33.png

Figure 2: ETH-BTC, 1 HR Candles, GDAX

Once the services begin to open up and allow cold storage holders to get their coins on the market, one can only speculate how far the price will continue to be pushed down. Given the long-term, bearish indicators on the ETH-USD markets, it is entirely possible that we will see further tests of the lower support levels (shown in brown). The relatively low volume on this recent dip indicates the real price action has yet to truly begin. Because of the backlogged transactions from the Status ICO event, the volume we have seen thus far has mostly likely only been by those who held their coins on the exchange. The MACD and RSI (indicators of market momentum) are showing no sign of divergence (market momentum reversal) and there is very little upward pressure to keep the price aloft.

coinbase-ethusd-Jun-21-2017-15-55-12.png

Figure 3: ETH-USD, 6 HR Candles, GDAX

Where the bottom of this bear run truly lies remains to be seen. However, for the first time since the double-digit values, the 1-day candles are showing a bearish trend on the MACD (shown in purple), and the RSI is showing a loss of momentum (divergence shown in orange). As it stands, ETH-USD is sitting on the first Fibonacci Retracement Line at ~$315 where it is flirting with the idea of lower values.

kraken-ethusd-Jun-21-2017-16-13-58.png

Figure 4: ETH-USD, 1 Day Candles, Kraken

Bancor and Status set record transaction volumes and accumulated millions of USD in the form of ETH. Is $300 the bottom of this Bear Run? Maybe. But one has to ask, “What would you do if you just had two of the largest ICOs in history, where the value of the ETH used to fund your project is at all time high values? Would you watch your capital dwindle away under bearish conditions, or would you cash out?"

Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin and ether is highly speculative and comes with many risks. This analysis is for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice. Statements and financial information on Bitcoin Magazine and BTCMedia related sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BTCMedia and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

The post Ether Price Analysis: Here’s What Just Went Down appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 21 June 2017 | 2:10 pm

More Universities Add Blockchain Courses to Meet Market Demand

More Universities Add Blockchain Courses to Meet Market Demand

In recent months, there has been a surge in the demand for blockchain professionals. Data from the professional networking site LinkedIn has shown that blockchain related job postings have tripled in the last 12 months. This shows that there is a high demand for blockchain experts as the potential and applicability of blockchain technology becomes more apparent to corporations. Recognizing this opportunity, several universities have added blockchain studies to their fields of study to tailor their educational offerings to these new developments in the job market.

The University of Edinburgh, for example, has recently announced the launch of a blockchain technology laboratory within its School of Informatics through a collaboration with technology startup Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK). The new lab will focus primarily on blockchain studies. However, related interdisciplinary research will be also encouraged.

Speaking at the launch of the blockchain technology lab, IOHK Co-Founder, Jeremy Wood stated: “IOHK’s partnership with the University of Edinburgh provides unique opportunities for current students to become the next generation of blockchain and cryptography leaders. As a headquarters for IOHK’s international academic research community, we expect to see the university facilitate innovative projects that drive how businesses and governments approach blockchain and cryptocurrencies.”

The University of Edinburgh now joins a small but growing list of educational institutions that are including courses on blockchain technology in their curricula.

Though the University of Edinburgh is the first to offer a blockchain course of this kind in the United Kingdom, universities in the U.S. have already been doing so for a while. Stanford University began offering a course on cryptocurrencies, blockchains and smart contracts two years ago, while the University of California, Berkeley also offers a blockchain course.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is in the process of developing a course on the subject matter, while the University of Nicosia in Cyprus is offering the world’s first MSc in Digital Currency. The master's degree covers all key areas of digital currencies such as regulation, cryptography and blockchain technology applications. Students can even pay the tuition fees for the degree in bitcoin.

There are also a number of online courses created to cater to the rising demand for blockchain expertise. Princeton University has partnered with online learning platform Coursera to provide an intensive 11-week course on bitcoin and cryptocurrency technology.

The Blockchain University and the B9lab also offer blockchain and cryptocurrency courses designed to cater to professionals who are seeking to improve their knowledge and have a competitive edge in the industry.

The CryptoCurrency Certification Consortium (C4) includes Andreas Antonopoulos, Vitalik Buterin, Pamela Morgan, Josh McDougall and Michael Perklin on its board of directors. It offers cryptocurrency courses and provides participants with professional certificates upon completion. Certified Bitcoin Professional (CBP), Certified Bitcoin Expert (CBE), and Certified Ethereum Developer (CED) are the three professional certifications available.

The rise in blockchain related courses both online and in leading educational institutions is a testament to growing confidence in the technology's ability to disrupt industry in the future. Blockchain technology is now being recognized as an applicable solution to real world business challenges and that is reflected in both the job market as well as in educational courses on offer.

The post More Universities Add Blockchain Courses to Meet Market Demand appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 21 June 2017 | 11:28 am

Op Ed: How Cryptocurrency Holders Can Diversify While Deferring Taxes

Quasi-charitable Trusts: How Cryptocurrency Holders Can Diversify While Deferring Taxes

With the historic rally in Bitcoin and Ethereum, there are more investors than ever seeking to diversify their newly expanded cryptocurrency holdings. Whether this diversification involves exchanging cryptocurrency for fiat, other cryptocurrencies or a mix of both, the downside can be capital gains tax exposure.

Capital gains (if the underlying property has been held for over a year) are taxed at 15 percent, 18.8 percent or 23.8 percent, dependent upon the amount of income received during the year. One common method of tax reduction is to spread sales/exchanges over multiple years, in order to “soak up” the maximum amount of income into the 15 percent and 18.8 percent brackets.

If you're seeking to diversify, it’s really only practical to spread sales over a few years at most. But what if there were a way to sell immediately while still deferring this capital gains income over a much longer period, such as 20 years or even a lifetime? And what if this method were able to also provide some benefit to charity, with a corresponding charitable deduction?

Enter the Charitable Remainder Trust

This can actually be done with a quasi-charitable trust, namely a charitable remainder trust. With a charitable remainder trust, you contribute some amount of your cryptocurrency to a trust before selling. The trust then sells the cryptocurrency (or otherwise diversifies) on a completely tax-free basis. The proceeds of sale stay within the trust, where they can be reinvested in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, other cryptocurrency or almost any other investment asset.

In exchange for your contribution of cryptocurrency, the trust makes a payment to you each year for so long as you are alive. (You can alternatively choose to have the payment made for the joint lives of you and your spouse, or some shorter fixed term of years.) You choose the amount of this annual payment at the time you create the trust.

The whole process is sort of like receiving an annuity in exchange for your cryptocurrency. This payment can be a fixed amount, or it can be expressed as a fluctuating percentage of trust assets each year. When you pass away, whatever is left passes to a charity of your choice.

There are numerous tax benefits:

  1. The sale or exchange of cryptocurrency is completely tax-free.

  2. You personally only pay tax each year on the annual payment you receive from the trust. So if you use a charitable remainder trust to sell $5M of Bitcoin in 2017, but your annual payment for the rest of your life is $250,000 per year, then you only pay tax on $250,000 in 2017. This payment would be taxed at favorable capital gains rates. Depending on the amount of your other annual income, this strategy will likely keep you in the lower capital gains brackets.

  3. In the year of trust creation, you receive an income tax deduction equal to the actuarial value of the charity’s projected gift. This actuarial value is a calculation done by your attorney-CPA. The smaller the payment you select, the larger the charitable deduction. Assuming you choose an appropriate charity, the deduction can be used to reduce up to 30 percent of your income in a given year, and any unusable amount carries forward for up to five future years. For example, if a 42-year-old man were to contribute $2.5M of cryptocurrency to a charitable remainder trust in 2017 and selected an annual payment equal to 5 percent of trust assets, he would receive a charitable deduction of approximately $480,000 (at current IRS rates). That deduction could be used against his taxable income in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

You can even reserve the right to serve as trustee of the trust and to change the charitable remainder beneficiary whenever you please.

There are of course many technical caveats that need to be complied with. Most important, the IRS requires that the actuarial value of the charity’s share must be at least 10 percent of the assets contributed to the trust. Be sure to consult with appropriate counsel to ensure you meet the 10 percent rule and other technical requirements.

If you are looking to reduce and defer income taxes while keeping a guaranteed income for life and doing some good in the process, a charitable remainder trust can be the way to go.

This article is a guest post by Jeff Vandrew Jr. It does not necessarily reflect the views of BTC Media or Bitcoin Magazine and is for general information purposes only; it should not be taken as investment advice. Investors should conduct their own due diligence and consult with a qualified tax/investment professional before attempting anything described in this article.

The post Op Ed: How Cryptocurrency Holders Can Diversify While Deferring Taxes appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

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