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alfwesh22

Bitcoin-Only Property Sale: UNESCO World Heritage Site in Ibiza for 1,850 BTC

When a Texas-based real estate brokerage firm sold a property using just Bitcoin, the ease of transaction became topical.
"In a matter of 10 minutes, " says Sheryl Lowe, the agent who represented the buyer in the sale, "the Bitcoin was changed to US Dollars and the deal was done! "
The same factor is playing out again. Handlers of the sale of a historic palace in the Spanish resort town of Ibiza are banking on the ease of Bitcoin to put the property on the market.
El Palacio Badarji is on sale for 1,850 Bitcoin. No cash equivalent indicated. The location which was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1999 is an 18th-century palace built in 1740.
It's been renovated in the last few years. Yet, its four en-suite bedrooms, a master suite with private lounge room and a living room with reception area as well as other parts are intact.

Ease of use

The ease of use is a major factor that would continue to cause leading real estate brokerage to look keenly in the digital currency's direction. This is considering the hassles that always go with the sales of real estate ownership especially across borders.

Just last month, a mansion in London was put on the market for £17 mln. Its sales notice stated that the potential buyer has to pay in Bitcoin - about 5,050 BTC at the time.
Lev Loginov, who put the property up for sale, talked about transactions in Bitcoin being "...done quicker, more efficiently and it is much easier to deal with than using banks, which are putting in unnecessary over-regulation. "
British entrepreneurs, Michelle Mone and Doug Barrowman, also launched a Bitcoin-priced real estate development in Dubai. Mone sees a time when early adopters will give way to a more mainstream application of cryptocurrencies. Hence, "... it 's a logical extension to take land and buildings and effectively offer people the opportunity to pay in cryptocurrency or bitcoin rather than just fiat currency."

Some of the other Blockchain-backed projects with interests in the real estate market include Propy, Atlant and Brickblock. Propy's decentralized title registry platform was recently used in the sale of an apartment in Ukraine, while Brickblock plans to offer the world’s first tokenized real estate project – an apartment block in Berlin going on sale in December.





alfwesh22

Google Knows: More People Search ‘Buy Bitcoin’ Than ‘Buy Gold’

While Bitcoin peaks, gold is looking decidedly peaky as crypto Google search trends outnumber the precious metal for the first time.

As Bloomberg reports Tuesday, the search term “buy Bitcoin” is now more frequent than “buy gold,” adding insult to injury for gold after an ounce began to cost less than one BTC for the first time this year.

“With the US stock market setting fresh all-time highs day after day, it’s no surprise gold prices have retreated,” the publication quotes UK-based BullionVault research director Adrian Ash as saying.

“Some investors are also being distracted by the noise around Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.”

A glance at gold profits for 2017 makes an easy case for Bitcoin being the investment short of choice for the year, a tip publicly echoed by mainstream finance commentators.

Ash added BullionVault had seen 30 percent declines in monthly gold trading for October compared to the yearly average. The trend came a gold dipped six percent from one-year highs in early September.

Meanwhile, the precious metals industry is getting backdoor innovation from Blockchain technology.
Cointelegraph reported on the weekend how the UK’s Royal Mint had successfully trialed a gold tracking system using Blockchain, with 50,000 blocks already verified before its public launch.





alfwesh22

As Bitcoin Reaches New Price Highs Network Congestion and Fees Spike

Bitcoin markets have been on a tear lately, and the price has spiked quite a bit last month and into November. However, as bitcoin’s value surpassed $7K per BTC, transaction bottleneck and miner fees have risen again, causing users to complain about unconfirmed transactions and paying $5-10 per transaction.

#Bitcoin Fees and Transaction Bottleneck On the Rise

About two months ago the bitcoin network’s transaction congestion and rising fee market subsided for a couple of weeks. But lately, over the past three weeks transaction bottleneck and rising fees have started to plague the ecosystem once again. During this time, the network has seen the unconfirmed transaction count reach around 25-70K over the past few weeks. Presently there are26,000 unconfirmed transactions (tx) in the mempool with about $42K in fees sitting in limbo.
At approximately 2:00 pm EDT on November 7, 2017, there are over 26,000 unconfirmed transactions according to Blockchain.info, and the average fastest fee rate is $4.50 per tx.

At the moment the fastest and cheapest transaction fee is 65,540 satoshis or 4.50 per tx according toEarn’s fee calculator. Because the fee rate per BTC transaction is so high, those who own less than $4 worth of bitcoin can’t spend the funds without the chance of the tx being rejected from the network. Additionally, bitcoin has eight decimal places, and people are concerned that if the fee market continues to rise; small units of bitcoin will never be able to be spent or the fees will outweigh a transaction’s value.
The Bitcoin Cash Network’s Fees Are Exponentially Lower
As bitcoin’s market value has increased and the fee market rising as well, many individuals are starting to see the benefits of the bitcoin cash network and larger blocks. Bitcoin cash transactions have been averaging $0.05-0.26 per tx or sometimes 1/10 of bitcoin’s fees. This has allowed the bitcoin cash community to send much smaller transactions and even use a tip-bot across Reddit forums.

A look at bitcoin (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) average transaction fees back in August. Bitcoin cash fees have remained consistently the same.
Quarreling About Segwit Adoption In the Midst of the Pending Segwit2x Fork
Another topic of conversation which revolves around the fee market is the use of Segregated Witness (Segwit) transactions. Before Segwit was implemented, it was said that 90 percent of bitcoin-based businesses were “Segwit ready.” Segwit adoption has yet to surpass 10 percent of the ecosystem, and Segwit transactionshave seen a steep decline lately.

Segwit adoption has been lacking and hasn’t reached 10 percent since it was implemented this past August.
So far Segwit has seen adoption rates hit a high of roughly around 7 percent during the first weeks of October. The subject of Segwit adoption has genuinely become a bone of contention when discussing the recent astronomical fees lately. For instance on November 4, Shapeshift’s CEO Erik Voorhees reveals his discontent for the rising fee market plaguing the communitystating;
The average Bitcoin transaction fee ($10.17) is now more than twice the cost of Bitcoin itself when I first learned of it ($5) in 2011.
Following Voorhees statement, over Twitter, the founder of Coinkite and Opendime, Rodolfo Novak‏, asked the Shape shift CEO if his firm has “tried Segwit transactions.” However, the question didn’t sway Voorhees that much, as the Shapeshift founderemphas to Novak, “[Shapeshift] is one of the biggest senders and receivers of Segwit transactions.”      

For now, no one has a good answer to how the bitcoin ‘community’ can find a solution to the scaling problem and rising fee market. At the moment, individuals and organizations continue to argue on social media and forums about the scaling subject, while preparing for the pending fork that aims to fix these problems.





alfwesh22

Cryptocurrency Companies See Dramatic Spikes in Share Price

Numerous companies involved in the cryptocurrency industries have seen dramatic increases in share price following the spectacular performances of bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies during 2017.

Bitcoin Group’s Has Seen Its Share Price Increase by Approximately 1060% Since January This Year


Cryptocurrency
        Companies See Dramatic Spikes in Share Price

Bitcoin Group was founded in 2014 and began as a mining company, however, expanded its operations after rebranding to Blockchain Global Limited in 2016. In addition to mining, the company now provides consulting and startup incubation services to companies in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sectors.

In July, Blockchain Global made a $4.35 million AUD investment into blockchain firm Digital X, including a payment of $300,000 AUD worth of bitcoin. The remaining $4.05 million AUD comprised $550,00 AUD in convertible notes and $3.8 million AUD in shares – seeing Blockchain Global own a 40 percent stake in the company.     

After the announcement, Digital X’s price moved by 74% at the close of trading. In 2014, DigitalX became Australia’s first listed bitcoin company following the reverse takeover of Macro Energy, however, in 2016, the original founder of Macro Energy was indictedfor fraud, resulting in a significant loss in share price at the time.

Many Companies Involved in the Cryptocurrency Industries Have Seen Recent Booms in Share Price


Hive Blockchain Technologies Ltd, a Canadian company that mines Ethereum, has seen year to date gains of 4089% as of this writing. At the end of October, Hive announced a “strategic partnership” with Genesis Mining Ltd., through which Hive “will finance the construction of… mining rigs… at [a] data centre in Sweden.” The deal was expected to double “the company’s cryptocurrency mining capacity… in Sweden.” When completed, will see “approximately 78%” of “Hive’s hashpower capacity is expected to be based… in Sweden,” with the remaining 22% being located in Iceland.

In late October, an Essex-based company saw a 394% spike in its share price after announcing that it would change its name from On-line Plc to Blockchain Plc. The jump in price comprised the “biggest one-day gain for the small-cap company since its December 1996 listing,” and was fuelled by “trading volume that… [was] equal to more than 16 times the entire year’s trading before the last two days.” The dramatic rally appeared to be driven by little more than hype associated with the word ‘blockchain’, as the company “caution[ed] investors that the development of its blockchain product is still at an early stage.”




alfwesh22

Deutsche Bank Strategist Says End of Fiat-based Currency Systems Near, Recommends Bitcoin

Deutsche Bank lead strategist Jim Reid claimed that the current fiat-based currency system is unstable and nearing its end. He claimed that the system was only able to advance to its current state due to the disinflationary shock it experienced in the 1980s.

In his recent report, Reid claimed that the fiat system is now in reverse and is expected to affect all the traditional currencies being used around the world.

However, he said that the strategies being used to control inflation like loose policies, extensive leverage, and continuous printing of money may lead to the end of paper money. This is because consumers around the world will lose faith in the system as fiat currencies continue to lose their value.

Reid further stated that to help mitigate the risks of financial collapse, the use of virtual currencies should be promoted around the world. He reasoned that due to their decentralized nature, cryptocurrencies cannot be controlled by the governments but by the organic laws of the economy, particularly the supply and demand in the market.

“Although the current speculative interest in cryptocurrencies is more to do with Blockchain technology than a loss of faith in paper money, at some point there will likely be some medium of exchange that becomes more universal and a competitor of paper money.”

Similar opinions
The opinion of Reid parallels the views of other prominent personalities. Among them is the president of the Turkish Central Bank, who claimed that the virtual currencies can contribute to financial stability. The central banker did note, however, that there are potential risks associated with digital currencies.




alfwesh22

Right now people keep hearing about the pending fork scheduled for on or around November 16. Because software forks and blockchain splits can be a confusing subject, we want to explain just what a fork is and what it means for all the network participants involved. 

What is a Bitcoin Fork?


If you are just getting involved in cryptocurrencies, and you’ve done a little research, you might have read about the great scaling debate and the topic of bitcoin forks recently. Forks represent changes to the bitcoin protocol that make previous rules valid or invalid. Cryptocurrency forks are merely protocol upgrades, and there are two types of blockchain forks that bitcoin enthusiasts refer to: a soft fork and a hard fork.
Both types of forks can be radical changes to the underlying protocol, but they have two key differences. A soft fork is a rule change that is backward compatible; which means the new rules can still be interoperable with the legacy protocol.
In contrast to this method, a hard fork enables a rule change to the software, but it does not have backward compatibility. This means a hard fork is a permanent split from the legacy rule-set, or version, of the blockchain before the fork occurred.

A Simple Guide to What Bitcoin Forks Are and Why They Happen
The bitcoin blockchain has forked several times over the course of the technology’s existence. Bitcoin forked back in March of 2013, and a few months later in August 2013. Back then the ethereum creator, Vitalik Buterin, wrote a very vivid description of the March 2013 fork event, stating:
“Starting from block 225430, the blockchain literally split into two, with one half of the network adding blocks to one version of the chain, and the other half adding to the other,” explains Buterin.  
For the next six hours, there were effectively two Bitcoin networks operating at the same time, each with its own version of the transaction history.
Just recently miners implemented the Segregated Witness (Segwit) soft fork this past summer. Another time the protocol forked was this past August 1st, during the bitcoin cash (BCH) split.

The Great Scaling Debate


A Simple Guide to What Bitcoin Forks Are and Why They Happen

The most recent bitcoin forks occurring after 2013 have been tethered to the scaling debate. The scaling debate has been very controversial since the inception of the 1 MB block limit back in 2010. This protocol change implemented by Satoshi,limits the number of transactions a block can hold. Currently, people believe bitcoin needs to scale to more people because the network has been experiencing intense congestion at times. 
Because transactions are filling up blocks to the limit, this has caused the network fee rate paid to miners to increase exponentially. Prior to 2015, it used to cost around $0.01 per transaction or less, and nowadays fees can be upwards of $5-10 per transaction. In essence, transaction bottleneck has caused participants to outbid each other, raising fees to get their transaction confirmed faster, creating an upward spiral of higher fees. There have been many meetings and agreements between miners, developers, and businesses within the bitcoin community, but they have always failed to accomplish the goal of fixing scaling issues.  
Consensus
The thing about forks is they require consensus which means all or a vast majority of the network’s participants have to agree with the changes. The forks back in 2013 pretty much had consensus from everyone in the network. This means miners, wallet providers, and exchanges all worked together quickly to change their software, which in turn, changed the rules with consensus. If consensus cannot be met, then the network will split into two factions, and if both networks prove to be viable, then two tokens will exist. Two examples of this kind of split taking place after a hard fork include bitcoin cash and ethereum classic.

For instance, when the ‘network agreement’ was not met in these two cases, two distinct blockchains sharing the same history now exist. And since there are two networks there are also two tokens now — meaning if you hold 10 BTC you also own 10 BCH if you held your private keys prior to August 1, 2017.

A Simple Guide to What Bitcoin Forks Are and Why They Happen
Over the past three years, a few ‘agreements’ have been made but none of them have reached consensus. The failed Hong Kong Agreement was similar to NYA but the Segwit2x compromise has taken things further.
The Bitcoin Forks of 2017

This past August’s bitcoin cash fork did not have consensus, and this means the blockchain diverged into two networks with different rule sets. Bitcoin cash has stripped the Segwit code from the protocol and implemented an 8 MB block increase. Developers of bitcoin cash believe Segwit was an unnecessary soft fork and chose to split before the Segwit2x (BTC1) miners integrated the change. For the pending November 16 hard fork, Segwit2x developers have opted to keep Segwit within the code, but the miners running the BTC1 software plan to change the rules to increase the block from 1 MB to 2MB.
At block height 494784 the Segwit2x working group led by bitcoin developer Jeff Garzik, and a large swathe of miners and businesses, plan to hard fork the network. The plan is part of the New York Agreement(NYA) which outlined a compromise with two forks. The first part of the commitment implemented was the soft fork Segwit, and the latter half of the agreement is a 2 MB block increase utilizing the hard fork method.
The issue with the pending fork is some people believe the change does not have full consensus. The Segwit2x fork has been controversial across social media, forums, and developers’ mailing lists. A portion of miners and some businesses have stated they will not support the hard fork. However,  according to statistics a large majority of miners (over 80%) are still ‘signaling their intention’ to hard fork the network at block 494784, and their ‘intentions’ show they have enough hashrate to complete the goal.

A Simple Guide to What Bitcoin Forks Are and Why They Happen
The free market or laissez-faire coupled with technical merit and a vast network affect will decide the fate of bitcoin, its forks, and altcoins as well.

The Free Market Will Embrace the New or Old Network

The bottom line is forks can be confusing, and you have to investigate the reasons for why they are taking place. After understanding the who, what, where and why the fork is happening then you can figure whether or not you support the protocol changes. As an investor, you decide which bitcoin will win and which one has superior technical merits. Bitcoin is an open-source protocol, and really anyone can fork the network, but it doesn’t mean the market will embrace the new blockchain or the old one. Essentially, the free market and you will decide on which bitcoin blockchain gives the world economic freedom and shakes up the current status quo.

Let’s Review

  • Hard fork: a hard fork is protocol change that is not backward compatible and is a permanent diversion from the original blockchain’s rules.
  • Soft Fork: a soft fork is a protocol change that is backward compatible which means the changes will be interoperable with the original blockchain’s rules.
  • Consensus: when everyone or a vast majority of the cryptocurrency’s network participants unanimously agree and implement the new rules.
  • Scaling Debate: the scaling debate is a discussion or argument concerning the number of transactions the blockchain can handle. In 2010 Satoshi Nakamoto implemented a 1 MB block limit, which capped the amount of transactions a block can hold. Since Nakamoto hard-coded this change, the bitcoin network has seen an increase in users the debate has caused quarreling which has led to forks.
  • Bitcoin Cash: the digital asset bitcoin cash and it’s network is the result of a hard fork that took place on August 1. The bitcoin cash protocol has removed Segwit and replace-by-fee as well as increased the block from 1 MB to 8 MB.
  • Segwit2x: the Segwit2x hard fork scheduled for on or around November 16 is the second part of theNew York Agreement (NYA). The first part of the NYA compromise pushed the implementation of Segregated Witness this past Augus





alfwesh22

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alfwesh22

New York Preschool Accepts Bitcoin, But Not Credit Cards

While Bitcoin sceptics claim that Bitcoin is only used for speculation and has no actual uses, a New York preschool has shown that Bitcoin can be a convenient and successful method of payment.

Enquiry from parents

In an interview given by Marco Ciocca, the Chairman of The Montessori Schools in Flatiron and SoHo, to Business Insider, he explained that he had a few parents enquiring about the use of Bitcoin as a means to pay the tuition fees.
We had probably a handful of parents who mentioned, Hey do you accept Bitcoin? I've got this Bitcoin. Can we pay tuition in Bitcoin?
Since Marco had been following the Bitcoin space for the past few years and was aware of the advantages of using Bitcoin, including ease of payment, low fees and quick and speed of the transactions. Together with other members of the administration, Ciocca decided to add Bitcoin as a payment option.

Credit card fees can be a killer

The school does not hold Bitcoins and uses a payment processor to receive fiat in their bank accounts. Hence they are not exposed to Bitcoin's price volatility. While the exchange does charge them a 1% fee to process transactions, this pales in comparison to the fees charged by credit card companies.

Moreover, credit cards can get declined, which leads to additional fees. Therefore, the school does not accept credit card payments. Apart from Bitcoin, the school accepts cash, cheques and electronic wires.
Yeah, there's about a 1% transaction fee, which is less than, you know, 2, 3, 4% sometimes with credit cards. A lot of them get declined and then you have more fees and then you have to re-charge them and that's been kind of, sort of a headache for schools.
Not a gimmick
Many companies have made news recently by adding Bitcoin as a payment option, but have found few customers willing to pay with the digital currency. In this case, there are a handful of parents who have paid tuition fees using Bitcoins. Since there are parents who have a career in the Blockchain space, they were open to the idea of making payments using Bitcoins.

From the school's point of view, they were just offering an additional and convenient payment option to the parents. Bitcoin is not the exclusive preserve of futuristic businesses; even brick and mortar schools can adopt it




alfwesh22

It has been an exciting weekend for all cryptocurrencies so far. While most altcoins have lost all of their gains over the past 36 hours, the bigger picture shouldn’t be overlooked whatsoever. All cryptocurrencies in circulation are worth over $200bn right now. A major step forward from the $40bn market cap earlier this year. It is evident Bitcoin is still the king of the hill and that situation will not change whatsoever.

CRYPTOCURRENCIES ARE BOOMING DESPITE VOLATILITY

Even though the overallcryptocurrency market cap has finally surpassed the $200bn mark, these markets aren’t less volatile than ever before. In fact, there is more volatility these past few weeks compared to what we have seen throughout most of 2017. This situation is mainly affecting altcoins, though, as they are all struggling to maintain their price levels right now.

Although things may look pretty bleak for most altcoins right now, they are also a contributing factor to the $200bn total market cap. Bitcoin represents the vast majority of this cap, of course, as all BTC in circulation are worth over $125bn right now. That in itself is a pretty spectacular number, considering the total cryptocurrency market cap was under $50bn not too long ago. Things have evolved in a positive direction in this regard.

This also means theBitcoin Dominance Index has been pushed up once again. Right now, this index sits at 62.5%, clearly indicating how Bitcoin is the go-to cryptocurrency and little else matters  these days.  It is only a matter of time until the top altcoins recover in value, although this process may take some time. The Bitcoin price is still mainly driven by speculation, and it is very likely we will see a price correction around the SegWit2x hard fork.

Interestingly enough, there are only two cryptocurrencies with a market cap above $10bn right now. Ethereum still sits in second place, with a cap of just under $28.5bn. Bitcoin Cash is still third, but its cap lost nearly $1.3bn over the past 48 hours. This is not entirely surprising, as the value of BCH was heavily inflated all week long. Things are now returning to normal, with a trading volume that is drying up pretty quickly. It will be interesting to see which coin will be next to attempt and rival Ethereum in terms of market cap.

It is evident this is a major milestone for cryptocurrency as a whole. While a total valuation of $200bn may seem like a lot, it is still a drop in the bucket when looking at traditional companies and instruments. Until cryptocurrency can reach $1tn, very few people will pay attention to developments like these. The growth through 2017 has been pretty spectacular, to say the very least. Going from under $20bn on January 1, 2017, all the way to $201bn on November 5, 2017, is incredibly remarkable.

As is always the case, the bigger question is whether or not this momentum can be sustained for the long run. While some people predict the Bitcoin price will keep on rising, it is doubtful there won’t be a correction whatsoever. Especially the Bitcoin price will see a retrace of some sorts, although it remains to be seen how things will play out. When this correction happens, altcoins will pick up the slack again, though.




alfwesh22

A Kenyan Miner Has Described Cryptocurrency as A “Wealth Distribution System”


Kenyan Miner Describes Cryptocurrency As

Mr. Mutai describes cryptocurrency as a global economic equalizer capable of circumventing the barriers that prevent ordinary citizens from accessing financial markets. The 28-year-old states that now, thanks to cryptocurrency, “big players can’t deny anyone from participating in the financial system.”

Mr. Mutai has relinquished a significant portion of his home to his cryptocurrency mining hardware, including an armada of fans required to cool his rig. However, just one year ago, Eugene had not even heard of bitcoin or cryptocurrency.

The Young Kenyan Has Risen From Poverty to Enter Kenya’s Middle Class


Kenyan Miner Describes Cryptocurrency As

Mr. Mutai was highly interested in technology, and after borrowing a friend’s Nokia Symbian S40 – a non-smartphone that was able to download apps – taught himself the basics of HTML and CSS coding during the time he could find away from agricultural labor.

At the time, Mr. Mutai was living in his mother’s home village, barely making enough money to survive. He and his mother had moved from the city during Eugene’s last year of high school, after his mother had lost her job and his twin brother had passed away. Determined to improve his quality of life, Eugene made the decision to move to Nairobi to live with his uncle who owned a desktop computer and wi-fi connection.

Mr. Mutai spent several months relentlessly researching how to code, so much so that his uncle took the computer away from Eugene out of concern for his wellbeing at one stage. Using his newly acquired skills, Mr. Mutai was able to land a job as a programmer, before becoming a consultant for local technology incubator iHub, and the Nairobi County government.

Mr. Mutai now works for Andela, a company that trains developers and engineers throughout Africa. Despite Eugene’s inspirational story of having climbed from poverty to enter Kenya’s middle class, without having a formal education above high school, Mr. Mutai now has his eyes set on using cryptocurrencies as a vehicle for further wealth augmentation.

Eugene Mutai Both Mines and Invests in Cryptocurrencies


Kenyan
        Miner Describes Cryptocurrency As

Mr. Mutai runs six 1080 TI graphics cards. He wants to increase his mining operation by plugging in two additional GPUs, however, he will need to upgrade the power supply to his house in order to facilitate such. Eugene states that he is predominantly mining Zcash and LBRY credits presently. His monthly power bill is approximately $200 USD, far higher than that of the average Nairobi dwelling.

Mr. Mutai has also started making investments into initial coin offerings [ICOs]. Eugene describes the experience as making him “feel like a small VC [venture capitalist].” The young investor states that he “do[es] a lot of research”, however, recognizes that ICOs can comprise highly risky investments. “They say no-risk, no-return, and I’m willing to take the risk,” says Mr. Mutai.




alfwesh22

If bitcoin can be converted into fiat currencies at a lower transaction cost than the fiat-to-fiat conversions made by banks and credit card companies, it's a superior means of exchange.
One of the most common comments I hear from bitcoin skeptics goes something like this: Bitcoin isn't real money until I can buy a cup of coffee with it.
In other words, bitcoin fails the first of the two core tests of "money": that it is a means of exchange and a store of value. If we can't buy a cup of coffee with bitcoin, it obviously doesn't qualify as a means of exchange.
The confusion here is the same one that plagues the conventional understanding of the foreign exchange markets: people confuse exchange and convertibility, which are both flows, i.e. transactions.

Here's an illustration of the difference.

Let's say Hipster Coffee Bar accepts payment in bitcoin (BTC) for a cup of coffee. In the U.S., the coffee bar accepts the BTC as payment, which is then converted into the local currency, the U.S. dollar, to pay rent, employees' wages and so on.
The Hipster Coffee Bar branch in Mexico converts the BTC into pesos, the branch in Thailand converts the BTC into baht, and so on around the world.
Another coffee shop, Most Excellent Coffee, doesn't accept bitcoin in exchange for a cup of coffee. So when I enter Most Excellent Coffee, I convert a sum of BTC into U.S. dollars if I'm in the US, to pesos if I'm in Mexico or into baht if I'm in Thailand, and proceed to buy the cup of coffee.

You see the point: what matters isn't whether the coffee shop accepts #bitcoin directly; what matters is whether bitcoin is easily convertible to the local fiat currency. 

Put another way: convertibility rests on the recognition that the "money" is a reliable store of value that can be converted into a variety of other currencies.
As long as the cost of converting one form of "money" into another form of "money" is fast and low-cost (i.e. nearly frictionless), then it no longer matters whether the "money" in question can be used directly in an exchange or not.

Consider a credit card. 

Part of the service offered by the issuer isn't just a line of credit to fund purchases; it's convertibility from one's domestic currency into whatever currency is used in the place where you're making the purchase.
This convertibility is certainly fast in the credit card realm, but it's not frictionless; rather, it's costly, as a hefty fee is skimmed for every transaction paid in one currency and converted to the cardholder's domestic currency.
If bitcoin can be converted into fiat currencies at a lower transaction cost than the fiat-to-fiat conversions made by banks and credit card companies, it's a superior means of exchange.
In other words, it doesn't matter what currency the coffee shop accepts; what matters is the friction involved in converting the currency you hold with the one the shop accepts.

If bitcoin can be converted into U.S. dollars at a lower transaction cost that the USD can be converted into (say) Swiss francs, it's superior to fiat currencies as a means of exchange.

*  *  *




alfwesh22

Bitcoin is unstoppable these days, passing one “technical” test after another, crossing the $5000-mark, the $6000-mark, and the $7000-mark in a matter of weeks. The “people’s currency” has gained 27.33% in seven days, as market volume increased.
What’s behind the digital currency’s breathtaking run?
Certainly, it isn’t the lifting of regulations which halted trade of digital currency in China, as some expected (back in September, China banned Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and shut Bitcoin exchanges, sending the digital currency’s price tumbling from $5000 to close to $3000).
Instead, there have been a number of positive developments that helped build investor confidence and hype in the “people’s” currency. One of them was the stepping up of government regulations in US and Japan to protect the cryptocurrency markets from possible manipulation, while limiting the supply of new coin offerings.

Coin/Investment TrustChange 7d*
Bitcoin (BTC)27.33%
Ethereum (ETH)1.79
Litecoin (LTC)1.80
Bitcoin Investment Trust Shares (GBTC)29.37

*As of Saturday, November 4, 2017, at 10.30 am
Another development was the change in Wall Street’s attitudes towards Bitcoin, with hedge funds cozying up to the digital currency; and CME introducing Bitcoin futures.
Then there was the renewed investor interest in technology in Wall Street, following a string of strong earnings reports from Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Apple, sending NASDAQ to new highs, and re-igniting hype for technology investments.

Company1-month price change
Amazon15.14%
Apple12.39
Google8.69
Facebook6.23
PowerShares QQQ4.96






alfwesh22

Banks and other financial institutions have opposed cryptocurrency for quite some time now. Major entities including Goldman Sachs have remained wary of Bitcoin, even though that situation is slowly changing. In fact, the CEO of Goldman Sachs recently acknowledged there is no reason to dismiss Bitcoin whatsoever. This sudden change of heart comes at an interesting time, to say the very least.

A CHANGE OF HEART FOR GOLDMAN SACHS


Truth be told,Goldman Sachs has been far less aggressive when it comes to opposing Bitcoin compared to some other institutions. It never closed customer bank accounts for buying or selling cryptocurrency, nor has its CEO attempted to discredit Bitcoin as a tulip mania. Other banks, especially in the US, have some conflicting opinions in this regard, but that is only to be expected. It is difficult to keep an open mind when it comes to a new form of money that may make banks completely obsolete in the future.
Moreover, Goldman Sachs has been one of the more interesting banks when it comes to cryptocurrency and digital assets these days. More specifically, Goldman Sachs analysts have actually been advising clients on the Bitcoin price over the past few months. This advice has been well-received by the cryptocurrency community, as well as from institutional investors alike. In a way, this has been an interesting development, as it shows the institution isn’t dismissing Bitcoin whatsoever.
In fact, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfeinconfirmed as much earlier this week. More specifically, he stated that Bitcoin cannot be dismissed by the bank or anybody else, for that matter. While it is true the initial years have been pretty difficult for Bitcoin, no one can deny the world’s leading cryptocurrency is rapidly carving out its own legacy. In particular, the recent Bitcoin price spike has attracted a lot of attention from all industries.

Moreover, Blankfein touched upon how fiat currencies work. He explained that despite the widespread use of paper money, most people aren’t aware that fiat currency is an empty promise by a bank or government to honor the value printed on the paper itself. Whether or not those promises will ever be upheld when push comes to shove remains to be determined. So far, the system seems to work just fine, even though we have seen multiple cracks in the facade as well.
Truth be told, there is no reason for people to remain skeptical about Bitcoin. In fact, the concept of paper money hasn’t been universally received all that well either, which isn’t entirely surprising. A new form of money backed by consensus rather than centralized entities is something else entirely. Whether or not Bitcoin can succeed in this regard remains to be determined. The Goldman Sachs CEO isn’t skeptical whatsoever, even though that doesn’t mean he is a fan of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies by any means.
It is evident something is changing in the world of traditional finance. Bitcoin has been dismissed as a fad for far too long, and the time has now come to finally address the elephant in the room. Bitcoin will not go away overnight, no matter how much some people may want it to. Goldman Sachs is the first major bank to officially acknowledge Bitcoin isn’t going away. Whether or not others will follow suit remains to be seen.





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In positive news for Bitcoin users, the Iranian government plans to implement a new infrastructure for Bitcoin users in Iran.

   Tensions between Iran and the US



Bitcoin is known to start with countries in the west and as the tension rise between Iran and the US, the former is strategizing to incorporate Bitcoin into its system. Iran and the US currently have a problem in their relationship as Donald Trump called the deal with Iran as “the worst deal ever.”

The Islamic republic is still suffering from international sanctions that affect several of its economic sectors, including finance, energy and the shipping industry. International sanctions have also hindered Iranian citizens’ ability to use online payment platforms like PayPal, Venmo and Braintree.


With the sanction, the Iranian government has come up with a way to go around and that is through the implementation of Bitcoin as the main form of online payment. One of the advantages of Bitcoin is the fact that it is a decentralized currency which cannot be controlled by a central identity like a corporation or government; thus countries are not able to sanction payments.
With Bitcoin, Iranian citizen could easily bypass economic sanctions and be able to conduct international trades.


Bitcoin Infrastructure for Iran


The acknowledgment of Bitcoin to Iran’s economy is a huge milestone for cryptocurrencies. This means that the government can now open their doors for advancement in terms of payment and currency.
According to reports, the Iranian government has already researched Bitcoin and its possible benefits for its economy.
Amir Hossein Davaee, Iran’s Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology. shares:


“The ministry of communications and information technology has already conducted a number of research studies as part of efforts to prepare the infrastructure to use Bitcoin inside the country.”



Moreover, Davaee added that Bitcoin activities include money creation, so the Central Bank of Iran needs to set the ground rules and supervise related activities, otherwise, this would disrupt the economic cycle. Iran is now on the edge of creating a proper infrastructure not only for Bitcoin but also for other cryptocurrencies.


Once this project is finished, they will be properly integrated and regulated. After the economy of Iran greatly suffered from sanctions, experts believe that Bitcoin and other digital currencies will greatly help Iran’s economy to get back on track.






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Bitcoin, Like Anything New, is Confusing at First

Four years into its popular adoption, even a well-regarded economist like Paul Krugman thought little of the Internet’s potential, predicting, “The growth of the Internet will slow drastically,” he wrote, “most people have nothing to say to each other! By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet’s impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine’s.”

It’s fair to look back and acknowledge not everyone fully appreciates a technology at the time of its inception or early years.New To Bitcoin? Welcome! Here’s How To Take Those First Steps

The same is true for Bitcoin, or will be.

Mainstream accounts of Bitcoin range from terrifying criminal portrayals to a speculative mania rarely seen. While
some of that is for sure going-on, the vast majority of Bitcoiners are people interested in a reliable payment
system and a money that holds its value (or better).

Leave the hype behind, both good and bad, and instead consider the basics of Bitcoin as a network and bitcoin
as a money.

Install a Wallet on Your Phone or Computer

Think of it like electronic mail, email. You don’t really understand how it works either, but you’ve used it in some fairly serious communications. Same might said of social media: you have an appreciation of its power because you’ve experienced it. To really get bitcoin, you have to use it, experience it in some practical way. The first thing to do is download a wallet, a piece of software to install on your smartphone or home computer. Continuing with the email analogy, you’re setting up your email address, but for money.



I am biased, of course, and believe ZuPago wallet is the easiest to use, but there are many available options. For beginners, ours is ideal. download the ZuPago Wallet App from the google play store following this link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zupagope




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Bitcoin Cash Decline

is been almost six days since the Bitcoin fork.Bitcoin Cash rate varies widely on different exchanges. Currently, its average figure is $220. The price moved down, after the popular Bitfinex and Bittrex digital currency exchanges opened up BCH deposits and withdrawals.


This past week, we saw a solid ride in Bitcoin cash price towards $800 vs the US Dollar before it started declining. The price faced a lot of selling pressure and declined below the $400 level to trade towards $250. The price traded as low as $240 recently where it found support and started an upside move. The price is currently recovering, but upsides remain capped by the $340-360 levels.


During the recent upside, there was a break above a bearish trend line at $260 recently on the hourly chart of BCH/USD. It has opened the doors for more gains and the price is now above the $280 level. An initial resistance is near the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $560 high to $241 low. Above $320, the 100 hourly simple moving average is waiting to act as a hurdle near $340.




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Deposits And Withdrawals Enabled.

Bitcoin exchange Bitfinex has started allowing bitcoin deposit and withdrawals, this the announced on friday. However,customer were upset when the learned that the exchange instead of using the typical 1:1 ratio their accounts were credited with approximately 0.85 BCH per bitcoin.



The announcement came the day after the exchange started BCH margin trading and had recently completed crediting its customers with approximately 0.85 BCH per bitcoin held at the time of the fork.



Customers Shortchanged

Bitfinex explained that its distribution methodology took into account margin positions Bitcoin Cash Deposits Withdrawals Credits 15% Lesswhich led to a deficit in BCH to pay customers with. Specifically, “margin longs in BTC/USD and margin shorts in XXX/BTC” did not receive BCH and “margin shorts in BTC/USD and margin longs in XXX/BTC” did not pay BCH. Meanwhile, customers holding bitcoin and bitcoin lenders at the time of the fork received BCH. Bitfinex declared.




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            37 Blocks Mined So Far.

The Bitcoin Cash Blockchain keep waxing along as miners have processed a total of 37 blocks over the course of the past 12 hours, that is to say that the Bitcoin Cash blockchain is still alive and mining newly minted BCH tokens has become a whole lot easier.




BCH Markets Down 40% Over the Last 24-Hours

Bitcoin cash market are dipping in value pretty significantly.and roughly half of Bitcoin Cash markets are being traded in fiat with the other half captured by BTC trades.



So far there are not that many exchanges taking BCH deposits, and many wallets still haven’t provided a splitting tool for users. This has made the currency’s $6B market thinner than most cryptocurrency trading markets, which can be seen with the tokens volatile price swings.


Bitcoin cash is averaging around $385-430 depending on the exchange used, and has $325M worth of daily trade volume. Meanwhile, BTC markets have been up about 2-3% on August 3 reaching a high of $2745 across global exchanges.




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