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alfwesh22

One of the reasons that Bitcoin is capturing the hearts and minds of individuals is the stories of instant millionaires who have made their fortune from being an early adopter. People who were mining the coin or accumulating it by the hundred, and were smart enough to hold onto it today are experiencing unprecedented profit.

With the monumental price gain, however, people are starting to wonder where the ceiling is, and if it is not fast approaching. To this end, there is a section of the population who are wondering: ‘is it too late to get into Bitcoin?’
However, this is not a new question, it is a question that was asked when Bitcoin was at $10, $100, $1,000 all the way up to over $17,000 where it sits today.

There is, of course, no doubting that those who were really early to the party are the biggest profiteers, and for envy’s sake, it is worth looking at what has been achieved in just seven years.

What would $100 of Bitcoin be worth today?
Had you put $100 into Bitcoin starting back in 2010, and going through the years, you would have made massive profits along the way.

July 28, 2010: $100 back in 2010 - baring in mind this is a full two years after Satoshi Nakamoto put out his whitepaper on Bitcoin - would net you at today’s value a whopping $28,341,266. One Bitcoin back then was worth just $0.06

Dec. 12, 2011: Within 18 months, there would have been plenty time to get involved in Bitcoin, but by this time the price was up over 3,000 percent, and people were already asking, ‘is it too late?’. Bitcoin was worth $3.19 and $100 back then would net you over half a million dollars ($533,065)

Dec. 10, 2012: A year later, and Bitcoin was still climbing high, now breaking into the teens sitting at $13.54, a gain of 300 percent. $100 would have turned to $125. Still remarkably impressive in terms of gains, but slowing somewhat from 18 months earlier - Does that mean its rise is coming to an end perhaps?

Dec. 16, 2013: Hindsight is, of course, a fantastic thing as the next year the price of Bitcoin was up to $638 and thus doubling as an investment. So, $100 worth back then would be pocket change right? Well, it would be worth $2,665 today.

Dec. 8, 2014: Bitcoin was starting to be heard in whispers around the dinner table about now, but people also heard that there were black markets, hacks, and other nefarious uses, yet $100 worth back then would be worth $4,859 today.

Dec. 12, 2016: Through the harder years from 2014 and the slowed growth, Bitcoin would not have been that attractive, but really, it would have been a perfect time to buy. The explosion was just about to happen. Bitcoin was trading for $780. Had you put $100 into it, that investment would have increased by more than 2,000 percent to $2,180.

June 12, 2017: Six months ago, no one thought Bitcoin could go much higher than the $2,500 it stood at. But of course, it was about to take off again.

Dec. 5, 2017: This week alone has seen some crazy movement. Had you bought $100 worth of Bitcoin just a few days ago, you could sell it today for $145.

Dec. 10, 2017: – If you had bought at the low on Sunday’s slump (when prices fell to $13,160), that $100 would be worth $129.

What the future holds
No one knows what will come next, but it could be safe to say that pretty much anyone who bought Bitcoin more than a week ago is profiting already.

They may still be classified as early investors, or they may not, and although they may not experience gains of 3,000 percent, the feeling is Bitcoin has a long way to grow.

Ronnie Moas, a famed stock picker has put forward an argument that Bitcoin is highly undervalued even at today’s prices. Moas said:
“We currently have $200 tln in the world tied up in cash, stocks, bonds and gold alone and all four of those, in my opinion, are overvalued. If 1/2 of one percent of that 200 tln dollars ends up in Bitcoin, you are looking at a one tln dollar valuation that would be above where Apple Computers, the most valuable company in the World, is today.”




alfwesh22

The government of South Korea is preparing a bill which attempts to prohibit all transactions involving cryptocurrencies including bitcoin unless they take place through exchanges that meet six conditions.

The Proposed Bill

The South Korean government is preparing a bill to amend the Act on Regulation of Similar Reception to include provisions for cryptocurrency transactions. “The purpose of this Act is to protect good traders and to establish a sound financial order by regulating Similar Receiving Behaviors,” states Article 1 of the law.

According to Money Today:
The government defines virtual currency transactions such as bitcoins as Similar Receiving Behaviors and prohibits them altogether.
The definition of digital currency transactions includes “storing, managing, acquiring, exchanging, trading, arranging, arbitrating and issuing virtual currency,” which is “all of the current exchanges’ business areas,” the publication elaborated.
In an email to Reuters, South Korea’s largest bitcoin exchange Bithumb commented, “A right set of regulations will rather nurture the (virtual currency) market, and we would welcome that,” indicating that it could provide legitimacy to the market.


Six Conditions Must All Be Met
In recognizing that cryptocurrency transactions are already taking place in high volume, the regulators have made provisions to allow crypto exchanges to operate legally. Six conditions have been named that must all be met and “a Presidential Decree will provide additional conditions,” Money Todayreported.

Firstly, customers’ funds must be kept separately. Secondly, exchanges must also provide users with thorough explanations of investment risks. Thirdly, they must confirm users’ real names. In addition, they must establish an adequate anti-money laundering system and must also have an asset protection system such as dispersion of cryptographic keys. Lastly, they must increase transparency by disclosing transaction details to the public.


Increased Penalties
The regulators plan to include the phrase “no one should engage in similar currency transactions” in the amendment, the news outlet explained, noting that the bill will also regulate the issue of cryptocurrencies used to raise funds, to procure other cryptocurrencies, to give credit, to manipulate prices and to use with multi-level and door-to-door sales. Meanwhile, initial coin offerings (ICOs) are still banned in South Korea.

Under the current law, the penalty for violating the Similar Receiving Behavior law is “imprisonment for up to 5 years or a fine of up to 50 million won.” The upcoming bill will strengthen the penal clause and introduce “punishment of 10 years imprisonment” or a fine of up to 500 million won. News.Bitcoin.com first reported on the government considering these increased penalties in October.

The bill containing the aforementioned proposals will soon be submitted to the National Assembly. The news outlet added:
Considering the realities of running an exchange, the government is considering a six-month grace period after the law is enacted.
What do you think of this bill and the conditions imposed on bitcoin exchanges? Let us know in the comments section below.




alfwesh22

Chamath Palihapitiya, founder of Social Capital and co-owner of the Golden State Warriors, voiced his opinion on the value and potential growth of Bitcoin in an interview on CNBC on Tuesday.

The business leader, who first invested in Bitcoin in 2012, indicated that he sees the price of Bitcoin rising massively in the next 20 years as adoption continues to grow.

His analysis echoes other commentators and investors who have seen the potential for Bitcoin’s price to reach levels close to $1 mln. Palihapitiya explains his prediction as based on the evaluation of Bitcoin as a store of value comparable to gold. He said:
“This thing has the potential to be comparable to the value of gold…This is a fantastic hedge and store of value against autocratic regimes and banking infrastructure that we know is corrosive to how the world needs to work properly…I think this thing is a $100,000 a coin in the next 3-4 years, and in the next 20 years will be $1 mln.”
Bitcoin as a hedge against banks
The main argument, according to Palihapitiya, is that Bitcoin presents a hedge against potentially massive problems being caused by the current banking infrastructure.

Should the banking structure fail, Bitcoin is “fundamentally disconnected” from the current platform. His final advice? Put at least one percent of what you invest into Bitcoin -- it “may actually save us all”




alfwesh22

The recent skyrocketing Bitcoin price has brought about a fresh wave of interest and adoption. People are hearing about the fantastical gains that can be made from investing in Bitcoin, leading some of them to make brash decisions.

There have been some cases of individuals even putting their houses up for mortgage in order to acquire capital to buy into Bitcoin. It speaks of the frenzy that has developed recently.

The frenzy of people getting into the market should be viewed with caution however as the old adage is still: ‘Don’t put more into Bitcoin than you are willing to lose’.

Worrying trend
There have been instances of not only mortgages being taken out to buy Bitcoin, but also people using credit to buy the potentially explosive and volatile asset.

Joseph Borg, president of the North American Securities Administrators Association, a voluntary organization devoted to investor protection, and director of the Alabama Securities Commission, has seen some worrying trends developing in Bitcoin investors.
"We 've seen mortgages being taken out to buy Bitcoin. … People do credit cards, equity lines. This is not something that a guy who's making $100,000 a year, who 's got a mortgage and two kids in college ought to be invested in.”
Borg’s outlook could be considered a little one-eyed, stating that people should not be investing in Bitcoin if they have other costs, but what his point should be is that like with everything, investing should only be done with money that is disposable.

Double-edged sword
The issue is, there are many stories of Bitcoin breaking the shackles of debt and servitude to banks for its investors. However, it is senseless to use debt to try and get out of debt, especially with such a volatile asset as Bitcoin.

Investing in Bitcoin is not the issue, it is the circumstances in which one finds themselves making that investment.

The use of credit cards, mortgages, or any other lines of debt is dangerous as the future is still uncertain with the digital currency.




alfwesh22

Bitcoin’s ascension into the mainstream financial world has done wonders for its value, but its spiritual home still resides in the minds of IT aficionados.

Walk into any development studio and you are bound to find IT staff musing over Blockchain, Bitcoin and all things cryptocurrency related.

With that in mind, Varna University of Management in Bulgaria will become one of the first tertiary education institutions to offer bursaries in Bitcoin.

In 2018, ten software engineering students will be awarded scholarships in Bitcoin - to the value of €1000 per semester. The University will also give their candidates the option of taking the scholarship in either euros or Bitcoin.

While the lucky candidates will land themselves a share of the valuable virtual currency, the University is also working on plans to accept Bitcoin as a payment method for tuition fees.

Prospective software engineering students can also look forward to new modules in cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology, as the University looks to pioneer the way forward in education of Blockchain technology.

From humble beginnings
The launch of their Bitcoin bursaries is a product of  the budding community of cryptocurrency enthusiasts at the University. Weekly seminars covering the world of cryptocurrencies led to the idea of Bitcoin bursaries and innovative courses on Blockchain technology.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, VUM digital marketing manager Omer Ilyasli said the student body is at the cutting edge of Blockchain development.
“At our School of Computer Science, we have number of students who are working on Blockchain technology. We have quite a community here and we host seminars from time to time. The decision to offer Bitcoin scholarship came after a "Introduction to Blockchain Technology" seminar.”
The launch of the bursary program is just the tip of the iceberg for the ambitious University. Ilyasli insists that the community could become an educational hub for Blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
“We think pioneers in this field will be hugely rewarded, so we want to be pioneers, both individuals, our organization and our country. That is why we also urged Bulgarian government and local authorities in Varna to turn Varna into a hub. We still did not get an answer from the authorities yet.”
With the prospect of a scholarship in the world's most valuable cryptocurrency and courses in Blockchain technology, the University hopes to attract some of the brightest young minds around the world.

The Bulgarian university offers full Bachelors and Masters degrees in business, software and hospitality, as well as an MBA programme.

Hopeful students looking to apply for their inaugural Bitcoin scholarships will have to meet normal entrance requirements, according to Ilyasli.
“The selection process will be done by academic commitee and they will select the students considering their interest in the subject and technology, and extra-curricular activities. But, first of all, all candidates should cover minimum entry requirements, such as high school grades and English-proficiency.”
Considering the Bulgarian government’s recent acquisition of Bitcoin through a criminal syndicate bust, the country could well be looking into developing the niche, but fast-growing industry.




alfwesh22

What a year it's been for Bitcoin.

The cryptocurrency has continued to soar from lows of $778 in January 2017 to record highs of more than $17,000 on Dec. 12.

As we move forward into 2018, there are a number of Bitcoin developments worth monitoring, not all of them having to do with just its price.

Perry Woodin, CEO of Node40, a blockchain governance and cryptocurrency tax compliance company based in New York, believes 2018 will be the year of mass public awareness for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general. "It is going to be the year when every friend and relative will want to know how much you have and how to purchase it. The topic of Bitcoin is going to be the ultimate water-cooler conversation," says Woodin.

Here are some top expert's predictions for what will happen with Bitcoin in the coming year. 

1. Taxation will be a huge issue.
it is important to be aware of the tax issues and how to report gains accurately to the Internal Revenue Service. Next year, we will see more on what Bitcoin millionaires (and billionaires) will have to report their gains due to the IRS clamping down. 

2. The number of cryptocurrency adopters will rise. 
No doubt there will be a rise in the number of people using cryptocurrencies. Yonatan Sela, SVP business development of PROPS by YouNow, which uses blockchain to build a media ecosystem, estimates that by the end of 2018, we'll see over 50 million people worldwide holding at least one cryptocurrency. "My hope is that Bitcoin will continue to maintain value as a form of digital gold, and the promise of digital cash will be fulfilled by Dash," says Sela, referring to a popular crypto-currency.

3. Bitcoin develops into a payment network.
Trevor Koverko, CEO of Polymath which specializes in cryptocurrency technology believes we are going to see Bitcoin emerge as a full-fledged payment network. "Currently Bitcoin is being used as a speculative asset and store of value. But as scaling solutions like the Lightning Network emerge, Bitcoin's utility dramatically increase along with its price. The real question is, will it be the bitcoin 'main chain' that has the courage to adopt these upgrades, or will it be another chain like Bitcoin Cash?" says Koverko.

4. Investors will diversify their crypto assets.
Most investors will become aware that besides Bitcoin, there is Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash and IOTA. Mark Lurie, CEO of Biddable says that for investors, there is going to be a strong move toward diversifying crypto-assets and managing investments the same way that investors look at more traditional assets and investing.

5. Interest from institutional investors will increase.
Mike Poutre, CEO of The Crypto Company, believes that 2018 will be the year that institutional investors enter the cryptocurrency industry.

"Less volatility in Bitcoin will allow continued expansion in alternative cryptocurrencies. We will also see the rise of securities tokens in response to increased regulation. Conservatively, I predict the entire industry will reach a market cap of $5 trillion by the end" of 2018," says Lurie.

"There will be a lot more institutional capital that will all go to the highest quality projects. That's what happened during the financial crisis with venture capital and growth equity rounds, too. Most companies could not raise any funds, but those that could...did it at really high valuations. Even though it was in the middle of the financial crisis, there was a capital flight to quality," adds Lurie.

6. Expect to see more regulation.
As Bitcoin booms, regulation will first come to ICOs before moving on to cryptocurrencies directly. However, it is difficult to now predict if regulation will have a positive or negative impact on the industry.

Dmitry Zhulin, co-founder of INS Ecosystem says, "Bitcoin is expected to further [rise] to approximately $30,000-$40,000 in 2018 based on its convenience and further adoption as a means of payment and capital preservation. Despite an increase in regulation in the crypto space, I believe that blockchain as a technology will not be hindered by heavy regulation."

It looks like 2018 could be another action-packed year for Bitcoin and crypto currencies.




alfwesh22

It's tough to maintain a healthy national economy when most banks on the planet won't accept your business.

That's the dilemma facing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, as mounting economic sanctions cut his country out of the world economy. To stave off the looming financial crisis, Kim has turned to what may be the nation's best hope: Bitcoin.

The popular cryptocurrency is attractive because of its decentralized nature. Rather than relying on banks or individual governments, bitcoin (and other cryptocurrency) is built on a distributed network of users controlling verified transactions. It's "internet money," essentially, uncontrollable by any single actor.

There's no comprehensive accounting of just how much Bitcoin North Korea holds, but its recent exploits have shown a consistent interest in the cryptocurrency. There's even some evidence that North Korea has started mining their own Bitcoin. 

When you're the leader of a heavily sanctioned country, then, loading up on decentralized currency is particularly attractive. It gives you some liquidity without having to rely on banks that either can't do business with you, legally, or that may be in a position to freeze your assets at a later date, should additional sanctions come into play.

And so, North Korea has spent the last few years building up an investment in bitcoin.
What if North Korea invented bitcoin? Kim as Satoshi? ?
— taavet hinrikus (@taavet) December 2, 2017
Back in April, news emerged that the country had stolen a hefty pile of of the cryptocurrency between 2013 and 2015.

At the time, the 73 bitcoins were valued at roughly $88,000; in today's market, with the value of bitcoin soaring, that same amount is worth more than $1.26 million.

"Cyber-criminals have turned to bitcoin for money as it is very difficult to track them down," Choi Sang-myong, of the South Korean cybersecurity firm Hauri, said at the time. "North Korea [has] jumped on the bandwagon of bitcoin extortion since around 2012." 

North Korea has also turned to more indirect forms of theft as it seeks to amass a bitcoin war chest. In July 2016, the country's hackers absconded with the data of more than 10 million users from Interpark, an online auction and shopping site. That data was then held for ransom, with North Korea demanding $2.7 million in bitcoin. 
"Cyber-criminals have turned to bitcoin for money as it is very difficult to track them down. "
Interpark said at the time that it was cooperating with police, and no payoff was made. But it's useful again to look at the relative value here: In July 2016, the price of a single bitcoin hovered at around $650; $2.7 million worth at the time would have equated to more than 4,000 bitcoins. That same number of bitcoins now would be worth more than $71.8 million.

More recently, North Korean hackers are believed to have turned to ransomware, which is essentially a computer virus that demands payment in exchange for restored access to your data. Remember, too: Access to the internet is strictly limited in North Korea. It is exceedingly unlikely that something as data-intensive as cryptocurrency could happen without the influence of Kim's government.
Kim Dot Un will bring the Internet, Bitcoin and Peace to North Korea ?? pic.twitter.com/j0MF3n9DjM
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) December 3, 2017
Earlier this year, the WannaCry ransomware made headlines around the globe, hitting multiple countries and services. The perpetrators demanded large bitcoin payments. It is widely believed that Lazarus, the group behind the attack, counts North Korean hackers among its members, and that WannaCry originated there.

Several months after the May 2017 attacks, three bitcoin wallets known to contain ransom paid to the WannaCry hackers were emptied. The total came to roughly 52 bitcoins, an amount that is currently worth just under $900,000.
This speaks to another important point: There is protection inherent in the anonymity of bitcoin ownership.

While it's possible to track how bitcoin is moving around, there's no reliable way to suss out the identity of who owns it.
In the case of the WannaCry ransom, three wallets emptied into multiple other wallets, which then emptied into other wallets. Eventually, the increasingly scattered ransom payments found their way to ShapeShift, a cryptocurrency exchange. It's a form of high-tech money laundering, providing a degree of protection that capitalizes on the decentralized nature of a currency like bitcoin.

While North Korea has denied any wrongdoing, the country has shown an interest in cryptocurrency. In November, the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology — a prestigious school for North Korea's ruling elite — hosted a lecture by Professor Federico Tenga, an expert in the field.

"He explained in detail the fundamentals of Blockchain Technology and then spoke of its most notable application -Bitcoin, " the university's website reads. "Many excellent technical questions were asked about the inner working of Bitcoin, its risks, and the measures taken to ensure security. "




alfwesh22

Following an undercover bust of an underground crime network, Bulgaria has seized enough Bitcoin to settle a fifth of its national debt.

According to ZeroH edge, the Bulgarian crime enforcement agency and the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center caught 23 Bulgarian criminals and confiscated a total of 213,519 Bitcoins - roughly valued at $3.5 bln.

The syndicate had hacked Bulgarian customs computers, effectively allowing them to import goods without paying the prescribed duties. With the help of a few corrupt officials the group installed viruses on customs computers in order to allow remote access.

SELC said the group included five Bulgarian customs officials, while others had ties to former  Yugoslavian states.
“The organized criminal group consisted of Bulgarian nationals with connections in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Romania, and Serbia” said SELC.

The most intriguing part of this story is the incredible value of Bitcoin and what the Bulgarian government plans to do with it. SELC confirmed that when they seized the wallets, Bitcoin was valued at $2354. It’s now well past the $16k.
“As well, found in the Bitcoin wallets of the main suspects was a total of 213,519 Bitcoins. As reference, the value of one Bitcoin is over $2354. The offenders choose Bitcoin’s way of investing/saving the money because it’s rather difficult to be tracked and followed.”
According to National Debt Clock, Bulgaria’s national debt is in the region of $16 bln - so they could take a big bite out of that if they use their new Bitcoin fortune.




alfwesh22

Controversial cryptocurrency market personality Craig Wright has projected that 2018 will be a very good year for the virtual currency Bitcoin Cash (BCH). This comment was made after he failed to prove that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the famously anonymous creator of Bitcoin.

In his recent Twitter post, Wright predicted that the upcoming year will be very good for Bitcoin Cash, which forked from the Bitcoin platform in mid-2017. He claimed that the major changes on the Bitcoin Cash platform will reap dividends for the cryptocurrency in 2018.
2018 is the year we bring Bitcoin to its full potential. BCH will have more security and no more issues with limits on what it can achieve.

Op_Codes enabled
Block not constrained

Time to bring it to the world
— Dr Craig S Wright (@ProfFaustus) December 10, 2017
Tougher competition ahead: Bitcoin vs. Bitcoin Cash
Despite the continued dominance of the original cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash has really tested the strength of Bitcoin's support base. Both platforms offer something that the other does not have, so the issue is not which is better but rather which has the majority of support.

The main feature that distinguishes Bitcoin Cash from Bitcoin is increased block (to a default of 8mb at the moment), resulting in increased transaction speed. However, the security of Bitcoin Cash as compared to Bitcoin is still being questioned, given that fewer miners are working on the network -- this means lower hashrates, making the network less resistant to attack.

According to Wright, the dominance of Bitcoin over the other cryptocurrencies, particularly Bitcoin Cash, will shift considerably in the next year or so.

Wright’s confidence in the altcoin appears to be based on the major changes scheduled to be implemented on the Bitcoin Cash platform, including the introduction of a non-constrained block .With these developments, it will be interesting to see whether Bitcoin Cash will be able to compete against the number one digital currency competitively.




alfwesh22

Investors are dumping gold in favor of Bitcoin, according to analysts in a recent interview on CNBC. One of them, Phillip Streible of RJO Futures stated boldly that “Bitcoin has stolen a large market share of gold.”

To explain how they are tracking this shift, Larry McDonald of The Bear Traps Report, stated that generally when bond rates go down, gold goes up. However, in recent weeks, the yields onbonds have decreased, and gold has simultaneously dropped by two percent - an event that is quite rare.

Analysts think the change is the result of increasing investments in Bitcoin, among other cryptocurrencies. According to McDonald:
"Over the last two years, every time rates have come down, and this week rates have moved lower, you had gold go up. Almost every time, there has been an 82 percent correlation between gold and bonds. This week, for the first time, that correlation broke down, and I do think it has something to do with Bitcoin.”
While the price of gold has been traditionally stable, the recent declines show the investment pool has begun moving intocryptocurrencies. In fact, according to McDonald, the total market cap of all cryptocurrencies as a fraction of liquid tradeable gold is already up two or three percent from last year, stating “cryptocurrencies are definitely eating into the gold play.”




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