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n nn nn Make sure to close the door behind you, Mathis Schultz, the CEO of Northern Bitcoin, said to me in a near shout. As we entered the backside of the shipping container, partitioned for the ASIC miners exhaust, Schultz wanted to make sure the heat emitted wouldnt mingle with the temperature-controlled front end of the shipping container.The door opened, my senses, already ringing from the blaring of the ASICs mechanized grind, were ignited. Like stepping fromContinue Reading
The post Bitcoin Fees Explained – How to Calculate and Solve Pending Transactions appeared first on 99 Bitcoins.
This guide will explain the basics of fees from how they are calculated to what you can do in case you didn’t pay a big enough fee. Post summary Bitcoin transaction fees (sometimes referred to as mining fees) allow users to prioritize their transaction (sometimes referred to as tx) over others and get included faster […]Continue Reading
A research unit from crypto exchange BitMEX has analyzed recently leaked data on mining giant Bitmain, concluding its management must improve to reach its full potential.
A research unit for crypto exchange BitMEX analyzed recent data on Bitmain which was leaked to Twitter earlier this week. According to the report published on BitMEX blog Thursday, August 30, the Chinese mining giant has “legendary” potential, but future success will depend on skilled management.
According to the research, one of the most interesting discoveries in leaked pre-Initial Public Offering (IPO) documents is that Bitmain’s mining farm business has significantly declined. While mining activities consisted of 18.4 percent of Bitmain’s total revenue in 2016, BitMEX states that, in the first quarter of 2018, the percentage of Bitmain’s revenue from mining was 3.3 percent.
BitMEX notes that Bitmain is highly likely facing visible losses, which may be due to allegedly investing the majority of its operating cash in 2017 in acquiring Bitcoin Cash (BCH). The report estimates potential mark to market losses of $328 million.
BitMEX stressed that, despite rumours surrounding the company’s IPO, Bitmain “is likely to be the largest and most profitable company in the blockchain space, which is likely to make the company attractive to many investors”.
As BitMEX has learned from the leaked data, Bitmain has just conducted a pre-IPO round that allegedly raised approximately $14 billion, leading them to believe that it could raise no less than $20 billion at the IPO stage.
Bitmain still remains one of the largest players on the mining equipment market, the experts continue. It is considered by BitMEX to be the dominant company in ASIC design and mining machine distribution, and also owns BTC.com & Antpool — two of the largest mining pools.
In conclusion, BitMEX expresses cautious optimism on Bitmain’s future prospects:
“Bitmain can be a legendary crypto company, generating strong shareholder returns for decades to come, but in order to achieve this (and it’s a lot harder than it sounds) the Bitmain management team may need to improve their management of company resources. Once the company goes public, capital allocation decisions in this volatile and unpredictable market will be difficult enough, letting emotions impact too many investment decisions may not be tolerated.”
Cointelegraph earlier reported that there had been a lot of rumour,conjecture, and uncertain information around Bitmain’s upcoming IPO. Though DST Global and Japan’s SoftBank were initially listed among possible investors, they have since denied their involvement.Continue Reading
The Venezuelan government is cracking down on remittance payments with a new banking mandate, one that could put the country’s Bitcoin users on an even tighter leash.
In a letter “addressed to all banking institutions,” the government has ordered all domestic banks to disclose the IP addresses, financial details, transaction amounts and locations of all citizens who access their banking services from outside the country.
Per the measure, Venezuelans are expected to “notify [their] banking institution of [travel] instances prior to [departing], explicitly indicating their destination place(s)” and how long they’ll be out of country, the letter reads.
If a citizen fails to comply with the above stipulations, banks may “enact a special condition that restricts the ability of the client to make online transactions,” effectively locking them out of their bank accounts if they are caught accessing services outside of the county. The bank is then required to “report the policy holder’s name; identification of the resource/asset; date and place of provenance; date of imposed restriction and the IP address from which access was attempted” to the National Entity of Financial Intelligence.
“Lack of compliance with the above stated,” the letter concludes, “will result in the imposing of sanctions in accordance with the terms outlined by the legislative decree.”
An Attempt to Monopolize Money Transfers
The measure, self-described as a means to “preserve the interests of the users and of the general public,” is the government’s attempt to strongarm the community of Venezuelans who migrate to neighboring countries, such as Argentina, to send money home. Their own country’s economy ravaged by hyperinflation, these expats seek work abroad in hopes of earning a living wage to support themselves and their loved ones.
It’s these citizens funneling money back into the country that the government wants to police with its new order.
“A lot of people are sending money to their relatives in Venezuela and they want a cut of that,” Venezuelan Eduardo Gómez, head of support at Purse.io, told Bitcoin Magazine. This strategy, he continued to explain, is much like the Cuban government’s own monopoly over cross-border transaction clearing.
“If you look at what Cuba is doing … the biggest revenue source for Cuba is remittances; it’s all the Cubans living in Florida, in Miami, sending money home to their families. If you want to send money to Cuba, you have to go through the government to sell dollars for Cuban pesos.”
Venezuelan officials are reaching for the same control. In sanctioning state-approved trading houses, which as Gómez suggests are in the government’s back pocket, politicians are hoping to reroute all remittances through these institutions to take a cut of payments. The bank order is the means by which the government intends to coerce citizens to use these services.
And their IP addresses are the leverage. As the order indicates, if a client is caught accessing online banking services abroad, or she fails to report the required information to her bank, then that client could lose banking privileges.
Gómez told us that the government has already come down on citizens using middleman services who offer cheaper money transfer services in neighboring countries, citing his siblings’ use of such services in Uruguay.
This new measure will look to sweep up those they’ve missed, including users of well-known OTC Bitcoin exchange LocalBitcoins.
With Remittances in Sight, Bitcoin Users Caught in Crossfire
“Bitcoin is a threat to [the government] because people are using LocalBitcoins to trade money around,” Gómez said.
While Gómez admitted that there’s less volume on Latin America’s LocalBitcoins hubs compared to international exchange volumes, he did say that “volume is increasing,” as it has become a popular remittance option to circumvent government-sanctioned trading houses.
Expats will even use the service as an alternative to foreign currency transfer intermediaries. Many Venezuelans living and working in Argentina, for example, will convert their Argentinian pesos into bitcoin. Using LocalBitcoins, they’ll search for a Venezuelan trader who uses the same bank as them, something that can be tricky depending on rates, bitcoin-to-bolivar liquidity and transaction size. Once a user finds the right match, they’ll give the buyer their bank account number — or, in some situations, that of a relative — and settle the transaction.
Under the government’s new requirements, Venezuelans who deposit directly into their own bank accounts could be in trouble, Gómez said, as they could have their banking services shuttered on account of illegal use — with similar consequences for those buyers transferring the funds. If the measure takes its desired effect, Gómez believes that it could have damaging ramifications on Bitcoin’s use and LocalBitcoins’s presence among Venezuelans.
“What this means for Bitcoin in the short term is that it could take some liquidity from LocalBitcoins because I have heard some rumors that a lot of Latin American traders for LocalBitcoins are Venezuelans living abroad. A lot of these guys left the country years ago, so what may happen is that a lot of those traders won’t be able to log into their bank accounts.”
Theoretically, this is easy to overcome. Instead of transferring funds into your own account, for instance, you could have them sent to a relative, instead. Gómez forecasts this as a likely outcome — one that, if it causes an uptick in LocalBitcoins’s popularity, could lead the government to shut down domestic access to the platform entirely.
“In the long term, the government may restrict LocalBitcoins via something like DNS blocking or IP blocking to restrict access to LocalBitcoins in Venezuela. If they see that a lot of people are using LocalBitcoins to circumvent this IP restriction, then they may see it as a threat.”
Still, this action would be a long time coming if it’s ever executed, Gómez predicts, for the same reason why LocalBitcoins is the only cryptocurrency exchange still active in the country: officials use it.
“A lot of people inside the government use LocalBitcoins to sell their bitcoins that they earn via mining because all of the government officials mine,” he said.
Even as the Venezuelan police raid local mining operations, government officials themselves mine with immunity, having bootstrapped their own rigs since the market’s 2017 bull run. Seeing as it’s so popular among officials, Gómez thinks the government will leave the exchange alone — for now, at least.
Bigger Than Bitcoin
In our talk, Gómez indicated that the government’s banking order will no doubt create headaches for Venezuelan Bitcoin users. But by and large, the order is about effecting greater control over all aspects of the economy. Wrangling in Bitcoin users, specifically those sending money across borders, is just one degree of this control.
“Ultimately, the government wants a cut of the pie for remittances,” Gómez said.
LocalBitcoins is certainly cutting into the government’s transaction processing profit, but it’s not only used for money transfers. Gómez also told Bitcoin Magazine that Venezuelans use the service to check the bolivar’s rate against the U.S. dollar, which has become a de facto trading standard for many in-country services.
Venezuelans used to reference DolarToday, a popular service for transparent bolivar-dollar rates. But ever since rumors began to spread that the Venezuelan government covertly purchased the domain to control the rates, “LocalBitcoins is becoming the market reference for the dollar,” Gómez said. Users will refer to the bitcoin-bolivar rate against the bitcoin-dollar rate to arrive at a reliable bolivar-dollar rate.
The government’s economic war, as Gómez indicated, is total — one that looks to tighten the noose around any service or tender that works around officially sanctioned services. Given LocalBitcoins is proving to be a multifaceted tool for those Venezuelans who use it, it’s reasonable to assume that, if its popularity continues to surge, the government may take action.
If it does, this could completely throttle the last access points Venezuelans have to cryptocurrency platforms and services. Gómez said that even though LocalBitcoins is the only operable exchange left in the country, “there’s [still] a lack of liquidity.”
In the event of this closing, Venezuelans will have yet another hurdle to jump when attempting to use crypto; this would neutralize one of the only economic safe havens citizens have left as the bolivar continues to hemorrhage value.
“Venezuelan salaries are so low that there’s not even a way for people to buy crypto. To put things into perspective, the average salary in Venezuela for one month of work is $1. Can you imagine that? Working a full month and only earning $1 at the end of it,” Gómez concluded in our talk.
This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.Continue Reading
Ripple saw a victory Wednesday as a lawsuit against it received a “complex” designation, meaning it will be coordinated with another case.Continue Reading
Following the week’s brief uptick, crypto markets are seeing corrections today, with the top ten coins by market cap losing between 1.5 and 5 percent on the day.
Thursday, August 30: following the week’s brief uptick, crypto markets are today seeing widespread corrections, with the top ten coins by market cap losing between 1.5 and 5 percent on the day. All but 13 minor alts among the top 100 ranked cryptos are in the red, as Coin360 data shows.
Market visualization from Coin360
Having broken through the much-fêted $7,000 threshold earlier this week, the top coin has seen a slump set in as of yesterday, August 29.
Bitcoin’s 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Bitcoin Price Index
On the week, Bitcoin remains up a solid 6 percent, while monthly losses are around 15 percent.
Ethereum (ETH) is trading around $284 at press time, over 3 percent on the day and virtually reversing the gains claimed over the past couple of days. The altcoin is now back within the trading range it held between August 20 and August 27. While Ethereum’s weekly gains remain less than 1 percent, monthly losses are pushing 39 percent.
Ethereum’s 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Ethereum Price Index
Among the top ten coins, Stellar (XLM) is down 2.86 percent at $0.22, Ripple (XRP) has lost 2.96 percent to trade around $0.33, and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is down 3.17 percent at $538.77. Litecoin (LTC) has fared just fractionally better, down 2.41 percent to trade around $60.50.
Having seen growth of over 12 percent yesterday, EOS (EOS) is today down 3 percent and is trading at $6.05 at press time.
IOTA (MIOTA) has taken a hit. Following a week of exceptionally bullish growth in response to news of a partnership with Japanese ICT conglomerate Fujitsu on a new proof-of-concept (PoC) for audit trails, IOTA has lost 4.68 percent on the day and is trading around $0.71.
IOTA’s 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap
Total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is around $225 billion at press time, down $8 billion from yesterday, and over $12 billion from a weekly peak at $233.2 billion.
7-day chart of the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies from CoinMarketCap
While the market falters, regulators globally this week have indicated efforts to bring greater transparency — and potentially with it, more stringent oversight — to the cryptocurrency sector.
Economic and financial affairs ministers from the European Union’s 28 member states will reportedly hold an informal meeting in early September on the challenges posed by digital assets and the possibility of tightening regulations, according to a new Bloomberg report. Polish legislators have also this week introduced a long-awaited new bill to clarify the country’s current crypto taxation policy.
Keeping in mind Charlie Lee’s recent comments that bear markets offer an opportunity for the community to focus on reaching adoption, Yahoo Finance has this week integrated trading with Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC), news that was hailed by Morgan Creek Digital’s Anthony Pompliano as a bullish sign the crypto “virus is spreading.”Continue Reading
After a brief hiatus, the Let’s Talk Bitcoin show is back with an informative episode on the intersection of “Wall Street” financial tools and the Bitcoin space. For those who are unfamiliar with how mainstream financial tools are being applied to cryptocurrencies, this episode serves as an ideal primer to become well-informed on the topic.
The episode features an hour-long interview with Caitlin Long. A 22-year Wall Street veteran who has been active in the Bitcoin space since 2012, Long is the former chairman and president of enterprise smart contract platform Symbiont and founder of the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition.
While discussing the topic of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), the hosts examine the opportunities a person has to “invest” in bitcoin without actually using it, such as hosting nodes or even simply having a public key. Largely uninterested in participating in the decentralized project of Bitcoin, these Johnny-come-latelys mainly want to make a quick buck.
The episode details two main topics: the exact specifics of these financial tools and some of the potential market risks associated with them. The conversation includes opinions on the possible implications of these financial tools and what they could mean for the success of Bitcoin’s vision.
For more episodes of Let’s Talk Bitcoin and other podcasts on cryptocurrency and related topics, subscribe to the Let’s Talk Bitcoin Network.
This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.Continue Reading