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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

Bitcoin Trading Sideways as Bitcoin Cash Drops to $800 - CoinDesk - CoinDesk


CoinDesk

Bitcoin Trading Sideways as Bitcoin Cash Drops to $800 - CoinDesk
CoinDesk
Following the all-time highs set over the last week, bitcoin has been trading sideways for the last 48 hours, and prices are fluctuating in the $4,050 to $4,200 ...
'Bitcoin cash' surges as investors bet on its faster processing speedsCNBC

all 4 news articles »

Posted on 20 August 2017 | 5:56 am

Bitcoin Trades Sideways as Bitcoin Cash Price Drops to $800

Following recent highs for both assets, bitcoin has been trading sideways for the last 48 hours, while bitcoin cash has settled around $800.

Posted on 20 August 2017 | 5:47 am

The New Pachinko? Exploring the Economics of Initial Coin Offerings

Why token sales are like the Japanese game of pachinko, and what that means for the future of the novel fundraising method.

Posted on 20 August 2017 | 5:00 am

Indonesian Workers Using Bitcoin for Liquid Wage Transfers - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

Indonesian Workers Using Bitcoin for Liquid Wage Transfers
CoinTelegraph
Stability is generally an asset principle (like gold for example) but limits liquidity. Bitcoin unites these two principles into a single asset/currency that is both stable and liquid. As Bitcoin use cases proliferate, and liquidity increases, the safe ...

Posted on 19 August 2017 | 10:22 pm

The Most Important Tip For Bitcoin And Powerball Jackpot Millionaires - Forbes


Forbes

The Most Important Tip For Bitcoin And Powerball Jackpot Millionaires
Forbes
Of all the tips Bitcoin, Powerball, and other quick millionaires can get from experts, one stands out: don't treat lucky money differently than hard earned money, because you run the risk of losing part or all of it. The tip comes from behavioral ...

Posted on 19 August 2017 | 6:37 pm

'Bitcoin cash' soars to record high above $900 as 'mining' profits jump - CNBC


CNBC

'Bitcoin cash' soars to record high above $900 as 'mining' profits jump
CNBC
The bitcoin cash offshoot, bitcoin cash, jumped to a record high near $1,000 Saturday in high trade volume, primarily from South Korea. After bitcoin cash this week showed its potential for significantly increasing transaction speeds, digital currency ...
BTC.com Launches Recovery Tool to Get Your 'Trapped' Bitcoin CashCoinTelegraph
Bitcoin Cash Price Nears $1000 as Breakout ContinuesCoinDesk
Bitcoin Cash Hashrate Represents Nearly 10% of the Bitcoin NetworknewsBTC
The Merkle -CryptoCoinsNews -City A.M. -Coin Market Cap
all 33 news articles »

Posted on 19 August 2017 | 9:23 am

A Bitcoin Social Media Storm Hit BitPay This Week: Here's Why

Everyone’s Mad at BitPay. Here’s Why.

The Bitcoin community is not taking kindly to BitPay this week. Influential developers are accusing the major payment processor of fraud, Bitcoin users on social media are calling for boycots, bitcoin.org is removing recommendations of the company’s products, and NBitcoin developer Nicolas Dorier has launched an initiative to fork some of BitPay’s projects altogether.

Here’s why.

Bitcore

The controversial issue has to do with Bitcore.

Bitcore is a type of Bitcoin node developed by BitPay. It is specifically designed to offer a development platform, on top of which it is easy to build all kinds of Bitcoin applications. Anyone can use this open-source tool; some of the better-known applications that utilize it include video-streaming service Streamium, Trezor’s web interface and BitPay’s own Copay wallet.

Within the next a couple of days, most likely on August 23, the long-awaited Bitcoin protocol upgrade Segregated Witness (SegWit) will activate. Seemingly in response to this upgrade, BitPay published a blog post titled What Bitcore Users Need to Know to Be Ready for SegWit Activation

But not everyone is happy with the contents of this blog post…

The “Major Risk” That Is (or Isn’t) SegWit

The first problem is not the most important problem, but it is worth mentioning, regardless. It concerns the topic of the blog post itself: Segregated Witness.

In the blog post, BitPay states:

Nodes which fail to upgrade to support SegWit will face major security risks, including the risk of double-spend transaction fraud.

This appears to be a bit of an exaggeration.

Segregated Witness is specifically designed to be backwards compatible. Regular nodes that do not upgrade remain part of the Bitcoin network. And importantly, since SegWit was activated by a unanimous hash-power majority, all miners should be enforcing the new rules. As such, transactions that are invalid according the new rules should never be accepted in any Bitcoin blocks at all. Even non-upgraded nodes should never see these invalid transactions confirm.

It is true that — like every other soft fork before SegWit — there are some increased risks for non-upgraded nodes. And in an additional blog post, BitPay does provide more details and nuance regarding the situation.

But the somewhat alarmist tone of the first blog post seems a bit unnecessary. Therefore, to many it appears to have had the specific goal of pushing users toward a software upgrade for very different reasons.

Which brings us to the next point…

The “Upgrade” That Is (or Isn’t) Bitcoin

While BitPay’s alarmist tone seemed like an unnecessary means, it’s the end that really ticked so many people off.

As per the “New York Agreement,” a significant group of Bitcoin companies, mining pools and individuals plans to adopt an incompatible set of protocol rules by November. Dubbed “SegWit2x,” and implemented in the BTC1 software developed by former Bitcoin Core contributor Jeff Garzik, this project would “hard fork” an increase of Bitcoin’s block weight limit, allowing for blocks of up to eight megabytes. (Whether this should technically be called a hard fork or an altcoin is debatable, but never mind that for now.)

The problem is that, while a significant group of Bitcoin companies — including, indeed, BitPay — signed on to the New York Agreement, this agreement currently does not have industry-wide consensus. Most notably, Bitcoin’s development community has almost unanimously rejected the proposal. There is also a long list of companies that never signed onto the initiative in the first place; in fact, some of them are actively opposed to it. And more informal metrics, like social media sentiment, opinion polls and network node count generally also show limited support for SegWit2x.

As such, it is likely that SegWit2x would split off to create a new blockchain and currency, not unlike what Bitcoin Cash (Bcash) did. Unlike Bcash, however, SegWit2x currently has no intention of picking a new name, nor does it plan to implement safety precautions like replay protection. (Replay protection would prevent the “same” coin from accidentally being spent on both chains.) For all intents and purposes, the companies behind SegWit2x appear to be set to claim this coin is the “real” Bitcoin, while the coin that follows the current Bitcoin protocol won’t be.

This approach is controversial. Many Bitcoin users that do not support the hard fork may prefer to keep using Bitcoin as is, without worrying about added (replay) risks or other inconveniences caused by SegWit2x. And if two different coins claim the name “Bitcoin,” it could lead to much confusion, for obvious reasons.

Regardless, in BitPay’s blog post, which speaks of an “upgrade” for Bitcore users in preparation for SegWit, the payment processor actually directs readers to download the BTC1 software; that is, the software that embeds the SegWit2x protocol, rather than the current Bitcoin protocol. It therefore appeared that the company was really trying to get Bitcore users to switch to a whole new coin, which BitPay will consider “Bitcoin.” And the payment processor initially did so without so much as warning Bitcore users that following these instructions would make them incompatible with the current Bitcoin protocol by November.

Herein lies the concern: BitPay must have known that this advice is controversial. Failing to mention the risks or consequences made the blog post seem deceptive.

The Hash Power That Supports (or Doesn’t Support) SegWit2x

Finally, after BitPay faced initial blowback for its blog post for reasons described, it included an addendum. In it, the payment processor writes:

[O]ur instructions follow this version of Bitcoin because over 95% of Bitcoin miners have adopted Segwit2x.

While this addendum provides a little bit more clarity, it is once again a bit of a questionable statement.

Perhaps most importantly: If BTC1 indeed hard forks in November, BitPay right now has no way of knowing how much hash power will really be mining on the SegWit2x chain.

While it is true that mining pools currently representing a supermajority of hash power signed on to the New York Agreement, mining pools usually don’t have full control over the hash power that is pointed toward their pools. Much of this hash power actually belongs to individual miners (“hashers”), who could switch to a new pool with the click of a few buttons. (For example, when another mining pool, Ghash.io, reached over 50 percent of total hash power on the network a couple of years ago, hashers were also urged to move to different pools.)

Furthermore, even if a specific mining pool does control its hash power, nothing in the New York Agreement says these pools should mine on the SegWit2x chain exclusively. Since miners typically dedicate their hash power to maximize profit, it is very possible that this hash power will be attributed to different chains according to the value of the coins on these chains. (This is what usually happens between altcoins. Similarly, just over the past couple of weeks, some signatories to the New York Agreement have already begun directing some hash power to the Bcash chain.)

In its addendum, BitPay appears to be ignoring these dynamics. Once again, this has an air of deceptiveness.

In BitPay’s Defense…

All that said, it should be noted that the risks are still limited, even if users follow BitPay’s instructions.

This is because BitPay is not (currently) suggesting that users run BTC1 software to send and receive transactions. Rather, BitPay is advising users to connect their Bitcore nodes to a BTC1 node as a “border node.” This means that the BTC1 node will essentially act as a network filter to reject all transactions invalid under the new SegWit rules.

Until the hard fork in November, using BTC1 as a border node shouldn’t do any harm whatsoever. BTC1 is compatible with the Bitcoin network until that point in time, and indeed enforces the new SegWit rules.

If no further action is taken, the BTC1 border node would switch to the SegWit2x blockchain by November. But even then, the current Bitcore nodes that are used to send and receive transactions will not make that switch. As such, BTC1 nodes would only let SegWit2x transactions through, which would then, in turn, be rejected by Bitcore nodes. This incompatibility between the two nodes actually means that no blocks would come through at all.

As such, no one would send or accept (confirmed) payments in a different coin than they mean to. In a worst case scenario, the whole setup essentially shuts down.

While the blog post appears deceptive in some ways, BitPay’s advice shouldn't, in itself, cause a of loss funds.

Shortly before publication of this article, BitPay CEO Stephen Pair said in statement to Bitcoin Magazine:

This was unfortunately not the way I had intended this conversation to begin. I will have more to say on this topic in the near future, and feel I owe it to the community to say something. Unfortunately, it may take a little while for that communication to happen as I have other matters demanding my attention at the moment.

The post A Bitcoin Social Media Storm Hit BitPay This Week: Here's Why appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 19 August 2017 | 9:13 am

Bitcoin Cash Price Nears $1,000 as Breakout Continues

The value of an alternative version of the bitcoin blockchain is soaring at press time, setting a new all-time high near $1,000.

Posted on 19 August 2017 | 8:40 am

10 Reasons Why Central Banks Will Miss the Cryptocurrency Renaissance

A former central banker outlines 10 reasons why he believes his former employer (and other banks like it) will fail to adapt to cryptocurrency.

Posted on 19 August 2017 | 3:45 am

Bitcoin Prices Retreat Toward $4,100 While Bitcoin Cash Soars

Following a week of thrilling price gains, bitcoin prices have now dropped back towards $4,100. The new bitcoin cash, however, is at a record high.

Posted on 19 August 2017 | 3:21 am

Making Sense of Cryptoeconomics

Josh Stark argues that "cryptoeconomics" is widely misunderstood, despite being a concept crucial to understanding the blockchain industry.

Posted on 19 August 2017 | 2:40 am

The High-Tech Flesh Palace Where Strippers Dance for Bitcoins - Daily Beast


Daily Beast

The High-Tech Flesh Palace Where Strippers Dance for Bitcoins
Daily Beast
Welcome to the exciting new world of Bitcoin. Untraceable and irreversible, this cryptocurrency offers consumers a hassle-free way to make purchases sans digital footprint. Take away the cash and the high-interest credit cards et voila, spending turns ...

Posted on 18 August 2017 | 11:30 pm

Bitcoin is more valuable than gold — but nowhere near as stable - Business Insider


Business Insider

Bitcoin is more valuable than gold — but nowhere near as stable
Business Insider
Some investors consider bitcoin a safe haven that's comparable to gold. Like gold, the digital currency isn't tied to one country or central bank. When a particular country experiences a political or economic crisis, its national currency can often ...

and more »

Posted on 18 August 2017 | 4:35 pm

Teenage bitcoin millionaire is back with a better Botangle ... - TechCrunch


TechCrunch

Teenage bitcoin millionaire is back with a better Botangle ...
TechCrunch
Erik Finman gained notoriety and a certain fame as a 14-year-old entrepreneur and bitcoin investor who'd managed to turn a $1000 investment in the..
Bitcoin Teenage Millionaire Works with NASA to 'Democratize Space'CoinTelegraph

all 3 news articles »

Posted on 18 August 2017 | 1:13 pm

SEC Statements Spur ShapeShift to Review Cryptocurrency Listings

Cryptocurrency exchange service is reviewing its listings in light of recent statements on initial coin offerings (ICOs) from the SEC.

Posted on 18 August 2017 | 12:45 pm

HiddenWallet and Samourai Wallet Join Forces to Make Bitcoin Private With ZeroLink

HiddenWallet and Samourai Wallet Join Forces to Make Bitcoin Private With ZeroLink

Ádám “nopara73” Ficsór, HiddenWallet developer and TumbleBit contributor, and “TDevD,” the pseudonymous Samourai wallet developer, are joining forces on a new privacy project: ZeroLink. ZeroLink is set to realize a trustless mixing scheme first proposed by Bitcoin Core contributor Gregory Maxwell years ago — but one that hasn’t been realized thus far.

According Ficsór, the ZeroLink framework, which utilizes a scheme known as “Chaumian CoinJoin,” is actually more straightforward than many of the alternatives that have been proposed.

“Back in 2013, there was this sort of obsession with decentralization. ‘Everything that can be decentralized will be decentralized’ was the slogan,” the developer recalls. “By now we realize that decentralization is actually not always that useful. As long as a mixer cannot steal funds or link transactions, that’s enough.”

CoinJoin

Each Bitcoin transaction essentially sends bitcoins from one or several Bitcoin addresses (really: “inputs”) to one or several Bitcoin addresses (really: “outputs”). That’s how bitcoins “move” over the blockchain.

The problem, from a privacy perspective, is that the blockchain is completely public, which means that anyone can see which addresses are paying which addresses. If these addresses can be linked to real-world identities, it can reveal a lot about who transacted with whom, and perhaps for what.

CoinJoin, the well-known coin-mixing scheme first proposed by Maxwell in 2013, is a potential solution to this problem. A CoinJoin transaction is basically a combination of several transactions merged into one big transaction. In other words, it includes inputs from several different users, and the bitcoins move to outputs controlled by several different users. As such, it’s not clear which bitcoins moved where. All users effectively paid all users.

While that’s great, the next problem is that whomever or whatever combines the different transactions into one CoinJoin transaction can be a central point of failure from a privacy perspective. That person (or that server, or whatever it is) still knows which bitcoins moved where. So if that individual is either corrupt or corruptible, the problem isn’t really solved.

“For CoinJoin to live up to its promise, even the entity that creates the transaction must not learn which addresses are paying which addresses,” Ficsór noted.

ZeroLink

ZeroLink provides a privacy framework for wallets that can be used for different mixing schemes. And it defines its own mixing technique as well: an implementation of CoinJoin referred to as “Chaumian CoinJoin.”

With Chaumian CoinJoin, users both send and receive equal amounts of bitcoin from a CoinJoin transaction, so everyone receives each other's coins. This obfuscates the trails for all of these coins.

In practice, ZeroLink users will require two types of wallets: a pre-mix wallet and a post-mix wallet. As the names suggest, the first type holds coins that are to be mixed, while the latter is where the mixed coins end up.

Users then connect their pre-mix wallets to the ZeroLink tumbler and provide an input (“from” address) and an output (“to” address), which they both control. But importantly, the outputs are disguised (“blinded”) using a mathematical trick. So while the tumbler knows where all bitcoins are sent from, it does not yet know where bitcoins are sent to.

At the heart of the trick, the tumbler then cryptographically signs all blinded outputs, using a type of cryptographic signature introduced by David Chaum: a “blind signature.” This allows data to be cryptographically signed even if it is disguised. And importantly, these signatures can be checked against the original, unblinded data as well to see if the blinded data and the unblinded data match.

Next, all users connect to the tumbler again, but this time through some type of anonymity network, like Tor. They will then provide the tumbler with the unblinded versions of the outputs. Using the cryptographic signatures it just created, the tumbler can check that all revealed outputs match all blinded outputs. If they do match, the tumbler knows that all the outputs it received are legitimate, and thus were provided by the same users that also provided the inputs to send funds.

The tumbler then adds the revealed outputs to the CoinJoin transaction. And it sends this transaction back to all users, for these users to sign with their Bitcoin private keys. Doing so validates the transaction. (The users should of course double check that the amounts and their outputs check out, to be sure they receive as much as they send.)

Finally, the tumbler broadcasts the CoinJoin transaction to be included in a Bitcoin block. As a result, all users end up with different bitcoins than they started with: all bitcoins were mixed, and the blockchain trails broken.

While all this is actually relatively straightforward compared to some alternative schemes, and to a large extent already suggested by Maxwell back in 2013, the process has never been realized. This is probably because it was long thought to be too vulnerable to attacks, Ficsór thinks.

“When Maxwell first published the proposal, Bitcoin transaction fees were practically non-existent. Because of this, it would be relatively easy and cheap to launch denial of service attacks against a CoinJoin mixing system. An attacker can just keep providing valid inputs, but refuse to sign when he should. That invalidates the whole transaction, and wastes everyone’s time.”

Interestingly, this attack vector is now to some extent resolved simply because it would be too expensive to keep it going. In order to maintain the attack in a way that it’s not easily countered, an attacker must provide new inputs for each round, meaning he must be able to keep moving bitcoins to new addresses to do so. “Assuming $1 transaction fees, that could cost up to $1,000 a day,” Ficsór pointed out. “In this particular context, high fees are a blessing in disguise.”

Development

Ficsór is currently about to help wrap up the development of another highly anticipated privacy tool, TumbleBit, for Stratis’s Breeze Wallet. This is expected to take another three months.

After that, he plans to focus on realizing ZeroLink, while TDevD may even start working on the framework sooner. Concretely, three new codebases need to be developed: the pre-mix wallet, the tumbler and the post-mix wallet.

“The tumbler needs to be developed from scratch. But it should be relatively easy to add the pre-mix wallets to any existing open source wallet. The same is true for the post-mix wallet implementations, though for privacy reasons not all wallets are a good fit,” Ficsór said.

His own HiddenWallet as well as Samourai Wallet are “fully committed” to implementing and deploying ZeroLink into production, Ficsór said, while Breeze Wallet may be interested as well.

Optimistically, an initial implementation of ZeroLink could be live before the end of this year.

For more information on ZeroLink, see Ficsór's blog post on the project (which also includes a donation address) or ZeroLink’s specification.

The post HiddenWallet and Samourai Wallet Join Forces to Make Bitcoin Private With ZeroLink appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 18 August 2017 | 11:23 am

Corporate Analyst Fisco Tests Issuance of Bitcoin Bond in Japan

A financial data provider and bitcoin exchange operator in Japan is testing a digital bond denominated in the cryptocurrency.

Posted on 18 August 2017 | 10:29 am

Each Bitcoin Could Be Worth $619047 In 10 Years - Forbes


Forbes

Each Bitcoin Could Be Worth $619047 In 10 Years
Forbes
Consumers are shopping more on the internet and Bitcoin is competing with other currencies in this space. Given its massive popularity and availability across all continents, internet entrepreneurs are launching more products focused specifically on ...
Bitcoin Weekly Price Analysis - CoinTelegraphCoinTelegraph
A Bitcoin Social Media Storm Hit BitPay This Week: Here's WhyBitcoin Magazine
Bitcoin to Form a Third Currency. When Does it End?Investopedia

all 11 news articles »

Posted on 18 August 2017 | 9:26 am

Overseas Expansion: Japan's BitFlyer to Sell Bitcoin in US Market

Japanese bitcoin exchange bitFlyer is heading to the U.S., and already has approval to operate in 34 countries.

Posted on 18 August 2017 | 8:03 am

Bitcoin Cash Is Now More Profitable to Mine Than Bitcoin

A sudden increase in the price of bitcoin cash is changing the economic dynamic between it and the original bitcoin.

Posted on 18 August 2017 | 8:01 am

$26 Million: Blockchain VR Project Decentraland Raises New Funding in ICO

A virtual reality project built using blockchain technology has raised $26 million in ether via an initial coin offering.

Posted on 18 August 2017 | 7:00 am

Investor Albert Wenger to Fund 'XPRIZE' for Blockchain-Powered Blogs

Union Square Ventures partner Albert Wenger has said he will fund a prize aimed to incentivize the creation of blockchain-powered blogging platform.

Posted on 18 August 2017 | 6:00 am

Why One Startup's Plan To Use Satellites To Beam Bitcoin Data Around The World Might Anger China - Forbes


Forbes

Why One Startup's Plan To Use Satellites To Beam Bitcoin Data Around The World Might Anger China
Forbes
The U.S. startup Blockstream has been a mystery to many in the Bitcoin space since its inception in 2014. Among its founders is Adam Beck, inventor of hashcash, which pioneered the concept of proof-of-work that is key to the Bitcoin consensus algorithm.

Posted on 18 August 2017 | 5:37 am

D+H Files for Multiple Patents on Private Blockchain Tech

Canada-based fintech vendor D+H Corporation has filed several patent applications relating to the creation and use of private distributed ledgers.

Posted on 18 August 2017 | 5:15 am

Couldn't Claim Your Bitcoin Cash? BTC.Com Now Has a Tool for That

In an effort to grow the pool of potential bitcoin cash users, BTC.com is launching a recovery tool for users who couldn't easily claim their funds.

Posted on 18 August 2017 | 4:00 am

Database Giant Oracle Wants Better Governance for Blockchains

Multinational software provider Oracle is working on a way to bring "fair" governance to permissioned blockchains, according to a patent application.

Posted on 18 August 2017 | 3:00 am

What's Next for Bitcoin Cash? Making Profitless Mining Profitable

Miners are currently mining bitcoin cash at a loss. CoinDesk looks at the reasons why, and what might happen if the tables turn.

Posted on 18 August 2017 | 2:00 am

Bitcoin Cash Breaks Price Doldrums to Push Past $400

Bitcoin Cash's price rose above the $400 mark today, breaking the rangebound market trend of the past several days.

Posted on 17 August 2017 | 2:25 pm

Bitcoin Bear Peter Schiff Doubles Down: Even at $4,000 It's Still a 'Bubble'

One of bitcoin's most notorious bears still isn't convinced bitcoin will work – even despite its record price run.

Posted on 17 August 2017 | 1:00 pm

Presearch Uses Ethereum Blockchain and AI to Challenge Google on Its Own Turf

Presearch Uses Ethereum Blockchain and AI to Challenge Google on Its Own Turf

Presearch, a software development startup specializing in information search engines, is challenging Google on its own turf with a double-barreled approach, using both blockchain technology and AI.

Presearch’s search engine, already in use internally since 2013, is launching in beta this September. Blockchain technology and AI will be supplemented with curation by subject matter experts.

Founder and project lead Colin Pape, who previously launched the e-commerce site ShopCity.com, said:

“While Google is generally thought of as a neutral entity for search, the company answers to Wall Street and operates very secretively.

“They’ve become known for promoting themselves at the expense of alternatives and appropriating others’ information, blaming it on ‘the algorithm.’ The reality is that they manipulate results and justify changes as being best for the user.”

Pape wants to provide a community-driven, decentralized, open and transparent alternative to Google, in contrast to what he calls the “manipulated algorithm-driven methods standard among today’s industry giants.”

Pape told Bitcoin Magazine:

“Presearch will use a combination of human curation by subject matter experts who are rewarded with tokens, and machine learning technology and APIs from other search providers (particularly for long-tail searches).”

Pape told us they will be using the Ethereum Blockchain ERC20 standard to start but may build their own blockchain technology at some point down the road.

Openness, Accountability and Community Participation

The company’s white paper emphasizes that never in the history of the world has so much information been concentrated in so few hands. It also points out that Google makes $100 billion in annual revenue from search engine searches.

Presearch estimates that 77 percent of global desktop searches and 96 percent of mobile searches, more than 5 billion queries per day, go to Google.

The white paper states that Google has built up an unprecedented degree of trust with users with “their simple interfaces, lightning-fast response times and utter reliability, combined with what appear to be amazingly accurate results.”

A Search Engine Wikipedia

Presearch believes that a decentralized, community-based decision-making process ensures everyone’s interests are considered. By rewarding members for using, promoting and contributing to the Presearch platform, the company wants to create a scalable “Wikipedia for search” to allow members to curate the best content for each inquiry.

The Presearch community can also vote on and fund new development projects, continually upgrading the platform.

Pape added: “With Presearch, I wanted to flip that business model on its head and put power over information back into the hands of all internet users.”

Search is the gateway to the web. The world deserves an alternative search engine that is open, transparent, and that involves the community in product development, consensus and quality control.

Funding

Presearch’s curation and overall development of the platform is incentivized with the Presearch Token (PST).

Presearch has run three separate crowd sales for $1 million, $1.5 million and $3 million in token revenue. There are three more sales to go that are targeted to generate more than $30 million in total revenue.

The startup is headquartered in Midland, north of Toronto, Canada. A “distributed” team is located in Silicon Valley, Boulder, Colorado and the Atlanta area, and the company is planning to expand internationally.

Advisors to Presearch include internet innovator, Rich Skrenta, who sold his search engine Blekko to IBM Watson; open-source search innovator Trey Grainger, SVP of Engineering at Lucidworks; and technology lawyer Addison Cameron-Huff, whose experience includes working with Ethereum’s founding team.

Bitcoin Magazine contacted Google for comment but has not yet received a response.

The post Presearch Uses Ethereum Blockchain and AI to Challenge Google on Its Own Turf appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 17 August 2017 | 11:44 am

Bank of Canada Report: Imagining a “Bitcoin Standard” Financial System

Bank of Canada Bitcoin Standard

In a 37-page long research paper, Warren E. Weber, research consultant at Bank of Canada who is also a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina, speculated about a financial system where bitcoin would be the standard currency (referred as the “Bitcoin standard”) instead of fiat currencies.

In the study, Weber explored the similarity between the Bitcoin standard and the gold standard. The research consultant chose to compare bitcoin to gold since the two have many similarities. The two most prominent resemblances include the lack of control of central banks or monetary authorities and the limit in the supply: Bitcoin’s algorithm only allows the circulation of 21 million BTC while gold can be found in finite quantities on the planet. If the Bitcoin standard becomes real, there will be three distinct media of exchanges, just as there was under the gold standard. Bitcoin will serve as the main currency while there will be fiduciary currencies issued by countries’ central banks, and fiduciary currencies (banknotes or deposits) issued by commercial banks.

Issuing fiduciary currencies will be one of the very few abilities central banks can do as part of a monetary policy where banks will act as lenders of last resort. Bitcoin’s “virtually costless arbitrage” on an international scope will deprive the central banks of their ability to impose interest rate policies to affect their domestic economies, Weber detailed.

Should Bitcoin serve as the standard medium of exchange, there would be a moderate increase in deflation; however, according to Weber, once a certain level is reached, the rate of deflation will be minimal. Price levels will become highly or perfectly correlated under Bitcoin’s dominance in various countries, just as they did for those countries that adopted the gold standard. Despite the fact that the cryptocurrency would become the standard, Weber believes that economic crises could still happen since “they can occur under any fractional reserve financial system.”

According to Weber, the Bitcoin standard will benefit the economy in two ways. Due to the “known, deterministic rate” at which new BTC is created, people would be able to predict the price level of the cryptocurrency more easily. The second benefit would be that investment resources which are currently devoted to hedging against fluctuations in the currency exchange rates would free up and could be used in “more productive ways.”

On the other hand, Weber thinks that the Bitcoin standard will never come into existence since there will be heavy opposition by central banks and governments. If the Bitcoin standard becomes real, neither the governments nor the central banks will be able to implement interest rates to affect their economies, neither could they generate seigniorage revenues obtained from their ability to “almost costlessly create money,” the Bank of Canada research consultant explained. Since the governments don’t want to lose these powers, they will do anything to prevent Bitcoin from becoming the standard medium of exchange.

Weber is also skeptical about the longevity of the Bitcoin standard. According to him, the financial system is advancing so rapidly that there would likely be another (crypto)currency that can provide the same or greater benefits as Bitcoin, possibly at lower costs. Furthermore, if a financial crisis occurs, an opposition is likely to emerge that would seek to replace the “old” financial system, rather like the way that Bitcoin is challenging today’s status quo.

The post Bank of Canada Report: Imagining a “Bitcoin Standard” Financial System appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 8:51 am

Blockstack Partners with VCs to Launch $25 Million Blockstack Signature Fund

blockstack.jpg

New York-based decentralized internet and developer platform Blockstack has partnered with a number of venture capital groups to launch the $25 million Blockstack Signature fund.

The Blockstack Signature fund is backed by Lux, OpenOcean, VersionOne, RisingTide, and Compound, and funding will go toward apps being built in the Blockstack ecosystem.

Patrick Stanley, growth partner at Blockstack, explained to Bitcoin Magazine that “Blockstack is not launching the VC fund but facilitating.” That is, the company’s role in the fund has been to gather the venture capital groups, attract the developers and facilitate the partnerships that will result in quality app development on the Blockstack platform.

According to Blockstack, the VC fund will dedicated to “rapidly accelerating startups building decentralized applications on the platform, and tools for developers to bootstrap their apps, with tokens on the Blockstack network — just like you see with Ethereum.”

Muneeb Ali, co-founder at Blockstack, told Bitcoin Magazine: “We are at a stage where some of the developers are incredibly excited about building apps and usually get in touch with us. If developers get in touch with us with an app that they are excited about, this is one funding channel we can point them to.”

Ali added: “The VCs involved in the fund will take a look at that application and make a independent decision to fund that company or now. Our intention here is to bring together sophisticated investors, people who have been thinking a lot about decentralization and can do their due diligence.”

VC investing is a type of private equity, a form of financing that is provided by firms or funds to small, early-stage, emerging firms that are deemed to have high-growth potential, or which have demonstrated high growth in terms of number of employees, annual revenue or both.

Ali explains: “If you look at this space in general we feel that there are a lot of low quality apps which are raising an insane amount of capital from token sales, for example. We want to bring some quality and sanity to the picture. We feel that VCs can still have a seat at the table … we want to open up that channel as well.”

Blockstack was formerly known as Onename and passed through its young company status in the summer of 2014 as a startup looking to streamline bitcoin transactions.

Watch the video here.

blockstack video


The post Blockstack Partners with VCs to Launch $25 Million Blockstack Signature Fund appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 6:23 am

Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Expands Legal Industry Working Group

Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Expands Legal Industry Working Group

On August 14, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance announced the addition of more than a dozen organizations to its blockchain collaboration under the umbrella of its Legal Industry Working Group, responsible for creating enterprise-grade applications on the Ethereum blockchain. The new members include law schools, legal departments of universities, academic institutions and leading global law firms.

According to the EEA, the swift expansion of the Legal Industry Working Group is due to the fact that an increased number of legal professionals are showing interest in blockchain technology. The Ethereum blockchain consortium believes this working group will serve as a base for the success of “various efforts taking place within the organization.”

“We are thrilled to see robust interest in blockchain technology by forward-looking law firms and institutions. Lawyers are poised to serve as the catalysts for blockchain technology, and the Legal Working Group will serve as a neutral space to explore blockchain-based legal technology, develop standards for “smart” legal agreements, support emerging enterprise use cases and tackle important policy issues raised by this new impactful technology,” Aaron Wright, Chair of the EEA Legal Industry Working Group, Associate Clinical Professor and Co-Director of the Cardozo Law School’s Blockchain Project, and co-founder of the smart contract project OpenLaw, said in a statement.

The Legal Industry Working Group isn’t the only part of the blockchain collaboration to be experiencing a rapid growth in new members. On July 18, 2017, the EEA announced that the alliance had onboarded 34 new organizations, bringing the number of the participants to more than 150 members. The newly joined participants included Mastercard, Cisco, the Government of Andhra Pradesh (one of the 29 states of India), Scotiabank and many others.

Formed in late February 2017 by founding members such as Intel and J.P. Morgan, the EEA strives to create, promote and support open standards, best practices and open source reference architectures on the Ethereum blockchain. The consortium serves as the major research and development body of the Ethereum blockchain, helping Ethereum to evolve into an enterprise-grade technology. In terms of development and research, the EEA focuses on multiple areas, including privacy, confidentiality, scalability and security, as well as investigating hybrid architectures and industry-specific, application-layer working groups.

The 14 new members of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance include:

Cooley, Debevoise & Plimpton, Goodwin, Hogan Lovells, Holland & Knight, Jones Day, Latham & Watkins, Morrison & Foerster, Perkins Coie, Shearman & Sterling, Cardozo Law School, Duke Center on Law & Technology, and the Department of Legal Studies and Business Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

In addition, existing members of the consortium will be joining the EEA Legal Industry Working Group, including BNY Mellon, ConsenSys, ING and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The post Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Expands Legal Industry Working Group appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 15 August 2017 | 12:45 pm

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August 20, 2017 -
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