Crypto News Updates

Ripple Price Analysis: Recovery Likely Unless XRP Breaks $0.80

  • Ripple price is trading above the key $0.8000 support zone against the US dollar.
  • The price is now struggling to clear $0.9000 and the 55 simple moving average (4-hours).
  • There was a break above a key bearish trend line with resistance near $0.8600 on the 4-hours chart of the XRP/USD pair (data source from Bittrex).
  • The pair could start a major increase unless there is a clear downside break below $0.8000.

Ripple price is trading in a bearish zone below $1.00 against the US Dollar. XRP price could start a decent recovery if it settles above the $0.9000 pivot level.

Ripple Price Analysis

After a failed attempt to settle above $1.0, ripple price started a fresh decline against the US Dollar. The XRP/USD pair broke the $0.92 and $0.90 support levels to move into a bearish zone.

It even settled below the $0.90 level and the 55 simple moving average (4-hours). A low was formed near $0.7922 and the price is now recovering higher. There was a break above the $0.8500 resistance level. Ripple climbed above the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the downward move from the $1.10 swing high to $0.7922 low.

There was also a break above a key bearish trend line with resistance near $0.8600 on the 4-hours chart of the XRP/USD pair. The pair is now struggling to clear $0.9000 and the 55 simple moving average (4-hours).

The next major resistance is near the $0.9460 level. It is near the 50% retracement level of the downward move from the $1.10 swing high to $0.7922 low.

The main hurdle is still near the $1.00 level. A close above $1.00 could pop the price towards the $1.10 resistance zone in the near term. If there is no upside break, the price could correct below $0.850. The main support is near $0.80, below which the bears are likely to aim a larger decline.

Ripple Price

Ripple Price

Looking at the chart, ripple price is clearly facing hurdles near $0.9000 and the 55 simple moving average (4-hours). Overall, the price could start a major increase unless there is a clear downside break below $0.8000.

Technical indicators

4 hours MACD – The MACD for XRP/USD is slowly gaining momentum in the bullish zone.

4 hours RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for XRP/USD is just above the 50 level.

Key Support Levels – $0.85, $0.82 and $0.80.

Key Resistance Levels – $0.90 and $1.00.

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Source: Live Bitcoin News

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FBI Halts Bitcoin Ransomware Attack on Colonial Pipeline

Not long ago, agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) managed to intercept bitcoin funds stolen through a ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline. The move resulted in a heavy blow to BTC, which experienced another massive dip over the weekend.

How the FBI Got in the Way of a BTC Payment

The FBI has now emerged with more details regarding the interception. The federal agency states that they were not able to find any security issues with the bitcoin units themselves. Rather, they were able to stop the transaction in its tracks simply because the hackers were utilizing “sloppy storage.”

At the time of writing, it is unclear how the FBI was able to engage in such a swift move. The agency does not want to divulge its secrets but has informed the public that approximately $2.3 million paid by the Colonial Pipeline has been recovered in the past week. Elvis Chan – assistant special agent with the FBI San Francisco office – explained in a recent interview:

I do not want to give up our tradecraft in case we want to use this again for future endeavors.

It appears the money was destined for a cyber gang known as Dark Side. The organization allegedly made a big mistake in that it used a payment server to collect the ransom, which the FBI assures is relatively easy to follow. Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco explained in a statement:

Following the money remains one of the most basic, yet powerful tools we have.

Jesse Spiro – global head of policy at blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis – also offered commentary regarding the ease of the situation, mentioning:

Because transnational organized criminal groups are facilitating these payments in cryptocurrency, and because of the transparency and traceability that cryptocurrency provides, you can actually more effectively follow the money and potentially mitigate and arrest illicit activity within this ecosystem than you can with traditional finance and fiat currencies and payments.

Poor Storage Tactics to Blame?

With so few details available, however, some were left to speculate regarding how the FBI was able to engage in such a quick retraction of the funds. Nic Carter – founding partner at Castle Ventures – believes that the agency was likely able to infiltrate a server that stored data pertaining to private keys for the crypto wallet holding the money, and that the criminal organization in question simply did not have the appropriate security measures in place:

Bitcoin itself functioned perfectly, but what functioned imperfectly was their system of storing your private keys… If you want to store your coins truly outside of the reach of the state, you can just hold those private keys directly. That is the equivalent of burying a bar of gold in your backyard.

At the time of writing, bitcoin has risen to about $35,000 per unit – roughly $3,000 higher than where it stood mid-week.

The post FBI Halts Bitcoin Ransomware Attack on Colonial Pipeline appeared first on Live Bitcoin News.

Source: Live Bitcoin News

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Elon Musk Faces Protestors Outside Tesla Factory Due to His Influence Over Crypto

A group of protestors calling themselves “Stopelon” gathered outside the Tesla processing factory in northern California earlier in the week to voice their anger at Elon Musk and his continued antics in the world of cryptocurrency.

Elon Musk Faces More Anger

Elon Musk has recently been deemed one of the most disliked figures in the digital currency scene. While at one point, the South African entrepreneur proved himself one of the strongest and most influential figures in the space, it seems as of late that he is using his power to do damage to bitcoin and its competing altcoin cousins, and many investors are not too happy about this.

Not long ago, Elon Musk announced that he was rescinding his decision to accept bitcoin payments for Tesla-based goods and services. The sentiment was that the mining process behind bitcoin was too damaging to Earth’s environment, and Musk was not willing to take a chance. As a result, bitcoin incurred a massive drop that brought it down from the mid-$50,000 range into the high $40,000s.

However, things did not quite end there. Following negative backlash on Twitter, Elon Musk later hinted that he was looking into potentially selling his private crypto stash. This sent bitcoin crashing even more, and at the time of writing, the asset has lost close to $30,000 from its recent all-time high of around $64,000, which was accomplished in mid-April of this year.

Several crypto traders are tired of Elon Musk getting in the way of their digital dreams. Whenever he seems to tweet, bitcoin or Dogecoin – whichever one he is talking about – gets affected, and there are now several individuals that want to see Musk leave the crypto space for good. They also are working to get him kicked off Twitter. Either way, they are not happy regarding the amount of power one man can hold over an entire industry.

In an interview, one protestor outside the factory detailed how the organization is planning to stop Elon in his tracks:

[We have] a plan to take over Tesla over the next few years. Our plan is to purchase as many shares of Tesla as we can through a cryptocurrency movement and to put together a voting trust to allow other people to do that.

Not Everyone Thinks He’s the Bad Guy

The group is also planning to create and distribute a “Stopelon” digital token as a means of further protesting his influence.

While many are not happy about Elon’s recent antics, some – such as Cathie Wood of Ark Invest fame – believe that a day will come when Elon Musk is looked upon as one of the most supportive and important individuals in crypto. In a recent interview, she states that Musk has done a lot for cryptocurrency and has gotten people talking about it more than ever.

The post Elon Musk Faces Protestors Outside Tesla Factory Due to His Influence Over Crypto appeared first on Live Bitcoin News.

Source: Live Bitcoin News

Crypto News Updates

Coin Metrics Report Details Surges in ETH, Doge Trading

Digital currency research firm Coin Metrics has released a new report claiming that bitcoin is beginning to lag when compared with the likes of competing altcoins such as Ethereum and Dogecoin.

Coin Metrics: Altcoins Are Taking Over

While bitcoin is still the world’s number one digital currency by market cap (it is currently trading for about $35,000 per unit), the asset has experienced some serious dips over the past month, while by contrast, Dogecoin and Ethereum have exhibited gains and are regularly moving up the digital ladder.

Coin Metrics garnered much of the information for its report by looking at data from Binance, arguably the largest and most popular crypto exchange on the planet in terms of daily trading volume. Additional statistics were gathered from exchanges such as Coinbase and FTX. Coin Metrics points out that thus far, 2021 has been the year for “smaller altcoins,” suggesting that a great many of them have surged heavily between the months of January and early May. From there, however, a serious crypto crash has taken precedence, with Coin Metrics unable to pinpoint what, exactly, might have been the cause.

For the most part, numerous altcoin pairs are offered on Binance, which explains why the company’s trading volume for many of the world’s smaller assets likely overtook that of bitcoin. The report says:

ETH volume surpassed BTC volume on Coinbase by a wider margin than on Binance. Coinbase did not offer Dogecoin trading in May (although they introduced it in early June), so it did not have a Doge rush similar with Binance, but it did have a relatively high amount of volume for some other altcoins, led by MATIC, ADA and Ethereum Classic (ETC)… Continuing the trend, ETH volume edged out BTC on FTX, although not by much, but comparatively, the top altcoins made up a lower percentage of total volume on FTX than on Binance and Coinbase.

Some of the world’s smaller exchanges – such as Huobi – also saw Ethereum and Dogecoin trading surge to levels beyond what people were doing with bitcoin. The report continues to say:

Similar with Binance, DOGE volume surged on Huobi, taking the spot as the third most traded currency by volume.

Bitcoin Hasn’t Been Fully Cut Out Yet

The only place – according to the document – where bitcoin trading appears to remain dominant at the time of writing is the CME in Chicago, Illinois. The company delves in bitcoin futures trading and has recently opened the door to ETH futures, though this is still in its early stages. Coin Metrics writes:

The markets continued to move mostly sideways over the last week. Bitcoin and Ethereum usage both stayed relatively flat, with daily active addresses dropping 2.5 percent and growing by 3.3 percent, respectively. Ethereum daily transaction fees dropped by over 35 percent week over week as gas prices continued to fall, and bitcoin transaction fees followed a similar pattern, dropping by 40.5 percent.

The post Coin Metrics Report Details Surges in ETH, Doge Trading appeared first on Live Bitcoin News.

Source: Live Bitcoin News

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Another Way To Think About Bitcoin’s Value

One’s opinion on the value of bitcoin depends on one’s definition of value, as it is with anything.

Dr. Rettler is an assistant professor of Philosophy at the University of Wyoming.

In this essay, I want to clarify and respond to a prevalent assertion regarding bitcoin — that “bitcoin has no intrinsic value.” Two preliminary things to note. First, this is not used merely as a normatively neutral descriptive statement; it’s stated as a criticism. It usually appears in the following kind of argument, often with premises elided: it’s bad to lack intrinsic value. Bitcoin lacks intrinsic value. So bitcoin is bad. Or maybe: it’s not worth investing in things that lack intrinsic value. Bitcoin lacks intrinsic value. So, it’s not worth investing in bitcoin.

Second, “intrinsic value” has a particular meaning here — one that’s used in investing. Owning bitcoin is often put in contrast to owning stock in a company that produces a good or service. In virtue of the company producing a good or service and receiving money for the good or service, stock in that company is said to have intrinsic value. Methods of calculation of the intrinsic value of a stock usually involve calculating the value of the assets the company has and/or the expected future earnings. Bitcoin is not a company and produces no goods or services — so it lacks intrinsic value. So goes the criticism.

I don’t want to argue that bitcoin has intrinsic value. And I don’t want to argue that this usage of “intrinsic value” is illegitimate. People can use terms however they want, as long as they explain what they mean when they’re using them.

Instead, I want to offer a different way of thinking about intrinsic value — one that we’ve inherited from Aristotle, Kant, and Mill. This way of thinking about intrinsic value will guide us as we consider what kind of value bitcoin does have, and what gives it that value.

On the traditional way of thinking about intrinsic value, the intrinsic value of a thing is the value that it has in itself — that is, not in relation to anything else. That is, after all, what the word “intrinsic” means. The contrast is extrinsic value, which is the value a thing has in virtue of its relation to other things. It’s easy to think about the extrinsic value a thing has, because you can think of the value it has for you. For example, a bicycle has extrinsic value because it gets me from place to place. Wine has extrinsic value because it tastes good. Money has extrinsic value because we can use it to buy other things. Extrinsic value is easy. It’s much more difficult to determine whether something has value intrinsically.

Maybe bitcoin doesn’t have intrinsic value in the sense that investors use the term. But might it have intrinsic value on this understanding of intrinsic value? And if not, does it differ in this respect from stocks and precious metals? We can start to get a handle on this question by asking: on this classic understanding of intrinsic value, do stocks of companies have value in themselves? No. They are valuable only to the extent that the company and the workers are valuable. Then we can ask: do companies have value in themselves? Even here the answer is no. They are all valuable in virtue of their relations to other things — money, customers, employees, products, and so on. Let’s take it even one step further: does anything that any company produces have value in itself? An iPhone, a watch, an airplane, a massage, a tax return, a database, a baseball card…

One way to answer this question of anything is to ask, why is that thing valuable? If you take there to be a sensible answer to that question, then that means that you think there is some further thing in virtue of which the original thing is valuable. And so you think that the thing isn’t intrinsically valuable. For example, we can ask why an iPhone is valuable. An iPhone is valuable perhaps in part because it connects us to information and loved ones. So, it’s valuable because it brings about something of value — connection to information and connection to loved ones. If it didn’t do that, it wouldn’t be valuable. So, it’s valuable, but not intrinsically valuable. But even being connected to information and loved ones seems not to be intrinsically valuable, because we can answer “why is being connected to information good?” with “it gives us knowledge” and “it helps us navigate the world” and we can answer “why is being connected to loved ones good?” with “it makes them happy and it makes me happy.” If those are right, then being connected to information and loved ones is not intrinsically valuable — it’s valuable in virtue of making us happy.

In fact, many philosophers think that the only thing that has intrinsic value is happiness. There are a few reasons for this. One reason is that if you ask “why is happiness valuable?” it’s hard or maybe even impossible to answer. You might even assume that the person who asked didn’t know what happiness was. You’d be tempted to say, “It just is. It’s valuable for its own sake.” Another reason is that “It makes me happy” is (when true) always a good answer to “Why is X valuable?” — and we don’t feel the need to follow up with “why is being happy valuable?” A third reason is that it seems plausible that everything else in the world — Apple stock, iPhones, bitcoin, friendship, love, etc — is pursued to the extent that it can bring happiness (or bring something that brings happiness, or bring something that brings something that brings happiness, or…).

There is, of course, the further question of what happiness is. That’s much harder to say. Some say pleasure, some say a flourishing life, some say the life of a mind in accord with reason… We won’t get any more into that. There are also people who think there are other things that have intrinsic value — maybe friendship, maybe people, maybe God… There are many candidates. I don’t intend to settle the question here; what’s important to note is that neither bitcoin nor any other investment would have intrinsic value on any of these theories. I’ll proceed on the assumption that it’s just happiness, but you can add to the list anything else you think has value independent of everything outside it and is pursued for its own sake.

So, happiness and maybe some other things have intrinsic value, and everything else is pursued to the extent that it brings happiness either directly or indirectly.

Bitcoin, then, is not intrinsically valuable. But that doesn’t mean it’s not valuable. In fact, bitcoin shares these features with every concrete material object, and many immaterial things as well — if the above is correct, everything except happiness. So it’s no criticism of bitcoin to say that it doesn’t have intrinsic value, since only happiness does.

But is bitcoin valuable? That’s a different question than whether bitcoin is intrinsically valuable, but it’s a no less important one. If bitcoin is valuable, then given that it’s not intrinsically valuable, it’s valuable in relation to other things. In particular, it’s valuable in virtue of its relation to happiness. So, does bitcoin bring people happiness, whether directly or indirectly?

In order to determine that, we should consider the reasons people buy bitcoin. Some people buy it because their local currency is hyperinflating and they lack access to other stores of value, but they have access to bitcoin. (I wrote about this here.) Some people buy bitcoin because their local government censors their transactions, and they can’t buy the things they want with their local currency. Some people buy bitcoin because they want to pay for things digitally but distrust PayPal, Visa, and other huge corporations and they don’t want to give those companies their personal financial information. Some people buy it because they think other people will find it valuable and they’ll be able to sell it for more fiat currency than they bought it for. For all of these people, if you ask them why they are exchanging other things for bitcoin, these people are likely to give a series of answers that ends with saying that they think that having bitcoin is more likely to make them happy than having the other things. And these people number in the millions.

Clearly many people think bitcoin is valuable. They reveal this by exchanging things like their government-backed currencies for bitcoin. Some people think index funds and Apple stock are valuable. They reveal this by exchanging things such as government-backed currencies for index funds and Apple stock. But like bitcoin, index funds and Apple don’t have intrinsic value. Rather, their value depends solely on what people are willing to pay for them, which is based on their features. In that respect, they’re just like *gasp* bitcoin!

So, bitcoin — like everything except happiness — has no intrinsic value. Bitcoin’s value is determined by how it brings about happiness for the people who use it. Just like pretty much everything else.

This is a guest post by Dr. Bradley Ritter. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.

Source: Bitcoin magazine

Crypto News Updates

An Open Letter To The Nigerian Government: Pursue A Bitcoin Standard

NFL star and Nigerian descendant Russell Okung asks the Nigerian government to adopt a Bitcoin standard or risk falling behind.

Greetings President Muhammadu Buhari,

The hope of Nigeria lies within this generation. I am proudly a Nigerian descendant living in America and am a proponent of Bitcoin. I write to urge the Nigerian government to pursue economic independence and financial sovereignty by pursuing a national Bitcoin standard. Soon every nation will be faced with this decision, but those who seize the present moment proactively as we have just witnessed in El Salvador, will enjoy significant advantages globally for generations to come.

It is no secret that the current global economic environment is worrisome and unsustainable. Sadly, the fate of the Nigerian economy is in the hands of global central bankers who do not represent the best interests of the Nigerian people. Despite the challenges we face, the resilience of Nigerians continues to inspire. The Nigerian society enjoys more favorable conditions than many of its neighbors. However, even greater opportunity awaits with the adoption of national action in favor of a Bitcoin standard.

The tone of this letter is meant to convey urgency both in terms of the forthcoming economic despair and the limited window to act on this opportunity with fierce boldness and strong leadership. While the challenges of COVID-19 and increased global unrest continue to instill fear in the hearts and minds of citizens everywhere, Nigerians can claim international greatness by rising to the occasion that our unique times require.

Nations such as Iran, Russia, China and Kenya have been reportedly mining or otherwise utilizing bitcoin, often as a means to circumvent U.S. sanctions which prevent them from full participation in the global financial system. Other nations like Barbados, Singapore and Malta have moved to become “bitcoin friendly” in an effort to attract wealth and human capital through migration. And this week, El Salvador became the world’s first nation to require merchants to accept bitcoin as legal tender. I’m proposing an equally aggressive approach to national Bitcoin adoption which would significantly bolster every sector of the Nigerian economy and revitalize the spirit of every Nigerian domestically and abroad.

Bitcoin is not controlled, managed or operated by any single entity. It is an innovation that will surpass the automobile or the internet in terms of its impact on humanity. Nigeria does not need to ask for permission from any other nation nor acquire a license nor secure a trade agreement from any corporation to reshape its economy with Bitcoin. All that is required is a vision for a new future and an allocation of its own national resources to pursue a Bitcoin standard.

The primary reason for urgently pursuing and executing a national plan for adoption is the finite supply of bitcoin. There will only ever be 21 million bitcoin in circulation. This hard cap on the supply makes bitcoin even more verifiably finite than gold. As this simple yet unique property of scarcity becomes more widely understood, the economic laws of supply and demand will create a global frenzy to acquire as much bitcoin as possible, before it’s too late. This momentum for acquiring bitcoin is already underway throughout the world and it is rapidly accelerating. In recent months, continued economic turmoil and uncertainty has created increased curiosity in

bitcoin. Multiple institutional investors have announced sizable bitcoin allocations in their portfolios, some citing it as a hedge against a weakening U.S. dollar.

The Nigerian government, along with every other government in the world, has a once in a generation opportunity to claim global prominence by rising to the occasion. Many other politicians in Latin America have signalled their intention to pursue similar moves as El Salvador. In leading the next global financial shift, Nigeria can create prosperity for its citizens in a manner that requires no bloodshed, no election and no resistance. Such a proposition may seem too good to be true, and these ambitions certainly require thorough investigation, scrutiny and debate. Conversely, a delay in pursuing a national plan for bitcoin adoption will risk a scenario where Nigeria is left behind and its citizens excluded from the possibility of significant wealth creation and preservation. As world leaders become more aware of the chance to make history, pursuit of bitcoin will be widespread. We offer our full support, a willingness to voluntarily consult and commitment to activate every resource available to us in order to see Nigeria pursue a Bitcoin standard.

Nigeria must never carry last,

Russell Okung

Source: Bitcoin magazine

Crypto News Updates

Kevin O’Leary: BTC Will Be Bigger Than Stocks

Kevin O’Leary – aka Mr. Wonderful on the television show “Shark Tank” believes that bitcoin could eventually overpower the stock market.

Kevin O’Leary: Sustainability Will Make a Big Difference

His sentiment comes from the sudden shift that many bitcoin miners are making. Initially, bitcoin was the subject of much concern and disgust amongst environmentalists, who claimed that the extraction process behind bitcoin was contributing to severe atmospheric destruction. However, O’Leary claims that many miners are listening to these arguments and are now implementing greener ways of mining digital currencies.

He says that this will ultimately help propel bitcoin into much more mainstream territory. A newfound “green” attitude amongst miners will work to potentially attract more institutional investors and cause the currency to hit new price peaks that will send it beyond anything the stock market could accomplish. In a recent interview, he states:

It is both a huge problem and a massive opportunity. I prefer to look at the opportunity. I called it out on that Yahoo Finance interview, and the proverbial poo-poo hit the fan. I took a lot of [guff], but it is obviously on the mind of the institutional client.

O’Leary claims that as of late, there are several fears surrounding bitcoin given its environmental, social, and corporate governance compliance, or ESG for short. He says that in the end, it is this governance that is likely to account for all future decisions regarding bitcoin and the crypto mining process that extracts new units from the blockchain:

At the end of the day, there is a new sheriff in town. It is called ESG. Every single institution, including Larry Fink on down at BlackRock who put out his ESG letter, his sustainability mandate, this used to be fringe. It is not fringe anymore. You have to be sustainable in terms of how you look at investing or you are going to lose your investor.

Thus far, O’Leary has struck several deals with mining companies that incorporate green energy. He says he will purchase units mined through them granted they can prove that the units in question were extracted through environmentally friendly means:

I just think that the minute we solve the institutional ESG issue, Katy bar the doors, because people do not understand that most of the world’s investments are in the institutions and the sovereign funds. That is where the real money is.

This Will Affect Several Areas

He says ESG is not only affecting bitcoin. Institutions want to see all industries become green at some point, and many have pulled out of certain areas granted they are not witnessing much improvement. Oil is a major example in that despite boosts in cash flows, many institutions are refusing to invest:

That is sustainability committees pushing out the stocks out of mandates out of portfolios. That just gives you the idea of the power of the ESG mandate.

The post Kevin O’Leary: BTC Will Be Bigger Than Stocks appeared first on Live Bitcoin News.

Source: Live Bitcoin News

Crypto News Updates

Taproot Activation Brings Massive Upgrades To Bitcoin

Taproot brings new optimizations to security and usability to the Bitcoin network as the activation is locked in.

By the time this is published, Taproot will be locked-in for activation. This means that on block 709,632 (mid-November 2021), the new rules defined by a series of Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIPs) will be activated and start being enforced. This is a momentous achievement for Bitcoin and will enable so many awesome new things for not just Bitcoin but everything built on top of it, too.

Previously, it was debated if Bitcoin could come to consensus on another soft fork after the drama behind the 2017 SegWit upgrade. This previous soft fork spun out multiple camps that hard forked from the original Bitcoin chain, creating new altcoins. Meanwhile, the Bitcoin community was left with deep battle scars after months of debating and fighting for what resulted in a user activated soft fork (UASF).

It’s been almost four years since SegWit activated and people were skeptical that the Bitcoin community could overcome these battle scars for the next upgrade to Bitcoin. However, we have done it! It was a long process of debating on pull requests (PRs), Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channels, and Twitter, but it has finally come to a close.

Taproot as an upgrade had virtually no push back; by and large every core developer agreed with the consensus changes proposed in BIP340, BIP341 and BIP342. These BIPs propose changes that add privacy and optimizations as well as enabling new features in the future without any new security assumptions. Taproot by itself is a no-brainer upgrade to the Bitcoin protocol. The controversy came in when the discussions started on how to activate Taproot.

The controversy began with BIP8 which was created in response to what happened with SegWit. It made two changes to BIP9, the activation method used for SegWit. The first change was to define the start and end times of the activation by block height instead of real-world time. This makes defining the activation window slightly better because we aren’t reliant on blocks having exactly a 10-minute block time but with the tradeoff of being worse for test networks.

The second change was to add an optional user activated soft fork (UASF) at the end of the activation, known as lock-in-on-timeout or LOT. Both of these changes sparked heavy debate on if they should be made and resulted in many PRs being opened and closed to Bitcoin Core. The LOT parameter was eventually thrown out and replaced with a procedure called Speedy Trial.

Speedy Trial was proposed to break the stalemate between the two camps arguing over how to set LOT (true vs false). Speedy Trial described a three-month activation window instead of a one-year window, but with a minimum activation height that would be further in the future and with no UASF. This was structured so that we could either activate quickly or fail quickly. If we were to fail quickly, we could go back to debating. Or if we did activate quickly, the surrounding ecosystem would have more time to prepare for the upgrade.

Most developers agreed to try Speedy Trial which led to two PRs being opened to Bitcoin Core, one by Andrew Chow and another by A.J. Towns. Chow’s PR proposed using block height while Towns’ used real-world time. This led to further debate and lots of discussion on IRC that was eventually settled with Chow and Towns agreeing to move forward with Towns’ proposal.

All of this debate finally led to the culmination of Taproot being able to activate. Then we just needed miners to signal, which happened relatively quickly. Alejandro De La Torre, vice president of Poolin, had already gotten mining pools to commit to saying they would signal. However, at the start only Slush Pool was signaling. The plebs took to the streets and made memes donning green squares, a reference to’s way of showing which blocks signaled for activation and which did not. However, after only three difficulty adjustment periods we have achieved almost 99% of the hash power from miners signaling and have locked in the activation of Taproot.

Now that we can confidently say that Taproot will be part of the Bitcoin protocol, we should know what this will mean for Bitcoin and its many layers. As stated in the beginning, Taproot brings privacy and optimizations while allowing for new features in the future.

Taproot is able to add privacy to Bitcoin by allowing users to create multiple spending rules for their funds, but they only need to reveal the rules that were used for that transaction. In some cases there is no need to reveal there ever were other spending rules. The average Bitcoin user today doesn’t have a need for these sorts of complex rule scripts. However, most scaling solutions in Bitcoin do. Layers such as the Lightning Network, Liquid, and other sidechains all use scripted rules like multisig, hash time locks, and other tools to make their system secure. Today this all needs to be put on chain and revealed to the entire network. With Taproot this information no longer needs to be revealed all the time and transactions like Lightning channel opens can look exactly like a normal user’s transactions. So not only will it benefit Lightning users but it will benefit everyone as the general anonymity set of Bitcoin will grow, making privacy-compromising chain analysis harder to do.

Along with all these privacy improvements are lots of optimizations. Since we no longer need to reveal as much information on-chain, transactions will use less data and thus will reduce fees. This also means that more transactions will fit in each block and every unspent transaction output (UTXO) will be that much more efficient.

Not only do we get space-saving optimizations from Taproot, but we also get optimizations that will help with the speed of verifying transactions. Today, Bitcoin uses the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) for signing transactions, but Taproot adds a new way to sign called Schnorr signatures. Schnorr signatures enable some of the space-saving optimizations we talked about while also being faster to verify, so running a full node will be less resource intensive with the same transaction throughput if Taproot sees significant adoption.

Taproot will also enable many new use cases and features. Something that has been talked about for awhile is Point Time Lock Contracts (PTLCs). PTLCs are a change to the Lightning Network that enable developers to build more complex applications on top of Lightning like Discreet Log Contracts, stuck-less payments and more. Taproot also allows for much less invasive upgrades in the future. Taproot left many new upgrade paths that we are already seeing people write proposals to use, namely SIGHASH_ANYPREVOUT. This should make the next Bitcoin soft fork happen more quickly and be less controversial as it will not carry as much weight as the upgrades before it.

In conclusion, Bitcoin has upgraded and has taken a step forward in making privacy better for its users. This did not come easy and it certainly shouldn’t have. However, now it’s time to celebrate and then start building.

This is a guest post by Ben Carman. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.

Source: Bitcoin magazine

Crypto News Updates

New York Crypto Firm Coin Seed Is Ceasing Operations

Crypto trading firm Coin Seed has decided to shut its doors for good following a lawsuit brought forth against it earlier in the year by New York Attorney General Letitia James. The company has been accused of fraudulent activity after moving customer funds without permission and for selling “worthless” tokens in what is alleged to have been a phony initial coin offering (ICO).

Coin Seed Is Closing Down for Good

In a statement, Del Davaasambuu – the CEO and co-founder of Coin Seed – explained in a recent interview:

I am announcing that I am winding down the business due to a lawsuit from the NYAG.

The suit against the trading platform was initiated on February 17 of this year. It is alleged that Coin Seed ultimately defrauded several investors out of millions of dollars through the sale of CSD tokens, the official cryptocurrency of the business. James later sought to prevent Coin Seed from selling any additional tokens, claiming that the firm had potentially taken investor funds and placed them into Dogecoin without openly discussing the move with those that had participated in the token sale.

A recent legal filing also alleges that Coin Seed took investor funds and allocated them into bitcoin without permission. The company is believed to have halted trading while the funds were being moved so customers could not remove their money from the Coin Seed platform. The bitcoin purchased with investor funds was later converted into Dogecoin.

This, in turn, led to nearly 200 complaints being sent to the New York Attorney General’s office, who felt that the incident required further examination. On June 7 of this year, the office obtained a court order allowing it to shut down Coin Seed for good based on evidence suggesting that the firm had engaged in illegal operations. James explained in a recent interview:

When platforms operating illegally in New York seek to trade on investors’ money, we will use every tool at our disposal to stop their unlawful actions.

Davaasambuu is thus far cooperating with the court order and closing the company’s doors, though he still insists that Coin Seed did not engage in any illicit behavior. He claims:

There are still no regulations about how to classify cryptocurrencies and what kind of licenses they should obtain to run a business in the United States. We do not even have a clear guidance on how to pay crypto-related taxes.

Relentless Bullying?

He has also stated that James is a “business abuser” and that she has been after him ever since the company held its ICO four years ago. He says:

We could not even list our token in other exchanges because of their constant pressures and bullying. Coin Seed is a small startup with little money, and we could not hire the good lawyers to fight them.

The post New York Crypto Firm Coin Seed Is Ceasing Operations appeared first on Live Bitcoin News.

Source: Live Bitcoin News

Crypto News Updates

Large, Luxury Penthouse in Miami Sells for $22 Million in Crypto

One of America’s most luxurious penthouses just sold for more than $22 million – and the deal was completely finalized through cryptocurrency. The home consists of four bedrooms and is located within a condo building known as Arte by Antonio Citterio, which is situated in Miami Beach, Florida and designed by real estate developers Alex Sapir and Giovanni Fasciano.

Miami Real Estate and Crypto… A Perfect Match?

While crypto-real estate deals have been occurring over the past seven years, they are not common in any way, shape, or form. Typically, in America, all deals close through USD, but both Sapir and Fasciano expressed their excitement over the event and said in a recent interview that they always felt real estate and crypto went hand in hand… It was just a matter of time before people realized that, and as a result, they have consistently been open to homebuyers looking to pay their way with digital currency.

Sapir explains that there were several offers made on the residence, many of which would have also been done with crypto. He explained:

There is a strong, pent-up demand for cryptocurrency transactions that are seamless and secure for both parties, and the deal at Arte is a prime example of that. We were overwhelmed by the amount of calls we received from qualified buyers just after announcing our ability to facilitate cryptocurrency transactions. Real-world crypto transactions have not made their way fully into the mainstream yet, so it is quite clear top holders around the world pay attention when new opportunities to transact open up.

Fasciano says that with this sale, he has no doubt Miami could become a leader in crypto-based real estate sales, and he is hopeful that this will attract more digital investors to the housing mix. He says:

We are making Miami real estate history with this sale, as we were the first new development to facilitate this kind of cryptocurrency transaction, and to do so successfully so quickly after announcing. Cryptocurrency is the future of wealth, and we believe this is only the beginning. Arte has set the precedent for what these sales can look like and how fast they can take place. We are proud to have laid the groundwork for this new, burgeoning world.

Why Crypto Works Well

Sapir further stated what it was that inspired them both to accept crypto in the first place:

When we first set out to develop a boutique, resort-style oceanfront condominium for only 16 owners, no one had ever heard of anything so luxe and at such a small scale in Miami. It did not deter us, and we wanted to get ahead of a future world where half the world’s billionaires could have easily made their wealth from cryptocurrency. The quick sale of the Lower Penthouse at $22.5 million proves the success of the concept.

The post Large, Luxury Penthouse in Miami Sells for $22 Million in Crypto appeared first on Live Bitcoin News.

Source: Live Bitcoin News