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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

CoinDesk Explainer: Bitcoin Cash and Why It's Forking the Blockchain

A group of miners unhappy with scaling proposal Segwit2x have created Bitcoin Cash, an alternative that could fork the bitcoin network on Aug. 1.

Source

Posted on 26 July 2017 | 7:00 am

Someone Tried to Extort 52 Bitcoins From Trump Advisor Jared Kushner Last Year

Jared Kushner, a senior aide to US President Donald Trump, revealed that the extortionist threatened to release information on Trump's tax returns.

Source

Posted on 26 July 2017 | 4:00 am

Goldman Sachs: Bitcoin May Reach New High Over $3,600

Goldman Sachs has issued a new forecast for the price of bitcoin, finding it will likely remain volatile before testing all-time highs again.

Source

Posted on 26 July 2017 | 3:10 am

ICOs: Foolish Mania or Market Discovery? (They Might Be Both)

As ICO mania subsides, CoinDesk contributor Ariel Deschapell argues the increased experimentation that will result is likely an industry boon.

Source

Posted on 26 July 2017 | 2:38 am

Federal Government Approves Regulation Request of LedgerX

LedgerX

On July 24, LedgerX announced the CFTC’s approval for a Derivatives Clearing Organization (DCO) license under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA). The license will allow the company to provide clearing services for fully collateralized digital currency swaps for the first time. On July 6, the CFTC also granted LedgerX an order of registration as a Swap Execution Facility. The company, which was founded in 2013, already received a temporary approval as a Swap Execution Facility in 2015.

Despite the approval, the CFTC highlighted that LedgerX’s current authorization “does not constitute or imply a Commission endorsement of the use of digital currency generally, or bitcoin specifically.” The Commission added that, along with the approval, it had issued a letter on July 24 exempting LedgerX from “certain regulations” implied by the CFTC due to the firm’s fully collateralized clearing model.

By obtaining a DCO license, LedgerX will be able to provide specific services on the company’s platform to participants, including obtaining and hedging bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by using exchange-traded and centrally cleared option contracts. With the regulatory approval, the company expects to list one- to six-month options contracts for bitcoin in addition to adding contracts for other cryptocurrencies, such as ETH options.

“A U.S. federally regulated venue for derivative contracts settling in digital currencies opens the market to a much larger customer base,” Paul L. Chou, the CEO of LedgerX, said in a statement. “We are seeing strong demand from institutions that previously could not participate in the bitcoin market due to compliance restrictions against unregulated venues. In particular, there is a desire for fund managers to hold financial instruments that are not correlated with the broader equity market, and digital currencies meet that need.”

LedgerX is planning to provide required services, such as surveillance and transparency, for institutional investors. According to the company, participants eligible for LedgerX’s services include registered broker dealers, banks, futures commission merchants, qualified commodity pool entities and qualified high-net-worth investors.

“These are exciting times to have a new digital asset class emerge. I hope that the effort LedgerX put forward in the U.S. can set the stage for a global approach to this new digital asset class,” Mark Wetjen, a member of the board of directors for LedgerX’s parent company, Ledger Holdings, stated.

According to Chou, the approval for the license took more than two years partly because of a long education process. LedgerX secured $11.4 million of funding in May, led by Miami International Holdings Inc. and China’s Huiyin Blockchain Venture Investments, to acquire the clearing license from the CFTC.

“LedgerX’s registration is a historic milestone for derivatives and for digital currencies. To me, it is equivalent to the launch of currency futures back in 1972 that heralded the beginning of exchange-traded and cleared derivatives based on financial products,” Gary DeWaal of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, one of the companies assisting LedgerX during its CFTC application process, said in a statement.

The post Federal Government Approves Regulation Request of LedgerX appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 25 July 2017 | 5:33 pm

Token Summit Creator: SEC ICO Guidance a 'Breath of Fresh Air'

A prominent figure in the movement to encourage blockchain tokens as a funding method has lauded new SEC guidance for the industry.

Source

Posted on 25 July 2017 | 5:30 pm

Some Bitcoin Backers Are Defecting to Create a Rival Currency - New York Times


New York Times

Some Bitcoin Backers Are Defecting to Create a Rival Currency
New York Times
SAN FRANCISCO — For the last two years, rival factions have been vying for control of the Bitcoin virtual currency and its global network of computers and supporters. Now, one of the main camps is preparing to break off and create a competing version ...
Bitcoin, digital currencies retreat from recordsMarketWatch
A Bitcoin Civil War Has Been Avoided, at Least TemporarilyFuturism
Bitcoin Price Slides 7% As Bitcoin Cash Emerges - Fork Fears?CoinTelegraph
Bitcoin News (press release) -Motherboard -The Merkle -blog - Bitmain
all 25 news articles »

Posted on 25 July 2017 | 4:56 pm

Emin Gun Sirer: SEC ICO Guidance is 'End of Beginning for Blockchains'

A Cornell professor who was at the center of last year's DAO hack has issued new comments on an SEC ruling on the project.

Source

Posted on 25 July 2017 | 4:00 pm

Rothschild Investment Corporation Becomes Bitcoin Stakeholder - Bitcoin News (press release)


Bitcoin News (press release)

Rothschild Investment Corporation Becomes Bitcoin Stakeholder
Bitcoin News (press release)
A major mainstream investment company, Rothschild Investment Corporation, has embraced cryptocurrency by investing in bitcoin. The company recently filed a holdings report that solidified this investment move. They bought shares of the GBTC, or the ...

and more »

Posted on 25 July 2017 | 3:32 pm

SEC: US Securities Laws 'May Apply' to Token Sales

The SEC said today that the offering and sale of digital tokens "are subject to the requirements of the federal securities laws".

Source

Posted on 25 July 2017 | 2:44 pm

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Ether Prices Drop Below $200 Amid Wider Crypto Market Fall

Ether prices are down more than 11%, dropping below $200 amidst a wider market fall among the world's top cryptocurrencies.

Source

Posted on 25 July 2017 | 2:10 pm

Lamassu’s Zach Harvey Shares Data on the Growing Use of Bitcoin ATMs

Lamassu’s Zach Harvey Shares Data on the Growing Use of Bitcoin ATMs

Lamassu is a bitcoin ATM manufacturer that started in 2013 with the goal of making it “as simple as possible to get bitcoin.” There are now hundreds of these bitcoin ATMs around the world, and one of Lamassu’s co-founders, Zach Harvey, recently shared some data related to how these machines are used at a Bitcoin meetup in Milan.

While a recent article in the New York Post warned bodega owners against putting bitcoin ATMs in their stores due to potential use by darknet market customers, Harvey stated his belief that most of the bitcoin ATM users are using the devices for speculation on the bitcoin price, which he sees as the biggest use case for the digital asset right now.

According to Harvey, Lamassu set up their business in a decentralized, distributed manner where they manufacture the machines in Portugal and then sell them to operators around the world.

“The reason we did this in a way that is more distributed is because we felt the system would be a lot more robust if every one of these individual operators ran the machines themselves, had their own bitcoin wallets from which to send to the end user, had full control over their user data, there would be no single point of failure, and it would also be more in the spirit of Bitcoin,” said Harvey at the recent meetup.

Harvey went on to discuss data related to the use of bitcoin ATMs, problems associated with increased congestion on the Bitcoin network, and a specific example of why he thinks bitcoin is going mainstream.

Who Uses Bitcoin ATMs?

According to Harvey, the people who use bitcoin ATMs are mostly non-tech savvy users who want to get their first taste of digital currency. Harvey added that bitcoin ATMs tend to attract these types of users due to a focus on convenience and user experience. The Lamassu co-founder also claimed that a new user can complete a transaction in 20 to 30 seconds, while someone familiar with the machine can be done in less than ten seconds.

Two of the key selling points of bitcoin ATMs mentioned by Harvey were that users don’t have to go through the process of connecting a bank account with an exchange and the machines can feel like a safer option than meeting up with a random person found on a P2P bitcoin trading marketplace like LocalBitcoins.

According to Harvey, the selling points of bitcoin ATMs are so strong that many people are willing to pay the 10 to 15 percent exchange fees that come with them. He claimed that the more popular bitcoin ATMs get around 50 transactions per day and “sometimes you’ll even have queue at some of the machines.”

“If you’re around a bitcoin ATM, there really is no easier way of [getting some bitcoin],” Harvey later added.

Having said that, Harvey indicated that many of the bitcoin ATMs in the United States include some sort of identity verification due to Know Your Customer and anti-money laundering regulations. The level of identity verification required tends to vary, depending on the amounts involved and where the bitcoin ATM is located.

Harvey also shared data from one of their operators, who owns 14 machines, that indicated these bitcoin ATMs tend to be used for low-value transactions.

“These are people that just want to get the first experience — see what it’s like to get into bitcoin,” said Harvey. “If they really just want to see what it’s about — feel a little bit of the magic of bitcoin — they’re going to start with a low amount.”

“If you look at machine number 13, there’s almost 90 percent of transactions that are under $100,” Harvey added.

According to the data shared by Harvey, 20 to 30 percent of the transactions at these particular bitcoin ATMs are for less than $10.


Screenshot 2017-07-21 at 4.37.14 PM.png


Network Transaction Fees Have an Effect on Bitcoin ATMs

During his appearance at the Bitcoin meetup in Milan, Harvey also discussed the effect that increased congestion on the Bitcoin network has had on bitcoin ATMs. He noted that operators asked for the functionality to add a flat fee or the complete removal of the $5 and $10 transaction amounts when on-chain transaction fees get into the $1–$2 range.

Harvey also noted that roughly 90 percent of the transactions that are usually processed by bitcoin ATMs would become uneconomical if on-chain bitcoin transaction fees reached $10.

Due to demand from their operators, Lamassu plans to add altcoins, such as ether and zcash, to their machines in the coming weeks. These altcoins feature shorter confirmation times, which can be helpful in situations where a user wants to trade their cryptocurrency for physical cash.

“It’s not as secure as a bitcoin confirmation, but it’s more secure than a zero-confirmation of bitcoin,” Harvey said of confirmations on other cryptocurrency networks.

Due to Bitcoin network congestion and poorly implemented fee estimation software on users’ mobile wallets, Harvey noted that some users have had to wait over a day to get their cash out of a bitcoin ATM.

In terms of unconfirmed bitcoin transactions, Harvey stated that not many operators have had issues with accepting them.

Bitcoin Going Mainstream?

Although Lamassu also has machines in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Canada has become their most active userbase. According to data shared by Harvey, the Toronto area alone has around 50 Lamassu bitcoin ATMs.

“Several years ago, [this] would have seemed like way too many, and now it’s starting to be something that’s the norm as bitcoin goes more mainstream,” said Harvey of the density of bitcoin ATMs in Toronto.

When sharing data related to the proliferation of Lamassu’s bitcoin ATMs around the world, Harvey showed a screenshot of an email he received from a convenience store owner in Toronto.


Screenshot 2017-07-21 at 4.37.44 PM.png

“Customers are coming into my store, and they’re telling me, ‘Why don’t you have a bitcoin ATM?’” Harvey paraphrased from the email. “Can I please get one placed here?”

This is the same area that already has roughly 50 bitcoin ATMs around it.

Watch the full presentation here.


The post Lamassu’s Zach Harvey Shares Data on the Growing Use of Bitcoin ATMs appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 25 July 2017 | 12:42 pm

Australian Bitcoin Exchange Raises $815k in Series A Funding

An Australian bitcoin exchange has reportedly raised $815k in Series A funding.

Source

Posted on 25 July 2017 | 10:00 am

Infosys EdgeVerve Expands Blockchain Integration to Sales Platform

A subsidiary of Indian IT giant Infosys is pushing ahead with its plans for blockchain in a bid to create new revenue streams.

Source

Posted on 25 July 2017 | 9:00 am

American Express Brings Credit Card Buying to Bitcoin App Abra

Abra users can now buy bitcoin with American Express credit cards, a move that diversifies its available payment options.

Source

Posted on 25 July 2017 | 7:58 am

Months to Minutes: Enigma Launch Aims to Boost Crypto Hedge Fund Creation

MIT Media Lab-incubated startup Enigma is today revealing a product designed to simplify the set-up of crypto hedge funds.

Source

Posted on 25 July 2017 | 7:02 am

Automaker Renault Trials Blockchain in Bid to Secure Car Repair Data

French automaker Renault has unveiled a new digitized car maintenance log prototype built using blockchain.

Source

Posted on 25 July 2017 | 6:30 am

What's Left Before SegWit Goes Live? Bitcoin's Path to More Capacity

How far away is bitcoin from a capacity upgrade? While technical progress is being made, things are far from set in stone.

Source

Posted on 25 July 2017 | 5:31 am

There's a strange new twist in bitcoin's “civil war”—and a way to bet on the outcome - Quartz


Quartz

There's a strange new twist in bitcoin's “civil war”—and a way to bet on the outcome
Quartz
Just as the bitcoin world thought it was safe, a new threat to the cryptocurrency's stability has emerged. Last week, the price of bitcoin rallied near all-time highs as a proposal to increase its transaction capacity was backed by over 97% of the ...
Suspension Lifted: Japanese Exchanges and Merchants Resume Bitcoin ServicesBitcoin News (press release)

all 9 news articles »

Posted on 25 July 2017 | 5:01 am

A Russian Airline Is Now Using Blockchain to Issue Tickets

A major Russian airline is reportedly using blockchain to issue tickets as part of a bid to streamline its back office processes.

Source

Posted on 25 July 2017 | 4:02 am

Bank of America Analyst: Bank Acceptance a 'Crucial Hurdle' for Bitcoin

A new report from US-based Bank of America Merrill Lynch argues that bitcoin will go mainstream once banks start accepting it.

Source

Posted on 25 July 2017 | 3:06 am

Bitcoin Investment Firm Launches Ethereum-Subscribed ICO Fund

The operators of a bitcoin hedge fund have launched a $5 million fund for investing in cryptocurrency tokens and initial coin offerings.

Source

Posted on 25 July 2017 | 12:31 am

Ether Price Analysis: Market Consolidation Provides Calm Before Next Breakout

Ether Price Analysis

Over the past few days, despite major swings throughout the crypto-market, ETH-USD finally appears to be displaying nice, reliable signs of market consolidation:

Figure_1 (1).jpgFigure 1: ETH-USD, 2-hr Candles, Bitfinex, Consolidation Pattern

Two key characteristics of market consolidation are decreasing volume over the course of a trend and decrease in price volatility. It should be noted that price consolidation can take many patterns and is not restricted to the convergent pattern (lower highs accompanied by higher lows) displayed above. For the sake of this article, we will focus on the convergent pattern displayed in our current market. To see the health of the overall market, let’s put this trend in the context of the weeks leading up to this pattern:

Figure_2 (1).jpgFigure 2: ETH-USD, 6-hr Candles, Bitfinex, Macro Fibonacci Retracement Values

Within the context of the macro trend, our consolidation pattern falls very neatly on the 60 percent Fibonacci Retracement values of the macro bull trend that brought us to our all-time high values. When looking at the health of this trend, the first thing that pops out is the large amount of supportive volume (shown in yellow) that has gone into shaping the current ETH-USD volume. The current volume trend far outweighs any of the previous volume trends throughout the life of the bear market and even throughout the life of the previous bull run that led to all-time high values.

If we zoom out even further, we can see our current volume is actually at the highest volume the market has seen since its last major consolidation period within the $40 values:

Figure_3 (1).jpgFigure 3: ETH-USD, 1-Day Candles, Log Scale, Bitfinex, Last Major Consolidation Period

The previous consolidation period (shown in yellow) resulted in a substantial Bull Pennant pattern that resulted in a bull run that doubled the market value of ETH-USD. Something interesting to note is our current consolidation pattern within the context of the entire market since the last consolidation pattern. If we look at the market moves post-consolidation as a massive bull run — which, technically, it is — we see ETH-USD is consolidating very nicely on the 50 percent Fibonacci Retracement values.

Although the price projections for our current consolidation period is substantially lower than the last major consolidation period, the important aspect to take away from Figure 3 is the magnitude of the volume the market has experienced over the past couple weeks. High volume leading into a consolidation period is a good sign that the market has found its bottom and is now gathering up support and investor confidence before a breakout.

There are two ways to view our current consolidation pattern:

  1. An agnostic (meaning it’s neither bullish-leaning nor bearish-leaning), symmetrical triangle;

  2. A Bull Pennant (a bullish continuation pattern).

For the sake of time, I won’t go into details regarding how to calculate the price targets of these patterns. Both symmetrical triangles and Bull Pennants are very commonly traded patterns and have a lot of literature to support their price targets. If this pattern turns out to be a symmetrical triangle and the consolidation breaks down, we can most likely expect a move down to the $180 range before any further upward movement is seen.

However, if this is a Bull Pennant, ETH-USD can most likely expect a ~$100 move upward, leading to a price target of approximately $330. It’s important to note that a price target of $330 would result in a 100 percent retracement since the beginning of our prior bear run. If the market breaks upward and we do see a $330 price target, a test of this 100 percent retracement value will be crucial to determine the future moves within the ETH-USD markets.

Summary:

  1. ETH-USD has spent days consolidating along $230.

  2. A breakout upward would most likely yield a $330 price target.

  3. A breakout downward would most likely yield a $180 price target.

Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin and ether is highly speculative and comes with many risks. This analysis is for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice. Statements and financial information on Bitcoin Magazine and BTC Media related sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BTC Media and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

The post Ether Price Analysis: Market Consolidation Provides Calm Before Next Breakout appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 24 July 2017 | 2:17 pm

Bad Karma: Community Objects to “Opportunism” of Buddhism on the Blockchain

Lotos

Last week, startup company Lotos published its new project on Reddit aiming to create a decentralized religious community, supporting Buddhism and meditation, based on the Ethereum blockchain. According to the company’s white paper, the community’s structure will be segmented into three parts: “an off-blockchain software platform” connecting the teachers and the students; “an internal economy supported by ERC20 tokens purchased by subscription fees and a central banker smart contract;” and “a website and
database backend connected to the network with Swarm.”

The ERC20 compatible Karma (KRM) token will be used for on-platform exchanges and for crowdfunding the development of the platform. In addition to that, if users are able to grow the network, they will receive KRM as a reward.

The company believes they can create a blockchain-based community by combining science and religion in a radical way. There is even a statement from Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, included in the whitepaper:

“If scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false… then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims.”

The Lotos community will be divided into two parts: students and teachers. Teachers will be either elected or assigned by the company’s owner. They offer religious services for the students including “facilitating student retention and progress,” creating content for the network and “recruiting” new students. The teachers will earn Karma tokens for their activities.

On the other hand, the students can freely register into the community, although, for a price. Lotos will allow students to join “temples” and classes but they have to pay KRM tokens to do so. Furthermore, there is “Karma-gated” content, which is only available if certain students pay a flat monthly subscription fee. Students can also earn KRM bonuses if they meditate, the more regular their activity is, the more bonuses they can earn, the whitepaper detailed.

When Lotos published its whitepaper in the Ethereum community on Reddit, they received hard criticism. Most of the users argue that Buddhism does not comply with materialism.

“I think ‘searching meaning beyond materialism’ and material ‘reward of spiritual practice’ don't mix together very well. Just a thought,” one user wrote.

“Dude what you are doing is not Buddhism it's Opportunism. Buddhism is about Simplicity, you are leading people into Complexity. Basically with your System people's Incentive to meditate IS TO MAKE MONEY (NOT LIBERATION),” another user wrote on Reddit.

Others in the community suspect that the whole project, which is planning to launch an ICO, is a scam or some sort of money grab.

“Here's the problem man: you are coming out with an ICO right at a time when the inherent corruption in ICOs is very much a public thing. I like the idea of a decentralized meditation app, I really do. However the fact that you are doing an ICO for ‘decentralized religion’ on something that isn't non-profit ESPECIALLY BUDDHISM screams scam, and I believe it is one. If this is really your passion to help people around the world learn to meditate and become spiritual, you wouldn't have a for-profit business model. Without a non-profit, you really don't have a leg to stand on when it comes to spirituality,” a user named “PJBRed27” said about the project.

Surprisingly, it seems the negative opinions on the project made Lotos change some of the concepts of the project:

“We are changing direction a bit now:

  1. Remove ICO mention from all marketing material / stop the crowd-fund campaign and work on building our community.

  2. Start playing the slow and steady ‘snowball going down a mountain’ game.

  3. Write blog posts at least once per week, each post highlights one of the community's biggest concerns with our project (like why we need ERC20 tokens).

  4. This also gives us time to find both blockchain and buddhist advisors.

  5. Move away from 'Buddhist’ to ‘Secular Meditation’.”

The post Bad Karma: Community Objects to “Opportunism” of Buddhism on the Blockchain appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 24 July 2017 | 2:14 pm

Mastercard and Cisco Join Enterprise Ethereum Alliance

Mastercard

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) was recently joined by 34 new members, including Mastercard, Cisco, Scotiabank and the Government of Andhra Pradesh, bringing the total membership of the consortium to over 150 organizations.

On July 18, 2017, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance published a press release claiming that — with the 34 new members and the total size of 150-plus participants — the EEA became “the world’s largest open-source blockchain initiative.” According to the consortium, which focuses on developments on the Ethereum blockchain, the newest members of EEA represent a “wide variety of business sectors, including technology, banking, government, healthcare, energy, pharmaceuticals, marketing, and insurance, as well as a number of fast-growing Ethereum startups.”

The main concept of the nonprofit is to “build, promote, and broadly support Ethereum-based technology best practices, open standards, and open source reference architectures.”

There was a bit of confusion in the Ethereum Reddit community since Mastercard was not listed among the new members in EEA’s press release. However, Andrew Keys, head of global business development at ConsenSys, cleared up the issue.

“Mastercard is indeed a new member of EEA. They asked not to be in the press release document but approved being on the EEA official website. They may be doing their own communications on this,” he wrote.

CEOs and representatives of many of the newly joined members of the EEA expressed their gratitude and commitment toward the project.

“As Fintech Valley Vizag in Andhra Pradesh aims to become a vital financial technology hub, it is working on adopting more robust systems that are cost-effective. With security issues all over the world, there is no doubt that blockchain technology is set to be the biggest disruptor not only in the financial world, but also [in] a number of online and offline sectors. We are keen on integrating blockchain technology into governance and look forward to our collaboration with Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and provide market access to the community,” J. A. Chowdary, special chief secretary and IT advisor to the chief minister at the Government of Andhra Pradesh (India), stated.

“OTP Bank keeps focusing on innovative technologies. Nowadays we think that the most valuable asset is the trust between the bank and the customers. Blockchain technology gives several advanced solutions in [the] security industry. OTP Bank has chosen Ethereum as a partner, because we consider it a state-of-the-art blockchain technology. Via joining the Ethereum community, OTP will be able [to] achieve its goals smoothly. Through the common standards and best practices evolving in Ethereum Enterprise Alliance, our IT systems will be more secure and highly developed,” László Popovics, head of IT innovations at OTP Bank — the leading bank in Hungary and one of the largest independent financial service providers in Central and Eastern Europe — wrote.

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance was formed in late February by a group of financial institutions, blockchain startups and innovators. The consortium — with J.P. Morgan and Intel as the most prominent names among the founding members — aims to standardize blockchain tech for enterprise settings. At the time of the EEA’s launch, the participants created a reference architecture for their project, called “EntEth 1.0,” which has a stronger focus on privacy.

Excluding Mastercard from the list, the newest members of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance include:

2Advise; Amalto Technologies; Antibiotic Research UK (ANTRUK); Aquilon Energy Services, Inc.; ASSETH; BLOCKO Inc.; Bloq; Cisco Systems; Cybersoft Digital Services Corp.; Enter Corporation Co., Ltd.; Equities.com, Inc.; Finclusion Labs, Inc. (WeTrust.io); Government of Andhra Pradesh; HashCash Consultants; HEAL Alliance; iEx.ec; Lazarski University; Loyyal Corporation; MadHive; Mattr; NetObjex Inc.; OTP Bank Plc.; QIWI Blockchain Technologies LLC.; Revelry; RISKebiz; Scotiabank; Streami Inc.; Talkcrypto.org; Technical University of Munich; Texcent Asia Pte Ltd; TIS R&D Center, Inc.; TokenCard/Monolith; Ventured and Ypse IT Solutions.

The post Mastercard and Cisco Join Enterprise Ethereum Alliance appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 24 July 2017 | 2:06 pm

Colony Moves Organizations, Companies onto the Ethereum Blockchain

Colony

London-based startup Colony is building an infrastructure based on the Ethereum blockchain that aims to revamp the way organizations and companies work and collaborate, promising to make human resources and project management more open, fair and efficient.

Think of Colony as the merger of Trello and Upwork, but running on a blockchain. Colony essentially brings the organization and human capital together onto a decentralized and transparent platform, and adds a monetary system that rewards freelancers and contributors alike based on their contributions to the success of the organization.

“Colony brings about a new ‘Nature of the Firm’ by significantly reducing both the transaction costs of the market exchange mechanism for labor, and trust required for people to work together,” Jack du Rose, co-founder of Colony, told Bitcoin Magazine.

“We see Colony as infrastructure for the organizations of the future. We believe infrastructure should be reliable and impartial; one organization should not be reliant on the existence or permission of another to operate.”

Instead of being managed by fallible individuals, “colonies” running on the platform harness the wisdom of the crowd to make sure that things get done by the right people and at the right time.

Each colony has its own token that represents a share of the ownership of the organization. Smart contracts are programmed to distribute ownership tokens according to the value each individual contributes. Contributors can later trade their tokens on the open market for cash.

Colony also comes with a reputation system that allows people to review and grade others’ contributed work. This system allows companies to choose the best candidates while enabling freelancers and experts to build influence and demonstrate their skills.

Colony: The “People Layer for the Decentralized Protocol Stack”

While Colony is building a reference client for its platform, the team very much thinks of the Colony protocol as infrastructure upon which other developers will build applications.

The Colony protocol, which is built as open-source smart contracts on the Ethereum network, is designed to enable developers to integrate decentralized and self-regulating division of labor, decision-making and financial management into their applications.

Du Rose described it as “the people layer for the decentralized protocol stack” and said he expects many companies and products to be built based on the software.

In the future, he hopes to see the protocol being integrated into a variety of applications. It can be used, for instance, to form the basis of a decentralized ride-sharing service, to handle claims in an insurance decentralized app or to provide the framework by which a merchants' guild coordinates in a virtual world, he said.

Moving forward

Colony released its beta in February of this year. The Colony Beta allows teams to create their own “collaboration network” and combines task management with payments and tracking features.

These features include automated cryptocurrency payments; USD, GBP and EUR payments with Stripe; integrations with popular tools including Slack, Xero and GitHub; a reputation system and a voting system.

Du Rose said that the team’s immediate focus is to continue to build out the network and client library, and “get them in the hands of as many people as possible.”

He said that an ongoing part of Colony’s medium- and long-term goals is focused on polishing the platform and improving the software in order to increase blockchain adoption, “not just for developers building on top of the Colony Protocol, but for the Ethereum developer community as a whole.”

He continued, “We see many challenges to usability in [the] blockchain space, and we don’t believe we’re going to achieve mainstream adoption of blockchain technology until we are able to offer the same quality of experience as centralized services provide.”

Companies and organizations around the world are beginning to explore the use of blockchain technology in project management. Russian government–owned development bank Vnesheconombank (VEB) is reportedly looking to launch a prototype for such a platform.

Speaking to Sputnik at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in May, the bank's chairman, Sergey Gorkov, said:

“When we started to think about how to manage projects efficiently, we realized that there is no platform. Everything that we had became obsolete. We realized that the blockchain is a good fundamental and qualitative platform for the future. [...] We have established a qualification center and a pilot project was launched. We are launching the first prototype in terms of project management this fall.”

The post Colony Moves Organizations, Companies onto the Ethereum Blockchain appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 24 July 2017 | 2:00 pm

Major Wall Street analyst: Here's what needs to happen for the bitcoin boom to keep going - CNBC


CNBC

Major Wall Street analyst: Here's what needs to happen for the bitcoin boom to keep going
CNBC
Bank of America Merrill Lynch is the latest major Wall Street firm to issue a report on bitcoin. Commodities and Derivatives Strategist Francisco Blanch looked at the history of currencies. Based on precedent, Blanch still sees a major hurdle for ...

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