M&A in the bitcoin sector

Publicly traded bitcoin miner OTCQB:BTCS is moving toward a new merger after its tie up with Spondoolies-Tech fell through in 2015. New filings with the SEC show that the company has signed a non-binding letter of intent with Blockchain Global, which … Read Full Story

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Publicly traded bitcoin miner OTCQB:BTCS is moving toward a new merger after its tie up with Spondoolies-Tech fell through in 2015. New filings with the SEC show that the company has signed a non-binding letter of intent with Blockchain Global, which … Read Full Story

The post M&A in the bitcoin sector appeared first on ForexTV.

Asus Debuts Specialized Motherboard for Cryptocurrency Miners

Asus is to release a new product aimed at cryptocurrency miners – a motherboard that can be packed with 19 GPUs.

Computer hardware maker Asus has revealed a new motherboard with features geared specifically toward cryptocurrency miners.

Dubbed the B250 Mining Expert, the board was debuted over the weekend by Asus‘ Republic of Gamers, the Taiwan-based manufacturer’s high-end gaming brand.

And while the product’s release date and price aren’t known yet, it nonetheless represents the latest signal that the mainstream hardware industry is expanding its cryptocurrency footprint. Further, the announcement comes months after Asus began rolling out GPUs designed specifically with crypto-miners in mind – aimed to take full advantage of the digital „gold rush“ now taking place.

The B250 Mining Expert motherboard itself boasts a total of 19 PCI-Express expansion slots, compared to the 12, eight or six slots featured on competitors‘ products.

The idea is that cryptocurrency miners – who use computing power (and lots of electricity) to add new transactions to a blockchain, receiving newly minted coins as a reward – want to run as a many graphics cards as possible. The forthcoming board, according to the specs that are circulating, has roughly the capacity of two to three regular-sized motherboards.

The 19 expansion slots are split into three groups, each containing 24 dedicated pins. This allows the mining rig to be connected to three power supply units at once, stabilizing the rig for multi-GPU usage. The board also boasts a variety of features likely to appeal to miners, such as live visual statistics.

As previously reported by CoinDesk, other major GPU makers like Nvidia and AMD have moved in recent months to capitalize on the spike in demand for products that can be used for mining.

Earlier this month, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang issued bullish statements on the prospects for his firm’s entry into the mining space, suggesting that it could be a long-term revenue driver.

„Cryptocurrency and blockchain are here to stay,“ he said.

Product image via Asus

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at [email protected].

The Bitcoin Scaling Agreement: A Cryptocurrency Regulatory Parable

The Bitcoin Scaling Agreement was as much a story about technology as Titanic was about a ship. A crash course in the basics of democracy, economic majority theory and self-determination, the Bitcoin Scaling Agreement, which set in motion the Bitcoin Fork … Read Full Story

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The Bitcoin Scaling Agreement was as much a story about technology as Titanic was about a ship. A crash course in the basics of democracy, economic majority theory and self-determination, the Bitcoin Scaling Agreement, which set in motion the Bitcoin Fork … Read Full Story

The post The Bitcoin Scaling Agreement: A Cryptocurrency Regulatory Parable appeared first on ForexTV.

Bitcoin’s Battle Over Segwit2x Has Begun

Is a new version of bitcoin’s software a way to please all over the scaling issue, or a hostile takeover by commerce? The community is divided.

„Download BTC1.“ That’s all it took.

Part of a statement in a larger BitPay blog post last week, the words were meant to urge the bitcoin processor’s users to upgrade their software ahead of a scheduled code upgrade. It’s safe to say, however, that they didn’t have the intended effect, setting off a firestorm of angry commentary.

That’s because BitPay was indicating support for „BTC1,“ an alternative software client to Bitcoin Core, the one used by over two-thirds of the network. And, in bitcoin, incompatibility can have economic consequences – namely, the creation of alternative assets, a development that’s still splitting sentiment.

Among the angry voices were notable figures in the blockchain tech community.

Lightning Network creator Tadge Dryja called it „straight up malware,“ while Bitcoin Core contributor John Newbery asserted that the post was „dishonest and dangerous.“

The accusation is that the advice was put out willfully by BitPay to confuse users – akin to asking users to say, upgrade their iPhone in a way that would make it so they could no longer message other users, or accidentally sign them up for a new carrier. 

As such, the criticisms perhaps had more to say about the state of bitcoin’s technical roadmap and the lingering idealogical battles ongoing among the network’s many different participants.

More broadly, the BTC1 software has emerged as one of the more controversial proposals as it’s based on an agreement made up group of miners, companies and developers, who, claiming that they represent the interests of network users, intend to hard fork bitcoin to increase the network’s block size in November.

And though Segwit2x isn’t scheduled to release the hard fork code for several months, the idea is that doing so could potentially lead to the creation of another bitcoin network, one that would rival bitcoin and bitcoin cash. 

That possibility, it seems, has ripped open old wounds.

Culture of infighting

On social media, no slight is too small if it sends a message.

In another notable incident, a developer for Bitcoin Core went so far as to officially ban Jeff Garzik, the lead developer for BTC1, from contributing to its GitHub shortly after the BitPay incident.

Although, that this came to pass perhaps isn’t surprising. For one, Garzik hasn’t contributed to bitcoin since 2014. But the incident does carry a larger symbolism, in that its intent is to label Garzik a villain in the ongoing technical battles.

If one of the key charges levied at Segwit2x is that the group, composed of a group of influential bitcoin companies, is trying to „corporatize“ bitcoin development, it’s Garzik that has taken most of the heat.

Critics have so far sought to label Garzik a „politician“ or else ask (sometimes not politely) that he leave the bitcoin development community entirely. (Garzik was a former employee of BitPay and is now CEO of a startup called Bloq).

Still, Garzik has his defenders, particularly among Segwit2x supporters. Erik Voorhees, whose firm ShapeShift is a signatory, sees the criticisms as reinforcing the idea bitcoin’s development team isn’t open to change.

Users were keen to disagree – and colorfully.

Danger, danger

Yet another touchpoint in the battle has been the idea of security, with each side spending ample time accusing the other of the willingness to put user money at risk for their ideological beliefs.

Chief among these is the budding fight over „replay protection.“

The idea is that if Segwit2x chooses to go through with an attempt to hard fork the block size to 2MB, and the blockchain splits in two, replay attacks could lead some users and companies to lose money. And in the mind of advocates for Bitcoin Core, those backing the new agreement should be the ones to add replay protection.

In this way, the event mirrors developments last summer, when a group of developers began working on ethereum classic, the original blockchain abandoned by a majority of users following a hard fork that proved contentious in its community.

And the concerns have merit, as some users lost funds in the resulting shuffle.

Some developers, who have proved willing to work with the Segwit2x group, have even raised concerns as the BTC1 software has not had replay protection put in place. The charge here is, that’s been done purposefully.

First and foremost, by not doing adding replay protection, the Segwit2x group could avoid the appearance of an impending bitcoin split and encourage more users to adopt its software – and that’s in line with statements from its members, who have argued BTC1 won’t result in the creation of another bitcoin.

Outspoken supporters of a larger block size aren’t being shy that they believe this is the right tactic, predicting Core will be the less-popular chain in the end.

Peace and understanding

Yet, there have been attempts to spur more well-meaning dialogue between the two camps.

Ted Rogers, president of bitcoin wallet firm Xapo (which supports the Segwit2x agreement), argued in a mini tweetstorm that critics often misrepresent what Segwit2x members are trying to accomplish.

„Segwit2x is an honest attempt [at] bringing sides together [with] no split,“ he said, before listing a few of the proposal’s benefits.

Rather than argue that Segwit2x is the one true bitcoin, Rogers contends that it will offer the market „a chance to see how different solutions play out.“ 

The comments build upon what has been a larger drive by BTC1 supporters to frame the proposal as one supported by a free-market design strategy.

Here, the commentary was divided, if less acrimonious.

In response to Rodgers, some bitcoin users responded with a chorus that is likely to only grow louder as November nears, one that stresses the idea that a software upgrade put forward by businesses amounts to a kind of hostile takeover.

Hinting at the heart of the argument, one Twitter user said:

„If a group of CEOs can simply get together and unilaterally change bitcoin, then that means a government could – and hence bitcoin is dead.“

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which helped organize the Segwit2x agreement, and has ownership stakes in BitPay, Bloq, ShapeShift and Xapo.

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Interested in offering your expertise or insights to our reporting? Contact us at [email protected].

Volcker rule and the recent updates

Volker Rule is a federal regulation that restricts banks from making speculative investments with th…

Volker Rule is a federal regulation that restricts banks from making speculative investments with their own customers’ accounts. The rule was proposed by former US Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker as part of section 619 of Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to avoid financial stability similar. The decision for taken to avoid crises similar to 2008 financial crises. The rule prohibits commercial banks from:

  • Engaging in proprietary trading of securities, derivatives, options and commodity futures.
  • Owning or investing or sponsoring  hedge funds and private equity funds

The rule applies to these activities by US banks regardless of where the activities are conducted. However for Non-US Banks, it applies if the activities are conducting in the US.

The institutions are required to disclose their covered trading activities to the government, the compliance and reporting requirement however differs, depending on the size of the institution.

Recent Updates on Volcker Rule

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has sought the public comments on changes to Volcker rule. In the press release dated August 1, 2017, OCC has mentioned that it is interested in public’s input on whether aspects of the final rule and its implementation should be revised to ease banking organizations to reduce the compliance burden & gain the benefits restricted by the rule.

OCC is seeking comments on the following topics

  • The scope of the entities subject to the Volcker rule
  • The proprietary trading restrictions
  • The covered fund restrictions
  • The compliance program & metrics reporting requirements

There are 5 regulators that enforce Volcker rule: OCC, Federal Reserve Board, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission & OCC is the first one to take the initiative of seeking public comments after the report released by US Treasury Department on June 13, 2017. In the report, Treasury Department recommended few amendments to the Volcker rule which includes

  • Exemption to the banks with less than $10 billion assets
  • Remove proprietary trading restrictions on larger banks

There are set of questions asked by OCC on each of the topics mentioned above subject to rules restrictions. Last date to submit the comments is September 21, 2017.

Monex Group Reports Monthly Consolidated Financial Results

Monex Group continues to post strong numbers, as has been the trend for the company this year.

Japanese brokerage Monex Group has announced its consolidated financial results for the month of July 2017. Looking at the numbers, we can see that revenue has increased when compared to the same month last year.

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Operating revenue came in at $354 million (3.9 billion yen) for July 2017, which is 7.5% more than last year’s figure of $333 million (3.67 billion yen). This is a continuation of the strong results that the company has been posting since the beginning of this year.

When compared to June, this result is a decrease of 9.4%, but this is understandable considering the fact that it is currently a holiday period in Japan, and so many traders and fund managers will be away from their desks.

Monex financial expenses rose to $4 million (0.43 billion yen) from $2.7 million (0.30 billion yen) last year, a rise of 43% which could be attributed to the fact that the company has been expanding into other regions of the world, such as Australia.

This also represents a 20.7% increase from $3.3 million (0.35 billion yen) in June 2017. It should be noted that these numbers are as yet un-audited as the proper accounting process is yet to be completed.

The price of Bitcoin and Ethereum is slipping but Bitcoin Cash is rising

Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two biggest cryptocurrencies by market value, are slipping on Tuesday, while Bitcoin Cash recovers after Monday’s fall. Bitcoin is down 4.7% against the dollar to $3,810.39 at 7.20 a.m. BST (2.20 a.m. ET), a one-week low. Read Full Story

The post The price of Bitcoin and Ethereum is slipping but Bitcoin Cash is rising appeared first on ForexTV.

Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two biggest cryptocurrencies by market value, are slipping on Tuesday, while Bitcoin Cash recovers after Monday’s fall. Bitcoin is down 4.7% against the dollar to $3,810.39 at 7.20 a.m. BST (2.20 a.m. ET), a one-week low. Read Full Story

The post The price of Bitcoin and Ethereum is slipping but Bitcoin Cash is rising appeared first on ForexTV.

WSJ City: BHP Billiton Eyes Shale Sale After Investor Pressure, Are Long-Term Investors the Market’s True Gamblers?

Good morning from the WSJ City desks in London. WSJ City is the app that delivers fast, smart news on mobile for London. Download for iPhone or Android. Here’s essential reading on today’s developments. MUST READS FROM WSJ CITY Activist investors scored a victory after BHP Billiton said it was looking to sell its onshore US oil-and-gas operations. The world’s largest listed miner […]

Good morning from the WSJ City desks in London. WSJ City is the app that delivers fast, smart news on mobile for London. Download for iPhone or Android. Here’s essential reading on today’s developments. MUST READS FROM WSJ CITY Activist investors scored a victory after BHP Billiton said it was looking to sell its onshore US oil-and-gas operations. The world’s largest listed miner […]

Dash Sponsors Arizona State Universitys New Blockchain Research Lab

Cryptocurrency Dash have this week announced that they are to fund a Blockchain Research Lab…nThe post Dash Sponsors Arizona State University&8217s New Blockchain Research Lab appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.n

· August 21, 2017 · 5:00 am

Cryptocurrency Dash have this week announced that they are to fund a Blockchain Research Lab in partnership with the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering at Arizona State University.


More Blockchain Research?

If it seems like every other week there is a news story about yet another tin-pot government, trying to work out how blockchain technologies can benefit them, then take heart. Dash are spending their cash on bringing some high-end research back into the educational sphere.

The new lab will look at the possibilities that blockchain and cryptocurrency can provide for the everyman. Whilst giving students hands on experience with blockchain, it will focus on how blockchain and cryptocurrencies can be improved. A number of topics have been outlined for initial research.

Such as?

One subject which is particularly pertinent at the moment following the recent Bitcoin hard fork is scalability, and the lab will be considering the viability of various long-term solutions for blockchain scaling.

dash

The facility will also research methods to lessen the environmental impact of mining. This could include identifying or minimizing the level of hash rate required to ensure the security of the network.

Another topic to be investigated is the best way to avoid cryptocurrency mining becoming more centralized. After all, if we are pushing for decentralization then this is surely one of the key aspects we are trying to avoid.

So where did Dash get this cash?

The Dash network has a rather unique model whereby block rewards are divided between a number of beneficiaries. 45% go to miners, 45% to so-called master nodes, and 10% go towards a network development budget.

Obviously Dash will be using the output of the research lab to improve their own network, and who can blame them. The results will also be available for any other cryptocurrency to incorporate as they see fit.

Dash fund a bug bounty program through the same network development scheme. They certainly seem to be one of the more proactive players in the field of self-improvement.

Looks like even more cash coming their way

The DASH price surged to a record high following the announcement, meaning more budget for future network development.

One hopes that combined with their ASU collaboration, this can only lead to a better future network.

Will this new initiative help grow the Dash network? Let us know below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock 

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