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2017 has been an adrenaline-packed roller-coaster ride for Bitcoin so far. Especially taking in the fact that it hit its highest record, crossing over 2,900 USD towards the end of June.

Here we are going to take a look at this year’s top bitcoin news from around the world.

 

BITCOIN VS. GOLD:

Who could’ve ever thought that something that exists virtually could cross the value of something as valuable as GOLD?

On March 3rd, 2017, the cryptocurrency set a fresh record of $1,268 while Gold rested at $1,233. The precious metal seemed to be having a bad month as it had dropped more than 2 percent within the same week. Meanwhile, Bitcoin seemed to be on the rise, with a 7 percent rise in a weeks’ time.

This cross is something that will always remain symbolic due to Bitcoin’s incomparable fighting power.

JAPAN:

The reasons behind the success of Bitcoin, particularly in 2017 could begin with the legalization of the cryptocurrency in Japan, which is Asia’s richest economy. Following the announcement, retailers and companies began queueing up to accept the popular digital currency. Moreover, the number of retail storefronts has risen to 300,000 in 2017 alone, things are definitely turning around for Japan.

Also, let us not forget that Japan has officially eliminated the tax on Bitcoin which is bound to drive an increase in Bitcoin trading.

RUSSIA:

Russia announced their legalization of the use of cryptocurrencies in 2017. Their government confirmed in late April, that a draft bill would create the legal framework for trading in cryptocurrencies. Surprisingly, this is coming exactly a year after the same Russian institutions had announced that anyone caught using Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency would be jailed.

Why this change you may ask?

Russia plans on implementing the blockchain technology within its banking sector, to eliminate liquidity crisis and money laundering. Central authorities have closed down many banks but shutting down is not enough to wipe out frauds. Ultimately, authorities have decided to implement new technological applications that allow the government to surveillance people throughout. Thus, the sudden involvement is being shown in the digital world.

EDUCATIONAL INDUSTRY:

The University of Ohio has now officially begun hosting their first classes about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a part of its MFE curriculum. To follow up, several colleges have even started to accept Bitcoin as a payment method, a step that has definitely pushed Bitcoins to new heights.

In addition, two Montessori schools in Flatiron & Soho have now started to accept Bitcoin as a payment and 10 parents have already opted to enroll their kids using Bitcoin. Marco Ciocca, co-founder, and chairman of the schools added this payment option in June.

The above points prove that Bitcoin is becoming more and more popular as we type this article. People are intrigued to know more about the cryptocurrency and have adapted to the system to develop a better understanding. Obviously, because who wouldn’t want to exchange or shop for anything and everything without having to leave the comfort of their homes.

These are the major bitcoin highlights 2017 but, this is definitely not the end of it. Bitcoin is known for its staying power and we know that despite all of its competitors, it’s one tough cookie!

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Everything you need to know about Segregated Witness

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I have been noticing on many online bitcoin districts that various users are unable to understand the concept of Segregated Witness. This post will clear up any doubts, uncertainties, and myths regarding SegWit.

So, what happens in SegWit?

SegWit is short for Segregated Witness and it’s a proposal presented by the developers of Bitcoin Core. Originally it was aimed to solve the transaction malleability, which is a well-known weak spot in the Bitcoin system. The idea behind SegWit is that the signatures in a transaction, also known as the “witness data” are skipped when calculating the transaction id.

Basically, SegWit will update the 1MB size block limit to 4-million unit block weight limit. This counts serialized
witness data and one unit and core block data as four units. This is an entirely new transaction format, meaning the block size is increased. SegWit counts each byte in a witness as 0.25 bytes towards the 1MB block limit, thus the maximum size of a block becomes just under 4MB.

It’s not that the data gets smaller, it’s just counted in a way that allows for the block limit to be increased.

The short/easy version

In simple words, signature related data is removed from bitcoin transactions, causing them to appear smaller in size. Also, making the block size smaller, further, allowing more transactions to take place.

 

Clearing up myths and rumors

Myth: SegWit as a soft fork is much more dangerous than a hard fork

A soft fork ensures that the backward and forward compatibility is under control. Also, when a soft fork is set up, old versions of Bitcoin software will be able to function without any faults. On the other hand, a hard fork requires every Bitcoin user to update to the new software to support the consensus rules. Any user that fails to upgrade to the new software might be under the risk of getting thrown off the Bitcoin network.

 

Myth: SegWit is more complicated than a super simple hard fork

Similar to a hard fork, SegWit proposes the same idea of increasing the block size limit. No doubt, it is pretty complex and introduces several changes, but it is a relatively simple conceptual change. Basically, SegWit ignores the signatures when calculating the transactions, but as a soft fork, some additional changes must be made to make SegWit transactions compatible with non-segwit nodes. These changes then have side effects which can be beneficial to Bitcoin. It also contains more functionality than a hard fork increasing the block size limit. The hard fork to increase the block size limit also appears simple, but additional changes need to be made to support the deployment and to solve the quadratic hashing issue with transactions.

 

Myth: Miners who don’t upgrade to segwit will be forcefully told to quit the bitcoin network

This is false since SegWit will be deployed using the BIP9 versionbits which uses a 95% threshold. A miner would not run into any trouble, as long as he follows certain rules. However, if he fails to follow these rules, he could end up with transactions including witnesses but he wouldn’t be having the witnesses nor the witness root hash in the Coinbase. This would be an invalid block that would be in the orphan pool.

 

What are the benefits of SegWit?

Besides the obvious benefit of having to increase the capacity, there are several other benefits that come with the introduction of SegWit. Some of those benefits are:

  • Node performance is tested based on how weighting data
  • Signature covers value
  • Linear scaling of sighash operations
  • MultiSig gets more security
  • Script versioning
  • Increased security to almost-full-nodes

Why hasn’t SegWit been activated yet?

If there is not enough support shown, it might result in a contentious fork. That means a part of the network switches to the new client while some remain to use the older version. This leads to two sets of cryptocurrencies with different rules, co-existing and competing for users and legitimacy.

In order to avoid such a situation, the developers of SegWit have programmed a specific rule in the software proclaiming that it will only activate once it reaches the 95% mark.

Currently, the support is hovering around 32-33%. 

Everything you need to know about Segregated Witness

 

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chinese Stock Exchange Takes Action Against Blockchain-Related Company

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Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) is one of the major stock exchanges of China. China is taking action against companies that are planning to start Blockchain research labs as on 21st March, a local media reported that SZSE has started an investigation against a company that has announced its plans to start a Blockchain research lab for applications in the medicinal industry.

blockchain research lab

Stock Trading Company

The stock trading of healthcare device manufacturer, Lifesense has been suspended by SZSE temporarily and now the company is required to provide all the information, explaining why Blockchain technology is so important for the company, also the project’s plans for the next three-years, as well as the amount of Lifesense’s funding shares.

Letter Issued by SZSE

On Tuesday, March 20, SZSE issued a letter and ordered Lifesense to reveal all the details about its plans to launch a “Blockchain laboratory.” SZSE is also expecting to get a reply from Lifesense by 23rd March. The announcement of Lifesense project is the move that made the company’s share price upsurge by 10% as it succeeded to grab the attention of the stock exchange while the price hit the daily limit of SZSE.

A similar inquiry was sent by SZSE to Zhejiang Enjoyor Electronics earlier this week, which made Enjoyor Electronics confiscate its announcement on WeChat as it claimed to launch the very first Blockchain-based electrical data forensic certificate, all around the world. A warning was also issued by SZSE in January that it’s going to carefully observe those companies that are using the popularity of Blockchain to improve their stock prices.

Companies Investigated By SZSE

According to China Money Network, over 20 listed companies have been investigated by SZSE due to the baseless claims about Blockchain technology. Earlier, a report was published on companies that were using the ‘Blockchain’ word in the US to improve their share prices through the publicity surrounding the innovative technology.

In February, SEC suspended three companies from trading that revealed statements about getting “Blockchain technology-related assets.”Also,

U.S. SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) has announced more investigation of companies in the US, who alter their name to add the word “Blockchain” into it.

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How to launch a successful ICO

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What An ICO Truly Means???

How to luanch a successful ICO: Initial coin offers the newly emerged concept of crowdfunding in blockchain and cryptocurrency. Basically, it is an event, when a digital company releases its own cryptocurrency. The company usually release a number of crypto-tokens. As a result, users get their crypto token’s share and the company gets its fund to develop more products.

ICO Direct Marketing Guidance – Are ICO Campaigns Suitable For The Business???

For a business setup, it needs a proper homework and campaigns session also. Some business owners consider that ICO is an important tool for any startup. With advertisement process, it allows to raise your money and registering IPO with agencies.

Whereas, in the case of the digital world, ICO ideology is getting more achievements. There are few standards which play an important role to accomplish the actual requirements of a successful campaign. Here, the first requirement is to generate the value of the cryptocurrency for users.

ICO market depends upon two pillars such as authentication and transparency of a transaction or dealing. Due to this, owner of the project will not able to get an extra reward on contributors’ amount.

So, before conducting a crowd sale token campaign keeps authentication and transparency sessions to minimize the risk of detrimental.

Can I Conduct An ICO Campaign?

ICO has the ability to create a profitable campaign. ICO crypto-token can be easily integrated into any business model. This is the fundamental problem that a token comes under massive speculative pressure and end up with the level of heavy demand.

In the same way, your plan is to decentralize your token and increase the value of it, it’s a part of the business feel free to read on. On the other hand, there are much better ways such as plain old crowdfunding or VC funding.

What Should I Focus On Before Launching?

ICO campaign owner always has the teamwork with goals and potential. They make their effort to attain three answers to the question. As a result, they get the profitable campaign.

  1. Who is working on the campaign which includes market reputation, communication level, ICO direct marketing and definition of your product?
  2. Explain project’s goal clearly.
  3. And, what you have for the contributors in your product.

How To Pull The Team In ICO?

You’ll need an experienced and hard-working team during ICO campaign.  Avoid the hiring of unaware team members. A professional team with their face and portfolio on the social media platform, easily available to any potential contributor.

How To Communicate With The Audience?

Simply take a white paper. In addition, write down the technical aspects of the project, problems, and their solutions, targeted areas, a proper channel. Make it sure that your goals are well-defined and have real worth.


How To Protect The Investors’ Interests?

Offer the premiums like discounts to the early investors. For investors, interest introduces escrow wallet for the contribution. And, make it sure to the investors that investments are refunding in case of failure.

Most Important Factors Of ICO

A campaign depends on the two factors,

  1. Your timing
  2. Your communication

These two factors directly create strong effects on a campaign.

Goodluck!

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Is Cryptocurrency Still Great for GPU Makers?

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On Thursday, an American technology company, Nvidia has announced its financial results which were remarkable. The company has revenues of $3.2 billion from January to April. But what’s the reason behind this profit?

gpu makers

Well, the value of ether and other cryptos recently soared up and created lots of demand for graphics cards – to mine them. Due to the upsurge in the demand, the price of few high-end graphics got doubled between the mid of 2017 to February 2018. It’s a matter of concern for the GPU makers of major graphics-card, as the most important market for them is eventually the gamers, not the miners.

The idea of graphics-card makers collecting hefty profits from the high prices, due to the mining demand doesn’t seem to be liked by the gamers. However, Nvidia accredited that cryptos have played an important role in boosting the financial outlook of the company.

What does Nvidia’s CFO have to say about it?

CFO of Nvidia, Colette Kress said:

Cryptocurrency demand was again stronger than expected, but we were able to fulfil most of it with crypto-specific GPUs, which are included in our OEM business at $289 million.”

The $298 million figure is around 10% of the revenue of Nvidia and it seems like it lessens the cryptocurrency influence on the bottom line of Nvidia. If a customer buys a graphics card at retail, Nvidia won’t be able to know if it’s being used for mining, gaming or something else. The same story goes for the main graphics-card of a rival, AMD, which released first-quarter results a few weeks ago. According to AMD, the sales related to cryptocurrency accounted for almost 10% of total revenue, which could be again understating its influence on the profits of AMD.

GPUs Value

It has been observed that the value of cryptocurrencies has been falling for the past few months. Also, the value of GPUs has also gotten a lot cheaper than it was before. AMD didn’t provide any specific projection for revenues related to blockchain in the second quarter, however, the spokesman of the company suggested that the rest of the year 2018, is going to be significantly below the first quarter sales.

If the price of cryptocurrencies still keeps dropping, it will end up in the form of awful results for the GPU makers. But if the price of cryptocurrencies falls really low, it’s clear that we won’t only see miners halting to buy new GPUs but, we would also see them selling the graphic-cards that they already had on the secondary market. The resulting graphics card surplus could exhort the value of graphics-card below MSRP — MSRP would be good news for gamers though it might be bad news for the companies that are trying to sell new GPUs.

The president of AMD, Lisa Su said that she wasn’t really anxious about the scenario.

“There are multiple currencies being used — People who are mining do go from one currency to another depending on what’s happening.”

She also added that customers can buy graphics-cards for both purposes; gaming and mining. They will be able to hold onto the graphics-card for the gaming purposes — in the case of mining becoming unprofitable. On the other hand, this analysis seems to be debatable. There’s no doubt that there are profusions of cryptos, but at the same time, there are some of them which are economically significant.

Ethereum’s ether is the most important and significant GPU-mineable so far, and the prices of cryptocurrency are strongly linked to it. So, if the value of ether drops, there’s a possibility that the value of other cryptocurrencies might also fall with it. There are many people who want to buy graphics-card for various applications, and there are a lot of those as well that have many of them (graphics-card). These individuals might hold onto one or two cards for the gaming purpose, however, if the price of cryptocurrencies falls quite low, lots of those cards will end up in the used GPU market. This will also make it hard for both AMD and Nvidia in selling their new cards.

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