Crypto prices suffer as Korean government announces new regs, potential ban

Crypto prices suffer as Korean government announces new regs, potential ban

The South Korean government announced new legislation today

that would put increasingly tough regulations on the country’s burgeoning cryptocurrency markets. Under the legislation, Korea, which is the third largest market for cryptocurrencies in the world after the U.S. and Japan, would ban anonymous accounts and continually monitor crypto exchanges. Perhaps more ominously, the Wall Street Journal reported as well that the Ministry of Justice is considering unilaterally closing all crypto exchanges in the country, although didn’t provide any detailed guidance or timelines on when such a policy might be enacted.

The news slammed cryptocurrency prices. Bitcoin was hit about 12%, dropping from around $15,500 to eventually hitting a bottom of $13611, according to Coindesk. Ethereum was hit about 8% in the aftermath of the news.

The proposed legislation on anonymous accounts is in line with recommendations from the Korea Blockchain Industry Association earlier this month which declared that currency operations between Korean Won and cryptocurrency-denominated accounts should only be allowed in cases where the identity of the account holder has been confirmed. 14 member exchanges agreed to that proposal. The absolute frenzy of cryptocurrencies has taken the country’s leadership by surprise, and the government has raced to change laws to facilitate and regulate the industry. Earlier this month, the government also announced that it intended to tax cryptocurrency gains as capital gains in an attempt to stem the onslaught of cash coming in from Korean consumer investors.

Despite wide popularity among the Korean public, there have been increasing concerns that Korea’s exchanges are insecure. Last week, one of the most prominent Korean cryptocurrency exchanges, Youbit, collapsed following a $35 million hack earlier this month. That was after a $72 million hack on the exchange in April. As I discussed last week on TechCrunch, there is increasing evidence that North Korea has been using bitcoin trading as a key side business moneymaker for the Kim regime. Through hacks on traditional banks and its threatening nuclear weapons posture, the regime has attempted to undermine faith in traditional institutions, pushing more investors to cryptocurrencies as a safer, more stable bet. Eliminating anonymous accounts would be one step to help prevent the North from infiltrating the South’s crypto infrastructure.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614



Bitcoin warning: Cryptocurrency profits to be TAXED

Bitcoin warning: Cryptocurrency profits to be TAXED

Bitcoin warning: Cryptocurrency profits to be TAXED

BITCOIN will be taxed following a dizzying year of price rises and falls, industry experts have warned as the volatile cryptocurrency continues moving towards the mainstream.

With bitcoin’s price rising 1100 per cent over 2017 the HMRC has decided against creating new legislation to ensure the investment gains are taxed appropriately.

But experts have warned the cryptocurrency will not remain exempt from tax.

Benjamin Dives, CEO of London Block Exchange told “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. Cryptocurrency may be new and unique, but it is not exempt from tax liability.”

Mr Dives says individuals who profit from their Bitcoin investments will be required to pay capital gains tax – just like those who profit from the disposal of their stocks, shares and other investment instruments – through their annual self-assessment.

Profits from bitcoin price rises are subject to 20 per cent Capital Gains Tax – or 19 per cent Corporation Tax if it’s a company doing the trading. Everyone has a Capital Gains Tax free allowance of £11,300 per annum – any gains up to this amount are tax free.

But could bitcoin become a tool for tax evasion?

Richard Asquith, vice president of global indirect tax at Avalar told “It almost certainly already is, with either large amounts of undeclared gains on the current bubble or money laundering.”

However, Mr Asquith adds the disadvantage for fraudsters is the bitcoin public ledger systems makes it possible for law authorities to track down most of the crimes and criminals.

The other area that could be exploited according to Mr Asquith is payments made for household for services from small traders like plumbers, decorators and electricians and missing VAT and income tax returns will need to be monitored as the bitcoin technology goes mainstream.

So what fear is there for mass tax national tax evasion using bitcoin?

Daniele Bianchi, assistant professor of Finance at Warwick Business School, told “Other than the dark web, tax evasion and money laundering are the two main ways one could use Bitcoin to break the law.”

However, on Bitcoin becoming a major tool for tax evasion Mr Bianchi says it will be less and less appealing when it becomes a mainstream asset class, which is already happening.

Mr Dives, CEO of London Block Exchange adds the onus is on Cryptocurrency exchanges to bypass anonymity and comply with 'Know Your Customer' and 'Anti-Money Laundering' protocols, which are necessary in all traditional financial institutions.

He said: "Bitcoin can hide user’s identities but it is not fully anonymous. All other transaction details – such as time the transaction was made, amount sent and destination address – are recorded publicly on the blockchain and therefore all transfers made using Bitcoin can be traced back to specific wallet addresses.

“For this reason, Bitcoin is pseudonymous. This pseudonymity is appealing to users who value their privacy, but not enough for those who want to avoid taxes.”





Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur



Is The Bitcoin Panic Over? Sure… Until The Next One Starts

Is The Bitcoin Panic Over?
Sure… Until The Next One Starts

The Bitcoin bubble  popped over the holiday weekend

Depending on who you ask, the Bitcoin bubble either popped over the holiday weekend, or there was a panic that the market has since recovered from, nothing to see here, move along. Either could be true, in the long term, but the reality of Bitcoin means that panics will simply be a way of life.

  • First, let’s talk financial panics:
  • Financial panics are simple, really. Enough people freak out over an event and withdraw their money from an asset or an institution so quickly that the situation snowballs. A good example is a bank run; if people think a bank is failing, they take their cash out. But banks make money by investing the cash you deposit with them, so they don’t have enough cash on hand to cover a huge number of deposits being yanked all at once. Thus, if enough cash leaves the bank, the bank collapses. Financial institutions usually solve this by refusing to open the doors, which is exactly what Coinbase did last Friday.
  • Your US dollars have certain protections, thanks to bank runs and other disasters:
  • Thanks to bank runs destroying banks (and leaving people without their savings), the US government instituted certain ideas like forcing banks to keep a certain percentage of their assets on hand at all times and insuring your deposits up to a certain amount. Ever wonder what the FDIC sticker is in your bank’s window? It’s the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; just like your car, your home, and your health, your money is insured.
  • Bitcoin, by design, does not have those protections:
  • It’s easy to forget amid the hype that Bitcoin, in particular, is an experiment by an anonymous libertarian designed to see what happens when you create a currency untethered from any centralized authority (including law enforcement) and instead basically crowdsource everything. So, right from the start, Bitcoin has been heist-prone and absurdly volatile.
  • Remember, Bitcoin is backed by nothing but the faith of investors in Bitcoin:
  • Again, this is by design. Bitcoin is tied entirely to the free market, and the free market is inherently absurd and volatile. The free market does weird, irrational things all the time, so basically, Bitcoin is a fiscal roller coaster and nobody’s got a handle on the brakes. When you invest in Bitcoin, or any cryptocurrency that isn’t backed by something, that’s what you’re signing up for.

In other words, whenever a panic ends, a new panic is coming. Eventually, Bitcoin will stabilize, if more and more people use it (a broader base of people treating a currency like… currency is a naturally stabilizing force). For now, expect swings. Advocates will, and fairly, point to the overall trend which, for the moment, is going up. But the same was true of the housing market, the dot-com boom, and a host of other financial bubbles. Investing is always going to have at least a little anxiety attached, but for Bitcoin, it’s worth remembering that anxiety is built into its very code.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614


Bitcoin will trade between $6,500 and $22,000 in 2018, according to the first analyst to cover it

Bitcoin will trade
between $6,500 and $22,000 in 2018,
according to the first analyst to cover it

  • Bitcoin could trade in a range of $6,500 to $22,000 in 2018, according to Nick Colas at DataTrek Research, an analyst who's been covering the cryptocurrency for at least four years.
  • Along with the wild price fluctuations will come four market "crashes" with price drops of at least 40 percent, he said.
  • Ultimately, he said a price of $14,035 would be a reasonable midpoint, representing a drop of about 11 percent from Wednesday's level.

Bitcoin is in for a potentially wild ride in 2018

that will end with a modest drop from the current price, the first Wall Street analyst to write about the crypotcurrency said Wednesday. Nick Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research, has been following the bitcoin phenomenon for at least four years. Looking ahead to 2018, he sees more volatility for an asset that has soared nearly 1,600 percent over the past year. In fact, he figures bitcoin could slosh in a range between $6,500 and $22,000; it was around $15,750 in Wednesday morning trade. "Bottom line: bitcoin can rally to $22,000 and still be reasonably priced, or plummet to $6,500 and also be correctly valued," Colas said in his daily note. "We expect to see bitcoin trade for both prices in 2018."

Ultimately, he said a midpoint range of $14,035 would be a reasonable price point. Along with the wild price swings, Colas sees bitcoin losing more market share to competitors, and "at least four crashes" of 40 percent or more. "Bitcoin and cryptocurrency are hard to value and their economic utility relies on use cases that are not yet built. Of course the volatility we've seen will continue," he said.

It's been an amazing year for crypotcurrencies, which serve as a digital method of payments and, in some views, as an alternative to gold and other safe haven assets. While bitcoin has garnered the lion's share of the headlines, there are now 36 cryptos that have market caps greater than $1 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. Colas arrived at this price range by comparing the amount of bitcoins to the amount of $100 bills in circulation.

"Bitcoin's primary 'real' use case right now is personal asset protection," he wrote. "Yes, that includes money laundering and tax evasion. But it also incorporates the legitimate desire of honest people living in countries with less-than-exemplary rules of law to shield some of their assets. "At the moment, the primary instrument used globally for these purposes is the $100 bill." If bitcoin's value came to 10 percent of the total $100 bills in circulation — $110 billion divided by 17 million bitcoins — that would approximately produce the $6,500 bottom end of the range. Using 33 percent would get the $22,000 upper range.

"At the average of the high and low, we get to $14,035. That's not far off the current trading price, which gives us comfort we're on the right track with our valuation," Colas wrote. [It actually would represent about an 11 percent drop from Wednesday's price.] "The only way it goes substantially higher is if/when someone comes up with a large-scale business that uses bitcoin. That may come in 2018. But for now that scalable use case is asset protection, so that's how we value bitcoin today," he added.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614


Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis for 12/27/2017 – Rebound Underway?

Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis for 12/27/2017 – Rebound Underway?

Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis for 12/27/2017 – Rebound Underway?

Bitcoin price is slowly starting to trend higher once more, possibly rebounding from the slide in the previous week.

Bitcoin Price Key Highlights

Bitcoin price appears to be recovering from its pre-Christmas slump, forming higher highs and higher lows again.

Price is trading inside an ascending channel pattern and is currently testing the resistance.

A pullback to support could be due and using the Fib retracement tool shows the potential inflection points.

Bitcoin price is slowly starting to trend higher once more, possibly rebounding from the slide in the previous week.

Technical Indicators Signals

The 100 SMA is still below the longer-term 200 SMA on this time frame, so the path of least resistance is to the downside. This means that the selloff is more likely to resume than reverse.

However, the gap is narrowing to signal weakening bearish momentum. If an upward crossover materializes, bullish pressure could kick into high gear and allow the uptrend to continue.

Stochastic is also on the move down, though, so buyers might be taking it easy. This could allow bitcoin price to retreat to the channel support at $14,000 near the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level. A shallow pullback could find a floor at the 38.2% Fib closer to $15,000 and the mid-channel area of interest.

RSI has plenty of room to head south, so bitcoin price might follow suit until both oscillators hit oversold levels and turn back up.

Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis for 12/27/2017 – Rebound Underway?

Market Factors

Analysts are attributing the recent climb to improved access to buying cryptocurrencies. However, Coinbase suffered a backlog of outgoing transactions earlier on and the issue remains unresolved.

“Due to high volume, we are experiencing a backlog of outgoing transactions for BTC and ETH. … Outgoing transactions of BTC and ETH may be delayed by several hours.”

Event risks involve additional network upgrades or “hard forks” but rising investor interest appears to have been enough to keep bitcoin price supported. After all, bitcoin futures on the CBOE and CME have allowed access to more institutional and retail investors

Still, the dollar could prove to be a worthy opponent as the signing of the tax bill into law would be very positive for the US economy.


Author Sarah Jenn 4:53 am December 27, 2017


Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneeur
David ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur


Blockchain Pumping New Life Into Old-School Companies Like IBM

Blockchain Pumping New Life
Into Old-School Companies Like IBM

  • Ledger technology behind bitcoin seen as burgeoning market
  • Microsoft, Oracle expand cloud services to tap demand

Signs That Will Point to Bitcoin Price Stability -Blockchain is getting bigger at Big Blue.

Demand for the technology, best known for supporting bitcoin, is growing so much that it will be one of the largest users of capacity next year at about 60 data centers that International Business Machines Corp. rents out to other companies around the globe. IBM was one of the first big companies to see blockchain’s promise, contributing code to an open-source effort and encouraging startups to try the technology on its cloud for free.

That a 106-year-old company like IBM is going all in on blockchain shows just how far the digital ledger has come since its early days underpinning bitcoin drug deals on the dark web. The market for blockchain-related products and services will reach $7.7 billion in 2022, up from $242 million last year, according to researcher Markets & Markets. That’s creating new opportunities for some of the old warships of the technology world, companies like IBM and Microsoft Corp. that are making the transition to cloud services. And products that had gone out of vogue, such as databases sold by Oracle Corp., are becoming sexy again.

“All of these things will get a new life because of blockchain,” said Jerry Cuomo, vice president of technology for IBM Blockchain. “Our sales team loves blockchain because a customer that is buying blockchain rarely walks out of the store with just blockchain. They walk out with multiple things in their cart.”  Because multiple companies — such as all parties involved in a supply chain — can use the same blockchain, it’s spurring IBM to revise the way it compensates sales associates. In the past, sales reps got paid when their clients bought IBM technologies directly. Now they will also receive a commission when clients encourage other companies to join them on a blockchain network and use Big Blue’s systems and services, Cuomo said.

Bright Sector

The blockchain enables companies doing business with each other to record transactions securely. Its strength lies in its trustworthiness: It is difficult to reverse or change what’s been recorded. The blockchain can also hold many more documents and data than traditional database storage, allowing for more nuanced insights and analysis. It can also hold embedded contracts, such as a lease for a car, whose virtual key could be transferred to a bank in the event of a default.

“Blockchain is one of the bright sectors in technology,” said Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates Inc. “Since blockchain infrastructure is fairly beefy, there will be a large pool of revenue associated with sales of equipment, software and related services for blockchain installations.” In addition to hiring third parties for cloud use, companies will rely more on their own databases for storage, said Amit Zavery, senior vice president of Oracle Cloud Platform. “In traditional database systems, there is only one copy of the data for all parties to reference, but blockchain’s distributed nature means all of the peers now hold a copy of the data,” Avery said. “That will expand the data storage requirements on businesses, especially those in industries with typically high transaction rates.”

In October, Oracle announced the formation of Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service, which helps customers extend existing applications like enterprise-resource management systems. A month earlier, rival SAP SE said clients in industries like manufacturing and supply chain were testing its cloud service. And on Nov. 20, Microsoft expanded its partnership with consortium R3 to make it easier for financial institutions to deploy blockchains in its Azure cloud. Big Blue, meanwhile, has been one of key companies behind the Hyperledger consortium, a nonprofit open-source project that aims to create efficient standards for commercial use of blockchain technology. IBM also offers companies a free trial of blockchain in its cloud.

Wal-Mart, Visa

Almost six in 10 large corporations are considering using blockchain, according to a Juniper Research survey of 400 executives, managers and tech staff. The technology is increasingly being tested or used by companies such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Visa Inc. to streamline supply chain, speed up payments and store records. Deployments of blockchain should bump up sales growth in cloud services, databases and servers by 35 percent, according to Susan Eustis, chief executive officer of WinterGreen Research. Within five years, blockchain technology will push more than 55 percent of large companies with more than 1,000 employees to use the cloud instead of their own data centers, up from 17 percent today, she said. 

IBM is selling more messaging systems to deliver transactions into the blockchain, web-interface products and API systems to easier communicate with the chain and web app environments, Cuomo said. Sales of databases could rise as well. “We are seeing a lot of momentum and excitement in this space,” said Matthew Kerner, partner general manager for blockchain at Microsoft.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614


Why the Service Industry Needs Blockchain, Explained

Why the Service Industry Needs Blockchain, Explained

How is the service industry doing?

The service is developing not as fast as it could. Like any other business, the service industry is trying to keep up to date. But there are still some issues slowing down the progress. Money. It’s not that simple to get the money to start a new business or to expand an already existing one. It’s not always possible to get a loan since banks may think you are too young or too old, your credit story is not good enough, or your idea will not be in demand.

Personnel. In current realities, the service requires highly-qualified staff. It’s not enough to find competent people and train them. If you have a network of businesses, you have to make an effort to work them as a whole one. Information. Nowadays, information is one of the most important resources. The Internet has made information transfer faster and easier. However, there are a lot of people involved in the transfer chain. Delays in communication between the links take a large amount of time.

How can Blockchain help?

Ongoing Blockchain technology is able to solve the above-mentioned issues. Money. You can launch your own ICO to get the money to start a new business or expand the existing one. If the idea is great and presented properly, it can raise a lot of funds. Besides, hedge and venture funds show their interest in Blockchain. Smart contracts will make the transactions fast and reliable.

Personnel. The distributed ledger facilitates finding a good employer. Blockchain makes it easier to check the education, skills, work experience, and much more. Moreover, technology provides the communication between departments and managers which improves personnel management. Information. The decentralized system allows sharing information promptly. All information is rapidly distributed between the nodes. The information stored in Blockchain cannot be changed and at the same time, you have access to see how the business processes are going.

How can Blockchain improve hospitality?

Hotels will get more information about tourists and facilitated check-ins. Blockchain stores all the information. Thus, if a tourist checked in a hotel, it would simplify next bookings and the registration process. If a hotel is a part of international hotel chains, keeping track of all the guests is not an easy task. The ledger monitors the number of bookings and updates the information about available rooms in real time. Any violation or even attempt will become publicly available. And an so you can check a tourist’s  or a hotel’s, and its staff, reputation before making any reservations. The payments have low fees and are processed quickly from any place on the planet.

And what about catering business?

Restaurants can track all the data about supplies. Each day catering business has to communicate with a lot of food, logistic companies, etc. The supply chain is rather long. It requires a lot of paperwork, transactions, confirmations, and other procedures that require a huge amount of time. The decentralized system allows to get necessary information much faster and accelerate the processes. Each food product has its own shelf time. Expired products are a very bad spot on the reputation of the food brand. Blockchain fixes all the data about the food, storage conditions, delivery time and indicates rotten products.

Why does car business need Blockchain?

There is a lack of communication between the participants of the business. The car industry is a dynamically developing business. In 2016, more than 78 mln cars were sold in the world. There are a lot of institutions involved: manufacturers, banks, drivers, repair stations, etc. Each of them possesses information that is useful for other participants. For example, manufacturers need to know what kind of breakages a particular model has and how often it happens to produce the necessary amount of spare parts.

There are different decentralized platforms, like Uservice that aim at bringing together all the parties involved and create a unified database about cars. For instance, a car owner can register their car and get paid for the information that they will provide to the platform. So every registered car record will be updated and users of the platform can track what kind of issues this model has or doesn’t have.

Can the decentralized technology be used in insurance?

It can increase trust between clients and insurance companies, prevent frauds. Insurance companies note that there are trust issues among their clients. The system of insurance calculation, high prices and low efficiency discourage consumers. Blockchain technology is transparent, it can restore the trust to how the system works. Smart contracts allow to make insurance contracts clearer and more reliable. The code will be automatically executed if an incident happens. Authenticity verification is one of the biggest problems in the field. Using decentralized register, manufacturers, customers, insurance companies, and others can see all the history of the product, even check if it was stolen or is a counterfeit.

How can Blockchain help e-commerce?

Decentralization will bring transparency, credibility, fast transactions and low fees. Trust comes to the forefront again. Trading is made from a different part of the world. You cannot see a consumer or a seller. There is no guarantee that you won’t get involved with a fraudster. Blockchain makes all the processes see-through to everybody. Smart contracts make sure you receive money or goods/services. Plus, there is no third party involved and it reduces expenses significantly.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614


Bitcoin could hit $60,000 in 2018 but another crash is coming, says startup exec

Bitcoin could hit $60,000 in 2018 but another crash is coming, says startup exec

Bitcoin could hit $60,000 in 2018 but another crash is coming, says startup exec

  • Cryptocurrency entrepreneur Julian Hosp sees a "very, very healthy" chance to buy while the price is lower

  • No "crypto winter" is coming right now, Hosp predicts, but the market should see consolidation in coins in a year or two out

Cryptocurrency entrepreneur Julian Hosp says bitcoin's rapid rise isn't over yet. But there's a catch.

"I think we're going to see bitcoin hitting the $60,000 dollar mark, but I also think we're going to see bitcoin hitting the $5,000 dollar mark," said Hosp, co-founder and president of TenX, a firm that wants to make it easier for people to spend virtual currencies.

"The question is though, 'Which one is it going to hit first?'" he said.

Numerous high-profile critics and several national governments have warned of the dangers of investing in cryptocurrencies, which they say are likely to crash because nothing underpins their value.

Hosp's forecast would represent a $45,000 rally from the current price of bitcoin — or a $10,000 collapse, underscoring the volatility of the world's largest cryptocurrency.

An extremely volatile asset

After rallying to a record high above $19,800 midway through December, bitcoin prices collapsed last Friday. The digital currency lost a third of its value in a single day, briefly sinking below $11,000 before regaining some of the ground it lost.

Bitcoin traded at $15,185 on Tuesday, according to Coinbase.

"For experts that have been in the market, this was actually a welcome dip," Hosp told CNBC's "Squawk Box".

He said industry insiders had expected the price of bitcoin to fall, given the "dangerous" elevation of value that it has seen over the past few months.

"This dip for us was very, very healthy, and some of us have used it to buy a little bit more because suddenly we had 40-45 percent discount to all-time highs," he added.

Hosp said he's certain that bitcoin will fall again.

"Definitely," he said. "I don't think right now, but I think in the long run, we will always see a little bit of an up move, and then a dip down."

'Winter' is coming — eventually

Hosp likened the current interest in bitcoin to the dotcom bubble that started about 20 years ago, and warned that a consolidation of digital coins is likely to take place in the future.

"I don't think crypto winter is going to come in the next couple of months, but I think if we look down one to two years, there is definitely going to be a big compression in the market," he said.

"I don't think it's going to be a bubble that's just going to burst and everyone is going to lose their money, but I think it's going to be that all the coins and all the assets with very little use or value are going to get sorted out," he said.

"The money is going to flow into those assets in this cryptocurrency space that really deliver value, have new technology, and are being used by people," he added.

TenX charges fees for a wallet and card that are designed to make digital currencies more usable for transactions.

Hosp didn't share his thoughts on which cryptocurrency has the most longevity, but he did say that compression of the market will reduce their numbers.

"I see bitcoin more as digital gold," he said, "rather than a currency that is going to be used on a daily basis."


Author Dan Murphy Correspondent, CNBC


Posted by david Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur


Once the cryptocurrency bubble bursts, there may be real innovation and a solid valuation case for many coins

Once the cryptocurrency bubble bursts, there may be real innovation and a solid valuation case for many coins

  • Once the hype around cryptocurrencies dies down,
    there may be some real value created
  • This could come from some of the other digital coins
    on the market such as Ethereum and Ripple
  • Valuing these might become easier when
    they are used in the real world

The world of cryptocurrencies

is one of the most divisive topics in finance right now. On the one hand, figures like J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon have called it a "fraud" and dubbed those trading it "stupid." On the other hand, there are those who see cryptocurrencies as one of the most revolutionary forces in finance. But amid the debate, there are a lot of people asking how to value this stuff and why bitcoin has traded nearly as high as $20,000.

The answer right now is simple: There are no fundamentals.

Even Robert Shiller, who won the Nobel Prize in 2013 for assessing asset prices, recently remarked that the value of bitcoin is "exceptionally ambiguous." There's no doubt that there is immense amount of speculation in the cryptocurrency market. But when the bubble bursts and the hype dies down, that is where we may find value and it all comes down to the use cases for the different coins on the market.

When bitcoin was created in 2009, the aim was to be an electronic cross-border payments system. The problem now is that bitcoin transactions are at record highs with faster traditional payment systems actually proving a better means. It's hard to say bitcoin has an inherent value beyond the belief of the people trading it. But as many have said, it could become "digital gold," in which case the price is likely to go higher. But looking forward, it's highly likely that other digital tokens could surpass bitcoin because of their utility.

Take a look at Ethereum. The company bills itself as a blockchain platform for others to build apps on. Blockchain is the underlying technology behind bitcoin and acts as a decentralized ledger of transactions. But its uses span far beyond bitcoin. Ethereum has its own blockchain which companies like Microsoft and J.P. Morgan are experimenting with.

Ethereum is specifically designed for so-called "smart contracts" which are pieces of software that execute a contract once certain conditions are met by all parties involved. This removes the need for complex paperwork and errors. Ripple is another blockchain company that is working on cross-border payments across different currencies in seconds. The digital coin created by the company called XRP, acts as a bridging currency to help facilitate transactions.

Both Ethereum and Ripple have seen stunning rallies this year, but both are in the early stages of their experiments. But in the future, valuing them could be easier. For example, if Ripple began to process a fraction of the trillions of dollars that is transacted across borders, we could start to put a price on one XRP. If Ethereum was responsible for a number of trade finance deals, we could use a similar valuation metric.

Of course, this is all very simplistic, and the biggest risk is that people lose belief in these platforms and cryptocurrencies. They are also in danger of being replaced by something better. Cryptocurrencies or digital tokens are here to stay but it's unlikely they'll survive in their current form. One big plus of this current bubble bursting however could be that we get some real innovation across a number of industries, with valuations a little clearer to understand.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614


We used a cryptocurrency miner as a heater this winter and it really worked

We used a cryptocurrency miner
as a heater this winter
and it really worked

Surfing through the web back in October,

I stumbled upon an odd but genuinely fascinating contraption: a Russian cryptocurrency miner that leverages the heat it generates from stacking Ethereum to keep your room warm. Shortly after I wrote about this unusual device, Comino – the Russian-based startup behind this invention – reached out to us and kindly offered to ship one of its miners for us to test this winter. We gladly took them up on their offer, and a couple of weeks later, the Comino was already installed at our cozy office in Amsterdam.

After running the crypto-heater for a little over a month now, we are finally ready to share our experience with the device. But before we get to the actual performance, let’s get the technicalities out of the way. Determined to deliver the device in optimal condition, Comino co-founder Evgeny Vlasov flew in directly from Moscow to Amsterdam, along with his business partner Anatoliy Knyazev (not to be mistaken with the eponymous DC Comics villain KGBeast).  The duo swiftly set up the crypto-heater and proceeded to give us a run-down on the technology that powers the machine.

Vlasov and Knyazev first came with the idea for Comino after they spotted an opportunity to bridge the technological gap in the bludgeoning cryptocurrency market by bringing a mining solution that even crypto-rookies can put to use. As such, the Comino is among the first miners specifically aimed at regular consumers – and not strictly hardcore crypto-enthusiasts. “It is an overused statement these days, but we want to be the Apple of crypto-miners,” Knyazev told TNW. “We want to make a product that is easy for everyone to use. Ideally, you won’t even need to read through the documentation, you just plug it in and it starts working.”

Having said that, Comino, which runs a customized version of Ubuntu, can easily be modified for tasks other than mining. Indeed, Vlasov told us Comino often gets enqiuiries from researchers, involved with high-intensity computing tasks, who are interested in re-purposing the machine for other uses.The reason for that is not strictly the components housed inside its metallic case, but its efficient and sturdy build quality. Vlasov and Knyazev too are first to admit that the real value in Comino – as far as hardware goes at least – is in the proprietary components that connect all the GPUs packed inside the crypto-miner.

As Vlasov explains,

unlike home-made miners, which tend to be rather bulky in size and often make very loud noises, the Comino was designed to be much more discrete and accommodating. It was also equipped with proprietary water-cooling system that Vlasov and Knyazev claim will keep the machine alive for years – a lifespan much longer than that of most home-made mining rigs. Comino’s website claims a maximum noise level of around 30 decibels, and while I’m no noise expert, the review unit we tested was pretty silent – much quieter than an actual fan-heater.

In fact, the noise is so low that at one point Knyazev worryingly misidentified the sound from the little fish aquarium we have in our office with that of the Comino. Indeed, the crypto-heater is less noisy than an aquarium. Here are a couple videos that will give you a better idea about the cacophony home-built miners cause: In addition to its proprietary water-cooling system, the device also comes with a slew of custom-made components – like cables, connectors and risers – to ensure the longevity of the device.

The reason Comino opted to produce their own risers

was because industry alternatives couldn’t offer the same resistance to high-intensity signals and waves that mining rigs have to deal with. Vlasov estimates that the compendium of little touches like these ought to keep the miner up-and-running for at least five to 10 years. As far as the rest of the innards go, the Comino N1 (the model we had a chance to test) boasts eight ASUS P106-100 6G graphic cards mounted on an ASUS PRIME Z270-A Motherboard, as well as 3 NOCTUA NF-A14 PPC-2000 PWM fans, a customized Black Ice NEMESIS GTX420 radiator and 2 Chieftech PROTON BDF-750C 750W power supply units.

All of this oomph amounts to about 1kW of power consumption per hour. Make sure to check your local electricity rates to get an idea of how much that will add up to your energy bills. The contraption stands 63.5cm tall, with a length of 45.9cm and a width of17.5cm, which means you could easily fit it in an idle corner of your room and forget about it, while it does the mining for you. And this is precisely what we did. Once we installed the mining rig in our office, which practically included connecting the crypto-heater to the internet via the web-based dashboard system developed by Comino, it automatically created a wallet and began mining Ethereum. As easy as this.

Of course, if you already have a wallet, you still have the option to connect it to the dashboard. You can also connect any other mining rig to the Comino dashboard, in case you want to follow all of your mining efforts in one place. Among other things, the online dashboard shows a number of statistics the Comino developers had programmed to monitor, including the current and average hashrate at which the miner is solving cryptographic puzzles, the current and average temperature at which it operates, as well as the unpaid balance of Ethereum you’ve accumulated. It also shows stats for the temperature of each separate GPU.

Since installing the miner on November 16, it has so far transferred a total of little over 1.2 ETH to my designated wallet – this equals to roughly 1 ETH per month. At the time of writing, my mining returns amount to about $814, according to CoinGecko. The way the system is set-up, the miner will transfer the Ethereum to a wallet of your choice anytime it has mined at least 0.2 ETH. As you can observe in the screenshots below, the Comino N1 maintains an average hashrate of about 200 MH/s, and an average temperature of approximately 60C (±140F) degrees .

While some of this data is visible on the device’s built-in LCD indicator, chances are you will find yourself engaging with the online dashboard much more often than with the actual miner – and this is actually how Vlasov and Knyazev imagine things. Other than a one-off exception to reboot the miner, following a glitch in the LCD display (which had no effect on the actual mining), I hardly ever had to interact with the machine; and this is a good thing, especially for someone who wants to stack on crypto without having to worry about technical issues.

Throughout this one-month trial,

the only issue I experienced with the miner was that – for some reason – its ambient temperature sensor inaccurately picked up the temperature of the GPUs inside (which had just taken a break from mining); this prevented the device from booting up again, until it cooled down a little. But other than that, it ran as smooth as butter. After reporting this minor malfunction to Vlasov, he told us their team is looking into implementing a solution that will allow the machine to turn on, but will only let it mine once it has cooled down to a more suitable temperature.

At $5,000 a piece (currently discounted down to $4,500), the Comino miner is certainly not cheap, but if you’re looking for an easy way to get started with mining cryptocurrency, it definitely does the job. In all fairness, you can probably build a cheaper mining rig, but Vlasov and Knyazev are skeptical about the lasting endurance of recreational mining rigs. Of course, if neither of these options appeal to you, you can always fit your own crypto-miner in the trunk of your Tesla – like this guy set out to do.

And in case you were wondering about how reliable the Comino was as a heater : it certainly kept the temperature high enough to save some energy on heating bills, but not enough to make you turn on the air conditioner. Which is exactly what you want from a a machine that was built to bank on crypto.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614