Bitcoin Cash Price Nears $1,000 as Breakout Continues

Following the all-time highs set over the last week, bitcoin has been trading sideways for the last 48 hours, and prices are fluctuating in the $4,050 to $4,200 range. Prices for the asset across global exchanges averaged $4,109 at press time, having opened the session at $4,206 and achieved a high of $4,208 at roughly 8:00 UTC, according to CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index.

The question everyone will be wondering now is, will the price go up or down when the next big movement kicks off? For that we'll just have to wait and see, but a Goldman Sachs analyst said, on August 14, that bitcoin could rise as high as $4,800 in the current bull market. Elsewhere, the new bitcoin alternative, bitcoin cash, shocked observers briefly yesterday by setting its own all-time high of around $1,091, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Since being created in a fork of the bitcoin blockchain on August 1, prices had been for the greater part steady around $300. However, a breakout on August 17 saw enthusiastic trading – at South Korea exchanges, in particular – that took the digital asset to its previously unseen heights. In the hours since, bitcoin cash prices have dropped somewhat and now hover close to the $800 mark. Overall, the market is still trending up, with the market capitalization across all cryptocurrencies currently at $146 billion – down slightly from a record high of $147.2 billion set at around 8:00 UTC this morning.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.


Reasons Why Central Banks Will Miss the Next Currency Renaissance

Reasons Why Central Banks Will Miss the Next Currency Renaissance


Eugéne Etsebeth is an ex-central banker who was employed as a technologist

at the South African Reserve Bank from 2013 to 2017. During his time at the reserve bank, he notably chaired the virtual currency and distributed ledger working group. In this opinion piece, Etsebeth outlines why he believes central banks won't be able to adapt to innovations in cryptocurrency, arguing they simply aren't set up to compete with sea changes in technology.

It's a familiar trend, one that happened in communications (internet), and that is now playing out in energy (solar), manufacturing (3D printing) and finance (cryptocurrency) – power and control are moving into the hands of the individual and away from nation states. This has huge implications for central banks, which today enable nation states to maintain their monopolies over the issuance of notes, coins and sovereign bonds. While communications and manufacturing are not their focus, cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) fall predominantly in the realm of central banks.

In these systems, central banks don't issue legal tender. Rather, miners and algorithms now control the issuance of tokens – effectively, the money supply. Whereas previously banks were licensed to store, send and spend currency, now wallet providers and exchanges allow the same features. The currency renaissance has arrived and central banks are studying cryptocurrencies, though some central banks are more open to change than others. Singapore has been investigating the notion of using distributed ledger technologies to settle cross-border transactions in real time, and the Bank of England has experimented with Ripple. Central banks are even looking to build their own versions of central bank-issued digital currency (CBDC).

Even still, central banks are not well equipped to deal with the cryptocurrency renaissance. In fact, there are 10 good reasons why most central banks will find cryptocurrencies insurmountable. Sure, a small number of forward-thinking (and acting) central banks will maintain monetary competiveness with the burgeoning cryptocurrencies and ICOs that have reared their decentralized heads. Still, most will succumb to a mix of the following issues:

Workforce of the past

Central banks will need to attract and retain fresh talent that will enable them to deal with the new openness and transparency demands, as well as digital transformation and the increasingly complex global world.

Slow decision-making

Decision-making in central banks is like wading through treacle – decisions take months because of numerous layers of hierarchy. Working groups need to compile voluminous and detailed documents that need to be reviewed and signed by all parties before they can proceed to the heads of departments or the deputy governors.

Too few technologists and innovators

Academics, economists and big-picture thinkers excel in central banks. The academics ponder on conceptual issues and the economists make interpretations from data, whereas the policy makers and regulators mull over the cause and effect of promulgating laws. However, technologists are generally not part of the discussion when it comes to policy and economic decisions for currency.

Fear of experimentation

Although some central banks are engaging in experimentation, there is a fear of going from proof-of-concept to pilot phase. This is natural, should a central bank make an error, it may turn out to be a reputation buster – and reputation is the cornerstone of central banks. There is also some trepidation that the early regulation of cryptocurrencies, and associated new technologies, may legitimize their adoption.

Territorial and siloed thinking

Central banks are similar to conglomerates in that they have a number of different and distinct departments that require diverse skills and outputs. These differences make it difficult to approach a new technology and economic tour de force like cryptocurrency, because it doesn’t fit neatly into any one of the industrial-style conglomerate domains. To highlight the conglomerate type nature of central banks, the core departments and skill sets are listed below:

  • Bank supervision: mainly supervisors and regulators who manage banking licenses and audit
  • Currency management: manufacturing and logistical planners
  • Financial markets: front, middle and back office currency and bond traders
  • National payments: a combination of regulators for payments and technical resources running the RTGS system
  • Research: mainly economists who produce statistics based reports and input into repo-rate decisions.

Buy versus build approach

Most central banks do not have substantial software development capability. Therefore any new project will have to buy its technology. There is an acute shortage of central bankers who can explain or use Merkle trees.

Stuck in the status quo

A large portion of central bankers are career central bankers, so the desire and ability to change are not incentivised. Change is often considered a threat to staff, and threats are met with jelly-like stickiness to the status quo.

Incumbent relationships

Banks are licensed to operate by central banks, giving them the ability to create money from customer deposits. The central bank asks the banks to protect depositor's hard-earned money and to serve as many customers as it can: i.e. maximizing financial inclusion. The task of banks is therefore to service a nation's citizens at the behest of the central bank. These relationships and licenses are expensive to buy and will not easily be changed to include new members.

Inter-governmental coordination

Just as the departments within central banks tend to be siloed, so too are the intergovernmental departments that look at currency matters. They cover treasury, financial intelligence (KYC), financial services conduct authority, central bank, tax revenue and secret service units. Each of these units may have different acts and regulations that overlap cryptocurrencies and ICOs.

International coordination

Internationally the nation-state must get guidance from a multitude of organisations like the G20 or G7, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Bank of International Settlements (BIS), Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and INTERPOL. International coordination often requires prolonged diplomacy and mismatched agendas.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.




What is a 'Cryptocurrency'

A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security. A cryptocurrency is difficult to counterfeit because of this security feature. A defining feature of a cryptocurrency, and arguably its most endearing allure, is its organic nature; it is not issued by any central authority, rendering it theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation.

BREAKING DOWN 'Cryptocurrency'

The anonymous nature of cryptocurrency transactions makes them well-suited for a host of nefarious activities, such as money laundering and tax evasion.The first cryptocurrency to capture the public imagination was Bitcoin, which was launched in 2009 by an individual or group known under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. As of September 2015, there were over 14.6 million bitcoins in circulation with a total market value of $3.4 billion. Bitcoin's success has spawned a number of competing cryptocurrencies, such as Litecoin, Namecoin and PPCoin.

Cryptocurrency Benefits and Drawbacks

Cryptocurrencies make it easier to transfer funds between two parties in a transaction; these transfers are facilitated through the use of public and private keys for security purposes. These fund transfers are done with minimal processing fees, allowing users to avoid the steep fees charged by most banks and financial institutions for wire transfers.

Central to the genius of Bitcoin is the block chain it uses to store an online ledger of all the transactions that have ever been conducted using bitcoins, providing a data structure for this ledger that is exposed to a limited threat from hackers and can be copied across all computers running Bitcoin software. Many experts see this block chain as having important uses in technologies, such as online voting and crowdfunding, and major financial institutions such as JP Morgan Chase see potential in cryptocurrencies to lower transaction costs by making payment processing more efficient. However, because cryptocurrencies are virtual and do not have a central repository, a digital cryptocurrency balance can be wiped out by a computer crash if a backup copy of the holdings does not exist. Since prices are based on supply and demand, the rate at which a cryptocurrency can be exchanged for another currency can fluctuate widely.

Cryptocurrencies are not immune to the threat of hacking. In Bitcoin's short history, the company has been subject to over 40 thefts, including a few that exceeded $1 million in value. Still, many observers look at cryptocurrencies as hope that a currency can exist that preserves value, facilitates exchange, is more transportable than hard metals, and is outside the influence of central banks and governments. The smallest unit of the bitcoin cryptocurrency. Satoshi is named after Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of the protocol used in block chains and the bitcoin cryptocurrency.


Unlike the physical versions of global currencies, such as the British pound or U.S. dollar, cryptocurrencies predominately exist in the digital world. Despite this difference, a cryptocurrency can be divided into smaller units, just as the pound is broken into pence and the dollar into cents. In the case of bitcoins, the smallest unit available is called the satoshi.

Digital Copy

A duplicate record of every confirmed Bitcoin transaction that has taken place over a peer-to-peer network. Digital copy is one of the security features of the Bitcoin platform that was implemented in order to tackle the problem of double spending.

BREAKING DOWN 'Digital Copy'

The rise of cryptocurrencies became prominent in 2009 with the introduction of Bitcoin. One of the catalysts behind the creation of Bitcoin was the desire to operate in a currency that could not be controlled by any central authority. Unlike the U.S. dollar, which can have its value adjusted for inflationary measures by the Federal Reserve, the Bitcoin is independent of any controlling body. In fact, no one controls the Bitcoin. The Bitcoin operates through a decentralized system which means a network of independent computers worldwide communicate and transmit Bitcoin transactions and data to each other. However, transacting in digital currency using a decentralized system brought about a problem known as double spending.

Bitcoin Exchange

 A bitcoin exchange is a digital marketplace where traders can buy and sell bitcoins using different fiat currencies or altcoins. A bitcoin currency exchange is an online platform that acts as an intermediary between buyers and sellers of the cryptocurrency. The currency ticker used for bitcoin is either BTC or XBT.

BREAKING DOWN 'Bitcoin Exchange'

Bitcoin exchange platforms match buyers with sellers. Like a traditional stock exchange, traders can opt to buy and sell bitcoin by inputting either a market order or a limit order. When a market order is selected, the trader is authorizing the exchange to trade his coins for the best available price in the online marketplace. With a limit order set, the trader directs the exchange to trade coins for a price below the current ask or above the current bid, depending on whether s/he is buying or selling.

Bitcoin Unlimited

A proposed upgrade to Bitcoin Core that allows larger block sizes. Bitcoin Unlimited is designed to improve transaction speed through scale.

BREAKING DOWN 'Bitcoin Unlimited'

The development of bitcoin was jumpstarted by Satoshi Nakamoto, who published a paper in 2008 called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”. The paper described the use of a peer-to-peer network as a solution to the problem of double-spending. The problem – that a digital currency or token can used in more than one transaction – is not found in physical currencies, as a physical bill or coin can, by its nature, only exist in one place at a single time. Since a digital currency does not exist in the physical space, using it in a transaction does not remove it from someone’s possession.

Bitcoin Classic

A fork from Bitcoin Core that proposed increasing the size of blocks. Despite early successes, Bitcoin Classic failed to be adopted by the wider bitcoin community.

BREAKING DOWN 'Bitcoin Classic'

Bitcoin was jumpstarted by Satoshi Nakamoto, who published a paper in 2008 called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”. The paper described the use of a peer-to-peer network as a solution to the problem of bitcoin for more than one transaction), with transaction details added to the end of block chains. Because of the computational power needed to attack and decode a block chain, bitcoin is able to retain a high level of security. This limited the need for transactions to go through trusted third-parties, such as financial institutions.


Launched in the year 2011, Litecoin is an alternative cryptocurrency based on the model of Bitcoin. Charlie Lee, a MIT graduate and former Google engineer, is Litecoin's creator. Litecoin is based on an open source global payment network that is not controlled by any central authority. Litecoin differs from Bitcoins in aspects like faster block generation rate and use of scrypt as a proof of work scheme. 


Litecoins were launched with the aim of being the "silver" to Bitcoin's "gold," and have gained much popularity since the time of inception. Litecoin is a peer-to-peer internet currency. It is a fully decentralized open source, global payment network. Litecoin was developed with the aim to improve on Bitcoin's shortcomings, and has earned industry support along with high trade volume and liquidity over the years. The broader differences between the two cryptocurrencies are listed in the table below.


coins are the alternative cryptocurrencies launched after the success of Bitcoin. Generally, they project themselves as better substitutes to Bitcoin. The success of Bitcoin as the first peer-to-peer digital currency paved the way for many to follow. Many altcoins are trying to target any perceived limitations that Bitcoin has and come up with newer versions with competitive advantages. There is a great variety of altcoins.


"Altcoin" is a combination of two words: "alt" and "coin"; alt is short for alternative and coin signifies currency. Thus together they imply a category of cryptocurrency that is alternative to the digital currency Bitcoin. After the success story of Bitcoin, many other peer-to-peer digital currencies have emerged in an attempt to imitate that success.

Bitcoin XT

A fork from Bitcoin Core that proposed increasing the size of blocks from one megabyte to eight megabytes. Bitcoin XT gained first attention in 2015.


Bitcoin was started by Satoshi Nakamoto in the 2008 paper “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” The paper described the use of a peer-to-peer network as a solution to the problem of double-spending, with transaction details added to the end of blockchains. Managing the blockchains required substantial computational power in order to maintain security.


An anonymization strategy that protects the privacy of Bitcoin users when they conduct transactions with each other. Coinjoin requires multiple parties to jointly sign on an agreement to mix their coins when engaging in separate Bitcoin transactions. Also known as Coin Mixing.


Advancements in technology are introducing digital tools that companies can use to better interact with their customers. A rising shift from traditional platforms to digital platforms has also brought about an abundant supply in data from sources like social media, mobile devices, online retail platforms, etc. Due to technology advancements in the areas of gathering, storing, and sharing data, large sets of data are easily shared among companies in every sector and country for little to no costs. The widespread accessibility of data has also brought about concerns over data privacy of individuals and their online transactions. Because every transaction or activity carried out online leaves a digital trail, individuals are opting for more anonymous ways to use the internet and conduct online transactions. The Bitcoin cryptocurrency was introduced to address the issue of privacy concern.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.


Bitcoin Expected to Hit $5,000 in 2017

Bitcoin Expected to Hit $5,000 in 2017

Holy schnikes — is this really possible?
John McAfee has made a very bold wager that it will go even higher.

When a Company Beats Earnings Estimates, Investors Just Don't Care

Bitcoin is expected to gain traction and hit the $5,000 mark this year,

according to a number of market participants. Is this really possible? This weekend we saw Bitcoin reach $4,000. Hysteria is gripping crypto investors as institutional investors have started to move in and invest in cryptocurrency – grabbing a piece of the action. Today the cryptocurrency is at around $4,460, per Coindesk. Aaron Lasher, co-founder and CMO of Breadwallet, believes it is certainly possible the currency will reach $5,000 but warns Bitcoin is in bubble territory. He explains the real way to win the Bitcoin game is to look three or four bubbles ahead. 

"Make no mistake, Bitcoin is in a bubble, but it's not necessarily a bad thing," Lasher said. "It's not the first time this has happened nor will it be the last. When you take a long term view, such as 15 or 20 years, the analysis you should entertain is determining from what financial instruments that bitcoin can "steal" market share, and then back into a number that represents that value."

John McAfee, CEO of New York-based MGT Capital Investments and the founder of a antivirus software company, also made a public forecast on Twitter that Bitcoin will jump to $5,000. Bitcoin is becoming more and more mainstream especially in the U.S. – Goldco recently introduced "Coin IRA" which allows investors to roll over an existing IRA or 401(k) into a Bitcoin IRA. Investors can now opt to save for retirement by investing in digital currencies and cryptocurrencies.

"On Sunday Bitcoin broke through $4,000, doubling in value since last month," said Trevor Gerszt, CEO of Goldco. "It's already worth four times more that its value at the start of the year. With so much growth in digital currencies this year, this new sector offers incredible potential for return on investment." 

"Let's imagine that as an investment vehicle, Bitcoin replaces 5% of the global demand for stocks ($69 trillion), bonds ($82 trillion), and real estate ($217 trillion)," Lasher continued. "That would put Bitcoin at around $18.4 trillion total valuation. Divide that by the number of bitcoins there will be in 20 years (~20.5 million) and you get approximately $900,000 per coin. Is that a realistic goal? Nobody really knows. But is it possible? Yes, it's definitely possible."

Investors should also keep an eye on Asia.

"With respect to the Bitcoin market through the end of the year, I expect to continue to see growing inflows into the market via Asian economies where crypto-asset awareness has begun to hit a tipping point," said Laurent Kssis, Managing Director at XBT Provider. "Specifically, over the last three months, the most visible inflows into market have been via South Korea & Japan; a trend which I do not expect to slow down anytime soon."

"Through the rest of the year, I would not be surprised to see the price break through the $5,000 per coin threshold," said Ryan Radloff, head of investor relations at XBT Provider. "I also think we will see the adoption of a smaller unit of Bitcoin, and an increase of 'delta-1 securities' emerge on top of the Bitcoin ecosystem. I believe the more products that emerge like futures, options, swaps and ETFs, the more stable it will make bitcoin, but don't expect high degrees of volatility to go away until we are close to a $350,000 to $450,000 per coin in the future."

 TheStreet's Stocks Under $10 has identified a handful of stocks with serious upside potential. Krzysztof Kolaczynski, the founder of STABLE, warns cryptocurrencies are only risky, if you devote them all or a substantial part of your portfolio. "But, if you simply lower the exposure to just 10%, or 15% of your entire portfolio, such an approach will suddenly start to make sense," he said. "The simplest strategy of reducing volatility (therefore also allocation) is called volatility targeting/scaling on constant basis, so each time you are adjusting allocation in Bitcoin in order to keep such a portfolio volatility at the level equal to the S&P500 index volatility."

"Such a strategy means that instead of investing 100% of your portfolio into Bitcoin one investor could lower exposure into cryptocurrency to the level of volatility of the popular equity indices such as S&P 500, Nikkei 225 or Eurostoxx 50," he said. "If equity index volatility is at level of 15% and Bitcoin volatility is at level of 110% it means that instead of investing 100% of capital into Bitcoin based on rules of volatility target strategy, the allocation into the Bitcoin should be about 13% – the remaining part of portfolio Investor could put on deposit or money market fund."

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.


Blockchain May Give Rise To Even Smarter B2B Marketplaces

Blockchain May Give Rise To Even Smarter B2B Marketplaces

Does blockchain mean boom or bust for existing B2B networks? On one hand, blockchain — a series of open and global distributed ledgers — promises to smooth and validate the interactions that take place between organizations and their customers, partners and suppliers. On the other, blockchain's value proposition is that it takes out the middlemen in transactions, enabling more autonomous type of engagements.


Moving up step by step, with blockchain

As the dot-com boom crested a couple of decades back, we saw a plethora of online B2B exchanges emerge across key industries, promising electronically delivered communications and trading between hubs, suppliers, customers and other involved parties. Some of these key exchanges have become prominent players within their industries. Now, blockchain is entering the enterprise mainstream. Recently, some major tech players including Microsoft and Intel have come together to form what they call the "Coco Framework," which offers enterprises the performance, confidentiality, governance, and required processing power they would seek before trusting their assets and data to an unseen, commonly shared platform.

Blockchain promises to eliminate the middlemen in transactions, thanks to its transparent and immutable “smart contracts” embedded within its worldwide code. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Marco De Vries, senior director of product marketing for the OpenText Business Network, which now oversees such longstanding industry B2B networks as Covisint and ANX. For his part, De Vries does not see blockchain as a threat to existing B2B networks, just as previous technology revolutions such as XML have often resulted in more complexity, not less. “We’ve seen the stories of the end of EDI and B2B for a long time,” he points out. “Even if blockchain takes off, for certain industries, it probably isn’t right for every part of the supply chain,” De Vries. “Many predicted AS2 standards would replace B2B networks. What we found with AS2 standards is that organizations actually faced more and more complexity. It’s difficult to keep up with all the changes. There are 50 different XML standards, and if I’m in a lot of different industries, how am I going to keep track? I can’t foresee the world managing their own blockchains.”

Blockchains can’t exist entirely in some virtual space, De Vries says. “Even with blockchain, we need to understand where systems of record reside,” he says. “It still has to be hosted somewhere. If you want to send an order, if you want to kick off an alert, how is that done? I can’t honestly see the world with its own blocks — there will be millions, billions of them. And securing them is another matter.”

At the same time, blockchain offers potential for easing and speeding up transactions between trading partners. “It certainly enhances the traceability of high-value items or highly regulated items such as meat, poultry and pharmaceuticals.” While the first application of blockchain has been digital money, “the physical supply chain takes it to a different level,” he continues. “If I’m in retail and I order high-value china — easily breakable stuff – with the Internet of Things, it becomes more relevant, with demand signals along the supply chain, with impact sensors, for example, in different providers, trucks, trains boats. Or, in another example if a certain item has to be kept at a certain temperature, it’s about monitoring the conditions of goods as they move through the supply chain." In current chains of custody for spoiled goods, "you really don’t have insight to what happened along the way,” he adds.

A report from IBM, issued earlier this year, agrees that there is an upside for digital marketplaces. “A blockchain-enabled digital marketplace is the one area where organizations anticipate significant disruption,” the report's authors observe. Two-thirds of executives in digitally advanced companies expect new blockchain-enabled marketplaces to spark significant disruption. "As more organizations anticipate a higher percentage of their revenues shifting into services, digital marketplaces that support blockchain-based peer-to-peer messaging and transactions could be more widely used. Smart contracts could automatically track consumption."

Corporate supply chain executives are seeing the possibilities in blockchain. A recent survey of 42 supply chain managers from Chain Business Insights finds that 43% intend to introduce blockchain into their supply chains over the coming year, and another 20% within the next two years.  Advantages seen include improving supply chain visibility and transparency (cited by 46%), while 24% see potential to reduce transaction costs. 80% of respondents indicate that blockchain will play a role in tracking products moving through the supply chain. Another 60% see it as a way to share information with suppliers. A similar number see it as a way to share payment information such as purchase orders.

Adoption hurdles include lack of awareness and understanding, cited by 28%, along with lack of standards an interoperability concerns, also cited by 28%. “There is still a long way to go before the technology gains widespread acceptance,” said Sherree DeCovny, co-founder and principal of Chain Business Insights. “Still, key capabilities such as product tracing and verifying product chain of custody will likely drive to higher levels of awareness in the near to medium term.”

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.


So you want to invest in bitcoin: Here’s what you should know

So you want to invest in bitcoin:
Here's what you should know

Bitcoin has so much flavor of the month

Earlier this year the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rejected

a bid by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the twins infamous for claiming that Mark Zuckerberg stole the idea of Facebook from them while they were undergrads at Harvard, to launch a bitcoin-based ETF (exchange-traded fund). The decision from the SEC came nearly four years after they filed for regulatory approval. In the immediate aftermath of this news, the price of bitcoins, which had nearly tripled over the last year, significantly dropped to less than $1,000. Although other bitcoin-based ETFs are awaiting approval, and this decision did not directly affect their status, the wording of the SEC ruling did not initially appear to bode well for the prospects of bitcoin-based exchanges anytime soon.

The SEC determined that the proposed bitcoin ETF failed to meet these standards because the markets for bitcoins were unregulated. Of course, the primary problem for future bitcoin-based ETFs is that by their very nature, bitcoins will always trade on an unregulated market. It was surprising then, when just a couple of months later on April 24th, the SEC agreed to review its decision on the creation of a bitcoin ETF. In the four months since the SEC's decision to review its earlier rejection, bitcoin prices have rallied an amazing 163%.

What is bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital payment system with no intermediaries or banks; it was invented by a person or group using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto, and released as open-source software in 2009. The U.S. Treasury has categorized it as a decentralized virtual currency though some believe it is best described as a "cryptocurrency." helpfully defines cryptocurrency as "a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank." Bitcoin uses blockchain technology to record its transactions. Essentially, the blockchain is a publicly distributed ledger for certain financial transactions. It is currently mostly used for bitcoin, but many believe it could be used in a wide variety of financial applications in the future.

As used in bitcoin, blockchain is a public ledger of all bitcoin transactions that have ever been made. When a transaction is completed, it is recorded on a new "block." When the block is full of such transactions, it is added to the end of the "chain" in sequential order, and a new block is created. Full blocks are a part of the blockchain's permanent database. Each node — a computer connected to the bitcoin network for the purpose of verifying transactions — automatically gets a downloaded copy of the blockchain upon joining the network. The blockchain records information like the time and amount of each transaction, but it does not store any personal information on the parties involved.

Even industry experts who believe that bitcoin is not a sustainable monetary unit think blockchain technology could radically change the way financial transactions are facilitated in the future. The benefits of this system are that it is transparent, secure, and streamlined, so that there are less parties involved in facilitating each and every transaction.Even as the existing payments system in developed countries becomes ever more convenient and secure, the space is still littered with middle parties taking a small amount from each transaction. These players include payment processors, payment networks, issuing banks, and acquiring banks. The dream of bitcoin and other monetary systems based on blockchain technology is for payers to be free of these inherent costs of exchanging currency for goods.For a much more detailed explanation of what bitcoin is, where bitcoins come from, and how they work, please check out fellow Fool Matthew Frankel's article on this subject from earlier this year, "What Is Bitcoin?"

The potential problems with investing in bitcoin

There are a few primary concerns surrounding bitcoin that potential investors should be aware of. First, it is not backed or regulated by the good faith of a government or other entity. This stands in stark contrast to the dollar, yuan, pound, and other forms of currency used around the globe. So, many people view bitcoin as something akin to Monopoly money, because it is neither a fiat currency nor is it based on something of tangible value like gold. In other words, a bitcoin is worth exactly what people perceive its worth to be. While, in a sense, this is true of any currency, the value of a bitcoin is much more fickle than other forms of currency because of its unregulated nature.

Second, bitcoins are not traded on Wall Street. They cannot be bought or sold through a brokerage. Instead, one must set up a bitcoin "wallet," which can probably best be thought of as a bank account exclusively for bitcoins. Once this account is set up, its holder can link to a traditional banking account and use those funds in local currency to buy and sell bitcoins. If this process sounds a bit cumbersome, it is. This means bitcoin is much less liquid than traditional equities, creating more volatility and wild swings. For instance, in the past month alone, the value of one bitcoin fell from prices over $2,500 to under $2,000 before regaining all-time highs over $3,400. Those are incredibly volatile swings within one month — something virtually unheard of with any other type of currency!

Finally, the unique way of buying and selling bitcoins not only contributes to its illiquid nature, but has also contributed to higher rates of fraud and theft through uninsured bitcoin exchanges. While these problems were far more prevalent in years past, it should still be mentioned that none of the bitcoin exchanges have yet established a long business track record. This brings us back to the SEC's review of the Winklevoss twins' proposal to launch a bitcoin-based ETF. Such an ETF would have solved at least some of these problems. It would have made trading bitcoin much more liquid, and assuaged many investors' fears of potential theft. Viewed in this light, bitcoin's massive sell-off on the initial news of the rejection and subsequent rise on the appeal of the decision makes a lot of sense.

The Foolish conclusion

Where do the price and value of bitcoin go from here? Unfortunately, my crystal ball is broken. I personally believe that within a few years, bitcoin could fall anywhere — from being known as a worthless experiment, to being the greatest disruptive force the financial industry has ever seen. If I knew investors who wanted to purchase a small, speculative position in bitcoin, I wouldn't try to talk them out of it. However — and I cannot stress this enough — nothing should be invested in bitcoin currency that an investor isn't comfortable losing.

Investors intrigued by the concepts of bitcoin and blockchain technology, but unwilling to take the plunge on such a speculative investment, may want to consider investing in one of the many financial and technology companies actively working to find other applications for blockchain. For example, the Hyperledger project is one such global collaboration; its participants include Cisco Systems, IBM, Intel, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo. The project is exploring uses for an open-source blockchain platform in supply chains, legal agreements, and commercial business transactions.

For potential investors, the large takeaway should probably be that blockchain technology will probably exist in one form or another for years to come. The fate of bitcoin, however, is far more uncertain. Matthew Cochrane owns shares of Cisco Systems. The Motley Fool recommends Cisco Systems and Intel. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. The Motley Fool is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news, analysis and commentary designed to help people take control of their financial lives. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

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Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.


As bitcoin flies past $4,000, one bull now targets $7,500 by next year

As bitcoin flies past $4,000, one bull now targets $7,500 by next year

 Ronnie Moas says bitcoin’s ‘Netscape’ moment is coming


$5,000 anyone?

With $3,000 merely a blip in the rearview mirror, and $4,000 now vanquished, some of the bullish predictions out there for bitcoin may no longer be such a far-fetched fantasy. The cryptocurrency BTCUSD, +3.69%  was trading at about $4,217.80 on Monday, after shooting past the $4K mark a day earlier. Some said the move was due to Asian buyers bulking up on alternative investments amid some jitters over North Korea. Meanwhile, others attributed gains to hopes that transaction volumes for bitcoin will increase. In any case, bitcoin seemed to be following in the same vein as last week’s sprint to a record.

Independent analyst Ronnie Moas, who previously set his 2018 bitcoin price target at $5,000, said Monday he’s upgrading that to $7,500. His 2027 price target of $50,000 remains unchanged, but said there could likely go up in the next two years and even get pushed forward to 2024-2026. A Netscape moment for bitcoin: Moas said that in order for bitcoin to go from $4,177 (a level he was citing earlier on Monday) to $50,000 in 10 years would require 28% annual compounded growth. “I have gotten three times that in just the last six weeks with the 84% gain,” wrote Moas.

“It looks to me as though we are at the same point in the adoption curve as we were in 1995 when we went from one million internet users to 10 million. The following year the Netscape browser came online and we went from 10 million users to hundreds of millions of users overnight,” said Moas. Moas, and others who are buying cryptocurrencies, are counting on growing acceptance. For example, in two years time, he expects there will be between 50 million and 100 million cryptocurrency users, versus around 10 million currently. “We only have 0.15% market penetration right now — if that goes to 2% or 3% we will get to the $50,000 price target that I set at the beginning of July,” he said.

Moas wrote a 122-page report on cryptocurrency last month, in which he laid out that initial $5,000 price target for bitcoin, and predicted those digital currencies would steal market share from gold, metals, bonds and other currencies. As for Monday’s gains, at CoinDesk there was talk of pent-up demand coming through from investors who had been waiting to see how the so-called fork earlier this month panned out. Bitcoin Cash was the result of that fork, and a demand by bitcoin developers for a version of the crypotcurrency that lets miners process transactions faster.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.


Bitcoin price breaks $4,000. Here’s why

Bitcoin price breaks $4,000.
Here’s why


Bitcoin’s skyrocketing price is showing no signs of slowing.

It’s currently trading for over $4,100 a coin, having broken the $4,000 mark in the early hours of Aug. 13. It has traded for as high as $4,225, according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index. A prediction of $5,000 per bitcoin by years’ end, issued by Standpoint Research’s Ronnie Moas in July, now doesn’t seem so outlandish. The co-author of a forthcoming book on valuing bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Chris Burniske, has pointed out that there’s a strong correlation between bitcoin’s price and the performance of the search term “bitcoin” on Google, as calculated by Google Trends. It’s not a perfect indicator: Google Trends sometimes lags and sometimes leads bitcoin’ price.

There are a few theories as to why bitcoin’s price is so buoyant:

  • It survived a contentious “hard fork” that saw the cryptocurrency split in two, spawning a new digital currency called “bitcoin cash.” But while bitcoin’s value has continued to climb, bitcoin cash has floundered.
  • It’s acting as a disaster hedge, much like gold, as global geopolitical tensions are ratcheting up. The US and North Korea are currently engaged in verbal jousting, with both sides issuing threats.
  • Institutional investors are lining up to get into the cryptocurrency markets. Forbes counted 15 new hedge funds poised to launch this year. Dozens of hedge funds are in the pipeline, according to trade newsletter Hedge Fund Alert(pdf). One partner at an accounting firm said the interest from clients has been “just crazy.”
  • Bitcoin continues to go mainstream. Earlier this week mutual funds giant Fidelity released a feature that allows its customers to view their bitcoin, ethereum, or litecoin holdings from within their Fidelity account. Twitter and Square co-founder Jack Dorsey has also talked up bitcoin’s potential as the “the next big unlock” this week.

Bitcoin analyst Burniske has a word of warning for people piling into bitcoin: The correction could be severe.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.


NEO Co-Founder Banks On Blockchain To Build A Smart Economy

NEO Co-Founder Banks On Blockchain To Build A Smart Economy

The financial world, ecommerce, and other industries that witness millions of transactions each day, should prepare for fast-moving changes in order to stay ahead of competition and facilitate the rise of new solutions as well as accommodate the growing needs of businesses and consumers alike.

Today, ecommerce and the financial sector are being thoroughly shaken up by blockchain – a distributed ledger technology built to power bitcoin. It’s changing the financial services sector with banks scrambling to claim their piece of the pie. The technology itself has introduced new payment methods, smart contracts, and even new ways to verify digital identity. I spoke with Da Hongfei, co-founder of blockchain group NEO – formerly AntShares – who views blockchain as the key to a new “smart economy” where a comprehensive blockchain ecosystem could create better ways of managing financial transactions. The emergence of these new technologies is set to change every industry.


Da Hongfei, co-founder of blockchain group "NEO"

– formerly known as AntShares, which made headlines as a top 10 Cryptocurrency by market cap, on August 8th, 2017.Let’s look at a number of examples to illustrate the pace and nature of this ongoing disruption.

Smart contracts

New blockchain platforms are now able to handle smart contracts. Smart contracts are software that can track and automate the fulfillment of agreements over the blockchain. Certain actions can be triggered if a term in the contract is met. This allows developers to create a variety of blockchain-powered services. NEO is one of the platforms that offers smart contracts. It dubs its smart contracts “Smart Contracts 2.0.” These smart contracts can be built using a variety of programming languages in order to lower

the barriers to developer adoption.

“NEO developers can write smart contract code in .NET and Java/Kotlinm, and we are currently testing integration with Go, JS, and Python for a rollout in the future. This will allow a great number of developers globally to build smart contracts on NEO,” Da mentions.

The technology offers interesting opportunities for business-to-business (B2B) enterprises. B2B agreements can be made and fulfilled over the blockchain. For example, businesses could leverage smart contracts for use with suppliers and distributors in automating supply chain. This even promises consumers the possibility of making big-ticket purchases such as real estate and automobiles over the blockchain.


Blockchain has brought us cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, is now worth almost three times the price of gold. It’s also gaining acceptance in more markets as countries have started to put up regulations for its use. Japan, in a bold move, declared bitcoin a legal payment method which compelled retailers to adopt solutions to be able to accept bitcoin even for brick-and-mortar establishments. As for ecommerce, accepting cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin is relatively simpler. Bitcoin wallet services such as BitPay allow users to accept bitcoin through buttons and, for more advanced users, APIs. For instance, bitcoin services now provide merchant services to enable ecommerce companies to accept bitcoin. Through such a service, merchants would also be able to exchange it for fiat currency and vice versa giving them flexibility in which currency to use.

New blockchain platforms have also allowed the creation of more cryptocurrencies. Ether (from the Ethereum blockchain) and bitcoin cash (the new fork of the bitcoin blockchain) are the next two top cryptocurrencies priced at $300 and $320 as of writing. NEO’s own token is now among the top 10 cryptocurrencies with a market cap of more than $1.4 billion thanks to the company introducing new products, as well as its rebranding efforts.This material should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any security in any jurisdiction. I have no positions in any of the securities mentioned above.

Cross-border transactions

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are now widely used in payments and remittance. Since transactions occur in the blockchain, cross-border payments still have cheaper rates than other solutions. In contrast, traditional payments and remittances often have to be routed through several institutions and can undergo several clearing processes for transactions to complete. Newer blockchain platforms can offer quicker confirmations of transactions. Payments and remittances done even when done cross-border over blockchain can be completed in real-time. Because of this, cryptocurrencies are finding increased use for remittances in developing countries. If cryptocurrencies become preferred modes of payment in these markets then ecommerce companies would have little choice but to provide support for such payment methods much like how cash on delivery became an in-demand service for emergent markets.

Fraud prevention

Fraud continues to be a major concern for businesses. US retailers lost $32 billion from fraud in 2014. Because of this, fraud prevention has become a segment on its own with payment gateways and card processors offering transaction filters and identity verification services to merchants. Blockchain actually has applications in security and fraud prevention as well. For example, blockchain startup Civic combines blockchain and cryptographic hashing to create an encrypted digital fingerprint for users while leveraging decentralization and avoiding storing personal information anywhere.

In a similar effort, NEO is also incorporating digital identity in its platform.

“We believe blockchain usage will eventually integrate real world applications, such as digital assets based on digital identity. This would allow for better anti-money laundering and know your customer capabilities in blockchain, of which there is a paucity in the modern blockchain ecosystem,” Da said.

Such mechanisms offer the potential for more accurate means to prove identity in ecommerce transactions. For merchants, this means less instances of chargebacks or rejected transactions since users are properly verified.

Ecommerce in a “smart economy”

Much like how mobile changed the way people behave, blockchain has the potential to redefine how commerce is done. For ecommerce, the potential effects of these new developments are multifaceted. The increasing acceptance of cryptocurrencies may give rise to new preferred payment methods. Developments in smart contracts would also allow businesses to automate fulfillment of agreements thus speeding up transactions. Enhanced security would also inspire increased confidence among businesses and consumers.

For businesses, it helps keep a watchful eye to these developments in blockchain. As behaviors shift, ecommerce must be ready to adapt and offer better experiences that create a faster, more secure, and convenient ways to do business. It pays to be ready to participate as the world moves towards a smart economy.This material should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any security in any jurisdiction. I have no positions in any of the securities mentioned above.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.


Bitcoin Mania Setting Up for Greatest Financial Crash in 400 Years

Bitcoin Mania Setting Up for Greatest Financial Crash in 400 Years

This hysteria dwarfs even the famous tulip bulb lunacy.


While the first stocks originated in the early 1600s,

speculation goes back to biblical times. The current mania in this price and time window is not a stock, however. It's the currency, well cryptocurrency, known as bitcoin. Not since the Great Tulip Mania in Holland, which ended in 1637, crashed 99% has there been such a blood bath. The stock market crash of 1929-1932 in the U.S. took 90% off the Dow Jones, a worthy rival of manic proportions. More recently, the Nikkei's crash from 1989 to 2008 took 82%, but over nearly two decades. And no slouches, the various domestic indices that got their clocks cleaned from 2000 to 2002 maxed out around the Nasdaq's 82%. Yet, the greatest mania of not only our lifetime, but also perhaps of all time is that of bitcoin. Since being born in 2009, for around $0.005 (or a half of a cent), bitcoin has gained massive popularity in the last three years, and manic popularity in the last three months, after its price exploded through the late 2013 price peak. That "surprise peak" and near-90%, year-long crash was linked to the collapse of the Mt. Gox exchange.

Our DSE (decision support engine) picked up the wild volatility that few could explain, and after a few months of analysis, formed our first public forecast in June 2015 with prices in the low $200s. The bottom line from that analysis stated in these pages:"In the meantime, breakouts above the March reversal point of $300 will hint that the lows of the contracting pattern off the parabolic highs of late 2013 are in place. Breaking above the November 2014 reversal point of $449 will increase the odds, as well. Then, only the March 2014 reversal high near $700 will stand in the way of a run on $990 and even higher prices."

As history shows, this is exactly what happened. Members of our Trading Room and DSE Alerts services (both of which you can trial for 10 days by clicking here) received real-time updates on every high-confidence buy-and-sell opportunity, in between our public analyses, the last of which was posted here in late May. Reviewing that update of the great flameout of bitcoin, the DSE identified that spike into the upper $2,000s as the likely last gasps of wave 3. The second chart in that forecast zooms in on the first one, and details how a then-hallucinated decline should next hold the $1,750 +/- $150 zone, prior to the final rise into "perhaps the mid-to high $3,000s." Please take the time to read that forecast to alleviate any doubt that the DSE's forecasting engine is just ahead of this uber-emotional market.

The chart, above is the daily bar chart of bitcoin, with the current, highest probability ranked path that price could take, allowing red wave V of 5 to terminate between $3,450 and $3,500. Notice the declining volume bars in the last $500 of the rise above $2,900 — a harbinger of exhaustion. If there is any final hours to days of speculative mood left, price could spike up into the $3,800 +/-$300 zone. However, these extremes are not required, as the labeling below now counts as potentially mature, nor will any probing of that higher price band likely last long enough for most late-joining bulls to get their money out.

This is because the now-global infatuation (another telltale characteristic of N-stage manias) has overwhelmed the blockchain implementation (bitcoin's underlying technology), causing scalability problems, timeliness of executions issues and difficulty getting bitcoin delivered out of exchanges. Those that were around in 1987 might have little hairs on their necks reminding them what happened when liquidity evaporated in an instant. The Dow crashed 23% in a day.

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Some have likened the cryptocurrency market to the Internet sector in 1999. While there was little doubt then, and clear evidence since, that those companies would take over the planet, the two Nasdaq indices fell an average of 90% in the 30 months ending 2002. This time, the bitcoin mania, which has dwarfed even the Tulip Bulb lunacy, should become the posterchild graduate school case study for not only finance, but also psychology, sociology, and perhaps other disciplines. Ironically, for lacking discipline! Friends don't let friends hold bitcoin below $2,900, the line in the sand of sell-stop protection. Otherwise, in the near future, one could be wishing they'd sold this $3,500 zone, as bitcoin breaks under $35, with growing potential for $3.50.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.