Winklevoss twins cut up their Bitcoin key and keep the pieces in different bank vaults across America to protect their $1.3billion digital fortune

Winklevoss twins cut up their Bitcoin key and keep the pieces in different bank vaults across America to protect their $1.3billion digital fortune

Winklevoss twins cut up their Bitcoin key and keep the pieces in different bank vaults across America to protect their $1.3billion digital fortune

  • Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, 36, started buying up Bitcoin back in 2012

  • They used $11m to buy roughly 120,000 Bitcoins when they were less than $10

  • The funds for Bitcoin came from the $65 million settlement they reached with Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg

  • Twins have cut up the keys to their digital fortune and keep each piece in bank vaults across American to protect their billions

The Winklevoss twins say they have cut up the key to their $1.3 billion Bitcoin fortune and keep each piece in various bank vaults across America in an elaborate attempt protect their assets.

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, who are best known for suing Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg claiming he stole their idea for the social networking site, started buying up Bitcoin back in 2012.

They bought roughly 120,000 Bitcoins when they were less than $10 each using $11 million from the $65 million settlement they reached with Zuckerberg.

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, 36, say they have cut up the keys to their $1.3 billion Bitcoin fortune and keep each piece in differnet bank vaults across America

The two Harvard-educated were laughed at when they made the initial investment.

But they told the New York Times that they held onto their Bitcoins, and as a result have watched it soar in value recently.

'We've turned that laughter and ridicule into oxygen and wind at our back,' they said.

The twins say they aren't leaving anything to chance when it comes to protecting their digital fortune.

Given it is a digital currency, Bitcoin is kept in and address, or electronic 'wallet', that can only be accessed with the matching private key or password.

Anyone who can get access to that key can then take the Bitcoin.

The twins bought roughly 120,000 Bitcoins when they were less than $10 each using $11 million from the $65 million settlement they reached with Zuckerberg

The Winklevosses came up with a their own system to protect their keys.

They printed off their keys and cut them up into pieces before storing them in envelopes in safe deposit boxes across the US. If anyone happens to steal one envelope, the person would not have access to the entire private key.

The twins did try to create an ETF or an Exchange Traded Fund for the cryptocurrency, which would have opened it up to institutional investing.

That didn't happen as the US Securities and Exchange Commission rejected the application, citing the possibility of fraud.

The twins, who also competed as rowers in 2008 Beijing Olympics, still don't get close to their arch-nemesis Zuckerberg's net worth of $70 billion.

The twins, who are best known for suing Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg claiming he stole their idea for the social networking site, started buying up Bitcoin back in 2012

WHAT IS BITCOIN?

Bitcoin is a virtual currency, the first of a new form of money held only online that can be used either to spend like ‘cash’ or as an investment a little like a commodity such as gold.

Bitcoin, like other similar electronic currencies that have followed (Ethereum, Litecoin, Zcash and Dash), are stored online in a ‘digital wallet’ and then spent on goods and services. Alternatively, you can exchange it for a traditional currency such as sterling. This can be done using a special pre-payment card that converts the cryptocurrency when a purchase is made.

HOW DOES IT WORK – AND HOW DO YOU BUY IT?

When Bitcoin was invented in 2009, it was aimed at techies who ‘mined’ for it using ‘Blockchain’ technology. Blockchain allows transactions to be managed cheaply, securely and anonymously in a kind of devolved online ledger with records of transactions held on thousands of computers.

To release coins a ‘miner’ had to verify each transaction by solving a complex maths problem. But today, the Bitcoin revolution has extended beyond the techies and miners. Cryptocurrencies can now be purchased from specialist exchanges such as Coinbase, Kraken, Bittylicious and Bitstamp.

You can usually pay for the currency by credit or debit card or bank transfer. Exchanges are likely to make a charge for each purchase of cryptocurrency. For example, Coinbase charges 3.99 per cent for card purchases.

Oliver Isaacs, a technology investor and expert in cryptocurrencies, says: ‘You can send a currency to another person’s digital wallet so a Christmas present could be on the cards.’

WHY HAS BITCOIN’S VALUE BOOMED?

The number of Bitcoins in circulation will never exceed 21 million. About 16 million have already been ‘mined’. The limit was set by a mysterious coding genius with the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. This aims to ensure it will always have scarcity value.

The recent price rise – a nine-fold leap since the beginning of this year alone to $11,000 (£8,000) at one point last week for a single Bitcoin – is partly due to growing interest from institutional investors and hedge funds.

But it is possible to purchase as little as a one hundred millionth of a Bitcoin (0.00000001 Bitcoin) – called a Satoshi.

WHERE AND HOW TO SPEND IT

A number of online and physical shops accept Bitcoin – from pubs and florists to holiday booking websites and charities.

Shoppers can pay online or use an app on their phone. They need to set up a virtual wallet first to store their coins. This acts like a bank account for receiving or using virtual currency – but without any consumer protection. To find shops accepting the currency visit wheretospendbitcoins.co.uk.

SHOULD YOU BUY? 'One year's winner can be next year's loser'

Warnings abound that investors’ heated love affair with Bitcoin can only end in tears.

The number of boasts of fortunes made from Bitcoin should ring alarm bells. Remember the rapid rise in share prices ahead of the bursting of the technology bubble in 2000?

Some experts warn of a 30 per cent ‘correction’ in the Bitcoin price as soon as January. Others believe governments will clamp down because the secretive nature of these currencies makes them popular with criminals and also because they might undermine international currencies.

Justin Urquhart Stewart, of wealth manager Seven Investment Management, says: ‘Bitcoin’s relentless march has the hallmarks of an investment trap. Investing in something just because it has gone up has never been sensible. One year’s winner can all too easily become next year’s loser.’

But he is attracted to the technology behind the currency. He adds: ‘Blockchain is more than a mechanism for moving money. It is about secure control of data and information. It could also be used in industries beyond financial services such as retail, healthcare and real estate.’

Patrick Connolly, of financial adviser Chase de Vere, is nervous of the hype over an investment that is neither regulated nor offers consumer protection.

He says: ‘We are not recommending any Bitcoin investments to our clients. Many people are investing without understanding the risks.’

Benjamin Dives of start-up London Block Exchange says: ‘If you are looking to invest you really need to do your homework.’

 

Author: Emily Crane For Dailymail.com 17:25, 24 December 2017 |

 

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Bitcoin slump sees trades suspended on certain exchanges

Bitcoin slump sees trades suspended on certain exchanges

Bitcoin slump sees trades suspended on certain exchanges

Bitcoin plunged on Friday, extending a fall that saw the crypto-currency lose almost a third of its value from a record of nearly $20,000 (£15,000).

The crypto-currency's price dipped below $11,000 on Friday, according to the Coindesk exchange website, before recovering to above $13,000.

Amid the swings, three Bitcoin-related exchanges suspended certain trades.

Bitcoin has had a blistering trip over the past 12 months. Its price at the start of the year was about $1,000.

It has skyrocketed since – more than doubling in value since November – drawing interest from major firms as well as private investors.

But since Sunday Bitcoin has been on a losing streak, falling back to where it was at the start of December.

Analysts said investors should be prepared for such rapid changes, which have characterised the asset from its start.

"This is exactly how this asset trades and has done since the beginning," said Nick Colas, co-founder of New York-based DataTrek Research. "It has a lot of volatility and it will for the foreseeable future."

What happened on Friday?

This week's plunge led to a flood of trades that swamped one of Bitcoin's major exchanges, Coinbase, on Friday. A technical slowdown prompted the firm to halt buying and selling twice.

The CME and CBOE exchanges in the US also temporarily suspended trading of certain Bitcoin futures contracts, which allow investors to bet on where they expect the price of Bitcoin to be at certain points in the future.

The exchanges have automatic brakes that apply once a commodity or asset has moved by a certain amount – as happened in this case.

What sparked the slump?

The market remains driven by sentiment, according to Charles Hayter, founder and chief executive of industry website Cryptocompare.

"A manic upward swing led by the herd will be followed by a downturn as the emotional sentiment changes," he said.

Some traders would have been cashing in on the spectacular gains made over the year, he added.

Concerns about the infrastructure behind crypto-assets may also be spooking investors, said Nick Colas, himself a Bitcoin trader.

In recent weeks, markets have been rattled by hacks and allegations of insider trading.

He attributes some of this week's slump to the launch of a new crypto-asset that came earlier than planned. The surprise temporary shutdown of Coinbase on Friday was the kind of thing that could erode investor confidence, he argued.

"It is not OK to just take trading offline randomly through the day," he said. "The robustness of that system is just as important to their confidence… as the price of crypto-currencies themselves."

A spokesman for Coinbase said the firm was working around the clock to ensure smooth trading. Friday's suspensions lasted for about two hours in total.

"We're doing everything within our power," the spokesman said.

What exactly is Bitcoin?

A digital asset, Bitcoin is not backed by any governments. It is created through a complex process known as "mining", and then monitored by a network of computers across the world.

There is a steady stream of about 3,600 new Bitcoins a day, with more than 16.5 million now in circulation. Supply is expected to peak at about 21 million.

Every single transaction is recorded in a public list called the blockchain.

This makes it possible to trace the history of Bitcoins to stop people from spending coins they do not own, making copies or undoing transactions.

What are authorities saying about Bitcoin?

Regulators around the world have stepped up their warnings about its provenance as an investment.

One of this week's most striking comments came from Denmark's central bank governor, who called it a "deadly" gamble.

Earlier this month, the head of one of the UK's leading financial regulators warned people to be ready to "lose all their money" if they invested in Bitcoin.

Andrew Bailey, head of the Financial Conduct Authority, told the BBC that neither central banks nor the government stood behind the "currency" and therefore it was not a secure investment.

Despite the risk to individuals, US authorities have said they do not think it is a big enough part of financial markets to be a threat to broader economic stability.

 

Source BBC News

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Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis for 12/22/2017 – Bears Settling In

 http://seriouswealth.net/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Bitcoin-Price-Technical-Analysis-for-22nd-Dec-Bears-Settling-In.

Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis for 12/22/2017 – Bears Settling In

Bitcoin price is trending lower on its 1-hour time frame and might be due for a pullback to the area of interest at $16,000.

Bitcoin Price Key Highlights

  • Bitcoin price continues to trend lower and has just dipped below the $13,500 mark.

  • Price seems to be drawing some support from this area, though, probably making its way up for a correction.

  • Applying the Fib retracement tool shows the nearby inflection points that might serve as resistance.

  • Bitcoin price is trending lower on its 1-hour time frame and might be due for a pullback to the area of interest at $16,000.

Technical Indicators Signals

The 100 SMA is below the longer-term 200 SMA to confirm that the path of least resistance is to the downside. This means that the selloff is more likely to resume than to reverse.

The 61.8% Fib is closest to the falling trend line resistance that’s been holding for the past few days. It also coincides with the broken support at the $16,000 longer-term area of interest.

The 38.2% Fib is near the $15,000 psychological level which might also contain plenty of sell orders. The 50% Fib is located at $15,285.

Stochastic is pulling up from oversold territory to reflect a pickup in buying pressure that could allow the correction to stay in play for a while. RSI is also pulling up so bitcoin price might follow suit.

Market Factors

The persistent slide in bitcoin price has probably been leading traders to liquidate their positions before the year comes to a close. The euphoria over the launch of bitcoin futures has faded after all, and there are no major catalysts that could spring another rally.

Then again, there are a few network upgrades scheduled all the way until March next year and this would still likely leave bitcoin stronger than ever. However, issues pertaining to bitcoin trading manipulation have eroded confidence in the cryptocurrency somewhat.

Meanwhile, the dollar remains strongly supported by tax reform progress as the government is on track towards implementing corporate tax cuts soon. This would be very positive for businesses and consumers, thereby upping the chances of seeing more Fed rate hikes next year.

 

Author Sarah Jenn 5:31 am December 22, 2017

 

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Watch out for a correction in bitcoin after a parabolic rise

Watch out for a correction in bitcoin after a parabolic rise

Watch out for a correction in bitcoin after a parabolic rise

  • Cryptocurrencies are suitable for short-term trading

  • Bitcoin futures have limits on expiry

  • The bitcoin trend shows room for a 50% correction

Bitcoin trading, and the capital allocated to it, remains a very small part of the multi-trillion dollar equity markets. It is an even smaller part of the much, much larger derivatives market.

The key problem with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is that they are fiat currencies in the true sense of the word. A fiat currency relies on investors confidence for its value. A fiat currency is not backed in gold or some other asset. Most world currencies are fiat currencies, but they are backed by sovereign states. It is rare for a sovereigns States to default on debt which in turn leads to currency collapse.

Cryptocurrencies are the currency of choice for money laundering, hackers, terrorists and criminals. Governments will not stand by and allow these cryptocurrencies to evade the regulations around these activities. There is a high risk that sovereign executive action will destroy the value of these bitcoins.

Legitimacy

Cryptocurrencies do not have the support of sovereign states. In fact some sovereign states – China – refuse to recognize these as legitimate currencies.

This is the most significant risk in cryptocurrency trading. At any time a sovereign state like the United States may ban or prohibit cryptocurrency use and trading and thus render all contracts immediately worthless. This makes the cryptocurrencies suitable for short-term trading with exceptionally good risk management.

The listing of bitcoin contracts on Chicago futures exchanges does not legitimize Bitcoin. These contracts can only be cash settled in U.S. dollars. The contract cannot be converted to bitcoins on expiry. This gives an indication of the level of confidence in the currency. Creating a bitcoin futures contract legitimizes and regulates the trading activity, but it does not legitimize bitcoin as a currency.

CME, the world's largest futures exchange, launched its bitcoin futures contract this week under the ticker "BTC." The front-month contact opened above $20,000. The previous week the Chicago Board Options Exchange launched it own futures contract with the front-month topping $18,000.

Cryptocurrencies are also tracked on CoinDesk, which monitors prices from digital currency exchanges Bitstamp, Coinbase, itBit and Bitfinex.

The trend

This trend is a parabolic curve. The trend is best described using a segment of an ellipse, mistakenly called a parabolic curve
 

Once the three anchor points are set, the position of the curve does not change. The trend starts off slowly then accelerates very rapidly until the activity on the price chart is almost vertical.

Prices will soon move inevitably to the right of the curve. This usually signals a rapid retracement of 50% or more.

History

Alexandre Dumas wrote a book, The Black Tulip, which should be read by any person thinking about trading bitcoins. If anything, the situation is worse now that Dumas describes in his day when tulip futures were actively traded on the Amsterdam stock exchange.

Bitcoins will not impact the stock market other than to remove some speculative capital from the equity market. However the amounts are small when compared with overall market activity.

 

Author Daryl Guppy CNBC

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Tax dept starts probe into Bitcoin exchanges to ascertain rate they can be taxed under

Tax dept starts probe into Bitcoin exchanges to ascertain rate they can be taxed under

Tax Dept starts probe into Bitcoin exchanges to ascertain rate they can be taxed under.

 

The indirect tax department has launched an investigation into Bitcoin exchanges operating in India to ascertain at what rate they can be taxed under the goods and services tax (GST) regime, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The development comes as the income tax department launched searches on top Bitcoin exchanges including Zebpay, Unocoin and CoinSecure on Wednesday.

According to the indirect tax officers, the investigations began probe about a month back and top executives and promoters of some Bitcoin exchanges were asked to explain their business model and how much indirect tax — either service tax or value-added tax — could be levied on the last financial year's revenue.

"There is ambiguity around how much sales tax is applicable on revenues of these startups as the product they deal in is not defined by the current tax laws," said a person with direct knowledge of the matter. "No satisfactory answer is yet provided by any of these Bitcoin startups."

A senior executive at one of the top seven Bitcoin exchanges in the country confirmed that both direct and indirect tax officials have been questioning the company about its business model and taxability. "While the indirect tax department has been calling senior executives since mid-November, the direct tax officials started reaching out to us two weeks back," the person said.

Bitcoin is the most popular among digital currencies that allow online payments directly from one person to another without any middlemen or going through any financial institution. With many businesses beginning to accept them, there is rising demand for such cryptocurrencies that come without any government control and allow anonymous transactions. More than that, Bitcoin has become a craze among investors, with its value skyrocketing more than 1,200% in 2017 alone. Price of one Bitcoin stood at $17,900, or .`11.46 lakh, on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange as on Friday evening.

Among other things the tax department wants to know if Bitcoins are currency, goods or services. Tax rates would depend on how the product is defined.

"Bitcoin may not qualify as currency or money as it is not a legal tender for Indian indirect tax laws," said Pratik Jain, national leader, indirect tax, PwC. "Therefore, VAT (value-added tax) or GST implications may arise. In case it is sold to overseas customers from India it may qualify as 'export'." However, if there is a commission or fee earned in the transaction, then the business of Bitcoin exchanges is likely to be viewed as a 'service', Jain said. "There are several grey areas which need to be investigated, in light of the precedence and guidance available under laws of other countries."

Industry insiders said that Bitcoin players, including Indian exchanges, earn their revenue through commission, transaction fees or price arbitrage. There was no response to queries sent to Zebpay and CoinSecure on Wednesday. Unocoin told ET: "Given that we have not received any notice, none of your questions are relevant."

No tax notices have been issued yet. That can happen only after an investigation is concluded and the exact tax applicable is determined.

One person close to the development said the indirect tax department is likely to issue demand orders to Bitcoin exchanges by the first quarter of next year. "The sales tax department and VAT authorities would be well within their rights to issue arbitrary demand orders (for 2016-17, before the implementation of GST)," the person said. GST was put in place on July 1.

According to another person in the know, VAT authorities from Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka have separately initiated an inquiry to determine if Bitcoin exchanges are liable to the tax.

Tax experts said calculating indirect tax on the revenue earned by the Bitcoin startups is causing problems due to lack of clarity around the 'place of supply' provisions.

Income-tax authorities too are on the trail of the Indian Bitcoin sector. ET reported on Monday on an ambiguity in income tax to be paid by Bitcoin holders in India. According to people with direct knowledge of the matter, the income tax authorities wanted access to data on Indian Bitcoin holders and the gains they have made.

The stratospheric rise in Bitcoin valuation has prompted several investors and experts, including Warren Buffet and JP Morgan's Jamie Dimon, to warn that it is a bubble. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has so far issued three warnings against Bitcoins — the first in 2013, the second in February this year and the third last week.

There are 1,600 types of cryptocurrencies available across the globe based on blockchain technology. The more common ones include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and Dash.

"One needs to choose a cryptocurrency wallet and an exchange to trade on the currency," said Vishal Gupta, founder of SearchTrade, a search engine company that uses Bitcoins to pay users every time they search on the platform. "From there it is as simple as filling out a form and waiting for the transaction to process."

Gupta, who also cofounded the Digital Assets and Blockchain Foundation India (DABFI), however, declined to share how players (wallet or facilitators) earn their revenues.

 

Authors: Sachin Dave, Vishal Dutta ET Bureau|Dec 16, 2017, 09.43 AM IST

 

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A bubble? We don’t even know how to value Bitcoin

A bubble We don't even know how to value Bitcoin

A bubble? We don’t even know how to value Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a “speculative mania” according to the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia. But it’s not so easy to say that Bitcoin is a bubble – we don’t know how to value it.

Recent price rises (close to $18,000 in the past three months) may be too great and can’t continue. But the Bitcoin market is only just maturing as an investment and as a currency, and so it may still have room to grow.

A bubble is when the price of an asset diverges from its “fundamentals” – the aspects of an asset that investors use to value it. These could be the income that can be earned from a stock over time, a company’s cash flow, the state of a country’s economy, or even the rent from property.

But Bitcoin does not pay out profits (like shares) or rent (like property) and is not attached a national economy (like fiat currencies). This is part of the reason why it is hard to tell what the underlying value of Bitcoin is or should be.

In the search for fundamentals some have suggested we should look at the supply of Bitcoins in the market (which is regulated by the technology itself), the number of Bitcoin transactions through the market, or even the energy consumed by Bitcoin miners (the computers that validate transactions and are rewarded with Bitcoins).

Diverging from fundamentals

If we take a close look, we can see how the price of Bitcoin may be diverging from these fundamentals. For instance, it is becoming less profitable to be a miner, especially as the energy required increases. At some stage the cost may exceed the price of Bitcoin, making the network less worthwhile to both mine and invest.

Bitcoin may be the best known cryptocurrency but it is also losing marketshare to other cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum and Litecoin. Bitcoin currently accounts for 59.4% of the total global cryptocurrency market but at the beginning of 2016 it was 91.3%. Many of these other cryptocurrencies have more functionality than Bitcoin (such as Ethereum’s ability to execute smart contracts), or are more efficient and use less energy (such as Litecoin).

Government policy, such as taxation or the establishment of national digital currencies, may also make it riskier or less worthwhile to mine, transact or hold the cryptocurrency. China’s ban on initial coin offerings earlier this year reduced the value of Bitcoin by 20% in 24 hours.

Without these fundamentals the price of Bitcoin largely reflects speculation. And there is some evidence that people are simply buying and holding Bitcoin in the hope it will keep rising in value (also known as greater fool investing). Certainly, the cap on the total number (21 million) of Bitcoins that can exist makes the currency inherently deflationary – the value of the currency relative to goods and services will keep increasing even without speculation and so there is a disincentive to spend it.

Bitcoin still has room to grow

Many big investors – including banks and hedge funds – have not yet entered into the market. The volatility and lack of regulation around Bitcoin are two reasons stopping these investors from jumping in.

There are new financial products being developed, such as futures contracts, that may reduce the risk of holding Bitcoin and allow these institutional investors to get in.

But Bitcoin futures contracts – where people can place bets on the future price of stocks or markets – may also work against the price of Bitcoin. Just like gamblers place bets on horse races rather than buying a horse, investors may simply buy and sell the futures contracts rather than Bitcoin itself (some contracts are even settled in cash, rather than Bitcoin). All of this could lead to less actual Bitcoin changing hands, leading to less demand.

Although the rush to invest is apparently encouraging some people to take out mortgages to buy Bitcoin, traditional banks won’t lend specifically for that purpose as the market is too volatile.

But it is not just on the finance side that the Bitcoin market is set to expand. More infrastructure to support Bitcoin in the broader economy is rolling out, which should spur demand.

Bitcoin ATMs are being installed in many countries, including Australia. Bitcoin lending is emerging on peer-to-peer platforms, and new and more regulated marketplaces are being created.

Many companies are accepting Bitcoin as payment. That means that even if the speculation dies down, Bitcoin can still be traded for some goods and services.

And finally, although the fundamentals of Bitcoin are still up for debate, when it comes to transaction volume through the network there appears to be a lot of room for growth.

It’s good to remember that people have been calling Bitcoin a bubble for a long time, even when the price was just US$35 in 2013.

In the end, this is uncharted territory. We don’t know how to value Bitcoin, or what will happen. Historical examples may or may not apply.

What we do know is that the technology behind most cryptocurrencies is enabling new models of value transfer through secure global consensus networks and that is causing excitement and nervousness. Investors should beware.

Author: Alicia (Lucy) Cameron and Kelly Trinh for the Conversation

 

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Bitcoin futures suggest breakneck rise in price to slow

Bitcoin futures suggest breakneck rise in price to slow

Bitcoin futures suggest breakneck rise in price to slow

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – Newly launched bitcoin futures on Monday suggested that traders expect the cryptocurrency’s blistering price gains to slow in the coming months, even as it blasted above $17,000 to a fresh record high in the spot market.

Chicago-based derivatives exchange Cboe Global Markets launched the futures late on Sunday, marking the first time investors could get exposure to the bitcoin market via a large, regulated exchange.

The one-month bitcoin contract <0#XBT:> opened at 6 p.m. local time (2300 GMT) on Sunday at $15,460. By late afternoon on Monday in New York, it was trading at $18,650, roughly 8 percent above bitcoin’s spot price of $16,900 on the Bitstamp exchange.

Bitcoin earlier hit a record high of $17,270.

Its steep gains and rapid rise have attracted investors around the world as well as intense scrutiny from government regulators, which is the very opposite of what its creators wanted when it first launched bitcoin more than eight years ago.

“The bitcoin founder should be horrified seeing it rise so quickly, as any serious focus on it and its recent explosive move higher will soon end its freedom,” said John Taylor Jr, president and founder of research firm Taylor Global Vision in New York.

Taylor believes that based on his charts, bitcoin has not yet peaked, but as soon as the “upmove ends, it will crash.”

Given bitcoin has almost tripled in value over the past month, and was up more than 15 percent on Monday alone, the futures pricing suggested investors see price increases moderating.

Bitcoin futures were already offered on some unregulated cryptocurrency exchanges outside the United States, but backers said the U.S. market debut would confer greater legitimacy on the volatile cryptocurrency and encourage its wider use.

The CME Group (CME.O) is expected to launch its futures contract on Dec. 17.

VOLATILITY CONCERNS

Although there are hopes that the futures will draw in new investors, most fund managers at larger asset managers and institutional investors said bitcoin remains too volatile and lacks the fundamentals that give other assets value.

“There’s no place for bitcoin in a multi-asset portfolio given the very high volatility,” said Robeco Chief Investment Officer Lukas Daalder.

The two-month contract was trading at $18,750, an 11 percent premium over the spot price, while the three-month contract was changing hands at $18,140, a roughly 12 percent premium.

While modest when compared with bitcoin’s 270 percent increase over the past three months and 230 percent rise in the last two months, those levels still indicated a lack of large “short” positions betting against bitcoin.

“Anyone, especially a professional trading outfit, would be crazy to actually short sell this bull market,” said Nick Spanos, founder of Bitcoin Center NYC. “But just because it doesn’t happen on day one doesn’t mean it won’t in the future.”

Bitcoin was up more than 1,600 percent so far in 2017, having started the year at less than $1,000.

MARCH TOWARDS LEGITIMIZATION’

As of early afternoon trading in New York, 3,951 one-month contracts had changed hands, meaning around $73.1 million had been notionally traded. That compares with daily trading volumes of more than $21.5 billion across all cryptocurrencies, according to trade website Coinmarketcap.

There had been speculation that the futures launch would trigger more gyrations in the market. But while volatile compared with traditional currencies or assets, the rise on Monday was relatively tame for bitcoin.

Bitcoin surged more than 40 percent in 48 hours last week, before tumbling 20 percent in the following 10 hours.

“(Bitcoin futures) will speed up the march towards legitimization of an asset class that only a few years ago many law enforcement agencies would have argued had limited legitimate reasons for people to use,” said Jo Torode, a financial crime lawyer at Ropes & Gray in London.

The futures are cash-settled contracts, allowing investors exposure without having to hold any of the cryptocurrency.

The futures are based on the auction price of bitcoin in U.S. dollars on the Gemini Exchange, which is owned and operated by virtual currency entrepreneurs and brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.

 

DRAMATIC GAINS

Bitcoin was set up in 2008 by an individual or group calling themselves Satoshi Nakamoto, and was the first digital currency to successfully use cryptography to keep transactions secure and hidden, making traditional financial regulation difficult if not impossible.

Central bankers and critics of the cryptocurrency have been ringing the alarm bells over its surge in price and other risks such as whether the opaque market can be used for money laundering.

“It looks remarkably like a bubble forming to me,” the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s Acting Governor Grant Spencer said on Sunday.

Somebody who invested $1,000 in bitcoin at the start of 2013 would now be sitting on around $1.2 million.

Heightened excitement ahead of the launch of the Cboe futures gave an extra kick to the cryptocurrency’s scorching run this year.

The launch has so far received a mixed reception from big U.S. banks and brokerages.

Several online brokerages, including Charles Schwab Corp (SCHW.N) and TD Ameritrade Holding Corp (AMTD.O), did not allow trading of the new futures immediately.

The Financial Times reported on Friday that JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Citigroup Inc (C.N) would not immediately clear bitcoin trades for clients.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) said on Thursday it was planning to clear such trades for certain clients.

 

Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak and John McCrank in NEW YORK; Michelle Chen in HONG KONG and Helen Reid in LONDON; Graphics by Ritvik Carvalho in LONDON and Reuters Graphics team; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli

 

 

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Bitcoin cracks $9,600 just hours after breaking $9,000 level

Bitcoin cracks $9,600 just hours after breaking $9,000 level

Bitcoin cracks $9,600 just hours after breaking $9,000 level

  • Bitcoin surged to yet another new record high on Monday
  • The cryptocurrency jumped to an all-time high of $9,671.84 hours after cracking the $9,400 level on Sunday
  • The digital currency has risen some 869 percent year-to-date
  • Bitcoin surged to yet another new record high on Monday, breaking a record set during the Thanksgiving weekend stateside.

The cryptocurrency jumped to an all-time high of $9,671.84 hours after cracking the $9,400 level on Sunday, according to industry site CoinDesk. It later pared some gains to trade at $9,631.21 at 10:00 a.m. HK/SIN, rising some 3.27 percent on the day.

"The move appears to be retail driven," said Brian Kelly, a CNBC contributor and CEO of BKCM, which runs a digital assets strategy.

The largest bitcoin exchange in the U.S., Coinbase, added about 100,000 accounts between Wednesday and Friday — just around Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday — to a total of 13.1 million. That's according to public data available on Coinbase's website and historical records compiled by Alistair Milne, co-founder and chief investment officer of Altana Digital Currency Fund. Coinbase had about 4.9 million users last November, Milne's data showed.

The surge in interest also comes on the back of CME's announcement that it will list bitcoin futures in the second week of December. The launch of a derivatives product for the digital currency will mark another step in establishing bitcoin as a legitimate asset class.

Still, with the digital currency having risen by some 869 percent year-to-date, plenty have taken to pointing out the potential pitfalls of what they see as a price bubble.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon in October warned that those "stupid" enough to buy bitcoin will ultimately "pay the price for it." He added that he did not comprehend the value of currencies that were not backed by a government and that "[t]he only value of bitcoin is what the other guy'll pay for it."

Still, many others have offered a more moderate assessment for bitcoin and its ascent. Khaldoon Al Mubarak, the head of Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment Company, said people ought to be open-minded when looking at the digital currency.

More recently, a poll among chief financial officers on CNBC's Global CFO Council showed 27.9 percent of 43 respondents thought bitcoin was "real but in a bubble" while 27.9 percent thought the cryptocurrency was a "fraud." Just 14 percent of the executives said bitcoin was "real and going higher."
 

Author: Evelyn Cheng

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

Rise of Bitcoins causes stir but questions linger

Anthony Mburu and his fiancée Elizabeth John at Nation Centre on November 22, 2017 for an interview. Mburu paid part of his dowry using Bitcoin

Rise of Bitcoins causes stir but questions linger

Anthony Mburu and his fiancée Elizabeth John who recently attracted curiosity when he paid part of his dowry using Bitcoins, a form of digital currency, in Naivasha Kenya,considers himself a non-conformist.

Having quit university in 2010 after just one semester of his engineering course, 26-year-old Anthony Mburu does not fancy formal education, for instance.

“Formal education is good. It will give you an average life. You’ll eat, have your mortgage, car loan and all that — live an average life; struggle through life to the end,” he opined.

WALUBENGO: Kenya's uneasy dance with Bitcoin

DOWRY

He currently makes a living out of “mining” Bitcoins and he says that is the source of income that has enabled him buy a parcel of land in Naivasha, stay in a rented house and has given him something to buy and maintain his car among other fortunes.

“Everything is Bitcoin. Where I live, Bitcoin; what I drive, Bitcoin; investment, Bitcoin,” he said.

The computer-generated currency, he says, enabled him pay part of his dowry.

On November 11, as he headed to the home of his fiancée Elizabeth Chege in Naivasha, he had already negotiated with his in-laws that the goats portion of his dowry be settled with Bitcoins.

MOBILE APPLICATION

There are some components of the dowry process he paid for in hard cash.

His father-in-law, John Thion’go Chege, a retired KenGen employee, bought the idea.

They helped him download a mobile phone application that works as a Bitcoin wallet.

“We told him, ‘You just receive this and keep it. In a few months, you will have double the dowry. And if you keep [real] goats, they’ll still be the same goats,’” Mr Mburu said.

Ms Chege, the 6th born in a family of nine children, said her parents did not ask many questions despite the fact that Bitcoin is not a well-known concept in Kenya.

“They can’t refuse because they believe in me,” she said.

CBK

Mr Mburu’s unprecedented action has drawn mixed reactions since Bitcoin is a currency the Central Bank of Kenya has told the public to eschew because it is not backed by any regulator.

In a recent interview, Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge reiterated his disdain for Bitcoin, saying the way the currency’s value has shot up is proof that it could be a Ponzi scheme.

“Our point is that there is risk and it is important that everybody knows that those risks can come back to haunt us and have financial stability concerns,” Dr Njoroge said.

VALUE

Those who are in Dr Njoroge’s school of thought have been criticising the Bitcoin dowry deal.

“Ikicollapse nayo? Give back the bride…” a commentator on NTV’s YouTube channel joked.

Another viewer wrote: “That family better cash in on those Bitcoins. The Bitcoin bubble will burst… Eventually.”

But the currency is fast gaining prominence in Kenya as many people try their luck with this fortune whose value has been sharply rising, much that by Saturday , one Bitcoin was selling for close to Sh900,000 locally.

The value was barely Sh10,000 a year ago.

On the global scale, one Bitcoin was selling at $8,480 (Sh875,984).

SELLERS

On Saturday afternoon on localBitcoins.com, one of the platforms where Bitcoins are sold by Kenyans to other Kenyans, there were at least 10 active sellers.

One in Nairobi was selling 0.150544 of a Bitcoin for Sh140,000, which they wanted to be sent to him via M-Pesa.

Another one in Nakuru wanted Sh250,000 sent to his bank account before he could load any willing buyer’s Bitcoin account with 0.26153363 of Bitcoin.

There are many ways of making money though Bitcoin, and Mr Mburu’s preferred way is through “mining”.

PURCHASE SHARES

He is a member of Bitclub Network, which helps Kenyans and other people across the globe buy shares in the Bitcoin enterprise.

The Kenyan chapter of the club, which has more than 1,000 members, meets in Nairobi every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Asked what one needs to do to get into mining, Mr Mburu replied:

“Just buy shares. The company dealing with that is Bitclub Network. And one unit is going for $599 (Sh61,876).

"So, you buy Bitcoins worth that much and buy that mining capacity; like you buy a machine. It’s a real machine called Antminer S9.”

He adds: “Once you buy it, it’s stored in our facility in Iceland, and there’s a 30-day period of paying that you’ll not be earning.”

GOATS

Ever since he discovered Bitcoin — which he says brings him at least $5,000 (Sh515,500) per month — he has not looked back and he is planning for a wedding in April 2018. “It will be a Bitcoin wedding,” he said.

Mr Mburu was also dismissive of those who say he might have taken his in-laws for a ride.

“They don’t know what it is. Bitcoin has been there, and it’s going nowhere,” he said.

The Bitcoins he paid were and equivalent of 25 goats. He still has 75 to go “which are yet to be paid in Bitcoins” as he put it.

GROWTH

His fiancée runs a clothes shop in Nairobi and she has also been accepting payment via Bitcoin, though the mode of exchange is yet to gain ground in Kenya.

Mr Michael Kimani, the chairman of the Blockchain Association of Kenya, has been dealing with cryptocurrencies since 2012 and says the field will grow exponentially.

“A lot of opportunities are going to emerge from this and I’m trying to position myself with this industry because I honestly think in the next five years, this is going to be so big that people will forget how we used to live without cryptocurrency,” he said.

 

Author: ELVIS ONDIEKI

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

Is Investing in Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies Worth the Gamble

Is Investing in Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies Worth the Gamble

Is Investing in Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies Worth the Gamble

The Technology Behind Cryptocurrencies

 

The creation of Bitcoin back in 2008 fueled the exponential growth of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, facilitating the creation of a rich diversity of coins and applications that many would deem revolutionary. Those who invested in cheap coins at the outset are reaping huge returns on their capitals, dwarfing the average returns one can acquire in the stock markets. Think about it; if you had bought $1,000 worth of Bitcoin in 2010, you’d be worth a staggering $35 million now. The possibility of earning colossal returns has attracted many to the arena, and this begs a crucial question: Is the hype on cryptocurrencies warranted or it is just a game of Russian Roulette?

The birth of Bitcoin – the first digital cryptocurrency that is decentralized by design – gave rise to a technology with the potential to redefine the very fabric of our status quo. This technology is called the Blockchain, which underpins Bitcoin’s protocol.

“Every informed person needs to know about Bitcoin because it might be one of the world’s most important developments.” — Leon Luow, Nobel Peace Prize nominee

Blockchain is essentially a distributed, digital ledger where every transaction is broadcasted publicly and recorded chronologically. The database is ever growing, expanding in tandem with the amount of transactions made on the network. The decentralized nature of Blockchain technology ensures that transactions are immutable and thus immune to change, offering full transparency for each and every transaction. Add to that the traits of increased security, higher efficiency, error-resistant and reduced transaction costs, it leaves no doubt as to why many are excited about Blockchain’s possible use cases. The utility of Blockchain technology is endless, with an ever-growing list of governments, industries and companies looking to further explore its usage.

Hotbed for Money Making

The birth of a revolutionary technology would always entail those looking to capitalize on its profitability. Blockchain is no different. Investors, traders and speculators can get in on the action by buying cryptocurrencies, which are digital currencies manifesting as variant applications of the Blockchain technology. There are over 900 coins available, with each offering a slightly different approach to solving a range of problems. Many early adopters have made a great sum of money, by buying the coins cheaply at its outset and realizing them much later on. Based on the statistics provided by ICOSTATS, the return on capital of 40 cryptocurrencies since their inception stands at a staggering 6703%! In order for you to earn similar rates of returns in the stock market, it will take you approximately 957 years.

These stellar returns inevitably attract many who are looking to earn multiples over their capital. Given the extreme technicality of cryptocurrencies and the underlying Blockchain technology, many do not fully understand the fundamentals of what they’re investing in. The immaturity of the current infrastructure – stemming from the relative infancy of the cryptocurrency industry — results in an inefficient price discovery mechanism, thereby creating an extremely volatile market environment. This poses huge risks for those looking to invest in a comprehensive list of coins.

Simply entering the market with the hopes of massive short-term gains without understanding the coins and their technology is akin to playing a deadly game of Russian Roulette. The radical volatility of the coins’ prices may significantly put your capital at risk. Just to draw a picture, Bitcoin’s price lost 40% of its value in a matter of days in December 2013, and at the start of this year, Bitcoin lost approximately 34% of its value in a week. While this can spell doom for many, there are those that find gratification by profiting from the intense gyration of prices.

The Verdict?

Nine years after Bitcoin kickstarted the technological revolution, the ecosystem centered around Blockchain technology has flourished and is looking ever so promising. New coins solving real world problems are launched at a tremendous pace, with new functionalities and applications pushing the boundaries of this nascent technology. With increasing user adoption and a keen interest by nations and corporations, it is only a matter of time before Blockchain technology becomes ubiquitous in our lives.

A flip side of this emergent technology is the great risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies, especially for those with a short-term horizon and an absence of understanding in the coins they have invested in. Truly, the extraordinary volatility unique to cryptocurrencies creates a superficial impression of high stakes gambling in the eyes of many. Armed with the right understanding and knowledge of Blockchain technology, you would begin to appreciate its innate beauty.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

DAvid Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

Author: Aziz Bin Zainuddin

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden