October 31, 2017

World’s largest Options Exchange to launch Bitcoin Futures, optimistic long-term indicator

By Joseph Young - October 31, 2017 (www.newsbtc.com)

CME Group, the US-based financial market company operating the world’s largest options and futures exchange, has officially announced its plans to launch bitcoin futures by the end of 2017.

In a corporate statement, CME revealed that its bitcoin futures trading platform is currently being reviewed by US financial authorities and regulators. Upon the approval of the US government in the fourth quarter of 2017, CME will launch a bitcoin futures exchange for institutional and retail investors.

Terry Duffy, CME Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated:

“Given increasing client interest in the evolving cryptocurrency markets, we have decided to introduce a bitcoin futures contract. As the world’s largest regulated FX marketplace, CME Group is the natural home for this new vehicle that will provide investors with transparency, price discovery and risk transfer capabilities.”

It Has Become Difficult For Large Markets to Dismiss Bitcoin

Even for some of the largest financial conglomerates like CME Group, Goldman Sachs, and Fidelity, it has become increasingly difficult to dismiss bitcoin and the rapidly rising demand from their clients. Consequently, CME revealed its plans to address the growing demand for bitcoin by introducing an infrastructure for retail traders, Goldman Sachs disclosed the possibility of launching a cryptocurrency trading platform, and Fidelity have started to allow clients to invest in cryptocurrencies.

Earlier this week, during a presentation, highly regarded bitcoin and security expert Andreas Antonopoulos described the competition of bitcoin against the traditional financial industry in its early stages as a lemonade stand up against Walmart. But, the dismissive attitude of banks and financial industries have led to the emergence of a $180 billion market with nearly $4 billion in trading volume.

Within 9 years, the bitcoin market has matured to a point wherein financial service providers like CME and Fidelity can either isolate themselves from the market and allow the market to grow exponentially without their involvement, or participate in the market and help the industry grow at a faster rate. CME and Fidelity have chosen the path of assisting the cryptocurrency market and addressing the demand for bitcoin from clients, investors, and traders.

Can Bitcoin Evolve into a Trillion Dollar Market

Upon the launch of the CME bitcoin futures exchange, Crypto Facilities’ BRR system, which aggregates the trade flow of major bitcoin exchanges including Bitstamp, GDAX, itBit, and Kraken, will be used to evaluate the market valuation and price of bitcoin in real-time. Timo Schlaefer, the CEO of Crypto Facilities, said:

“We are excited to work with CME Group on this product and see the BRR used as the settlement mechanism of this important product. The BRR has proven to reliably and transparently reflect global bitcoin-dollar trading and has become the price reference of choice for financial institutions, trading firms and data providers worldwide.”

With LedgerX in place, the integration of bitcoin by CME will further trigger the interests and demand from institutional investors and retail traders, which will allow bitcoin to evolve into a trillion dollar market in the long-term.

Joseph Young
Joseph is a web developer and designer, writer and a passionate musician who loves to travel often. He's worked as a researcher for a number of venture capital firms and as a freelancer designer for resorts and corporations in Korea and the Philippines. Joseph will be covering new technologies, startups, technical analysis and breaking news in the bitcoin industry.

Next generation of tech geniuses signing up to study cryptocurrencies

By Darryn Pollock - October 31, 2017 (cointelegraph.com)

In a nod towards the direction cryptocurrencies are heading, the youth of the globe are surging towards university courses that offer teaching in cryptography, as well as cryptocurrency.

The value of Bitcoin is soaring, and students are identifying a new market that is emerging that they are trying to ready themselves for with university accredited courses.

Hugely popular

Dan Boneh, co-director of the Stanford Computer Security Lab and a professor of cryptography has noted that security and cryptography represent the second-most popular subject in the university's computer science department, behind only machine learning.

He added: "A lot of people are attracted to the huge valuations in these currencies. Cryptocurrencies are a wonderful way to teach cryptography. There are a whole bunch of new applications for cryptography that didn't exist before."

The rise in popularity has been comparable to the growth of the digital currency which is making all the noise, Bitcoin. It has hit the mainstream in a big way, and now there is a second wave of those who are looking to be more than just investors in the potentially revolutionary technology.

In 2015, Boneh began teaching a class on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies and was quickly attracting over 100 students. Boneh said that more than one mln people have signed up for an online cryptography class he teaches through the website Coursera.

Spreading across the campuses

In Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon's Vipul Goyal is using Boneh's interactive online textbook for a class called Special Topics in Cryptography that the school is offering for the first time this year.

About 20 students, mostly PhD candidates, are taking the class which focuses on Blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

The trend is not just limited to these two universities: the University of California at Berkeley launched a class last year called the Cryptocurrency Decal, and in 2015 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab established the Digital Currency Initiative.

Bitcoin, its underlying technology Blockchain, and the theory behind it, Cryptography, is big business as there has already been evidence of growth in the job market for the associated disciplines.

It is understandable thus that University students would want to align themselves with a burgeoning technology that is desperate for growth and can only benefit from additional human capital.

Bitcoin-related jobs booming along with Bitcoin

By Darryn Pollock - October 31, 2017 ()

International employment marketplace Freelancer has noted that Bitcoin-related jobs are the highest growers, hitting 82 percent growth in the third quarter alone.

The company's periodic report tracks top trends in online jobs based on the listings on its Freelancer.com platform.

ICO boom

Freelancer notes that a lot of the growth is coming from companies that are looking for freelancers to design new coins, essentially helping them launch ICOs.

"People are getting freelancers to design new types of cryptocurrencies," Matt Barrie, CEO of Freelancer, said.

One of the main skills for which companies are looking is the ability to manage an ICO. ICOs have been seen to be highly lucrative, and many are popping up all over the place. However, recent regulations have slowed down the frenzy.

It is not only the developers and designers of these new coins that are in such high demand for new ICOs according to Freelancer. Employers are looking for people to create new cryptocurrencies but also to write proposal plans for technologies employing Blockchain.


The related field of cryptography saw the number of job listings rise 59 percent in the third quarter, according to Freelancer. Cryptography is essentially the underlying theory upon which the Blockchain and by extension Bitcoin is based.

It is not only useful in cryptocurrency, but it is also a skill that has played a significant role in Internet security and privacy.

Job quality

Not only is their a higher demand for crypto-workers, but the jobs on offer are also decidedly better than most in a similar field.

A report done in September found cryptocurrency jobs pay, on average, 10 to 20 percent more than the industry norm. Further, they offer better benefits.

Second, cryptocurrency companies have far more flexible remote working perks. In fact, within cryptocurrency companies, employees are 22 percent more likely to have remote working freedom.

Third, cryptocurrency companies and especially ICOs offer far superior liquidity options. Typical equity positions require a liquidity event in order to be sold and have complex restrictions. ICOs generally offer employees coins as part equity positions. While those coins may still have some restrictions, they are far more liquid than options.

Trump to appoint Bitcoin-skeptic Powell as Fed Chair

By C. Edward Kelso - October 31, 2017 (news.bitcoin.com)

The New York Times is reporting President Trump will appoint “Jerome H. Powell as the next chairman of the Federal Reserve (Fed).” Bitcoiners all over the world will be impacted. 
Governor Powell

Potential Trump Nominee Powell is Cautious about Bitcoin

President Trump is widely expected to nominate Federal Reserve Board of Governors member, Jerome H. Powell, for Senate confirmation as the next chair of the Federal Reserve. The potential Fed chair has previously stated what he sees as a tension with bitcoin as the Fed “could face difficult trade-offs between strengthening security and enabling illegal activity.”

Mr. Powell has held a Fed governor’s seat since 2012, and is currently at the relative beginning of a term that would have kept him installed until 2028.

Governor Powell appears familiar with bitcoin as a currency and Bitcoin as a network.

Current Fed chair is bitcoin photo-bombed while testifying.

This spring, he gave a talk titled Innovation, Technology, and the Payments System for the Yale Law School Center for the Study of Corporate Law, during nearly half of which he spent discussing “distributed ledger technologies” (DLT) and “digital currencies.”

“Bitcoin helped bring [DLT] to public attention,” the governor began. “Using blockchain technology – which employs a form of DLT – and an open architecture, Bitcoin allows for the transfer of value (bitcoins) between participants connected to its ecosystem without reliance on banks or other trusted intermediaries,” he outlined.

Is the Fed and its Banking System Obsolete?

Mr. Powell continued, “This feature has led some to predict that DLT will, in the long run, render parts of the banking and payments system obsolete, as the intermediation of funds through the banking system will become unnecessary.”

After detailing a few of last year’s institutional experiments with bitcoin, his remarks then turned to lessons taught by the world’s most popular cryptocurrency.

“First, in contrast to Bitcoin’s open architecture, work by the financial industry has focused on the development of ‘permissioned’ systems, which establish criteria to determine who is permitted access to particular systems, ledgers, functions, or information,” he noticed.

“Some argue that in certain markets, faster and more predictable processing will also reduce the capital and liquidity costs of operations,” the governor said. However, “technical issues remain,” such as “reliability, scalability, and security remain very important. Beyond these issues, standardization and interoperability across different versions of DLT will need to be addressed to allow technology integration and avoid market fragmentation,” Mr. Powell explained.

Appealing to his law school audience, he stressed the “need [for] a thorough analysis of how DLT fits into current legal frameworks and what gaps need to be filled by contractual agreements or new laws and regulations [emphasis added].”

Lastly, Governor Powell discussed a possible future state-backed digital currency.

“Advanced cryptography could reduce vulnerability to cyber attacks,” he insisted, “but make it easier to hide illegal activity. To the extent we relax strong cryptography to make it easier for authorities to monitor illegal activity, we could simultaneously weaken security.”

The governor wasn’t all negative, concluding that we “live in a time of extraordinary technological change. We should be open to the new ideas and innovations that will drive economic growth and improvements in our financial system,” he said.

Images courtesy of Pixabay, The Bipartisan Policy Center, Cspan.

C. Edward Kelso is a long-time fintech journalist, passionately covering the cryptocurrency space since 2014.

A Vietnamese university plans to accept Bitcoin despite Central Bank ban

Vietnamese University plans to accept Bitcoin despite Central Bank ban

By Samburaj Das - October 31, 2017

FPT, a private Vietnamese university is planning to accept tuition fees in bitcoin with a workaround of the central bank’s ban on using cryptocurrencies as payment instruments.

FPT University is a private academic institution with campuses in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Da Nang, Vietnam’s three major cities. The university will soon begin accepting bitcoin for tuition payments from foreign students, according to FPT University President Dr. Le Truong Tung who shared the announcement on his Facebook page. With bitcoin, Tung believes foreign students can circumvent strict currency controls in their respective countries.

Dr. Tung stated:

"Therefore, FPT decided to test by officially and concretely announcing the enrollment of foreign students to study in Vietnam made possible by using bitcoin as a means to pay tuition fees, [which would also] attract foreign students".

According to the school official, the university is looking to research cryptocurrencies like bitcoin within its curriculum, specifically in finance, business management, and banking. The intended acceptance of bitcoin and usage of cryptocurrency for research among its courses is a pioneering move for FPT, making it the first Vietnamese university to do so. As such, there are 100 foreign students enrolled at the university, a meager 1% of the total student body. Tung expects bitcoin to help bolster those numbers as the university finds a way to accept the cryptocurrency despite recent legal frameworks by the central bank that prohibits bitcoin as a legal method of payment.

To do so, foreign students would be required to exchange bitcoin into Vietnamese dong, the country’s fiat currency, before paying the tuition fees. Alternatively, students will also be allowed to ‘donate’ their bitcoin to a bitcoin address or wallet owned by the university, where the cryptocurrency will be changed into legal currencies to fund their ‘scholarships.’

Dr. Tung added:

"In principle, FPT can open a bitcoin account for students to transfer the bitcoin to the school online…Later on, when specific regulations are implemented officially, both foreign and Vietnamese students can use [pay with] bitcoin".

Yesterday, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), the country’s central bank, clarified its position to confirm “Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are not lawful means of payment in Vietnam,” before effectively prohibiting the “issuance, supply [and] use of bitcoin.” The authority also said that using bitcoin as a means of payment will incur fines between VND 150 million – 200 million [approx. $9,000] and could also extend to criminal prosecution.

Disclaimer: Some statements are unofficially translated from Vietnamese.

Featured image from Wikimedia/ThuyNTP.

Satoshi Nakamoto’s brilliant White Paper on Bitcoins turns 9-years old

By Jamie Redman - October 31, 2017 (news.bitcoin.com)

Bitcoin has had a phenomenal year in 2017 surpassing many expectations as the decentralized currency now commands a whopping $100B market capitalization. This Halloween marks another milestone as nine years ago today the anonymous creator of the ‘Internet of Money,’ Satoshi Nakamoto, released the Bitcoin white paper.

On October 31, 2008, The Idea of a Genuine Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System Was Born

On October 31 of 2008, a paper written by a person or group named ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ released a white paper called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” The document issued to the subscribers of the cryptography mailing list described a revolutionary technology that created the world’s first genuine peer-to-peer and decentralized monetary system. The internet-based money enabled online payments without a third party and also wasn’t issued by a government or corporate entity. Nakamoto’s brilliant paper sums up Bitcoin’s primary attributes in the first few sentences that state:  

"[Bitcoin] a purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution. Digital signatures provide part of the solution, but the main benefits are lost if a trusted third party is still required to prevent double-spending. We propose a solution to the double-spending problem using a peer-to-peer network. The network timestamps transactions by hashing them into an ongoing chain of hash-based proof-of-work, forming a record that cannot be changed without redoing the proof-of-work".

‘There’s Nothing to Relate it To’

When Bitcoin was released into the wild in January of 2009, the decentralized network slowly started transforming the way society perceives money and the entire financial system in general. Bitcoin started with just a few adopters, like Hal Finney who received 10 BTC completing the very first bitcoin transaction. Now the protocol is used by millions of people from every corner of the world, giving individuals a better way to bank, while also moving their funds without permission from so-called rulers.

"Sorry to be a wet blanket. Writing a description for (bitcoin) for general audiences is bloody hard. There’s nothing to relate it to. ~ Satoshi Nakamoto"

In fact, bitcoin is considered the ‘people’s money’ because the decentralized cryptocurrency has no rulers and gives individuals the sovereign freedom to do whatever they want with their money. The complex monetary system is not based on force or fraud, but rather valid consent towards relying on the consensus of math. This is a stark contrast to the untrustworthy banking system we know of today.   

“What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party,” explains Nakamoto’s paper.

We the People Have Proposed a System for Electronic Transactions Without Relying on Trust

Now in 2017, more and more people are starting to seek the benefits of Bitcoin’s revolutionary system. At the time of writing one bitcoin is worth over $6,000 and every 24 hours the world is swapping billions worth of BTC. The currency has also resulted in over 1,000 protocol copycats that have used Bitcoin’s technology in some form. The alternative cryptocurrency space that followed Bitcoin’s lead commands $78B worth of ‘altcoins,’ which also trade billions every day. Many proponents still agree that Bitcoin has been an innovative technology that is changing society — much like the evolutionary rise of the Internet over the past few decades.  

A lot of people also agree that the importance and relevance of Satoshi’s paper will live on forever, and will always give newcomers an excellent summary of what cryptocurrency is, and the vast possibilities in store for the future. “We have proposed a system for electronic transactions without relying on trust,” Nakamoto concludes at the end of the paper.

Since then, Bitcoin has become a living and breathing economy that has yet to be stopped. On the ninth anniversary of the Bitcoin white paper, 2017 is showing there are no signs of this revolutionary system slowing down.

At Bitcoin.com we keep an archived version of the original Satoshi Nakamoto white paper here for people to share.   

Images via Shutterstock, and Pixabay. 

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open source code, and decentralized applications. Redman has written hundreds of articles about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

October 30, 2017

What drives the value of crypto currencies?

By Joshua Seims - April 20, 2017 (metastablecapital.com)

Portfolio managers seek investments that promise high returns and low correlations with their other positions.  For the past few years, crypto currencies have demonstrated these qualities better than other major asset classes, such as US equities, US bonds, gold, US real estate, oil, and emerging market currencies.

So professional investors have noticed… but much skepticism remains and there’s little understanding of what, exactly, is driving this value.

Some arguments justify these values by pointing to the utility that crypto currencies provide, such as enabling cross-border payments, tracking assets, or hedging inflation.

My position is that, while these arguments are true, they miss the forest for the trees.  The way to understand crypto currencies is to think of them as digital monetary commodities, and these examples of utility are part of a larger story.

The larger story is the emergence of digital monetary commodities as a competition to become a better form of money.

What is a monetary commodity?

A monetary commodity is anything imbued with monetary value.  Throughout history, people have use cowry shells, beaver pelts, tally sticks, shiny metals, and pieces of paper redeemable for shiny metals as money.

But this form isn’t random.  According to Xapo CEO,  Wences Casares, “anthropologists go as far as saying that if you describe an environment in which a tribe lives, they can predict what’s going to emerge as money.”

A tribe that lived by the beach would use shells.  Another that hunted on the plains would use animal hides.

Shells and animal hides are okay forms of money, but gold is better.  What if you want to buy something that costs less than one shell?  They don’t divide easily.  What if one animal hide is nicer than another – it is worth more?

These desirable qualities can be expressed as scarcity, fungibility, divisibility, transferability, and durability.  And it is because of these qualities that gold emerged as the archetypal form of commodity money.  Gold is rare and limited by the physical world.  Any two ounces of gold are identical.

These features of gold led people to imbue it with monetary value, and as such the value of gold does not follow the same kind of frameworks that value commodities like oil or aluminum.  People consume ordinary commodities, they hoard monetary ones.  And it is this hoarding dynamic that led to a global gold market of $7 trillion.

Isn’t the idea of a new form of money… crazy?

In our lifetimes, we are accustomed to using our local fiat currency as money.  It strikes many as a stretch to imagine a new form.

But history would tell us otherwise.  Anthropologist David Graeber examined ancient forms of money used in societies across the world in Toward an Anthropological Theory of Value.  He concludes that the value of money flows from “human meaning-making, which far exceeds rationalist/reductive economist paradigms”.

Or as Yuval Harari argues in Sapiens, what sets Homo Sapiens apart from other human species is our ability to tell stories.  Concepts such as America or Limited Liability Corporations or “this piece of paper is money” don’t manifest as physical realities, but they are real insofar as they are stories we believe.

This belief has imbued objects ranging from shells to animal skins to gold to dollars with monetary value.  This belief still operates today; for example:

  • In 1991, a regional currency in Ithaca, New York (called Ithaca Hours) was adopted by thousands of businesses.

  • Today, over 150 crypto currencies have market caps exceeding $1 million.

Agreeing that something new is money is surprisingly common.

The utility of a digital monetary commodity

Let’s start with a broad overview of three forms of money:

How to create

With fiat, creation is a political tool.  Fiat currency gives a country control over its money supply, which it can use to finance wars or moderate business cycles.

Whether this is a good or a bad thing is beyond the scope of this essay, but some implications are:

  • The dollar makes a poor store of value, losing a few percent of its purchasing power every year.

  • Printing too much money is a failure mode that has occurred in the past, and is a risk factor for the future.

Dollar Supply

Bitcoin Supply

Before 2009, no one knew how to create decentralized digital tokens with scarcity.  Bitcoin showed the how it can be done, and this innovation made digital monetary commodities possible.

Note the smooth curve that asymptotically approaches 21,000,000 coins. This curve will never change – it’s in the DNA of bitcoin.  Even if miners centralize and change this 21M limit, the community would fork the code and restore “bitcoin classic” with the original supply.  Interestingly, the message embedded in bitcoin’s genesis block reads “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks”, showing Bitcoin’s intent of making monetary policy algorithmic.

Many people see immense value in money that cannot be inflated or debased.

How to Transfer

Here crypto clearly has the lead.  Gold must be handed over physically.  And fiat currencies are encumbered by various AML/KYC/money transmitter regulatory issues.

With crypto, transfers are unblockable, nearly instantaneous across the globe, and at near zero cost. The value of this feature increases the more sovereign powers attempt to restrict the flow of money.

Ease of Use

Crypto currencies are hard to use, which inhibits their adoption today by the mainstream.

Much of the difficulty in using crypto currencies comes from the regulatory constraints around the on/off ramps from fiat to crypto.  However, the more crypto grows, the more economic activity will take place without needing conversion to fiat, which will reduce this burden.

Another difficulty is in private key management, necessary to keep coins secure. This obstacle may eventually be overcome by a combination of improved technology and improved understanding of the underlying concepts.


Monetary value follows from belief, and it’s harder to believe in something new.  For example, everything in this essay about the utility of bitcoin was true 7 years ago.  But bitcoin was so new then that 10,000 of them were traded for two pizzas.  $100 invested in bitcoin in May 2011 would be worth $20 million today.

However, every day that crypto currencies exist is one more day of familiarity.  Our model of the world goes back only as far as our memories. When children of today become investors of tomorrow, bitcoin will be as familiar as gold.


Crypto currencies introduce a new concept of programmable money.  This programmability is being used today by companies that want to raise funds.

Instead of registering as a Delaware C Corp, and restricting fundraising to domestic accredited investors, companies can issue and sell tokens with a few lines of code.  Most of these tokens run on Ethereum, which is the leading programmable crypto currency (far more so than bitcoin).  So far, this use of programmable money raised $8.6M for Golem and $16.8M for Cosmos – all in under 30 minutes!

Ronald Coase wrote in The Nature of the Firm that “people begin to organize their production in firms when the transaction cost of coordinating production through the market exchange, given imperfect information, is greater than within the firm”.

Programmable money can allow business processes to be encoded in the blockchain, with prices and contract rules fully transparent.  By reducing the transaction cost of price discovery and contract negotiation, programmable money can reduce the size of firms.  This reduction in firm size will yield efficiency surplus to consumers, and accrue value to the programmable currency.

We have just scratched the surface for what we can do with programmable money.  We know it’s useful, and neither gold nor fiat has this property.

Belief Feedback Cycle

Cryptographic tokens have the properties of money, in some ways better than any previous forms of money.  And humans commonly imbue tokens with monetary value through belief.  By connecting these two, we create a feedback cycle.

More belief leads to more utility leads to more belief, etc.

To use the George Soros’ Theory of Reflexivity, a rising price for monetary commodities increases the utility of the commodity, thereby increasing demand for the commodity, creating a positive feedback loop.

Is this a bubble?  Yes, but in the sense that money is the bubble that never pops.  Individual currencies can pop, but not the value in the concept of money itself.

In Conclusion

The way to understand the value of crypto currencies is as digital monetary commodities competing to be a better form of money.  And while we have frameworks for valuing commodities or fiat currencies, these frameworks break down for commodity currencies.

We can say some things.  Digital monetary commodity values will likely increase with higher interest rates and greater economic policy uncertainty.  Their value will grow with improved technology and increased usage.

No one can predict whether crypto currencies will surmount the various obstacles of difficulty, unfamiliarity, and regulatory pressures to create a positive belief / value feedback loop.  But — conceived as digital monetary commodities — they are a form of money that is functionally superior to gold, as gold was to shells. They are native to the Internet, which is increasingly becoming the environment for our economic activity. And since the total market cap of all crypto currencies is about 0.3% that of gold, there is extreme upside potential in this asset class.

Bitfury proposes Blockchain-based election system for Ukraine

By Anatol Antonovici - October 30, 2017 (cryptovest.com)

Bitfury, a blockchain solutions provider, has proposed a blockchain-powered election system for Ukraine, which if approved, can go into testing in as little as 3 weeks.

Bitfury, a global blockchain company, has proposed a blockchain-powered election platform for Ukraine. The company’s Chief Marketing Officer, George Givishvili, said during a panel discussion at the Ukrainian Blockchain Day that Bitfury was ready to assist Ukraine with technical support for pilot tests in this direction. 

Givishvili said that his company has already developed a blockchain-based voting system that was experimented at the regional level in the UK. 

“The system is completely ready. We will need only 2-3 weeks to implement,” said the marketing director".
Bitfury Group is a US-based blockchain company that offers a wide range of solutions, including data analytics, digital assets platform-as-a-service, chain hub, property rights registration, and voting among others. 

Ukrainian Blockchain Day, organized on Monday, October 30, is a forum that gathered blockchain and cryptocurrency experts to discuss the latest trends and future applications.   

Some of the speakers were:

  • Tone Vays (USA) – former Vice President of JP Morgan Chase;
  • Vince Meens (Netherlands) – creator of exchange BTCDirect.eu and accelerator techruption.org;
  • Darren Franceschini (Canada) – founder of Canada Blockchain Technologies Consulting;

Besides George Givishvili, other speakers on the discussion panel were:

  • Sergey Vasilchuk – CEO of Attic Lab;

  • Vasyl Gorbal – Member of the Council of the National Bank of Ukraine (2003-2014);

  • Alexandr Rizhenko – Head of the State Agency for Electronic Governance of Ukraine;

  • Sergey Bondarenko – Head of “Technologies and Integration” at Deloitte Ukraine. 

More than 2,000 participants were present at the forum, which discussed different topics, such as blockchain, cryptocurrency, mining, ICOs, and more. 

Earlier, we reported that Ukraine might adopt blockchain at the national level, as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and a group of local and foreign experts have worked on a draft bill in this direction.

Ukraine is not the only country where blockchain technology is proposed as a solution for voting. About two weeks ago, Aleksei Shaposhnikov, Chairman of the Moscow City Duma, said that blockchain technology could replace election commissions in the current form. He delivered a speech at the World Festival of Youth and Students in Sochi, the city which hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics. 

However, according to Shaposhnikov, such an implementation would take about five decades:

“In 50 years from now, blockchain will surely replace the election commissions, and in the next 10-15 years, Moscow may use a mixed system with elements of the blockchain.”
Next generation of tech geniuses signing up to study cryptocurrencies.

Is China planning to resume Bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading soon?

By Joseph Young - October 30, 2017 (www.cryptocoinsnews.com)

CNLedger, a trusted news source within the Chinese cryptocurrency industry, has revealed that OKEX will soon launch peer-to-peer (P2P) over-the-counter (OTC) bitcoin-to-fiat trading platform.

“More OkEx (and likely, Huobi-Pro) will soon launch P2P bitcoin tradings with various fiat currency support,” CNLedger reported. “We believe they’ll support CNY and some others like USD, JPY. They are registered outside China, and are operating independent of OKCoin. They’re not as convenient as exchanges and are less safe (many scammers). But it’s still much better than nothing.”

Aren’t OKEX and Huobi-Pro Now Based in Hong Kong?

OKEX is headquartered in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, and so are companies including BTCC and Huobi-Pro, which previously operated bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading platforms in China. But, as CNLedger noted, these companies plan to launch P2P OTC markets in Hong Kong, which would allow investors to trade the Chinese yuan (CNY) for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Without approval from the Chinese government, it would be difficult to process CNY trades and serve Chinese clients, investors, and traders. Hence, if OKEX and Huobi-Pro launch cryptocurrency OTC markets in the upcoming weeks with CNY-to-bitcoin, it would likely be with permission from the Chinese government and the People’s Bank of China (PBoC).

As of current, the majority of trades within the China are processed through unregulated OTC markets such as LocalBitcoins. For Chinese authorities, it would be more beneficial to have regulated Hong Kong companies like OKEX to process trades rather than platforms with no network administrators and intermediaries.

Earlier this month, several state-owned news publications including Xinhua revealed that the Chinese government is concerned with bitcoin and cryptocurrencies being used by underground economies. Xinhua specifically noted that the Chinese government will soon impose “record-keeping, licensing, and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) process,” which is, in essence, are regulatory frameworks for the cryptocurrency market.

“Xinhua News, official press agency of CN: Virtual currencies have become the top choices of underground economies. ‘We shall adopt zero-tolerance policies towards crimes hidden underneath’ and take measures such as record-keeping, licensing, AML processes, real-name, limiting large transactions,” reported CNLedger.

As Japan and South Korea have done in the past few months, it is likely that the Chinese government will introduce and enforce a more strict licensing program for cryptocurrency exchanges, and eventually, resume cryptocurrency trading.

Will Re-election of Chinese President Xi Jinping Fuel Cryptocurrency Trading Resumption

The re-election of Chinese President Xi Jinping, which is expected to fuel the resumption of cryptocurrency trading, is set to occur later this year. Analysts such as Jon Creasy, a bitcoin researcher, emphasized that the reelection of President Xi could very likely lead to the resumption of bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges.

Creasy wrote:

“My prediction is this: as soon as President Xi Jinping is reelected — and he will be — conservative, free(er)-trade legislation will be put in place, and Bitcoin exchanges will be reinstated. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Chinese government encouraging certain exchanges and cryptocurrencies, once this legislation hits. Historically speaking, President Xi Jinping has been one of the largest advocates of free markets China has seen in quite some time, and I expect this trend to continue.”

Featured image from Shutterstock.

$10,000 Bitcoin price may be in sight as BTC tests all-time high

By Josiah Wilmoth - October 30, 2017 (www.cryptocoinsnews.com)

The bitcoin price tested its all-time high on Monday, leading one prominent bitcoin bull to assert that it will have no difficulty reaching $10,000 within the near future.

Bitcoin Price Reaches New All-Time High

Sunday evening, the bitcoin price surged from $5,660 to an all-time high of $6,345 on Bitfinex, the highest-volume bitcoin exchange. Although it has since experienced a $300 taper, the bitcoin price continued to trade above $6,000 on Monday.

Bitcoin Price Chart | Source: BitcoinWisdom

As CCN reported, there are a variety of factors contributing to this surge. In Asia, traders are bullish about South Korea’s decision to regulate bitcoin as a commodity, which many believe will enable the market to continue to grow at a healthy pace. There is also speculation that China will ease restrictions on bitcoin exchanges now that President Xi Jinping has secured his position as head of the Communist Party of China for the foreseeable future.

In the U.S., meanwhile, analysts anticipate that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will soon grant their approval to the first exchange-traded fund (ETF) that tracks the price of bitcoin. Bitcoin ETFs, coupled with the recent launch of LedgerX’s regulated derivatives platform, are expected to initiate a wave of Wall Street investment in the crypto economy.

No Difficulty Reaching $10,000

Commenting on these developments, along with bitcoin’s swelling user base, RT host and longtime bitcoin bull Max Keiser predicts that the bitcoin price will reach $10,000 within the near future. “Hello $10,000!,” he wrote on Twitter.

Keiser added– as he often reminds his followers — that he set a $100,000 bitcoin price target in 2011, when it was trading at just $3. “Anyone who thinks Bitcoin will have any difficulty breaking $10,000 has not been paying attention,” he concludes.

Of course, bitcoin must pass at least one significant test before it can cross the five-figure threshold. The looming SegWit2x hard fork — which is now just two weeks away — continues to pose a significant threat to the short-term trajectory of the bitcoin price. This contentious hard fork — if activated — will cause significant confusion, particularly for newer users, and may lead to wild fluctuations in the bitcoin price, especially if neither of the two blockchains quickly emerges as the clear victor in the struggle for the “Bitcoin” brand.

Nevertheless, Keiser’s bullishness is true to form — and has served him well in the past. Earlier this year, Keiser celebrated bitcoin’s then-record level of $3,000 by declaring that $5,000 was “in sight”. Many scoffed at this prediction, which came at a time when a blockchain split appeared like an increasing possibility. A split came, in the form of Bitcoin Cash, but the bitcoin price shrugged off the fork and punched through $5,000 anyway, confirming Keiser’s forecast. Now, just five months later, Keiser remains confident that bitcoin will to prove resilient in the face of a blockchain split once again.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Posted by Josiah Wilmoth
Josiah is a former ancient and medieval literature teacher. He has been writing about cryptocurrency since 2014, and his work has been cited in Business Insider, NPR, and Yahoo! Finance. He lives in rural North Carolina with his wife and son. Email him directly at josiah.wilmoth@cryptocoinsnews.com.

Why aren't banks giving Blockchain startups accounts?

By Noelle Acheson - October 30, 2017 (www.coindesk.com)

Life isn't easy for a startup.

As anyone who has tried it knows, it's long hours, low pay, constant stress and a relentless march into the unknown. But, it's even harder for cryptocurrency startups.

Earlier this week, the UK's Financial Conduct Authority published a report highlighting the difficulty that blockchain businesses have in getting basic banking services. Many are met with blanket refusals, some are given limited access and others get banking support yanked without warning. And the problem is not unique to the UK.

This makes it difficult for cryptocurrency businesses to operate, let alone get started. (Just try paying for your server space with cash.)

It also contradicts the UK government's pro-innovation stance. Officials have often stressed how vital fintech development is to the economy, and have expressed an explicit interest in harnessing blockchain technology. What's more, a report issued a couple of years ago by HM Treasury deemed cryptocurrencies a low risk for money laundering and terrorism financing.

Even some cryptocurrency businesses accepted into the FCA's sandbox program, which exempts them from full regulatory compliance to encourage experimentation, cannot bank in the UK.

The banks in question are, on the whole, reluctant to comment on this, which leaves the startup community assuming that the financial institutions are afraid of cryptocurrencies.

While there may be some truth to that, the main reason is more likely to lie elsewhere.

Not so scary

By now, most financial institutions have a reasonable idea of what cryptocurrencies are and how they work (there has been no shortage of reporting and conferences on the subject). They see their governments probing deeper, some of their peers experimenting with coin issuance, and they know that many of their customers dabble in digital token investments.

Cryptocurrencies are not the misunderstood threat they once were.

And it's not as if the marginalized businesses are asking the banks to hold their cryptocurrencies for them (not yet, anyway – that business opportunity will emerge). The businesses want the banks to help them manage their fiat income and payments. It's still hard to pay electricity bills and rent with bitcoin.

Furthermore, while banks don't like volatility, fluctuating cryptocurrency prices have a secondary effect at best on a startup's fiat reserves.

Reluctance to lend to cryptocurrency businesses is a different matter. It’s not unreasonable for banks to be selective in who they lend to, especially given their squeezed margins.

But this is a problem for all young startups without a track record, not just blockchain ones. And while a loan or two would be nice, what the startups are most in need of is a bank account from which to make payments.

A sharpened knife

So what are the banks afraid of? Unclear regulation, and fines.

The global regulatory clampdown on financial institutions has taken a heavy toll. Banks have paid over $320 billion in fines since the financial crisis, and with over 200 individual regulatory changes a day, it's understandable that they would rather turn down business than risk crippling charges, or possibly even license revocation.

And while a bank may feel comfortable that a blockchain startup satisfies compliance rules today, they have no idea what the rules will be five years from now, and are understandably afraid of attracting retroactive sanctions.

It's not so much the rules that are the problem – banks are used to adjusting processes to comply.

It's the lack of clarity around the rules, both current and future, that acts as an unnecessary barrier to support.

Let them in

To address this, some are encouraging the U.K. government (and others) to insist that the banks provide services for cryptocurrency companies. However, for many, that is skirting too close to government-controlled financial services, which ironically is what most cryptocurrency enthusiasts are philosophically against.

Another option – a simpler, less expensive and less invasive one – is to officially declare that it is "ok" to bank cryptocurrency startups, assuming they meet reasonable requirements. This could take the form of a sandbox-style regulation which absolves certain types of accounts from having to comply with the standard rules.

Or it could be the creation of a new class of entity, with a specific operating license: a special bank for blockchain-based businesses.

This could encourage the birth of a new business model, with fintech startups clamoring to sign up cryptocurrency businesses. The opportunity is significant, given the potential growth in the sector.

It could also encourage banks to establish dedicated subsidiaries to attract a new type of client, to whom they could then cross-sell other services.

The result would be not only a boost to cryptocurrency and blockchain businesses, giving them a safe transactional base from which to operate. It could also help banking to innovate, fintech to find a new avenue of growth, and both to narrow the chasm between fiat assets and blockchain-based ones.

And, as time passes, the financial sector, consumers and regulators will come to realize that the boundaries between the fiat and the crypto world are getting fuzzier – which will, in itself, open up new areas of innovation and opportunity.

Safety deposit boxes via Shutterstock

Noelle Acheson is a 10-year veteran of company analysis and corporate finance, and a member of CoinDesk's product team.

The following article originally appeared in CoinDesk Weekly, a custom-curated newsletter delivered every Sunday, exclusively to our subscribers.

October 29, 2017

'A Real Bubble'- Billionaire Warren Buffett doubles down on Bitcoin doubt

By Nikhilesh De - October 26,2017 (www.coindesk.com)

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has joined the ranks of those who believe the market for bitcoin is in bubble territory.

According to MarketWatch, Buffett touched on the subject during an annual question-and-answer session held in Omaha earlier this month. While Buffett focused on a range of topics, he honed in on the cryptocurrency market during his remarks.

"People get excited from big price movements, and Wall Street accommodates," he was quoted as saying. Describing bitcoin as a "real bubble," according to the publication, Buffett also criticized the idea of applying a value to bitcoin.

He told attendees:

"You can’t value bitcoin because it’s not a value-producing asset."

Buffett's comments came amidst a significant month for bitcoin's price, according to CoinDesk data. After fluctuating around $4,300 at the beginning of October, the price surged to more than $6,100 less than a week ago.

That Buffett would take a harsh stance toward bitcoin is perhaps unsurprising, given that, in 2014, he advocated that investors stay away from bitcoin entirely.

"It's a mirage basically," he was quoted as saying at the time.

Nor is Buffett the only market observer to issue remarks around the market's recent developments. Earlier this week, Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal said that he expects bitcoin to fail.

Others, however, have adopted a different approach. On Oct. 24, New York University's "Dean of Valuation," Aswath Damodaran, argued that bitcoin is a true currency and not a fraud in a new blog post.

Warren Buffett image via Krista Kennell / Shutterstock

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency.

Price Analysis, October 28 - Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple and Litecoin

By Rakesh Upadhyay - October 29, 2017 (cointelegraph.com)

The number of hedge funds which exclusively trade digital currencies has grown to 120, with about $2.3 bln in total assets under management, according to the financial research firm Autonomous Next.

While it sounds like a large number, it pales in comparison to the $3.15 tln managed by the hedge fund industry in the third quarter.

Cryptocurrencies have attracted only a small number of institutional investors because most still remain skeptical. The latest criticism comes from legendary investor Warren Buffet, who has said that Bitcoin is in bubble territory.

Well, a correction after such a stupendous rally is certainly possible. Therefore, we always recommend a stop loss to our readers. Even if the digital currencies correct sharply, our losses will be limited and our capital will be preserved. We can again reinvest at lower levels.


We had recommended long positions in Bitcoin in our previous analysis, with our target objective being $6000. On Oct. 27, the digital currency hit a high of $5986, where hopefully traders would have booked partial profits as suggested. Where is Bitcoin headed next?  

Bitcoin is currently correcting towards the trendline support at $5600. Just below this support is the 20-day exponential moving average (EMA) at $5513. We expect buying to emerge at these levels, however, we are not certain that this level will hold this time.

Our stops at $5650 have been hit. We would like to sit back and wait, because if the support zone of $5513 to $5600 breaks, the digital currency will slide to $4975 levels.

On the other hand, if the support zone holds then Bitcoin is likely to remain range-bound between $5600 to $6000. However, the next buy on the virtual currency will only be triggered if it breaks out to new highs and crosses the resistance line of the ascending channel.

Presently, we don’t find any buy setups, therefore, we don’t not recommend any fresh trade on Bitcoin.


We don’t have any existing positions or recommendations on Ethereum. The bulls and the bears are taking a break after the hugely volatile day on Oct. 22.

Ethereum has a slew of resistances from $300 to $315 levels. Therefore we recommend a long position only on a breakout, and close above $315 with a close stop loss. The first target is $353.

On the downside, it has support from the trendline at $280, below which it is likely to fall to $272 and thereafter to $252 levels.

At current levels we don’t find any buy setups on Ethereum, hence we do not suggest to trade on it.


We had observed some buying in Bitcoin Cash but we did not recommend any trade because the risk to reward ratio was not favorable. Do we see a trade on it now?

The cryptocurrency is currently returning from the upper end of the range at $400. The 50-day simple moving average is also at $398. Therefore, we expect a stiff resistance at $400 levels.

However, if the digital currency breaks out of this overhead resistance, it has a pattern target of $518.

Hence, we can buy on a breakout and close above $400. We shall limit our risk by keeping a stop loss of $350. We don’t want to hang on to the trade if it falls back into the range.

However, if Bitcoin Cash fails to breakout and close above $400, it is likely to remain range bound for a few more days.


Both the buyers and the sellers seem to have deserted the digital currency in the past three days, as a result of which, the volatility has shrunk. However, this period of low volatility is unlikely to sustain for a long time. We should soon see an expansion in volatility.

If Ripple breaks out of the moving averages, it should attempt a pullback to at least $0.23955 levels, which is the 50 percent Fibonacci retracement of the fall from $0.29699 to $0.18211. If the virtual currency breaks out of this level, then a rally to $0.25311 and $0.27241 is also possible.

Therefore, we recommend a long position at $0.22 with a stop loss of $0.19650. As this is a risky trade, we suggest using only about 30 percent of the usual allocation.

However, if the cryptocurrency fails to breakout on the upside, it can drift down to $1.8211 levels.


Litecoin has not been able to breakout of the range of $44 to $57.7. Therefore, our buy levels were not triggered.  

The 50-day SMA is situated at $55.59, while the 20-day EMA is at $56.57. Just above the moving averages is the upper end of the range at $57.729. If the digital currency breaks out of all these resistances, chances are that it will start a new uptrend.

Therefore, we retain our buy recommendation provided in our previous analysis. Please buy on a breakout and close above $57.7. The stop loss is $51, whereas the target objective is $71.

If Litecoin fails to breakout of the overhead resistance, it will fall back towards the $52 levels.