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Bitcoin Trailblazer Jeff Garzik Says Bitcoin ‘Unquestionably a Success’ as Store of Value

Posted by Marie Huillet on

Bitcoin pioneer Jeff Garzik has said that while the coin may not have evolved into currency as he envisioned at the outset, it’s still “unquestionably a success” as a store of value.

Bitcoin (BTC) pioneer Jeff Garzik has said that while the leading cryptocurrency may not have evolved into a means of payment as he first envisaged, it is still “unquestionably a success” as a store of value, in an interview with Bloomberg Nov. 9.   

Speaking soon after Bitcoin’s 10th anniversary, Garzik – reportedly the “third-biggest contributor” to Bitcoin’s code and one of Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto's key collaborators – told the publication:

“It hasn’t evolved in the direction of high-volume payments, which is something we thought about in the very early days: getting merchants to accept Bitcoins. But on the store-of-value side it’s unquestionably a success."  

Bloomberg cites a recent study from blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis that suggests Bitcoin’s use as private money in commerce is indeed on the decline, even as its popularity as an asset – as digital “gold” – has had significant traction among investors.

Unfazed by the twists and turns of the project’s evolution, Garzik stated, “Bitcoin is an organism, it’s something that evolves.” He then adopted a solicitous tone, remarking that, “as a father I enjoy watching my kids grow up, even as they make mistakes or grow in ways that I wouldn’t expect."

As Bloomberg outlines, Garzik began writing software code for Bitcoin as early as July 2010, after reading a blog post about the as yet incipient project. The article portrays the crypto trailblazer at the time as “working remotely for open-source powerhouse Red Hat Inc. from an RV parked in an empty lot in Raleigh, North Carolina.”

In Bitcoin’s infancy, Garzik, now 44, reportedly corresponded privately with Nakamoto via email and the Bitcointalk forum, ahead of the Nakamoto’s much-mythologized, abrupt disappearance in 2011.

Commenting on various hypotheses as to the creator’s identity, Garzik said:

"My personal theory is that it’s [Satoshi Nakamoto] Floridian Dave Kleiman. It matches his coding style, this gentleman was self taught. And the Bitcoin coder was someone who was very, very smart, but not a classically trained software engineer.”

According to Bloomberg Garzik has over the course of his activities given away Bitcoin valued at over $100 million (15,678 BTC) at today’s market prices. He declined to disclose his current holdings.

Garzik continued coding for the Bitcoin project until 2016, and now sits on the boards of crypto payments processor Bitpay, mining tech firm Bitfury, and the Linux Foundation. He has also co-founded the enterprise blockchain startup Bloq Inc.

As an advocate of the contentious Bitcoin hard fork SegWit2x back in 2017, Garzik is no stranger to controversies in the crypto development community.

As infighting continued over solutions to Bitcoin’s scalability issues, SegWit2x was soon followed by another Bitcoin fork which spawned the asset Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Community divisions have reignited this summer – this time over a forthcoming Bitcoin Cash hard fork – between the warring factions of leading BCH client Bitcoin ABC, and nChain, the blockchain development firm of Craig Wright – who has previously referred to himself as the true Satoshi.

Wright was notably sued this year for $5 billion by the estate of Garzik’s preferred “Nakamoto,” David Kleiman.

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Payments Company Square Open-Sources Its Bitcoin Cold Storage Tool

Posted by Marie Huillet on

U.S. payments processing company Square has open-sourced the code for its Bitcoin cold storage solution used for crypto users of its Cash App.

U.S. payments processing company Square has announced that it is open-sourcing its Bitcoin (BTC) cold storage solution in an official blog post published today, Oct. 23.

Cold storage refers to a method of keeping cryptocurrency holdings and users’ private keys offline in order to safeguard against theft via a remote attack.

According to the post, Square’s solution, dubbed “Subzero,” uses a Hardware Security Module (HSM)-backed cold wallet for which the company has now released the code, documentation, and tools.

Today’s post outlines that an HSM is a specialized hardware device that is used across the payments industry to “store sensitive cryptographic key material and perform operations with those keys.”

A HSMs’ security benefits reportedly include robust protection against physical tampering, strong access control and the option to replicate keys for backup or recovery purposes, which Square says makes them a “natural fit” for crypto cold storage.

Subzero, for its part, is a customizable enterprise-grade offline Bitcoin wallet, which Square says it has programmed so that its cold wallets can only send funds to a Square-owned hot wallet, thereby adding another layer of “defense.” The firm has also reportedly added multi-signature protection for its wallet, in which “participants [must] use a combination of smart cards and passwords” to authenticate transfers.

Moreover, the post continues, “QR codes are used to exchange the minimal amount of data needed between the offline and online world.” The post extensively outlines the multiple layers of protection involved in a “signing ceremony”:

“A signing ceremony starts by having an online server generate a QR code. The QR code contains the minimal amount of information necessary to sign a transaction [...] The people performing the signing ceremony interact with servers. The servers are located in undisclosed secure locations.”

The company also says it has leveraged industry stalwart crypto wallet Trezor’s “open source projects (such as trezor-crypto) as much as possible.”

As reported yesterday, Oct. 22, Dutch multinational banking and financial services corporation ING has also recently released the open source code for its blockchain privacy improvement mechanism dubbed “Zero-Knowledge Set Membership (ZKSM),” which aims to provide validation of specific data without compromising that data’s overall security.

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Pantera Capital Exec: Cryptocurrency Market Prices Could Increase Tenfold by 2020

Posted by William Suberg on

Cryptocurrency market scaling improvements could see prices ten times higher than now, says co-CIO of Pantera Capital.

Cryptocurrency markets could increase ten times over from 2020, blockchain investment firm and hedge fund Pantera Capital’s co-CIO told Bloomberg Tuesday, Oct. 16.

Speaking in an interview, co-CIO Joey Krug said that scalability improvements for Bitcoin (BTC) were essential to spark a shift in the deflated prices seen throughout this year. He told the network:

“These are all markets, and so if you don’t have scalability, you don’t have market makers.”

The comments came days after new developments on the institutional trading side of Bitcoin markets, with Fidelity Investments revealing it was testing a regulated custody solution for investors and hedge funds.

While reactions from finance figures such as Galaxy Digital’s Michael Novogratz were positive, the news failed to shift market sentiment or prices in Bitcoin.

For Krug, this is because sentiment requires signs of adoption of Bitcoin in the current climate, which in turn depends on capacity improving. To that end, however, the executive voiced doubts about Bitcoin itself “ever” being able to compete with payment networks Visa and MasterCard.

“I don’t know if that will ever happen for Bitcoin, but I do think we’ll see blockchains as fast as Visa or MasterCard within the next couple of years,” he continued, adding that such improvements could nonetheless spark “10x” price increases in two years’ time.

Developers continue to work on improvements for the number of transactions Bitcoin can handle, principally through off-chain solutions such as the Lightning Network.

The downturn in crypto markets since January 2018 has meanwhile meant Pantera has seen its fortunes tested in recent months, earlier in October releasing statistics showing its Digital Asset Fund was down over 40 percent since its inception.

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Chinese Crypto Exchange BTCC Plans South Korean Launch in November

Posted by Marie Huillet on

China’s first crypto exchange BTCC, formerly known as BTC China, is set to launch trading services in South Korea in November.

China’s first Bitcoin (BTC) exchange BTCC, formerly known as BTC China, is set to launch trading services in South Korea, Korean business outlet The Investor reported yesterday, October 16.

BTCC, which presently has headquarters in Hong Kong, will reportedly start beta services for trading in South Korea later this month and make its official debut in the market in November.

According to the BTCC website, the Korean service — headed by Lee Jae-beom — will span a trading platform, wallet service, mining pool, and a service to enable consumer payments:

“BTCC is establishing an on/offline payment system using cryptocurrency… [and is] is expanding services for real-life use.”

BTC China was founded in 2011 and was formerly one of the top three crypto exchanges in China, before intensified pressure from regulators and the country’s central bank amid signs of an imminent crypto exchange crackdown prompted it to announce its closure in September 2017 — the same month as China’s domestic regulatory ban on Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) was announced.

This January, the company was acquired by a Hong Kong-based blockchain investment fund; a rebranded BTCC subsequently pursued the development of its international BTCC mining pool and Mobi wallet software, before relaunching its trading platform in July.

Crypto exchanges in South Korea have also drawn considerable scrutiny from domestic watchdogs, notably intensified in the wake of high-profile hacks and fraud allegations.

However, draft legislation has been in the works in the country this year to reclassify exchanges as “crypto asset exchange and brokerage,” thereby “recogniz[ing] [them] as regulated financial institutions,” as opposed to their previous classification as “communication vendors.”

Next month, a decision is expected to be announced following officials’ deliberation over possibly repealing South Korea’s own ban on ICOs, which has also been in force since September 2017.

As of press time, BTCC is seeing $168,342 in trades over the 24-hour period, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

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Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, Monero, IOTA: Price Analysis, September 14

Posted by Rakesh Upadhyay on

As crypto market fundamentals show signs of improvement, will prices follow? Let’s find out.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

Mike Novogratz, founder and CEO of crypto investment firm Galaxy Digital Capital Management, called a bottom in cryptocurrencies on September 13, while conversely the Chief Commercial Officer of BitPay, Sonny Singh believes that Bitcoin will resurge in 2019 but that altcoins “will never come back.” He said the next trigger that can carry Bitcoin higher is the entry of institutional players.

Morgan Stanley is the latest Wall Street giant planning to allow its clients to trade Bitcoin using trade swaps, according to Bloomberg sources. Investors continue to pour money into funds linked with blockchain technology. U.S.-based venture capital firm Ribbit Capital is aiming to raise $420 million for its latest fund, a 40 percent increase above its previous venture that attracted $300 million.

New research by fintech analysts Juniper House found 65 percent of large enterprises – employing a minimum of 10,000 staff – are “considering or actively engaged” in blockchain deployment. This shows the fundamentals of the sector are improving. So, will prices follow the fundamentals higher? Let’s find out.  

BTC/USD

Bears did not challenge the $6,075-$5,900 support zone as we had expected. Bitcoin broke out of $6,500 on September 13 but is currently facing resistance at the 20-day EMA. This shows sellers are active on pullbacks. If the bulls break out of the 20-day EMA, a rally to the 50-day SMA, followed by a move to the downtrend line of the descending triangle is likely.

BTC

If the BTC/USD pair turns down from the current level and sustains below $5,900, it will complete two bearish patterns – a head and shoulders and a descending triangle. The pattern target of such a breakdown is much lower, but we anticipate strong support at $5,450 and $5,000.

If bulls hold the next dip above $6,200 and breakout of the 20-day EMA, we might suggest opening a small position. Until then, we suggest traders remain on the sidelines and wait for a reliable buy setup to form.

ETH/USD

We anticipated a pullback in our previous analysis and Ethereum rallied to $224.21 from the $167.32 low on September 12. However, the trend remains down as both the moving averages are trending down and the RSI is close to the oversold zone.

ETH

If the bulls scale above the 20-day EMA, the next overhead resistance is the downtrend line of the descending channel and the 50-day SMA, located just above the channel.

Hence, we shall wait for the ETH/USD pair to form a reversal pattern before proposing any long positions. The critical level to watch on the downside is $167.32, below which the decline can stretch to $136.12.

XRP/USD

Ripple is finding it difficult to sustain above the $0.27 level. A breakdown of the support zone of $0.27-$0.24508 can sink prices to $0.24001 and below to $0.20.

XRP

Both moving averages are sloping down and the RSI is in the negative, which shows that the sellers are in command. The XRP/USD pair has not broken out of the 50-day SMA since May 17. If bulls can sustain above the simple moving average, it will indicate buying and a probable change in trend. We will wait for prices to scale above the downtrend line before recommending a trade.  

BCH/USD

Bitcoin Cash remains in a strong downtrend with both the moving averages trending down and the RSI in negative territory.

BCH

The pullback from close to the $400 level is facing stiff resistance at the $475 mark. If the BCH/USD pair breaks down from $400, it could slump to $300 and $282.  

On the upside, if the bulls scale above the 20-day EMA, a rally to the 50-day SMA is probable. The virtual currency will show signs of a change in trend if it breaks out of the resistance line of the descending channel. We shall wait for a reversal pattern to form before suggesting any long positions.

EOS/USD

EOS has been facing resistance at the $5.65 level for the past two days., just below the 50-day SMA.

EOS

A breakout of the 50-day SMA could carry the EOS/USD pair to the $6.8299 level. Therefore, we recommend holding remaining long positions with stops at $4.40.

The 20-day EMA has turned flat while the 50-day SMA is still sloping down, with the RSI in the negative. If bears force prices lower, a drop to $4.4930 is probable. If this support breaks, the decline could extend to $4.1778 and $3.8723.

XLM/USD

Stellar has risen from the critical support of $0.184 but is facing resistance at the 20-day EMA for the past three days.

XLM

We anticipate the XLM/USD pair to extend its stay inside the range of $0.184-$0.24987525 for a few more days. The 20-day EMA is turning flat, which shows that the near-term selling has abated.

Traders should wait for a breakout from this range before initiating any long positions. A breakdown will be very negative and could sink prices to $0.11812475 and $0.082332.

LTC/USD

The breakdown from the $49.466 level on September 12 was short-lived as Litecoin bounced back into the range. This shows some buying below the $50 level. We like the positive divergence developing on the RSI, but need prices to follow up higher before it can act as a buy signal.

LTC

The LTC/USD pair will face stiff resistance on the upside from the 20-day EMA, the downtrend line and the 50-day SMA.

Both moving averages are trending down and the RSI is still in negative territory. A breakdown from $47.246 could sink prices to the next support zone of $40-$44. We suggest traders wait until the virtual currency forms a reliable buy setup.

ADA/USD

Bulls are trying to defend the $0.06 level on the downside but have not been able to carry Cardano above the $0.0715 level for the past two days.

ADA

Both moving averages are sloping down and the RSI remains in oversold territory. This shows that sellers are firmly in control. The target on the downside is $0.054541.

The first sign of a probable change in trend will be when the ADA/USD pair breaks out and sustains above $0.111843. We will wait for a reliable buy setup to form before suggesting any long positions.

XMR/USD

Monero has broken out of the moving averages after taking support at the downtrend line. If it breaks out at $120, it could climb to $142.71 and $150.

XMR

The moving averages are close to each other and are flattening out while the RSI has moved into positive territory. This shows that bulls have an advantage in the short-term. Therefore, we suggest holding long positions with the recommended stop loss.

The XMR/USD pair will turn negative if bears sink prices below the September 12 low of $96.390.  

IOTA/USD

IOTA is attempting to bounce after taking support at the $0.5 mark, but it is facing strong resistance at the 20-day EMA.

IOT

The zone between $0.59-$0.67 will act as stiff resistance. Once this zone is crossed, a move to $0.81 and $0.9150 is probable. The 20-day EMA has flattened out and the RSI is attempting to climb into positive territory, which shows that selling pressure is decreasing. Traders could hold their long positions with the stops at $0.46.  

If bulls fail to scale above the overhead resistance, the IOTA/USD pair will dip to $0.50 and $0.4628.

Market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. Charts for analysis are provided by TradingView.

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