Top Crypto News – 24/10/2017

Bitcoin Gold Initiates Hard Fork Split to Create New Cryptocurrency

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A new cryptocurrency has been created through a hard fork of the bitcoin blockchain.

Completing a process that began in July, the bitcoin gold technical team has taken what it calls a “snapshot” of the bitcoin blockchain so it could be recreated and reconfigured with new rules, ultimately creating bitcoin gold at block 491,407 on the original blockchain.

As of now, the process is underway by which the new bitcoin cryptocurrency will be completed and released to existing bitcoin users.

As profiled in our explainer, the project aims to tackle the perceived problem that miners as a group have too much influence over the direction of the bitcoin network. To lessen their control, bitcoin gold replaces bitcoin’s current mining algorithm with one that cheaper graphics processing units (GPUs) are able to mine.

The idea stems from the competitive nature of bitcoin mining, which now relies solely on expensive application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). In part because of this, mining has centralized into the hands of large mining companies, which bitcoin gold supporters feel works against bitcoin’s key value proposition: decentralization.

Still, while the hard fork has been initiated, that doesn’t mean users can yet claim their funds.

Until they can, bitcoin gold developers will operate the new blockchain in isolation, with the first round of block rewards being set aside for allocation to the development team.

According to group representatives, the new cryptocurrency network is aiming to be open to the public by November 1st.

Saw blade image via Shutterstock
Written by CoinDesk

Intel Partners With Ledger to Integrate Bitcoin Wallet Software and SGX Tech

Ledger

Cryptocurrency hardware startup Ledger has announced a new partnership with tech giant Intel.

The tie-up sees Ledger integrating its operating system, BOLOS, into Intel’s Software Guard Extensions (SGX) secure storage product line in a bid to provide new avenues for storing cryptocurrency holdings.

The announcement follows a similar deal between Ledger and Gemalto, which revealed a partnership earlier this month that was also focused on secure storage.

The concept centers around the idea of creating a so-called “enclave”, within which private keys are stored and transactions are both generated and signed. For Intel, that focus on hardware has been a defining characteristic to date, including its work with startup 21 Inc on mining chips.

“Following the launch of a line of hardware wallets based on our operating system integrated in a secure chip, working with a leading player like Intel is a unique opportunity to keep providing our growing client base with innovative solutions for cryptocurrency and blockchain applications,” Eric Larchevêque, Ledger’s CEO, said of the partnership.

Wallets set to utilize the Intel/Ledger solution include provider services Electrum and and MyEtherWallet, according to a release.

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Ledger.
Image Credit: Quinten Jacobs / Shutterstock.com
Written by CoinDesk

 

JPMorgan Head Jamie Dimon Should Learn About Bitcoin, Says Wamda Capital’s CEO

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Tech investment company Wamda Capital’s CEO, Fadi Ghandour, has suggested JPMorgan Chase head Jamie Dimon should learn more about Bitcoin and other digital currencies before making negative statements against them.

Dimon earlier said that the cryptocurrencies are just a “novelty” and are “worth nothing” and those who invest in them are stupid.

According to Ghandour, Dimon should realize that the cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology are here to stay. He added that the conventional financial sector could gain a lot from the new era of financial technology (fintech).

“It is here to stay. Jamie Dimon need to recognize that before he talks about it from a fraudulent point of view. Talk to them, understand them, find a way to regulate them. Let’s not make big statements about something we don’t understand. Be humble, calm down, come down to earth and learn.”

Performance of Bitcoin

Ghandour, whose company manages the largest cryptocurrency wallet in the Middle East, delivered a speech about digital currencies at the World Bank in mid-October 2017 to show how the technology is being embraced worldwide.

Ghandour also claimed that investors in Bitcoin could get hurt badly if the leading virtual currency experiences a sudden crash. He added, however, that they should be left to make their own investment decisions.

“People could get hurt but also people are mature and can make their own decisions. If you want to be part of a bubble, you are part of a bubble. You understand the risk.”

Bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization, reached a new record high price on October 21 and has experienced a huge price rally year-to-date.

Written by CoinTelegraph

 

Bitcoin Goes Under the Hammer in Italy: Auctions and Crypto

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An Italian auction house based in Rome has opened up to the world of cryptocurrencies, blending the old with the new, as it will allow its patons to settle their payments in Bitcoin.

While mass adoption has been slow for Bitcoin and other related digital currencies, there have been more and more precedent-busting niche adoptions, such as this world first.

A favourite of the art world

The world of luxury and fine art have long been firm friends of Bitcoin. There was Cointemprorary, a gallery that was the first of its kind to offer unique art pieces solely for Bitcoin.

Then, more recently, a fine art gallery in Mayfair, London, opened its doors on Bitcoin, allowing art to be bought with the digital currency.

Now, Sant’Agostino will allow patriots of its auction to settle up in Bitcoin, opening up a world of furniture, jewelry, watches, as well as paintings to those with a few extra Bitcoin to spare.

Sant’Agostino

The first sale that the auction house opens to Bitcoin bidders is expected to have 600 Italian and foreign design objects, mostly pieces of furniture.

There has not been much fanfare made of the Auction house’s decision to embrace this new form of monetary technology, they simply said in a statement: “Bitcoins will be accepted as payment” for the upcoming sale.

Use as a currency

While debate continues to rage as to what Bitcoin is – a store of value, or a functioning currency – it’s decisions like that of the Italian auction house that legitimizes the digital currency for its core use.

As its value rockets, however, there’s more interest for investors rather than consumers in the likes of Bitcoin, as it continues to break new boundaries in its value.

However, it is also this astronomical growth that would be fueling early adopter’s wallets, and allowing them to enter into auctions for luxury goods.

Depending on where people stand on Bitcoin’s use will continue to shape how it is utilized, and also determine if there is a demand for more adoption from retailers and the like.

Written by CoinTelegraph

 

MasterCard Announces That Payments Can Now be Made on Blockchain

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Best of Both Worlds

Credit card companies are a long-standing pillar in the financial services sector. Credit cards were the first cashless payment option made available to the public and now, one of the leading financial services firms in the world has decided that it’s time for credit cards to get involved in blockchain technologies. On Friday, MasterCard announced that it’s opening up access to a blockchain-based business-to-business (B2B) payment service under a new option called the “MasterCard Blockchain API.”

Launched during the Money 20/20 Hackathon in Las Vegas this past weekend after testing and validation had been completed, this service is slated to become available to customers this week. “MasterCard’s blockchain solution provides a new way for consumers, businesses and banks to transact and is key to the company’s strategy to provide payment solutions that meet every need of financial institutions and their end-customers,” the company said in a press statement.

This move comes as a bit of a surprise, as MasterCard previously issued a blanket rejection of Bitcoin. Still, MasterCard’s blockchain service heralds what Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin described to be blockchain’s potential to replace credit cards. Instead of being taken over by blockchain technologies, however, MasterCard decided to embrace the movement.

For Everything Else

As a decentralized digital transaction ledger, blockchain offers MasterCard users a more private and secure option for making transactions, one that is both easily scalable and flexible. The new blockchain API builds on MasterCard’s existing payment network, which covers some 22,000 financial institutions, and also expands blockchain’s capability to handle transactions. The move also solves some of the challenges that B2B schemes typically have, which include “speed, transparency, and costs in cross-border payments.”

“By combining MasterCard blockchain technology with our settlement network and associated network rules, we have created a solution that is safe, secure, auditable and easy to scale,” Ken Moore, MasterCard Labs EVP, said in the press release. “When it comes to payments, we want to provide choice and flexibility to our partners where they are able to seamlessly use both our existing and new payment rails based on the needs and requirements of their customers.”

With a financial giant like MasterCard betting on blockchain, previous predictions by experts seem to be coming true. Blockchain is changing the way we do things — particularly financial transactions. Recently, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation opened up a payment platform that caters to those without access to traditional financial services. The blockchain revolution, however, is definitely not limited to just the world of finance. Industries like healthcare, aviation, energy, diplomacy, and education are also exploring blockchain solutions to fit their needs. There is even the possibility of a new internet powered by blockchain.

In short, in the age of information, a secure yet easily trackable method of keeping tabs on data is in high demand — especially with recent hacks and security breeches. Blockchain solutions might just be what the world needs.

Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team, including the editors of this piece, are personal investors in a number of cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.

 

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