Top Crypto News – 26/10/2017

Apple’s Co-Founder Says Bitcoin Is Better Than Gold

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IN BRIEF

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is betting on Bitcoin, saying that the cryptocurrency could become a better standard of financial value than gold or the U.S. dollar. Wozniak argued that Bitcoin is more stable and less prone to arbitrary supply changes.

BITCOIN IS TAMPER-PROOF

In an interview by CNBC’s Deirdre Bosa at the Money 20/20 event in Las Vegas last weekend, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said that he thinks Bitcoin is a better standard of value than both gold and the U.S. dollar. The difference, he explained, was in how Bitcoin comes in a finite supply, as only 21 million can ever be mined, supposedly. Unlike U.S. dollar, or any fiat currency for that matter, Bitcoin cannot be reprinted to the whims of influential bankers. On the other hand, no one knows just how much gold there is in the world, and it can be mined any time. Gold, Wozniak said, is “kinda phony” in this sense, and Bitcoin is more “genuine and real.”

This comes on the heels of several consecutive months of skyrocketing Bitcoin prices, soaring higher than $6,000 for the first time a few days ago. Currently prices have stabilized around the $5,500, give or take, but we can expect Bitcoin to continue demonstrating its true potential. This is why experts like Wozniak predict that this cryptocurrency could eventually replace gold as the standard of financial value — an idea that he finds quite appealing.

“There is a certain finite amount of bitcoin that can ever exist. Gold gets mined and mined and mined. Maybe there’s a finite amount of gold in the world, but cryptocurrency is even more mathematical and regulated and nobody can change mathematics,” Wozniak explained. In short, with Bitcoin as a standard, it’s difficult to tamper with global prices.

MORE STABLE THAN GOLD?

But is the number-one cryptocurrency truly more stable? Yes and no. Critics would say it’s very prone to fluctuations in value, rendering it rather volatile. However, such volatility can be expected ,and it isn’t unique to the cryptocurrency, as FundStrat Global Advisor co-founder Tom Lee previously told Business Insider. “[W]hen people talk about bitcoin’s volatility today, they’re forgetting that when we went off the dollar — the gold standard on the dollar, gold’s volatility for 4 years was about the same as bitcoin’s volatility today.”

The point is, Wozniak commented, Bitcoin is easily more regulated than gold. He went on to compare Bitcoin’s stability to owning a house. “Your house has value. And if it is a house today, 40 years from now, it still is a house in value even if the price goes up and the government draws more taxes out of it,” said the former Apple top engineer, whose interest with cryptocurrency began just for fun.

Governments and regulators continue to “experiment” with the growing cryptocurrency market, in light of all the perceived volatility. Some have taken harsher measures by banning the cryptocurrency altogether. Still, Bitcoin persists, and experts predict its value would increase dramatically in the next few months.

Written by futurism.

 

What’s the Price of Bitcoin Gold? Crypto Traders Still Aren’t Sure

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From $0 to $2,900 – and seemingly everywhere in between.

Bitcoin gold, a new fork of the bitcoin software, may not have been officially launched (or distributed to users), but that isn’t stopping the cryptocurrency markets from seeking to determine its potential value (or profiting from its eventual existence).

In an interesting twist on a typical distribution, a number of exchanges are now listing a token that represents a claim on the future delivery of bitcoin gold (in advance of it becoming available to all bitcoin users). Ahead of that event, however, traders are seeking to value the asset, which proposes an alternative to the difficulty of competing for rewards on bitcoin’s mining network.

Still, it’s safe to say there’s disagreement so far.

In interview, analysts expressed a reservation about bitcoin gold, both when speaking about its developer team, and when characterizing the protocol’s potential market opportunity.

Safiri Felix, a researcher at financial publisher Empiricus, for example, believes that while bitcoin gold is likely to encourage others to clone bitcoin’s blockchain, and thus capitalize on the potential to appeal to its expansive user base, he sees this trajectory as limited.

Felix told CoinDesk:

“I think that forks and airdrops as a trend to launch new tokens [will continue], aiming to get an instant user base. Best case scenario, bitcoin gold is a potential contender for litecoin.”

Indeed, most industry observers surveyed don’t expect the project to compete with bitcoin or bitcoin cash, predicting its market capitalization would likely be similar to less valuable networks.

This belief seems reflected on exchanges, where BTG tokens traded for a high of $2,900 on Bitfinex, before dropping 96.64 percent to $97 on Tuesday. By Wednesday, prices stabilized around $137 at press time, though order books are heavy with sell orders in available markets.

At current prices, the value of all bitcoin gold (once released) would be worth a mere 43 percent of BCH and 2 percent of BTC. As such, it seems unlikely to surpass the value of those currencies in the immediate future.

Likewise, exchange interest also seems subdued. Currently, only a handful of exchanges, Bitfinex, HitBTC, Yobit, Bleutrade, Bitstar and Coinnest, support BTG/BTC and BTG/USD trading pairs.

Developer concerns

Of course, the biggest question mark for those surveyed was whether the tokens will actually be delivered by those behind the project.

Already controversial is that the team behind bitcoin gold intends to set aside a certain amount of the cryptocurrency to fund its future development, as part of what’s called a “pre-mine.” Indeed, Safiri was quick to note that the bitcoin gold team has no existing track record in the industry.

“It’s natural to dismiss their ability to deliver quality code,” he said.

Long-time industry entrepreneur and director of business and community at cryptocurrency wallet provider Jaxx, Charlie Shrem, also cited the decision to set aside funds as a suspicious one, though not one that inherently denotes any wrongdoing.

“[It] seems like an attempt to replicate bitcoin cash and give the developers a nice premine,” he said.

Overall, his remarks pointed to the idea that the low price of bitcoin gold as compared to bitcoin and bitcoin cash may be reflective of the possibility the funds never actually arrive.

Long-term potential

As for what that means for those considering how to handle their holdings, it’s worth noting that such market shifts are common when it comes to the price determination of a new asset.

For instance, bitcoin cash (BCH) – which forked off bitcoin in August – traded for highs of nearly $1,000 before dropping to trade between $300 to $400 in its first month. Likewise, at points, zcash traded for millions of dollars per token (though that was due to issues with its distribution).

But, it’s still the question of the protocol’s ultimate value proposition that seems most pertinent.

Shrem went so far as to forecast that its possible bitcoin gold could inspire cryptocurrency hobbyists to begin securing the protocol with older mining equipment, and that this could possibly jumpstart value creation, potentially leading to utility.

He noted that while older GPUs could be used to mine ether – the cryptocurrency of the ethereum network – doing so would mean a reduced chance of rewards given its existing competition.

Of course, others were more outright dismissive. Tim Enneking, managing director at hedge fund Crypto Asset Management, believes bitcoin gold proves fork currencies will likely have diminishing returns from here on out.

Enneking concluded:

“It’s like an ICO, but with a head start.”

Written by CoinDesk

 

AMD CEO Sees ‘Leveling Off’ in Cryptocurrency Mining Demand

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Graphics card maker AMD reported a major sales jump in the third quarter of 2017 amid significant demand from the world’s cryptocurrency miners.

On its Tuesday afternoon earnings call, the company reported $819 million in revenues from its computing and graphics division for the third quarter of 2017, a whopping 74 percent increase over the prior year’s quarter.

While the company’s graphics processing units (GPUs) have been traditionally used by video gamers, cryptocurrency enthusiasts are quickly snatching up the tools for mining ethereum and other coins. In a possible nod to that circumstance, AMD said the revenue was “primarily driven” by strong sales of its Radeon GPUs and Ryzen desktop processors – both of which are employed for crypto-mining.

In particular, AMD noted that sales of the Vega 56 and Vega 64 GPUs ramped up significantly during the quarter. These are among the most highly sought-after devices in the cryptocurrency market because of their significant processing power compared to other products.

With stagnant growth in its other core business segments, the surging GPU sales fueled a 26 percent year-over-year increase to a total revenue of $1.64 billion, making it the company’s highest-grossing quarter since 2011.

But while the numbers are eye-popping, the company’s shareholders weren’t impressed with the Q3 results.

AMD shares ultimately dropped 12 percent, from $14.25 at closing on Tuesday to as low as $12.43 in after hours trading. This coincides with the investment communities highly cautionary stance towards AMD’s exposure to the volatile and potentially fleeting cryptocurrency market.

Plus, AMD forecasted a decrease in cryptocurrency-related revenues for the fourth quarter, expecting its fourth quarter revenues to decrease by 15 percent from the third quarter, give or take three percent.

As CEO Lisa Su said on the earning call:

“In terms of the headwinds … we’re also predicting that there will be some leveling-off of some of the cryptocurrency demand.”

Overall the message was mixed. While she issued bearish statements about the future of cryptocurrency mining as it relates to AMD’s earnings, she also seemingly left the door open for other opportunities, although those seemed less clear.

Written by CoinDesk

 

ESports Becoming Blockchain-Only Following Mark Cuban’s Backing of ICO?

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The eSports industry is getting a massive Blockchain technology makeover from some pretty famous corners these days. The recent news that Ethereum co-founder Mark Cuban’s eSports betting platform Unikrn raised over $31 mln broke over Twitter.

Such a substantial support for the token sale is a sign that Blockchain is making big inroads into both technology and betting sectors for eSports.

Betting platforms

The eSports betting platform Unikrn is allowing users to participate in the eSports industry in new ways. For example, users are able to earn tokens simply by playing games, and the platform is giving away skins and prizes for active participants.

However, the backbone of the platform is a focus on betting. Users are able to bet on matches using platform tokens, or real funds in certain countries.

Other platforms have also made inroads into the eSports betting world as well. For example, Eloplay is an already functioning platform that is now using Blockchain technology to allow players to challenge each other for prize pools using smart contracts. The platform creates a system that allows gamers and companies the chance to create pools and offer prizes in a secure way through smart contracts.

While betting on eSports has been occurring since the industry’s earliest days, the power of Blockchain technology is reshaping how these events are scheduled. Cuban, at least, sees the value in such platforms.

Technology upgrade

Not only is the betting aspect of eSports getting a Blockchain upgrade, but the gaming platforms themselves are receiving a boost. For example, GameProtocol is creating a new decentralized platform that allows gamers to connect with each other, developers to use Blockchain tools and even a decentralized app store for everyone. According to the GameProtocol CEO, Jonathan Swerdlow:

“Blockchain is one of the most advanced and secure technologies ever built by mankind, the gaming industry will quickly shift to this upcoming decentralized internet 3.0. The internet changed gaming forever but Blockchain will take it even further. GameProtocol is positioning itself to become the leader in this space.”

Because Blockchain technology removes the centralized hub of these systems and provides a functioning intermediary through technology, players and developers are able to communicate directly and interactions are smoother and simpler.

Further, the decentralization process will also allow for pooling of bandwidth in order to increase efficiency and speed of play. Computing systems like those being developed by Network Units will create the ability for gamers to tap into and utilize huge pools of bandwidth that are otherwise cost prohibitive. According to Forbes:

“Network Units is an online gaming platform with a built-in player reputation management. It provides decentralized and scalable computing resources to augment developers’ infrastructure and mechanisms to mitigate cheating, downtime, and costly maintenance that developers often face when using traditional means.”

This bandwidth pooling feature of Blockchain technology is already being used effectively to put a stop to DDoS attacks and others. However, the power to then utilize that bandwidth for eSports applications will revamp the way online gaming occurs.

Cuban the frontrunner

If the power of Blockchain can revitalize the eSports world, it may be that Mark Cuban is a frontrunner in the space, just as he was with Ethereum. As gaming, betting, and technological solutions for eSports come online, the industry will inevitably experience a change in leadership, from centralized corporations to decentralized platforms.

Written by Cointelegraph

 

Managing Enormous Risk: Bitcoin and Altcoin Investment Strategies

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While some have made millions investing in digital currencies, others would call it degenerate gambling. If you’re reading this, then you know how exciting and unpredictable the crypto world is. Fortunes are built and demolished in seconds, new and exciting technology pops up every day, and controversy rules the land. It’s pretty much the Wild West of finance.

The unprecedented growth of cryptocurrencies has attracted investors from all walks of life, many of whom have been enticed by the staggering returns made by early investors. If this sounds like you, then keep reading. Unfortunately, we’re not going to teach you how to get rich in a few days; in fact, we’re going to try and deter you from that objective.

Not that we don’t want you to be super-rich, don’t get us wrong. But we prefer to have more grounded goals and we want you to do the same. Investment is a tricky game and the patient person usually wins. Avoiding “fear of missing out” (FOMO) is essential, especially in crypto, where disinformation, fake news and drama are commonplace.

So what exactly is the point of this article, you may wonder? Well, today, we want to give new players in the cryptosphere some ideas on how they can begin to navigate the tricky world of investment. We feel this is important due to the growing amount of scams and low quality projects out there.

We’re not saying that the strategies we discuss are foolproof or even profitable. They are not based on any mathematical formula nor were they devised by any experienced investment professional. These are simple ideas that are popular among entrants and old school digital currency investors alike.

It’s important to note that this article is not to be taken as investment advice and that you should always remember the golden rule of investment: Never invest more than what you can afford to lose.

Diversify and play it safe

This is a simple one. If your portfolio only has one coin on it, you’re doing it wrong. Now, we know some people will say Bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency you should own, but at this point  it’s safe to say that this is an absurd statement founded on feelings and ideals, rather than actual facts.

Bitcoin is thriving because it is the first and most popular cryptocurrency out there. It has the first mover advantage and it is also backed by an extensive network of miners who keep it safe. In terms of technology or features, however, Bitcoin falls short of its peers. We’re not saying you shouldn’t have Bitcoin, but you should also acknowledge other cryptocurrencies out there.

It may be a good idea to play it safe, however, and to “bet” on the most popular coins only, such as the top 10 by market capitalization. At present, those are: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Dash, NEM, NEO, BitConnect and Monero.

Bet on the idea, not the project

The world of Blockchain technology has evolved to a point where currency is just one of the many functions a cryptocurrency can have. There are smart contract platforms like Ethereum, NEO and Qtum, there are decentralized storage networks like Storj, Sia Coin and Filecoin and there are decentralized exchange platforms like Waves, Bitshares and others.

Our suggestion is, instead of buying one cryptocurrency in each category, you should spread your investment throughout multiple options inside each category. This will allow you to reduce the risk of investing in one single currency. In the world of crypto, a technical difficulty or even a grievance within one of the teams can lead to an rapid crash in the price, regardless of how promising the project and tech are. Just look at what happened with Tezos.

Hedging

Again, diversification is the name of the game. If you’re in crypto, then you are probably aware of how risky it all is. The cryptocurrency movement could end in days if some major security flaw was discovered or if all governments decided to ban them. The same can happen if some new and improved alternative to Blockchain technology comes along. These are, of course, worse case scenarios that are unlikely but possible nonetheless.

So, if you’re not one to have all your eggs in the same basket, you may want to extend your investment strategy to instruments outside of crypto. Precious metals, stocks, and other traditional investment vehicles may be a great addition to your portfolio and will allow you to reduce the risk you would take by investing in cryptocurrencies only.

Some companies, for example, manage cryptocurrency investment funds that combine cryptocurrency investments with investments in other sectors, like real estate. We talked to Kirill Bensonoff, CEO and founder of Caviar, about the importance of heeding your investment in the cryptocurrency space with traditional instruments.

He stated:

“We found a couple of major issues with crypto-asset investing, namely, it’s difficult and time consuming, and all assets are highly correlated. There is no ‘safety’ asset that also produces an income. We also see a movement towards having crypto be backed by traditional assets, such as gold, real estate and others, and we are addressing this head on.”

Liquidity, liquidity, liquidity

This is something that many new players forget about. You may find yourself investing in a cryptocurrency, having it increase in value several times over, only to realise that you can’t really sell it. If you try to sell large amounts at once, you’ll crash the price. Why? Because there is no liquidity. If a coin has no trading volume, significant price swings are bound to happen.

You can play it safe and avoid low volume coins all together but if you don’t want to, the least you can do is to know the risk you’re taking. CryptoCompare has a portfolio tool that allows you to analyse several risk factors in your portfolio, including volatility, exposure and, of course, liquidity. Their tool allows you to get an estimate of how long it would take to sell a certain coin based on the current volume. We asked Charles Hayter, CEO of CryptoCompare, why this tool is important for entrant users. He stated:

“We want to make it easy for users to track how well they’re doing. Crypto is risky in the extreme and we want to help people understand where these risks lie and how to quantify them.”

Room to grow

Remember what we just told you about liquidity? Well, this strategy is somewhat contradictory, but it’s important to note that not all of these strategies are compatible with one another. Also, some involve more risk than others, and this one is risky. So, what do we mean with “room to grow”?

Small market cap cryptocurrencies have more growth potential than the ones at the top. Of course, other factors will determine if the price will rise or not but the idea is that, if you invest in cryptocurrencies before they are big, you may get to see your investment grow several times over.

Now, before you go to the nearest exchange and start stacking up on useless meme coins, have a think about what you want to buy. Then, perform your due diligence, check the roadmap, check the team, read the whitepaper, learn about the technology. Do everything in your power to ensure that your investment is justified. This will also make it easier for you to stick to your strategy, knowing that you are invested in something you believe in.

Technical analysis

Yes, chart wizardry. To be honest, I have no idea how it works and I admire anyone that does. All those numbers and lines give me headaches. Nevertheless, if you have it in you, learning T.A. can do wonders for your investment strategy even if you only touch the surface! We asked Jonathan Hobbs, CFA and author of the Stop Saving Start Investing: Ten Simple Rules for Effectively Investing in Funds investment book how technical analysis can be useful even for a newbie investor. He stated:

“Any good investment strategy needs rules. Technical Analysis (or “TA”) uses rules to look for price and volume patterns in charts to try and predict what’s going to happen next. It helps investors choose when to buy or sell. One example of TA is the Simple Moving Average (or “SMA”). The 50-day SMA, for instance, is the average price over the last 50 days, which changes or ‘moves’ each day. When an investment starts trading above its SMA, this is could be a bullish sign. Since TA can also protect the downside, it’s a good risk management tool for volatile investments like cryptocurrencies.”

Proof of Stake interest

A lot of people would love to invest in cryptocurrency mining, but at this point, you either go big or go home. Mining has become an industrialized practice reserved only for those with large financial backing, high tech equipment and access to low energy prices. Although there are several alternatives to traditional mining, Proof of Stake is the most relevant one for the subject at hand.

To put it simply, Proof of Stake allows users to “mine” coins without mining equipment. In this system, the amount of coins a user holds will determine how many coins he mines. Although most PoS cryptocurrencies will require you to leave your wallet running, some implementations of PoS like Waves and Lisk allow you to earn interest by leasing or delegating your stake.

Do note that you shouldn’t go out and buy every PoS coin out there. You should, however, check your holdings for these types of coins and, if you have them, mine them! In the worst case scenario, you’ll need to leave the wallet running which can be done with any laptop or even a Raspberry Pi device.

Written by Cointelegraph

 

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