Top Crypto News – 13/11/2017

Bitcoin cash briefly replaced rival digital coin ether as the second-largest cryptocurrency

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The newest fork of the bitcoin blockchain is officially live after a rocky start.

Developers for the project, dubbed bitcoin gold, published software for the breakaway cryptocurrency today, releasing the code on GitHub as well. Aimed at blocking the use of specialized chips for mining, the project revealed last week it was eyeing a formal launch on Sunday, weeks after it first initiated a split from the main bitcoin blockchain.

As such, the launch caps a lengthy period of development for the cryptocurrency, which follows bitcoin cash, a near $30 billion network that split off from bitcoin earlier this summer. Bitcoin gold also represents the latest instance of an “airdropped” cryptocurrency forked from the main bitcoin chain, which is distributed to anyone who owned bitcoin at the time of the split.

Now, public mining for the cryptocurrency has begun, with several mining pools opening up in coordination with the launch. Yet the process of distributing the software – no small feat in a permissionless, open-ended environment – came with some complications.

As detailed in the project’s official Slack channels, some users had problems connecting their nodes to other computers on the network. Others allege they were receiving spam messages containing links to fake (and potentially malevolent) software clients.

As might be expected, trading interest was heightened in the run-up to the launch, given that prior to the launch, several exchanges launched futures tied to bitcoin gold. The price of those futures has seen significant volatility in the past several days, exceeding $500 in value earlier this weekend.

Currently, BTG futures are trading between roughly $260 and $290, according to CoinMarketCap – a decline of over 30 percent in the past 24 hours.

Gold mining image via Shutterstock
Written by CNBC

Bitcoin Gold Fights Launch Spam But Fails To Sustain Prices

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Bitcoin Gold (BTG) has quietly launched to a cryptocurrency industry bewitched by the ongoing Bitcoin Cash debacle.

The second major fork of Bitcoin, which the community largely shunned due to its lack of technical robustness, is now mineable but prices have yet to demonstrate substantial support.

Futures prices tracked by Coinmarketcap Monday show a slight uptick following a major downturn through the weekend.

Prices had peaked Nov. 11 at just under $500 per coin ahead of the launch the following day, coinciding with Bitcoin Cash’s own all-time highs approaching $2,400.

That fork has also since rapidly declined, heading towards just $1,100 – in Bitcoin terms a loss of 70 percent.

BTG’s issuance was complicated by the emergence of a malicious scam, which used the Twitter handle @bitcoingolds as a basis to trick migrating users into handing over cryptocurrency.

After its network snapshot last month, meanwhile, a major DDoS attack paralyzed its website.

“A massive attack was made in an apparent effort to disrupt the mainnet launch, but the Bitcoin Gold team managed to get the network up and running… albeit a little later than planned,” developers added in an official release post following the launch.

Cointelegraph would like to reiterate that Bitcoin Gold is an altcoin and not affiliated with the Bitcoin Core chain – the original version of Bitcoin. Purchasing Bitcoin Gold does not mean that you hold Bitcoin.

Written by CoinTelegraph

Sberbank Apologizes for Buying Nearly All Graphics Cards on the Russian Market

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Russia has been suffering from a shortage of graphics cards that can be used to mine cryptocurrencies, causing their prices to almost double. However, it was not ordinary households that purchased most of these cards. State-owned Sberbank has come forward, admitted to buying them, and apologized for causing the shortage.

berbank Apologized for Buying Up Graphics Cards

Sberbank Apologizes for Buying Nearly All Graphics Cards on the Russian MarketSberbank, the largest bank in Russia and third largest in Europe, is majority-owned by the Russian government. According to senior vice president, Alexander Vedyakhin, the bank’s research lab was behind the dry spell. Ria Novosti reported on Saturday:

The reason for the deficit in the video card market was Sberbank, buying up video cards for its laboratory of artificial intelligence.

“We invest very much in technology, and we should, incidentally, apologize for that shortage in the video card market, which occurred recently, because we bought them for the laboratory of artificial intelligence,” Vedyakhin said at the Sberbank international conference on data analysis, machine learning and artificial intelligence. However, he indicated that soon the shortage will be over “because we [have] satisfied our need.”

Is Sberbank Mining Cryptocurrency?

Sberbank Apologizes for Buying Nearly All Graphics Cards on the Russian Market
Stanislav Kuznetsov.

While Sberbank has said that it is “not yet ready” to use cryptocurrency, the bank admitted to studying it in detail, according to Stanislav Kuznetsov, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank.

“Sberbank does not intend to use cryptocurrency in business yet, but is studying them to protect itself from scammers,” Tass reported and quoted Kuznetsov saying last month at the World Festival of Youth and Students in Sochi:

We are not afraid of cryptocurrencies, but in order to defend ourselves, we must understand in detail how scammers operate, we must study each step…Today we are deeply studying this topic, but, unfortunately, there are no solutions yet, how to proceed further, and we are not yet ready to use the cryptocurrency.

Shortage of Graphics Cards in Russia

The Chinese online trading platform Aliexpress, an Ebay-like subsidiary of Alibaba, reported in June that there was a surge in demand for video cards in Russia for cryptocurrency mining. “Aliexpress associated a surge of interest in video cards with the desire to use them to generate cryptocurrency,” the publication emphasized, adding that:

The trading platform reported that its users began to look more actively for specific models of video cards that are most suitable for creating crypto-farms (GeForce GTX1060, GTX1070 and Radeon RX480), and the number of bitcoin miner requests increased 150% in a month.

Sberbank Apologizes for Buying Nearly All Graphics Cards on the Russian MarketPrior to Sberbank’s confession, RT reported that “the recent surge in the value of bitcoin has caused a jump in demand for video cards, which are used in cryptocurrency mining.” In addition, “people buy up to 600 video cards at once,” the publication detailed, noting that this has caused “a nearly 80 percent price surge since the spring.”

According to Vedomosti, the spike in demand has caused the price of graphics cards to rise “by an average of twice: for example, a device that cost in spring 16,000-18,000 rubles now costs more than 30,000.” The news outlet added that one store promised that the cards can be ordered within a week while another said it would take 10 days.

Do you think Sberbank is mining cryptocurrencies? What do you think of them buying up most graphics cards in Russia? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Sberbank.
Written by Bitcoin.com

 

A Tale of Two Bitcoins: Where Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash are Headed

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This is a tale of two Bitcoins. After a fork in August that created Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash(BCH), we have reached yet another crossroad. While another hardfork was planned around middle of November to boost Bitcoin’s block size, this fork is now dead in the water. The lack of consensus among the Bitcoin community was cited as the reason for abandoning the so-called SegWit2x plan.

Abandoning the fork lifted the Bitcoin price from $7,200 to $7,800 as traders realized their worst fears (an ugly chain split) would be avoided. However, excitement hasn’t lasted. Bitcoin is now trading at around $6,000 at press time, as traders and investors fear that SegWit by itself will not create enough capacity to scale. Indeed, at the time of this writing, there are over 140,000 unconfirmed Bitcoin transactions.

Bitcoin Cash was the surprise winner in all of this, at least temporarily. The currency which had been drifting steadily downward was lifted as high as $2,600 in a dramatic pump following the news of SegWit2x’s cancellation. While the price has since experienced a 50% retrace, spectators were stunned at the sudden rise.

An existential crisis for Bitcoin

The lack of a clear path for Bitcoin’s scaling issues are having a serious impact on Bitcoin’s price. As more users discover Bitcoin and its popularity increases, there is a growing danger that it will be a victim of its own success. We talked with Charles Hoskinson, CEO of Input Output Hong Kong, who elaborated the challenge facing Bitcoin:

“Bitcoin is at an existential crisis where it has grown large enough and attracted enough quality people to provide very clear yet different roadmaps for the future backed by passion, money and brilliance. From one perspective this creates friction and has resulted in splits. From another we get to see in parallel both philosophies play out in real time and compete for market share.In the end it’s impossible to say who will win, but this is predictable sign of maturity rather than a symptom of chaos. No ecosystem can keep everyone happy nor can it satisfy divergent visions. So they have to find a way to split like so many open source projects before then without destroying the value already accumulated and the underlying communities.”

More users but also more confusion

Bitcoin’s high prices may have drawn users like bees to honey but many are likely not savvy. There is a high degree of confusion among these users that is making matters worse. A lot of them can’t probably tell the two Bitcoins apart from each other. We talked with Fran Strajnar, CEO of Bravenewcoin, who thinks we are going through yet another round of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt). He tells us:

“I think the current FUD is very confusing to the millions of new people pouring into the crypto space for the first time.  ‘Bitcoin,’ ‘Bitcoin-Cash’ is enough to confuse people as it is.”

BCH a classic pump and dump?

Altcoins are no stranger to the phenomenon of pump and dump. There are people out there who have the ability to increase the price of a particular coin and when there is enough buzz around a coin, it is simply the matter of dumping it and making a neat profit. Kumar Gaurav, Chairman of Auxesis Group and founder of Cashaa has this to say on the recent increase in BCH (BCC) prices:

“The quick rise [of BCH] from around 600 to 2400 USD in a few days makes it look like a typical artificial pump which was already being followed by a dump back to $1300 USD within 30 min. As compared to the FX market, the crypto market is still small, it is easy to do that and can not be used to estimate the future of BTC vs BCC.”

Gaurav is of the view that Bitcoin has gained relative maturity with the passage of time:

“Compared to that, Bitcoin has already overcome many challenges, keeps following its pattern of steady rise and its current downwards push is one of the many only temporary ones such as in July and September this year, so we can expect it to be back on the way to 8000 USD soon, whereas [BCH] is too new to estimate whether it will grow in the long term or whether the current move was one of the typical altcoins’ pump and dumps.”

Fran also adds his voice:

“However I expect Bitcoin to be ‘just fine’ if it stays above $4500 as the smart money realizes that BCH has no advantage, support or adoption like BTC has.”

Both the Bitcoins can exist peacefully

The good news is that as more people discover cryptocurrencies, there is space for both flavours of Bitcoin to exist and prosper. As for the bickering within the Bitcoin community, you can’t really rule out more forks or more Bitcoin variants in the future either. This is just the way cryptocurrencies are. As Hoskinson puts it:

“Bitcoin Cash seems to be a productive split with its existence neither threatening Bitcoin’s nor requiring support from Bitcoin’s remaining adherents. Now Bitcoin is free to provide it’s small block vision and cash the large block. My hope is that this will reduce fighting in the long run as both sides realize that the other isn’t going away. Just like we did with Ethereum and Ethereum classic.”

Perhaps democracy is the biggest winner and a byproduct of cryptocurrencies, and that is the silver lining.

Image via CoinTelgraph
Written by Cointelegraph

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