Top Crypto News – 12/12/2017

Super Bitcoin Hard Fork To Launch Tuesday To ‘Make Bitcoin Great Again’


Tuesday will see the launch of Super Bitcoin, a new hard fork which developers say will “make Bitcoin great again.”

One of a handful of forks due to diverge from the Bitcoin core chain this month, Super Bitcoin is a Chinese effort looking to optimize Bitcoin through measures such as Lightning Network and an 8-megabyte block size.

The new chain’s network snapshot is set for block 498,888, to occur during Tuesday, Dec. 12.

Explaining the impetus behind their decision to create the new fork, developers said they were acting according to ideas from the “Bitcoin community.”

“Please remember: ‘This is just an experiment,’” the project’s website advises.

“We are merely implementing the proposals recommended by the Bitcoin community. Only when we put these talks into actions that we can make Bitcoin great again.”

Broadly following Bitcoin-esque attributes, Super Bitcoin is nonetheless notable for its supply 21,210,000, which includes 210,000 pre-mined coins.

“The 210,000 pre-mined tokens will be managed by the Super BTC Foundation and are mainly used to encourage early developers, invest in the super BTC ecosystem and ensure the operation of the Super BTC Foundation,” the website explains.

Major Bitcoin mining pools f2pool and BTCC are allegedly slated to support the fork, while 21 exchanges will notionally offer trading, according to listings.

December also sees the birth of new Bitcoin ‘versions’ with names including Bitcoin Uranium, Bitcoin Cash Plus and even Bitcoin God.

Written by Cointelegraph

France Will Allow Blockchain Platforms For Trading Securities


According to recent reports, the French government has opened the door to allow fintech companies and banking institutions to begin trading unlisted securities on Blockchain technology-based platforms. The regulation changes cut out the need for middlemen like brokerages or exchanges.

The change comes with a desire to have France grow in its international reputation as a center for finance and technology, hopefully competing with the neighboring London, which currently enjoys a much bigger presence in the field. According to a statement by Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire:

“The use of this new technology will allow fintech firms and other financial actors to develop new ways of trading securities that are faster, cheaper, more transparent and safer.”

According to the statement, listed securities will still be required to pass through trust systems.

Blockchain growth

The announcement will provide increasing opportunities for banks and other companies to use Blockchain technology to cut out unnecessary mid-level brokers in financial trading. The technology has already been used by a number of large corporations for international business payments and other applications.

Written by CoinDesk

Americans Are Taking Out Mortgages to Buy Bitcoin


People are taking out mortgages to buy bitcoin, says securities regulator Joseph Borg. Coupled with accounts of credit cards and equity loans being used to obtain bitcoin, it raises the possibility of risk-taking investors being left deeply indebted or potentially even homeless.

Betting It All On Bitcoin

Most people have heard of “that Reddit guy” who took out equity on his house to buy bitcoin earlier this year. His daring investment, made when bitcoin was trading at around $3,000 a coin, has paid off so far. But if Joseph Borg is correct, such cases are no longer isolated, and the higher bitcoin climbs, the greater the risk credit-takers face.

Speaking on CNBC on Monday, the veteran securities regulator said:

We’ve seen mortgages being taken out to buy bitcoin…People do credit cards, equity lines. This is not something a guy who’s making $100,000 a year, who’s got a mortgage and two kids in college ought to be invested in.

As president of the North American Securities Administrators Association and director of the Alabama Securities Commission, Borg has a wealth of experience to call upon. Even the most ardent of bitcoin believers would concede that families probably shouldn’t be betting everything they have on bitcoin.

Using Cheap Credit to Buy Expensive Bitcoin

Americans Are Taking Out Mortgages to Buy BitcoinMortgages and equity aren’t the only means by which people have been scrambling to free up funds for bitcoin: major sites such as Coinbase accept credit card payments. So long as bitcoin keeps rising, buyers can pay off their monthly credit card debt with their profits. A major correction, however, would leave investors indebted and liable to defaulting on their loans.

“You’re on this mania curve. At some point in time there’s got to be a leveling off,” said Borg on CNBC’s Power Lunch. Bitcoin has proven extremely resilient this year, shaking off negative news such as a Chinese cryptocurrency exchange crackdown without much fuss. It is not inconceivable, however, that a major global event, such as legislation emanating from the U.S. or South Korea, could send the price of bitcoin plummeting.

Newcomers to bitcoin have yet to experience a bear market. While bitcoin’s volatility is much gentler than it was in its earliest days, the cryptocurrency is still prone to swings, and like any asset is perfectly capable of heading south. Homeowners who mortgage their property and profit handsomely from bitcoin’s rise will feel rightfully vindicated. Not everyone can be a winner however.

Americans Are Taking Out Mortgages to Buy Bitcoin
“They said ‘Just hodl’.”

When bitcoin was first born, many of its earliest adopters saw the peer-to-peer currency as a “bank killer”. It would be ironic if the digital currency’s rise – and subsequent fall – was to take a bite out of the banks due to a credit craze fueled by bitcoin.

Do you think people should be taking out credit to buy bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Howard Stern and Saturday Night Live Reference Bitcoin as Popularity Grows


The Year of Bitcoin is finishing strong, as its spread into the mainstream, from finance to popular culture, gains traction apace with its price increases. From The Big Bang Theory dedicating a bitcoin subplot, to an episode of Startup creating an entire series around the topic, the world’s most well-known cryptocurrency is getting a new boost, with giants like The Howard Stern Show (Stern) and Saturday Night Live (SNL) now entering the fray. 

King of All Media, Howard Stern, Doesn’t Know Anything About Bitcoin

“Well, they’re now bitcoin billionaires,” Robin Quivers, co-host and news anchor on Stern, announced during a brief segment 4 December 2017. “Are you into this whole bitcoin thing?” she asked Howard Stern, radio broadcast icon currently under contract at Sirius XM Radio, a satellite paid-content provider.

“No, no I am not,” Mr. Stern answered dismissively. “Good for those guys,” he said, alluding to the ecosystem’s most well-known twins. “They’re all bent out of shape losing out on” Facebook, as detailed in the movie The Social Network (2010).

“The investors made famous by suing Mark Zuckerberg,” Ms. Quivers continued, “claiming he stole the idea of Facebook from them, have made bank on the digital cryptocurrency. They owned about 11 million dollars worth of bitcoin four years ago. Its value has grown by more than 10,000% just this year, skyrocketing their investment to more than a billion dollars,” she noted.

Mr. Stern, 63, has broadcast professionally in one form or another for over 40 years, and is well-known to his largely American audience for ribald commentary and irreverence. Ms. Quivers, 65, is Mr. Stern’s long-time on-air companion, serving often as the show’s voice of reason in addition to her news vignettes.

“You can’t spend bitcoin anywhere, can you?” Ms. Quivers wondered.

“You’re asking the wrong dude,” Mr. Stern answered, bewildered. “Bit…coin. I don’t know anything about it,” he declared. “All I know if I was Mark Zuckerberg, I would buy bitcoin just to f**k with those two guys. You know what I mean?” he smiled.

Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!

Belushi. Murphy. Ferrell. Crystal. Fey. And now add Bitcoin. That’s right, crypto joins the longest-running sketch comedy show in American television history, NBC’s Saturday Night Live, during its 43rd season.

This weekend’s cold open, “Visit with Santa,” added a silly twist: kiddos brought up rather adult topics, shocking the jolly good fellow.

The skit features two prominent cast members, Kate McKinnon (Justin Bieber, Hillary Clinton, Jeff Sessions) and Kenan Thompson (Big Papi, Steve Harvey). Ms. McKinnon was also in the female Ghost Busters. Mr. Thompson is the most tenured cast member in the show’s history (since 2003).

The scene opens to Amy (the elf) and Santa. Children ask for presents, and then quickly pepper poor Santa with questions regarding present controversies including sexual harassment allegations, Israel, tax cuts, opioids, and even Trump. Mr. Thompson’s character breaks and asks, “What the hell is wrong with these kids?!”

Finally, Jenny ascends to stand beside Santa, assuring him she does not want gifts this year. “I just want everything to be okay,” she announces. Amy the elf tries console Jenny.

“Eventually, good people will fix our country,” Ms. McKinnon’s character explains.

Jenny nods, “Okay, good. But just in case I’m putting alllllll my money in bitcoin.”

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