Tag Archives: bitcoin

Bitcoin is roaring back

Bitcoin is roaring back

Bitcoin is higher for a second straight day on Tuesday, trading up 5% at $1,093 a coin as of 10:33 a.m. ET. The tw0-day win streak has tacked on about 13%, rebounding from a slump over the weekend that followed a Wall Street Journal report that the cryptocurrency's developers were threatening to set up a "hard fork," or alternative marketplace for bitcoin.

The new platform would be incompatible with the current platform, thus creating a split and two versions of the currency. That news sent bitcoin crashing 20% over the weekend to about $950 a coin, its weakest since January.

2017 has been a volatile year for the cryptocurrency.

It gained 20% in the first week of the year after soaring 120% in 2016 to become the top-performing currency for the second year in a row.

Bitcoin then crashed 35% on news that China was going to consider clamping down on trading.

But it managed to rip higher by more than 50% even in the face of several pieces of bad news.

First, China's biggest bitcoin exchanges said they were going to start charging a 0.2% fee on all transactions (previously there was no fee). Then, China's biggest exchanges said they were going to block withdrawals from trading accounts.

Still, bitcoin put in a record high of $1,327 a coin on March 10 as traders piled in ahead of the US Securities and Exchange Commission's ruling on the Winklevoss twins' bitcoin exchange-traded fund. The SEC denied the ETF, sending the price crashing by 16%. Bitcoin, however, managed to quickly recover those losses.

Two more SEC rulings are on the way, the next being March 30. Neither one is expected to pass.

Thomas Prendergast
Founder and CEO
Markethive Inc.

 

 

Thomas Prendergast

Why Bitcoin Didn’t Need an ETF to Begin With

Why Bitcoin Didn't Need an ETF to Begin With

The Bitcoin community doesn’t seem to be bothered by the US Security Exchange Commission’s decision to disapprove the Winklevoss twins’ Bitcoin ETF COIN like many analysts expected. The market’s stability after the denial of the COIN ETF led to discussions on why Bitcoin didn’t need an ETF to begin with.

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Why SEC disapproved the ETF and why Bitcoin didn’t need it

Bitcoin is one of the only currencies or networks in existence which facilitates payments between two users with the absence of a mediator or a network administrator. Within Bitcoin, regulations are non-existent and manipulation-free transactions can be made, regardless of the amount or the size of the transaction.

While Bitcoin wasn’t necessarily designed to replace fiat money, it was introduced in 2009 to serve as an alternative to the global financial structure and ecosystem. Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, wanted to present a cash-like settlement network in which users aren’t required to undergo impractical and inefficient settlement processes in order to send and receive money from one another.

Over time, Bitcoin as a decentralized technology evolved, with the work of the Bitcoin Core development team as well as Bitcoin’s global and open source development team of contributors. The Bitcoin network’s hash power began to secure the network from external attacks and welcome tens of millions of new users into the network.

As Bitcoin and security expert Andreas Antonopoulos notes, the truly decentralized, transparent and secure financial network of Bitcoin is beginning to replace the financial industry and provide the general public with a low-fee and faster financial network.

Before considering the fact that hundreds of millions of dollars and potentially billions of dollars could have been poured into Bitcoin as a result of the approval of the COIN ETF, it is important to ponder the purpose of Bitcoin as a financial network. Its real purpose within the global financial frame is to allow people to make peer-to-peer payments amongst each other, not to gather large investments within a highly and tightly regulated market.

Antonopoulos stated:

“If you measure Bitcoin's success by the approval of the incumbent and obsolete industry it replaces, you're doing it wrong.”

SEC’s disapproval is confirmation that Bitcoin is a decentralized network

Two main arguments presented by the SEC in their disapproval of the COIN ETF were that the SEC can’t protect investors from losses made while trading Bitcoin and that the Bitcoin network can’t be surveilled as easily as others.

Since the Bitcoin network completely eliminates the possibility of recovering transactions or refunding payments, it forces users to be more responsible. On PayPal for instance, a centralized financial network, users can ask network moderators if they mistakenly sent incorrect transactions or processed payments to the wrong receiver. Within the Bitcoin network, no such administrative team exists and users are solely responsible for their money and transactions.

If the SEC needs to guarantee investors and traders with an insurance policy, which basically means that when Bitcoins are lost or stolen or mistraded, the SEC should be responsible for protecting investors from any losses, it is highly unlikely that a Bitcoin ETF will never be approved by the SEC.

The official document of the SEC read:

"As discussed further below, the Commission is disapproving this proposed rule change because it does not find the proposal to be consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Exchange Act, which requires, among other things, that the rules of a national securities exchange be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices and to protect investors and the public interest."

The SEC nor any other government organizations shouldn’t be responsible for protecting investors from making independent financial decisions. Also, it is almost impractical to introduce a highly regulated market to Bitcoin if Bitcoin was designed from the start to replace regulated markets and inefficient financial systems.

Millionaires will be made. Come join us as we build to make millionaires in this revolution. Check the calendar for weekly webinars. Join me in The Coin Club. It cost you nothing. You are only depositing your Bitcoin, (to withdraw later), watching the system grow your coin and the commissions you also receive when others deposit into the system below you. Pretty cool.

https://office.tradecoinclub.com/register/infinitycoin

Thomas Prendergast
Founder and CEO
Markethive Inc.

Thomas Prendergast

Yale Lecturer: Bitcoin is No Bubble, Long-Term Outlook is Bright

Yale Lecturer: Bitcoin is No Bubble, Long-Term Outlook is Bright

Is bitcoin’s historic rise headed for a major fall? Vikram Mansharamani, author of “Boombustology: Spotting Financial Bubbles Before They Burst” and a lecturer at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Yale University, analyzed the likelihood of a new bitcoin bubble in his LinkedIn post. Using five “lenses” he has developed, he concluded that bitcoin’s long-term outlook is positive.

Mansharamani noted behavioral and informational issues distort price at any point in time, but such distortions tend to disappear since supply and demand markets are basically efficient.

This might not always be the case, he observed. Higher prices could actually increase demand, according to George Soros’ Theory of Reflexivity. Soros holds that prices can trend away from equilibrium, creating booms and busts.

Higher Price Raising Demand?

At present it is not clear if a higher bitcoin price has brought more demand, Mansharamani observed. On one hand, rising interest tends to drive up prices. At the same time, bitcoin trade volume has not increased with prices. While trade volume is not a good demand indicator, it does reflect activity. Lense 1: half a point.

Another bubble sign is the presence of leverage pushing higher prices. It is not clear if bitcoin prices are bubbly. There is no sign of leverage driving prices. There are no futures contracts enabling large exposure with little collateral or options providing de factor leverage.

The amount of debt supporting fiat currencies is an indicator. Traditional currencies are getting debased worldwide. Cryptocurrency offers a non-printable currency like gold. Lense 2: zero.

Psychological Factors

Psychology is another factor. When people assume the belief that “it’s different this time,” it’s time for buyers to beware. Asset prices never increase indefinitely. Bitcoin is no different in this regard.

Agreement exists that cryptocurrencies are in vogue and offer freedom from authoritarian manipulation. Mansharamani noted Peter Thiel has acknowledged that PayPal did not create a new currency, but a new payment system, whereas bitcoin has provided a new currency.

Bitcoin has its dedicated advocates. Internet analyst Henry Blodget and CNBC commentator Brian Kelly have delivered highly optimistic forecasts for bitcoin’s value. Lense 3: check.

Political Considerations

Politics is yet another consideration, including both moral hazards and regulations. Regulations can distort prices of any asset by artificially raising or undermining supply or demand.

As an example, political considerations delivered regulations that encouraged people in the U.S. to buy houses. Buyers had Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to fall back on.

Bu there are no artificial government interventions supporting bitcoin prices. Regulators, for their part, are trying to discourage bitcoin. Governments, however, can’t do much more than temporarily impact the price of bitcoin, as was the case when China recently tried to control bitcoin trading.

There are no signs of moral hazards surrounding bitcoin. The people who lost millions when Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy did not get bailed out. Bitcoin market players are buying with open eyes and are aware of the risks. Lense 4: zero.

Bitcoin Not Yet Widely Held

In comparing investment hysteria to a spreading fever, the variables of concern include the infection rate, the removal rate and importantly, the portion of the population not yet affected. The last metric can be seen as the fuel available to keep the fever spreading. Once it runs out of victims, the fever’s over. New demand disappears and prices fall.

The number of potential bitcoin buyers is big. The market capitalization at $20 billion is minuscule compared to its potential. A recent Twitter poll found that 49% plan to buy bitcoin while 22% said they were “max long” on bitcoin or “curious.” Bitcoin is not as widely held as it could be. Lense 5: zero.

In reviewing all five factors above, Mansharamani said the likelihood of bitcoin being a certain bubble only registers 1.5 out of 5 possible points. The stage could be set for it to become a bubble, but it is not yet there.

Short-term price corrections are always possible, but the long-term outlook for blockchain enabled currencies is positive.

Millionaires will be made. Come join us as we build to make millionaires in this revolution. Check the calendar for weekly webinars. Join me in The Coin Club. It cost you nothing. You are only depositing Bitcoin, watching the system grow your coin and the commissions you also receive when others deposit into the system below you. Pretty cool.

https://office.tradecoinclub.com/register/infinitycoin

 

Thomas Prendergast
Founder and CEO
Markethive Inc.

Thomas Prendergast

Is the boom of bitcoin a bubble that’s about to burst?

Is the boom of bitcoin a bubble that’s about to burst?

The rapidly rising price of bitcoin is leading many to question if the digital currency’s boom is about to bust. Strategist Peter Schiff, for instance, recently warned “today’s bitcoin could be tomorrow’s beanie babies.” As of this writing, bitcoin is up almost 30 percent in the past month and over 100 percent in the past year. It has been hitting new highs on an almost daily basis and recently crossed the $1,200 mark. So is there a bitcoin bubble about to burst?

As of this writing, bitcoin is up almost 30 percent in the past month and over 100 percent in the past year … So is there a bitcoin bubble about to burst?

To try to answer this question, let’s apply the framework for spotting bubbles that I articulated in my 2011 book, “Boombustology: Spotting Financial Bubbles Before They Burst.” The approach is based on the application of five lenses and generates a probabilistic assessment of a forthcoming bust.

Most mainstream economic theories utilize a supply and demand driven price determination model that generally results in prices tending toward equilibrium. I say “tending” because most serious scholars admit that behavioral and informational issues can distort the price at any one point in time, but there exists an overarching belief that such distortions are rapidly ironed out. Markets are, according to this view, basically efficient. Higher prices dampen demand, and lower prices disincentivize supply.

But what if that’s not true? What if higher prices increase demand? Such a dynamic might arise for many reasons, but one eloquent explanation is the “Theory of Reflexivity,” as proposed by George Soros. Although it has many subtleties beyond the “self-fulfilling” logic that many ascribe to it, the underlying implication is that prices can and do tend away from equilibrium. The result: booms and busts.

So has the higher bitcoin price been accompanied by higher demand? It’s unclear. The evidence is mixed. On the one hand, it sure seems that as news about and interest in bitcoin rises, so does its price. It’s been seen as a safe-haven asset during times of elevated geopolitical, financial or regulatory risk and may even attract price-insensitive buyers at those times. But on the other hand, the volume of trading has not gone up as prices have. And while volume is at best a crude proxy for demand, it tells us about the general activity level. Lens one: half-check.

Another telltale sign of a bubble is the presence of significant leverage supporting lofty prices. And while it’s unclear if bitcoin prices are bubbly or not, I don’t see any evidence that leverage is fueling the potentially elevated prices. There are no futures contracts that enable large exposures with minimal collateral. There are no options that provide de facto leverage. Sure, some investors may be utilizing other collateral to secure credit that is in turn used to buy bitcoin, but this is impossible to track.

Another telltale sign of a bubble is the presence of significant leverage supporting lofty prices.

But more importantly, perhaps, we can look at the amount of debt that has been holding up many of the countries that back traditional fiat currencies. (Hint: it’s not a small number!) In addition, the fact that printing presses around the world continue to print more and more money implies that traditional currencies are being debased at an alarming rate. With a fixed algorithmic release of additional bitcoins into the market and a cap on the total number that will ultimately be issued, the cryptocurrency represents a non-printable currency (similar in this respect to gold). Lens two: blank.

Overconfidence and new-era thinking are the hallmarks of my third lens, psychology. Whenever individuals develop a devout belief that “it’s different this time,” buyers beware. It is rarely different, and asset prices have never risen indefinitely. Rather, they generally go up and down, and in this regard, bitcoin prices are no different.

It’s also clear that there is increasing agreement that cryptocurrencies are the “new new thing” and offer the promise of freedom from authoritarian manipulation of monetary instruments. Even investor Peter Thiel noted the promise of bitcoin by highlighting his own failure: “Paypal had these goals of starting a new currency. We failed at that, and we just created a new payment system. I think bitcoin has succeeded on the level of new currency.”

And like gold bugs, bitcoin believers tend to exhibit religious conviction in the cryptocurrency’s ability to store value. They often go further, suggesting the amazing upside potential they exhibit. Internet analyst Henry Blodget has even suggested bitcoins could be worth $1 million per coin. In fact, CNBC’s Brian Kelly described bitcoin as “not just digital gold … it is a once-in-a-generation investment opportunity, similar to the internet, growing just as fast, if not faster … it’s the internet of money.” Lens three: check.

My fourth lens is politics, broadly defined to include both regulations and moral hazards. As with any asset, regulations can distort prices by either artificially increasing or dampening supply or demand.

Just think of what happened when political motivations to increase home ownership in the United States nudged more and more people into houses. Without the political incentives, prices may not have risen as handsomely as they did during the housing bubble. Further, the moral hazard endemic in the use of government sponsored mortgage finance enabled lenders to play a game of “heads I win, tails you lose.” If loans worked out, the lender profited. If it didn’t, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac bore the losses.

When it comes to bitcoin, are there any artificial government interventions that are supporting bitcoin prices? No. On the contrary, regulators are trying to discourage interest in bitcoin. Just look to China, where its major bitcoin exchanges were effectively shut down last month by government officials. But as noted by Elaine Ou in Bloomberg View, “even China can’t kill bitcoin.” Bitcoin prices briefly fell upon the news, but quickly recovered and marched higher. They’re up more than 25 percent in the three weeks since China tried to control trading.

And when it comes to moral hazard, there are no signs of it in bitcoin land. No one bailed out those who lost millions when bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy. No regulator prevented or intervened to manage the governance disputes that arose on the bitcoin algorithm. Many bitcoin market participants are transacting with open eyes, fully aware of the risks of doing so. There is no FDIC protection, no Federal Reserve put. Lens four: blank.

Kolin Burges, a self-styled cryptocurrency trader and former software engineer who came from London, holds a placard to protest against Mt. Gox. Tokyo-based Mt. Gox was a founding member and one of the three elected industry representatives on the board of the Bitcoin Foundation. Photo by Toru Hanai/Reuters

An application of epidemic logic to the study of financial bubbles can help gauge the relative maturity of manias. If we analogize an investment hysteria to a fever or flu spreading through a population, the variables of concern to us would include the infection rate, the removal rate, and perhaps most importantly, the percentage of the population not (yet) affected. The last metric can be thought of as the fuel available to keep the fire burning. Once we run out of people to infect, so to say, the party’s over. New demand will disappear. Prices will fall.

When it comes to bitcoin, the number of potential buyers (that is, those still vulnerable to infection) is very large indeed. To begin, it’s not particularly easy to buy bitcoin, and that’s deterred institutional investors. Specialized exchanges, online wallets and the need to protect private keys create huge friction in transactions, keeping many potential bitcoin buyers away. There isn’t an ETF, at least not yet. Stay tuned, however, as an ETF is in the works. And if approved (we’ll know more later this month), the Wall Street Journal notes it might generate a buying frenzy with up to $300 million of inflows during the first week alone, a volume that dwarfs the currently traded daily value of any bitcoin exchange.

And with a current market capitalization of around $20 billion, the bitcoin market is miniscule relative to its potential. Consider that the value of privately held gold is in the trillions of dollars or that the global remittances (a potential use for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin) currently tally into the hundreds of billions of dollars. The bottom line is that bitcoin just isn’t as widely held or used as it could be. There is still an enormous population of potential buyers waiting on the sidelines. And in a recent Twitter poll conducted by investor Mark Hart, only 22 percent of respondents indicated that they were “Max Long” bitcoin, with 49 percent “Planning to buy/add” or “Curious.” Lens 5: blank.

So on my five-point scale, with five being a “virtually certain bubble likely to burst imminently,” bitcoin only registers one and half points. On the margin, this means that the stage may be set for it to become a bubble, but it doesn’t appear to be one yet. It may one day become a full-blown bubble with high bursting risk, but the evidence doesn’t suggest we’re there yet. Recall that government attempts to contain bitcoin have failed, anointing the cryptocurrency with a “forbidden fruit” status and driving new demand.  Or that the possibility of an ETF or other investment instrument may emerge to ease the frictions of purchasing bitcoin.

While short-term price corrections are always possible, there are compelling reasons to believe the long-term outlook for blockchain-enabled currencies like bitcoin is bright.

And the promise of smart contracts inspires visions of unprecedented demand for digital currencies. In fact, just yesterday, a collection of large companies including Microsoft and JP Morgan announced they would be forming the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. Ethereum is a distributed computing platform based on blockchain technologies that features the ability to design smart contracts. The cryptocurrency native to Ethereum is ether, and it’s been called “the hottest new thing in digital currency.” As the standard-bearer for cryptocurrencies, bitcoin will benefit from any attention ether generates. (Full disclosure: I own both bitcoin and ether.)

While short-term price corrections are always possible, there are compelling reasons to believe the long-term outlook for blockchain-enabled currencies like bitcoin is bright. If you’re looking for beanie babies, you best look elsewhere.

And the promise of smart contracts inspires visions of unprecedented demand for digital currencies. In fact, just yesterday, a collection of large companies including Microsoft and JP Morgan announced they would be forming the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. Ethereum is a distributed computing platform based on blockchain technologies that features the ability to design smart contracts. The cryptocurrency native to Ethereum is ether, and it’s been called “the hottest new thing in digital currency.” As the standard-bearer for cryptocurrencies, bitcoin will benefit from any attention ether generates. (Full disclosure: I own both bitcoin and ether.)

While short-term price corrections are always possible, there are compelling reasons to believe the long-term outlook for blockchain-enabled currencies like bitcoin is bright. If you’re looking for beanie babies, you best look elsewhere.

BY Vikram Mansharamani  March 3, 2017


From Thomas Prendergast

I have become a serious advocate of the Blockchain. Bitcoin is the leading edge and as it rises it will create a vacuum behind it. Look at Ethereum.  It has risen exponentially right behind Bitcoin as well as almost all the crypto coins in the exchanges. This is why I promoted MCW (Now known as Infinity) because their technology is leaps and bounds above all other blockchains (and coins). It is only a matter of time for Infinity Coin (XIN) to start listing in the exchanges. As the Crypto blockchain advances and breaks into mainstream, huge fortunes will be made.

I am now invested in another tech op called "The Coin Club" where your Bitcoin deposits will easily receive greater growth by at least a factor of 10 than in traditional bank accounts (as well as the increased value on the open markets). And the system also rewards you with promoting the Coin Club with commissions from other new members that deposit Bitcoin into there.

I am promoting “The Coin Club” for many reasons. Awareness of Bitcoin has broken out of the exclusive club of engineers and Bitcoin culture and has recently entered into Main Stream awareness. Bitcoin is in another rally and with the potential assignment of the ETF to Gemini (Winklevoss twins) offers a solid speculation of Millions of massive investment into Bitcoin potentially doubling tripling or more the current value of Bitcoin.

Therefor I highly recommend setting up a Gemini account ASAP. Go to http://gemini.com. There are limits to territories they cover and other alternatives are the following:

  1. Kraken:https://www.kraken.com/
  2. Genesis: https://genesistrading.com/
  3. Coinbase: https://www.coinbase.com/join
  4. Bitstamp: https://www.bitstamp.net/
  5. List of exchanges: http://www.toptenreviews.com/money/investing/best-bitcoin-exchanges/

Once you have Bitcoin or already have Bitcoin, then join “The Coin Club” were automated trading will increase your coin investment, where you will find your coin nest grow. Promote the system and receive additional Bitcoin commissions from your downline. Many people in The Coin Club are making 10-5- Bitcoins per mo9nth in commissions. Do not discount this system. There are many people I know who are moving millions of Bitcoins into the Coin Club because the trades represent substantial growth that5 eclipses traditional banks and investments.

Especially as Bitcoin climbs to numbers into the $10’s of 1000s, do not doubt it. 1000s of experts and pundits are convinced Bitcoin will reach 1 million dollars a coin within years.

Please do not hesitate. It sucks to not pay attention and regret not taking this serious.

The Coin Club
https://office.tradecoinclub.com/register/infinitycoin

Thomas Prendergast
CEO and Founder
Markethive Inc.

 

Thomas Prendergast

Winklevoss Twins Await Imminent SEC Decision on Bitcoin ETF

Winklevoss Twins Await Imminent SEC Decision on Bitcoin ETF

  • They’re one of three groups vying to gain regulatory approval
  • A bitcoin ETF could attract $300 million in assets in a week

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss will know within days whether they’ve won approval to begin offering their bitcoin-based exchange traded fund, with the digital currency’s record rally hanging in the balance.

Officials from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission met with the twins on Feb. 14 to discuss their proposal for an ETF based on the digital currency, according to a short notice of the meeting published on Feb. 22. A decision is due by March 11. The 35-year-old twins want to trade the security on the Bats BZX Exchange Inc.

An approved ETF would make bitcoin investing simple for small traders and institutions, while potentially boosting the digital currency just as it’s hitting new highs almost daily. Some $300 million could pour into a bitcoin ETF in its first week, Spencer Bogart, head of research at venture-capital investor Blockchain Capital, said in an interview.

“I’d be very surprised if it did anything but double from whatever levels it is at beforehand,” Bogart said.

Bitcoin rose as high as $1,263.49 on Thursday, an intraday record, passing the price of an ounce of gold. It has gained 28 percent this year, as investors worried about global uncertainties and speculated on a more relaxed regulatory environment for the currency under President Trump. Hopes for the ETF have been a factor as well.

The Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust is one of three such vehicles seeking regulatory approval — and the advantages that come with being first. The others are Bitcoin Investment Trust, a creation of Barry Silbert, who had previously built a market for selling shares in private companies, and SolidX Bitcoin Trust.

Digital Asset Services, the sponsor of the Winklevoss ETF, declined to comment. Silbert and Ivan Brightly, chief operating officer of SolidX, also wouldn’t comment. The Winklevoss twins may be best known for accusing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg of stealing their idea for a social-media network, a case they ultimately settled.

Long-Term Edge?

SEC approval could give enormous power and riches to the winner for years to come. Just look at gold: SPDR Gold Shares ETF, started in 2004, has more than four times higher the market value of iShares Gold Trust ETF, started in 2005.

“This is the first-to-market race,” Chris Burniske, an analyst at Ark Investment Management LLC, said in an interview.

Trading bitcoin now is no easy thing. Investors have to open bitcoin wallet accounts, then purchase bitcoins via online exchanges. Or they can invest in Bitcoin Investment Trust, which trades over the counter, often at a hefty premium to the cryptocurrency. A last possibility is Ark, which operates an ETF with 5 percent exposure to blockchain — the database technology underlying bitcoin — and peer-to-peer computing.

With a publicly traded ETF, small investors could just call their brokers or buy shares online.

Approval is by no means certain. On BitMEX, a contract betting on approval of the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust spiked to an all-time high of 70 percent on Feb. 28, before crashing to 53 percent on March 1. Neena Mishra, director of ETF Research at Zacks Investment Research, pegs the chances at 40 percent.

Regulatory Question

The biggest unknown is whether the regulators will conclude that bitcoin, a digital currency created on and managed by computers, lends itself to being a part of an ETF at all. Whether it’s secure enough, for example. Exchange Mt. Gox had many of its bitcoins stolen several years ago. Last summer, a project running on a blockchain technology similar to bitcoin’s got hacked and lost millions of dollars of investors’ funds.

Bitcoin has similarities to currencies, as well as commodities like gold — since there’s a limited number, it could be considered a scarce resource. What ultimately matters is how the SEC sees it.

“Bitcoin is not a stock, it’s not a bond, it’s not a hard asset like precious metal, it’s not a commodity future,” Ben Johnson, director of global ETF and passive strategies research at Morningstar Inc., said in an interview. “It’s a technology that’s very much in its infancy, and it’s not something that in my mind lends itself to being packaged as an ETF.”

An SEC rejection of the Winklevoss proposal could help one of the other bitcoin ETFs seeking regulatory approval.

“If the Winklevoss (ETF) gets rejected, they’ll get a brief explanation, which will help the other guys figure out how to get theirs through,” said Adam Wyatt, chief operating officer at BullBear Analytics, a researcher focused on bitcoin and other digital currencies. “If it’s approved, all the other guys copy that and do whatever needs to be done to get approved.”

Bitcoin Investment Trust, which filed in January to list on the NYSE Arca, already trades over the counter. Bank of New York Mellon is the trust’s transfer agent. And SolidX has a big differentiator: It promises to insure its bitcoins from loss — something that could boost its chances of approval, Zacks’ Mishra said.

The Winklevoss’s ETF, which first filed with the SEC in July of 2013, has amended its S-1 filing multiple times over the years to address regulators’ concerns. It’s represented by the law firm of Ropes & Gray. The twins have also secured State Street Bank & Trust Co. as the administrator of the trust. They already operate the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange, catering to institutional and retail investors.

“All that adds up,” Eric Balchunas, an ETF analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, said in an interview. “If they are going approve one, it’s going to be Winklevoss first. And they kind of deserve it.”

by
Olga Kharif

March 2, 2017, 3:00 AM MST
 

Why joining the Coin Club makes sense.

https://office.tradecoinclub.com/register/infinitycoin

 

 
 

Thomas Prendergast

How to Build an Inbound Marketing Strategy in 24 Hours

How to Build an Inbound Marketing Strategy in 24 Hours

  • "I'm active on social media."
  • "I'm blogging regularly."
  • "I'm using SEO best practices."
  • "I feel like I'm doing everything right, but I'm not seeing results."

Do any of these statements sound familiar? A lot of marketers and CEOs we talk to feel like they are doing all the right things.  But, they aren't achieving their goals.

A recent survey from DM (Direct Marketing) News confirms this is common. 46% of the executives surveyed, stated that a "lack of an effective strategy" was the biggest obstacle in achieving their inbound marketing goals.

So why is everyone struggling? I'm not quite sure as to WHY, but in this blog, I'll show you HOW you can overcome this obstacle…and overcome it in the next 24 hours.  Let's roll!

What is Strategy?

First, let's identify what strategy actually is. It really doesn't have to be that complicated.  Strategy is simply a plan of action designed to achieve an expected goal.  So, we need a goal to get started. For the purpose of this article, let's say that our goal is to generate 50 qualified leads per month for my sales goal.

A worthy goal.

Now, we need a plan of action that will get us there.

Note: You may have a different inbound marketing goal, so just apply this same framework in order to backtrack from your goal, to an activity plan.

Identify Audience

If we're going to generate 50 qualified leads per month for your sales quota, we need to define a "quality lead". Let's pretend we're a coffee distributor that provides energizing weight loss coffee for coffee drinkers, dieters, fitness, etc.  If we can get a “Sample” Request, a pre enrolled lead, we consider that a quality lead.

Okay, so now we've got an audience and we know what a quality lead is.  We're getting closer to being able to build our plan of action.

Action Steps for Identifying Your Audience:

  1. Nail down your target market. Target Market Example: Diet sites located in the United States, health clubs that are doing between $500,000 and $20M in revenue annually.
  2. Talk to the sales team and establish what a quality lead is. In this case, we know we need 50 Sample Requests and Pre Enrollments each month.

Time Estimate: 2 hours

  1. Honestly, this should be something you already know (your target market).But give yourself an hour to talk to a few people inside your sphere, friend networks and groups, read through your messaging, and establish who you're really after.
  2. Give yourself another hour to talk to a few reps or the sales people in your network. Or potentially, set up a conference and invite others in your network that is similar in their business to yours.

Identify Where Your Audience Lives Online

Once we know who our audience is and what our goal is, we need to locate our audience.  Where are they online?  You'll want to look at social media, blogs, websites, and forums.  Make a big list!  Here's what I might do if I were looking for vertical markets.

First, I'd dive into social media. I know LinkedIn is better for B2B, so I head there first.  There are tons of various groups, so I started looking for groups full of my audience. A quick search for "dieters" brings up 978 different groups.

I will continue my search for "fitness", " coffee drinkers ", and "weight loss".  After spending some time gathering a list, hopefully I've identified at least 500 solid groups that have my target audience.  

Next, I'll explore other social media options to see if there is anything market specific.  After spending some time on Google, I run across Over Coffee, a social network for coffee drinkers, marketers and socializers.

Still further, I'll spend some time on Google again looking for blogs, forums and other websites where I might find my audience. As an example, it is a pretty sure assumption the Fast Diet forum fits.
https://thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/

Another excellent tip is searching for the topics in Discuss. Since Discuss has no search abilities, Google comes in handy. But you have to know the tricks to search. I made a little video here to explain how quickly.

At the end of this research process, you should easily have 500-1000 websites (forums, blogs and other websites), groups (on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook) and communities (on Google+) on your list. Now, we're getting somewhere! We're narrowing down the Web and locating the corners in which we want to spend our time and effort.

Action Steps for Finding Your Audience:

  1. Spend time looking at social media, websites, blogs and forums for your target audience.
  2. Create a master list with links to these places. Utilizing Markethive’s Backlink System, you can track backlinks, store login data, and manage campaigns easily.

Time Estimate: 4 hours

  1. Don't shortchange yourself here.Put in the time to locate your audience.This step will serve you well for many inbound campaigns into the future, so spend about four hours doing your research.
  2. Create the list in your MH backlinks as you go along.

Identify Pains, Problems, Questions

Ok, just to re-cap.  We now know:

  1. Our goal
  2. Who we're targeting
  3. Where they live online

Now, it's time to dig for pain. As you're doing your research and visiting groups, websites and blogs with your audience, start listening. What does that mean, really? How do you listen? What are you listening for?

What you want to do is listen to the problems that your audience is expressing. You want to write down the questions they are asking.  Write down the things they are complaining about. You want to be able to speak their language.

You'll start to see different discussion questions, comments on blogs, or frustrations. Here are a few sample discussion topics I pulled from a LinkedIn Group full of dieters.

Obviously, you want to identify challenges and pains around the product or service you offer, but sometimes you can get some really powerful insight just by writing down any common questions or problems. You'll start to see some trends.

As you'll see in the next section, we want to use these questions, pains and problems in our content and messaging.

Action Steps for Identifying Pains, Problems and Questions:

Go to 10-20 places on your master list and start copying and pasting your audience's discussions and questions.

Time Estimate: 2 hours

This should take you about 2 hours, but don't be afraid to spend 3 or 4 if you feel you're not seeing any trends.

Create a Content Calendar

Alright, now we're ready to create a content calendar. Most people want to rush into this step because it feels like you're accomplishing something. However, this step won't be worth much if you haven't dedicated the time to your research.

There are articles that walk through this step in much more detail, so I'm not going to do that.  This will be a high level overview.

Basically, now that we've got a sense for what our audience is dealing with, we can brainstorm some effective blog titles, maybe some webinar topics and definitely some e-book ideas. If we think back to our goal of 50 qualified leads per month, you might be asking, "How many blog articles should I be writing?" or "How many capture pages, do I need?"

You can make an educated guess, but this is always the unknown with strategy. (Strategy is a high level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty)  You make the best plan of action you can to achieve your goal, but you'll need to adjust your plan over time depending on how close you are getting to that goal.

Based on my experience, without knowing how much traffic this hypothetical website is getting or how many leads it's currently generating, you'll want to be creating 2-3 blog posts per week.

With your blog posts WordPress plugin, your Markethive blog system becomes a BlogCasting system.

  1. The subscribing potential your blogs will have with other Markethive social members. Case in point the Proprietary subscribe system.
  2. Blog Casting option that allows others to “plagiarize” your work with your permission thereby automatically taking an exact copy of your blog to their account
  3. The Markethive Blogcasting Word Press plugin allows your blog articles massive syndication to other Markethive members Word Press blogs.
  4. The SNAP plugin for Word Press then allows greater broadcasting to over 25 social networks and literally millions of LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ groups and Twitter hash tagged directories.

    The potential of just the “SNAP | Word Press | Markethive Broadcast” plugins can literally build reaches into the billions. We know because we have achieved this.

You'll also want to have at least two or three e-books that you can leverage to capture leads. This is not a difficult process. Spend some time writing your story, your perspective of the industry you are chasing. For instance I have written the following ebooks (7):

You also have Markethive to offer. It is a million dollar platform, offering a monthly service others charge $1000s for, with free membership. But if you are in a vertical market, like diets or coffee, you might want to offer ebooks, live webinars, samples, etc.

In addition to the e-books, you'll want to integrate the Markethive nurturing program that moves leads down the funnel towards the level of being joined to you as an Alpha Entrepreneur.  Markethive’s lead nurturing system is a quantum leap from other so called lead nurturing when in reality they are nothing more than disguised email espionage.

Don’t know how to produce an ebook? No problem, I wrote a blog on how and why just for you.

https://markethive.com/group/marketingdept/blog/how-to-write-an-ebook-blog-quickly

The Calendar

Markethive uses Google’s calendar. It is available on all platforms, Droid, iPhone, Tablets, Laptops and Desktops. It integrates with other Google calendar accounts; it allows events, notes, hidden appointments and reminders, to do lists, and sharing with others who have set up a calendar. Like Markethive’s calendar.

(https://calendar.google.com/calendar/embed?showCalendars=0&height=600&wkst=2&bgcolor=%23FFFFFF&src=calendarmarkethive@gmail.com&color=%235229A3&ctz=America/Denver )

Action Steps for Content Calendar:

  1. Brainstorm blog topics, e-book and/or webinar topics.
  2. Map out how many blog articles you'll need to create each week.
  3. Plan your e-book creation.
  4. Plan your lead nurturing sequences.

Time Estimate: 2 hours

  1. Spend 1 hour brainstorming topics and titles.
  2. 15 minutes for mapping out your blog calendar.
  3. 20 minutes for planning out your e-books.
  4. 20 minutes mapping out your lead nurturing sequences.

Create a Promotions Plan

Your promotions plan is just as important, if not more important that your content plan and calendar.  Most marketers feel like once they hit "publish", it's time to start working on the next piece.  Not true!  Once you hit publish, it's time to go to work promoting that article.

You spent time writing it, editing it, finding an amazing photo and placing a relevant call to action.  Now, it's time to zero in on our audience and share that content with them. This is how we'll drive people back to your content, they'll click on your e-books, receive your emails and ultimately sign up for that demo, service or product!

Creating your promotional plan will be much easier now that you've got a master list of where your audience lives. You'll be able to share your blog articles as discussions in exactly the right Facebook Groups, Google Groups, LinkedIn Groups and Twitter automatically as you blog. (it is a SNAP)
See blog on video on SNAPPING
https://markethive.com/group/marketingdept/blog/the-reach-aka-blog-casting

You'll be able to comment on other websites and blogs and reference your content in a super relevant fashion because you know exactly what your audience’s challenges and pains are. You'll be able to craft blog titles that are irresistible to your audience because you studied their problems and pains.

Your promotions plan should basically be the time you spend promoting your article to all the places on your master list. It might look something like this:

Blog Title: Lose Weight with Coffee

Promotion:

Create a discussion in all 20 LinkedIn Groups and frame it with the question "What is your biggest weight lose challenge right now?"

Share article on Twitter using the hashtags #coffee diet #lose weight with coffee #healthy coffee. Rotate hashtags. Schedule 10-20 Tweets over the next 30 days. (Markethive automates this)

Jump into a couple of forums and find the discussions around coffee and diet.  Add value to the discussion and add a link to the blog post as a reference point.

Find individual dieters on Facebook Groups or other websites and send a personal email with a link to the article.

Send out an email to all current leads in the database and share the article.

So, your promotions plan will have some activity that you'll do every time you create a blog post.  Then, for specific  topics, you may have additional activities you'll want to add that make sense based on the topic.

Action Steps for Content Calendar:

Write out all the possible promotional activities you might have for a specific blog post.   Each time you publish, go to that list and execute as many as possible!

Time Estimate: 1 hour

  1. Spend an hour brainstorming all the ways you could promote a blog post, e-book or piece of content.

Your Strategy

Phew!  There's a lot of work there, but you can do it… and you can do it in less than 24 hours!  The total time spent in this process totals 11 hours.  Obviously, it would be a long work day to push through these activities, but you'll be setting yourself up for success over the next several months, if not years. If you can't block off an entire day to do this, spend a couple hours each day for a week and you'll be all set.

Your goals and strategy will change over time, but I wanted to break down a very simplistic way to create a strategy quickly and start moving forward.

Just to re-cap what you need to do:

  1. What is your goal?
  2. Who are you targeting?
  3. Where do they live online?
  4. Develop your content calendar.
  5. Create a promotional list.

I'm curious… how much time do you spend on research before diving into content creation?

Thomas Prendergast

Malta’s PM: The Rise of Cryptocurrencies ‘Cannot Be Stopped’

European regulators should embrace cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, the prime minister of Malta argued in a speech yesterday.

Speaking at the CEPS Ideas Lab in Brussels on 23rd February, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat argued that governments in the European Union should "double down" on the tech, which he pointed out is slowly catching on amongst the bloc’s financial institutions, according to a transcript published by Live News Malta.

Muscat's remarks were in the context of reinvigorating the EU, which has faced rising socio-economic pressures in recent years. He also proposed that leaders in the bloc create financial mechanisms to invest in areas that may be inclined to leave the EU, as was with the case of the UK's so-called "Brexit" vote last year.

Though prefacing his statements by saying that he is opting to advocate for "outright insane" sounding ideas, Muscat argued that "the rise of cryptocurrencies can be slowed but cannot be stopped".

He went on to tell event attendees:

"My point is that rather than resist, European regulators should innovate and create mechanisms in which to regulate cryptocurrencies, in order to harness their potential and better protect consumers, while making Europe the natural home of innovators."

Among the firms in Europe testing the tech is Malta’s primary stock exchange, which in December formed an internal "Blockchain Committee" dedicated to exploring how the exchange might utilize the tech.

The exchange further indicated its intention to set up a domestic blockchain consortium in Malta, aimed at creating a basis for the development of new applications.

Chris COrey CMO Markethive 

Image via Wikimedia

EUMalta

 (@mpmcsweeney)

 

Thomas Prendergast

As Bitcoin ETF Nears, Analysts Warn of Trading Frenzy

As Bitcoin ETF Nears, Analysts Warn of Trading Frenzy

Some predict a speculative rush if SEC approves a new fund in March

If the Securities and Exchange Commission approves a bitcoin exchange-traded fund next month, it might set off a speculative rush into bitcoin.

An easily accessed ETF that tracks the value of bitcoin could cause money to flood into the fledgling bitcoin market, analysts say. Indeed, what some see as a chance for average investors to participate in one of the great financial innovations of recent years could set off a trading frenzy in an already wild market.

“My concern is that the launch of an ETF could lead to irrational exuberance if the price of bitcoin appreciates dramatically,” says Christopher Burniske, blockchain-products lead at money manager and research firm ARK Investment Management. ARK invests in Bitcoin Investment Trust, an ETF-like fund that already trades over the counter but currently is only available to wealthy investors

After a nearly four-year wait, the SEC faces a deadline of March 11 to decide on a rule change that would allow the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust ETF to trade on the Bats Global Market exchange.

Two other funds have filed similar applications that would offer ordinary investors broader access to bitcoin investing as well: Bitcoin Investment Trust, run by tech entrepreneur Barry Silbert, and SolidX Bitcoin Trust, run by SolidX Partners, are waiting for the SEC to rule on their applications to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

There’s no guarantee that any of these applications will succeed. But most bitcoin observers say that a bitcoin ETF is an inevitability eventually.

If Bitcoin Investment Trust obtains SEC approval, it would likely mark Mr. Silbert as a new style of Wall Street wunderkind. Similarly, if the Winklevoss twins, Tyler and Cameron, succeed with their ETF, they would see vindication after they were elbowed out of social-networking phenomenon Facebook.

Further, the Winklevosses stand to gain from any price increase caused by the ETF as they are among the largest individual holders of bitcoin—alongside Mr. Silbert’s fund.

The Winklevosses declined to comment, through a representative; Mr. Silbert said, in an email, that his lawyers had put him on “total lockdown” with the press since filing for his fund’s NYSE listing.

How bitcoin works

The novel nature of bitcoin—essentially a chain of numbers linked to another number on a public ledger stored in the internet cloud—intrigues investors but has given the SEC pause.

Andrew Odlyzko, a mathematician at the University of Minnesota, compares bitcoin to the Pacific island of Yap, where long ago the people carved giant stone currency and ferried it across the ocean in canoes. On one voyage, according to an anthropologist’s work, a boulder fell off the boat. The community decided to recognize the value of the stone at the bottom of the sea, making it a virtual currency.

“Everybody knew it was there; nobody could see it; nobody could touch it…but it was there,” Mr. Odlyzko says.

Once a bitcoin is created in a computer “mining” process, the community recognizes ownership of the invisible abstraction through two numbers produced in that process. One is the public key, which is like the owner’s PayPal address. Anyone can send bitcoin to this address. The other is the private key, a number that is mathematically linked to the public key but is revealed only to the owner of the bitcoin.

Bitcoin has proved useful as a low-cost way of moving money around the world. But its price is volatile. Last year alone, bitcoin closed in a daily trading range between $358 and $993, according to data provider CoinDesk.

SEC’s task

Since the Winklevosses applied for approval of their ETF in 2013, the SEC has teased out the many, often bizarre risks of a bitcoin ETF. Among the issues: Could robots hijack more than half of the mining capacity and bring the whole system down? Could the bitcoin universe split in two as a rival cryptocurrency did? Could the fund be hacked?

(Closely held SolidX, based in New York City, and the smaller entrant in the race, distinguishes itself from the other two by promising to insure its bitcoin.)

Spencer Bogart, an analyst who follows bitcoin for boutique brokerage Needham & Co., says the Winklevosses have addressed security concerns—planning, for example, to keep private keys locked inside offline computers, which would themselves be locked away in secure locations. Multiple individuals in multiple locations would have to grant access simultaneously to a bad actor wanting to see the keys, he says, for a theft to occur—an event he considers unlikely.

Still, Mr. Bogart figures the SEC could refuse approval on more pedestrian grounds: a perceived conflict of interest because the Winklevosses have kept so many important fund functions in-house.

‘It’s just really difficult to grab that amount of bitcoin quickly.’

—Bitcoin analyst Spencer Bogart on the $300 million he says would flood into the ETF in the first week

“I don’t believe there’s any ETF that trades in the U.S. where a single entity is the sponsor of the ETF, the provider of reference price for the underlying asset and the custodians of underlying asset, and that is what the Winklevosses are proposing,” says Mr. Bogart, adding that the Winklevosses likely used proprietary indexes and security for reasons of design rather than personal gain.

In a November letter to the SEC, Kyle Murray, a lawyer for Bats, argued that the disclosure of the Winklevosses’ multiple roles and the involvement of independent auditors and administrators mitigated any potential conflicts.

The small size of the bitcoin market, however, could still be an impediment to orderly fund trading. Across all U.S. exchanges tracked by data provider CoinDesk, the average daily volume of bitcoin traded is about $30 million. Much more trading occurs in China, but those exchanges wouldn’t be used by a U.S. fund, Mr. Bogart says, because they function in an opaque manner.

Mr. Bogart estimates that at least $300 million would come into any approved ETF in the first week, as a convenient door to bitcoin opens up to investors. Institutional investors like pension funds haven’t been able to partake in bitcoin because many of their charters require that portfolio securities are registered with authorities.

Mr. Burniske says it’s impossible to buy $2 million of bitcoin on any given day on U.S. exchanges without moving the market.

Yet, for every share of the ETF sold, an “authorized participant”—the fund’s market maker—will have to buy an equivalent amount of bitcoin.

“The market will feel the effect of authorized participants going out there and looking to source [$300 million,] 10 times more than the daily volume that goes through any of the exchanges,” says Bobby Cho, who trades bitcoin in “institutional sizes” for proprietary trading firm Cumberland Mining, a bitcoin-focused unit of Chicago-based proprietary trading firm DRW.

“It’s just really difficult to grab that amount of bitcoin quickly,” says Mr. Bogart.

If the Winklevoss fund isn’t approved, the closest thing to an ETF will be Bitcoin Investment Trust, which uses a private-trust structure and is managed by Grayscale Investments LLC, a unit of Digital Currency Group Inc. Only accredited investors can buy the shares on the primary private market, where they are priced in line with bitcoin. The investors must keep holdings for a lockup period of a year. Then they can sell on a secondary market, the over-the-counter OTCQX, where they currently sell at a 15% premium to the value of the underlying bitcoin, a margin that has been even wider in the past.

Strong demand and perhaps a lack of sophistication are causing OTC traders to overpay for the shares, Mr. Bogart and others say. The private trust had $162 million in assets under management as of Dec. 31. This size makes its actions influential in bitcoin markets.

 

 

 

Thomas Prendergast

Microsoft Announces Availability of R3’s Corda Blockchain Platform on Azure

Microsoft Announces Availability of R3’s Corda Blockchain Platform on Azure

R3’s blockchain software Corda, developed by the Fintech startup alongside 70 of the world’s biggest banks forming the R3 consortium, is now available on Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, Azure.

Announced quietly last week, the revelation comes soon after Corda’s code was contributed to the Linux Foundation-led Hyperledger Project on November 30. R3 first announced its decision to go open-source with Corda, the product of its Concord blockchain product, in October this year.

Elaborating on R3’s year-long development, Richard Brown, technology chief at R3 claims:

Corda is a distributed ledger platform designed from the ground up to record, manage and synchronize financial agreements between regulated financial institutions. It is heavily inspired by and captures the benefits of blockchain systems, without the design choices that make blockchains inappropriate for many banking scenarios.

Corda’s availability is the latest offering and addition of Microsoft’s blockchain services toolkit called Project Bletchley. First announced in June 2016, Project Bletchley is Microsoft’s endeavor to push for “an open, modular blockchain fabric powered by Azure.” Fundamentally, Microsoft is looking to provide comprehensive solutions with blockchain technology for customers on various platforms, as Blockchain as a Service (BaaS).

R3’s Blockchain Demo Available

Microsoft’s announcement includes a demo offering of Corda via virtual machine image. While this author hasn’t tried the demo prior to publishing, Microsoft claims the demonstration will showcase Corda’s capabilities through real-world scenarios such as interest rate swap deals. Details reveal that deployment will take 3-5 minutes for the virtual machine to be created, one which will deploy a multi-member Corda demo network. The demo isn’t charged, but usage of Microsoft’s resources including storage, networking and computing will be billed.

R3’s blockchain software Corda is now available on Microsoft’s clould computing platform, Azure.

Brown’s comments above point to a marked difference in the ‘design choices’ made by Corda compared to a public blockchain, like bitcoin’s ledger. These choices include developing the Corda blockchain platform within the confines of legal and regulatory frameworks, a focus on privacy and the means to achieve a modular consensus.

R3’s CTO added:

By making simple Corda demos available on the Azure Marketplace, R3 and Microsoft are making it easy for newcomers to experience Corda for themselves before joining the community.

R3’s efforts to push its blockchain product for wider adoption (with its notable call to go open-source) comes during a time when the New York-based startup is losing some of its notable banking members. The likes of Goldman SachsMorgan Stanley and Banco Santander have all decided to exit the consortium after a year’s membership.

Images from Shutterstock.

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Chris Corey 

CMO Markethive Inc

 

Thomas Prendergast

Bitcoin Latency Solved!

Bitcoin’s Big Problem: Transaction Delays Renew Blockchain Debate

Bitcoin is facing a major problem as the time it takes transactions to be processed has increased dramatically leading businesses to stop accepting the cryptocurrency and others to issue warnings that the problems could be terminal.

The problem is not something that has come out of the blue with those within the bitcoin community as well as researchers pointing to this looming issue for some time. The problem relates to how transactions are processed on the blockchain, the decentralized, distributed ledger technology that underpins bitcoin.

The average time it takes for a bitcoin transaction to be verified is now 43 minutes, and some transactions remain unverified forever. Some of the problem stems from the fact that anyone can add a fee to every bitcoin transaction, which bumps that transaction up in the queue, meaning that those who didn’t pay such a fee — or didn’t pay a sufficiently big fee — may be waiting hours and sometimes even days for a transaction to complete.

This is how it works. When someone uses bitcoin to pay for an item in a shop, that transaction needs to be verified on the blockchain. This is done by what are known as miners, individuals or groups who use massive computing power to solve increasingly complex mathematical equations to mine new bitcoins, which come in “blocks” and are mined about every 10 minutes. These blocks are used to record all transactions made on the bitcoin network, and have a maximum size of 1 megabyte (MB), meaning they can record just seven transactions per second at most.

To put this in context, Visa says its payment system processes 2,000 transactions per second on average and can handle up to 56,000 transactions per second if needed.

The result of the slowdown in transaction clearance rates has led some businesses to give up on bitcoin completely while others are recommending users to switch from bitcoin to alternative cryptocurrencies like litecoin.

The problem grew so large this week that at one point there were 40,000 bitcoin transactions waiting to be cleared — though at the time of writing, that figure has dropped to under 10,000. This drop has mirrored a drop in bitcoin’s dollar value this week, going from over $917 on Friday to under $863 yesterday, according to Gemini's tracker.

The bitcoin community has split into two distinct groups over the past years. The first group is known as Bitcoin Core, the network’s volunteer developers who want to change the way the signatures are stored on the blockchain rather than increase the size of the blocks. The other is known as Bitcoin Classic, a group comprised of developers and enthusiasts who propose the adoption of an alternative blockchain (incompatible with the original) that would increase the block size to 2 MB, a move it believes would increase user adoption.

Bitcoin’s architecture worked well when it was not widely used, but with over 200,000 bitcoin transactions processed every day and a market capitalization of over $14,588,828,445, the system is beginning to creak.

The problem was flagged up earlier this year  by one of the main developers of bitcoin over the last five years, Gavin Andresen, who told MIT Technology Review at the time that the problem with bitcoin’s limited transaction rate "is urgent."

"Looking at the transaction volume on the bitcoin network, we need to address it within the next four or five months,” Andresen said.

Then last January, another core bitcoin developer Mike Hearn penned a widely read missive on Medium, which declared bitcoin a failure. “[Bitcoin] has failed because the community has failed,” Hearn said. “What was meant to be a new, decentralized form of money that lacked ‘systemically important institutions’ and ‘too big to fail’ has become something even worse: a system completely controlled by just a handful of people in China.”

These concerns were backed up last month with the release of a research paper from a large group of researchers mostly affiliated with Cornell University, titled “On Scaling Decentralized Blockchain.” The research suggests that bitcoin would need a complete redesign if it is to support a much larger network of users and transactions.

In a blog post this week, Andresen said that the block size limits are there to protect the network from attacks — and so far that method has been effective. He added that the current problems could be highlighting an underlying problem. “In my view, people are using the block size limit for something it was never meant to do — to influence how people use the bitcoin blockchain, forcing some users off the blockchain,” he said.

It is time for a new evolved enterprise solution.

Enter the impending launch of a new type blockchain that is a POS (Proof of Stake) in contrast to Bitcoins POW (Proof of Work).  A truly exponentially expanded distribution that has no latency and gets even faster as it grows.

The technology is in the phone apps, not big cumbersome Mining Computer systems.

And this prevents the density of miners in one area or country as Bitcoin is mostly mined in China. And there are many reasons to have concerns in that regard.

A new type of Blockchain coin that delivers a wallet that transacts all fiat and crypto currency, comes with a VISA debit card and is part of the POS system, thereby earning you money on an ongoing basis.

MCC (My Crypto Coin)

Launches January 10th on to all the exchanges, it will be exciting to watch how this progresses.  MCC is in the final days of a Crowd Funding where you could fund at any level and find yourself holding a fortune as a result. Do not delay. Come to our meetings. There are only a few days left.

To get going join our group in Markethive
https://markethive.com/group/cryptocoin

Thomas Prendergast
Founder and CEO
Markethive Inc.

Thomas Prendergast