A new virtual gold rush is underway.
Even as Bitcoin, riven by internal divisions, has struggled, a rival virtual currency — known as Ethereum — has soared in value, climbing 1,000 percent over the last three months.
Beyond the price spike, Ethereum is also attracting attention from giants in finance and technology, like JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft and IBM, which have described it as a sort of Bitcoin 2.0.
“There exists a bizarre gap in today’s state of financial services.”
That’s the philosophy of Shake, a new startup in the bitcoin world that is (unsurprisingly) trying to pitch a payment method that doesn’t involve banks, governments or regulators. Instead, its latest product rollout is all about making bitcoin and digital currency payments easier to make.
Which, in this case, means tapping into the power of NFC.
“What could happen if we link bitcoin to the existing financial infrastructure?” the company wrote in a recent blog post. Well, according to the startup, that means enabling more consumers to use bitcoin wallets, where they can pay by using their mobile device to tap — and that starts with contactless-enabled terminals (which the startup claims will work with its Android app).
“All contactless-enabled terminals around the world will now accept your phone as a method of payment,” the company confirms on its blog, which also details its plans to enable virtual bitcoin cards to be used for online payments.
There is no denying the banking sector has seen very little to no real innovation for quite some time now, opening the door for other players to step in and offer something entirely different. In fact, a lot of financial experts see Fintech and Bitcoin as two major threats to the banking system, which would explain the vocal opposition to any solution that is not controlled by a bank or government.
But the Monetary Authority of Singapore sees things different, as they feel both Fintech and Bitcoin are capable of complementing the current financial infrastructure, rather than be competing with banks. A combination of traditional banking with innovative technology and services has the potential to create a powerful and versatile financial ecosystem all over the globe. …
It was only a matter of time until the most recent Bitcoin price spike started receiving some negative attention, and very few people will be surprised it comes from none other than R3 CEV. Although this consortium is seeing its fair share of attention thanks to the growing list of partners in the financial world, many digital currency enthusiasts oppose their ideas of creating permissioned private blockchains.
That being said, the current Bitcoin block size debate has been a significant source of a difference in opinions as well. With both Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Classic developers trying to tackle this issue through different means, addressing scalability of this ecosystem should not be a big hassle. However, several months into the block size debate, the future remains unclear as to which solution will be adopted in the end. …
Bitcoin price finally managed to pop higher, and the biggest positive was the fact that BTC/USD moved above a major resistance area of $420. Once the price broke the stated level, there was a spike towards $427, which clearly shows how important was the resistance zone. The price is currently correcting and moving down, but the bears have to be careful if they are planning to sell BTC versus the USD. …
Bitcoin price reversed quickly from an upward spike on Sunday. Price is currently retracing the spike and may continue doing until reaching its level of origin. Meandering price with no clear direction. Only a directional breakout could clarify this chart, but until then there may be a lot more sideways price action to endure. …
Developed markets make up only 43 percent of global gross domestic product and are generally not required to hold much foreign exchange reserves, yet they have been able toissue 87.5 percent of the world’s bonds. It is emerging market central banks that buy 80 percent of those bonds as foreign exchange reserves to gain market credibility.
Because of financial immaturity, emerging market banks can charge huge fees, and — except for a small band of powerful elites — offer little local access to capital. The general population and the small local merchants remain largely unbanked or underbanked.
The most egregious example of emerging market banks financially hammering the population is the percentage costs for wire transfer and currency exchange fees associated with remittances paid by the more than 250 million people living outside their countries of origin, and the 750 million that live outside their ancestral communities. …
Prominent bitcoin platform CoinKite which has provided the Bitcoin community with secure and robust multi-sig wallets, merchant tools and developer API has announced today that the company will terminate its bitcoin web wallet service and developer API.
Coinkite emphasizes that the team is still a huge supporter of bitcoin and will continue the development of bitcoin-related products. The Coinkite team stated on their blog that the company will drift apart from its software services to hardware products during the next few months. In the meantime, no new user sign-ups will be accepted and the Coinkite platform will not distribute any new API keys.
Coinkite stated legal issues and DDoS attacks as a few major factors behind their decision to terminate its web wallet services. The Coinkite platform has continuously been a victim of intense DDoS attacks since its launch in 2013 and as a centralized bitcoin service, the company has consistently been targeted by government agencies and state actors. …
As the chart shows, we are looking at 421.25 to the downside as in term support, and 424.52 to the upside as in term resistance. It’s a tight range, so we wont be looking at anything intrarange for now – instead we’ll be focusing strictly on breakout entries.
As per the standard rules of our breakout strategy, if the bitcoin price closes above in term resistance, it will signal a long entry. We’ll get into the market with a target of 428 flat (highlighted), and use a stop loss somewhere in the region of 422.5 to keep things tight from a risk management perspective. …
Bitcoin web wallet provider Coinkite is winding down its web wallet service to focus on a number of new products that are “more decentralized and embodied as hardware products.”
A company statement said:
“We’re still big Bitcoin fans, supporters and Hodlrs, and although Coinkite has been great adventure in the SaaS business, we want to spend more time where our heart is, hardware products, software-”not-as-a-service”, and other exciting new possibilities.”
Coinkite management believes that it is time focus on fulfilling Bitcoin’s real potential, and enable individuals and businesses to “Be Their Own Bank”.
The company noted that major factors to the decision were the cost of dealing with both hacking attacks and with government regulators. …