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Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are assets, but calling them currency is a bit exaggeration. The digital coins do not meet the fundamental attributes needed to be classified as currency. These are the words of the Chinese Central Bank adviser, Sheng Songcheng.

The advisor made these comments in an interview with a financial magazine ‘Yicai’ this late Thursday.

The Main Story:

“Bitcoin does not have the fundamental attributes needed to be a currency as it is a string of code generated by complex algorithms… But I do not deny that virtual currencies have technical value and fall under the category of ‘assets’,” he said.

He made these comments after the Chinese Central Bank increased the scrutiny of Bitcoin exchanges in the country earlier this year. The move introduced trading fees and prompted the companies to stop margin lending.

While many governments around the world are still contemplating on how to regulate and classify Bitcoin, the Chinese authorities have already classified Bitcoin as a ‘virtual good’.

Sheng also believes that Bitcoin after being capped in 2140 would make it impossible for it to become a medium of exchange as to become a medium of exchange a currency must meet modern economic development needs which Bitcoin lacks due to it being in an exceedingly small quantity.

He concluded by saying that the fiscal authorities in China should chip away at issuing a central bank virtual currency that it could direct and run properly.

News Credits: CNBC

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Bitcoin vs E-money – Everything you are looking for is here

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Bitcoin vs E-money E-money

In earlier days, the concept of money used to be a physical substance, such as gold and silver. Some ancient cultures used living things as a form of money – cattle were one of the oldest forms of money.

However, the modern world is becoming more technology centered. Ever since the introduction of the internet, everything, from space to schools and shopping centers is dependent on the internet, and even online transactions have suddenly become a THING! More and more people are starting to make online trades, as it gives them the ease to purchase any desired item without having to leave the comfort of their bedroom.

Many of these purchases are often made with e-money or Bitcoin – the most widely used form of digital currency.

The currency first came into circulation in 2009. During that short time span, Bitcoin was able to spark a lot of attention and worldwide interest. As a result, many merchants are now starting to accept Bitcoin payments for their services.

However, despite all the talk about how people nowadays keep themselves updated with the latest technological innovations, many still seem to struggle when it comes to differentiating between Bitcoin and e-money.

In this article, we’ve outlined how E-money and Bitcoin are different from each other. Let us begin.

How are they different?

Electronic Money aka e-money and Bitcoin are two systems for making payments that are digital in nature. Besides that, nothing is common between the two.

Electronic money is a mechanism designed to interact with traditional currency such as Euros and Dollars. Whereas, Bitcoin is an independent cryptocurrency with its developers and users having complete control over it.

Some anonymous programmers using the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto, launched Bitcoin in 2009. It’s a digital file that consists every transaction that has ever happened in the network in its ledger, aka, block chain.

Bitcoins are not like fiat money, they are mined using computer power of high-tech computers in a distributed global network of volunteer “miners”.

The money balance recorded electronically on a stored-value card is electronic money. Unlike Bitcoin, e-money is under the regulations and controlling of the Government central banking system. Banks and customers would have public-key encryption keys. Public-key encryption keys come in pairs. Only the owner knows the private key whereas the public key is available to everyone.

In comparison, Bitcoin is strictly limited to Internet connection but E-money just requires access to electronic devices like mobile phones and an agent network. Also, e-money is equal to the amount of fiat money in exchange for electronic form whereas, Bitcoin has no possibility of reaching the real world in the form of a bill.

Example of a system supporting E-money

M-PESA is a mobile phone money transfer system that had launched in Kenya in 2007. It starts with converting fiat money into an equal e-balance, by only entering the recipient’s mobile number and the transferred amount. The issuer confirms the transaction by sending an SMS to the recipient. The benefit of this method is to eliminate the interference of banks which makes it so popular and successful in Kenya.

e-money

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion:

E-money and Bitcoin have their pros and cons but it is solely the responsibility of the user on how they handle their earnings. If more and more people shift from paper money to virtual currencies, this could irreversibly change our lives and social interactions.

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What is driving Bitcoin’s price up?

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What is driving Bitcoin’s price up?

Bitcoin’s price has been soaring sky high the past few months. It takes everyone by surprise how well the cryptocurrency has been doing.

On April 24th, Erik Voorhees had made a prediction of $300 billion market capitalization on Twitter: “Tokens as an asset class have surpassed $30 billion. I predict over $300 billion within 4 years.”

So, what could be the factors contributing to driving Bitcoin up to new heights?

Through estimates and statistics, it still shows that 85% of the Global Bitcoin trading comes from China. Remaining countries have had a lesser impact. Obviously, due to a large amount of data flowing in from all sides, it’s hard to keep track of the accuracy of everything.

Economists, market analysts and financial experts, like CFA Prableen Bajpaiare, report current fears in China and Asia that the yuan could deflate due to the increased investments in bitcoin.

Other analysts have agreed to this as well: “Signs indicate Bitcoin’s price has become linked to a number of macroeconomic factors in China,” said Vijay Michalik, a research analyst for digital transformation at consultancy Frost & Sullivan.

“It highlights growing concerns about yuan currency deflation, as bitcoin’s appeal has grown as an alternative asset class for a population deprived of many investment choices.”

“The most likely explanation appears to be linked to market confidence in the Asia region, with low confidence in local currencies providing a major boost to bitcoin demand,” said James Lynn, U.K. managing director at investment company Billon Group, in a 2016 CNBC interview.

There has also been a big devaluation of currencies in other emerging markets such as India and Russia. For example, the Indian Rupee had gone down by 20 percent in 2017 compared to the US Dollar.

Even if the USD is rising compared to other currencies, people around the world are still looking for alternatives to it and Bitcoin has seemed to won that competition.

Russia

In 2016, Russians were exchanging their depreciating rubles to bitcoins by a large number. Due to tumbling of the ruble, the Russian Ministry of Finance came up with statements regarding money laundering and the possibility of taxing and regulating Bitcoin as an asset. Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev told Bloomberg in an interview in April 2017. He also added that “The state needs to know who at every moment of time stands on both sides of the financial chain”.

Blockchain companies funding

Bitcoin start-ups that attracted large investments in Bitcoin and blockchain companies, with total funding of $550 million are now increasing the demand for bitcoin in 2017. This had a huge impact on the Bitcoin’s value, causing it to shoot up.

Back to China

Due to the deflation of the yuan currency, Bitcoin value has been very appealing to Monetary policies, Chinese companies, and rich individuals. Also, several big investors are being tempted by Bitcoin. They are all demanding for Bitcoin in China since it is much more stable right now.

Japan, important growth

Things have started to get very interesting in Japan as well. In the last 6 months, what happened to be just 0.91 percent of the total bitcoin trading volume has surprisingly risen to 6 percent in just 30 days. Based on unofficial estimates and data provided by coinmarketcap.com and data.bitcoinity.org. There has been a sudden increase in the demand of Bitcoin in Japan.

What is driving Bitcoin’s price up

Can anything wreck the path Bitcoin is on?

Anything, such as the increase in the price of gold would cause a drop in the value of bitcoin, but this won’t be happening anytime soon. Gold is down 4.58 percent in the last 30 days, which is in favor of Bitcoin.

Also, the altcoins have been grabbing a lot of attention the past few months, but they’re still risky and unstable investments. Whereas, Bitcoin is in a much better shape than most and will be reaching new heights in the near future.

Tags: Bitcoin’s driving price

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A History of Bitcoin Soft Forks and Hard Forks

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Brief History of Bitcoin

Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency, which was launched in 2009 by a mysterious developer, with a name “Satoshi Nakamoto.” Since the creation of Bitcoin, it has inspired thousands of other cryptocurrencies (generally called altcoins) and has gained an enormous acceptance across the world.

bitcoin blockchain

Though some altcoins have copied some aspects from the original concept of Satoshi, other altcoins also made significant development on the Bitcoin model. However, in some cases, some altcoins are just a copy of bitcoin and have the similar underlying program – but at the same time, they are a bit different from the original Bitcoin. In such cases, the bitcoin blockchain should undergo a procedure which is called “forking.”

Forking

  • In forking process, Bitcoin blockchain divided itself into two distinct entities.
  • Through forking, numerous cryptos with a similar name to Bitcoin were generated, including; bitcoin gold and bitcoin cash.
  • It may be a bit difficult for a casual investor to differentiate amid these cryptos and to plan the dissimilar hard forks on a timeline.

What is Genesis Block?

  • After Bitcoin was created, the first block was referred to as “Genesis Block.” It was mined on the Bitcoin blockchain by Satoshi.
  • Satoshi made many changes to the Bitcoin network in this process and those changes have now become even more complex as the userbase of Bitcoin has fully-fledged.
  • Not one can regulate when and how Bitcoin should upgrade, and this makes the entire process of changing/updating the system a little bit more complex.
  • Even after the creation of Genesis Block, a number of hard forks still existed.
  • Hard fork included the upgrading of software executing bitcoin and its mining processes.
  • Once a software is upgraded by a user, that software version discards all other transaction from older software and generates a new branch of the bitcoin blockchain.
  • However, users who use the older software are still going to continue to process transactions, henceforth, there’d be a similar set of transactions going on across two different Blockchains.

Bitcoin XT

  • This is one of the most notable Bitcoin hard forks.
  • In 2014, Mike Hearn made the software for integrating some of the new features that he proposed.
  • At that time, Bitcoin allowed only 7 transactions-per-second.
  • Bitcoin XT was intended to allow 24 transactions-per-second.
  • Bitcoin XT primarily experienced a great success after its launch, with almost 1,000 nodes running its software (back in 2015).
  • However, just after few months, users lost interest in Bitcoin XT, making it ‘doomed to die.’
  • Even though Bitcoin XT is officially available today, but it has visibly tumbled out of the errand of crypto community.

Bitcoin Classic

  • After Bitcoin XT failed, few cryptocurrency community members demanded an increase in the block sizes.

To accomplish this goal, Bitcoin Classic was created in 2016.

  • Unlike Bitcoin XT, Bitcoin Classic intended to raise block size to only 2 megabytes.
  • Just like Bitcoin XT, Bitcoin Classic also saw initial interest with almost 2,000 nodes for few months in 2016.
  • Bitcoin Classic still exists today and has gained a strong support from some developers.

SegWit

  • In 2015, Bitcoin core developer, Peter Wuille introduced the idea of SegWit (Segregated Witness).
  • SegWit aims to reduce the size of all Bitcoin transactions, letting more transactions to come off at the same time.
  • However, SegWit was officially a soft fork and might have assisted in prompting hard forks after it was initially proposed.

Bitcoin Cash

  • Some community users and developers decided to introduce a hard fork in response to SegWit, as well as to evade the procedure-updates.
  • This, at the same time led to the creation of Bitcoin Cash.
  • Bitcoin Cash detached from the main blockchain in August 2017 – when Bitcoin transactions were excluded by Bitcoin Cash wallets.
  • Up till now, Bitcoin Cash is the most effective and successful hard fork of Bitcoin.
  • Bitcoin Cash is also the 4th largest cryptocurrency by market cap and allows blocks of 8 megabytes.

Bitcoin Gold

  • After the creation of Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold was created.
  • The creators of Bitcoin Gold intended to evoke the mining functionality with elementary GPU (Graphics Processing Units) since they experienced that mining became also particular – in terms of hardware necessities.
  • Post-mine is an exclusive feature of the Bitcoin Gold and a procedure through which the developers mined 100,000 coins.
  • In general, Bitcoin Gold follows the basic concepts of Bitcoin.
  • Also, it is different in terms of ‘proof-of-work algorithm.’

As Bitcoin has been forked quite a few times within few years, there is a possibility that Bitcoin would still continuously experience both soft forks and hard forks in the future.

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Virtual currency Bitcoin being split into 2: here’s what you need to know

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Everyone has turned skeptical on how to scale the bitcoin cryptocurrency since the chances of a “hard fork” have arisen within the market.

Bitcoin seems to be in a crisis and everyone in their community is suffering along with it.

Virtual currency Bitcoin

Stakeholders and developers stuck in a heated argument over “hard fork”

What is the issue?

Basically, Bitcoin is so well-known that it isn’t able to handle the weight of all the transactions. Transactions are processed in “blocks” that include complicated cryptography to verify and set. But, with the currency growing exponentially and the number of transactions increasing, the 1MB size limit of the block that is built into the system is becoming an issue, causing delays in processing transactions. Thus, purchases would take a long time to confirm.

The time taken for a virtual currency bitcoin transaction has been gradually increasing. The median currently sits at 13 minutes.

What are the alternatives?

The split is leading to two possible solutions: “Bitcoin Unlimited” and “Segregated Witness”. They obviously can’t exist together, they’re software updates to the bitcoin network that would change how it works. This “hard fork” would split the chain of transactions in two, producing another chain splitting from the original one.

 

BU vs SegWit

Starting off with Bitcoin Unlimited, you must understand the concept of bitcoin mining. Miners sift through and verify transactions using computers in order to get rewarded with newly issued bitcoins. Professional miners with computers having specialized hardware do the majority of the mining by performing mathematical tasks.

Miners are in favor of BU because it would give them control over the Bitcoin network.They would be able to increase the block size when required and effectively give them control to set the transaction fees.

On the other hand, to keep the cryptocurrency more decentralized rather than giving additional work to miners, bitcoin developers, and enthusiasts are in favor of SegWit.

SegWit would double the transactions per second capacity of bitcoin by juggling the makeup of transactions, stripping out some details such as signatures. It would also add some extra functionality, including possibly moving some transactions off-chain in a way that might not benefit the miners. This solution would keep control over the network dispersed (decentralized).

Although, SegWit is just a temporary solution. It only doubles the network’s bandwidth, while BU allows miners to vote to increase the capacity when required with no upper limit.

Who’s the winner?

It is possible that bitcoin value will fork and then the two opposing currency will co-exist and compete for users and legitimacy. It is up to the users to choose sides and it isn’t simple to predict the future of the BTC world.

What does this mean for the value of bitcoin?

Bitcoin is hitting high records currently and if the fork conflict’s solved in a timely and satisfactory manner, it would make the market even more powerful.

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