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To begin with, Bitcoin has been the talk of every news channel, tabloid, website, etc. for a long while now. It’s increasing popularity might’ve caused a little problem for the network. Bitcoin is in a messy situation right now and something needs to be done. Fortunately, two possible solutions have been proposed as well, but only one can exist.

What is Bitcoin Hard Fork?

It is a compulsory software update that is required in order for the program to function.  It can be implemented to fix bug errors or any security issues present in the older version of the software. Also, a hard fork is irreversible.

The “hard fork” will split the blockchain, leading to the introduction of a new chain of transactions branching from the original one.

Bitcoin Fork Explained – What’s The Issue?

In simple words, Bitcoin is unable to withstand the number of transactions taking place on the network.

The technical explanation is that the 1MB block size limit which is programmed into the system has become a problem and is causing delays in the processing of transactions. Basically, a purchase can take from a few minutes to hours to confirm.

Two techniques were proposed, which result in two different solutions: Bitcoin Unlimited, and Segregated Witness. They’re both proposed software updates to the Bitcoin network with the aim to completely change the way Bitcoin functions.

Obviously, the two can’t coexist, that would “fork” the Bitcoin network – splitting it into two different digital currencies.

A fork is known as a software update. Basically, updating a program from an old version to a new one to fork bitcoin.

Bitcoin Unlimited:

Starting off with Bitcoin Unlimited, this proposal is favored majorly by Bitcoin miners. To understand this, you must know the concept of Bitcoin mining. Bitcoin miners use specified powerful computers to solve complex mathematical algorithms in order to verify a transaction and be rewarded with newly issued bitcoins.

We are aware that there is a built-in block size limit of 1MB in the Bitcoin network, however, BU gives miners the permission to vote on increasing the block size whenever they want. This gives them control of the Bitcoin network, due to which they’re favored by miners.

Segregated Witness:

On the other hand, SegWit is being voted by many Bitcoin enthusiasts and developers. Their aim is to optimize the Bitcoin coding in a way that allows them to decrease the transaction size and increase the transaction volume, all while sticking to the 1MB block limit. They suggest the use of a soft fork.

A soft fork is a software update that lets the network to adapt to the new functionalities and features implemented. The update doesn’t interfere with the existing software and the older version will still be usable.

When is Bitcoin Hard Fork Happening?

Every Bitcoin user around the world is anxiously waiting for August 1st– a day that will mark the history of bitcoin. No one really knows what to expect but we are all eager to know what will be the fate of Bitcoin. We’re approximately 2 weeks away from the big day so let’s reflect back on the possible end result.

On 31st July, the activation of SegWit2x is set to take place. SegWit2x is a proposal that will enact SegWit through a Soft Fork but will increase its block-size limit by Hard Fork after three months. So, basically, SegWit2x will be introducing Segregated Witness first which will follow a 2MB block-size increase three months later.

Moreover, SegWit2x has the support of major mining pools which means it’s backed up by miners.

What Will Be The Bitcoin Hard Fork Consequences?

When the 2MB hard fork is scheduled to be introduced, there are chances of a chain split to occur cause of the soft fork. This, in return, would lead some part of the community jumping on to SegWit2x while others remain on SegWit.

This can create a very messy situation as there would be two different kinds of Bitcoin present. The last thing we’d want is to damage Bitcoin, particularly since there are high chances of two competitor blockchains existing simultaneously.

What Should I Do in Order To Prepare For August 1st?

You’re advised to move your bitcoins to a private wallet, where you solely are in charge of your private keys. Also, be sure to do this before July 31st, and remain until storm calms down. We are not aware of what is in store for us on August 1st or the day after, and the future is a total blur. So, let’s sit back and watch the calendar hit August.

Who Will Be The Winner?

Aha! Too bad we can’t answer this question because half the community goes for SegWit and the other half for BU. There’s not really much we can do, just voice out our opinion and educate others with whatever we learn and maybe help them come up with opinions of their own.

We’ll just have to patiently wait and watch how this turns out.

I’d like to point out that I have a very limited technical knowledge and only know my way around a few technical terminologies. This post is a compilation of weeks of research that I’ve put together myself. So, if you do find any errors, do let me know in the comment section below and I’ll be sure to check.

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Facts about Blockchain Funding by Chinese Investment Group

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News about generating blockchain funds by a Chinese company are in the news right now. But before discussing about that news, we must have a watch on the history and importance of blockchain. Designed in 2008, blockchain is the backbone of Bitcoin and all the other cryptocurrencies. Blockchain system works by taking in digital transactions and storing them in pieces of digital information called blocks. These blocks are in turn linked together to form ledgers. In case of blockchain, such ledger can be defined as a list of digital transactions. Each time you wish to change the data inside a blockchain database, the software adds a block to the chain containing all the information required to verify the changes. The block will have a unique identifier (a hash) and can be encrypted depending on the underlying software use-case for it.

blockchain funds

Importance of Blockchain Technology in other industries

Blockchain has also a serious impact on various other industries. Even IBM has started work on their own blockchain projects. The main reason for it is that blockchain has played an important role in maximizing the technology’s capabilities, such as autonomous records and easy to access contracts. Even the Pharmaceutical giants are planning to use blockchain to prevent frauds and secure their transaction records. Now let’s come to the point and elaborate why blockchain funds have become so important for China to show active participation in it.

Why China is interested in Blockchain Funding?

Due to such an important role of blockchain in digital transactions, especially cryptocurrency, it has been reported that a government-led investment firm known as Investment Association of China (IAC) is going to establish a funding center to strengthen the blockchain development in China.

This news leaked out when a document related to that entity was circulated by IAC on the internet. IAC reports directly to China’s National Development and Reform Commission.

Later, vice chairman of the IAC, Liu Ren confirmed the document’s authenticity. He further explained that IAC had to take an initiative in this regard due to the growing importance and popularity of blockchain in cryptomarket. That’s why their association decided to provide fundings and maintained standards for the good of cryptocurrency industry.

However, he did not disclose that whether the funding will be provided from the state or private sectors.

This new blockchain funding center will also seek further working with overseas blockchain projects to generate further investment options. It will also provide consultation services to those persons or firms that are interested in blockchain investment. In short, Chinese government is quite serious in its efforts to develop investment plans for the domestic as well as foreign blockchain industry. Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently announced that it will soon launch a committee in order to set national standards for blockchain technology.

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Coinbase Buy Bitcoin: Bitcoin Cash Launch Delays Because Of Overwhelming Demand from Buyers

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Coinbase is a secure online platform for buying, selling, storing and transferring digital currency and it’s the most popular way to buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.

Last month, few issues have been experienced on Bitcoin’s GDAX exchange during the launch of Bitcoin cash trading. Coinbase has blamed exceptional demand from buyers for these issues. On 20th December, the firm added support for bitcoin cash, however, Coinbase moved to disable trading of its newest assets after this unexpected news.

Adam White, who’s the manager of GDAX said in a blog post that they did their best efforts for creating a fair and orderly market, however, the launch of bitcoin cash didn’t go well and they also understand why the customers are so upset. He also said that they’ll share a detailed timeline of events and other additional information about the decisions for improving the future launches.

He added, that on 3rd August 2017, it was announced that customers could withdraw their bitcoin cash (BCH) balances by the 1st January 2018. Later, the decision was deferred. After monitoring the Bitcoin Cash network, some factors were observed such as; developer support and network security. And in the end, it was concluded that the bitcoin cash met the standards of Digital Asset Framework so it could be traded on GDAX.

Coinbase buy bitcoin

According to the blog post, in the 2 minutes and 40 seconds after BCH/USD trading started, almost 4,000 orders were placed, in which 3,461 matches occurred, and trading volume got to $15.5 million. Furthermore, he added, the low cash flow also triggered the price of the cryptocurrency to leap as high as $9,500, a lot higher than listed on other exchanges.

The constant liquidity complications made the relaunch of BCH/BTC and BCH/EUR books to be postponed until the end of winter holidays, when there would be higher possibility of meeting liquidity standards that are needed to enable trading. White accepted that regardless of the firm’s best efforts to create an impartial and methodical market, the launch did not go as it was expected.

On 13th November 2017, employees were informed about the decision to support BCH trading and were overtly verboten from buying and selling BCH. All employees were also forbidden from sharing this information with anyone else outside of the Coinbase. Coinbase has also announced that it will start an inquiry if any of the employees have desecrated its insider trading rules.

It’s not the first time that price movements have seemed to anticipate changes in the exchange to list new cryptocurrencies. According to an information from Coinmarketcap, the prices of the cryptocurrency began increasing at least a day in advance. Only four assets have been listed by Coinbase on its GDAX exchange, which offers order, bitcoin cash ether, order books for bitcoin, and litecoin.

Well, the move to list bitcoin cash was different and unique, as it effectually gave all the customers of Coinbase’s GDAX exchange an amount of bitcoin cash equivalent to the amount of bitcoin they detained on the exchange at the time, when the new cryptocurrency network was formed and Coinbase has also specified that it will definitely look for relaunching bitcoin cash trading later.

 

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Futures Contracts Hold Positive Impact On Bitcoin – Says Mark Cuban

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As covered by CCN, the CME Group, the $51 billion U.S.- based financial institution and the world’s biggest options exchange, is set to open bitcoin for trading by December 18 on its platform. As of late, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) is also planning to list bitcoin futures contracts on its platform and Nasdaq Inc. next year.

 

As per Bloomberg, billionaire investor Mark Cuban says bitcoin futures exchanging on such exchanges will positively affect the leader digital currency. He expressed:

 

“It’s going to be interesting. The outcome of it is going to be positive as the transaction fees for bitcoin are relatively higher. If this manages to bring these costs lower, bitcoin market will be in for a huge boost.”

 

Naem Aslam, a market investigator at TF Global Markets in London, added to Cuban’s analysis, saying that exchange costs, including digital money trade fees and custody services charges, could decrease if bitcoin demand grows because of futures trading on these exchanges.

 

Cuban, the majority owner of the Dallas Mavericks and a star on the investing theme show “Shark Tank,” has in the past stated that in spite of being a bitcoiner, he trusted the market was in an air pocket. He later changed his conclusion on bitcoin, as he exhorted “true adventurers” to put 10% of their wealth in digital forms of money – Cuban himself has put resources into cryptographic hedge funds, in bitcoin, and in other digital currencies.

 

Tim Draper, another billionaire who’s gotten over $110 million from his bitcoin ventures, was likewise anxious to see bitcoin futures on these exchanges. In an email to Bloomberg he composed:

 

“Bitcoin is a currency and should be treated as such. It makes perfect sense that a currency should be able to be hedged.”

 

Story credits: cryptocoinsnews.com

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Bitcoin Averted a Split – What’s Next?

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The Bitcoin development community is embracing a software upgrade which is known as SegWit. The purpose of SegWit is to increase the transaction capacity of the network and to avoid a split which possible in the cryptocurrency. As Bitcoin averted a split and here is what some proponents have to say about “What’s next for Bitcoin”.

Adam White:

The head of Digital currency exchange ‘GDAX’, Adam White said, we are going to experience a better utility of the network. People can use Bitcoin as a source to transfer money more easily, more cheaply, and more quickly. It’ll attract the new users to the network.

There’ll possibly open blockchains like Bitcoin as we’re going forward, and that will be slow or conservative progression. But there’ll be other blockchains as Ethereum which may move much rapidly and it’ll introduce a larger platform for developers to lead it at the top. According to Adam White, both things will balance each other, not compete.

Elizbeth Stark:

According to the head of startup Lightning Labs, Bitcoin does not have Turning-Complete language as Ethereum, but there are some new amazing factors which will enable to do so when SegWit will implement. She gave few examples as:

  • Small transaction as less than 1 cent, which may replace “ad networks”.
  • Instant-transaction confirmation in milliseconds.
  • Bitcoin can get a lot of its own ICOs.

Matthew Werner:

The head of payments engineering at Coinbase describes that it is a beneficial step for Bitcoin. There were a lot of queries about a Split but reaching a consensus for how to scale the Bitcoin further is obviously a huge step. Allowing things like Lighting Network and activating SegWit will be a great thing. By expanding the block size, we’ll be able to increase the number of users on a network. The element BIP91 came through and it’s a good signal because everyone wants to grow this network further.

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