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Renowned investor and one of the richest persons on planet Warren Buffett continues his bearish point of view toward bitcoin and other cryptos.

In an interview on CNBC, Buffett was asked about JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s retreating take on bitcoin, after the latter expressed his regret about calling bitcoin ‘fraud’ a year ago.

Questioned if he too would reconsider his current comments on bitcoin – Buffett called bitcoin an “air bubble” following Dimon’s remarks a year ago – Buffet stated:

“As far as digital forms of money, for the most part, I can almost say with assurance that they will come to a bad ending.”

While predicting the downfall of digital currencies, Buffett went on to assert he’d bet on “each one of the cryptocurrencies” falling over the next five years.”

Furthermore, Buffett stated he wouldn’t take a negative position by exchanging bitcoin future contracts, expressing there’s “no reason” to do as such. “Why on earth should I take a long or short position of something I don’t know anything about?” He jested, confessing to knowing almost nothing about cryptographic forms of money.

“I have 11 schools this coming Friday [and] the inquiries will be on bitcoin, and I won’t know the appropriate answers,” Buffett included, preparing everyone else for more soundbites on digital forms of money this week.

Buffett’s interpretation of digital currencies, particularly bitcoin, is like another long-term bitcoin bear in JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon. In September 2017, Dimon notoriously said bitcoin was a “cheat”. “It’s worse than tulip bulbs,” Dimon proceeded in the same breath, adding “somebody will get killed.” The Wall Street investor additionally undermined to fire workers involved in crypto money trading, calling them “inept” if they were to do so.

Dimon keeps on being a non-believer, he revealed in comments this week, but went on to state about that ‘fraud’ proclamation: “I regret making them.”

News credit: ccn.com

Image: Google

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Can Bitcoin become a Legal property?

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More and more people join the Bitcoin community every day. Thus, the drive to determine how it can integrate into mainstream society becomes even more essential. The questions that strike to everyone is whether any traditional laws apply to Bitcoin or not.

Although these determinations might bring implications to its holders and Bitcoin itself, and few will play a bigger role in the United States than property laws, which could ultimately govern ownership over the digital currency.

A new white paperTreatment of Bitcoin Under U.S Property Law, assembled by Perkins Coie. The report seeks to analyze how the worlds of virtual currency and property law intersect. Perkins Coie is an international law firm that specializes in blockchain technology and digital currency, also it has been active in space since 2013. It is pretty detailed and well researched but the paper’s conclusion is straightforward and transparent.

“We conclude that property interests should exist in Bitcoin under such law and that multiple sources of persuasive authority provide additional support for that conclusion,” the paper’s authors, J. Dax Hansen and Joshua L. Boehm, wrote.

The paper starts off with an overview of Bitcoin’s technological aspects and what those mean for how property law can apply to it.  The authors use California state law and Bitcoin transactions as an example and make their case.

“Parties may … enter into contractual arrangements in which one party entrusts partial or complete control of such private key(s) to a third party while still maintaining formal title to the bitcoin value represented inapplicable [unspent transaction outputs],” the paper reads. “These kinds of contractual arrangements are commonplace in custodial, trust, and escrow settings, which have generated well-developed legal principles that should generally translate to bitcoin custodial contexts.”

Even the country’s superior law professors support the idea that intangible property rights should apply to Bitcoin:

“Property law scholars who have encountered the bitcoin ownership issues in the context of broader, more theoretical undertakings have reached the same general conclusion… that is, interests in bitcoin should be protected by property law.”

The author further describes how Bitcoin has been widely treated as property by legal divisions and thus can be owned as one.

“Although the concept of ‘property’ is fundamentally a matter of state law in the United States, it is also important that bitcoin has been widely treated as property for the purposes of other state and federal statutory regimes,” reads the paper. “These treatments and assumptions have already had substantial consequences for the bitcoin sector. They, therefore, constitute informal but persuasive legal precedent further indicating that bitcoin can be owned as property.”

The author also pointed out the challenges that would come along with treating the currency as legal property. These include the lack of traceability that comes with Bitcoin, the multisignature arrangements, and pseudo-anonymity. Although, the authors are still positive that these obstacles can be overcome as the technology evolves.

“To be sure, difficulties in tracing ownership of particular bitcoin units across successive owners could cause some challenges in certain commercial use cases,” they wrote, but “blockchain technology itself has enables, and will likely continue to enable, solutions to obstacles that do arise.”

It appears to be that the worlds of Bitcoin and formal legal precedent are rapidly coming to a head. This could be a turning point for Bitcoin’s future.

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Buy Bitcoin Anonymously – A Beginner’s Guide To Making Anonymous Transactions

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When making an online transaction, several people like to stay anonymous for various reasons. And to achieve anonymity, they tend to use Bitcoin – a peer to peer, decentralized, digital currency.

It is often said about Bitcoin that it provides complete anonymity – which is not true. The Bitcoin transactions are not completely anonymous. They are made through Bitcoin exchanges. And the exchanges involved in a transaction may request you to provide your personal information, such as email address, a photo of yours, government ID, etc. and by using this information, they can trace and keep track of all your Bitcoin transactions.

(Learn about what are the top Bitcoin exchanges to trade coins)

To sort this out, we are going to discuss here some simple methods that will help you make anonymous transactions. Read carefully.

Stay Anonymous – Buy Bitcoin with Cash:

Wondering how to buy Bitcoin anonymously? Use cash! Yes, this is one of the simplest methods to buy Bitcoin anonymously. However, cash is not the only option – there are some other methods too, and we are going to discuss three of the most common ones here.

Buy Bitcoin Through ATM:

The ATMs give you complete anonymity to buy Bitcoin through cash. The machines don’t require any personal information or something else that a third party can trace. All you have to do is to go to your nearest ATM and make the transaction.

To buy the coins, all you have to do is enter your Bitcoin address and the number of coins you wish to buy. If you don’t have an address, just specify that you don’t have one and the machine will automatically generate a paper address for you.

Later on, using that address, you can import the private key and transfer your bitcoins to PayPal, or wherever you like.

Buy Through Local Bitcoin:

Another way to buy Bitcoin anonymously is Local Bitcoins. It’s a way of buying cryptocurrency through cash and in person. Through Local Bitcoins, you can find someone who is willing to sell bitcoins in exchange for cash in or near your area.

In order to use the service, you will need to sign up to their website. There is no documentation involved, so the process is completely untraceable.

Use Your Prepaid Card to Buy Bitcoin:

Prepaid credit card is another option to stay anonymous. The card is easily available at any supermarket or a convince store. Once you have the card, you can use it to buy the cryptocurrency without having to provide any personal information.

Some Methods That Are Just Partially Anonymous:

If you don’t have access to the above-mentioned methods, you can use the ones that are partially anonymous. These methods don’t require you to provide any ID. However, a phone number is still needed to enjoy the service.

Let’s take a look at some of them down below:

Wall of Coins:

A peer to peer Bitcoin exchange which only requires your phone number to use the service. Wall of coins currently operates only in Latvia, US, Argentina, Canada, Poland, Philippines, and Germany.

BitQuick:

Acts like an escrow between a buyer and a seller.  BitQuick takes the cryptocurrency from a seller and instructs the buyer to deposit cash into the seller’s account. Once the cash is deposited, the coins are released.

BitQuick also requires your phone number for its services.

Conclusion:

These are some ways to trade Bitcoin with complete/partial anonymity. If you are looking to buy coins without being traced, it will solve most of your problems.

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Bitcoin Transaction Stuck? Don’t Panic! Here’s what you need to do

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Bitcoin Transaction Stuck

 

The number of transactions on the Bitcoin network has rapidly increased over the past couple of years. With more blocks filling up, all the transactions cannot be included in the blockchain at once.

Transactions that pay the highest fees are usually included in the blocks first and transactions with comparatively lower fees are made to wait until they find a new block. These transactions remain in the mempool of miners until their turn is up.

This gets the user quite irritated as some low fees transactions may take around days or weeks to confirm. But here’s what you can do if you happen to have your bitcoin transaction stuck.

Before You Send The Request:

Most wallets had a fixed fee of 0.1 mBTC during the early years of Bitcoin. Back then, miners had spare space in their blocks due to which they were able to accommodate more transactions in the first block itself that they mined.

Although, because of the increased competition for block space right now, the 0.1 milli bitcoin transaction fee is insufficient to have a transaction included in the next block. So, transactions with higher fees are taken up.

If you want to have your transaction confirmed faster, the obvious advice is to increase your amount. You may be able to adjust your fees manually when you send your transaction.

Also, check to see if your wallet includes dynamic fees.

Recently, most wallets are said to support dynamic fees. According to Bitcoin network, these wallets automatically include a fee that is estimated to have a transaction included in the next block or maybe in the upcoming blocks.

Several wallets let you decide your fee priority, again, a higher fee lets your transaction confirm faster.

After You’ve Sent it:

After you’ve sent your transaction and it happens to be stuck, that transaction can be made to skip the queue. This can be made possible using an option called Opt-In Reference-by-Fee (Opt-In RBF). Using this method, you can re-send the same transaction, but with a higher fee. Usually, when you re-send the same transaction, Bitcoin nodes detect this new transaction a double spend and therefore reject it. Although, by sending it using Opt-In RBF, you are explaining to the network that you may re-send that same transaction later on but with a higher fee. As a result, most Bitcoin nodes now accept the new transaction; allowing the new transaction to jump or skip the queue.

But, do remember, not all miners support Opt-In RBF, so your new transaction does depend on the hands of the new miner that mines that next block.

Electrum and GreenAddress are two wallets currently supporting the Opt-In RBF option. You will need to enable Opt-In RBF in the settings menu of your wallet, before proceeding any further with the transaction.

If Opt-In RBF doesn’t do the trick, then another solution would be Child Pay for Parent, CPFP. By applying this method, miners don’t pick a transaction with a high fee, but a set of transactions that include most combined fees.

As a Receiver:

Lastly, a Bitcoin transaction can also get stuck on the receiving end of it. If your wallet allows you to spend Bitcoin unconfirmed transactions, this can be solved with CPFP as well. If the new fee is sufficient, the transaction is supposed to complete within a couple of blocks.

 

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Everything you need to know about Segregated Witness

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I have been noticing on many online bitcoin districts that various users are unable to understand the concept of Segregated Witness. This post will clear up any doubts, uncertainties, and myths regarding SegWit.

So, what happens in SegWit?

SegWit is short for Segregated Witness and it’s a proposal presented by the developers of Bitcoin Core. Originally it was aimed to solve the transaction malleability, which is a well-known weak spot in the Bitcoin system. The idea behind SegWit is that the signatures in a transaction, also known as the “witness data” are skipped when calculating the transaction id.

Basically, SegWit will update the 1MB size block limit to 4-million unit block weight limit. This counts serialized
witness data and one unit and core block data as four units. This is an entirely new transaction format, meaning the block size is increased. SegWit counts each byte in a witness as 0.25 bytes towards the 1MB block limit, thus the maximum size of a block becomes just under 4MB.

It’s not that the data gets smaller, it’s just counted in a way that allows for the block limit to be increased.

The short/easy version

In simple words, signature related data is removed from bitcoin transactions, causing them to appear smaller in size. Also, making the block size smaller, further, allowing more transactions to take place.

 

Clearing up myths and rumors

Myth: SegWit as a soft fork is much more dangerous than a hard fork

A soft fork ensures that the backward and forward compatibility is under control. Also, when a soft fork is set up, old versions of Bitcoin software will be able to function without any faults. On the other hand, a hard fork requires every Bitcoin user to update to the new software to support the consensus rules. Any user that fails to upgrade to the new software might be under the risk of getting thrown off the Bitcoin network.

 

Myth: SegWit is more complicated than a super simple hard fork

Similar to a hard fork, SegWit proposes the same idea of increasing the block size limit. No doubt, it is pretty complex and introduces several changes, but it is a relatively simple conceptual change. Basically, SegWit ignores the signatures when calculating the transactions, but as a soft fork, some additional changes must be made to make SegWit transactions compatible with non-segwit nodes. These changes then have side effects which can be beneficial to Bitcoin. It also contains more functionality than a hard fork increasing the block size limit. The hard fork to increase the block size limit also appears simple, but additional changes need to be made to support the deployment and to solve the quadratic hashing issue with transactions.

 

Myth: Miners who don’t upgrade to segwit will be forcefully told to quit the bitcoin network

This is false since SegWit will be deployed using the BIP9 versionbits which uses a 95% threshold. A miner would not run into any trouble, as long as he follows certain rules. However, if he fails to follow these rules, he could end up with transactions including witnesses but he wouldn’t be having the witnesses nor the witness root hash in the Coinbase. This would be an invalid block that would be in the orphan pool.

 

What are the benefits of SegWit?

Besides the obvious benefit of having to increase the capacity, there are several other benefits that come with the introduction of SegWit. Some of those benefits are:

  • Node performance is tested based on how weighting data
  • Signature covers value
  • Linear scaling of sighash operations
  • MultiSig gets more security
  • Script versioning
  • Increased security to almost-full-nodes

Why hasn’t SegWit been activated yet?

If there is not enough support shown, it might result in a contentious fork. That means a part of the network switches to the new client while some remain to use the older version. This leads to two sets of cryptocurrencies with different rules, co-existing and competing for users and legitimacy.

In order to avoid such a situation, the developers of SegWit have programmed a specific rule in the software proclaiming that it will only activate once it reaches the 95% mark.

Currently, the support is hovering around 32-33%. 

Everything you need to know about Segregated Witness

 

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