Apple Co-Founder Falls Victim to Bitcoin Scam

The Economic Times of India’s Global Business Summit took place this week, and it was inevitable that the cryptocurrency sector was going to be one of the topics discussed at length. What wasn’t foreseen, however, was Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak coming forward and saying he was a victim of a bitcoin scam.

It’s been known for quite some that bitcoin, as well as every other virtual currency, holds a lot of risks. But when the co-founder of one of the largest technology companies in the world falls into its trap, then we know that anyone is susceptible to being duped by cryptocurrency scams.

The Bitcoin Scam

According to Wozniak, he had seven bitcoins stolen from him through fraud. Essentially what happened is this: an individual purchased the bitcoins from the 67-year old American entrepreneur and inventor through a credit card, and then proceeded to terminate the credit card payment. The scariest part of it all, according to Steve Wozniak, was just how easy it was to steal the bitcoins.

Sure, at first glance, seven bitcoins might not seem like a lot. However, it’s actually the opposite. At the time, Wozniak purchased the bitcoins back when it was valued at $700, but today, his loss is valued at roughly $71,400. Personally, this would have scared me off right away, but that wasn’t the case for the Apple co-founder.

>>India’s NASSCOM Partners With Blockchain Institute

Wozniak kept his bitcoin holdings until the end of 2017. When he did finally announce in January that he sold his bitcoin holdings, he didn’t cite the bitcoin scam. In fact, he said it was only because he had only moved into cryptocurrency solely for experimental purposes. He then added that he never wanted to become one of those individuals that constantly watch it and fret over the price. That is extremely justifiable. It seems every week I’m biting my nails to see the direction the cryptocurrency is heading in. One week it’s dropping below the $12,000 mark and the next its well above it.

Now that we know about Steve Wozniak’s experience with the digital currency, I think it will be interesting to see if people follow in his lead and sell their bitcoin holdings in fear of falling victim to a bitcoin scam.

Featured Image: Twitter

India’s NASSCOM Partners With Blockchain Institute

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, it seems that people either love cryptocurrency and blockchain or they hate it. There’s no in-between. There’s no Switzerland. It’s an all or nothing sort of deal.

Earlier today, the U.K. Treasury Committee launched an inquiry into cryptocurrency and blockchain, stating that it will be looking into the risks and dangers open to consumers who use cryptocurrencies. Also announced today is that one of India’s most prominent tech industry organizations has partnered with the BRI, Blockchain Resource Institute. Why? To create a blockchain institute which will develop skill sets for blockchain adoption and usage in India.

Pretty different compared to the U.K’s announcement, right? One country dislikes cryptocurrency and blockchain, the other loves it. Enough, at least, to partner with the BRI in order to help create a digital economy in India.

What Do We Know?

We also know that Canada is team cryptocurrency and blockchain. I mean, KFC now accepts Bitcoin as payment. That wasn’t enough, however, as India’s National Association of Software Services Companies (NASSCOM) disclosed today that BRI researchers will be backed by the government of Canada. The Canadian government, whose Prime Minister is Justin Trudeau, will be helping BRI developers to learn more about blockchain technology. The hope is that it will teach the researchers how to create various blockchain-based tools in India.

Blockchain has become extremely popular as of late. There are dozens of companies starting to integrate the technology into their corporate world. The chairman of NASSCOM stated that he believes blockchain will be beneficial to the nation but knows that it will be a long-term effort. In fact, the research is being split into two separate parts. The second phase will be the construction of a blockchain institute in India.

It will be interesting to see if all goes planned. If it does, I think it would be quite revolutionary.  Even CNN stated that a blockchain institute in India would “provide high-end technology capabilities.”

What do you think?

Featured Image: Twitter

Bitcoin (BTC) Causes Crypto Selloff

Crypto selloff

Is Bitcoin (BTC) the reason behind the crypto selloff?

The crypto market has experienced some major losses in the past 24 hours. At the time of writing, all coins but two within the top 100, are down right now. To get a taste of the bloodshed, take a look at the data from CoinMarketCap:

Source: CoinMarketCap

The top ten cryptocurrencies are all experiencing major losses. Leading the pack in losses is Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC).

There’s no denying that the markets are struggling – but why?

Bitcoin may be the reason.

>> Check out the Crypto Olympics: Bitcoin vs. VeChain

Bitcoin Transaction Fees Encouraging Crypto selloff?

Bitcoin transaction fees are at their lowest level since October 2017. According to BitInfoCharts, which was last updated on February 20th, Bitcoin transactions fees are going for US$3.042.

Bitcoin transactions fees have been declining ever since hitting their all-time high back in December 2017 (US$55.16). However, even as recently as a couple of weeks ago, Bitcoin transactions fees were in the $10 range. That’s not terribly expensive, but $3.00 is even better.

I would imagine that there are a lot of people taking advantage of the relatively cheap Bitcoin transaction fees. This may explain why many of the altcoins are declining today – people are selling their altcoin assets so they can gobble up Bitcoin while it’s cheap to process.

Bitcoin Transaction Times

In addition to the cheap Bitcoin transaction fees, Coinbase and Bitfinex will be updating the exchanges with a software called SegWit. SegWit (Segregated Witness), is touted as a way to speed up Bitcoin transactions while also lowering fees by a further 20%. It does so by increasing the block size (so more transactions will be able to fit per block). This will drastically improve Bitcoin’s efficiency as a cryptocurrency if SegWit does what it is meant to do.

Bitfinex accounts for almost 38% of all US dollar-Bitcoin trades. Coinbase accounts for about 17%. Coinbase’s rollout of SegWit won’t fully come into effect until the middle of next week; however, Bitfinex’s support of SegWit was announced yesterday.

The adoption of SegWit by these two major exchanges will no doubt have strong long-term effects for Bitcoin. For right now, this could also be accounting for the altcoin selloff currently happening. People are getting ready to take advantage of the lower Bitcoin transaction fees and processing times by selling their other cryptos now.

Neither of these points changes the fact that Bitcoin is also currently down. As for why Bitcoin is down right now, I’m not sure. But if Bitcoin is down, it’s little surprise that many of the other coins are also down. When Bitcoin drops, people tend to panic, selling not only their Bitcoin but also their other crypto assets.

>> Bitcoin Price Watch

Featured image: artispixel

Bitcoin Price: The Bull Run Ends

Bull Run Ends

The Bull Run Ends: Finally bulls lost their momentum after a two-week rally – which doubled the Bitcoin (BTC) price from the lows seen on Feb 6. Bitcoin, Ripple (XRP), Ethereum (ETH) and the remaining top 20 currencies all posted significant losses today, and only Monero seems untouched by the crash.

Bitcoin price was close to hitting the $12,000 mark yesterday; but BTC price took a big U-turn today, dipping more than 8% to the level of $10,700.

Bull Run Ends

Bangladesh and U.K. Ended the Bull Run

The crackdown on bitcoin traders in Bangladesh and pessimistic comments from the Bank of England weighed on cryptocurrency prices. The renewed regulatory concerns along with trader’s strategy to capitalize on the recent rally impacted virtual currency prices.

The Dhaka Tribune reported a more forceful crackdown on cryptocurrency traders, and the report suggested that local police are “on the hunt for bitcoin users.” The Bangladeshi government warned their citizens to avoid using bitcoin for any financial transactions.

Bangladesh Bank said, “Bitcoin is neither accepted nor considered legal tender anywhere in the world.”

Bangladesh is among the third world countries and has been seeing high levels of corruption and money laundering.

The country had previously barred their citizens from transferring money to abroad via illegal sources such as Hundi.  The emergence of digital currencies and their anonymity feature opened the doors for money launders to make the big movement of money.

Bank of England (BoE) Chief Mark Carney added to bearish sentiments. He said, “Bitcoin has pretty much failed as a currency by standard benchmarks and is neither a store of value nor a useful way to buy items.”

Mark Carney comments look strong because of the significant price volatility. For instance, if you want to purchase goods through bitcoin, then how would you settle the price for those goods given the significant bitcoin price swings?

Cryptocurrencies Fell Across the Board

Bull Run Ends

Ethereum and Ripple, the second and the third largest digital currency, plunged more than 9% in Wednesday trading. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC) were among the most prominent laggards; both fell more than 13% today. The selloff has wiped off $50 billion from total market capitalization of cryptocurrency markets.

Analysts have a mixed opinion on the future of cryptocurrencies. Some analysts are predicting a sharp growth, while others are forecasting a lousy ending. Governments and central banks are supporting the innovative blockchain technologies; they have several concerns over the illegal use of virtual currencies, and their lack of underlying value.

Featured Image: twitter

Bitcoin Soars 80%, But Why it is Set To Crash?

Bitcoin Soars 80%

Bitcoin Soars 80%: Bitcoin (BTC) price has been on a rollercoaster over the last couple of months.The lack of underlying value and unpredictable nature of digital currencies continues to stun investors with massive sideways movements.   

Since showing the considerable upside volatility at the end of last year, bitcoin’s downside volatility led the price to bottom near $6,000.

After the massive selloff in late January and early February, bitcoin price rose 80% in the last two weeks alone. Bitcoin price has breached the $11000 mark during the weekend; the coin is trading at just over $11,000 this morning  – and now has the market capitalization of $185 billion.

The broader rally in cryptocurrency prices has pushed the total market capitalization above $500 billion for the first time in the last three weeks.

Bitcoin Soars 80%

Why Does Bitcoin Soars 80%?

Regulatory concerns along with the price manipulation and bearish remarks from notables were the key drivers for the violent selloff in bitcoin prices.

However, softer than expected regulatory actions from South Korea and the United Stated led bulls to control the market over the last two weeks. South Korean authorities have been steadily moving back from their earlier strict stance. They have implemented less severe regulatory actions than what investors had initially thought.

The U.S. CFTC chairman said, “regulators should have a thoughtful and balanced response and not a dismissive one.”

Moreover, predictions of sustainable growth in bitcoin prices from key analysts have been adding to bullish sentiments.

Saxo Bank analyst, Kay Van-Petersen, who appropriately predicted the substantial rally in cryptocurrency price at the start of last year – now forecasts that bitcoin is set to hit the $100,000 mark.

Then How Prices Are Heading for Another Crash?

Cryptocurrencies are in early stages, and it’s quite difficult to predict whether they will turn out to be a huge bubble, or if they can replace the traditional financial world.

The Ethereum founder, Vitalik Buterin warned investors for the possible slump. He suggested investors invest the money only if they can afford to lose.

He said: cryptocurrencies are still a new and hyper-volatile asset class, and could drop to near-zero at any time. Don’t put in more money than you can afford to lose. If you’re trying to figure out where to store your life savings, traditional assets are still your safest bet.

Featured Image: twitter

Want to Win Bitcoin (BTC)? MonteCrypto Game Launches Feb 20th

MonteCrypto

Yes, you read that right – it is possible to win a single Bitcoin if you can defeat a new video game that launches very soon. MonteCrypto: The Bitcoin Enigma is set to launch on Steam on February 20th.

Steem is a cryptocurrency used to power the Steemit platform; a blockchain-based social media platform aimed at incentivizing users to create and curate content on Steemit. Each creator gets rewarded for their work.

Currently, there is a 40% discount if you buy the game on its release date, costing only $1.19.

The game itself is a first-person viewed game, similar to that of Call of Duty. It features 24 puzzles that you have to solve while making your way through a haunted mansion. What’s cool is it allows you to play as a team or you can play just individually. Each member will be able to leave clues or lead someone off track throughout the maze for others to find.

MonteCrypto

Source: MonteCrypto

This sounds like an extremely cool game and well thought out. From what I can see, it doesn’t break any of Steam’s rules on games. The game developers have given out an initial clue on the game’s FAQ page. The first clue links to a bit of code on GitHub designed specifically to help game players crack their Bitcoin wallet password if they only remember some of it. As the game gets closer to launch, the team behind MonteCrypto will release more clues, so check the page’s source code frequently!

Look for the game video at the bottom of this post!

>> Tron Dogs Update

Win More Bitcoin

There are other ways to win Bitcoin if you didn’t already know. It took someone THREE years to crack a puzzle within a painting that landed them 4.87 Bitcoins. Obviously worth a LOT more than when the painting originated.

The same team behind the painting is designing a new game named “Neon District” and it will have 15 ETH hidden within it.

Happy Gaming folks!

>> Neon District News

Features Image: Pymnts

UK Entrepreneurs Sell 50 Apartments in Dubai for Bitcoin

Dubai

At this point, it’s fair to say the cryptocurrency industry is constantly evolving. Over the course of the past couple of months, we have seen a number of countries roll out new uses for virtual currencies. In Canada, for instance, individuals can now use Bitcoin to purchase meals from KFC. In Australia, travelers will soon be able to purchase items using Bitcoin in the Brisbane Airport. Now, we’ve been informed that luxury flats in Dubai can be purchased with the virtual currency. In fact, there have already been 50 flats sold in Dubai for Bitcoin.

Dubai’s New Relationship with Bitcoin

Business Insider published a report yesterday which stated that two UK entrepreneurs have sold 50 luxury flats in Dubai for Bitcoin. This is significant news as it suggests the cryptocurrency industry, at least in Dubai, might be making a move into real estate.

The world was informed in September of last year that the two entrepreneurs, Michelle Mone and Douglas Barrowman, had launched a $325 million luxury development in Dubai. It is forecasted to be finished in two years. After announcing the launch of the ‘Aston Plaza and Residences’, Mone and Barrowman promised that they will be offering 150 apartments that can be purchased using bitcoin. For perspective, the entrepreneurs will be offering 150 apartments out of the 1,3000 for bitcoin.

Offering luxury apartments in Dubai for bitcoin is definitely a first, but it appears investors are on board with it. According to the February Business Insider report, 50 out of the 150 apartments offered have been sold. In fact, Mone told the publication that there were a couple buyers who purchased two apartments. To top it off, Mone, who is the founder of lingerie brand Ultimo, stated that there was one buyer who bought as many as ten luxury Dubai apartments.

This news comes at a time when more and more people are fighting to see more cryptocurrency regulation. In fact, the United States, Germany, and France have all called for crypto regulation to be discussed at next month’s G20 summit in Argentina. Therefore, it will be interesting to see how the outcome of the summit affects the potential sale of more Dubai apartments for bitcoin.

Read More About Cryptocurrency Regulation >>

What do you think? Would you want to buy an apartment using bitcoin? Leave a comment below!

Featured Image: depositphotos/Anna_Om 

 

 

 

Bitcoin Will Surge Further – Here’s Why

Bitcoin predictions

Bitcoin predictions: Cryptocurrencies have been stabilizing over the past three days – something rather unprecedented. Markets had witnessed Bitcoin’s upside volatility last year but found it equally volatile on the downside; the slump from $19,000 to less than $6,000 in last month alone vindicated the instability for both trends.  

In spite of the massive sideways movement, returns from crypto funds topped hedge fund returns last year.

For instance, Pantera Capital, which started its first cryptocurrency fund in 2013, generated returns of 22,000 percent since its inception. Last year, Cryptocurrency fund returns were significantly higher from the average gains of 7% from hedge funds.

Why Dan’s Calculations Are Worth Considering:

Dan Morehead, the CEO of Pantera Capital, who bought his first bitcoin for around $72, is now predicting a substantial rally in price. He said, “Bitcoin should return to peak levels in the next couple of weeks and will continue growing from there.”

In December, Dan predicted bitcoin price to fall by half before rising back up. The first part of his prediction turned out to be true and now traders are carefully thinking about the second part of his prophecy.

What Could be the Potential Prospects for a Sustainable Rally?

Bitcoin predictions

Bitcoin and other digital currencies are showing strong support trading around their current level.

The entire cryptocurrency market has been flat over the last three days; seems it is looking for solid reports to make a new trend.

Some analysts are now correlating the movement of crypto markets with stock markets, expecting prices to trade in similar trends.  This assumption could be partially correct as the overall market sentiments offer support to the whole investment markets.

Last year, the rally in tech, financial and industrial stocks combined with Trump’s business pro initiatives, led the major U.S. indices to hit new records.

Market Dynamics Are Different for Virtual Currencies This Year

Though Bitcoin and digital currencies have beaten stock market returns last year, the market dynamics seems quite tough this year. Experts are predicting the crash, while regulators are making strict rules to reduce illegal activities associated with the currencies. Global financial institutions are calling them a risk to global financial stability.

However, traders aren’t ignoring the speculative nature of cryptocurrencies; allowing bulls to strengthen their stance of getting support from regulatory actions. They believe regulating cryptocurrencies could turn out to be a positive catalyst for long-term sustainability.

Featured Image: twitter

Analysts Predict Bitcoin Will Hit $50K in 2018

Bitcoin prediction

Bitcoin prediction: It’s been the roughest week yet for cryptocurrencies as the price of Bitcoin sank to just over $6000 – its lowest since November. This, coupled with regulatory fears and ICO scams, has led to increasingly bearish sentiments towards the cryptocurrency market in general. It has lost $340 billion USD since the start of the year. So it’s great news for investors today, as the price of Bitcoin unexpectedly soared 11.4% – over $800 USD – from last night’s low, at 3:30 pm EST this afternoon (the time of writing). But the even bigger news is that analysts are predicting Bitcoin to hit $50K this year.

In an interview with CNBC, Thomas Glucksmann, head of APAC business development at Gatecoin, said that “There is no reason why we couldn’t see bitcoin pushing $50,000 by December.” This, he says, is due to a market rebound as well as “major technology developments” such as bitcoin’s upcoming Lightning Network, which aims to speed up transactions.

>> Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC): Coins to Invest in Before the Market Recovers

In the same report, Jamie Burke, CEO of Outlier Ventures, stated that he believes the market will likely go on a bull run. It will be “comparative if not greater than last year potentially reaching the trillion-dollar mark before a proper crypto winter sets in,” he said. This ‘crypto winter‘ refers to a period where the market will settle down and focus on market fundamentals, potentially becoming more stable.

And to top it all off, Ran Neuner, host of CNBC’s Cryptotrader show, pinned this tweet to his account in a moment of bravery:

With such optimism abound in the industry, it may really be true that we’ll see Bitcoin grow tens of thousands of dollars in coming months. But it’s important to bear in mind that such predictions have been made before…

>> Cryptocurrencies – Excitement is Limited

In 2014, a Coindesk poll showed that most readers thought that one Bitcoin would reach $10,000 by the end of that year, while venture capital firm LightSpeed India gave it a more modest $4000 – $5000. It ended the year at about $315. This goes both ways, of course. In 2015, a Financial Times article gave a bleak outlook for the cryptocurrency, playing on the fact that it had been floating at around $350 for months and that the chances of it becoming a mainstream currency ‘are now zero’. The mainstream currency statement is still debatable, but the article certainly hasn’t aged well since bitcoin hit nearly $20,000 per coin about three years later.

Anyway, none of this is to say that bitcoin won’t do well this year, but it is a casual reminder to be wary of predictions which seem authoritative. Either way, it looks as though it’s safe to be bullish at the moment and hope that today’s great performance continues in coming weeks.

Featured image: BTCmanager.com

Bitcoin (BTC) Not Living Up to Its Original Promise

Bitcoin's Original Promise

The cryptocurrency market is continuing to rebound after a shaky day yesterday. Coincidentally, the Dow Jones plunged a total of 1,100 points yesterday, around 4.6%, which is the lowest since the European debt crisis back in 2011. The stock market corrected itself from yesterday’s downfall, is there a correlation between the two? I really don’t think so.

The cryptocurrency market crash plummeted yesterday, due to the Chinese government implementing a regulation completely banning its citizens from viewing cryptocurrency websites, via a government-ran firewall. Many analysts are stating that yesterday’s drop was due to rising inflation and the usual market correction. This shows that there is absolutely no correlation between the drop of the two markets.

Back in 2008, the original cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (BTC), and its blockchain were born. It was due to the housing financial crisis, where the banks (due to greed) crashed the entire stock market. Satoshi Nakamoto, the Alias, and originator of Bitcoin envisioned a decentralized digital currency that isn’t controlled by a singular entity – this was Bitcoin’s original promise.

>> Bitcoin Price Analysis

Bitcoin as an Investment Asset?

However, the issue most individuals are having with Bitcoin is that it is failing to live up to its original promise. Bitcoin and its blockchain were intended, by its unknown creator, to be a peer-to-peer electronic cash system. Its current scalability issues have resulted in slow transaction times and high fees. BTC remains the top cryptocurrency with the highest total market cap and highest price, however, it could be passed in market cap this year. Just a year ago the digital currency held 85% of the total cryptocurrency market cap dominance but now, is currently only 35%.

The digital token just this year has transitioned from a digital currency used for peer to peer transactions, to an investable asset, like gold and silver. Many new altcoins on the market are being used as a payment and transaction system instead because their transaction confirmation time is 10 times faster than that of Bitcoins.

>> Stellar & Ripple Comparison

Bitcoin doesn’t even come close to Litecoin (LTC), DASH (DASH), Ripple (XRP), and Stellar (XLM) when it comes to transaction time confirmation. Some Bitcoin holders now use the cryptocurrency to purchase large ticket items, such as houses and cars but day-to-day payments with BTC do not occur.

If Bitcoin developers can agree upon and fix its scalability issue, it could potentially switch back to its original goal. However, with faster blockchain projects/coins popping up every day, I believe that it is highly unlikely.

Featured Image: Gizmodo