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What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital crypto-currency with no single point of failure due to its decentralized peer-to-peer architecture. The source code is publicly available and changes to the reference Bitcoin client are made via concensus within the community. Advantages of Bitcoin include irreversible transactions (i.e. no possibility of chargebacks as with credit cards), pseudo-anonymous, limited and fixed inflation, near instant transactions, multi-platform, no double-spend and little to no barriers to entry and more. It was created by an anonymous person known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Find out more at WeUseCoins.com.

Bitcoin Latest News

High Schooler Becomes Millionaire Thanks to Bitcoin - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

High Schooler Becomes Millionaire Thanks to Bitcoin
CoinTelegraph
The rags-to-riches stories about Bitcoin investors are a consistent theme with the rise in the value of Bitcoin over the past six months. The most recent is Erik Finman, who invested $1,000 in Bitcoin in 2011 when it was valued at $12. His parents had ...
Idaho teenager becomes millionaire by investing $1000 gift in Bitcoin - and wins bet with his parentsTelegraph.co.uk
High School Dropout Invested In Bitcoin At 12 And Became A Millionaire By 18 [So He Doesn't Have To Go To College]MobiPicker

all 4 news articles »

Posted on 25 June 2017 | 10:08 am

ICOs: Why There's More Than One Way

EY's Pascal Leblanc discusses an alternative approach to ICOs, putting forth a new model aimed to mitigate the price volatility of tokens.

Source

Posted on 25 June 2017 | 7:00 am

EOS: Unpacking the Big Promises Behind a Possible Blockchain Contender

Dan Larimer says his new project has an infinitely scalable blockchain, but skeptics doubt the controversial figure's ability to pull it off.

Source

Posted on 25 June 2017 | 6:22 am

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Why AI Hedge Fund Moved From Bitcoin to Ethereum Network - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

Why AI Hedge Fund Moved From Bitcoin to Ethereum Network
CoinTelegraph
Since February, Numerai has incentivized more than $200,000 to its data scientists in Bitcoin. However, because the Numeraire token and its smart contract are launched on top of the Ethereum network, the hedge fund struggled to create a practical and ...

Posted on 25 June 2017 | 5:49 am

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Is Bitcoin in a Bubble? - DailyForex.com


DailyForex.com

Is Bitcoin in a Bubble?
DailyForex.com
As the crypto-currency Bitcoin reaches spectacular new highs on dramatically increased levels of volatility, traders and investors alike are questioning whether it's a good idea to trade this asset or whether now is the time to stay to the side before ...
Bitcoin: Yes, It's A Bubble And It's About To BurstInvesting.com
Last Stage of Bitcoin Bubble Yet to Occur, Says Economic ProfessorCryptoCoinsNews

all 3 news articles »

Posted on 25 June 2017 | 3:43 am

Will Amazon Finally Fold to Demands and Accept Bitcoin? - newsBTC


newsBTC

Will Amazon Finally Fold to Demands and Accept Bitcoin?
newsBTC
The cryptocurrency community has been incessantly requesting the online retail giant to introduce Bitcoin as an additional payment option, which has so far gone futile. Now in a renewed attempt, people have created an online petition urging Amazon to ...
6 Factors Pushing Bitcoin Prices Higher in 2017CryptoCoinsNews

all 3 news articles »

Posted on 25 June 2017 | 2:40 am

How to buy Bitcoin in seconds from your smartphone - CNBC


CNBC

How to buy Bitcoin in seconds from your smartphone
CNBC
Before you do this, though, you should note that bitcoin isn't universally accepted like regular currency. My colleague Seema Mody published a great video recently where she tried to live a week on the currency, and it wasn't easy. You can use bitcoin ...

and more »

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 7:46 am

Analyzing Ether: A Bitcoin Investor's Skeptical Take

Miner and investor 'P4man' looks at the altcoin market to see if there is a credible alternative to bitcoin. Can ethereum cut the mustard?

Source

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 4:00 am

Changing Exchanges: Will the Coinbase of Tomorrow Be Decentralized?

A new wave of decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges that exist almost entirely on a blockchain could do away with middlemen.

Source

Posted on 24 June 2017 | 3:03 am

Local Government in China Trials Blockchain for Public Services

A city district in southern China is using blockchain to streamline government services for its one million residents.

Source

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 3:15 pm

Bitcoin speculators are the new day traders - CNBC


CNBC

Bitcoin speculators are the new day traders
CNBC
Bitcoin has more than doubled in value this year, and other digital currencies have also soared. While U.S. stocks churn near record highs, some analysts worry markets may be too ambivalent about speculation in other assets. Bitcoin wealth is also ...

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 1:43 pm

OneCoin 'License' is a Fake, Says Vietnamese Government

OneCoin doesn't have a license to operate in Vietnam despite claims to the contrary, the government said this week.

Source

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 1:25 pm

Top Secret? Bitcoin Scaling Plan Segwit2x Leaves More Questions Than Answers - CoinDesk


CoinDesk

Top Secret? Bitcoin Scaling Plan Segwit2x Leaves More Questions Than Answers
CoinDesk
After years of debate, the Segwit2x scaling proposal looks like it could play a role in – finally – taking bitcoin a step forward. But the coders and companies involved have been doing at least some of the development behind closed doors, a way of ...

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 11:23 am

UN Sees Possible Role for Blockchain in Advancing Paris Climate Accord

The United Nations is eyeing blockchain as part of its fight against climate change.

Source

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 9:20 am

Coin Center: US Senate's Digital Currency Bill Is 'Counterproductive'

US advocacy group Coin Center has said that an anti-money laundering bill before the Senate could disrupt existing rules for digital currency firms.

Source

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 7:00 am

Accounting Coalition Moves to Work with Regulators on Blockchain Innovation

To prevent regulation falling behind innovation, the Accounting Blockchain Coalition launched five working groups at an event this week.

Source

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 6:00 am

Cryptocurrency: How We Hook the Masses

Could cryptocurrency rewards demonstrate the value of the technology and ultimately help bring mass adoption? Jaywalk CEO Rich Svinkin believes so.

Source

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 4:00 am

Too Many Cryptocurrencies? Huobi Launches Quantitative Model for Investors

A major China-based exchange has launched a new quantitative analysis tool designed to help traders make long-term cryptocurrency investments.

Source

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 3:00 am

Antshares Rebrands, Introduces NEO and the New Smart Economy

NEO-Beijing.jpg

At a gathering at the Microsoft headquarters in Beijing on Thursday, with about 200 people in attendance, Antshares, the first open-source blockchain platform developed in China, announced a complete rebranding of its blockchain solution, as well as a number of other developments detailing their ambitious plans forward.

One of the revelations was the platform’s new name and brand, NEO, which in Greek means newness, novelty and youth. The developers also highlighted the strengths of their advanced smart contract code, which will support decentralized commerce, digital identities and the digitization of many different assets. This rebranding of Antshares represents a new direction for the development of China's blockchain community.

Currently, holders of ANS can now automatically generate Antcoins (ANC) in their Antshares wallets, which will be used as gas on the platform. The ANS asset symbol will become NEO in the 3rd quarter of 2017; meanwhile, the NEO team is working on new clients and a UI for the new NEO brand.

Throughout the day, there were presentations from participants including Microsoft representatives, NEO platform developers, and founders of partner platforms. Among the select attendees were several major potential investors, industry experts and blockchain enthusiasts, as well as members of the Chinese financial and mainstream media.

Presenters at the conference included: 

Da Hongfei, founder of NEO

After announcing NEO’s new brand and strategy, Da Hongfei elaborated on the future of blockchain technology, where every asset will be digitized and programmable with smart contracts. Calling for the transparency and openness of data, he introduced concepts of the “Smart Economy” and new smart contract system, and announced that he is building a new multi-chain protocol for interoperability.

Da Hongfei’s top revelations at the conference were that:

  • NEO is collaborating with certificate authorities in China to map real-world assets using smart contracts;

  • NEO has received a new patent for cross-chain distributed interoperability;

  • NEO’s recent new startup partners include Bancor, Agrello, Coindash, Nest Fund, and Binance, with more partner announcements to come.

Erik Zhang, Core Developer of NEO

In his presentation, Erik Zhang discussed the evolution of Smart Contracts 2.0, and explained the main differences between NEO and Ethereum. One big contrast of these competing platforms is their programming languages. Ethereum requires developers to learn to program with Solidity. Neo, on the other hand, will support almost all programming languages via a compiler, including those on Microsoft.net, Java, Kotlin, Go and Python, greatly lowering the difficulty for developers to write smart contracts. By making its programming languages more inclusive, NEO hopes to attract a larger community of developers. Zhang also explained the mechanics of the NEO Virtual Machine, its execution engine and interoperability.  

图片包含 屏幕截图

已生成极高可信度的说明

Slide Of The NEO Virtual Machine

Tony Tao, CEO of NEO and Founder of Nest Fund

Based on the concept of Ethereum’s The DAO, a blockchain-based investment fund, Tony Tao is about to release a whitepaper for a similar project. Called Nest Fund, and built on NEO’s blockchain, this fund will make improvements on the failures of The DAO. By offering a global bounty reward for any hacker who finds bugs, Nest will be audited by a worldwide peer review, and will then release its token for decentralized investing.

Srikanth Raju, Microsoft’s G.M of Developer Experience and Evangelism for the Greater China Region 

According to Mr. Raju, blockchain technology will lead us into a new digital age, displacing traditional businesses and middlemen throughout many industries. He said that Onchain (the company that founded NEO) is “one of the top 50 startup companies in China”, and offered his support for their endeavors going forward.

 Mr. Han Feng, Tsinghua University I-Center 

Fostering innovation and entrepreneurship at the top university in China, Tsinghua University’s I-Center focuses on the large-scale integration of technology resources. Speaking for the university’s growing interest in supporting blockchain technology, Mr. Han Feng said that current systems of commerce are “outdated and insecure,” and that the internet is ready for an upgrade to a blockchain-based operating system. Calling for a fully-automated, blockchain-based, decentralized economy, he said we can expect a digital revolution in the years to come. This will include digital currency, decentralized storage, secure smart contract codes, IoT, AI, and many more innovations.

 Chen Cheng Qiang, founder and CEO of Innospace

Located in Shanghai, Innospace is a business incubation company, with office spaces, meeting spaces, cafes and living spaces. At today’s conference, Innospace CEO Chen Cheng Qiang announced a ¥200 million CNY ($29.3 million USD) incubation fund, a collaboration between his company and the NEO blockchain team. Plans for the fund include the establishment of a new blockchain space in Shanghai, combining working spaces, startup incubation and acceleration services. According to Mr. Qiang, his company plans to provide the most successful entrepreneurship acceleration services in China.

 Alex Norta, founder of Agrello

Coming all the way from Estonia, Alex Norta announced that his startup Agrello will be partnering with NEO to develop smart contracts for automation, self-execution, accuracy and transparency. Powered by AI, Agrello will be a platform for non-programmers to create their own legally binding blockchain-based smart contracts. Use cases for Agrello’s tech include renting and sharing, freelance contracting, orchestrating production flows, and reducing administration costs for multinational corporations.

Adam Efrima, COO of Coindash

With offices in Israel and Shanghai, Coindash will be a social trading platform for crypto assets, offering portfolio management tools for digital asset investors. Features of the platform will include portfolio statistics and management tools, investment automation, an ICO dashboard, and insights into other traders’ successful investing strategies. In the upcoming development of Nest Fund, a blockchain-based smart fund by the developers of NEO, Coindash will offer advisory and prediction tools for Nest’s modern investors.

Mr. Zhao Chang Peng, CEO of Binance 

The former CTO of OkCoin, Mr. Zhao Chang Peng is starting his own digital asset exchange, hoping to compete with platforms like Poloniex. Calling his new platform Binance, this new exchange will only deal in coin-to-coin transactions, avoiding fiat pairs and therefore avoiding Chinese regulations. In order to maintain a standard in mature digital assets, Binance will only list coins that meet its strict criteria. With a launch planned for later this year, the platform’s first traded assets will be bitcoin, ether and NEO. 


From the looks, sounds, and energy of the event, NEO has built up some strong momentum going forward. They have one the top blockchain development teams in all of China, with 50 million ANS ($325 million) to support their funding needs and a growing list of partners now aligning by their side. While it may take some time to steal the spotlight from Ethereum, we are sure to see more from this platform in the months to come.  

The post Antshares Rebrands, Introduces NEO and the New Smart Economy appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 22 June 2017 | 7:28 pm

How to bet on bitcoin, without the crazy volatility? Here's one idea - MarketWatch


MarketWatch

How to bet on bitcoin, without the crazy volatility? Here's one idea
MarketWatch
For those who are willing, Rupert Hargreaves, blogging for ValueWalk, offers up a “less volatile way” to bet on cryptocurrencies over just buying bitcoin or ethereum -- though there's still plenty of risk involved. He says there's big money being made ...
Analyzing Ether: A Bitcoin Investor's Skeptical TakeCoinDesk
Bitcoin Close to Being Monitored, Maybe Even Legal, in IndiaInvestopedia
Coming Soon: The Great Bitcoin Crash?Daily Reckoning
The Times (subscription) -CryptoCoinsNews -Futurism
all 20 news articles »

Posted on 22 June 2017 | 3:31 pm

The Bitcoin Bubble Will Turn Into Mania Before It Bursts - Forbes


Forbes

The Bitcoin Bubble Will Turn Into Mania Before It Bursts
Forbes
For the last nine months, the Bitcoin rally that took the digital currency from a few hundred dollars to close to $3000 had all the elements of a bubble that has yet to turn into a mania before it bursts. Every asset bubble is different, and can be ...

Posted on 22 June 2017 | 11:31 am

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U.S. Bill Requiring Travelers to Declare Digital Currencies Resurfaces

U.S. Bill Requiring Travelers to Declare Digital Currencies Resurfaces

The United States Senate has introduced a bill that would require all travelers entering the U.S. to declare digital currency holdings in excess of $10,000. Despite concerns raised by the invasive nature of the bill, the likelihood of it being passed is extremely low simply due to the incredibly challenging infrastructure that would be required.

In fact, the new bill is actually a reintroduction of an older bill that was originally introduced in 2011. The 2011 bill never made it out of sub-committee deliberation.

Speaking about the recent legislation development, David Siegel, founder of Twenty Thirty AG and Bitcoin enthusiast, tells Bitcoin Magazine, “It’s disappointing. It’s a step back toward 1934.”

The bill would require the Secretary of Homeland Secretary and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner to submit a joint report to Congress withinthat meets the following two conditions over 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act:

“(1) detailing a strategy to interdict and detect prepaid access devices, digital currencies, or other similar instruments, at border crossings and other ports of entry for the United States; and;
(2) that includes an assessment of infrastructure needed to carry out the strategy ...”

The amount of technology that would have to be developed in order to enforce this law is incredible. How could they detect these crypto assets? The infrastructure investment that would be needed would be quite prodigious.

“My position on regulation is that there should be strong evidence supporting its effectiveness,” says Siegel. “I don’t see declaring moving money as a transparency issue, so I would say it’s a strong step in the wrong direction. I think regulation should be scaled way back to the point where we can show it’s actually better than no regulation.”

The bill, S.1241, would add “prepaid access devices” under the definition of U.S. monetary instruments in section 5312, title 31, of the U.S. Code. Specifically, a “‘prepaid access device’ means an electronic device or vehicle, such as a card, plate, code, number, electronic serial number, mobile identification number, personal identification number, or other instrument, that provides a portal to funds or the value of funds that have been paid in advance and can be retrievable and transferable at some point in the future.”

These prepaid access devices, in theory, could extend to include electronic ledgers, cryptocurrency wallets and even private keys. These are all portals where individuals can gain access to their private funds. Thus, individuals with more than $10,000 worth of crypto assets tied up on the blockchain would have to declare their crypto net worth to the U.S. Government by filling out a Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments, often called the FinCEN105. This could have a serious impact on digital currency holders traveling to the United States. Punishment for not reporting could include up to five years of jail time and forfeiture of those funds in the form of criminal and civilian penalties.

Formally known as the “Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act of 2017,” the bill was introduced on May 25, 2017, by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and is co-sponsored by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). It has been referred to the Committee on the Judiciary for further deliberation, but has a tremendous number of obstacles that must be overcome before reaching the President’s desk for final approval.

The post U.S. Bill Requiring Travelers to Declare Digital Currencies Resurfaces appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 22 June 2017 | 10:54 am

Coinbase Appeals Decision in Cryptsy Collapse Lawsuit

Coinbase is appealing a court decision from earlier this month in a lawsuit filed on behalf of customers of Cryptsy.

Source

Posted on 22 June 2017 | 10:35 am

Illicit Cryptocurrency Use Targeted in Proposed 2018 FBI Budget

Cryptocurrency is being cited by the FBI as a reason it needs to increase its spending in an effort to combat more advanced cybercrime.

Source

Posted on 22 June 2017 | 9:25 am

US Government Seeks Blockchain Solutions for Contract Bidding System

The US government’s main logistical agency is looking at blockchain as a way to re-envision its contract review process.

Source

Posted on 22 June 2017 | 8:45 am

IMF's Lagarde Touts Distributed Ledger as Defense Against Terror

The head of one of the world's largest financial organizations has issued new comments addressing blockchain trends.

Source

Posted on 22 June 2017 | 6:53 am

Identity without the Blockchain? Skepticism Grows for Once-Hot Use Case

Launched at the UN, the ID2020 Alliance is seeking to revolutionize identity, but will blockchain be the technology of choice?

Source

Posted on 22 June 2017 | 6:30 am

Bitcoin Startup Blockchain Raises $40 Million Series B

Bitcoin wallet software startup Blockchain has raised $40m in Series B funding to continue its mission of improving financial services.

Source

Posted on 22 June 2017 | 5:08 am

More Universities Add Blockchain Courses to Meet Market Demand

More Universities Add Blockchain Courses to Meet Market Demand

In recent months, there has been a surge in the demand for blockchain professionals. Data from the professional networking site LinkedIn has shown that blockchain related job postings have tripled in the last 12 months. This shows that there is a high demand for blockchain experts as the potential and applicability of blockchain technology becomes more apparent to corporations. Recognizing this opportunity, several universities have added blockchain studies to their fields of study to tailor their educational offerings to these new developments in the job market.

The University of Edinburgh, for example, has recently announced the launch of a blockchain technology laboratory within its School of Informatics through a collaboration with technology startup Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK). The new lab will focus primarily on blockchain studies. However, related interdisciplinary research will be also encouraged.

Speaking at the launch of the blockchain technology lab, IOHK Co-Founder, Jeremy Wood stated: “IOHK’s partnership with the University of Edinburgh provides unique opportunities for current students to become the next generation of blockchain and cryptography leaders. As a headquarters for IOHK’s international academic research community, we expect to see the university facilitate innovative projects that drive how businesses and governments approach blockchain and cryptocurrencies.”

The University of Edinburgh now joins a small but growing list of educational institutions that are including courses on blockchain technology in their curricula.

Though the University of Edinburgh is the first to offer a blockchain course of this kind in the United Kingdom, universities in the U.S. have already been doing so for a while. Stanford University began offering a course on cryptocurrencies, blockchains and smart contracts two years ago, while the University of California, Berkeley also offers a blockchain course.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is in the process of developing a course on the subject matter, while the University of Nicosia in Cyprus is offering the world’s first MSc in Digital Currency. The master's degree covers all key areas of digital currencies such as regulation, cryptography and blockchain technology applications. Students can even pay the tuition fees for the degree in bitcoin.

There are also a number of online courses created to cater to the rising demand for blockchain expertise. Princeton University has partnered with online learning platform Coursera to provide an intensive 11-week course on bitcoin and cryptocurrency technology.

The Blockchain University and the B9lab also offer blockchain and cryptocurrency courses designed to cater to professionals who are seeking to improve their knowledge and have a competitive edge in the industry.

The CryptoCurrency Certification Consortium (C4) includes Andreas Antonopoulos, Vitalik Buterin, Pamela Morgan, Josh McDougall and Michael Perklin on its board of directors. It offers cryptocurrency courses and provides participants with professional certificates upon completion. Certified Bitcoin Professional (CBP), Certified Bitcoin Expert (CBE), and Certified Ethereum Developer (CED) are the three professional certifications available.

The rise in blockchain related courses both online and in leading educational institutions is a testament to growing confidence in the technology's ability to disrupt industry in the future. Blockchain technology is now being recognized as an applicable solution to real world business challenges and that is reflected in both the job market as well as in educational courses on offer.

The post More Universities Add Blockchain Courses to Meet Market Demand appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 21 June 2017 | 11:28 am

Bitcoin Miners Are Signaling Support for the New York Agreement: Here’s What that Means

Miners Are Signaling Support for the New York Agreement: Here’s What that Means.

As of today, over 80 percent of miners (by hash power) are including the letters “NYA” in the blocks they mine. This follows the publication of letters (translation) in which a group of Chinese Bitcoin companies — notably including most mining pool operators — announced that they would signal support for “the New York Agreement.”

Here’s what this means in the context of Bitcoin Core’s scaling roadmap, the upcoming BIP148 user activated soft fork (UASF) on August 1, 2017, and Bitcoin’s broader scaling debate.

The New York Agreement

The New York Agreement, sometimes referred to as “the Silbert Accord” or “SegWit2x,” is a scaling agreement forged within a significant group of international Bitcoin companies and published just before the Consensus 2017 conference in New York last May. Based on this agreement, a fork of the Bitcoin Core software client is being developed under the name “BTC1.” BTC1 developer Jeff Garzik announced the alpha release of this software last week.

While technical specifics for BTC1 are still being worked out, it seems that rollout of the New York Agreement essentially consists of two stages.

The first stage regards deployment of Segregated Witness (SegWit), the backwards compatible protocol upgrade originally proposed by the Bitcoin Core development team. With 80 percent has power support, BTC1 should actually trigger activation of the SegWit implementation embedded in Bitcoin Core clients and should also be compatible with BIP148 clients as long as activation happens before August 1st. With BTC1’s “official” release date set for July 21st, this should be possible.

The second stage concerns the deployment of the hard fork itself, which is not backwards compatible with older Bitcoin clients. This hard fork would double Bitcoin’s “base block size limit” to two megabytes, which combined with the block size limit increase brought by Segregated Witness should make for a total maximum of eight megabytes of block space. This is scheduled for exactly three months after activation of the first stage. So if the “BIP148 deadline” of August 1st is met, the second stage should go into effect before November 1, 2017.

Through letters published shortly after the announcement of the BTC1 alpha software, Chinese mining pool operators confirmed their intent to honor the New York Agreement. Additionally, they announced to include the letters “NYA” in their “coinbase strings.” That’s what we’ve been seeing today.

So what does this “NYA” string actually mean?

Signaling and Signaling

For each block miners mine, they get to send themselves one transaction that includes brand new bitcoins. This is called the “coinbase transaction.” (Not to be confused with the company “Coinbase.”) Like all transactions, this transaction can include a little bit of extra data that actually has nothing to do with the transaction itself. This is what miners sometimes use to “signal” information to the rest of the world.

But broadly speaking, there are really two types of “signaling.”

The first type is signaling support. This requires that actual Bitcoin software has been written to monitor the signals and, once these signals reach some kind of threshold, something actually activates in all of these Bitcoin clients. For example, code for the Segregated Witness soft fork as included in Bitcoin Core clients, will enforce the Segregated Witness rules once 95 percent of newly mined blocks include a specific piece of data in the coinbase strings. If that happens, all these nodes will actually reject transactions and blocks that break the SegWit rules. (Edit: It should be noted that SegWit signaling doesn't use the coinbase transaction for signaling, but the block header.)

The second type is signaling intent. As opposed to signaling support, signaling intent doesn’t actually do anything on a technical level. Rather, it's literally miners sending a message to the world, which has in the past, for example, been used to state a preference for a potential scaling solution. (While miners can also do this through letters or blog posts, coinbase signaling cannot possibly be faked, so it’s a bit more reliable.)

The recent “NYA” signaling is of the second type. It doesn’t actually trigger any code, but it instead lets the world know that the miners intend to support the New York Agreement. Specifically, they seem to indicate that they will be signaling support for the New York Agreement once the BTC1 client is officially released: presumably by July 21st, or at least in time for August 1st. (Though earlier is possible, too.)

But notably, most miners are not signaling support yet — even though it’d be possible to activate SegWit through existing activation methods implemented in Bitcoin Core or BIP148 clients straight away.

Hard Fork

The technical specifics for BTC1 are still being worked out, and that’s especially true for the hard fork part of it.

Right now, it seems that signaling support for SegWit2x should also trigger the hard fork code to be implemented in all BTC1 clients — but only three months down the road. So if SegWit activates before August, BTC1 users should start accepting, and potentially mining, “base blocks” larger than one megabyte by November. In fact, the first base block on the BTC1-chain, the “cut-off block,” will likely even have to be bigger than one megabyte.

But it’s far from certain that most non-BTC1 clients will follow this chain. Most notably, the odds of Bitcoin Core — currently the dominant client on the network — adopting the SegWit2x hard fork seem slim. None of the regular Bitcoin Core contributors were part of the New York Agreement, none of them support it, and contentious hard forks have so far not been implemented by the Bitcoin Core development team, more or less as a matter of policy. And even if the Bitcoin Core development team does merge the hard fork code, it would require all users to upgrade to this new version, which is probably even less likely.

As such, if BTC1 users — such as the New York Agreement signatories — follow through and actually run the software three months after the soft fork, there will likely be a split in the Bitcoin network. Some nodes will follow a chain with bigger blocks, some will stick to smaller blocks, and there would effectively be two different coins with a shared history.

But it is too soon to say how such a scenario will play out exactly —  or if it will happen in the first place. Three months is a long time in Bitcoin terms and, in the end, neither written agreements, nor signaling intent are binding on a Bitcoin protocol level.

The post Bitcoin Miners Are Signaling Support for the New York Agreement: Here’s What that Means appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

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