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  1. On Thursday, the world of cryptocurrency recovering from a serious collapse in the current week. The collapse of market analysts attributed to the decision of China and South Korea to tighten control over the stock market. An important role was played by the speculative activities of financial players on the transfer amount of cryptocoins to Fiat. Financial Supervisory service (FSS) in South Korea was investigating the incident on insider trading officials. It is assumed that she sold all owned by the cryptocurrency assets before regulators announced the strengthening of control over the cryptocurrency market. During the meeting of the Commission of the National Assembly this Thursday, the FSS has confirmed that some officials have invested in cryptocurrency and sold them before the government announced the introduction of new regulatory measures. The legislators called for a thorough investigation and demanded to punish the perpetrators. The law on ethics in the public service of South Korea "strictly prohibits officials to participate in the trading of securities in light of the possible use of inside information". However, since the cryptocurrencies do not fall under the definition of securities, financial asset or currency, "the provisions of the FSS, there is no indication on the inadmissibility of investing in virtual money." At the same time, the use of insider information can still qualify as a punishable offence. However, it is clear that investors have changed tactics and moved on to the refund in digital assets. Sales this week began after news of tighter regulation in different countries. In South Korea, one of the leaders in trading volume, authorities announced a possible ban on the circulation of cryptocurrency. A proposal on the closure of bitcoin exchanges by the Ministry of justice of South Korea. The head of the Commission for regulation of financial services market of South Korea during a speech to Parliament, spoke about the principle of operation of this regulation: "the Government is considering to close all the local virtual currency exchange, or only those that violate the law." This statement suggests that the government is going to resolve recent confusion in the question of regulation of cryptocurrency that was created in the first place contradictory comments from various government bodies. Another official head of the Bank of Korea Lee Joo Spruce - said at a press conference that bitcoin is not legal currency and "it is not used as such in the present." The Chairman of the Commission for fair trade South Korea criticized the proposal of the government on the closure of bitcoin exchanges, according to CCN, citing local sources. During the interview, Kim sang Joo said that the closure of cryptocurrencies is not quite realistic task, adding that the law does not permit the authorities, including the Ministry of justice to do so. "The closure of bitcoin exchanges is an unrealistic task. According to the law on electronic Commerce the government has no right to close the platform to trade cryptocurrency", - he explained. Analysts Bloomberg noted that before the Chinese yuan and the Korean won provided a large part of trading bitcoins, but after numerous bans, more than half of trading volume is now held in us dollars and Japanese yen. According to the Agency, now in the United States, the Supervisory authorities also actively engaged in the company in the segment of digital currencies. Thus, the Commission on securities and exchange Commission (SEC) has requested statements at least 15 of the funds involved in the exchange of bitcoin. Some experts also attribute the fall of the stock market with the upcoming Chinese New year, which in 2018 will be celebrated on 16 February. Traders, a significant portion of whom live in Asia, cash out their cryptocurrency to buy gifts and travel, which leads to a decrease in their courses. New year according to the lunar calendar is celebrated not only in China but in other Asian countries: Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
  2. Why unpredictable courses of cryptocurrency?

    People purchase depreciating cryptocurrency and they suddenly, all at once, as the orders started to grow?)))
  3. The price of cryptogenes affects only demand. Cryptogenic not tied to any existing currency or to the price of oil or any other assets. Digital coin had gained the price that you want to use. The more people buy bitcoin, the higher its price. Conversely, when investors massively sell the currency then falls, and its course. There are several factors. Strengthening the position of digital money in the real world. In the spring of 2017 bitcoin began seriously to add (there were periods when it grew by $100-200 every day). This period of growth can be explained by the influx of traders from Asia. In Japan adopted the law on the status of the cryptocurrency (it is the first country in the world to legalize digital money) and those investors, who previously did not dare to take risks, felt her confidence. Conversely, news about banning crypto-currencies and its products (. ICO and tokens) in several major countries, the closure of major crypto currency exchange lead to massive one-time reset scriptactive and falling prices. The little cryptocurrencies are highly dependent on "public opinion," experts explain. For example, in the summer of 2017 course Ethereum has fallen sharply overnight because of fake news about the death of its Creator Vitalik Buterin. The next day Buterin wrote a refutation in social networks — and the exchange rate recovered. Cryptocurrency is considered very profitable, but most risky type monetary investments. Many experts not undertake to predict its fate and not call even the approximate "ceiling" of the cost. In 2014, when bitcoin rose to $1 thousand, and then declined to $100-200, one saying, "$100 is the real price of bitcoin", the other claimed: "that's a lot!" And some experts and traders have been waiting for bitcoin will return to $1 million In the end, he exceeded all expectations two years ago. At what price would you have bought bitcoin you have to understand that in the coming couple of weeks (or even days) how to earn a couple thousand dollars and lose as much or more.
  4. Regulators should keep their hands off bitcoin and blockchain. In the same way that the automobile was a big unknown in the days of horse-drawn carriages, cryptocurrencies are unknown in today’s world of cash, gold, and credit cards. But it would be a grave mistake for government regulators to overreach and delay this innovation from reaching its potential. Lawmakers are justified in wanting to bring order to this madness to protect their citizens (and their tax base). The innovators in this space also want some clarifications from the regulatory community that will provide certainty and enable institutional investors to comfortably deploy their capital. So there is a need for a baseline regulatory framework, as well as oversight, that legitimizes crypto-assets. This framework should outline principles for market participants to follow, and to begin to craft a strategy for tax treatment, but should avoid placing onerous filing or licensing burdens on the participants, thus allowing the market to evolve. Laws like those in New York, requiring a BitLicense for cryptocurrency activity with a large legal, compliance and filing cost, are a mistake and will only protect incumbents and drive innovation away. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ruling that the cryptocurrencies issued by Initial Coin Offerings are securities and need to be registered will drive these issuances overseas (probably to Japan and Singapore with their supportive regulatory regime) and the U.S. innovators and investors may not be able to participate. Regulators would do well to get extensive feedback from sophisticated investors and innovators who understand crytocurrencies and their possible uses, as these sorts of developments are as unknown and incapable of being understood by policymakers today as the automobile was at the turn of the 20th Century. Specifically, we are attempting to regulate a decentralized network of trust that has never existed before, and must resist impulses to treat it like a centralized network, where if the intermediary (e.g. bank) is protected, the system remains safe. In this crypto-world, with no central intermediary, it will be only possible to understand how to properly regulate once the industry matures a bit and has found a purpose in the economy. There are lessons from the rapid acceptance of the internet when considering legislating the cryptocurrencies. The permission-less innovation with respect to the internet was one of the keys to its success. Imagine how much progress would have been delayed — or crippled — if web developers had been forced to acquire a license to set up each new site. Security issues and other sinister uses of the web were not a deterrent to its use, but a business opportunity to encourage the market to develop products to protect privacy and tackle fraud. In a short time, people have gone from reluctance to share credit-card information on the web to depositing checks with a smartphone. Anti-spam laws arrived well-after the spam filters had already been created. For cryptocurrencies to reach their full potential most rapidly, a permissive regulatory regime is advisable to allow the market itself to develop solutions to some of the technology’s most pernicious elements. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-bitcoin-and-blockchain-can-truly-become-internet-30-2018-01-16
  5. China’s Alibaba Launches Crypto Mining Platform Despite Restrictions. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has launched a surprise cryptocurrency mining platform, unconfirmed sources surfacing today claim. CnLedger, a Twitter-based local crypto news information provider, relayed the report from Chinese Internet service qq.com, stating Alibaba’s ‘P2P Nodes’ platform had “launched” after a registration in October 2017. According to the available material from cnLedger, Alibaba “may incorporate” P2P Nodes in its e-commerce platform “in future”: The moves run contrary to the current regulatory narrative coming from Beijing. Authorities have recently made known a desire to slowly reduce participation in Bitcoin mining, while regulators are also moving to eradicate the last traces of centralized crypto-to-fiat trading. P2P Nodes also represents an apparent U-turn for Alibaba founder Jack Ma, who in December declared that the world was “not ready” for engagement with cryptocurrency. In an interview with CNBC around the same time, Ma revealed that Alibaba had “spent a lot of efforts” researching Blockchain technology, but that Bitcoin is “not for [him]”. Cryptocurrency markets continue to feel the pressure in part from China’s latest regulatory moves, with Bitcoin losing almost 15% and altcoins much more in the past 24 hours’ trading. https://cointelegraph.com/news/chinas-alibaba-launches-crypto-mining-platform-despite-restrictions-say-local-sources
  6. What is ICO?

    What is ICO? The main problem with ICO is that, technically, it is a legal way to obtain financing, bypassing the need for compliance with standards laid down for an IPO (initial public offering – IPO). Thus, in conducting the ICO no need for due diligence, observance of the procedure of securities placement stipulated by the regulator and other actions specific to the IPO. Such a crowdsourcing alternative method of raising Finance makes ICO is particularly attractive to small businesses associated with maloobrazovanna and obscure for the business community on blockchain technology. However, such a quick way to raise capital is intriguing not only startups with the best ideas, but also fraudsters wishing to mislead the unskilled investors and illegally obtain other people's money. Such cases met too often, in 2017, such as crypto Confido startup whose founders have successfully gone from 375 000$ after the holding of the ICO.The current situation has forced many countries of the world in the rush to enact laws requiring the ICO to carry out in accordance with IPO rules and Laws on counteraction to laundering of proceeds. The European Union. Status ISO: enabled/ is an object for future legal regulation. ICO is allowed if it is conducted in accordance with the rules on combating money laundering (Anti – Money Laundering) regulations and "Know your customer" (Know your customer – the process of identification and verification of identity of customers). European Association for securities and markets 13 November 2017 demanded that the companies conducting the ICO to bring this process into compliance with applicable EU laws, in particular with the Directive on prospectuses (The Prospectus Directive – PD, the Directive on markets in financial instruments (The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive - MiFID), Directive, management companies of investment funds (Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive – AIFMD), the Fourth Directive on the prohibition of money laundering (Fourth Anti – Money Laundering Directive). The guidelines provide that to ensure compliance with rules of the ICO organizational requirements, business rules and transparency requirements. Also they prohibit the laundering of proceeds and terrorist financing and require due diligence in relation to the company conducting the ICO, accounting and other internal operations stipulated by the legislation of the EU. Canada. Status ISO: permitted. The canadian securities Commission recognizes ICO altcoins and regulated, however, in each case individually, there are some altcoins and ICO are subject to regulation, and some just prohibit. The canadian government has created a "regulatory sandboxing" (a term used to sites, which are tested new business models). China. Status ISO: prohibited. ICO is prohibited for juridical and physical persons order of the Bank of China. All companies have already completed the ICO demanded the return of established altcoins. For any breach of the policy provides legal liability. USA. Status ISO: allowed, but strictly regulated. ICO rules of conduct vary from state to state, ranging from complete absence of regulation, ending the requirements for the creation of a compensation Fund can fully cover all the possible losses in case of unsuccessful carrying out ICO. In some States, like Washington, a company engaged in the business of cryptocurrency needs to obtain a license from the State. At the Federal level ICO is not prohibited, but require mandatory registration with the securities Commission of the United States if the purpose of ICO is to trade cryptocurrency. The Commission on securities of the USA also admitted that some altcoins in the future will be recognized as securities. In turn the ICO is recognized by the Commission of the object similar to IPO regulation and requires due diligence and compliance of AML and KML.
  7. Or when the concept of the "blockchain" this is not even a blockchain, very far away from him. The use of the word "blockchain" in the name of the company is able to increase its capitalization by half. Investors love to create idols in the stock markets. In the sixties, the company has doubled in price, if added to the name "electrotrance" in the nineties insane growth of the stock of all companies ending in ".com". In 2017 the "Golden" words become "digital currency" and "blockchain". Almost every day another little-known company announces a corporate reorganization in connection with the use of cryptocurrency or blockchain. Among them, the beverage and clothes, IT companies and owners of gold mines. Sometimes the changes only affect the name of the company, and this is enough to at least double the capitalization for the day. Thus, the management, which often owns large stakes in small companies, receives an instant dividends, not making almost no effort. In most cases, this reorganization is similar to outright fraud for the sake of a quick profit. The most vivid examples of waves "cryptostome" the last days became Long Island Iced Tea and LongFin. The first company is a Chinese supplier of premium tea Oolong with a market capitalization of $20 million In 2017, the management decided to change the name to Long Blockchain and change the business strategy. What will the company not exactly clear, but investors tripled the stock price right after the news. This company for 5 years worked at a loss and gave no hopes. LongFin is an Indian company engaged in artificial intelligence and has a profit of $7 million the Company held an IPO in December and got a valuation of $245 million, which gives an estimate of the ratio P/E 35x — quite expensive, even for an IT company. Immediately after the IPO LongFin bought Ziddu.com the blockchain is a service that gives microfinance loans secured warehouses. The service itself does not yet have revenue, but that hasn't stopped the speculators, and at some point LongFin had a capitalization of $7 billion. Most interesting is that service Ziddu prior to that was owned by CEO Venkat LogFin of Meenavalli, but the deal was paid in shares of the company LongFin. Thus, Meenavalli for the week received a multimillion-dollar profit. Meenavalli in an interview with CNBC, which took place at the time of the crazy share price growth, tried to explain to journalists that he is a real legitimate business, and even he admitted that the current capitalization of the company is not justified. These are good examples of the irrationality of the market, which ignores the fact that companies conducting business on the verge of fraud. But there are examples of companies that are really trying to integrate new technology into your business, although this does not negate their absurd valuation. One of these companies Overstock.com that sells furniture and interior items via the Internet. Annual revenue is $1.8 billion with almost zero profit. Investors have long been disappointed in her, but that all changed after the summer of 2017 Overstock.com announced that it will be to accept any cryptocurrency. As a result of the company's shares rose more than doubled. In November, CEO Patrick Byrne saw another opportunity to play on the hype and brought the ICO has long forgotten all the tZero platform. Previously, the platform used for trading shares and does not stand out, but after the emergence of the crypto-boom Berne decided to revive the project and make it an adjustable platform for trade tokens issued in the result of the ICO. In December tZero raises $250 million through the ICO, whereby the shares of Overstock rose by another 50%. The share price increased almost four times since the introduction of the new strategy, and the capitalization reached $1.6 billion. The company still gets profit, and all growth of its shares rests solely on the belief of investors in the potential of new technologies, although there are no projections on potential revenue from new projects have not yet been. Another example of the excessive optimism of investors is the company Goldmoney, which has announced that it will allow its customers to trade digital currencies and store them in insured vaults. The company's shares immediately rose three times. Roy Sebag, CEO and co-founder of Goldmoney, does not want his business associated with ICO or companies who simply pretend that are associated with cryptocurrencies or blockchain. "Definitely in the market euphoria, but our business is not ICO, where people draw a business plan for a beer and publish it without further regulation. That is exactly what happen to the company type Pets.com" says Roy. Note Pets.com was one of the clearest example of the dot-com bubble. Pets.com engaged in the sale of products for animals and worked on model of Amazon. The company went IPO in February 2000 and raised $83 million, but did not have a profit and generated only $700,000 in revenue. Less than a year, as the company recognized that its business model wasn't working and filed for bankruptcy. Betting on cryptocurrencies and related technology that can change the world, as in his time did the Internet, investors are trying to find the next Amazon. But it must be remembered that no matter how tempting was the idea that companies must prove the sustainability of their business. Under the influence of euphoria investors do not see the obvious problems in new businesses in the blockchain and forget that the business must be assessed on the cash flows that it generates. As a result, the majority of shares purchased in the period of euphoria will cause damage, when there comes sobering. For example, the bubble "dot-com", it is clear that the best strategy is to wait for deflation of the first bladder of the blockchain and look for companies that will prove the stability of its business model in difficult times. The dynamics of the stock prices of Amazon and Apple shows what to enter in these papers it was not too late and a few years after the deflation of the bubble the "dot-com".
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  11. 97% of all bitcoins are held by 4% of addresses. A man walks past an electric board showing exchange rates of various cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (top L) at a cryptocurrencies exchange in Seoul. In a wide-ranging note on cryptocurrencies and blockchain, Credit Suisse explored the concentration of wealth in bitcoin. '97% of all bitcoins are held by 4% of addresses,' according to the bank. Is bitcoin just another toy for the 1%? It's a question analysts at Switzerland-based bank Credit Suisse explored in a big note on cryptocurrencies and blockchain sent out to clients on Thursday. "The concentration of wealth at a small group of addresses – be it individuals or exchanges –means that a few key players in the game can have a massive influence on the bitcoin market," the bank said. Those "hodlers," as they're referred to in the crypto world, are holding onto their bitcoin for dear life. As such, wealth in the ecosystem has become very concentrated. 97% of all bitcoin are held by 4% of all bitcoin addresses, according to the bank. By way of comparison, the wealthiest 1% own just about half of the world's wealth, according to analysis by Credit Suisse in November. The bank said the wealth concentration points to bitcoin's use-case as a store of value, akin to gold. "Significant proportions of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are apparently being held like precious assets, thereby severely restricting the flow and availability of the digital currencies," bank said. 2017 was a breakneck year for bitcoin investors. The red-hot cryptocurrency soared to an all-time high near $20,000 in December. It ended the year up 1,300%. As for bitcoin's market capitalization, it soared from $15.6 billion at the start of 2017 to an all-time high above $320 billion in December. http://www.businessinsider.com/bitcoin-97-are-held-by-4-of-addresses-2018-1
  12. 10 Bitcoin Winners and Losers of 2017

    10 Bitcoin Winners and Losers of 2017 The year of 2017 was a fantastic year for some Bitcoin users, but others were not so lucky with the cryptocurrency. Below, we’ll look at some of the most impressive success stories of the year, as well as the profiles of people who probably wish they’d never touched Bitcoin at all. It’s a highly erratic currency, but people who invested in it before its recent prominence often found their foresight was lucrative in ways they never imagined at first. This Anonymous Person Who Became a Bitcoin Millionaire One anonymous person who posted a detailed story on Steemit said that in 2010, the price of each Bitcoin was so low that it was not even valuable enough to buy a pizza. Still, by the end of that year, the person reportedly had 12,000 Bitcoins and collecting the large number of them paid off. That’s because by April 2013, the worth of each Bitcoin had ballooned to over $100. Due to some issues in the individual’s personal life and a few other non-Bitcoin-related factors, the person took a couple of breaks from Bitcoin but was never completely out of the loop with them. Eventually, this anonymous Bitcoin user heard that the 12,000 Bitcoins were now worth over $10 mln. Despite that fortunate turn of events, the person only began selling them in small quantities so as to not attract attention. The individual also planned for the future by choosing investment strategies and did not let the rapid wealth impact their employment. As words of advice, the person suggests exercising patience and not getting greedy, while also keeping up on newsworthy events. Erik Fineman Erik Fineman began investing in Bitcoins in 2011 when he was only 11 after his grandmother gave him $1,000 and his brother offered him a tip about what to do with the money. In those early days, Bitcoins were only worth $12 each. However, when Fineman sold his first Bitcoins at the end of 2013, each one had a value of $1,200. By then, Fineman had turned the $1,000 from his grandma into $100,000 and used it to start an online education company in 2014. He hadn’t had a pleasant experience in high school and thought that his new business venture could connect frustrated students and willing teachers over video chat. Fineman also moved to Silicon Valley, traveled the world and made a bet with his parents that if he were a millionaire by age 18, he’d not have to go to college. In January 2015, Fineman sold his education company and was given the choice of accepting $100,000 or 300 Bitcoins. He took the Bitcoins. Fineman also achieved his goal of becoming an 18-year-old millionaire and won’t be going to college. He says he’s happy learning from real-world experiences. However, Fineman stays busy with numerous projects, including involvement with NASA. Those activities — and savvy business sense — feasibly helped him get where he is today. Jeremy Gardner Jeremy Gardner is another person who boldly began investing in Bitcoin during the early days — notice a pattern here? — and received a substantial payoff. In 2013, one of Gardner’s friends got him some Bitcoins in exchange for cash and Gardener began feeling fascinated about how he could work with the currency with nothing more than an Internet connection. He also loved how there was no centralized regulatory body for Bitcoin. As Gardener became immersed in the Bitcoin world, he became a strong and emphatic voice in the cryptocurrency world, often using social media as a platform. He also wisely invested money into starting and supporting companies associated with Bitcoins and Blockchain technology. Gardner stops short of disclosing how much money he’s made by investing in Bitcoin technologies, but is referred to as a “self-made millionaire.” Plus, he keeps a realistic perspective and understands that whenever the value of Bitcoins goes up rapidly, it’ll likely also go in the other direction soon. However, Gardener has a broad network of investments. Those interests are arguably helping protect his worth and allow him to get financial benefits from numerous sources. Mr. Smith (not his real name) Traveling the world is something many people dream of doing, but Mr. Smith has turned that aspiration into reality, all due to Bitcoin investments starting in 2010. A man with a college education and former Silicon Valley employee, Mr. Smith, heard about Bitcoins in July of 2010 and began investing in them a few months later. Knowing he was in it for the long haul, Smith put his Bitcoin investments on the backburner until 2013, a time when the cryptocurrency’s value started rising rapidly. Eventually, the price per coin went up to more than 2,000 times what Smith originally paid for it. He now claims to have made $25 million from an initial $3,000 investment and uses the money to go on lavish, round-the-world travels that involve only staying in five-star hotels and flying first-class. Smith still owns 1,000 Bitcoins, but only wants to sell those once the per-coin value reaches $150,000. He has no regrets about selling the rest and says he has everything he ever wanted, thanks to Bitcoins. Tim Enneking Tim Enneking is a prime example of how to succeed in Bitcoin investing. He’s a hedge fund manager who achieved the all-time annual records for both funds and funds of funds. Enneking was skeptical of digital currencies, although he started running the world’s first digital currency fund. During his work, Enneking decided to rigorously research Bitcoins. After realizing he didn’t find any red flags, he concluded perhaps there was more to the cryptocurrency than he’d originally thought and started looking for ways to become more heavily involved in funds management. Enneking now has experience overseeing funds within the US and abroad. He advocates being cautious while investing and taking time to understand market trends. Furthermore, Enneking reminds potential investors that due to the rapid fluctuations of digital currencies, it may take time to see investments become fruitful. Olaf-Carlson Wee You might not have heard of 26-year-old Olaf-Carlson Wee before, but he’s another person who recognized the potential of Bitcoins before many other people and got rich as a result. In February 2013, at a time when a single Bitcoin’s worth was between $20-30, Carson Wee began working for a Bitcoin startup called Coinbase. At that time, Bitcoins were not part of the cultural consciousness yet, and the mere mention of them caused raised eyebrows if people were aware of them at all. However, Carlson Wee viewed Bitcoins as a promising currency. He made an arrangement with his employer to only get paid with them instead of physical money and started making transactions with Bitcoins whenever possible. Those decisions were ultimately profitable because they made Carlson Wee a millionaire. James Howells James Howells, a 32-year-old man from Wales, started working with Bitcoins from a computer in 2009. A year later, he disassembled the device and stored the parts in a drawer, then eventually threw them away. Because several years’ worth of trash now lie on top of the valuable but discarded hard drive, retrieving it is an expensive process, and the condition of the hard drive is unknown. However, the reason why the ramifications of this failure became especially evident this year is that estimates suggest the hard drive and the Bitcoins it contains are worth more than $100 mln at today’s prices. Howells keeps an upbeat attitude about his lost fortune and knows there’s no point in getting too upset about it. If he ever does recover it, however, he’ll buy a Lamborghini. Despite how things turned out for Howells, he hasn’t given up on cryptocurrencies. He’s still active with them today and puts his energies into one called Bitcoin Cash. Mark Frauenfelder Most people have gone through the frustration of forgetting passwords and PINs, but they probably don’t have to deal with the aftermath of losing the equivalent of $30,000 because of the blunder. However, Mark Frauenfelder invested $3,000 in Bitcoins last year and had numerous profitable ventures afterward. He talked to Bitcoin experts who told him that using a hardware wallet was the best way to protect his Bitcoin cache, so Frauenfelder bought one in November 2016 for $100. While setting up the hardware wallet, he had to set up a PIN, along with a 24-word list used to recover access if needed. Frauenfelder wrote down the words on a piece of paper. Unfortunately, a cleaning company employee threw the document away. Frauenfelder didn’t think that was a big deal at first until he discovered he’d forgotten his PIN. Desperate to regain access, he went online and posted on forums, plus contacted customer service representatives associated with the hardware wallet manufacturer. Frauenfelder even visited a hypnotist this spring, but the session did not bring about successful results. At long last, he got help from someone who helped him hack into the hardware wallet and get the PIN and 24-word list. But, not without substantial heartache, stress and paying money for retrieval methods. This woman who used Bitcoin to hire a hitman The anonymous nature of Bitcoin may compel people to use the currency for illegal things. However, as a 58-year-old Italian woman who lives in Denmark learned, doing that can cause trouble. She hired a hitman to carry out a failed murder plot related to her boyfriend and used Bitcoin to pay for it. A court ruling resulted in a six-year jail term. It also caused her to lose residence privileges in Denmark, where she’s lived for 30 years. Cody Brown Cody Brown, a startup executive, saw first hand how bad things could get during a Bitcoin theft. He lost $8,000 worth of Bitcoins in 15 minutes after a hacker got into his Verizon account, which was connected with Coinbase. Brown believed he got targeted because of a tweet he’d RT’d from a friend who’d also been hacked earlier. Brown is not hopeful of ever getting the stolen cryptocurrency back. However, he’s also not giving up on Bitcoins. Brown believes that the companies involved in it will eventually figure out how to lock their systems down tighter and potentially add more fraud protection resources for customers. Simon Simon first used the TOR network in 2011. He stumbled upon one of those shady online marketplaces that offered all kinds of illegal things, — guns, drugs, counterfeit documents, you name it. As a teenager, Simon decided that getting a brand new passport for a certain European country would be a neat thing to do. The price tag was 10,000 BTC. If he threw in an extra 6,000 BTC, the seller promised to get Simon a press ID from an esteemed newspaper, too. He couldn’t resist. Simon transferred his funds to a crypto-exchange platform but, when it came time for the merchant to deliver, the merchant disappeared. ‘Maybe he got arrested?’ Simon wondered to himself. He was confused, but he still had his money safely tucked away in the exchange account since the seller had vanished. All was okay as far as he was concerned. Two years later, newspapers began reporting the arrest of a Russian man accused of money laundering. The name of the laundering service he had controlled was Liberty Finance, which Simon instantly recognized as the crypto-exchange platform he had used to keep his 20,000 BTC. In light of the scandal, the FBI seized control of the exchange platform and all money associated with it. Simon kissed that money goodbye long ago, but it doesn’t make it easier for him to see how Bitcoin has appreciated over time. If Liberty Finance hadn’t been a money laundering scam, Simon would have acquired some $400 mln dollars. BTC-e Despite the lack of regulation in the Bitcoin world, entities that are breaking the law still get caught. Case in point? BTC-e, a long-running Bitcoin exchange. It received a $110 mln fine from the Federal Trade Commission for alleged money laundering. Also, Alexander Vinnik, a Russian man associated with the exchange got arrested and faces over five decades in prison if convicted. Anatoly Kaplan Another recent incidence of alleged questionable behavior from Russia comes from Anatoly Kaplan, the owner of ForkLog, a Russian cryptocurrency news outlet. According to reports, the Ukrainian Secret Service is investigating Kaplan in connection with alleged associations with Americans involved in unlawful activities. The Ukrainian authorities searched Kaplan’s apartment and confiscated his laptop. Also, this is not the first time ForkLog has come to the attention of law enforcement officials. Kaplan maintains his innocence and asserts his site does not have technology capable of the things the Ukrainian police accuse him of doing. Kaplan also says during the search and seizure related to the investigation, one of the Ukrainians tried to transfer some of Kaplan’s Bitcoins. Kaplan and his attorney plan to take legal action and are confident about a positive outcome, but even so, this event has already caused stress and unfavorable publicity for Kaplan and his ForkLog site. These tales of wonder and woe prove that Bitcoin investments are not for the faint of heart. The people who engage in them must be ready for ruin, but they might become amazingly prosperous instead. https://cointelegraph.com/news/10-bitcoin-winners-and-losers-of-2017
  13. Cryptocurrencies to draw more power from the grid than electric cars. Mining for cryptocurrencies requires plenty of computational power, and power of the regular kind. Just don’t expect it to upend the utilities industry, at least for now. That’s from analysts at Morgan Stanley, who predicted mining for bitcoin and its rivals would suck more power from global electric grids this year than electric vehicles would draw in the next seven. The analysts estimated power demand to mine for bitcoin, a pioneering cryptocurrency, to equal 0.6% of the world’s electricity consumption in 2018, or roughly equivalent to Argentina’s consumption, they said in a note Wednesday. That would be bigger than the investment bank’s projected global demand from electric vehicles in 2025, but still small on an absolute basis, and not likely to have a material impact on utility stocks any time soon. Cryptocurrency power consumption is a very small percentage of global power usage, and given the dispersion of this demand, we believe it is not likely to impact utility valuations in the near- to medium-term. Consumption levels “are manageable.” It bears watching, however. Future energy consumption of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology, blockchain, could become a hot topic for the sector. Bitcoin demand may represent a new business opportunity for renewable-energy developers, given the emergence of ’cheap, firm renewable energy’ – a combination of wind, solar and storage. They put a price range on “mining” one bitcoin at anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000, including electricity and computer-power costs. The analysts estimated power costs would represent roughly a third of the cost of mining a bitcoin. A potential fall in costs of renewable energy and large-scale, long-term power storage would drive electricity costs lower. In turn, that would spur more mining. Needless to say there are plenty of uncertainties which means energy consumption could inflect in either direction. Seeking low electricity costs, bitcoin mining will continue to be concentrated on low-cost power generation countries such as China and, in the U.S., areas like the Midwest and Northwest. While that could have some impact on China’s electricity demand and coal consumption, that impact is relatively small at the moment and the Chinese government’s regulation might limit it even further, the analysts said. In a typical mining operation, electricity consumption accounts for the highest fraction of operational costs, which is why the largest bitcoin mines are based in China.
  14. The organizers of the conference The North American Bitcoin Conference (TNABC) to be held on January 18-19 in Miami, stopped accepting payments for "last minute" tickets with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Conference The North American Bitcoin Conference (TNABC) on the blockchain will take place on 18 and 19 January in Miami. However, the event organizers stopped selling tickets for the cryptocurrency. "Because of the congestion of the network and manual handling we stop accepting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payment for tickets. We have always taken and will continue to accept cryptocurrencies for our conferences for 14 days or more prior to the event. However, digital purchases on our platform are processed manually, so we decided to refuse to accept bitcoin payments for "discounted" tickets because of the limited time of the press", — stated in the page ticket sales TNABC. Recently the rates on transactions rose strongly to $30 — $60 per transfer. In addition, the network is congested: according Blockchain.info over the last 10 days on bitcoin translated at the average could go from 14 minutes to 59 hours. Unfortunately, it was noted that the payment system does not yet support other cryptocurrencies, although the organizers hope to support in the future. The long transaction exists in the blockchain of bitcoin for a long time. Trying to decide upgrades network fork, but they often lead to the emergence of yet another variation of bitcoin. Including from-for a large fee and waiting time bitcoin can not yet compete with the payment infrastructures of the largest international payment systems Visa or Mastercard.

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