One bitcoin is now worth $10,000

It happened. One bitcoin is now worth $10,000.

The milestone was hit on international exchanges earlier in the day( where prices are usually a few percentage higher) and was just intersected on U.S exchanges like Coinbase and Gemini a few minutes ago.

This comes two days after bitcoin reached$ 9k, and eight days after it crossed$ 8k.

This $ 10,000 marks a bull rally basically never before seen in modern financial markets. For perspective, bitcoin is now up 1,258% over the past year, with the cumulative value of all cryptocurrencies up 2,174% to a total of $316 B. Bitcoin alone currently represents about 54% of this total marketplace cap.

BTC 1y cost graph, from coinmarketcap.com

It’s a strange time in bitcoin land. There’s never been an asset, with the exception perhaps being Tulips, that’s risen so much in such a short sum of day. So without any precedent or style to designate a “book value” to the currency , no one truly knows what to think or do.

Some say this is the nascent start of a trillion dollar the enterprises and the biggest thing to happen in technology since the internet was fabricated. Some think that bitcoin will replace gold and U.S dollars and every monetary instrument in between. Yet others say that this is the biggest speculatory bubble the world has ever seen, and that bitcoin will crash to zero tomorrow.

And of course there’s the majority of us who think something in between, or really simply don’t know what to think. It’s hard enough to predict how technology will develop, and even harder when you add the feelings attached with trying to independently value and assess a tradable, liquid asset like bitcoin.

So the question likely on your mind right now…what’s next?

No one knows. Even the most passionate cryptocurrency believers admit that we’re very likely in a bubble, and that some type of correction will happen. Of course no one knows if this will be a 20% or 2,000% correction, or if it will even happen at all. But don’t be surprised if it eventually happens on some scale.

But despite the fact most of us can’t open Twitter or turn on CNBC without hearing about bitcoin, it’s adoption is still relatively small. Many Americans still have no idea what a bitcoin is, what it does or how to purchase one. The same goes for Wall street, and even though there have been over 100 cryptocurrency-focused hedge fund opened in the last year many institutional investors still haven’t take a stake in bitcoin.

So this could just be the beginning. Or the end. Either style, this milestone is a perfect time to step back and appear just how crazy the last year has been in the world of cryptocurrencies.

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Coinbase ordered to give the IRS data on users trading more than $20,000

Most digital currencies exist in a sort of twilight nation just beyond the comprehend of federal regulators, but the U.S. tax authority is starting to get savvy to this whole bitcoin thing.

On Wednesday, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that Coinbase must render the IRS with identifying information on users who had more than $20,000 in annual transactions on its platform between 2013 and 2015. After noticing that the number of tax returns claiming gains from virtual currency didn’t line up with the emerging popularity of digital currencies like bitcoin as an investment vehicle, the IRS asked Coinbase to hand over a broad swath of information on its users. Coinbase pushed back, and now the court has landed on a compromise that the company is calling a “partial victory.”

“Coinbase itself admits that the Narrowed Summons requests information regarding 8.9 million Coinbase transactions and 14,355 Coinbase account holders. That only 800 to 900 taxpayers reported gains related to bitcoin in each of the relevant years and that more than 14,000 Coinbase users have either bought, sold, sent or received at least $20,000 worth of bitcoin in a dedicated year been shown that many Coinbase users may not be reporting their bitcoin gains, ” the court documents read.

While cryptocurrency users who value the relative decentralization and privacy afforded by digital currencies won’t be happy, Coinbase succeeded in restriction the government’s initial request for information on all Coinbase users who attained transactions from 2013 to 2015 to the smaller subset of high-value users.

The IRS initially requested nine kinds of user data, including “complete user profiles, know-your-customer due diligence, documents regarding third-party access, transaction logs, the recording of pays processed, correspondence between Coinbase and Coinbase users, account or invoice statements and records of payments.”

Rejecting some of those requests, today the court narrowed the scope of documents that the IRS can request from Coinbase to taxpayer ID number, name, date of birth, address, transaction logs and account statements, deeming the rest of the documents “not necessary.” Again, these personal data requests will only apply to accounts that have bought, sold, sent or received more than $20,000 in any of those types of transactions between 2013 and 2015.

As the court documents specify, the narrowed IRS request “applies to far fewer, but still more than 10,000, Coinbase account holders.”

You can read the court decision in full below.

//www.scribd.com/embeds/365896015/content?start_page=1&view_mode=&access_key=key-GwLPmvQCzRZlH4AftN7s

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Bitcoin is a vehicle for fraudsters, warns Goldman Sachs boss

CEO Lloyd Blankfein assaults cryptocurrency after value dives 20% in a day, saying bank will not get involved until it becomes less volatile

The boss of Goldman Sachs became the most recent high-profile critic of bitcoin, claiming it was a vehicle to commit fraud as the value of the cryptocurrency plunged 20% in less than 24 hours.

Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive of the US investment bank, said:” Something that moves 20%[ overnight] does not feel like a currency. It is a vehicle to perpetrate fraud .”

Q& A

What is bitcoin and is it a bad investment?

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Bitcoin is the first, and the biggest, “cryptocurrency”- a decentralised tradable digital asset. Whether it’s a bad investment is the $97 bn topic( literally, since that’s the current value of all bitcoins in existence ). Bitcoin can only be used as a medium of exchange and in practice has been far more important for the dark economy than it has for most legitimate employs. The absence of any central authority induces bitcoin remarkably resilient to censorship, corruption- or regulation. That means it has attracted a range of backers, from libertarian monetarists who enjoy the idea of a currency with no inflation and no central bank, to drug dealers who like the fact that it’s hard( but not impossible) to trace a bitcoin transaction back to a physical person.

Thank you for your feedback.

His comments came during another wildly volatile trading conference for the digital currency, which plunged by over $2,000 in a 24 -hour period. Having topped $11,000 to reach a new record high of $11,395 on Wednesday, it fell to a low of $9,000 on Thursday, before picking up slightly later in the day.

Blankfein said Goldman did not need to have a bitcoin strategy, adding the digital currency would need to be a lot less volatile and a lot more liquid to justify closer attention.

” When do I have to have a bitcoin strategy? Not today. Life must be really rosy if that is what we are talking about ,” he said.” Bitcoin is not for me. A plenty of things that have not been for me in the past 20 years have worked out, but I am not guessing that this will work out .”

Blankfein is the latest boss of a major bank to voice scepticism about bitcoin, after JP Morgan’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon, described it as hoax that would ultimately blow upand said it was only fit for use by drug dealers, assassins and people living in places such as North Korea.

On Wednesday, Sir Jon Cunliffe, a deputy governor of the Bank of England, said the digital currency was too smallto pose a systemic menace to the global economy. He also cautioned that bitcoin investors needed” to do their homework “.

Despite the fall in bitcoin’s value on Thursday, it remained far higher than it was at the start of 2017, when it was trading at $998. It is the biggest gainer of all asset class this year, prompting sceptics to declare it a classic speculative bubble that could burst.

Banks and other financial institutions remain concerned about bitcoin’s early associations with money laundering and online crime. Unlike traditional currencies, bitcoin is not issued or regulated by a central bank or government.

bitcoin

Lee Wild, head of equity strategy at online trading company Interactive Investor, said the volatility in bitcoin trading was ” wild west stuff “.

” Cryptocurrency land’s extreme volatility is like catnip to high-risk traders, and even traditional investors are dipping their toe. Dedicated there’s no logical style to value them with any accuracy, this remains wild west stuff .”

Analysts at the spread betting firm, City Index, said:” While traditional assets are experiencing historically low levels of volatility, the whipsaw action of the bitcoin is depicting “members attention” of traditional traders. Meanwhile existing traders and newcomers are increasingly interested in dread of missing out .”

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Japanese bitcoin exchange bitFlyer is coming to the US

Japanese cryptocurrency exchange bitFlyer announced today it’s expanding to the U.S ., with approving to operate in 42 countries starting today. This includes regulatory acceptance in New York via the state’s Department of Financial Services’ “BitLicense”, which merely five other cryptocurrency companies currently have.

For comparison, Coinbase has approval to operate in 48 states( including Washington , D.C .) and Gemini is operating in 46 states( including Washington , D.C .).

The exchange is by far the biggest in Japan, trading about $180 million worth of bitcoin per day. In words of traditional exchange volume this ranks as the 14 th largest exchange worldwide ,~ ATAGEND but when you add margin volume to the computation the exchange is actually the largest in the world in terms of total exchange volume.

Founded in 2014, bitFlyer has raised a total of $36 million in venture funding.

At launch bitFlyer’s U.S. exchange will merely support bitcoin/ USD pairs, but “plans to expand its cryptocurrencies to include altcoins such as Litecoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Bitcoin Cash and more.”

Right now the exchange merely supports deposit and withdraw via bitcoin and USD wire transfer, which means early users will likely be institutional or high net worth investors. Eventually the exchange wants to add additional forms of money inflow and outflow like ACH transfer, making it easier for the average consumer to deposit or withdraw cash.

Like most exchanges bitFlyer will have tiered verification levels. The first level asks for personal information like your name and address and email and cell phone verification, and in return you can deposit and withdraw up to $2,000 in bitcoin per day and trade up to $3,000 in bitcoin per day. The second tier asks for additional information like bank account verification and proof of identity via photo ID, and allows users to deposit and withdraw up to $50,000 in bitcoin per day and trade an limitless sum of the cryptocurrency.

With Bitcoin spiking 1,200 percentage over the past year, there’s a ton of demand to trade the cryptocurrency and not a lot of places to do it. While there are dozens of established exchanges around the world only a few operate legally in the United States, with the two main ones being Gemini and Coinbase. And even these exchanges get flack for slow customer service response times, an almost unavoidable byproduct of the insane spike in customers they are seeing.

If bitFlyer can provide a solid trading and customer service experience, there’s a lot of room for them to establish themselves in the U.S. market.

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Bitcoin is over $9,000

Well, it’s over $9,000.

Even as you recoup from attempting to explain Bitcoin to your family over the Thanksgiving dinner table, the value of the cryptocurrency is growing at an increasingly hefty pace. As of the time of this writing, the value of a single Bitcoin was above $ 9,143, climbing nearly 6 phases in the past 24 hours.

At a certain point, news of clearing these incremental price impediments are going to get old, but given the increasing speed in which Bitcoin costs are knocking through these obstacles and hitting all-time-highs, it seems relevant to chronicle the procession towards $10,000 at least.

The cryptocurrency currently has a market cap north of $152 billion.

via coinmarketcap.com

My colleague Fitz Tepper said the case for Bitcoin at $10 k was pretty strong by year’s end when it made $8,000 merely six days ago, but at this rate perhaps its more relevant to wonder how close to $15 k the cryptocurrency will get in 2017 before the rate of investment at the least cools.

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Bitcoin just passed $8,000

Stop me if you’ve hear this before…

This morning bitcoin shot past ** INSERT PRICE MILESTONE **, and is now hovering around ** INSERT CURRENT PRICE ** — up nearly ** INSERT% ** percentage from yesterday.

Just kidding. We don’t actually use that template, but if you’ve been following bitcoin over the last 6 months it probably sounds very familiar.

In all seriousness, bitcoin has been on a wild run. Yesterday the cost shooting past $8,000 for the first time, and per usual when it breaks through a milestone is now trading solidly above it at $8,250.

Here’s a quick recap of what’s been happening in bitcoin world the last few weeks.

On November 2nd the price of Bitcoin passed $7,000 for the first time, fueled by demand before the Segwit2x hard fork that was supposed to happen a few days ago. Anyone that held a bitcoin prior to the opening of the fork would receive an equal quantity of the forked coin, which some assured as being akin to free money.

When the hard fork was canceled on November 10 th the price plummeted down to $5,800 as people moved their fund back into alternative cryptocurrencies. This sudden plummet also coincided with some very strange motion in the price of bitcoin cash( BCH) which considered the price and hash rate spike for about 24 hours, temporarily stimulating it the second most valuable coin and the coin with the most hash rate( even outshining bitcoin ).

Bitcoin’s price over the last month- from coinmarketcap.com

Anyways , now that the drama has passed the price is on a steady climbing again and well past $8,000. So what’s causing this?

While I made this argument when it passed $5,000 in early October, I still think that institutional interest is the main cause of this extended rally.

Over 100 cryptocurrency-focused hedge funds have been created in the least year, which are acting as a conduit for large amounts of fiat being be transformed into bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Even old-school hedge fund and investment institutions are getting in on the action, to the extend that there are services that allow them to safely do so.

And these services are coming. Just last week Coinbase announced a service to securely store $10 M or more of cryptocurrency for institutional investors. Additionally, CME group will launch the first ever governed bitcoin futures product on December 10 th. Both of these offerings will make it easier for big diversified investment vehicles to enter the market.

So what’s next? No one knows, but at this point it looks like $10 k before the end of the year is possible. Of course it’s just as likely for the cost to plummet, as many say we are due for a correction.

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MasterCard has filed a patent on its own blockchain-based money transfer solution

In about 2014, most bitcoin companies quickly pivoted to the “next big thing”: blockchain. Among them were the financial and fintech homes that were eager to avoid SEC scrutiny of their cryptocurrency considers but were happy to use blockchain technology to speed up transaction times. Many of those early efforts are now apparently bearing fruit.

MasterCard, for example, has just filed a patent for a “Method and System For Instantaneous Payment Using Recorded Guarantees.” This is, in short, a patent for a blockchain-like system that offers instant payment. It is not a clone, per se, but a patent that assumes that a blockchain-like ledger will be available to store and manage international transactions instantly.

The patent describes 😛 TAGEND

A method for processing a guaranteed electronic transaction, includes: storing account profile, each include an account number and balance; receiving a transaction message from an acquiring financial institution via a payment network, the message including a specific account number, transaction amount, and pay ensure data; identifying a specific account profile that includes the specific account number; subtracting the transaction quantity from the account balance in the specific account profile; making a record of pay guarantee that includes the transaction quantity and data associated with the payment ensure data; making a return message including a response code indicating transaction approval and data associated with the generated record; transmitting the produced record to a computing system via a communication network; and transmitting the generated return message to the acquiring financial institution via the pay network .

While the abstract itself doesn’t mention blockchain, MasterCard intends to use the technology in the process, describing a step in which “the payment guarantee data stored in the third data element is contained in the received transaction message includes at the least a blockchain network identifier and( i) a public key or( ii) a destination address, the record of payment guarantee is a blockchain transaction for pay of the transaction quantity stored in the second data element included in the received transaction message to( i) the destination address or( ii) a destination address associated with the public key, and the computing system is a node in a blockchain network corresponding to the blockchain network identifier.” That’s definitely a mouthful, but it basically means they’ll store a record of the transaction in some immutable form.

MasterCard has investigated blockchain tech before even as its CEO attacked bitcoin publicly. This tendency to cut the cryptocurrency out of a blockchain debate is not new and it’s not stopping any time soon. Whether it runs, however, is a different question.

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SegWit2x backers cancel plans for bitcoin hard fork

Advocates for a bitcoin hard fork have now decided to cancel plans for the so-called SegWit2x fork. The bitcoin blockchain was supposed to split into two blockchains in roughly 8 days. But it looks like SegWit2x backers couldn’t persuade enough people in the bitcoin community to build the SegWit2x blockchain the new mainstream bitcoin blockchain.

The SegWit2x fork should have increased the block sizing to 2 megabytes. This change could have helped when it is necessary to bitcoin scalability.

But it has always been a controversial change and many bitcoin companies have not actively supported the move. So many feared that this fork could have divided the community into two branches.

“Although we strongly believe in the need for a larger blocksize, there is something we believe is even more important: maintaining the community together, ” the note says. “Unfortunately, it is clear that we have not constructed sufficient consensus for a clean blocksize upgrade at this time. Continuing on the current route could divide the community and be a setback to Bitcoin’s growth.”

In other terms, in order to keep the community together, SegWit2x backers have decided to call off the fork. The proclamation has been signed by BitGo’s Mike Belshe, Xapo’s Wences Casares, Bitmain’s Jihan Wu, Bloq’s Jeff Garzik, Blockchain’s Peter Smith and Shapeshift’s Erik Voorhees.

They all met in person earlier this year in New York to agree on this two-part scheme. The first part was a bitcoin update called Segregated Witness. This soft fork already happened back in August.

With SegWit, data is stored differently in each block — it leads to some nice bitcoin features. First, the SegWit updates improves the transaction capacity of the blockchain. It is also compatible with outdated versions of bitcoin software.

Lightning Network are now also possible thanks to SegWit. Lightning Network is a sidechain implementation that could solve many of bitcoin’s scalability issues. Instead of routing every transaction through the blockchain, transactions between two address could happen on a sidechain and you could determine those transactions every now and then with the main blockchain to ease the load.

The second part of this plan was the SegWit2x hard fork. While this fork won’t happen, SegWit is here to stay. So let’s see if companies and developers are going to take advantage of SegWit in the coming months.

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BitTorrent inventor announces eco-friendly bitcoin competitor Chia

A bitcoin transaction wastes as much electricity as it takes to power an American home for a week, and legendary coder Bram Cohen wants to fix that. And deeming he devised the ubiquitous peer-to-peer file transfer protocol BitTorrent, you should take him seriously.

Cohen has just started a new company called Chia Network that will launch a cryptocurrency based on evidence of period and storage rather than bitcoin’s electricity-burning proofs of run. Basically, Chia will harness cheap and abundant unused storage space on hard drives to verify its blockchain.

“The idea is to make a better bitcoin, to fix the centralization problems” Cohen tells me. The two main issues he sees in bitcoin are in environmental impact and the instability that arises from the few bitcoin miners with the cheapest access to electricity exerting outsized influence.

Chia aims to solve both.

Bitcoin uses proofs of work to verify the blockchain. That’s because it’s prohibitively expensive to make a fake blockchain as it wouldn’t have as much work demonstrated as the real one. But over day that’s given a massive advantage in collecting the incentives for mining bitcoin to the persons who operate close to low-cost energy and naturally chill air to cool the mining rigs.

Chia instead relies on proofs of space in file storage, which people often already have and can use for no additional cost. It blends this with proofs of time that disarms a wide array of attacks to which evidence of space are susceptible.

“I’m not the first person to come up with this idea, ” says Cohen, but actually implementing involves the kind of advanced computer science he specializes in.

After inventing torrenting in the early 2000 s and briefly working on Steam for Valve, Cohen had been at BitTorrent constructing a new protocol for peer-to-peer live video transfer. But mismanagement on the business side caused the company to implode. Now it’s limping along, and Cohen says “it doesn’t require me day-to-day.” So while he’s still on the board, he left in early August to start Chia Network.

Chia Network co-founder Bram Cohen

Cohen has teamed up with early bitcoin exchange Tradehill’s COO Ryan Singer and they’ve raised a seed round for Chia to ramp up hire. Cohen wouldn’t say how much it had raised, laughing that, “I’m not sure how much we want to announce right now, but it was a very hot round.” The aim is do some early sale of Chia in Q2 2018, with a full launch of its cryptocurrency by the end of 2018, though Cohen says that’s a stretch goal.

Cohen is a brilliant technologist, but it will take more than that to convince people to switch over from bitcoin to Chia. He tells me the plan for Chia is “do some smarter things about its legal status and do a bunch of technical fixings that you can do when starting from scratch.”

It’s too early to guess how this will all play out, but at the least someone is trying to address the ecological impact of cryptocurrency instead of just complaining about it. Cohen seems aroused though. “It’s technically ambitious and there’s a big meaty chunk of work to do. I’ve is enough creating money and recruiting. Now for the real work.”

[ Featured Image Credit: Michael O’Donnell ]

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Russia may soon issue its own official blockchain-based currency, the CryptoRuble

Russia will issue its own officer cryptocurrency, the CryptoRuble, capping months of supposition about the country’s approach to the technology. While in a way it indicates an espouse of the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum, the CryptoRuble is unlikely to share the genuinely decentralized nature of other coins.

The news, first reported by CoinTelegraph, cites local news reports, which in turn cite Nikolay Nikiforov, the Russian government’s minister of communications. I’ve contacted the Russian government for confirmation and details, and will update this story if I hear back.

Reports this summer indicated the country was looking into creating its own cryptocurrency, though the administration has also taken a hard line on other coins, calling them illegitimate replacements for the official currency.

Details are scarce, but according to the reports, the CryptoRuble cannot be mined, but will be issued and tracked by the government like ordinary currency. That does away with one of the primary describe of cryptocurrencies, of course: some would say that the entire phase of something like Bitcoin is to free commerce from the fetters of government-run fiat currencies.

The CryptoRuble does appear to be blockchain-based, however, which gives it at least a veneer of decentralization and could help prevent things like online hoax. Rubles and CryptoRubles( I’m hoping they fell the camel caps) will be able to be freely exchanged, though how exactly is unknown — an official exchange seems likely, but unofficial marketplaces are inevitable.

The idea is to stimulate the online economy in a way that doesn’t rely on foreign money markets or third party transaction brokers, and allows the government to closely govern and track it. Nikiforov also reportedly said that if Russia didn’t do it, European authorities might beat them to the punch.

Waiting for the other shoe to fell?

Upon exchange, CryptoRubles will reportedly require some kind of proof of origin, such as( presumably) a documented retail transaction or services rendered. Plainly this is to deter money laundering and currency manipulation; however, because the government doesn’t wishes to set a full stop to those popular activities, undocumented CryptoRubles will simply be exchanged with a 13 percent tax.

This tax will also be applied to any appreciation in value, although it’s unclear how or if the coin is likely to be tied to the fiat currency.

One might take this as the government tacitly fostering and profiting from supposition and fund laundering — but at the same day, it’s a realistic route to keep the marketplace from devolving into a total melee. Crypto enthusiasts are unlikely to relish the idea of the Russian regime skimming off the top of a marketplace, but for now that seems to be the cost to participate in what could be a major online economy.

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