Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork Sees Miners ‘Waste’ Money on 14 Invalid Blocks

Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork Sees Miners ‘Waste’ Money on 14 Invalid Blocks

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) miners appear to have wasted money mining 14 blocks on the wrong chain after the altcoin underwent a hard fork.  According to data from monitoring resource Fork Monitor on Nov. 15, Bitcoin Cash, which itself forked off from Bitcoin (BTC) in 2017, successfully split in two once again on Friday. BitMEX: Miners are “wasting resources” Despite being broadly cleaner than its previous hard fork attempts, it soon became apparent that a large section of miners had not upgraded to the new chain.  In total, miners spent resources mining 14 empty blocks on a chain that the majority of the Bitcoin Cash network already considered invalid and rejected. BitMEX Research, the analytics arm of trading platform BitMEX which owns Fork Monitor, commented during the hard fork: “The original rules chain has no transactions (other than the coinbases) due to the transaction replay protection measure Non upgraded Bitcoin Cash miners appear to be wasting resources.”  At press time, just 77% of Bitcoin Cash nodes were compatible and using the latest consensus rules, statistics from Coin Dance show.  Theoretically, those miners could have missed out on block rewards worth 12.5 BCH ($3,337) per block or a total of 175 BCH ($584,062). In reality, however, it is almost mathematically impossible that the same miner would unlock the block reward for so many blocks in a row. Bitcoin Cash price fails to react Nodes can be left behind during hard forks for various reasons, often due to accidentally forgetting to upgrade before the block set to trigger the hard fork.  The inefficiency nonetheless piled publicity on Bitcoin Cash and major proponent Roger Ver. Ver, in particular, has become a highly controversial figure in cryptocurrency due to his arguably unsuccessful campaign to plant BCH as a superior alternative to BTC.  Pro-Bitcoin figures took Ver’s allies to task on social media. These included Olivier Janssens, who previously argued that a node “doesn’t matter” in a decentralized peer-to-peer network and that removing Bitcoin’s block size cap was, therefore, essential to avoid hostile takeovers. The hard fork meanwhile failed to lift the poor performance of BCH/USD, which has shed around 3.2% in the 24 hours since the hard fork. At $267, the altcoin remains 93% down versus its all-time high of…

Crypto Derivatives: A Corner of the Market or the Market Itself?

Crypto Derivatives: A Corner of the Market or the Market Itself?

Emmanuel Goh is co-founder & CEO of skew. – a financial technology startup headquartered in London since 2018. These opinions are his and do not necessarily reflect the view of CoinDesk. The following article originally appeared in Institutional Crypto by CoinDesk, a weekly newsletter focused on institutional investment in crypto assets. Sign up for free here. The race is on. One business day before the much-awaited ICE/Bakkt launch, the CME announced it would be listing bitcoin options in Q1 2020. ICE returned the favor by announcing it would also be launching options contracts but in December this year/ Why are two of the largest exchanges in the world competing so openly for a space that was considered, until recently, as secondary by most industry insiders? Trending Almost every week, a new player is announcing its intention to enter the increasingly crowded crypto futures market. Most recently crypto behemoths Binance and Bitfinex launched their own futures products, with varying degrees of success. This optimism wasn’t always there. The rise of Hong-Kong based BitMEX – home to the most liquid bitcoin contract globally – was for a long time met with skepticism by industry leaders, who dismissed the product as only serving gambling addicts with the use of high leverage. The crypto futures market really took off in 2018. Volumes increased by a factor of ten compared to 2017 levels – a year widely seen as the peak of the crypto market. Bitcoin futures and other perpetual swap instruments are now trading, on average, 10x more volume than the underlying bitcoin spot market according to data compiled by skew and Bitwise. (source: skew.com) In hindsight, it is relatively simple to explain why. As the market entered a prolonged downturn starting in 2018, market participants looked for ways to profit from, or at least hedge against, the falling prices. The growth in futures markets came from that need to short the market. The market evolved rapidly from very little two years ago. In Q4 2017, the Financial Times published, in a well-researched article, how shorting the stock of chipmaker Nvidia – the products of which were very popular with cryptocurrency miners – could be one of the most convenient ways to get short exposure to cryptocurrencies. A crypto…

These 4 Facts Show How ‘Boring’ Bitcoin Is Crushing the Stock Market

These 4 Facts Show How ‘Boring’ Bitcoin Is Crushing the Stock Market

Analytics company Blockforce Capital published the October edition of its in-depth crypto markets overview on Nov. 11. Packed with information, the report provides a surplus of data on the overall state of the cryptocurrency markets, noting that Bitcoin (BTC) still outpacing traditional markets. Bitcoin gets boring in November but… November has thus far been rather uneventful if not boring with regards to price action. However, Bitcoin has had an eventful October. Last month started off slow but ended with Bitcoin skyrocketing from $7,300 to $10,500.  Shortly after, the asset quickly fell back down just below $9,000 before the end of the month. Now almost halfway through November, Bitcoin is holding around the $8,500 mark.  Crypto market data daily view. Source: Coin360 But even at current prices, Bitcoin’s gains have still far outpaced traditional markets, which are having a record year. Several data points also reveal increased mainstream Bitcoin trading as well as increased overall transaction activity in the latter part of the month.  Let’s take a closer look at some striking stats demonstrating how Bitcoin is still outperforming the red-hot U.S. stock market despite the bearish sentiment that has been prevalent since June.  1. Bitcoin 150% vs. US stock market 23% YTD returns Before its dramatic rise to $13,800 in June, Bitcoin sat at $3,400 in February of this year.   Currently, in the $8,000 to $9,000 range, Bitcoin has fallen significantly from its yearly high, although crypto’s leading asset has still outperformed traditional financial benchmarks even at current prices — and traditional markets have had an excellent year.  Blockforce CIO David Martin said the report:  “Bitcoin returned 11.5% for October, compared to mid-2% returns for gold, the S&P 500, and the MSCI All-World Index. The S&P hit new highs to close the month, returning 23% YTD — a favorable return for traditional assets, but one that is dwarfed by bitcoin’s 150% YTD return.” As demonstrated by Bitcoin’s volatility this year, buying into the digital asset at the wrong time likely led some traders or investors to buy BTC near its yearly highs of almost $14,000. Bitcoin currently sits almost 40% lower than that yearly high.  The coin’s current price, however, is more than double its 2019 low, outpacing traditional markets by a long shot.  Taking…

How to Spot Bitcoin’s Golden or Death Cross Using Simple Moving Averages

How to Spot Bitcoin’s Golden or Death Cross Using Simple Moving Averages

Understanding short-term and long-term moving averages (MAs) is important for trading strategies, whether for cryptocurrency or traditional assets. Two rare but powerful signals that traders look for occur when the short-term and long-term MAs cross. On the upside, that’s the golden cross, and, on the downside, it’s called the death cross. Golden and death crosses have predicted many of the worst economic downturns of the previous century; for example, the death cross predicted the 1929, 1938, 1974 and 2008 bear markets. Importantly, they underscore the potency of a primary trend, enabling traders to navigate the chaotic waters of bitcoin’s (BTC) extreme intraday and day-to-day price volatility. Golden cross The golden cross occurs when a short-term MA crosses over a long-term one to the upside, signaling to traders to expect a strong bullish upward move in an asset’s price. There are two main requirements to a golden cross with the first being an end to a sharp downtrend due to seller exhaustion, meaning the downward pressure from sellers in the market has abated. The second requirement is for the short-term MA to rise above the long-term MA, typically the 50-period and 100-period MAs. As seen highlighted above in green, a golden cross appeared on the daily chart for BTC in March, signaling a strong upward move away from the low of $3,122, witnessed Dec. 15, 2018. Starting on March 12, prices rose by as much as 260 percent, from $3,859 to near $14,000 by June 26. The golden cross is best used for analyzing long time frames compared to the monthly, weekly and daily charts. Death cross Conversely, a death cross is created by long-term buyer exhaustion, and an asset’s short-term MA crossing beneath a long-term MA, typically the 50- and 200-period averages. On March 30, 2018, BTC showed greater bearish conditions when the 50-day MA crossed below the 200-day MA, presaging a 54 percent decline in value from $6,850 to a bottom of $3,122 by Dec. 15. As with the golden cross, the death cross is best identified using longer time frames, as the trend would need to be confirmed by not reversing the next day. They’re not always perfect, but identifying and utilizing the golden and death crosses with other indicators can be an invaluable rudder, helping…

What Powers China’s Crypto Mining Industry, and Is It Sustainable?

What Powers China’s Crypto Mining Industry, and Is It Sustainable?

The cryptocurrency mining industry continues to grow daily, supported by a continuous stream of new and more efficient hardware. China is at the forefront of the industry, but as environmental concerns loom, the sustainability of their success is coming into question. Mining chip manufacturers, the most prolific of which are based in China, work tirelessly to develop ever-more-powerful processors. With each new iteration, these high-capacity chips require more and more energy to operate. Newer mining machines render old ones obsolete, resulting in an increasing flow of electrical waste, the majority of which goes unrecycled. Where to mine?  Little doubt remains that proof-of-work blockchain networks, like Bitcoin, are environmentally unsustainable in their current state. Computer scientist Hal Finney — believed to be one of Bitcoin’s original developers — noted the potential problem of CO2 emissions resulting from widespread Bitcoin implementation back in 2009, but was unable to offer a solution before his death in 2014.  Nowadays, the Bitcoin network has an estimated annual electricity consumption of 73.12 TWh, equivalent to that of Austria or the amount of electricity required to power 6.7 million households in the United States. The annual carbon footprint this creates is almost 35,000 kilotonnes of CO2 — or 308 kilograms for each individual transaction.  As an illustration, 1 kg of uncompressed CO2 fills approximately two standard bathtubs, and Bitcoin completes 7 transactions per second on average — that’s over 4000 bathtubs worth of CO2 created every second by the Bitcoin network.  The 2nd Annual Cryptoasset Benchmarking Study released by Cambridge University estimates that only 28% of crypto mining energy comes from renewable sources (as of December 2018). Since Chinese mining farms contribute to approximately 60 to 70% of this energy consumption (and resultant pollution), the country is a key talking point in any discussion regarding the sustainability of cryptocurrency mining. What makes China so attractive for crypto mining? Bitmain and Canaan Creative are the main mining chip manufacturers in China, with Bitmain producing 75% of all cryptocurrency mining hardware. As mining has become more expensive over time, Bitmain has launched the World Digital Mining Map to help mining firms around the world find the most affordable areas to operate. Canaan Creative recently filed for an IPO that will go ahead this month,…

Royal Bank of Canada Patents Point to Crypto Exchange Launch

Royal Bank of Canada Patents Point to Crypto Exchange Launch

The largest bank in Canada by market capitalization, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), is reportedly opening a cryptocurrency exchange. Patents have been discovered that reveal some of the technology the RBC may implement, which could be used to bring digital currency trading to the bank’s 16 million clients. Also read: Bankers Start to Recognize Bitcoin’s Role in Financial Evolution The Royal Bank of Canada May Launch a Crypto Exchange A report stemming from the publication The Logic claims that the RBC is currently exploring the construction of a digital currency trading platform. Columnist Zane Schwartz wrote on November 11 that the bank will give customers the ability to invest and trade cryptocurrencies like BTC and ETH. The report reveals RBC is interested in creating funds with a basket of digital currencies as well. “The bank is also looking into letting customers open bank accounts containing cryptocurrency,” Schwartz wrote. If the crypto trading platform comes to fruition then the Canadian bank will be the first financial institution in the country to offer such services. At the last World Economic Forum in Davos, the Royal Bank of Canada’s CEO, David McKay, told the public that the financial institution aims to leverage distributed ledger technology. “We’re experimenting with taking an asset and breaking it into smaller pieces and registering that in a decentralised register called blockchain. You can take an asset or even a company and create a unit on a decentralised blockchain and then sell that into the marketplace,” McKay said during a panel discussion. Speaking with Schwartz, RBC spokesperson Jean Francois Thibault explained that the Canadian financial institution “like many other organizations, files patent applications to ensure proprietary ideas and concepts are protected.” Thibault would not confirm to Schwartz whether or not the RBC would be constructing a new trading platform for cryptocurrencies. #RBC, the largest Canadian bank that banned its clients from buying #Bitcoin, could now become the first bank in the country to launch a #cryptocurrency exchange. Nice!#BTC #altcoins — Weiss Crypto Ratings (@WeissCrypto) November 12, 2019 RBC’s Wealth Management Says the Possibilities of Cryptocurrencies Are Undeniable Four new patents have been found that pertain to a crypto exchange, and RBC has roughly 27 blockchain-based patents in its portfolio. “In some situations, cryptographic asset…

Coinbase and Coinbase Pro plan to support multi-collateral DAI

Coinbase and Coinbase Pro plan to support multi-collateral DAI

On November 18th, Maker will be launching the multi-collateral DAI stablecoin, upgrading their current single-collateral DAI. Multi-collateral DAI introduces changes to the existing DAI stablecoin. In single collateral DAI (the current form of DAI), only Ethereum can be used as collateral when creating DAI. With multi-collateral DAI, both Ethereum and other ERC20 tokens can be used to create DAI, with eligible collateral types voted on by Maker token holders. Coinbase and Coinbase Pro plan to support multi-collateral DAI on December 2nd at 9 AM PST. At that time, we will automatically convert any DAI you hold on Coinbase to multi-collateral DAI. If you’d like your DAI to be upgraded, no action is needed on your part. Simply keep your DAI on Coinbase and we’ll upgrade it for you. If you’d like Coinbase to upgrade DAI held elsewhere, you can send it to Coinbase prior to December 2 at 9am PT and we will automatically upgrade it for you. If you don’t want DAI held on Coinbase to be upgraded to multi-collateral DAI, you may sell or withdraw those DAI tokens before this date. You can also upgrade to multi-collateral DAI yourself with the separate Coinbase Wallet app, which supports both forms of DAI and offers a simple upgrade tool that you can use anytime. If you realize after the upgrade starts that you still have single-collateral DAI elsewhere and would like it upgraded, you can still send it to your Coinbase account. We plan to run another upgrade in the coming months and will communicate the date approximately 2 weeks in advance. Learn more about this upgrade or get support here.

The Crypto Companies Reinventing the Wallet

The Crypto Companies Reinventing the Wallet

You wouldn’t think there was much to improve about cryptocurrency wallets. Save for a few UX improvements here and there, what’s to reinvent? A surprising amount, it turns out. This year has seen a resurgence in wallet investment and innovation, with VCs throwing funds at startups intent on reinventing the humble wallet. Also read: Bitcoin.com Wallet App Marks Over Five Million Wallets Created There’s More Than One Way to Make a Wallet At its core, a cryptocurrency wallet is simply software for aggregating public keys you possess and signing transactions with their corresponding private keys. The software is merely the lipstick applied to make this process more pleasurable. And yet, much like lipstick, wallets come in many colors and flavors, with the industry conjuring new variants every year, each promising to be more secure, seamless, feature-rich and long-lasting than its predecessor. 2019 has witnessed something of a renaissance in wallet development, spawning a diverse array of hardware and software solutions and attracting serious investment. This week, Bitski revealed it had secured $1.8 million in seed funding from VCs including Galaxy Digital and Coinbase Ventures. Its wallet, it promises, is the first to be designed for mainstream adoption, by eliminating the normal barriers to setup. Bitski’s solution requires only an email address and password, and is designed to be integrated into applications by developers. It’s an ETH-only wallet, and Bitski have yet to find a way for users to fund their accounts within the wallet without using a third party. In other words, there’s work to be done in realizing the startup’s goal of achieving mainstream adoption, but that’s where the seed funding will come into play. Next year, its much-vaunted wallet should look much more consumer-ready. The Evolution of Mobile Wallets In terms of mobile wallet development, the dominant trend this year has been multicoinery: existing wallets broadening the number of chains and coins they accommodate. Coin Wallet, for example, has expanded its range of supported cryptocurrencies, which now include BCH, BNB, DASH, and DOGE, as well as ERC20 tokens. A similar trend can be seen with mobile wallets such as the Binance-owned Trust Wallet and Exodus, which also offers a popular desktop client and provides Trezor integration. While some wallet developers have been intent…

International Law Enforcement Conference Addresses Crypto and the ‘Criminal Economy’

International Law Enforcement Conference Addresses Crypto and the ‘Criminal Economy’

The 2019 National Proceeds of Crime Conference (NPOCC) held in Brisbane, Australia from November 13-15 addressed “Globalisation and Digitisation of the Criminal Economy,” and featured 200+ delegates hearing from representatives of organizations such as the Australian Federal Police, Singapore and New Zealand police, United States Department of Justice, and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission. The conference set out to address how to better seize criminal profits and face challenges to law enforcement presented by the darknet and cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Also Read: FBI Says Bitcoin Concern Is Getting ‘Bigger and Bigger’ Addressing Crypto Crime Justine Gough, Acting Assistant Commissioner for the Australian Federal Police (AFP), stated that “Advances in technology, like cryptocurrency and encrypted communications have changed the way criminals acquire and hide their assets” and that “Seizing and removing the profits of crime is one of the most effective capabilities we have in impacting organised criminal networks.” The international conference, which aimed to address such topics as “the Darknet, trends in money laundering, collaboration in investigations; evidence collection in an age of cloud-based data and the monetisation of cybercrime” focused on how relevant organizations respond to crime in an age where cryptography and digital assets like bitcoin have enabled greater efficiency in skirting law enforcement. The push echoes recent sentiment from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) whose director Christopher Wray claimed problems presented by such technologies are getting “bigger and bigger.” Money Laundering and the Darknet Since the takedown of infamous darknet marketplace Silk Road in 2013, bitcoin and crypto have been in the mainstream media spotlight, and in the sights of law enforcement and financial regulators worldwide when it comes to money laundering and illegal activities. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has claimed that bitcoin and crypto are a “risk to the financial system” while pushing back against the idea that the world reserve U.S. dollar is used comparably. “I don’t think it’s been successfully done with cash. I’ll push back on that. We’re going to make sure that bitcoin doesn’t become the equivalent of Swiss-numbered bank accounts,” Mnuchin stated in July. AFP Acting Assistant Commissioner Gough says of the NPOCC: We are honoured to have representatives from law enforcement, government departments and private enterprise … share their insights and to…

Indian Government Delays Introducing Crypto Bill

Indian Government Delays Introducing Crypto Bill

The Indian government previously told the supreme court that the country’s cryptocurrency bill may be introduced in the Winter session of parliament. However, the crypto bill is not included in the agenda published by Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s parliament. This gives the community a sigh of relief as many have been campaigning to convince the government to reevaluate the bill. Also read: Indian Supreme Court Postpones Crypto Case to November, New Date Confirmed ‘Great News’ – Crypto Bill Delayed The government of India has been deliberating on a draft bill entitled “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019.” The government told the country’s supreme court in August that this bill may be introduced in the Winter session of parliament. However, Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian parliament, published the agenda for the Winter session on Thursday which does not include the cryptocurrency bill. Sohail Merchant, CEO of local crypto exchange Pocketbits, remarked on Friday: Draft bill for banning of crypto is not on the agenda for [the] parliament Winter session. Relief for now, but use this time to come together and present our case to the regulators. The Indian parliament building.The Winter session starts on Nov. 18 and ends on Dec. 13. Nischal Shetty, CEO of Wazirx crypto exchange, tweeted: “Great news for the crypto ecosystem of India. The draft crypto banning bill will not be included in the upcoming parliament session of November 2019. Great to see [the] Indian government not rushing into this. They’re listening.” The bill to ban all cryptocurrencies except state-issued ones was drafted by an interministerial committee (IMC) headed by former Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs Subhash Chandra Garg. It was submitted to the Ministry of Finance in February and made public in July. Following the government’s indication that it planned to introduce this bill in the Winter session of parliament, the supreme court postponed hearing all writ petitions relating to the country’s crypto policies to January next year. Community Forming One Voice Since the bill was made public, the Indian crypto community has been tirelessly campaigning for the government to reconsider the recommendations, emphasizing that the bill is flawed. Pocketbits’ CEO also urged all stakeholders in the crypto…