Bitcoin Foundation: Bitcoin to be standardized

Bitcoin Foundation Executive Director Jon Matonis reiterated this position:

The Bitcoin Foundation has provided insight into the priority list for the next six months and announced that the Bitcoin code, Bitcoin symbol and Bitcoin units will be standardized.

The group presented the rough plans as early as June, when they were looking for volunteers in the community for the measures. The Bitcoin Foundation sees the group as an entity that should pave the way for a Bitcoin mass adoption by creating certain standards such as uniformly recognised symbols for a Bitcoin currency and ensuring compliance with international currency compliance.

Bitcoin secret Foundation Executive Director Jon Matonis reiterated this position:

Standardization is an important step for Bitcoin secret mass adaptation, especially in a financial innovation with such an international reach. Read more about it:

Goodbye BTC?
The Commission’s first task will be to apply for ISO 4217 approval, ensuring a single Bitcoin currency code. ISO codes are a global standard for banks and businesses and compliance would further integrate Bitcoin.

The current BTC code does not comply with ISO 4217 as the initial letter for global commodities must be an “X”. The abbreviation for gold, for example, is XAU. Supranational currencies such as the euro are also classified with an “X”. XEU therefore also stands for the euro.

The Bitcoin Foundation already pointed out that leading tools for currency trading such as, Oanda and Bloomberg already use the code XBT as code for Bitcoin.

However, most Bitcoiners and media continue to use BTC as an abbreviation for Bitcoin.

B, ฿ or Ƀ?
The Foundation also wants to agree on a unified sign for Bitcoin. This is a matter that has been hotly debated for quite some time. Without a unified Unicode symbol, there is no option to include the symbols in a standard computer shift. Even if only a few, some community members complain that the problem of the uniform sign can stand in the way of a mass adaptation. Online and print media must constantly help themselves to display the characters correctly.

The absolute favorites for the Bitcoin symbol are B, ฿ and Ƀ. For a final decision, however, the Bitcoin Foundation also wants to involve the Bitcoin community.

“The working group will use a consensus-based procedure to select an official currency symbol,” the Foundation said.

How many decimal places?

Last but not least, the group is also working on standardizing Bitcoin splitting. Since 1 BTC is worth several hundred euros, a way must be found to easily split the currency into commercial currency units.

“Today’s currencies usually have two decimal places (€ 1.00). At Bitcoin, however, we currently have eight decimal places. Someone could pay you 0.00000001 or a hundred millionth of a Bitcoin. Not only is this confusing, it’s not software or accounting.”

The workgroup is largely volunteer and is led by NASA veteran Beth Moses. Moses had previously helped standardize extravehicular interfaces for the International Space Station. Currently, Moses is also designing and developing parts for Virgin Galactica – flights that can already be paid for in BTC. Or XBT?

Blockchain technology: discrepancy between cryptosoft and reality still great

Blockchain technology does not withstand evidence-based analysis of actual benefit. As a new study shows, there is a veritable gap between promise and reality when it comes to concrete applications for Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). This is the conclusion of a study published by on December 1.

MERL, which stands for Monitoring (Control), Evaluation (Assessment), Research (Research) and Learning (Knowledge), is an evidence-based heuristic to realistically assess the potential of technological innovations. The authors John Burg, Christine Murphy and Jean Paul Pétraud have subjected Blockchain technology to such an investigation for the first time. The authors put the technology through its paces using the MERL method. It has to be said that the results are sobering.

An evidence-based applicability cryptosoft test

What is cryptosoft? How does cryptosoft work? Where does an application make sense? The list of questions that companies should ask themselves when thinking about implementing a blockchain can be extended at will.

However, as the authors of the study “Blockchain for International Development: Using a Learning Agenda to Address Knowledge Gaps” have to state, not too many companies seem to care about such fundamental questions. Hype often triumphed over ratio.

In order to arrive at this result, the authors proceeded as follows: As an example, they identified 43 possible blockchain application cases and promises such as “cost reduction”, “data protection” and “improved security infrastructure”. According to the report, this was the simple part of the MERL test.

However, it became difficult when the authors tried to contrast the possible applications with actual implementations. To make it concrete: Burg et al. did not find a single case in which the companies could keep the promises of the white paper – as it stands now.

Although this did not mean that no product went live, the promised disruption failed to materialise in all cases investigated.

Practice what you preach

In terms of transparency, too, the authors do not give any praiseworthy testimony to the industry:

“Despite all the hypes about how Blockchain brings transparency to processes and procedures in low-confidence environments, the industry is still opaque, the report says.

Another critical consequence of this non-transparent information policy is a lack of cooperation between the blockchain companies:

“Blockchain companies that develop prototypes do not keep what they preach themselves – improving transparency – by not exchanging data and experience about what works, what doesn’t work and why.

This leads to avoidable failures repeating themselves.

Bitcoin loophole: The dead live longer – The situation on Wednesday

Bitcoin has crashed, the prices of the Altcoins are falling. The prevailing media opinion: Bitcoin is dead. But is that true? A look at the status quo. The situation on Wednesday.

Times of crisis not only at Bitcoin loophole

Crash, sales panic, strong dump: The descriptions of the situation on the Bitcoin loophole crypto market speak for themselves. What is happening there is not beautiful. But do we have to initiate the downfall and bury the Bitcoin loophole? Is there still hope for blockchain technology? One thing first: the bubble has burst. And she will do it more often.

With a monthly decline of almost 40 percent and a current Bitcoin exchange rate of almost 4,000 US dollars, the last all-time high – that much has to be said to be fair – has moved into the far distance. Nevertheless: Death is then nevertheless different. Ultimately, it always depends on which side you look at the charts from. Those who entered the charts in December 2017 will certainly be annoyed. But if you are looking for a good entry opportunity, you can be happy about falling prices.

This is a good comparison to the bursting of the DotCom bubble

The market was full of promising FinTech companies, which today would be called Shitcoins. Many investors gambled their money because they were afraid of missing the train of new technology: Fomo Sapiens are not good investors. Anyone who still bets on the right horse will still be happy today: of all the inflated, insubstantial projects, a few remained. Today they are as self-evident as the technology that lies beneath them: Whether Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft or Apple – finding the needle in the haystack was then as now a difficult task.

In order to find the much quoted needle without stabbing oneself bloody with it, only one thing helps: to make oneself slack. Don’t fall for dubious scams or pump and dumps and stay calm. Especially in times of crisis you can see the possibilities offered by the new technology called Bitcoin. The view of Venezuela speaks volumes: While President Maduro continues to destroy the country, the Bitcoin trading volume rises to unseen heights. This is where an important function emerges that Bitcoin can take on: that of value storage. If a traditional monetary system fails, a new one can come and replace it. Without government or institutional intervention, based only on technology. In Venezuela, the mother of all crypto currencies is worth far more than the price displayed on Coinmarketcap & Co.

Something similar can also happen here in Germany, albeit much more defused. Our opinion echo speaks volumes: Deutsche Bank is catapulting itself offside, the crypto community is screaming confidently: Bitcoin is better! One member of the community says that it is better to invest in crypto than to rely on the corrupt flagship of the German bank.

Whether Deutsche Bank or Venezuela: these are important processes that are set in motion. No matter how negative the motives may be, they make room for a rethink – towards technological trust, away from the single point of failure. Unfortunately, this is still often the responsibility of the middlemen. This can replace the blockchain technology, Bitcoin is already working on it.

It turns out: Bitcoin is not dead for a long time. The crypto-bubble still has air and will – at least in parts – burst more often. Until that is overcome, you need a long breath.

It’s done: Real payments via Coingate via the Bitcoin Lightning Network

With a new implementation CoinGate makes payments possible via the Bitcoin Lightning Network (Live). This relieves the Bitcoin blockchain especially in the area of micro transactions.

Bitcoin is still struggling with scaling.

Why, so the common objection, should I pay with Bitcoin formula?

That takes far too long. In addition, the transaction fees are too high. This is nonsense, especially in the area of Bitcoin formula microtransactions. The answer to these objections: the Lightning Network.

The first step was the implementation of SegWit in August last year, which made it possible to solve initial scaling problems. However, it was the Lightning Network that got it going. With the Lightning Network’s payment channels, transactions can take place outside the Bitcoin block chain – without affecting it.

In short, Bitcoin transactions are faster and more efficient with the Lightning Network, without loading the Bitcoin block chain. (Read more here).

But what has been a long time coming: the implementation

The payment provider CoinGate now makes this possible. By implementing the software, it is now possible to pay via the company’s software with numerous crypto currencies such as Ether, Litecoin, Dash or Bitcoin. With a small, but very important button you can now also use the Lightning Network – for example to pay for your beer in Norway:

Coingate has been testing its implementation for about a month in a sandbox environment. The fact that the network not only allows Atomic swaps, but also faster and cheaper transactions, is creating euphoria in the Bitcoin community. This is also the case with Coingate. You can read on their homepage:

“Our main reason for implementing the Lightning Network is our strong belief that this technology will have a big impact on Bitcoin.

What will be the next big Bitcoin Prize event?

For the digital currency, the summer was anything but relaxing.

First the big debate about the effects of the UK’s EU withdrawal (BREXIT) on the Bitcoin course and then the hoped-for Bitcoin boom due to the block halving in July. Not to mention the hacker attack on the Bitcoin trading platform Bitfinex. Bitcoin has had a few turbulent months and yet the digital currency was able to settle back into a stable 550-600 US dollar range.

Bitcoin has been volatile by nature over the years and experts are already arguing about what next event will revive the exchange rate. The year is progressing towards autumn and winter and the conditions are not bad for a new boom or a slide as we already know them from the year 2015.

Institutional admission to the news spy

Among the analysts, a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund was hotly debated as an investment instrument of the news spy. Many market observers have closely observed the development of potential ETFs, but so far no concrete implementation has taken place like this: Is The News Spy a Scam? Beware, Read our Review First. In recent weeks the issue has been revived with the announcement of the SolidX Bitcoin Trust and a new announcement by the Winkelvoss Bitcoin Trust.

Approval of either fund could be a major milestone for the Bitcoin community. An ETF would give authorised market participants access to Bitcoin tied shares and thus provide new liquidity.

Daniel Masters, of the Global Advisor Bitcoin Investment Fund (GABI) said that so far all commodities that have gained access to an ETF have enjoyed significant price gains:

“Since 2000, ETFs have sprung up like mushrooms for almost all commodities – whether for golf, silver, oil, gas, platinum or copper, with the introduction of an ETF the price, trading volume and public interest all rose. If an ETF is really approved here, it could have a big positive impact on the current Bitcoin price.

Technical progress

Bitcoin could experience another potential upswing through the long-awaited solution of the scaling debate. Currently the transaction blocks on the Bitcoin blockchain have a capacity of 1MB. This limit also dampens the transaction flow at peak times. In other words, too few transactions can be processed over the network, resulting in a transaction backlog.

This topic has also already been hotly debated. There was talk of a hard fork where the size of the blocks should be increased to 2MB for example (Bitcoin Classic). As an alternative the SegWit code of the Bitcoin core developers came into discussion. A pre-release was recently released here (click here to download).

Even though SegWit would be a big step forward for the Bitcoin network, the analysts doubt that it will have too much impact on the price per BTC.

Cryptocurrency Investment Fon’s manager Jacob Eliosoff, for example, said that investors had already included the April event announced in December in their price expectations and that the effect was therefore included in the current price.

“The SegWit release has been expected too long to have an effect on the price. Not to say it’s already overdue.”

Tim Enneking from EAM took a similar tone:

“I don’t think the SegWit release will have more than a marginal effect on the Bitcoin price. At least in the short term.”

Aftereffect of the Halving
Investor Vienna Lingham says the effects of block halving its so far only been insignificant. The large effect of the halving on the price, at which the Miner’s Reward was halved from 25 to 12.5 BTC, he expects in the coming 2-4 weeks.

In a detailed article, Linham concluded that unprofitable miners will soon be forced to buy Bitcoins on the exchanges themselves. This would lead to a jump in prices due to the shortage of supply.

“It’s like distributing seeds on a field, but 50% of them are blown away abruptly. The only way (technically) to compensate for this event is to double the price on the day of halving (which didn’t happen).”

UBS plans blockchain project

Shortly after the release of the crypto futures, the major Swiss bank UBS announces a new platform on a block-chain basis. The aim is to make communication with other companies easier and more efficient.

The advantages for crypto trader are obvious

Banks that will use the Ethereum Smart Contracts for crypto trader to communicate in the future include Barclays, Credit Suisse, KBC, SIX, Thomson Reuters and UBS, as the latter announced in their press release today. The use of Smart Contracts is intended to make it easier to avoid scam for all participating companies to match the reference data of their legal entity identifiers with industry consensus.

This should make data reconciliation anonymous and more efficient. The project was launched in London and relates, among other things, to the forthcoming introduction of MiFID II and MiFIR at the beginning of next year. The two abbreviations each stand for draft laws designed to protect consumers and strengthen the financial markets.

To this end, the new laws require institutions to have a Legal Entity Identifier. One can imagine the same Legal Entity Identifier as a digital stamp, which receives basic information such as the address, name and date of incorporation of the respective company. This reference data also includes the industry classification and European Securities and Markets Authority identification codes and data. These data bundles can then be automatically matched and controlled using Smart Contracts.

“Typically, a company like ours performs quality checks on data from multiple sources, but we don’t have a reliable baseline for other representatives of our industry. By using blockchain-based smart contracts, data reconciliation for all parties can be done in near real time, anonymously, explains Christophe Tummers, Head of Data at UBS.

UBS works with Smart Contracts

The data synchronization follows the procedure typical for blockchains. The relevant data is encrypted and hashed, making it anonymous. The power of disposal over the data remains with the respective institute. Finally, the hashs migrate to the blockchain.

The Smart Contracts then compare the data with the prevailing consensus. The respective users always have the opportunity to gain insight into their own data.

At the moment, the project is still in the test phase – only non-sensitive data is compared. By the end of January 2018, however, the project should be ready to start.

So while banks and regulators are still divided about crypto currencies, the potential of the underlying blockchain technology is increasingly being recognized and used. The possibility of storing sensitive data anonymously and decentrally opens up numerous horizons. Apart from the widespread solutions in the financial sector, the use cases are in principle wide open. Similar proposals exist, for example, in the healthcare or legal sectors – we report.

Allianz Chief Advisor El-Erian on Bitcoin news: Cashless society will produce state cryptos

Cashless companies could promote the issuance of state crypto currencies, according to the forecast of Mohamed El-Erian, Chief Economic Advisor of Allianz Insurance. In an interview with CNBC this week, he highlighted the global trend towards cashless payment. Especially Sweden is on its way to a cashless society. State-controlled crypto currency, on the other hand, could play an important role in this change. Meanwhile, a number of central banks around the world have already launched the necessary initiatives.

According to experts, what the Scandinavians are already demonstrating is likely to become a global trend in the coming years:

Bitcoin news: As digitalisation progresses, cashless payment is also gaining ground

While crypto currencies have been trying for years to be a pillar of this trend, read the review about the Bitcoin news here, Allianz chief consultant Mohammed El-Erian concludes from their meteoric rise in talks with CNBC this week: “Digital currencies will play an increasingly important role in the future, yet “state control” is needed to exploit their Bitcoin news. The economic consultant underlines this:

“Is there a future for crypto currencies? Yes, but decisively [differently], [they] are officially approved by the authorities. This is something completely different.”

According to El-Erian such supervision could take the form of state crypto currencies in the future. While some central banks are already taking the plunge into the digital age, they don’t want to tell CNBC when this will be the case worldwide.

“It’s not something we’ll see in the next three to five years […] because human habits and people’s trust in the new medium and change won’t grow overnight,

said El-Erian, who at the beginning of the year was already regarded as an important candidate for the US Federal Reserve’s vice-chairman, but was left behind by President Trump’s nomination.

However, the 59-year-old has stressed several times in the past that he thinks little of the crypto currencies already in circulation. In September, for example, he last expressed harsh criticism of Bitcoin. According to his opinion, this should be half as much value as its course. It is unlikely that Bitcoin will be used and accepted by the general public.

Global trend: cashless payment booming

While Norway and Sweden are already promoting it, studies confirm that the world is on course for cashless societies at full speed. The World Payment Report, for example, confirms unprecedented growth in digital payments in 2015.

Digital transactions have experienced above-average growth of 22 percent, especially in developing and emerging countries. In developed countries, on the other hand, the pace of change is much slower at just under seven percent.

Among these, Sweden is the world leader. In the land of forests and lakes, on average only just under half of all payment transactions are made analogously. The rest is digital. But even cash-friendly Germany is not exempt from the trend. In Germany, the proportion of cashless payments rose by 8.8 percent in 2015 – and the trend is rising.

State crypto currencies: Economic rationality instead of vision of the future
Central banks around the world prove that El-Erian’s prognosis for the future of state crypto currencies is anything but a figment of the imagination in response to these trends. Around the globe, some financial institutions are already taking the plunge into the digital age, providing their national currencies with encrypted counterparts or playing aloud with this idea.

Nevertheless, the calculation seems to stand out decisively from the vision of the alliance consultant. Often the focus is less on forward-looking social change than on economic policy rationality.

A prime example of this is the crypto pioneer Venezuela. Its controversial crypto currency Petro, which is allegedly held by the state oil reserves, is primarily intended to serve the country to circumvent American economic sanctions.

Iran is likely to pursue a similar goal. At the beginning of the year, the central bank in Tehran announced the possible issue of a state-controlled currency. This could above all help to soften the pull of international crypto currencies in the country. Bitcoin & Co. should, as BTC-ECHO reported, play a decisive role in the devaluation of the domestic riad in the Gulf country in the face of American sanctions.

Using the economic pull, retaining control
But on the other side of the pond, too, the publication of state digital currencies is in sight. For example, the former governor

Drugs, weapons, human trafficking: Why crypto currencies are not the problem

A leading official of the US Secret Service has called on Congress to regulate privacy coins. The aim is to prevent anonymous crypto currencies such as ZCash, Monero or ZCoin from financing the trade in drugs, people or weapons. From Cain, Abel and classical symptom control.

Crime has existed since the beginning of mankind

This began shortly after creation. After Adam and Eve left paradise for known reasons, they had two sons – Cain and Abel. After the former had slain the latter out of jealousy, there were already several cases of crime in the second generation of mankind. And all because of an apple. But did God come up with the idea of banning apples? By no means.

Jump into the present: Crimes are still committed. Some more difficult, others less difficult. Now it is probably only rarely about apples, but the motives behind the crimes probably remain the same as in the past: jealousy, greed, hatred – human, all-too-human. Especially crimes that revolve around the trade with illegal goods and naturally have to remain anonymous are increasingly being paid for with privacy coins – in some cases this is simply more practical than cash. Even if this is at least as anonymous.

For this reason, a motion was submitted to the US Congress to ban privacy coins.

So said Thomas Ott of FinCEN’s Enforcement Division

“We’ve seen crypto currencies used to spend billions of dollars on what we would call suspicious activity.”

The petitioner Robert Novy, his sign deputy chairman of the U.S. Secret Service, said to consider:

“We should […] consider legislative or regulatory measures to improve controls to address potential dangers of anonymous crypto currencies. This also includes offerings that include transactions on the blockchain (such as tumblers or mixers) as well as crypto currency mining pools.”

The problem lies in human nature
Such statements belong to the classic accusations against crypto currencies. Whether it is the mother of all crypto currencies, Bitcoin, or the more anonymous variants such as Monero or ZCash, they finance human trafficking, money laundering and drug trafficking. The greed, envy, jealousy or injustice that lead to such activities emanate from people and the social system they have created. Fighting crypto currencies or privacy coins would not change these causes, it would merely combat symptoms. Because the problems originate from human nature. They come neither from crypto currencies, nor from cash – nor from apples.