Tag: bitcoin price

Weekly News Roundup – 25 November 2016

IRS Files Petition in Court to Get Coinbase Users’ Info

On 17th November, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) filed a petition in the District Court for the Northern District of California asking for permission to serve a summons to the Bitcoin exchange Coinbase to turn over records about every transaction of every user from 2013 to 2015.

According to court records,  the basis of IRS’s claim that all U.S. Coinbase users “may fail or may have failed to comply” with the internal revenue laws is an instance of a tax-defaulting Bitcoin user and two instances of tax-defaulting companies.

 

Bitcoin Price Flirts with Year’s High

Fueled by Indian government’s move to “hard-fork” the Indian Rupee, the Bitcoin price continued to rise since our previous bitcoin news roundup and, on 16 November, it rose by $30 in roughly one hour! On 17 November, it flirted with $780 on Chinese Bitcoin exchanges such as HaoBTC and BTCC.

At time of writing, it was swinging about $730 on Coindesk’s BPI.

Bitcoin Price 11-25 November 2016

Blockchain Partners with Coinify

The Bitcoin wallet Blockchain has partnered with Danish blockchain startup Coinify to offer its wallet users near-instantaneous funding options.  According to Blockchain, this partnership will allow its wallet users to avoid lengthy Know your Customer (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) verifications to purchase bitcoins more efficiently.

The Coinify integration will first be beta tested by invite-only participants in the UK and, after successful completion of the testing, will be available across Europe.

 

Blockchain Ads Ten Millionth Wallet

Following Blockchain’s previous news, the company announced a new milestone: it surpassed the ten million-wallet mark. The company mentioned that they have seen unprecedented levels of activity following the Brexit vote, the US presidential election and a weakening Yuan.

 

iPayYou Integrates Bitcoin Payment for Amazon Purchases

While major e-retailers like Overstock.com or Newegg.com have long been accepting Bitcoin payments, Amazon has still not adopted the most popular digital currency for payments on its retail platform.  However, early this week, Seattle-based payment platform iPayYou announced a feature called Amazon Direct that allows users to use their Bitcoin to make purchases on Amazon.

According to iPayYou’s CEO, the money is transferred from iPayYou’s bank account to that of Amazon so Amazon only deals with fiat transfers.

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Weekly News Roundup – 11 November 2016

In absence of the previous weekly news roundup, we will be rounding up some noteworthy news of the past two weeks. The past two weeks have been unusually eventful for the bitcoin and cryptocurrency space.

Zcash Launch and Frenzy

The new Bitcoin-derived cryptocurrency Zcash (ZEC) launched amidst much hype  and the frenzy continued after its launch on 28th October, when it surged to a price of  3,300 Bitcoins (more than $2 million). It fell to a value below 1 BTC on 30th October as the frenzy faded, rose temporarily, fell again and remains below 1 BTC at time of writing this.

Zcash / Bitcoin Price

Source: coinmarketcap.com

The company behind Zcash claims that,  in comparison to Bitcoin, Zcash offers more anonymity, increased fungibility and faster transaction verification.

Bitmain Announces World’s Second Most Powerful Data Center

News emerged on a Chinese Bitcoin news’ website on 2nd November that Bitmain is building a giant data center for Bitcoin mining. This was soon followed by Bitmain’s tweets and then a press release that clarified that Bitmain only owns a small share of the 135 megawatt facility and various other investors, who own majority of the facility, can choose to use their share of the data center for any purpose, not only bitcoin mining or mining.

The data center is scheduled to be completed by end of this year. Upon completion, the data center will be second in the list of the world’s most powerful data centers.

BTCC Launches Bitcoin to USD Exchange

Shanghai-based Bitcoin exchange BTCC, formerly known as BTC China, announced on 1st November that they are launching a new USD exchange, one that is operated by a Hong Kong-based legal entity.

BTCC is among the world’s longest running Bitcoin exchanges. By now supporting USD exchange, BTCC can offer tough competition to Hong Kong-based Bitcoin exchange BitFinex, which suffered a major hack and theft of Bitcoins in August.

BTCC’s new service is not yet available to US customers because BTCC is still awaiting approval from FinCEN or New York DFS.

Indian Gov ‘Hardforks’ the Indian Rupee

On 8th November the Indian government announced an overnight demonetization of Rupee notes of the highest (1000 Indian Rupee) and second-highest (500 Indian Rupee) denomination. This move is aimed at stopping counterfeit notes and black money.

In the same announcement, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi informed that new 500 and 2000 Indian Rupee notes will be introduced.

This sudden move by the Indian government to demonetize a considerable portion of the cash that Indian citizens possess is expected to increase awareness and use of cashless payment methods, like Bitcoin, in India.

Bitcoin and Gold Prices Surge after the US Presidential Election Result

The uncertainty in global markets after the shocking win of Donald Trump led to a surge in not only the price of Gold but also that of Bitcoin. The Bitcoin price rose by 3% on Wednesday morning to $726 from $708 the day before.

Prices of other digital currencies (or altcoins) did not make a similar jump. On the contrary, prices of altcoins with the second (Ethereum) and third (Ripple) highest market cap, were down from the day before.

This shows how investors also see Bitcoin as a safe haven at times of market volatility.

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Weekly News Roundup – 28 October 2016

Today is Bitmain’s third anniversary and celebrations are underway at the Bitmain headquarters in Beijing while I start to round up some noteworthy bitcoin news of the past two weeks.

Bitcoin price crosses $700

Bitcoin price continued to flaunt its mojo since our previous bitcoin news’ roundup  and crossed the $700 mark by the time of publishing this (29 October). This is the highest it has risen since 21 June 2016.
The strongest factor in this rise seems to be the devaluation of the Chinese Yuan. The graph below from a Bloomberg article shows an inverse relationship between the price of Chinese Yuan and that of Bitcoin.

bitcoin news roundup - Yuan Bitcoin Inverse relationship

Chinese currency’s weakness is boosting bitcoin demand.                                                Image courtesy: Bloomberg

MGT Capital Investments partners with Bitmain

On Wednesday, news that MGT Capital Investments, Inc. (OTC: MGTI) has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to form a joint venture with Bitmain became public with MGTI’s press release.
The proposed joint venture is expected to result in the development of a Bitcoin mining pool that will include advanced user interface as well as superior network protection and security maintained by MGT’s proprietary cybersecurity technologies. In addition, the companies plan to form a partnership to offer businesses and consumers affordably priced cloud mining contracts.

Bitmain’s BTC.com organizes the biggest conference for owners and operators of “mining farms” 

On 22 October, Bitmain’s BTC.com held the first-ever conference for “mining farm” owners and operators in Chengdu, China. Kevin Pan of BTC.com introduced some unique aspects of its BTC.com mining pool while Chris Zhu of BTC.com explained how miners protect the bitcoin network. Further description of the event is on BTC.com’s blog post.

bitcoin news roundup - BTC.com's Kevin Pan at the miners' conference in Chengdu, China

Kevin Pan of BTC.com at the miners’ conference in Chengdu

Hillary’s campaign team calls Bitcoin a “libertarian Ayn Rand schtick”

An email exchange published by WikiLeaks in which the Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta commented on bitcoin saw the media’s spotlight on 18 October. The email thread was started by Stan Stalnaker, founding director and chief strategy officer of the digital currency “Ven”, to propose Ven for use by Hillary’s campaign after meeting with Podesta at a Hillary fundraiser in London.
Podesta forwarded the email to campaign tech aide Teddy Goff with an explanation: “I don’t send all the crazy ideas I hear about at fundraisers your way, but this seems interesting and legit. Essentially digital currency with a green angle as opposed to bitcoin’s libertarian Ayn Rand schtick. Would you get some members of your team to meet with Stan when he’s in NYC later this month to see if it’s worth a real conversation?”

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Weekly News Roundup – 14 October 2016

The past seven days have been officially and nationally working days, with Saturday the 8th and Sunday the 9th labelled as “Special Working Days” by the Chinese government. Today marks the end of this marathon work week. We have more reasons to celebrate because the bitcoin price seems to have got its mojo back. And this brings us to the first news of our weekly bitcoin news roundup.

Bitcoin price gets its mojo back

After long showing resistance around $610, the bitcoin price started pushing higher on Monday. On Monday (UTC time), it leaped from $616 to $632 and has been hovering around $636 since then. It touched $639.86 on Wednesday (UTC) and $636.62 within the past 24 hours of writing this.
Speculations about the cause of this price rally abound, as usual. The most notable causes I believe are the depreciation of the Chinese Yuan to its lowest in six years and the fact that Monday is also the most common pay-day in China, a country where bitcoin has maximum appeal as an investment.

Japan to drop sales tax on Bitcoin purchase

Earlier this year, Coindesk reported that Japanese Liberal Democratic Party member Tsukasa Akimoto put the question “Can’t you consider not imposing consumption tax on bitcoins in line with the international trend?” to Finance Minister Tarō Asō.
On Wednesday the news emerged that Japan is set to drop the 8% sales tax levied on bitcoin purchases. This will lower the price for buyers and reduce the tax-related administrative work for bitcoin exchanges in Japan.

Blockchain.info hit by a DNS attack

The bitcoin explorer Blockchain.info was unavailable for several hours on Wednesday because of what later turned out to be a DNS attack according to a post on the company’s blog.
According to the company’s report, the attacker changed their DNS servers and blockchain.info itself was not directly attacked.

Scaling bitcoin

The last weekend saw the third conference of Scaling Bitcoin in Milan, Italy. The previous two were in Hong Kong and Montreal last year.
The conference saw a very high number and caliber of attendees from the bitcoin industry worldwide. This number was most likely more than any other bitcoin conference. The main points of discussion were Segwit, lightning network, block size and sidechains. Recordings of the talks and even the transcripts can be downloaded from the conference’s official website.

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