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Another All-Time High for Christmas

This year, Crypto coin traders have been waking up to some Christmas treat really: right on Boxing Day, and while LTC was doing very nicely on its own and has broken above $130 again in a long time, over in the BTC-to-dollar market new record highs were set.
Bitcoin broke above the $25,000 mark for the first time, thereby setting yet another all-time high for the Crypto currency against the U. S. dollar.
The move appears to have been fueled by continuing uncertainty in the United States over the stolen election and possible remedies against that attempted coup d’etat on the part of some over-eager Biden supporters in several states. The US Dollar Index had already suffered, with the value coming down from just under 100 to around 89 at the time of writing, and a number of Forex and Crypto traders have been observed mentioning that they would short the dollar further, unless the Dollar Index reading recovered back over the 90-91 area. As this hasn’t happened yet, the dollar-defying moves in all markets, including Crypto-against-dollar ones all over Crypto exchanges and P2P Crypto trading is not even surprising.
It remains to be seen whether or not rhings reverse once “silly season” ends and the markets return back to more regular trading and hours in early January. But for now, Crypto coins seem set on testing new highs. For BTC, that would be the important £30K mark, while LTC might continue forward to test the next significant high at around $146, last seen in 2019.
While only the markets themselves will be able to prove or disprove these numbers, there is still room left for some upward phantasies either way as both targets are at least a few days away.

Ethereum Price Getting Additional Boost from OTC Trading in Hong Kong

Ethereum, the world’s second largest Crypto coin by market cap after Bitcoin, has just received another boost in both popularity and usability — and, therefore, likely price as well.

Hong Kong-based trading house Octagon Strategy have just announced that Ethereum can now be traded over-the-counter through their OTC desk. Octagon Strategy say they cater to large-volume buyers like wealth managers, mining consortiums, other institutions, and family offices.

Beyond Etherum trading, Octagon Strategy also support trading in Bitcoin and Dash at the time of writing.

Octagon Strategy’s move is expected to further boost Ethereum’s price.

The price of Ethereum has risen from around $20 in early March to over $54 and is now trading at just under $50.


Altcoins Rally on Back of Bitcoin Blockchain’s Limitations

A number of popular Alt coins have posted significant gains over the past days and weeks, rising dramatically in both dollar terms as well as price against Bitcoin.

Notably Ethereum and Dash have increased in price considerably, with Litecoin having literally exploded in price a few days later, ending March more than 350% higher over last month.

While this Alt coin rally may be based in part on so-called pump-and-dump action in large Crypto coin exchanges, a deeper look reveals a more serious and fundamental background to these moves in various Alt coin prices.

Bitcoin’s ability to process transfers of value, while ingenious in its decentralised nature and overall technical implementation as a prototype, appears increasingly weak in light of payment volume. Recent weeks and months have shown significant delays caused by these shortcomings in “bandwidth of the Bitcoin blockchain” and resulting “traffic jams’ in payment confirmation (or clearing transactions).

Other decentralised Crypto coins based on Bitcoin’s model use different “block sizes” and also shorter “block time” intervals and are capable of processing much higher volume. This lets the do a much better job at processing payments. As a result, overall transaction confirmation time — which has always been particularly slow for Bitcoin — is usually much better with other coins sporting faster block time and, therefore, faster confirmation (completion) of payments.

These features which are different from the original Bitcoin model make Crypto coins like Litecoin, Dash, or Ethereum more attractive and are an increasingly important selling point on the overall Crypto coin market. Users of Bitcoin are aware of this, often from own experience, as issues with confirmation times for Bitcoin payments have become more frequent over the past few months. Price moves boosting the price of popular Alt coins like Litecoin, Ethereum and Dash are therefore a normal market reaction to these coins’ being more future-proof and their better ability of clearing transactions fast.

On top of the above factors, Litecoin is also likely to receive an important modification, called Segregated Witness or “SegWit” and csv support, allowing new features to be added in the near future. Litecoin’s price increase — which has been particularly sharp, catapulting LTC from roughly BTC 0.00190 to over BTC 0.00850 or from about $3.91 up to $9.29 — signals that these new features would be warmly welcomed by worldwide Crypto coin users. SegWit support in Litecoin would make the “second Bitcoin” actually the first to support these features. They are even likely to also be added to Bitcoin itself, albeit at a significantly later date.

These facts show that many of the Altcoin price moves most notably seen during the last months are, indeed, based on fundamentals rather than technical price factors, let alone questionable pump-and-dump action on Bitcoin exchanges.

Bitcoin Mempool Shows BTC Blockchain Lagging

Bitcoin’s Mempool, or the measure of transactions waiting for confirmation or “payment completion”, has been increasing steadily over the last few months and is at very high levels since the end of 2016.

Mempool or “traffic jam” information for the Bitcoin blockchain is publicly available at the website and gives information on how likely it is that transactions in bitcoins may suffer a delay.

Bitcoin mempool growing to all-time highs
BTC Mempool or volume of “transactions waiting”

The extent of possible delays in Bitcoin has already resulted in other Crypto coins like Litecoin, Ethereum or Dash to gain more attention by worldwide Crypto coin users and merchants. Both groups are likely to suffer when payments are delayed and will be looking for better, as in faster, solutions for transmitting payments. This has already given a number of the more popular Alt coins significant price moves because of better expectations of future mass adoption.

Delays in Bitcoin payments can also be avoided by adding higher transaction fees to payments and gaining priority over other waiting transactions this way. Recommended fees are increasingly over 100 satoshis per Byte. Figuring out and using the correct fee for payments in Bitcoin is unpopular though and not likely to be used by most regular users.

The Top Six Reasons for Using Bitcoin, Alt coins

Bitcoin, along with all other decentralised peer-to-peer Crypto currencies, has a number of significant advantages going in favour of using it. These range from being free from “political risk” (national currencies) and “counter-party risk” (paper assets held at banks or brokerages) to providing some degree of financial privacy (not anonymity though unless additional measures are implemented), giving its owner back the control they deserve over what’s rightfully theirs.

The pros for using Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, or any other P2P Crypto coin are summed up in the list below.

  • Bitcoin has value of its own due to steadily increasing worldwide demand
  • Bitcoin cannot be shut down due to its structural nature of decentralisation
  • Bitcoin cannot be — and never has been — “hacked” due to the secure nature of its underlying cryptographic technologies
  • An increasing number of countries are reckognising Bitcoin’s legality and general utility for economic and/or technical development
  • Bitcoin has proven legitimate simply by the fact of user adoption by hundreds of millions worldwide
  • In a world of high political risk and troubled banks internationally, Bitcoin as a new and wholly independent asset class provides an additional option

Banks Increasingly Unusable for “Fraud Protection” Reasons

Just use your credit or debit card online or at a “real” ATM, and you’ll be almost as likely to run into some issues as you are to complete the desired transaction without trouble.

Problems range from “fraud alerts” triggered by legitimate every-day transactions at a local cash machine to payments for a simple (and common) Amazon order being “rejected” for obscure reasons.

While these all prove unfounded at closer scrutiny and can sometimes be resolved relatively easily, these unwarranted “arrests of your payment card” are very annoying — to say the least. Often they are also an outright violation of applicable Terms and Conditions. Banks apparently do not care though and continue their “policy” of doing as they please or deem appropriate when it comes to protecting their affairs.

If so, this can only mean banks are obsessed with fear and, in fact, are on the verge of being unable to deliver on services they owe customers under the various parts of their bank services contract.

With banks increasingly going overboard with what they believe to be “Fraud Protection”, using Visa, Mastercard or similar bank-issued “plastic” is increasingly useless for bank customers.

Alternative payment systems need to develop further, and having them in less-incompetent hands than your average retail bankers is also desirable.

Privately operated Crypto coins will possibly earn more user trust and prove to be the better option for payments and transactions very soon.

Depending on the type of Crypto coin, this is already becoming a de-facto phenomenon: particularly Litecoin, Peercoin, Dogecoin, and most recently Ethereum, appear to be good candidates for reaching widespread user acceptance apart from Bitcoin itself.

Get It, While You Can!

The Raspberry Pi single-board computer, originally just a small British hacker project, has gained tremendous popularity throughout the computing community for a wide range of applications.

Among both Bitcoin-related as well as DIY or life-hacker projects, it is common to stumble upon a Raspberry-Pi-recommendation in a recipe’s ingredients list. You may actually be hard-pressed to find Bitcoin or Alt coin miners and similar specialist hardware not using a “Pi” as a controller unit these days.

Another popular use for Raspberry Pis is Bitcoin cold storage, i e running a small, offline or “cold” and ultra-secure machine for crypto coin Private Key storage. Apart from its low price, a key suitability reason here is safety. Just like “dumb printers” without Wi-Fi capability, Raspberry Pis come equipped with only some rather basic functionality not including Wi-Fi or similar security risks.

Until now, or Raspberry Pi version Raspberry Pi 2 Model B (Quad Core CPU 900 MHz), that is.

The Raspberry Pi project has just revealed its latest model, a revised Raspberry Pi single board computer with somewhat, though not fundamentally, improved performance. One of the latest version’s key “features” is rather a bug when it comes to security considerations: the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B now has built-in Wi-Fi hardware for “improved” connectivity.

This may or may not be a “nice-to-have” for many Pi users, but the fact is that this dilutes the original Raspberry Pi concept of having a *simple* single-board computer that can be equipped with extra features (such as Wi-Fi or graphic interfaces or any sort of *peripherals*) when and *if* needed. From a professional or from a systems engineering point of view it does not make any sense whatsoever to load a single-board computer core unit with specialty peripherals like Wi-Fi, or maybe a CD or HD drive for that matter — which all are a specialty for a reason: security!

It, therefore, turns out that the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B is not an upgraded but a dumbed-up (as opposed to dumbed-down) version of a previously highly attractive little machine.

The obvious solution for the security-aware — as well as health-conscious and EMF averse — user is to buy the “old” or previously common Raspberry Pi 2 Model B (Quad Core CPU 900 MHz) that does not attempt to tell you what’s good for you if it isn’t and does not have built-in security leaks or potential backdoors by design.

While there may be users or potential Raspberry Pi buyers out there who appreciate the added Wi-Fi capability of the Raspberry Pi 3 model, anyone considering a “Pi” for Bitcoin cold storage or similar applications where a hardened machine is a pre-requisite should buy the existing or “old” Raspberry Pi 2 Model B (Quad Core CPU 900 MHz) model before the “Pi” makers might come up with the idea of stopping Raspberry Pi 2 Model B (Quad Core CPU 900 MHz) production.

Forbes: BoE’s “RSCoin” Useless for Banking

Written by Guest Contributor for Bitcoin Financial.

The Bank of England boasted to have developed “their own Crypto currency”. The think they have found a good way of firing up a few nodes operating some blockchain-like network. Claims like these have been met with caution though.

Even from Forbes, there is far-going criticism of “RSCoin” with the magazine’s Tim Worstall pointing out that the requirements of payments processing and banking are quite different and that “RSCoin” has no use at all for the latter,

Essentially, this means that our own initial view of “RSCoin”– published here, — is (strangely enough) shared beyond “just Technologists”, and the same views are held even in banking and the general  Wall Street vicinity (albeit less polemic, maybe).

Worstall explains in Forbes that a payments system needs to be “fast, cheap, makes sure that the person the payment is flowing from actually has the resources to make payment, gets the payment to the right person, doesn’t allow double payments and records who ends up with the payment”. He observes that “Bitcoin has its attractions in this sense”.

Thus far, he is right, but it suddenly ends here.

He then claims that “RSCoin” looked even better than Bitcoin in these respects and then claims that “RSCoin” seemed to “scale up to the size and speed of the Paypal or Visa networks without too much effort”. The latter proves the overall ignorance of conventional “wisdom” when it comes to Bitcoin. Claiming PayPal, Visa, and now “RSCoin” to be effortless is a joke: credit card processors spend over 41% of their revenue on “fraud prevention”, including stolen cards, forgery, fraudulent cancellations and refund requests, and much more.

The only valid point that can be raised against Bitcoin is its relatively slow network and limited transaction volume per second and limitation to a total of 21 million bitcoins, along with the infamous 51%-attack problem.

All these issues have long been addressed, and solved, though by people who are far more competent than your average central banker cashing in top salaries every month. There are Alternative coins that have different parameters and even different methods of securing their block indeces, like proof-of-stake and other variants, resulting in both faster transactions and an elimination of the risk of 51% attacks as known in proof-or-work blockchain systems.

Whether or not Bitcoin-the-coin succeeds in the end or will one day stop working does not really matter because Bitcoin-the-idea can always been improved and re-deployed. There are literally hundreds of Alternative cryptocoins. New coins can be set up literally in a matter of hours.

By comparison, BoE officials have said that the “expect” their “RSCoin” to be “ready within 18 months”.

This is further proof of Wall Street and banks in general, let alone governments, still not getting it: they still fail to understand the true implications of Bitcoin (which is a good thing) and are trying to build Bitcoin-clones in cloudcookooland. We wish them a lot of fun doing so.

Trouble is, they’re blowing taxpayers’ money in the process.

PPC (Peercoin) Advancing Further

Peercoin, the first proof-of-stake Crypto coin, is advancing further in price both in US dollar terms and against bitcoins.

Earlier today, peercoins traded over $.49 and around BTC .0012500 on many Crpyto coin exchanges, while briefly hitting 150’000 satoshis (BTC .00150000) on Malta-based Bitcoin exchange “The Rock”.

This development is quite in line with earlier expectations of Peercoin being under-valued (read our earlier report of 20 Feb 2016).

Peercoin had reached and exceeded the BTC .00150000 level briefly in January on Cryptsy before the troubled exchange’s breakdown, but that notation (topping at 159’0000 satoshis) had to be taken with a grain of caution. So whether or not the BTC .00150000 mark is of any technical significance may be uncliear in light of the nature of Cryptsy and the goings on around that outfit.

If today’s BTC .00150000 price at The Rock is exceeded, this would mark a possible breakout of Peercoin to the upside, a development that has gradually been preparing and building for Peercoin over the last few months.

Litecoin and Peercoin May Be Undervalued Now

Written by and © 2016 Mark Mage. All rights reserved. This obviously includes unauthorized harvesting, iframing, or duplicating of content.  Please note that are stealing our content.

After their rally of roughly two weeks ago, both LTC (Litecoin) and PPC (Peercoin) have retraced from their short-term highs of BTC 0.00849000 and BTC 0.00159000 respectively.

Both Litcoin and Peercoin are very popular and established Crypto coins with a large following of their own in the overall Bitcoin field.

LTC having tested lower levels around BTC 0.00770000 a few days ago appears to now regain some momentum and is moving back up towards the BTC 0.00800000 level again. If that level is cleared to the upside, there may be room for significantly higher Litecoin prices.

PPC, at the same time, is now sitting around 105000 satoshis or BTC 0.00105000 which appears to be an intermediate support level after PPC had met previous resistance around this level from the beginning of the year. If the 105000 satoshis support holds or can be cleared to the upside, Peercoin may resume a broader upward move.

For both coins, current levels represent strong support and hint at these coins possibly holding price gains throughout the next days and weeks of Crypto Exchange or CX Trading.