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February 23rd, 2018- In This Issue:

BITCOIN PRICE ALERT! Bitcoin Up 3.4% @ $10,247.00

Heading into the last week of February it appears that the news is once again turning in favor of bitcoin, heralding higher prices to come.

Review the articles below to catch up on the latest events including today's announcement by Coinbase regarding Segwit's imminent activation on their platforms.

As always, buy the dips, hold on to your bitcoins for as long as you can and spread the word. Tell your friends, your relatives and anyone else who will stand around long enough to listen about Bitcoins, believe me you will be doing them a huge favor.

Visit BitvestIRA for information on using your IRA to invest in bitcoin at 20% below spot price. Or call us directly with any questions at 1-844-BIT-VEST (1-844-248-8378)

Announcing SegWit support on Coinbase

We're excited to announce support for Bitcoin Segregated Witness (SegWit) transactions on Coinbase. Over the next week, we will be gradually enabling SegWit compatible Bitcoin sends and receives for all customers. To learn more, visit our  SegWit FAQ page .

What is SegWit?

For those unfamiliar with SegWit, this upgrade helps reduce the size of Bitcoin transactions. This improves the overall transaction capacity of the Bitcoin network and should also help reduce the fees customers pay on bitcoin transactions. You can read more about SegWit here.

A common piece of feedback from customers is transaction fees for sending Bitcoin on Coinbase are too high. While transaction fees in Bitcoin have recently decreased, we're committed to providing customers with options that can help reduce fees. That's why we're excited to enable SegWit compatible Bitcoin sends and receives.

While SegWit should help reduce fees, once we begin rolling out this change, if you incorrectly send Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to a Bitcoin (BTC) address, your funds will not be recoverable. Sending the incorrect digital assets to a deposit address will result in permanent loss. While we hope that customers are extra careful when sending Bitcoin Cash, we will be adding the below screens to all of our Bitcoin receive flows.

Bitcoin nearly doubles in value 
from year's low hit in early February

Analysts cited South Korean news agency Yonhap, which reported Choe Heung-sik, governor of the Financial Supervisory Service, as saying that the government will support cryptocurrency trading if "normal transactions" are made.

"While the threat of heavy regulation, or even a total ban on exchange trading, has hovered over bitcoin in recent weeks, reports this morning that the South Korean government are softening their stance have given traders confidence to buy," said Dennis de Jong, managing director, at online brokerage UFX.com in Limassol, Cyprus.

South Korea has been pushing for broad regulatory supervision of cryptocurrency trading as locals, including students and housewives, have entered the market despite inherent risks and warnings from policymakers around the world of a bubble.

Seoul previously said it was considering shutting down local cryptocurrency exchanges, which threw the market into turmoil and hammered bitcoin prices. Officials later clarified an outright ban is only one of the steps being considered, and a final decision was yet to be made.

"Bitcoin's price history suggests that months of consolidation are followed by weeks of rapid advancement," said Canaccord Genuity in its latest research note.

"The safest way to benefit from potential bitcoin price appreciation is to buy and hold for the long term; trying to time it might be too difficult."


Someone Just Bought
$400 Million Worth of Bitcoin

The highest roller in Las Vegas has nothing on Bitcoin's latest investor.

An anonymous trader has sunk $400 million-enough to buy New York State's most expensive home twice with change left over-into the cryptocurrency, raising his or her stake from 55,000 coins to more than 96,000 between Feb. 9 and Feb. 12. And that buy-in is already paying substantial returns.

The bulk of the purchases took place on Feb. 9, with another 9,000 or so on Feb 12. And even if the buyer bought at the day's peak, he, she, or it is looking at total gains so far of roughly $83 million.

The current value of the buyer's portfolio currently stands at nearly $1.1 billion.

Whoever the investor was, it wasn't his or her first time plunking down a lot of cash on Bitcoin. Their account was largely dormant before Dec. 12, when it went from holdings of 0.246 coins to 48,627 by the morning of Dec. 13. (Bitcoin, at the time, was going for about $17,000-meaning a rough investment of $827 million.)

What spurred these massive purchases, and who was the money behind it? It's difficult to say. The buyer could have believed that the cryptocurrency would keep climbing in December, then hit its bottom earlier this month when it traded for less than $6,000. It could be a corporate investor adding crypto to its holdings. Heck, it could be a shopping spree by the Winklevoss twins. (It's not.)

Whoever it is, they've got guts aplenty. Bitcoin has rebounded nicely recently, climbing 50% in the past two weeks, but one economist has called the rise of the cryptocurrency's rate the "biggest bubble in human history" and even the co-founder of Ethereum says investors should be cautious.

New Bitcoin Code Will Finally Boast 
Full SegWit Support

Segregated Witness (SegWit) is special.

And it's not just because the bitcoin code change is focused on scaling the network (it is), or that it paves the way for a new layer for the tech that's potentially faster and cheaper (it does).

Finally activated last August after months of controversy, SegWit is now spurring developers to put together a more structured, "themed" release for the software, an unusual development for the team behind the world's oldest and most valuable cryptocurrency network.

Most of the time when Bitcoin Core introduces new changes to the cryptocurrency's code, the loose group of volunteer developers simply combine disparate optimizations together. But this coming code release, 0.16.0, the sixteenth "major release" since bitcoin began, is a bit different.

Set to launch in the coming days, the updates all revolve around SegWit - with most focusing on making it easier to send SegWit-style transactions from the software's default wallet.

So, while the first software rollout of SegWit was about making sure the network understood the new rules, 0.16.0 is all about making it possible for users to take advantage of their benefits.

Bitcoin Core contributor Andrew Chow told CoinDesk:

"The primary change is the addition of SegWit in the wallet. This lets users to easily create SegWit addresses."

SegWit galore

Toward that goal, Chow explained that SegWit features have been added to both the command line set and the wallet user interface, so both programmers and non-programmers can use it.

Chaincode Lab engineer and Bitcoin Core contributor Marco Falke noted that while it was possible to create SegWit addresses in prior wallet versions, the process was "rather hacky" and " mostly hidden."

Now, though, with the software release, SegWit addresses will be the default, meaning that new addresses are automatically compatible with the scaling feature.

Version 0.16.0 is also the first release to support "native SegWit addresses," also called bech32 addresses,  a new address format pioneered by Bitcoin Core contributors  Pieter Wuille and Greg Maxwell that's more user-friendly than older addresses types and supports SegWit automatically.

According to Falke, "That is the most exciting part of the release."
With SegWit addresses being created automatically, wallet users should soon experience lower fees. And progress there could have wider implications.

Bitcoin Foundation's Llew Claasen Says Bitcoin Will Hit $40,000, 90% Of Altcoins Will Fail

The executive director of the  Bitcoin Foundation  Llew Claasen predicted that the price of  Bitcoin  will hit $40,000 by the end of 2018, while 90% of all  other cryptocurrency projects  will fail,  Business insider  reported  Feb. 15.

As Claasen stated at the Startup Grind conference which took place Feb. 12-14, this failure will be caused by investors taking too much risk investing in cryptocurrency projects which later turn out to be scams.

Only a month and a half into 2018,  five major Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and cryptocurrency scams have already been discovered, including the notorious case of  Bitconnect.

Claasen is confident that the  cryptocurrency community will learn from these unfortunate occurrences and will be able to prevent them in future, as he told Business Insider. Claasen believes that investors are already being more careful, declaring that  "this is a problem the market is good at solving."

As Claasen further explained, Bitcoin will not be gradually growing to the value of $40,000 over the course of 2018. Instead, it will be bouncing for three to six months with the same ups and downs as during the previous three months.

Just this Tuesday, the CEO of  Ripple Brad Garlinghouse similarly said that most virtual currencies will likely go to zero, as reported by  Business Insider.

Bitcoin's bouncing back, here are the next big catalysts for the cryptocurrency

Bitcoin is back.

he cryptocurrency surged Tuesday, closing in on the $12,000 level. One bitcoin bull says progress on the regulatory front could send it even higher.

According to CNBC "Fast Money" trader Brian Kelly, Tuesday's rally is the result of more crypto-friendly attitudes by government regulators. Not only did Wyoming on Monday pass a bill relaxing securities law for some tokens, the South Korean government, which had previously vowed to crack down on cryptocurrency trading, said it would "support" and even "encourage" crypto operations so long as they were "normal" transactions.

The sentiment has changed here, which to me is going to start bringing in more investors to the space," Kelly said Tuesday on CNBC's "Futures Now."



Bitcoin could hit $50,000 by end of 2018

Sometimes it's easy to forget that those of us investing in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies right now are still the early adopters - and the potential for significant gains down the road is massive.

Bitwise Asset Management Vice President of Research and Development Matt Hougan recently appeared on Bloomberg Markets to discuss leaving the ETF industry in favor of "going all in on crypto" - where he made some seriously bullish statements on Bitcoin's and other cryptocurrencies' long-term potential.

First and foremost, Hougan - who started out in the ETF industry when it was still new and emerging - is attracted to cryptocurrency because he finds the space exciting and positively brimming with potential. He explained:

"I was looking around for a new, potentially generationally-significant opportunity with interesting challenges - crypto is exactly it. The problems that crypto is trying to solve have total addressable markets in the trillions of dollars. That's hugely interesting and exciting. And yet the institutional framework for evaluating crypto assets are still new and nascent ... So it's just an exciting space with an enormous amount of potential."

Nevertheless, we are still in the very early stages of Bitcoin and crypto, so those willing to accept the volatility need not be scared off by sudden and sharp corrections. Says Hougan:

I think the challenge that people have is that they forget that crypto is basically at its core a technology. And like any early-stage technology, we're a long way from mainstream adoption. Right now crypto's primary use - Bitcoin's primary use - is either as a store of value, [or] you're starting to see it in money transfer. It's among the early adopters - but that's true of any technology, right? When digital cameras came out, they weren't very effective. When cell phones came out, they weren't very useful. But it changes over time.

Hougan also astutely claims that those who doubt Bitcoin and cryptocurrency simply can't, or aren't willing, to look years ahead, explaining:

"I think the people who can't imagine Bitcoin as a payment mechanism - can't imagine it competing with gold - are just forgetting that technology increases at an exponential rate, and they're unable to look forward to two/three/five years and imagine what it can do at that point ... At the core, it is a generationally-important technological breakthrough with massive potential application. So I think there are skeptics but, for the early adopters, there's significant opportunity"

Despite bitcoin hitting its lowest point in recent weeks experts 
believe the cryptocurrency will go as high as $50,000 (about P2.6 million) by December.

Experts believe that after February, various  cryptocurrencies would bounce back and rise higher than they did in 2017. They credit this to major technology developments and the entrance of institutional capital, reports CNBC.

" There is no reason why we couldn't see bitcoin pushing $50,000 by December," said Thomas Glucksman, head of APAC business development at cryptocurrency exchange Gatecoin.

Mick Sherman, co-founder and CEO of Hercules Tech, a  data science company focusing on blockchain and big data, also believes the digital currency will grow big this year.
Sherman said, "The revolutionary nature of blockchain technology is what's driving the hype and even though we may be years away from viable blockchain-based assets, we may very well see several more bubbles."

Some of the technological developments experts are watching include bitcoin's Lightning Network, which would enable faster transaction speeds for cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, companies like IOTA build platforms based on blockchain technology that developers can work on.

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