Category Archive: bitcoin news

Bitcoin Airlines: Japanese Peach to accept the digital currency

Peach Aviation is going to become the first Japan’s airline to accept bitcoin for buying any flight.

This move comes after the Japanese decision to regulate bitcoin as currency, becoming a legal method of payment back in April 1st, 2017.

During a recent interview with CEO Shinichi Inoue, he said:

“Now you can travel without your wallet. I think this is innovation; we’ll put all our energy into it.”

Peach is a budget domestic flights company that operates in Korea, China and Thailand.

The firm announced that they will accept bitcoin payments by the end of 2017; also, the firm is looking to install Bitcoin ATMs at airports.

“This is a real first step in partnerships for Japan and we are aiming for more company and service tie-ups,” said Inoue in an interview conducted by Bloomberg.

“We want to encourage visitors from overseas and the revitalization of Japan’s regions.”

Several major retailers and merchants are starting to accept bitcoin in Japan thanks to the recent law on digital currencies, as you can read here.

And this is maybe one of the prominent reason why bitcoin price is growing so much during the latest period.

Also, Japanese traders are driving bitcoin prices as they transacted huge amounts on the exchanges: recent studies revealed that Yen is the major fiat currency being exchanged for bitcoin.

Bitcoin airlines worldwide

There are a few other bitcoin airlines in the world and also several ways to book a flight with digital currencies.

For example, CheapAir and BtcTrip are the first platforms that accept this disruptive method of payment.

Also, Latvia-based airline and Virgin Galactic began accepting bitcoin since 2013/2014,  while if you want to book a private jet, you can do it through JetVizor.

More bitcoin airlines to suggest? Write us a message in the comments! We would be happy to add new companies.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Bitcoin all time high: more than $2000

While I’m writing this article the bitcoin all time high reached a value of $2,019 for the first time in its history.

By reaching a value of more than $2,000, bitcoin’s price grown of about 100% this year and nearly 125% since the annual low of $891.51 bitcoin hit back in March.

Experts agreed that bitcoin’s price recent growth could lead to reaching significant attention from the media and maybe also major financial media outlet would cover bitcoin.

Google Trends data showed that the search for “bitcoin” have still not reached its all-time high they set back in December 2013, but it is getting closer (right now it has a score of 85/100).

That said, the reasons that drove the bitcoin all time high are difficult to identify.

Growing interest by investors

Surely, one reason is the increase in interest from investors and traders, as reported by the major exchange platforms.

Another factor that helped bitcoin to reach its current all-time high is the growing influence of Japan, a country where the technology is now regulated: from April 1st, in fact, bitcoin became a legal method of payment.

The Japanese yen is the single largest currency being exchanged for bitcoin, accounting for more than 45% of the money flow into bitcoin at the time of the report, according to CryptoCompare data.

The Japanese yen is the greatest currency being exchanged for bitcoin: currently, almost 45% of the money flow into bitcoin.

After the yen, there is US dollar that makes up 30% of the money flowing into bitcoin.

Block size debate

Bitcoin price grew in spite of the current block size debate, an issue related to the transaction capacity and the blockchain speed to validate a transaction.

Bitcoin developers are talking about this issue in order to address it and there are a few proposals such as the so-called SegWit or Segregated Witness that would increase blocks capacity.

 

Read here why you should hold Bitcoin and how.

 

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Bitcoin Price rose because of Trump

 

 

trump bitcoinAfter reaching a value of $1,840, Bitcoin price is currently stable around $1,820 while I’m writing this article.

The recent growth of the Bitcoin price seems to be affected by President Trump administration and the economic uncertainty of the US.

Or, at least, this is a theory shared on Cointelegraph.

From the first day of his presidency, Trump indirectly influenced bitcoin price through his dubious politics.

Also, Bloomberg reported that the major American stock indexes experienced their worst performance in eight months while the richest billionaires lost $35 billion because of the Trump’s turmoil.

For example, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg lost almost $4 bln due to the Dow Jones Industrial Average drop of more than 370 points.
Evercore ISI Executive Dennis DeBusschere explained to Bloomberg:

“What has been setting in over the course of the day is that political uncertainty is something that’s likely going to be with us for a significant amount of time. We may be looking at a higher volatility backdrop with a trending lower market for the next couple of months.”

So, during this period of financial uncertainty, investors decided to protect their wealth by investing in bitcoin and gold.

Gold gained around 1.9% and Bitcoin price recorded a 7% growth, almost reaching its current all-time high price of $1,868.

This way, bitcoin seems to become a safe-heaven, with a growing number of investors.

As explained by Cointelegraph, a $10,000 investment in gold back in 2010 would have led to a loss of $20, while a $10,000 investment in Bitcoin would have led to a net gain of $200 mln.

So, investors started to trust Bitcoin, that is considered similar to digital gold, in order to avoid market instability and economic uncertainty.

The US market will struggle to recover during the next few weeks, so Bitcoin price is likely to maintain its upward trend and potentially it will set a new all-time high.

The rise in bitcoin demand within the US is clear and recently the US Bitcoin exchange market passed the Japanese one for the first time in 2017, at least for their trading volume.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Bitcoin Regulation might be pushed by Apple and PayPal

When the digital currency industry has Apple and PayPal as competitors, those two firms might be the reason for a Bitcoin regulation in the US.

Apple and PayPal joined a group together with Google, Amazon and Intuit in Washington in order to push for more reforms related to the financial system innovation. As we know, in fact, a core subject on their agenda is the creation of a federal money transmission license that would supplant the current state-by-state regime.

Also, last month Financial Innovation Now (FIN), the group that represents these five companies, sent a letter to the Senate Banking Committee proposing new recommendations that ask for the creation of a national money transmission requirement that would be managed by the Treasury Department.

“Consumer protection is a critical part of payments regulation, but it makes no sense for different states to regulate digital money differently from one state to another,” they explained.

The executive director of FIN, Brian Peters, said to CoinDesk the group is taking the money transmission problem very seriously and is looking for a legislative solution.

“This is a top priority for us. We’re proactive pushing for it and we are serious about legislating this.”

Bitcoin regulation benefits

FIN argues that it has no interest in supporting Bitcoin regulation or its industry, but it knows that the development of a transmitter issue is a common benefit.

“None of our priorities really actually delve into bitcoin or the other cryptocurrencies specifically. However, a lot of what we are pushing for does connect to the work many in that community are doing. The main reason we are pursuing it is because our companies have encountered a significant amount of friction and delay in the state-by-state money transmission licensing process. It’s the delay and the friction that’s really a hindrance to the ability to deliver products and services to the market in a way that is consistent with the pace of innovation in the modern economy.”

In addition to the costs to comply regulations, there are a few issues in states where government hasn’t still decide whether digital currencies should be considered as money or be exempted from regulation itself.

A federal licensing system would allow digital currency- related companies to elude state regimes and this could have an exponential growth effect on Bitcoin industry, as explained by the director of research at Coin Center, Peter Van Valkenburgh.

“For people in the US who want to build a business using these technologies, by far the biggest impediment they face is state-by-state transmission regulations. There’s pretty much no question about that. Anything that [FIN] is going to ask for – assuming it’s in line with a federal money transmission license – is exactly what our industry needs.”

So, having a federal option would provide a few benefits related, for example, to the cut of compliance costs for companies and new startups.

“For startups, it’s the biggest thing,” he said. “Right now, you can’t start your business unless you have millions to spend on compliance. And to get venture capital financing, you need to convince your venture capitalists that it’s OK that the majority of their funding is going to lawyers.”

While there have been a lot of efforts with the aim of creating a federal money transmission framework, they have fallen due to a lack of money, leadership, political clout, etc.

But, FIN shouldn’t face these problems, commented Carol Van Cleef, a digital currency attorney with BakerHostetler in Washington.

“I have long said that we’ll get a national money transmitter license when these companies come together. They’re the ones that have the resources necessary to launch the kind of legislative campaign that’s essential to get this through Congress. This kind of initiative requires money and lots of it, solid executive branch and congressional relationships and experience working legislative issues.”

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Bitcoin regulation in Europe: “it’s too early”

bitcoin regulation

During a recent event held by the European Parliament, members talked about new technologies including the Blockchain and Ethereum and Bitcoin Regulation.

According to them, the European Parliament will have to regulate and monitor the new tech but “it’s too early to intervene at this stage, because we as legislators don’t yet see sufficiently clearly to know what the main issues are going to be – so in order to not to stifle innovation, we don’t want it to be now.””, said MEP Jakob von Weizsäcker.

So, the EU wants just to monitor blockchain and smart contracts in order to allow developers doing their job.

Also, MEP Eva Kaili from Greece explained that regulation is necessary to protect citizens, but EU doesn’t want to suffocate innovations.

“[In] 2008 when the crisis started in the European Union, especially in my country [Greece], people lost trust in banks and in the politicians. I woundn’t blame them because we didn’t protect them and the reaction was that some young people that we don’t really know discover this technology that actually makes unnecessary to have banks, politicians and intermediaries. So the potential is there, but it is still under progress”.

Also, she continues by saying the following:

“Blockchain is not just bitcoin and bitcoin is not just blockckhain. We need to understand how to protect citizens because if we help them trust this technology, they will actually start to using it. I do believe that banks will outsource a lot of their services,” she said.

Bitcoin regulation to regain trust by citizens

“We’ll have to educate citizens on how to use it […] Hopefully, [bitcoin regulation] will come and we’re going to try to protect the technology and not to stop it. I know that usually politicians and banks don’t want to change and they want to keep control, but I think this technology is unstoppable and we have to give control back to the citizens and maybe this way we can regain some trust,” Kaili argues.

Watch the full conference video here.

 

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Bitcoin in Russia: regulation will take place in 2019

Russia’s Ministry of Communications (Minkomsvyaz) has revealed it is looking for legalizing Bitcoin in Russia and the blockchain technology by 2019.

The local news agency called TASS talks about a document about the Russia’s Digital Economy of the Russian Federation project, which lays out a timeframe for creating and passing the blockchain regulation.

The document quoted the following:

“bringing into effect regulatory acts governing the possible use of technology for decentralized registers and legal certificates.”

Back in March, prime minister Dmitry Medvedev instructed Minkomsvyaz and its counterpart Ministry of Economic Growth (Minekonomrazvitie) to “study to what extent Blockchain would be applicable to our system of government.”

During the last year, Bitcoin in Russia has solidified from a rhetoric point of view also because the Russian Central Bank decided not to ban digital currencies including Bitcoin and this news was useful to calm businesses and users’ after a few years of uncertainty when Russia stated it would ban cryptocurrencies within the country.

Then, back in April, 2017, Russia announced it would recognize Bitcoin by 2018, but monitoring each transaction.

Read more about Bitcoin in Russia here.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Price tripled in 1 year: why you should hold bitcoin

Bitcoin price is nearing its all-time high price of $1,277, maybe because of the impressive growth within the Japanese bitcoin industry. Read here why you should hold bitcoin.

Experts argue that bitcoin price will increase consistently in the mid-term if Japan and the US sustain their growth and if small markets such as India will decide for a massive change related to bitcoin regulation.

Bitcoin price drove by India and Japan

India has always been considered the more important Bitcoin markets because of its poor banking system.

Right now, in fact, 40% of India population can be defined as “underbanked“.

The greatest part of people in India cannot rely on banks and financial institutions to manage their funds.

Recently, the demonetization of 500 and 1,000 bank notes decided by the Indian government led to a national financial crisis, as banks and ATMs ran out of cash to dispense, so Indian citizens cannot obtain cash for their daily basic needs.

Also, PwC explained that 233 mln Indians didn’t have any access to bank accounts since October of 2015 and 43% of adults in India made no deposits or withdrawals in any banks or financial institutions.

Bitcoin hold: why?

Bitcoin exchanges in India – such as Zebpay and Unocoin – began to see a huge growth in their user base and trading volumes.

One key factor that would allow the Indian Bitcoin industry to grow at a rapid rate similar to China, South Korea and Japan is the legalization of Bitcoin.

Bitcoin regulation in India should arrive this summer, according to recent press releases.

This way millions of new users would emerge, and Bitcoin price will rise in the mid-term.

That’s why you should hold bitcoin and store them in a safe place.

Open your bitcoin wallet here on the HolyTransaction multicurrency wallet. You can store more than 10 digital currency within the same account, so it is very easy to manage.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

A new proposal for the Bitcoin block size debate: UASF

Amid the Bitcoin block size debate, an anomymous developer recently talked about a project related to a new solution called UASF or user-activated soft fork.

Many in the community are skeptical about this proposal, but there are enough circumstantial evidences to back it up, and a new movement is growing in the hopes of pushing through the change that miners are now being accused of blocking.

Usually, miners are tasked with pushing through a similar fix. But some in the bitcoin community are calling for a different (and older) method of making a change to bitcoin based on support of the known “economic majority”, instead of miner support.

Coinkite founder Rodolfo Novak, an advocate for this new born movement, explained that it aims at correcting perceived inequities that used to dominate the scaling debate.

“Miners trying to centralize bitcoin is an unacceptable thing. It goes against what bitcoin is supposed to be. This UASF is really like saying, ‘No, we control bitcoin, not you.'”

However, UASF-related support seems to be increasing.

Even if the code is not safe yet, a few users are now supporting it with their nodes.

Node support for this change has grown to 4.8%, or by about six times.

“On a technical level, signaling it that way does absolutely nothing, it does however help the case on a social level and prevents users from running an outdated version of the code when enforcing starts,” developer Damian Mee commented.

Due to UASF system, it might be necessary to have an explicit support from the “economic majority,” or exchanges, wallets, and other bitcoin players.

This support is so far at about 6% since the BIP was put out on March 12th.

However, a sizable percentage of bitcoin nodes are running Bitcoin Core, and SegWit, which Mee thinks is a good indicator that the so-called “economic majority” supports SegWit, and the UASF version.

The code is backwards-compatible, so the 80% of nodes that are now ready for SegWit.

That said, we have to tell that the code implementation hasn’t already fully tested or reviewed.

The original activation for SegWit was put at October 1st, 2017, but recently it was moved to August 1st.

Updates: UASF proposal has been changed. Click here to read more about it.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Bitcoin block size: UASF updates its proposal

A controversial Bitcoin block size proposal has been upgraded.

UASF, in fact, is a new idea proposed by a pseudonymous contributor called Shaolingfry.

She/he wants to solve the bitcoin block size debate with a user activated soft fork (UASF), a possible method arount the actual deadlock over the Segregated Witness (Segwit) solution.

Right now, the need for a majority consensus in order to make a decision means  that any mining pool with enough hashing power has the veto power over any proposal; this might be the reason why SegWit is tardy to arrive.

Conversely, UASF wants to bypass the veto power and put the decision only into the hands of bitcoin’s users.

After a first general UASF proposal, Shaolinfry suggested a change – BIP148 – in order to moving the power out of the miners’ decision and give it to the “economic majority”.

Gregory Maxwell and other bitcoin developers refused this proposal because it could undermine the bitcoin blockchain stability.

“We should use the least disruptive mechanisms available and the BIP148 proposal does not meet that test,” he wrote

For this reason, Shaolinfry announced he/she is working on a redraft of the proposal to address some of the concerns suggested by Maxwell and other developers.

Shaolinfry published an announcement post saying that the reason for this changes is related to technical criticisms of how UASF would upgrade the network.

“BIP 148 is certainly not what a normal UASF would or should look like. While support for BIP 148 is surprisingly high, there are definitely important players who support UASF in general but do not like BIP148 approach.”

This revised proposal suggests the use of BIP8, but this concerns how soft forks are implemented.

Segwit and BIP8

Right now, if the 95% hashrate support for the Segregated Witness option is not reached by November 15th, the proposal will be discarded by default.

Anyway, the technical changes made in a proposal (BIP8) would be automatically locked in at the end of the time period, even if they could be adopted sooner.

Shaolinfry’s idea is that after the November 15th, a UASF SegWit proposal will be edited according to the BIP8 changes.

This means that the bitcoin community would have 1 year to prepare the upgrading of a UASF, removing the possible destabilizing effect of a short-term.

“I believe this approach would satisfy the more measured approach expected for bitcoin and does not have the issues Maxwell brought up about BIP148.”

 

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Bitcoin fork: why developers keep calm

Right now the debate about a possible Bitcoin fork is very noisy and maybe it is the main factor that is driving the cryptocurrency price at the moment.

At press time, bitcoin value is less than $1000 with some traders that are liquidating their positions.

Amidst one of the more volatile period of bitcoin, developers seem not to be scared or worried about this two-year scaling debate.

Several miners are running the so-called solution “Bitcoin Unlimited“, a popular alternative bitcoin software that opened a discussion of a possible fork of the network which could generate two different digital currencies, a result similar to what happened with the recent Ethereum hard fork that lead to the creation of Ethereum Classic.

 

Bitcoin Core contributor Eric Lombrozo has taken a skeptical point of view, explaining that the bitcoin community is not new to this issues.

Bitcoin XT and Bitcoin Classic,  or other software alternatives that aims at changing the bitcoin blockchain- related rules, have emerged, but also declined, over the last few days.

While users who support the Bitcoin Unlimited think that is the real future for bitcoin, arguing that a bitcoin fork will bring it as the winning software, critics view it as broken.

Lombozo explained:

 

“The idea you can change bitcoin by lobbying one group of stakeholders against another is fundamentally flawed, as is the idea you can force controversial consensus rule changes. Bitcoin requires more tactful politics.”

On the other hand, Bitcoin Unlimited supporter Peter Rizun believes that bitcoin will see a block size increase, making bitcoin competitive with the other alternative cryptocurrencies.

“In my opinion, there’s a 75% chance we get an upgrade to larger blocks in 2017,” he commented.

So, while some people substain that only one software will be able to survive after this possible bitcoin fork, other experts suggested that most people won’t move to a new blockchain, so Bitcoin Unlimited will lead to another digital currency.

But, of course, the greatest part of the community want only one bitcoin.

Bitcoin Core contributor Luke Dashjr said to Coindesk:

“A hard fork is by definition an altcoin that the entire community decides to adopt as a replacement. Since most of the community rejects Bitcoin Unlimited, it is impossible for it to become a hard fork. Anyone can fork at any time. That people don’t speaks to the strong incentives not to.”

 

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio