Bitcoin-crazy South Korea may face a ban on cryptocurrency …

The South Korean government is preparing a bill to ban trading in all cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, Justice Minister Park Sang-ki said Thursday.

“There are great concerns regarding virtual money,” Park told reporters in Seoul. “The government has repeatedly warned about the fact that it is a very dangerous transaction but the message has not properly been delivered,” he said.

Park didn’t give details on when the bill would be introduced in parliament. But his comments prompted bitcoin to fall sharply. The digital currency, which is known for its volatility, dropped around 14% before recovering slightly in early afternoon trading in Asia.

Related: South Korea is going bitcoin crazy

Ethereum, another cryptocurrency hugely popular in South Korea, also fell 14%.

A frenzy of cryptocurrency trading swept South Korea last year, helping propel huge gains in bitcoin and other virtual coins. The country has accounted for as much as a fifth of global bitcoin trade on some days in recent months.

But the country’s government has been moving toward greater regulation of digital currencies in recent weeks, introducing a new law in late December that gives authorities the power to shut down bitcoin exchanges.

Such moves remain a possibility, Park said, before likening cryptocurrency trading to speculation and gambling.

“The government’s basic position is that virtual currency trading is extremely dangerous and the bubble may burst anytime,” he said.

Related: Jamie Dimon regrets calling bitcoin a ‘fraud’

The exchanges where people trade digital currencies have also come under scrutiny from South Korean authorities. Bithumb, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, said it was visited by tax officials this week.

Another exchange, Coinone, is being investigated on suspicion of facilitating illegal gambling through cryptocurrencies, South Korean police told CNNMoney.

Coinone couldn’t be reached for comment.

Related: Kodak to launch cryptocurrency, stock pops 125%

South Korea’s plans to rein in digital currency trading come after China cracked down on the practice last year.

Beijing announced new regulations on bitcoin in September, prompting many of the country’s top exchanges to stop trading it and causing its price to crash.

— Taehoon Lee contributed to this report

CNNMoney (New Delhi) First published January 11, 2018: 1:23 AM ET

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Bitcoin-crazy South Korea may face a ban on cryptocurrency …

South Korea’s major cryptocurrency exchanges … – reuters.com

SEOUL (Reuters) – With a tech-savvy population quick to adopt the latest gadgets and a young generation facing dim prospects in the conventional workplace, South Korea has been a fertile ground for virtual currencies.

But the countrys swift embrace of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has been met with an equally swift backlash by regulators, who have gone so far as to propose outright bans on trading.

With markets around the world watching, South Korea has become a fault line between a generation that sees cryptocurrencies as a way to a better life, and government officials who have likened the market to gambling and warned that it encourages illicit behavior.

On Thursday the justice minister, Park Sang-ki, sent global bitcoin prices temporarily plummeting and virtual coin markets into turmoil when he said regulators were preparing legislation to halt cryptocurrency trading.

As of Friday, a petition on the website of the presidential Blue House had drawn more than 120,000 signatures opposing the move. Heavy internet traffic briefly crashed the site.

The online uprising against the governments plans puts President Moon Jae-in a tough spot, and his office was quick to say a ban is just one proposal under consideration.

The latest idea to ban it all seems to have come out of a fear that when the bubble bursts and things go wrong, it will be all on the government, said Yun Chang-hyun, an economics professor at University of Seoul.

With the youth unemployment rate three times the national average and a growing income gap between rich and poor, many young Koreans worry about their economic prospects.

Tax it as much as you want but dont shut it down. My life depends on it, one petitioner wrote on the Blue House website.

Lee Min-kyung, a 25-year old student in a Seoul-based graduate school said she earned about 18 million won (16,973.93), double her initial investment in bitcoin. She said the government is showing haphazard responses simply because officials have no idea.

They say the purpose of the regulation is to curb speculative moves, but it makes me just think the government simply doesnt understand what the market is, Lee said.

More than 30 percent of 941 office workers surveyed in December by Saramin, a South Korea-based job portal, said they traded cryptocurrencies. The respondents had an average of 5.7 million won ($5,357.14) invested in virtual currencies, and a majority of them said they began trading because they saw it as the fastest way to earn money.

That trend has earned critics on the street as well as in government offices.

Koh Young-sam, a 56-year old mechanic in Seoul, warned that the craze would collapse.

Young people shouldnt be lured into this kind of scam. There is always something fishy about things that grow this fast, Koh said.

South Korea is not alone in struggling to figure out how to tax and regulate online currencies, many of which are designed to provide anonymity for transactions.

In September last year, China cracked down on cryptocurrency trading, citing what officials saw as broader risks to the countrys economy.

As South Korea accounts for about 15 percent of global bitcoin trading, according to the website Coinhills.com, how regulators approach the issue will likely have international effects.

The local price of bitcoin in South Korea bounced back on Friday to 19.3 million won ($17,481.20) from as low as 17.5 million won ($16,445.82) according to Bithumb, the nations second-largest cryptocurrency exchange. On the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp, bitcoin stood at $13,709 after touching $12,800 the prior day.

Park Chong-hoon, an economist at Standard Chartered Bank in Seoul, said, South Koreans find it hard to deal with the jealousy from watching their neighbours getting rich fast.

It is a sentiment echoed by many. Scepticism of get-rich-quick schemes among South Korean officials has colored past forays by international finance into the country.

In the mid-2000s the U.S. private equity fund Lone Star faced raids of its offices and a years-long legal battle with the South Korean government after the foreign fund made millions of dollars buying and selling a controlling stake in a major South Korean bank.

That controversy, which raised concerns over South Korean money flowing to foreign entities, is probably among several factors making South Korea officials wary of managing the new breed of markets originated abroad, analysts said.

In a practical sense, the South Korean government needs to factor in some political aspects if a growing number of people lose huge sums of money on bitcoin because of the governments failed attempts to rein in the frenzy, people will blame the government, Lee Dong-gwi, a psychology professor at Yonsei University. Simply put, the South Korean government could be afraid of the political hassles of being held accountable.

Additional reporting by Dahee Kim; Writing by Josh Smith; Editing by Gerry Doyle

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South Korea’s major cryptocurrency exchanges … – reuters.com

Kodak launches cryptocurrency, stock pops 125%

The century-old camera brand said Tuesday it is investing in blockchain technology and plans to launch a “photo-centric cryptocurrency” called KODAKCoin.

Kodak (KODK)’s stock surged as much as 125% in trading after the announcement.

With the price of Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple and other digital currencies skyrocketing, an eclectic mix of small, unrelated businesses has attempted to ride the wave of investor interest by teasing cryptocurrency pivots.

Long Island Iced Tea Corp. changed its name to Long Blockchain Corp (LBCC). Bioptyx rebranded as Riot Blockchain (RIOT) and shifted its business model from biotech to bitcoin. Rich Cigars, a tobacco company, and Vapetek, an e-cigarette firm, each declared they were suddenly blockchain businesses.

Related: I bought $250 in bitcoin. Here’s what I learned

Investors have generally reacted to these announcements by sending the stocks soaring. However, Kodak framed the move as being about more than profiting off a buzzword.

“For many in the tech industry, ‘blockchain’ and ‘cryptocurrency’ are hot buzzwords,” Jeff Clarke, Kodak’s CEO, said in a statement. “But for photographers who’ve long struggled to assert control over their work and how it’s used, these buzzwords are the keys to solving what felt like an unsolvable problem.”

Kodak says it will use the blockchain, essentially a digital ledger, for a new platform called KODAKOne to help photographers manage image rights. KODAKCoin will be used for transactions when photographers license their work.

The Kodak news was quickly met with sarcasm on social media. As one reporter joked on Twitter (TWTR), it may only be a matter of time before we see the launch of “PolaroidCOIN” and “SearsCOIN.”

— CNNMoney’s Paul R. La Monica contributed to this report.

CNNMoney (New York) First published January 9, 2018: 2:06 PM ET

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Kodak launches cryptocurrency, stock pops 125%

Cryptocurrency boom: Why everyone is talking about ripple

In recent weeks, ripple’s value has spiked, making it the second most valuable digital currency and bringing it newfound attention.

The relatively obscure cryptocurrency, also known as XRP, is now worth about $2.60 with a market cap of more than $100 billion, according to Coinmarketcap. In early December, it was trading at just 25 cents.

Even with the spike, ripple is worth considerably less than bitcoin. After a tumultuous December, bitcoin was trading around $15,000 late Tuesday with a market cap of more than $250 billion.

Related: Bitcoin boom may be a disaster for the environment

What’s different about ripple is its supply is largely controlled by just one company, San Francisco-based Ripple. There are reports of current and former Ripple executives becoming cryptocurrency billionaires from its recent boom.

Ripple launched in 2012 to facilitate global financial transactions. It differentiates itself from other digital currency platforms by its connections to legitimate banks. Companies that use the Ripple platform include Santander (SANPRA), Bank of America (BAC) and UBS (UBS).

In recent weeks, financial services companies in Japan and South Korea have adopted Ripple’s technology, helping boost the price of the cryptocurrency.

Related: What the big names of finance are saying about bitcoin

According to Stephen Powaga, head of research at investment firm Blockchain Momentum, ripple and other some other cryptocurrencies have relatively low transaction fees, which made them popular when people began looking for alternatives to bitcoin.

But unlike Bitcoin, ripple isn’t created, or “mined,” by users. The company has control.

It created 100 billion ripple coins initially, and 38 billion of them are in circulation at the moment. Ripple management can release up to 1 billion coins per month, which Powaga predicts could oversaturate the market.

“It’s somewhat concerning for me because if they chose to release them as quickly as possible, within a little over four years, you’d see more than a doubling of supply of ripple,” he said.

That could put pressure on its price.

“I’m not certain that some of the newer market participants are fully appreciating the potential for inflation,” Powaga said.

Related: Hackers take advantage of bitcoin’s wild ride

Cross-border payments that can take hours with bitcoin or days with traditional financial transactions can go through in a matter of seconds with ripple, the company says.

Like bitcoin, ripple’s payment network, RippleNet, uses blockchain technology.

A blockchain is a public ledger containing transaction data from anyone who uses the service. Transactions are added to “blocks,” or the links of code that make up the chain, and each transaction must be recorded on a block.

— Seth Fiegerman contributed to this report.

CNNMoney (San Francisco) First published January 2, 2018: 10:31 PM ET

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Cryptocurrency boom: Why everyone is talking about ripple

Cryptocurrency stocks holding gains despite bitcoin pullback …

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stocks that surged in recent weeks because of the cryptocurrency mania have managed to hold onto most of their gains despite the recent retreat in the price of bitcoin and scepticism from market participants.

A Reuters analysis of 17 stocks of companies that have made blockchain or cryptocurrency announcements showed an average gain of 224 percent through Thursdays close from they released those statements.

For example, shares of Long Island Iced Tea Corp jumped nearly 300 percent on Thursday after the beverage maker said it would rename itself Long Blockchain Corp to reflect a new focus on blockchain technology.

The moves are reminiscent of the tech boom, when the market value of companies such as Zapata and Books-A-Million rose sharply after they announced an internet business or an updated website. After the dot-com bubble burst, many of the companies went out of business or became much less valuable.

Theres been a continued surge of crypto headlines, said Michael Antonelli, managing director at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee. Its gotten more worrisome as more companies have changed their names. Its the kind of stuff you saw back in the dot-com era.

Many of the crypto stocks came under pressure on Friday, as the price of bitcoin tumbled below $12,000 to put it on track for its worst week since 2013. Riot Blockchain dropped 15.3 percent to $23.36, and Overstock.com, which announced in August that it would accept major alt-coins as payment, was down 6.5 percent at $63.05.

Even with the declines on Friday, bitcoin itself is still more than double from its price at the start of November while the stocks are still well above their prices before the companies made cryptocurrency announcements.

While the stocks are susceptible to price moves in bitcoin itself, analysts caution investors should make sure the company has a credible business model.

It is a buyer beware time, said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade in Chicago.

Long term it may hurt these companies because if bitcoin does settle down to being a product that trades like most products and doesnt have crazy moves every day, it is going to make people look at these companies and ask what is really going on here.

Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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MobileCoin: A New Cryptocurrency From Signal Creator Moxie …

In the early bitcoin years, proponents promised that you would soon be able to pay for anything and everything with cryptocurrency. Order pizza! Buy Etsy trinkets! Use a bitcoin ATM! While PayPal had existed for more than a decade, frictionless, social payment platforms like Venmo were just first taking off, and cryptocurrency seemed like a legitimate way for digital transactions to evolve.

It didn’t happen. Cryptocurrency remains confusing and challenging for the average person to acquire and manage, much less sell. And the protocols that underlie bitcoin and other mainstream cryptocurrencies like ethereum suffer significant scalability and transaction bottleneck issues. Visa currently processes about 3,674 transactions per second; the best bitcoin network might be able to process seven per second.

But now the creator of the dead simple end-to-end encrypted messaging app Signal, Moxie Marlinspike, is on a mission to overcome those limitations, and to create a streamlined digital currency that’s private, easy-to-use, and allows for quick transactions from any device. And while it may feel like the last thing the world needs is yet another cryptocurrency, Marlinspike’s track record with Signaland the organization behind it, Open Whisper Systemsmakes this a project worth watching.

The currency Marlinspike has been working on as technical advisor for the last four months, alongside technologist Joshua Goldbard, is MobileCoin. The two based it on the open-source Stellar Consensus Protocols platform, an alternative payment network that underlies systems like an inter-bank payment network run by IBM in the South Pacific, and the low-fee international money transfer service Tempo in Europe.

‘Usability is the biggest challenge with cryptocurrency today.’

Signal Creator Moxie Marlinspike

The Stellar blockchain is also generally regarded as being faster and more efficient than its predecessors; On Wednesday, the mobile messaging service Kik announced that it will move its Kin cryptocurrency platform from Ethereum to Stellar. “We’ve been using Ethereum to date, and to be honest I call it the dial-up era of blockchain,” CEO Ted Livingston said.

MobileCoin wants to leverage an extensive architecture to add simplicity to real privacy protections and resilience against attacks. The ultimate goal: To make MobileCoin as intuitive as any other payment system.

That vision mirrors the animating purpose of Signal, which was developed to make robust end-to-end encrypted communication as easy and straightforward as less secure options, a simple experience that belies the complex cryptographic communication protocols that enable it.

“I think usability is the biggest challenge with cryptocurrency today,” says Marlinspike. “The innovations I want to see are ones that make cryptocurrency deployable in normal environments, without sacrificing the properties that distinguish cryptocurrency from existing payment mechanisms.”

Usability efforts for older generation cryptocurrency protocols, like bitcoin, have largely been left to services like Coinbase, which centralize everything from currency exchange to your wallet, key management, and processing transactions. These platforms make actually using cryptocurrency more realistic for the average person, but they also consolidate mechanisms that are meant to be kept separate in the private and decentralized concept of cryptocurrency. They generally detail extensive privacy and security protections, but they do require users to trust both their intentions and implementation.

By contrast, the idea of MobileCoin is to build a system that hides everything from everyone, leaving fewer (or theoretically no) opportunities for abuse.

Ideally, there would be a way to fix the structural problems of existing cryptocurrencies, rather than creating another new offering. But Marlinspike and Goldbard concluded that the only way to orient a cryptocurrency around user needs was to start from scratch, and architect everything with that “target user experience” in mind.

To that end, MobileCoin delegates all the complicated and processing-intensive work of participating in a blockchain ledger and validating transactions to nodesservers with constant connectivity that store and work on a fully updated copy of a currency’s blockchain. The nodes can then provide software services to users, like apps that seamlessly integrate easy and quick MobileCoin transactions. The nodes also handle key management for users, so the publicand particularly the privatenumeric sequences that encrypt each person’s transactions are stored and used by the node. But crucially MobileCoin is designed so the node operators can never directly access users’ private keys.

‘If you cant look at the ledger, how can you cheat it?’

Joshua Goldbard, MobileCoin

This is where the special features of MobileCoin come in. The currency is designed to utilize an Intel processor component known as Software Guard Extensions, or a “secure enclave.” SGX is a sequestered portion of a processor that runs code like any other, but the software inside it can’t be accessed or changed by a device’s broader operating system. Computers can still check that an enclave is running the right software to validate it before connecting, but neither MobileCoin users nor node administrators can decrypt and view the enclave.

For MobileCoin, the enclaves in all of the nodes of the network hide the currency’s indelible ledger from view. Users’ private keys are stored and shielded in the enclave, too.

“If you put the cryptocurrency inside of the secure enclave, then people can run the nodes without seeing whats happening inside them,” Goldbard says. “If you cant look at the ledger, how can you cheat it?”

Marlinspike first experimented with SGX for Signal as a workaround so users can find people they know on Signal through their address books without exposing all of that data.

Secure enclaves create some technical challenges, because they have limited processing capacity. But MobileCoin is designed with efficiency in mind. The system does as much data processing as possible outside the enclave, and only uses SGX for sensitive computing that needs to be shielded. And not needing to trust the nodesbecause sensitive data isn’t exposed on themmeans that more can happen off of a user’s device without sacrificing privacy, making transactions quick and easy on mobile devices.

“MobileCoin is designed to be deployable in normal resource-constrained environments like mobile devices, and to deliver a simple user experience along with privacy and security,” Marlinspike says. “The design gives you the benefits of server assistance without the downsides of having to trust a server to act appropriately and not be hacked.

The platform has other protections layered with SGX as well. Even if someone compromised a MobileCoin enclave and could view the transaction ledger, one-time addresses and special one-time signatures for each transaction would still prevent an attacker from being able to trace and link events. And a privacy bonus of the Stellar Consensus Protocol is that the nodes don’t need to store a full transaction history in the blockchain; they can discard most data after each payment is completed. These components make MobileCoin more resistant to surveillance, whether it’s coming from a government or a criminal who wants to track and extort users.

There are lots of potential applications for MobileCoin, but Goldbard and Marlinspike envision it first as an integration in chat apps like Signal or WhatsApp. Here’s how it would work in practice: To start using MobileCoin, you would generate a public and private key, and a recovery PIN. Then you would set up your account with an app that incorporates MobileCoin. The app would validate the software running in its service’s node, establish an encrypted communication channel to the enclave, and then send your keys and the short, easy-to-remember recovery PIN that you’ll use to access your MobileCoinlike a smartphone lock passcode.

To send MobileCoin to your friend Brian within a service that both of you use, your app would look up his public key, generate a one-time key and signature to use for the transaction, and send the transaction to the app’s MobileCoin node. The node would sync and validate the transaction, update the ledger, and check the one-time key and signature to prevent spoofed double-spending. At this point Brian’s MobileCoin node would take over, receiving and validating the transaction and communicating with Brian’s app to generate the one-time private key that will allow Brian to receive the payment. And then Brian gets a notification that you paid him. The messaging app (or whatever service you’re both using) doubles as a wallet for each of you.

It’s a complicated process to wade through. The point of MobileCoin, though, is that you and Brian don’t have to worry about any of it. The complicated parts all take place in the background.

The MobileCoin site, where developers looking to adopt the cryptocurrency will ultimately be able to access the software development kit, currently houses a white paper describing how MobileCoin works in more detail. But Goldbard says that the currency is still six months to a year from release, while he and Marlinspike refine the platform to eliminate potential problems, like the possibility that secure enclaves can inadvertently leak data.

That means there are still plenty of questions to be answered, including one big one: whether MobileCoin will be able to cut through all the noise and hype of the cryptocurrency community to actually be adopted by mainstream apps that could put it in everyone’s hands. Currencies, after all, need a critical mass of people to not just be able to use them, but to agree on their worth.

And though speculation has driven bitcoin to all-time-high valuations, most cryptocurrencies don’t end up capturing much value, languishing instead in far-flung corners of the internet. Here again, though, MobileCoin’s creators hope to emulate Signal. End-to-end encryption was once a fringe feature; then WhatsApp gave it to a billion people at once using the Signal Protocol.

“Nobody actually transacts in cryptocurrency,” Goldbard says. “So making something that people can actually use is our first goal. And then we want to find additional ways that people can implement it over time. But initially all we want is to make it so people can actually complete transactions.”

If it works, the project will give hope to people who once believed cryptocurrency could truly replace cash in modern societyeven if you’re only buying a pizza.

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MobileCoin: A New Cryptocurrency From Signal Creator Moxie …

Cryptocurrency – IC Markets

Unlike other asset classes (FX, Equities, Commodities, etc.), the Cryptocurrency market is dominated by retail speculators. With Cryptocurrencies, youll trade in a market where there is no central bank intervention, interbank dealers controlling order flow or giant pension funds moving prices.

Price movements on Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum are driven primarily by news and prevailing sentiment, i.e. the fear and greed of retail speculators. These sometimes dramatic shifts can lead to massive intraday price swings, making Cryptocurrency an exciting product for aggressive and experienced day traders.

The IC Markets Cryptocurrency CFD product allows traders to go long or short without actually holding the Cryptocurrency. This means traders can get exposure to the price of the Cryptocurrency without worrying about the security risks associated with storing it and the counterparty risk from the exchange. This is similar to trading Energy Futures such as oil rather than owning physical oil to speculate on its price.

The following Cryptocurrencies are available totrade with IC Markets

The first and largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin paved the ways for hundreds of similar currencies and boasts a market cap of over $100 billion.

The world’s second-largest cryptocurrency, it is labelled by many as “the next Bitcoin”. Ethereum has received international recognition and support from giant organisations such as Microsoft, JP Morgan, and Intel.

Designed by a former Google engineer to improve upon Bitcoin’s technology, Litecoin offers quicker processing times and a larger number of tokens. It is also the first cryptocurrency to implement SegWit, a method of speeding up transaction times without compromising the underlying blockchain technology.

Dash’s focus is on instant transactions and owner privacy. Dash has an infrastructure that enables much faster transactions than other Cryptocurrencies and therefore displays higher liquidity than many of its counterparts.

Bitcoin Cash resulted from a hard fork of the Bitcoin blockchain. It increased block size from 1 megabyte to 8 megabytes without incorporating SegWit.

IC Markets Trading Hours Pageprovides further information regarding the Trade timings of our Crypto currencies.

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Cryptocurrency – IC Markets

Bitcoin: $64m in cryptocurrency stolen in ‘sophisticated …

Nearly $64m in bitcoin has been stolen by hackers who broke into Slovenian-based bitcoin mining marketplace NiceHash.

The marketplace suspended operations on Thursday while it investigated the breach, saying it was working with law enforcement as a matter of urgency while urging users to change their passwords.

The hack was a highly professional attack with sophisticated social engineering that resulted in approximately 4,700 bitcoin being stolen, worth about $63.92m at current prices, said NiceHash head of marketing Andrej P kraba.

Bitcoin is the first, and the biggest, “cryptocurrency” a decentralised tradable digital asset. Whether it’s a bad investment is the big question . Bitcoin can only be used as a medium of exchange and in practice has been far more important for the dark economy than it has for most legitimate uses. The lack of any central authority makes bitcoin remarkably resilient to censorship, corruption or regulation. That means it has attracted a range of backers, from libertarian monetarists who enjoy the idea of a currency with no inflation and no central bank, to drug dealers who like the fact that it’s hard (but not impossible) to trace a bitcoin transaction back to a physical person.

NiceHash is a digital currency marketplace that matches people looking to sell processing time on their computers for so called miners to verify bitcoin users transactions in exchange for the bitcoin.

Troubles with the website over the past day or so drew alarm and complaints, with many bitcoin owners posting panicked comments on NiceHashs social media accounts.

NiceHash said in a statement: We understand that you will have a lot of questions, and we ask for patience and understanding while we investigate the causes and find the appropriate solutions for the future of the service.

The price of bitcoin has surged to more than $14,668, gaining around $2,000 (1,494) of value in a day according to bitcoin monitor CoinDesk. That compares with a value below $1,000 at the beginning of the year.

Online security is a vital concern for cryptocurrency marketplaces and exchanges, with bitcoins contained within digital wallets that have increasingly become a target for hackers as the number of bitcoins stored and their value has skyrocketed over the last year.

In Japan, following the failure of bitcoin exchange Mt Gox, new laws were enacted to regulate bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. Mt. Gox shut down in February 2014 having lost approximately 850,000 bitcoins, potentially to hackers. Mark Karpels, head of Mt Gox, went on trial in Japan in July, facing up to five years in jail under charges of embezzlement and the lost of $28m of user funds.

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Bitcoin: $64m in cryptocurrency stolen in ‘sophisticated …

Cryptocurrency Definition | Investopedia

What is a ‘Cryptocurrency’

A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security. A cryptocurrency is difficult to counterfeit because of this security feature. A defining feature of a cryptocurrency, and arguably its most endearing allure, is its organic nature; it is not issued by any central authority, rendering it theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation.

The anonymous nature of cryptocurrency transactions makes them well-suited for a host of nefarious activities, such as money laundering and tax evasion.

The first cryptocurrency to capture the public imagination was Bitcoin, which was launched in 2009 by an individual or group known under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. As of September 2015, there were over 14.6 million bitcoins in circulation with a total market value of $3.4 billion. Bitcoin’s success has spawned a number of competing cryptocurrencies, such as Litecoin, Namecoin and PPCoin.

Cryptocurrencies make it easier to transfer funds between two parties in a transaction; these transfers are facilitated through the use of public and private keys for security purposes. These fund transfers are done with minimal processing fees, allowing users to avoid the steep fees charged by most banks and financial institutions for wire transfers.

Central to the genius of Bitcoin is the block chain it uses to store an online ledger of all the transactions that have ever been conducted using bitcoins, providing a data structure for this ledger that is exposed to a limited threat from hackers and can be copied across all computers running Bitcoin software. Many experts see this block chain as having important uses in technologies, such as online voting and crowdfunding, and major financial institutions such as JP Morgan Chase see potential in cryptocurrencies to lower transaction costs by making payment processing more efficient.

However, because cryptocurrencies are virtual and do not have a central repository, a digital cryptocurrency balance can be wiped out by a computer crash if a backup copy of the holdings does not exist. Since prices are based on supply and demand, the rate at which a cryptocurrency can be exchanged for another currency can fluctuate widely.

Cryptocurrencies are not immune to the threat of hacking. In Bitcoin’s short history, the company has been subject to over 40 thefts, including a few that exceeded $1 million in value. Still, many observers look at cryptocurrencies as hope that a currency can exist that preserves value, facilitates exchange, is more transportable than hard metals, and is outside the influence of central banks and governments.

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Cryptocurrency Definition | Investopedia

Home – Cryptocurrency Brokers

Ethereum Classic is a decentralized, open-source, public, immutable and unstoppable cryptocurrency that is blockchain-based, distributed on a computing platform featuring smart contract functionality. It runs exactly as programmed without any possibility of censorship, downtime, third party interference or fraudEthereum Classic is not a new cryptocurrency but rather a split from an existing cryptocurrency, Ethereum. Just like Bitcoin Cash is a continuation of the original Bitcoin blockchain, Ethereum Classic is a combination of the original Ethereum blockchain with an untampered history that is free from external interference and subjective tampering of transactions.Ethereum platform split or forked into two versions: Ethereum Classic and Ethereum. Prior to the division, the cryptocurrency had been referred to as Ethereum, and after the fork, the two cryptocurrencies were called Ethereum and Ethereum Classic respectively. The old one being Ethereum Classic and the new version, Ethereum. The two cryptocurrencies have different blockchains and are independent of one another. However, they have the very similar features.Ethereum Classic is among the cryptocurrencies that have performed extremely well in the markets in 2017 based on market capitalization. Businesses in the cryptocurrency world seem to be warming towards Ethereum Classic as some cryptocurrency exchange platforms announced late in 2016 that they will integrate Ethereum Classic on their exchange.

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