Monthly Archive: May 2018

The EOS Blockchain Launch: What Should Happen (And What Could Go Wrong) 0

The EOS Blockchain Launch: What Should Happen (And What Could Go Wrong)

One of the most widely anticipated blockchain project, EOS, is expected to release its software this Saturday.

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Bitcoin Ownership: Your Private Keys to Financial Sovereignty

There are a lot of people people who own cryptocurrencies, and then there are those who think they own these digital assets, but in actuality don’t possess the private keys because they are held with a third party. Learning how to securely archive records that hold private keys like a JSON file or exporting, importing, and sweeping can provide people with the basic steps towards really owning bitcoin.

Also read: Localbitcoincash.org Revamps Website and Adds New P2P Features

Private Key Ownership Provides Financial Sovereignty

Every day someone new is learning about the fantastic benefits of bitcoin and cryptocurrency solutions. Many people will have acquired their first digital asset from an exchange like Coinbase or Circle Invest, but have yet to learn how to secure their private keys so they can really own those precious cryptocurrencies. The first and foremost lesson to digital currency ownership is a statement said over and over again by veteran bitcoiners.

If you don’t possess your private key, you don’t own bitcoins.

Private Keys and the Different Ways to Obtain Them

A private key is the secret alphanumeric code that is mathematically paired with your public key — the alphanumeric address you use to receive payments. Private keys allow you to spend your cryptocurrencies and ensure you maintain ownership over them as long as the 256-bit alphanumeric code is kept a secret.

If you happen to own cryptocurrencies because maybe you purchased some on an exchange, or someone loaded up a wallet for you or gave you a paper wallet, you may want to know how to obtain full ownership of your private keys. The thing about private keys is they can be stored in various ways and it’s good to gain knowledge on the differences between each method.

Mnemonic Phrase

If someone gave you a wallet you may have to find out the mnemonic phrase or mnemonic seed associated with the cryptocurrency. For instance, if someone gave you some bitcoin cash (BCH) using a software client like the Bitcoin.com Wallet you could set up your and find your mnemonic recovery phrase easily. An example of a phrase would be twelve random words given to you by the software client in order which you must back up by writing down the phrase in the exact same order. The twelve words (some wallets use 24) can be used to recover your bitcoin cash either using the same Bitcoin.com Wallet or another wallet that supports the mnemonic phrase backup restoration process. These words should be guarded with maximum security and you should never take a screenshot of them or type the words online. If someone else knows the twelve-word mnemonic seed tethered to your coins this means someone can have full access to your cryptocurrency holdings.

An example of a private key tied to a twelve-word mnemonic phrase within an Electrum wallet. The QR code to the right is also a private key. 

A Backup Keyfile or JSON File

There are other ways you can be given a private key like, for instance, in a keyfile or JSON file. A JSON file (JavaScript Object Notation) is simply a file with a lightweight data format that allows it to be easily read and written by humans or machines. Sometimes browser wallets will give you a backup JSON file that contains your coins’ private keys. These types of files need to be imported into a supporting wallet to gain access to the funds associated with the keys. These files need to be secured in a safe manner and users can hide them and encrypt them in folders so intruders can’t gain access to the file. Just like the mnemonic seed, someone with access to a keyfile or JSON has full access to the funds associated with those keys.

The Fundamental Difference Between Importing and Sweeping

Import

There are also two different ways people can obtain their keys — importing and sweeping. These two distinct ways of gaining full ownership of keys are separate actions within the cryptocurrency-import process. Importing a private key means you are simply tethering the funds that belong to the private key to an existing set of keys in your software wallet. This means the coins are still tied to the private key that may be tied to a paper wallet for example. Both wallets now have access to the funds tethered to the private key until they are spent. If you are planning to import keys make sure that both areas of ownership remain 100 percent secure from other individuals, otherwise you may want to sweep the keys.

Sweep

Essentially sweeping private keys is a form of importing them but when you sweep them they are sent to an entirely different address and the older imported key set is no longer valid. So if you take the Bitcoin.com Wallet and sweep the paper wallet someone gave you, the paper wallet will be emptied. Anytime you sweep a source wallet the funds will be moved to an entirely different location with another public and private key pair. Lots of wallets allow users to sweep a QR code that contains a private key in order to gain access to the funds. Note that if you have a QR code tethered to a private key on a paper wallet or stored somewhere and it is exposed it can be easily swept away if it’s not kept hidden.

Bitcoin: Be Your Own Bank

As we mentioned above, keys can be kept in QR codes, keyfiles, JSON files, and mnemonic phrases and knowing how to access them for full ownership is a must for every cryptocurrency enthusiast. If you hold your money on an exchange you are allowing a third party to have ownership of your coins and if something happened to that exchange like a hack that resulted in a huge loss you may lose your bitcoins. Gaining access to your cryptocurrency’s keys means you own them and you maintain full ownership. The fundamental benefit of bitcoin means you get to be your own bank.

Are you sure you own your private keys? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.  


Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, and Wiki Commons.


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Will Tron’s Tronix (TRX) go as far as $3? 0

Will Tron’s Tronix (TRX) go as far as $3?

Tron’s new virtual machine went live about a week ago. Then one week after, just yesterday, its new Main Net went live, making Tron and Tronix (TRX) a blockchain entirely independent from Ethereum, or any other technology. This is creating expectations, and some observers (even neutral observers) are predicting a TRX rise that will go all the way to $3.00. Is this actually possible? Let’s see.

Among the reasons to expect such rise is Tron’s new Main Net which (again) came online yesterday. The new Main Net is not just a blockchain for the TRX currency, but it will also support the development of decentralized applications. This matters a great deal. Now, the Tron’s platform will improve over any other blockchain tech when it comes to smart contracts which have real-world value. 

Then there’s Justin Sun’s leadership. Mr. Sun is one of the most passionate and respected leaders the crypto world has ever seen, and he’s delivered on promises so far. He changed the release date for the Main Net from June to May’s last day. That move projected lots of confidence in Tron’s project.

Many analysts expected that as soon as Tron’s Main Net takes off, TRX will erupt just like that (yes, that hasn’t happened yet). That is just logical but think about this; there is this link between Mr. Justin Sun and Mr. Jack Ma (of Alibaba fame). 

Mr. Sun and Mr. Ma are close friends (Sun being a famous protegé of Ma’s). This friendship has created a bunch of rumors going around. But let’s just say Alibaba gets behind Tron. That alone would make TRX reach $3.00 or more.

The gaming industry is a huge factor in this equation as well. Tron has been linking with big gaming players such as Game.com. If Tron can penetrate the billion-dollar gaming industry and persuade them to go for blockchain tech, there’s no way of stopping it. Tronix’ value would go through the roof, let alone $3.00.

Some observers object to TRX’s high supply. They shouldn’t; the high supply Tronix possesses guarantees stability which is good for everybody. But even in this context, Tron is burning coins to keep the supply limited over time. It’s all about supply and demand so that alone, again, could make TRX reach $3.00 or more.

Tron has been generating plenty of expectations from investors and the crypto community. Their Virtual Machine went live successfully (exactly as planned), then the Main Net, and there’s promise of new announcements (they are working on Tron wallet optimization and potentially an app too already) to come. 

Having said that all, also remember, if you are already questioning why Tron (TRX) is not picking up already – then, apart from the current bearish trend of the market, there is another angle you need to think about too. It might not pick up right away given that its Main Net has been launched. 

The ‘sure time’ of Tron hitting the moon will possibly be when the token is not ECR20 anymore, which is going to happen on June 24th. Yes, the Main Net went live yesterday, but the thing is, blockchain is still experimental until the token is fully autonomous.

So on the 24th, the first autonomous Tron blocks will happen (and Justin Sun will start screaming and kicking too). Many experienced investors might just be standing around the corner as of now, but they more likely will join the party as soon as the token leaves ERC20 behind wholly (successfully). Read the writing on the wall: Tron’s TRX can only go higher. Just watch out for its rise.

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Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Global Coin Report and/or its affiliates, employees, writers, and subcontractors are cryptocurrency investors and from time to time may or may not have holdings in some of the coins or tokens they cover. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency and read our full disclaimer.

Image courtesy of Pxhere.com

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Bitcoin Trading Helped Square More Than Double in Value Last Year 0

Bitcoin Trading Helped Square More Than Double in Value Last Year

Shares of payment firm Square Inc. more than doubled in value last year, and the company has seen an almost 50% increase in its stock since it began offering Bitcoin trading to it’s customers in November.

Square Sees Stock Prices Soar Thanks to Bitcoin Trading

Square added about $8 billion in market value since it rolled out Bitcoin trading in November on its Cash App, used by U.S. customers who want convenient access to cryptocurrencies without the hassle of dealing with centralized exchanges.

CEO, and Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey has been a staunch supporter of digital currencies, stating earlier this month that ‘the internet deserves a native currency,’ according to Bloomberg.

Looking to the future, Square’s gross payment volume could reach $409 billion in 2026, or 4.1% of total U.S. payment volume, RBC Capital Markets analyst Daniel Perlin predicted in a May 22 note to clients. In fact, the most recently reported quarter marked the 10th consecutive period that the firm topped analysts’ sales projections.

“Square’s integrated hardware, software and services solutions position the company to benefit from ongoing card acceptance penetration at smaller merchants while gaining share against existing solutions that lag from a technological or efficiency-basis,” wrote Perlin, who has the equivalent of a ‘buy’ rating on the stock.

Fortunately for Square, it’s not just cryptocurrencies that are contributing to soaring stock prices. The San Francisco-based firm’s shares have gained 25% since the company announced in April that it was buying website-creator Weebly for $365 million — the firm’s biggest acquisition ever. The deal is a key part of Square’s plans to bulk-up its online and e-commerce offerings and gives the firm another recurring revenue stream as well as a new base of customers.

Originally, Square was started as a payment system to serve small businesses priced out of traditional banking services. The concept was conceived when an artisan glassblower and friend of Dorsey needed a better way to process credit and debit card payments. The company has made massive gains since then, and shows no signs of slowing down. 

Square: Moving Forward 

When Square’s cryptocurrency services were unveiled there were still some states where it was prohibited, like Georgia, Hawaii, Wyoming, and New York, due to local laws that regulate the movement of digital funds in attempts to prevent money laundering. This has slowly been changing. In a bid to win over future business opportunities with blockchain-based companies, Wyoming passed legislation earlier this year that exempts some cryptocurrency trading operations from its money transmitter laws.

The law, known as HB70, was among five crypto-friendly laws presented to the governor’s desk aimed at permitting cryptocurrency and blockchain companies to do business in the state. Square was quick to take advantage of Wyoming’s change in legislation, soon after making their Bitcoin services available to residents of the state.

Then there’s New York. New York passed it’s Bitlicense cryptocurrency regulatory framework in 2015 under mounting pressure from banking lobbies, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the New York District Attorney’s office. Since then only a handful of the licenses have been granted — and Square is looking to get in on the action next.

A spokesperson for Square confirmed in March the firm’s bid to obtain a license via a tweet. Square made its announcement as legislators in New York are apparently in the process of making changes to the 2015 legislation which will allow more flexibility for cryptocurrency-based businesses in the state.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Review: Ledger Nano S Put to the Test

With over one million units sold, the Nano S is the world’s most popular hardware wallet. A combination of first mover advantage – until recently Ledger had only really had Trezor to compete with – coupled with excellent security and usability have made the Nano S ubiquitous. This week, news.Bitcoin.com took delivery of a brand new Nano S and put it to the test.

Also read: A Hands-On Review of the Keepkey Hardware Wallet

The Ledger Nano S Reviewed and Rated

When it comes to judging hardware wallets, there’s no such thing as “best”: everyone has their preferences, and provided the wallet they’ve chosen does the job with the minimum of fuss, it’s likely to become a favorite. Despite the fact that most hardware wallets are little more than glorified USB sticks, cryptocurrency users reserve unusual affection for them. In a digital space, they’re one of the few physical manifestations of the assets we own.

After covering the new limited edition Nano S while writing about Pizza Day recently, I FOMO’d into buying one. The “Laszlo’s Pizza” edition is just a regular Nano S in a prettier box, but symbolically it serves as a reminder of how far bitcoin’s come, and of the early adopters who gave BTC the utility that led us to where we are today. Just 1,337 units of the device were released, and I took delivery of mine on Wednesday. Like all Nanos, it comes bearing Ledger’s faux wax tamper-proof seal, reminiscent of the sort of seal that once adorned the king’s letters. As skeuomorphisms go, this one’s pretty neat.

What’s in the Box?

Inside the fetching pizza box, the device itself comes tucked into the “sachet” of red chilli pepper oil, and is finished in a fitting pizza base red. In every other respect, this is just a regular Nano S. News.Bitcoin.com last reviewed one of the devices in 2016, and a lot has changed under the hood since then. Two years ago, BTC, ETH, and ETC were the main currencies it stored; today that list has grown to over 30 cryptos including BCH, ZEC, and ZEN. It also takes ERC20 tokens, which can be managed with the aid of Myetherwallet.

Patience is something you’ll need a lot of while setting up the Nano S

Initializing the device is as simple as plugging in the USB cable (to a thunderbolt port adapter in the case of my Macbook Pro) and then pressing the two buttons to begin. Despite the tiny OLED screen, the text prompts are very easy to read. Ledger’s Get Started page guides users through the setup process. There’s the option to set a PIN code of up to eight digits, but you can settle for less if you’d prefer. Next, you’ll be prompted to write down your recovery phrase.

The 24 Most Precious Words in the World

Most wallet recovery phrases are 12 words long; Ledger’s is 24, displayed one word at a time on the tiny screen. I jot down the miniature essay and am then prompted to confirm it, one word at a time, by selecting from the various words displayed on screen. Each word in the sequence comes with a dozen possibilities to cycle through, so the whole process takes forever to complete. From a security perspective, this is understandable. From a user perspective, it’s a little frustrating, the equivalent of web forms that prompt you to enter your email address twice because they don’t trust you to type it correctly the first time.

Once done, I head over to Ledger’s Apps page and select the Chrome app titled “Bitcoin & Altcoins”. There are separate ones for ethereum and ripple. I install the Chrome app and that’s where I draw a blank. In theory I should just connect and unlock the device to open the wallet management software on my laptop. Nothing happens though, and it’s the same when  I try the Ledger Ethereum Chrome app. There’s nothing in Ledger’s instructions to explain what should happen next, but after playing around for a while I work out that I need to first install the Ledger Manager app. It’d be helpful if Ledger added this step to their setup guide.

Finding the web apps page in the Chrome browser is a lot harder than you’d think

The Spinning Wheel of Death

Via the Ledger Manager, I click to install the BCH app, but it fails to load and I’m met with the spinning wheel of death. Then the software stops even recognizing the wallet altogether. As with Keepkey, the Ledger S is proving a hassle to set up, exacerbated by the difficulty of finding apps you’ve installed in Chrome. That’s due to the poor design of Chrome, which hides apps and extensions away beneath submenus so that retrieving them takes ages. In the end, the only way I can retrieve the Ledger Manager app is by clicking back onto the Ledger site, following the link to the Chrome webstore and then searching for and clicking to launch Ledger Manager app. It shouldn’t have to be this way.

The BCH setup process with the Nano S is extremely confusing

When I finally succeed in launching the Ledger Manager app, it still won’t recognize my Nano S as being connected. I disconnect and reconnect it but still nothing. For the purposes of brevity, I’ll skip the next hour of my life. Suffice to say it involves switching between laptops, Chrome apps, Ledger webpages and various other pop-up windows in a quest to get the wallet working. I eventually manage to install the BCH wallet and send over $10 from my Bitcoin.com wallet. It arrives almost instantly, but then the Nano S stops connecting again and I lose interest.

This happened a lot

I know I’m meant to advocate that everyone should store their crypto in a wallet they hold the keys to and keep the bulk of their portfolio off centralized exchanges. And I know that the setup experience for most Ledger users was probably a lot smoother than mine. If I’m to be honest though, I intend to lob the Nano S in a drawer and never use it again. It simply wasn’t worth the hassle.

At €140, my limited edition Nano S might just be the most expensive pizza box bought with BTC since Laszlo Hanyecz.

What’s your favorite hardware wallet and why? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Ledger.


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IBM Patents System That Creates Audited Blockchain ‘Checkpoints’ 0

IBM Patents System That Creates Audited Blockchain ‘Checkpoints’

IBM has won two patents for a system that verifies the integrity of a blockchain, certifying that it has passed certain audit requirements at particular periods in time. Both patents were approved on May 31 and are related in that they describe certified, audit-able “checkpoints.” The main goal of the checkpoints is to allow businesses to

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Acer Will Soon Strike A Deal with IOTA : IOTA, Stellar Lumens, Tron, Litecoin and EOS Price Technical Analysis (June 1, 2018)

Unexpectedly, Tron prices are dipping after mainnet launch. Given the marketing done by Justin Sun and the Tron Foundation, the markets are thirst for action. Savvy programmers on the other hand have something to cheer because should they find a flaw-like those in EOS- they are entitled to a $100,000 reward from Tron foundation. These are the kind of incentives that spur coders or white hats into action benefiting the platform in the process. Before the bounty program ends on June 21, we should see progress as the Tron network undergoes rigorous testing. Apart from this, technical formations hint of possible low risk, high reward trades in IOTA and Stellar Lumens.

EOS Price Technical Analysis

So, Binance did decide to block deposit and withdrawal of EOS ERC tokens two days before the mainnet migration. Worse, most people didn’t see their advertisements on social media catching many by surprise. Even though some few traders claimed that they had withdrawn their coins and stored them in hard wallets and alternatives as Exodus, frustration is palpable for those who didn’t. However, it’s good news for those in Kucoin and HitBTC because they still have a lee way before the cryptocurrency exchanges withdrawal and deposit blockade begins.

In other news, Nick Szabo, who many think is the real Satoshi, didn’t have kind words for EOS. He referred its constitution as a “naively crafted” and its code WET. In his words he thinks EOS blockchain would be “labor intensive”, full of permissions and rigid when it comes to scalability.

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What I’m seeing now is a very nice accumulation that began following that bullish engulfing reversal in May 24. While we are positive of a possible appreciation, traders can begin spreading their long entries anywhere between $11 and $13 just before the mainnet launch. Safe stops lies at May 24 lows at $10.

Litecoin (LTC) Price Technical Analysis

Of course, any founder would shill his/her coin. Would you trash yours? I guess not! Now, Charlie Lee is absolutely right and even a 51 percent attack on this merchant network would prove financially prohibitive and a loss making venture. The capital injection won’t justify the reasons why and so, yes, to some degree we remain safe. What if it’s just but a malicious attack? Think about that. It’s about $700 million to take control for an hour.

Price wise, we shall stick to our previous trade plan. Either you can continue ramping up at current prices with stops at $110 or wait for a break above $130. It’s your choice and mostly depends on your trading style. Overly, bull targets stands at $180 and later $240.

Stellar Lumens (XLM) Price Technical Analysis

Here, our technical tea leaves are aligning to the upside. We have higher highs bouncing off May 29 bullish candlestick with increasing volumes. I recommend buys with stops at 28 cents and targets at 50 cents and later 70 cents. Why? Well, check out that double bar bullish reversal pattern, May 30 tight trade range and yesterday’s bull acceleration confirming May 29 bullish moves.

Tron (TRX) Price Technical Analysis

Prices often tank after mainnet launches, I highlighted this before because history has some irrefutable data for your reference. The depreciation is not that bad though. TRX is up one percent in the last 24 hours as I type this.

Do you think TRX value will float without Ethereum influence? Time will tell but at the moment, Justin Sun is welcoming any white hacker to check their network for flaws and should they find one, there is a $100,000 reward for their excellent work.

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Price wise, I remain as usual neutral until after we see a break below or above this 2 cents consolidation between 7.5 cents and 5.5 cents on the lower side. If prices pick up and end up bearish like yesterday, then we shall take cautious shorts with tight stops and follow May 28 bear candlestick. In that case, 5 cents would be our first bear target.

IOTA (IOT) Price Technical Analysis

It seems their partnership with the UN brought good IOTA vibes. We can see this not only from their market over-performance to Taiwanese delegates visiting their headquarters to discuss smart cities, education and yes, issues to do with governance.

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Like yesterday’s forecast, you can continue loading your longs at every dip in lower time frame. Stops should be at $1.5 with bull targets at $2.6 in line with our previous trade plan.

The post Acer Will Soon Strike A Deal with IOTA : IOTA, Stellar Lumens, Tron, Litecoin and EOS Price Technical Analysis (June 1, 2018) appeared first on NewsBTC.