Daily Archives: April 8, 2018

Royal Couple Receive Their Own Crypto as Wedding Gift

Royal couple Prince Harry of Wales and Meghan Markle have parted with the norm of royal wedding gifts, accepting their very own Ethereum-based cryptocurrency.

The Royal Coin will be listed as ROYL, with 5o million tokens available and a target set to raise 100,000 ETH, approximately USD 40 million. Part of the money raised through the token sale will go to charitable causes.

Half is set to be spent on Crown & Country Magazine specializing in the royal family, with an en edition dedicated to the royal wedding. The other half will be donated to three charities reportedly chosen by Prince Harry himself.

The ROYL whitepaper lists Sentebale, the Invictus Games and the Royal Foundation as the charities of choice. The whitepaper states ”we intend to split the donations equally between these charities and feel that the participation of people globally in this mass gesture of goodwill would send a powerful message of humanity and unity in celebration of the Royal Wedding.”.

A decentralized wedding gift

The project is being promoted by Shahar Namer, CEO of ICO Rocket. Namer recently spoke to Digital Trends about the token, where he described it as the ”2018 way to celebrate great British pageantry”. He endorsed ROYL for being an innovative, modern way to celebrate the royal family while supporting a charitable cause.

ROYL is not trying to be the next Bitcoin, but it is trying to modernize the image of the royal couple while keeping with the tradition of pageantry. How successful the project will be, however, is difficult to say.

Prince Harry and Meghan frequently make the front page of British tabloids and newspapers, with the public generally having a good perspective of them.The question is raised though, of how large the community is that is willing, or will know how to take part in an initial coin offering (ICO) for the royal couple. It remains to be seen if an ICO for the royal couple is something that will appeal to younger generations that are more involved with cryptocurrency trading.

Nonetheless, as one of the most famous couples alive, Prince Harry and Meghan can presumably attract a large enough number of participants to raise the goal of USD 40 million, even with the many that will prefer to exercise more traditional forms of pageantry.


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27% Of Millennials Would Choose Bitcoin Over Traditional Stocks

A recent survey conducted by Blockchain Capital points towards a trend in millennials’ growing preference towards cryptocurrency investments over traditional investment forms.

Specifically, the results show that 27% of millennials would prefer USD 1,000 in Bitcoin over USD 1,000 in stocks. It was not just stocks that millennials were moving away from, however; 22% would prefer the same sum of Bitcoin over real estate, and 30% would take Bitcoin over government bonds.

Perhaps an even more striking result from the survey was that 27% of millennials viewed Bitcoin as more trustworthy than big banks. What exactly the survey meant by “trustworthy” is not elaborated on, but it is suggested that they find the Bitcoin blockchain a more secure option.

As well as this, millennials have come of age in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, largely blamed on the irresponsible trading practices of large banks and financial institutions. It is conceivable that the generation in question have become disenfranchised with these entities and are more inclined to find alternative practices.

Despite the dismissive approach to Bitcoin from mainstream politics and financial organizations, 52% of millennials do note share in their skepticism, with 52% citing the project as a positive financial innovation.

Finally, 42% of the age group believe most people will be using Bitcoin in the next ten years, so it is not surprising the 16% describe themselves as ”very likely” to buy Bitcoin in the next five years. Millenials have indicated that they view cryptocurrencies as a genuine investment opportunity as well as a trustworthy one.

Millennials across the globe

This survey took place in fall of 2017 and had over 2,000 American adults taking part. Similar studies conducted internationally have found trends much like that in the US.

A survey of young, working men in Japan found that 14% had cryptocurrency holdings, with 92% of those noting that they entered the market for investment purposes. In regards to their future plans with their holdings, 47.1% reported that they would like to actively invest in the market, with only 34% saying they did not intend to continue investing.

In South Korea, polls indicate that citizens in their 20s and 30s are familiar with cryptocurrencies and are willing to invest in them. Nearly a quarter of the millennials surveyed answered that they were willing to purchase some form of cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin’s popularity is on the rise and millennials appear to be a generation looking for alternatives to the financial institutions they no longer believe in. If younger generations continue to adopt cryptocurrency as a primary form of investment, this will likely increase the aggregate value of virtual currencies such as Bitcoin.


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George Soros Gets Crypto Trade Approval

George Soros, Hungarian-American investor, business magnate, philanthropist, political activist and author, added a new feather to his cap as his company Soros Fund Management received approval to trade cryptocurrency. The company was founded in 1969 and is currently worth USD 26 billion.

This marks a change of heart for the magnate who, in January of this year, labelled cryptocurrencies a bubble, commenting that digital coins could never function as actual currencies due to their volatility. Since the billionaire’s comments earlier this year, Bitcoin has fallen 41%.

Soros is one of the world’s most successful investors. As of February 2018, Soros had a net worth of USD 8 billion, after donating USD 18 billion to his philanthropic agency, Open Society Foundations.

According to a recent article on Bloomberg, Adam Fischer, the macro investment manager of Soros Fund Management, had been given the go-ahead to begin trading cryptocurrencies although as yet, there is no official word on exactly when trading will commence.

The iconic hedge fund manager has a blistering track record of acquisitions and sales and always appears to be on the lookout for new stock, some of his biggest holdings being Facebook and Time Warner.

According to Bloomberg and despite his earlier comments, Soros has been indirectly backing cryptocurrency by amassing a stake in Overstock.com. In August of 2017, the company became the first major retailer to accept digital currencies and also planned to start its own cryptocurrency exchange.

The cryptocurrency market is increasingly under scrutiny from governments around the world. Central banks are currently investigating the risks as well as the obvious benefits of adopting the virtual currency. Earlier in the year, Soros commented on some of the risks, “As long as you have dictators on the rise you will have a different ending because the rulers in those countries will turn to Bitcoin to build a nest egg abroad”.

Given that Soros has long expressed doubt regarding the viability of cryptocurrencies, the recent announcement by the family office has been of great interest to industry pundits.


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Canadian Mining Giant HyperBlock Acquires CryptoGlobal For $83 Million

One of the biggest deals in crypto mining history was sealed this week when Canadian miners HyperBlock purchased mining firm CryptoGlobal in a deal worth CAD 106 million (USD 83 million).

The stock-based acquisition sees CryptoGlobal shares purchased at USD 0.74 a piece, over 40% higher than the current market OCT prices. With HyperBlock’s new acquisition, the company, one of the largest in North America, plans to list with Canadian exchanges on completion of the deal. CryptoGlobal investors will be reimbursed by HyperBlock with the newly-merged companies shares.

HyperBlock is a cryptocurrency mining company that currently operates the Sector 14 cryptocurrency mine within the Project Northwest mining facility. The company maintains that it has a “rapid growth strategy” and has signed a definitive agreement to acquire its co-location partner Project Northwest, which is one of North America’s largest facilities.

The impact of the merger with Toronto-based CryptoGlobal will make a significant impact on its new owners as it will make HyperBlock one of the largest players in the market of outsourced mining. CryptoGlobal currently mines Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Dash. HyperBlock CEO Sean Walsh commented that the combination of one company’s service model and the other’s mining and crypto trading prowess would “create a strong foundation for both organic growth and growth through acquisition”.

In addition to cryptocurrency mining, HyperBlock is now currently active in the server hosting market, allowing the company to profit from engaging with multiple different sectors, thereby diversifying risk. Its aim is now to become the western world’s largest crypto mining power through further expansion.

Mining as a service has become increasingly popular for those unable to afford a rig or who don’t have the power resources to run one. Estimates are that there are over 100,000 people globally who contribute to the cryptocurrency mining network. The highest share of the total mining resources is commercial enterprises. Digiconomist’s Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index reports that Bitcoin’s current estimated annual electricity consumption is 29.05 billion kilowatt-hours, more than the total electricity consumption of 159 countries.


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Daily Discussion, April 08, 2018

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Canada to Scrutinize Crypto Exchanges

It’s been announced that crypto-friendly Canada’s cryptocurrency exchanges will now be subject to scrutiny by the Ontario Securities Commision (OSC) due to the increase of digital currencies on the market.

Due to the recent increase of digital currencies now available and rocketing in value since 2017, the market has now opened up to some less reputable projects as well as genuine new exchanges.

Due to this, decentralized cryptocurrency climate regulators have decided to step in order to ensure that Ontario’s exchanges are adhering to the country’s security laws. OSC spokesperson Kristen Rose suggested that several cryptocurrency platforms operating in Ontario had not been registered. She commented, “if an exchange is doing business in a jurisdiction in Canada, it must apply to that jurisdiction’s securities regulatory authority for recognition or an exemption of recognition”.

Canada’s move towards further cryptocurrency regulation and transparency reflect the growing trend with governments around the world to tighten the regulatory grip on the industry as a whole. The US Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) has been particularly active this year in tracking down and prosecuting fraudulent cryptocurrency exchange activity.

Australia is another country in the process of tightening regulation, due in part to Bitcoin scams and money laundering. Platforms are now required by law to register or face harsh penalties.

Currently, trading in cryptocurrencies in Canada is subject to the same Canadian tax law rules as trading in shares or commodities such as gold. Earlier this year, as China looked to crack down on energy usage due to crypto mining, Canada began luring Bitcoin mining companies. Quebec, in particular, with its plentiful hydro resources and relatively cheap electricity, was keen to lure companies from China to boost local business.

Quebec is one of the largest hydroelectric power producers in the world and routinely produces a surplus. A cold climate makes computer cooling costs lower and Canada’s political stability is also seen as a plus for investors.


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ASRock’s New Pickaxe

ASRock has entered the mining market with its H110 and H81 motherboards, both of which are viable mid- and low-end options for your mining rig. The company has recently revealed its Phantom Gaming series and confirmed to Coindesk four mining graphics processing unit (GPU) variations which are built on AMD’s 14nm FinFET architecture.

What does ASRock have to offer?

The release of its motherboard range offers increased stability and scalability for mining rigs. The H110 model offers a combined total of 13 PCIe slots to host your GPUs. Compared with conventional motherboards, this is a vast improvement as they often have limited slots available and are not always stable in multi-GPU support past 2x SLI. A first glance of the mining series leaked specs (below)  don’t reveal much of the edge these cards may have. The core clock speeds are consistent across the models and are similar if not lower than existing RX 570 models (1340 MHz). You cannot gauge overclock (OC) potential from specifications alone, as this will be determined by the production standard of the chipsets.

Mining card specs

Performance and features

Graphics processors have varying build qualities which result in increased stability for higher overclocks. If memory manufacturer information is as readily available at the point of sale (as above), getting your hands on the perfect card may not be down to luck. Samsung is known in the mining community for producing more stable memory and would be the first choice due to its greater earning potential. Miners are specifically interested in overclocking potential, as it results in increased performance. Higher core clocks mean more hashing power to find more blocks within the blockchain. Memory-dependent algorithms like ones used for Ethereum mining do benefit from memory OCs. Notably, there is an 8GB variant (256 memory bus) but as far as performance goes for mining, cards with a lower memory bus will start to see a decline in performance. Once benchmarks are available, we can have a more accurate comparison of the effectiveness of the cooling and overall performance of the cards.

The GPU market

It will be interesting to see what the card has to offer in the existing competitive market. Will better prices be offered for mining variants? Will this sway miners to purchase this variation over gaming alternatives? Or will they opt for the ASIC alternative? ASRock seems to be looking to gain a segment in the expanding GPU market. With the card based on the popular mid-range 500 series, it will be a welcome addition and increase the variety in the market. With current GPU production limited by a lack of GDDR5 and HBM memory, new market additions will unfortunately not solve the GPU crisis.

Ethereum ASIC Miners Set To Reach Market This July

Ethereum Markets React to Rumored ASIC Miners

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