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Quantum Computing Will Drastically Alter Cryptocurrency Paradigm

Quantum computing is quickly becoming a reality and will change the cryptocurrency world forever. Eventually, Bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies will potentially be compromised by the advent of quantum computers; the cryptography securing modern day cryptocurrencies will be quite susceptible to quantum attacks and experts think this is inevitable in the future.

Classical computers function by using bits, which can be represented as 0 or 1. A quantum computer uses qubits (quantum bits) which can be represented as a 0 or 1 or superposition of those two quantum states. Quantum superposition is a fundamental principle of quantum mechanics and states that any two quantum states can be superposed and be another valid quantum state.

A quantum computer with a pair of qubits can be in any superposition of 4 states, and three qubits can be in 8 states, and so and so forth at 2^n quantum states where n is the number of qubits in a quantum processor. This is drastically different than classical computers which only have two states to work with; quantum computers can essentially have infinite states, and if this were to be harnessed properly this could mean infinitely more processing power than classical computers.

Right now quantum computing is in its infancy, but important scientific milestones have been reached which have resulted in the first quantum computers. In March 2018 Google Quantum AI Lap announced the creation of a 72 qubit processor called Bristlecone, which would have an incredible 4.72 X 10^21 quantum superposition states. China is building a 10 billion USD quantum computing laboratory which has the potential to massively accelerate the evolution of quantum computers, this is far more money than the 200 million USD per year the United States spends on quantum computing research.

A quantum computer of sufficiently large size, 128^3 basic quantum operations, could obtain a private key from a Bitcoin public key using Shor’s algorithm. It is estimated that a quantum computer with 1500 qubits is what’s required to break Bitcoin’s cryptography; it is not known how long it will take for such a computer to be developed but some estimates say Bitcoin will be safe until 2030-2040. One study says that the elliptic curve signature scheme of Bitcoin will be completely broken by quantum computers as early as 2027.

The experts agree that quantum computing won’t destroy modern-day cryptocurrencies in the short-term, but they also agree that in the long term it is inevitable. The best solution, according to researchers at the University of Wellington in New Zealand, is an intrinsically quantum blockchain created from quantum information and integrated into a quantum network. They say that all the necessary sub-components to build a quantum blockchain already exist.

This technology will be so completely different from a classical blockchain that Bitcoin’s protocol and blockchain will have to be completely abandoned as there is no way to hard fork it into a quantum protocol. Quantum cryptography is one of the most advanced fields in quantum science and will provide the building blocks for a quantum cryptocurrency.

Although there will be a lot of turbulence during the transition from classical to quantum cryptocurrency, it will be a very positive paradigm shift since cryptocurrency will be more secure and faster than ever before by orders of magnitude.

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SegWit Transactions Rapidly Increasing on Bitcoin Network

The percentage of transactions which utilize the SegWit (Segregated Witness) protocol has been rapidly increasing on the Bitcoin network and now sits at 38%, amid news that the Xapo Bitcoin wallet & vault has activated SegWit.

Xapo stores over 10 billion USD of Bitcoin, which is larger than the holdings of most banks in the United States. Xapo dominates the institutional cryptocurrency market and is the go-to provider for Bitcoin custodial and security services. The activation of SegWit by Xapo is directly responsible for the rapid rise in the percentage of SegWit transactions on the Bitcoin network this month; there has been a spike from 29% to 38% in just the last 2 weeks.

Bitcoin implemented SegWit via a soft fork on 24 August 2017. A soft fork is similar to a hard fork in the sense that it changes the set of rules used to create blocks, but it is different because it is backward-compatible, older versions of the Bitcoin software are able to recognize blocks produced by the new software. This avoids the problem of a blockchain split that often occurs during hard forks if a significant number of users don’t upgrade their software, which can result in losses of cryptocurrency, and therefore soft forks are much safer for the network’s health.

SegWit provides a solution for the Bitcoin block size problem. It changes the definition of a block size from 1 million bytes to 1 million units. It separates signature data, i.e. witness data, from the Merkle Tree and puts it after the end of the transaction data. The witness data only counts as 1/4 of a unit, effectively increasing the block size to 1.8 MB from 1 MB. This allows more transactions to fit into a block and reduces transaction fees, making Bitcoin more scalable and improving its usefulness as a currency.

Another important thing that SegWit accomplishes is it fixes the transaction malleability problem. In the old Bitcoin protocol a receiver could change the transaction ID and scam the sender into sending more Bitcoin since the original transaction ID would no longer appear on the blockchain. SegWit moves signatures out of the transaction ID, making it impossible to change the transaction ID. This removal of transaction malleability is a crucial step for making the Bitcoin Lightning Network safe.

Due to the improvements that SegWit provides over the old Bitcoin protocol, its increasing use is a positive step towards Bitcoin becoming a widely used global currency.

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Billionaire VC Tim Draper Busts a Crypto Rhyme at Amsterdam Conference

Billionaire Venture Capitalist and crypto pundit Tim Draper is never far from the news, and as such has lived up to expectations with an on-stage interview and impromptu rap at a recent Dutch tech conference, reports Bloomberg.

His way out of tune crypto rap at the TNW Conference Europe 2018 Tech Conference at Westerpark in Amsterdam followed an on-stage interview. Sporting a bitcoin adorned purple tie he launched into his 3-minute rap to a bemused audience, singing:

“We want a new world order/we want to pay across the border,” the chorus went. “I just wanna be a Hodler on my Bitcoin hustle.”

Prior to his stage “performance,” he continued to promote bitcoin in typical Draper fashion ignoring the market’s current downturn. In an interview at the “Next Web” conference, he stuck to his recent position of bitcoin reaching $250,000 by 2022, suggesting that the market will regroup once the current halt on spending increases.

Draper has always backed Bitcoin since 2014, when he bought about 30,000 Bitcoins from a U.S. government auction, since investing in blockchain startups, including Tezos and Bancor. As such he has never been shy of interviews and predictions. His most recent, reported by CNBC, claimed bitcoin could be bigger than the internet, claiming.

”It’s bigger than the Iron Age, the Renaissance. It’s bigger than the Industrial Revolution. This affects the entire world and it’s going to be affected in a faster and more prevalent way than you ever imagined.”

Soundbites are very much the Draper style, a more recent claim from last month suggested:

“In five years you’re going to walk in and try and pay fiat for a Starbucks coffee, and the barista is going to laugh at you because they’re going to say, “What is this? Are you counting out pennies? Give me shells?”

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Cryptfunder Brings the Best Vetted Digital Token Sales Directly to Consumers

Initial coin offerings (ICOs) are the most popular means for digital startups to raise funds for their new enterprise. The majority of these funding rounds are for companies entering the blockchain and cryptocurrency race, but due to controversies and scams, ICOs are under fire.

ICOs Still Rising

In 2017 the boom of ICOs was somewhat overwhelming; just under 350 token sales were launched which staggeringly raised over 5 Billion USD, and the crowdfunding method is showing no signs of stopping, even in the face of scandal.

So far ICOs in 2018 have surpassed the 2017 total, presently the figure for 2018 sits at over 6 Billion USD, which was accumulated across roughly 200 token sales from January to March. Incredible sums of money being poured into digital startups are becoming a norm, but what does this mean for blockchain innovators and crypto-enthusiasts?

Despite the astronomical figures, ICOs aren’t well known for being easy to access, navigating the treacherous waters of ICO listings, working out which ones are scams and picking an ICO are all annoying entry barriers for would-be participants.

This doesn’t just harm the opportunities of the participants, but also damages the operators of projects who more than likely have an innovative and aspirational goal but are lost in the saturated market. It’s terrible for the industry as a whole if blockchain innovations can’t hit the ground running because of security concerns, market saturation or entry barriers, but there is some hope.

Cryptfunder Revamping ICO Funding

A blockchain project from Cryptfunder is a bold step toward breaking away from the established traditions of ICO funding; the project is designed to provide financing to critically and diligently selected ICO startups.

The Cryptfunder expert analysts will work to identify projects that show the most significant market value potential which can be deduced from the project’s application in the real-world, as well as the utility of the technology and quality of the team behind it.

Cryptfunder firmly believes in the blockchain community and boosting up the funding of ICOs that are breaking the mold and have a demonstrably great vision for their future; which all in all is a somewhat noble venture itself.

The platform is comprised of key features that set Cryptfunder apart from many platforms; firstly there is the CF30 list, a carefully curated list of thirty other tokens from top-tier, mid-cap to higher risk projects. These tokens will be purchased using 10% of the Cryptfunder ICO funds and will serve as backing for the value of the platforms native token, CFND.

The ICO starter module will provide a funding platform for ICOs and other exchanges in return for heavily discounted Pre-ICO or other tokens; Cryptfunder will be offering the top picks from the blockchain ICO market, valiantly outperforming traditional methods.

Cryptfunder Token Sale

Cryptfunder will be hosting a token sale for its native token CFND; the sale begins May 25th, 2018, 9pm UTC and ends July 8th, 2018, 9pm UTC or after 20,000,000 tokens are sold. CFND tokens will be initially priced at 0.003 ETH per CFND.

Participants can also benefit from bonuses depending on how early they enter the sale, details below:

May 25th – May 29th: 15% Bonus

May 30th – June 3rd: 10% Bonus

June 4th – June 8th: 5% Bonus

June 9th – June 13th: 2% Bonus

June 14th – July 8th: Standard ICO Rate

To find out more, head to the official Cryptfunder website here: https://www.cryptfunder.io/

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Mysterious Death of Everest Sherpa On ICO Stunt Climb

An ICO publicity stunt staged at Nepal’s Mount Everest led to the death of one person last week, the Financial Times’ Alphaville reported recently.

The stunt, organized by Ukranian global social networking site ASKfm, was staged in order to promote the company’s initial coin offering by placing a ledger wallet holding the new tokens at the summit. YouTube’s promotional video had linked Everest with what they called. “literally the highest token” in their scripted piece asking anyone “brave enough” to come and get it. The wallet tokens were reported to have been worth USD$50,000 at launch.

Three crypto enthusiasts, Taras Pozdnii, Roman Gorodechnii and Dmitrii Semenko were sponsored to do the dangerous climb to position the two wallets, the second containing an equal amount of coins, as part of the promo event.

The accident occurred on the crews’ descent from the world’s highest peak, according to Everest blogger Alan Arnette’s confirmed report on the FT, as one of the crews accompanying Sherpas, Lam Babu, died after the filming. Russian media site 4Sport.ua reported that Lam Babu Sherpa had died, either due to snow blindness or physical exhaustion.

Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism later confirmed the reports, suggesting that the Sherpa had indeed died due to snow blindness on the descent. A later 4Ssport report released by the Ukrainian team describe the accident:

“In a second – animal fear, and I shout to Dima – let’s get out of here, or these will be the last pictures we’ll ever take. At this time there were three of our sherpa at the top, we saw Dima’s sherpa and as it turned out, he did not return to the camp.”

One of the climbers descending with the Sherpa wrote an untranslatable report, and Arnette suggests on his blog page that there is still an element of mystery about the exact events:

“I confirmed the events the day of the death with Gyanendra Shrestha, the Ministry’s representative at EBC who said he had snow blindness, went “missing” and the rescue team stationed at Camp 2 was unaware of the incident as it was happening. I find it hard to understand how the 45-year-old Sherpa developed snow blindness, was reported to be staggering and no one was able to help him. I look forward to obtaining more details on this sad event”

Max Tsaryk, CEO of ASKfm, told the FT that, “we have become aware that a Sherpa who successfully assisted one of our sponsored climbers on a part of their journey, prior to assisting other non-related groups of climbers, later became missing:”

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Bitcoin Price Analysis, 25th May 2018: BTC/USD Met With Resistance Below $7500

Bitcoin appears to be coming under a bear market with signals indicating dramatic shifts in the sentiment of traders. Prices keep being in a downward spiral now with volumes also coming down.

The Day’s Signals

  1. Bitcoin prices fell from the day’s peak at USD 7,700 price levels with a drop down to USD 7,300 levels earlier today.
  2. While a recovery was realized above USD 7,500 prices, a selloff had traders taking consideration at USD 7,400 levels.
  3. Selling pressure now seems to be forming a resistance level below USD 7,500.

bitcoin gdax-btcusd-May-25-2018-23-58-58

GDAX BTC/USD charts are indicating the shattering of support levels with today’s downward spike. While markets did recover, the downtrend keeps prices from rising. Through more recent hours, a fall further down to USD 7,300 levels keeps seeming more plausible. It’s obvious that consideration after the recovery didn’t manage to last too long. Traders succumbed to a bearish breakout with the downward spiral even continuing after it. It’d be safe to assume that resistance levels might be starting to form below USD 7,500 levels with the markets even being vulnerable to further price falls as volumes remain low.

Bitcoin okcoin-btcusd-weekly-futures-May-25-2018-23-59-7

OKEX BTC/USD charts showcase that futures traders are continuing to support closely mirroring spot prices. There hasn’t been much space for a difference between the two markets with so much uncertainty around. Traders in markets for bitcoin futures have surely gotten wind of the worsening market sentiment that’s driven by uncertainty. With trading volumes continuing to go down from being already low in previous trading sessions, not much confidence can be placed in markets.

All in all, traders seem to be preparing for even worse outcomes in spite of the already worsening conditions experienced in bitcoin markets. Volumes kept going down in spite of already being low in previous trading sessions. It is such signals that lead traders to exercise more caution and ultimately markets end up with even thinner support. With new lows reached through yet another day, indicating that there’s no positive sign showing that the downtrend might be close to an end.

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In Venezuela a Satoshi is Now Worth Far More Than a Bolivar Fuerte, and Venezuelans Are Moving Their Money Into Bitcoin

According to Google’s currency convertor, 1 Satoshi now equals nearly 6 Venezuelan Bolivares Fuertes (VEF). A Satoshi is 1/100 millionth of a Bitcoin (0.00000001), and is the smallest possible unit for the cryptocurrency.

It is remarkable that a Satoshi far exceeds the value of a VEF, and is a good indicator of just how extreme hyper-inflation has gotten in the South American nation. A Satoshi is not a lot of money, only equivalent to 0.000075 USD. One USD is equivalent to a whopping 80,000 VEF, which is quite close to the largest denomination VEF banknote of 100,000.

The economic crisis in Venezuela started under the reign of Hugo Chavez due to overspending and price controls, and drastically deepened in 2014 when the price of oil collapsed since most of Venezuela’s income was from oil drilling.

In order to balance overspending and debts, the government of Venezuela began printing VEF at will, leading to a rapid rise in inflation starting in 2012. By late 2014 the currency lost over 90% of its value, sending the economy into a tailspin as citizens lost their life savings. This is one of the problems Bitcoin was made to solve, since it is decentralized and can’t be printed at will like governments so often do with their local fiat currencies. This characteristic of Bitcoin conserves its monetary value and makes it safer than most fiat currencies in the world.

Inflation rates have been increasing in Venezuela ever since the crisis started in 2012, now exceeding 7,000% annually and on track to reach 13,000% this year according to the United States Department of Labor Statistics. The end result is people using wheelbarrows full of cash to go grocery shopping.

The Venezuelan Bolivar Fuerte is obviously near the point of total collapse and could end up going the way of the Zimbabwean Dollar which was abandoned and became completely worthless in 2015. In Zimbabwe, citizens sought out other currencies to use for their money, mainly the USD, but Bitcoin has become another popular monetary refuge.

Indeed, this past year Bitcoin trading volume in Venezuela has skyrocketed on Localbitcoins, which is a peer to peer Bitcoin trading website. Over 3.9 trillion Bolivares Fuertes were traded for Bitcoin last week on the website, and of course, this doesn’t include all the other Bitcoin transactions outside of the website. Clearly, Venezuelans are moving their money into Bitcoin more so than ever before.

Bitcoin is in a good position to become a primary currency for desperate Venezuelans who have been tortured by years of hyperinflation. While Bitcoin can be quite volatile and sometimes drops overnight, Venezuelans will rest a lot easier at night knowing their money is in Bitcoin since it does not drop each and every night with the consistency or magnitude that the VEF does, and in the long-term Bitcoin has been going up.

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Huobi Pro Offers Real-Time Tracking of Cryptocurrency Market Trends

Huobi Pro is establishing a new cryptocurrency market index for its valuable customers. The previously Beijing based Huobi Group was founded in September 2013, and as a part of its development strategy, the organization established Huobi Pro Exchange. The exchange platform has gained a lot of prominence since then. The organization moved the exchange to headquarters in Singapore as the Chinese Government started banning ICOs and cryptocurrency exchanges. The Huobi Pro technology is multi-platform accessible, with support for all functions, which has helped make it an attractive option.

Huobi Pro had identified a need in the cryptocurrency exchange market for a clear market index, which would assist investors and cryptocurrency fund managers. As mentioned in a press release, the Huobi 10 Index will track the activity of 10 of the most highly traded digital assets, through the current USDT arrangements. The index will not only choose these blockchain assets based on activity but also requires the selected assets to have high capitalization and market value levels, as well as strong liquidity. As per the sources, the assets will be divided into four categories: platform, real asset substitute, digital asset, and application.

This will give further clarity on market activity to the users of the Huobi Pro Exchange. As per the sources the company advised, “The number of constituents selected in these four categories depends on their transaction volume of last quarter. After deciding the allocation of constituents into each of the four categories, the average daily trading volume in the previous quarter is used to decide the weight of the constituent in the index.”

Now, it is possible for investors to track a single feed in real time, showing market trends as they develop. The introduction of a functioning cryptocurrency index indicates that the cryptocurrency market has achieved a level of maturity. It is seeking to further build credibility and visibility through matching other market indices currently in use. Huobi Pro has indicated that there will be further developments with potential for the release of additional indices in the future.

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