Category Archives: Cryptocurrency
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
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 …
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
Sure, fine, maybe its a bubble. OK its definitely a bubble, but thats a good thing, a bubble brings attention and investment in infrastructure, which breeds real innovation. Right? Look at the dot-com boom. A lot of people lost a whole lot of paper money, but it brought us a cheap worldwide fiber backbone and companies like Amazon and Google. Todays crypto bubble is just like that. Right?
So goes the theory, by which I mean, desperate rationalization. And it was somewhat true, for a while; but not any more. Cryptocurrencies have now ascended to speculative values that actually preclude any non-speculative uses. They have become so expensive that they are preventing innovation.
Most crypto tokens are, in fact, just glorified hash values stored on the Ethereum blockchain literally nothing more than a table of numbers like address A: 10,000. address B: 20,000, wrapped in standard blocks of code (the ERC20 and ERC721 standards, for fungible and non-fungible tokens respectively) so that they can be easily transacted.
Which means that every transfer of such tokens requires a transaction to be performed on the Ethereum blockchain. And as the price of ether has skyrocketed to more than $1,000 as I write this transaction fees have done so as well, so that the average fee for an Ethereum transaction is now around US$2.50.
(Ethereums variable-gas-price mechanism doesnt really help; fees are driven by supply and demand. And of course its not just Ethereum. Blockstacks DNS uses the Bitcoin blockchain as its source of truth, and Bitcoin transaction costs have also gone through the roof. SegWit transactions are cheaper / more efficient but thats noise compared to the overall trend.)
This is fine if youre just speculating, trading hundreds/thousands of dollars worth of tokens at a time. But it is crippling if youre actually trying to build an app that people use for anything else.
If youre trying to build a decentralized name / identity service your names now cost more than many top-level Internet domains that automatically resolve in browsers. If your tokens represent ownership of virtual entities, or access to decentralized storage suddenly just using the token at all, never mind transferring the value associated with the tokens, makes your cost structure somewhere between punitive and prohibitive.
So if youre trying to build anything even remotely high-volume atop an Ethereum token forget it. Your entire business model is catastrophically doomed at todays prices. (Ethereums sender-pays model doesnt help either, although thats due to change sometime soonish.) Only very-low-volume, very-high-value applications need apply. Like the current wave of speculation.
As a result, entire categories of cryptocurrency experimentation and innovation are on hold until the bubble bursts, or until / unless Ethereum finds a way to scale such that transaction fees plummet. Oh, people can still write and deploy code. But nobody will use it. Curious would-be users will be repelled by the nontrivial expense of mere experimentation, never mind ongoing usage.
So developers wont be able to find real-world users, and get any feedback from real-world use; they wont discover any emergent properties; and nobody will use and then iterate on their work. That whole continent of the blockchain ecosystem is now essentially in a deep freeze, covered by glaciers.
It remains an open question whether even much, much lower fees would be viable in the long run. Proponents of micropayments dont seem to realize that the fundamental problem with micropayments is not their cost, or the absence of supporting infrastructure; its the cognitive load that they induce. Parker Thompson of AngelList argues that fee-free decentralized apps are the only ones which might possibly succeed in consumer markets, and I think hes right, but that raises the question of how you prioritize and prevent spam blockchain transactions in the absence of fees.
Today thats a moot point, though. Dont get me wrong; Im not saying the sky is falling, the feepocalypse is upon us, and every decentralized application is doomed forevermore. A lot of interesting work and research has in fact been done regarding scaling Ethereum: sharding, Raiden, Plasma. Hopes for them remain justifiably high.
But until and unless they roll out, and/or the cryptocurrency markets stop being voting machines and start being weighing machines, most non-speculative token projects are doomed to indefinite hibernation. If you care about actual innovation, the inevitable popping of todays bubble wont mark the onset of crypto winter; rather, it will bring a crypto spring.
Jan 12th 2018Hanaoi, Vietnam.Jan 14th – 15th 2018Dubai, UAEJan 15th – 19th 2018SingaporeJan 15th – 16th 2018San Francisco, CAJan 17th – 19th 2018St. Moritz, SwitzerlandJan 17th – 19th 2018Miami, FLJan 17th 2018Phuket island, Thailand.Jan 24th – 26th 2018Stanford, CAJan 24th – 26th 2018San Francisco, CA, USA.Jan 24th – 25th 2018Los Angeles, CAJan 25th 2018PhilippinesSan Francisco, CAJan 26th 2018San Francisco, CA, USA.Moscow, Russia.Jan 30th 2018Frankfurt, GermanyJan 30th – 31st 2018Paris, France.Feb 1st 2018Jerusalem, Israel.Feb 1st 2018Vancouver, CanadaFeb 3rd – 8th 2018San Francisco, USAFeb 5th – 6th 2018AmsterdamFeb 5th – 6th 2018Dubai, UAE.Feb 8th 2018GibraltarFeb 12th 2018Orlando, FL, USA.Feb 13th – 16th 2018London, UKFeb 13th – 14th 2018Calgary, Alberta Feb 15th – 18th 2018Acapulco, Mexico.Feb 16th – 18th 2018Dallas, USAFeb 16th – 17th 2018Dubai, UAEFeb 21st – 22nd 2018New Delhi, India.Feb 21st – 22nd 2018London, UK.Feb 22nd 2018London, UK.Bengaluru, IndiaFeb 23rd – 24th 2018Dallas, TX Cambridge, UK.Feb 27th 2018OmanMar 5th – 7th 2018Tel Aviv, Israel.Mar 5th – 9th 2018Mittweida, GermanyMar 7th 2018London, UK.Mar 7th – 8th 2018Zrich, SwitzerlandMar 8th – 9th 2018Johannesburg, South AfricaMar 8th – 9th 2018Washington, DCMar 12th – 14th 2018Amsterdam, The Netherlands.Mar 12th – 14th 2018Amsterdam, The Netherlands.Mar 12th – 14th 2018Amsterdam, The Netherlands.Mar 12th – 14th 2018Amsterdam, The Netherlands.Mar 13th – 15th 2018Sydney, AustraliaMar 13th – 14th 2018Sydney, AustraliaMar 15th 2018San Francisco, USAMar 19th – 21st 2018AmsterdamMar 22nd 2018Tallinn, EstoniaMar 22nd 2018London, UK.Mar 22nd – 23rd 2018Nairobi, KenyaMar 26th 2018New York, NYMar 27th – 28th 2018San Francisco, CA, USAMar 27th 2018London, UK.Apr 9th – 11th 2018San Francisco, USA.Apr 13th 2018Gda?sk PolandApr 18th – 19th 2018London, UKApr 19th – 20th 2018San Francisco, CA, USA.Apr 19th – 20th 2018Denver, COChicago, IL, USA.Apr 26th – 27th 2018Moscow, RussiaChicago, IL, USA.May 22nd – 23rd 2018London, UKMay 22nd – 24th 2018New York, USA.Jun 20th – 22nd 2018Zug, Switzerland
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Coinschedule – The best cryptocurrency ICOs (Initial Coin …
News January 07, 2018 14:11 On the Verge of a Crypto Controversy: John McAfee, Twitter Hacks, and a Mess of Questions Commodities King Dennis Gartman Predicts Bitcoin Price Drop to $5,000, Then ImplodeNews January 07, 2018 10:41 This Ethereum Blockchain Platform Could Revolutionize Financial Securities Litecoin Price Jumps Nearly 30% as Founder Lee Remains Upbeat Bank Of England Drops Plans For Its Own Cryptocurrency, Fearing Instability Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash Record Large Gains, as Altcoins Fall Former PayPal Executives Investe Millions in Cryptocurrency Index Fund (+) Week in Review: Altcoins, Stocks and Gold Shine as 2018 Underway A Financial Bubble and a Ponzi: Russian Bishop Castigates Cryptocurrencies Regulators Urge Caution as Bitcoin Fever Reaches Alaska Hacker Hits Reddits Automated Email Service, Robs Users of Bitcoin Cash Tips NiceHash CEO Resigns in Aftermath of $65 Million Hack Ripple Price Slides 13% as Coinbase Quashes Rumors of Imminent Listing Bitcoin Price Barrels Past $16,000 as Altcoins Enter Decline Zuckerberg Vows to Study Cryptocurrency to Fix [Decentralize] Facebook Bitcoin Price Surges 10% to $16,300 After Week-Long Slump
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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
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
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 …
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