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Crypto Tidbits: Meet JP Morgan Coin, SEC Drops Bitcoin ETF Application

<p>After last week&rsquo;s price action, the crypto market quieted down. Bitcoin entered a lull, while altcoins followed close behind. Yet, the wheels of the crypto train have continued to spin. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey revealed that his fintech upstart would eventually integrate Bitcoin&rsquo;s Lightning Network, JP Morgan launched its own digital asset on a private<a href="https://www.newsbtc.com/2019/02/16/crypto-tidbits-meet-jp-morgan-coin-sec-drops-bitcoin-etf-application/">...</a></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.newsbtc.com/2019/02/16/crypto-tidbits-meet-jp-morgan-coin-sec-drops-bitcoin-etf-application/">Crypto Tidbits: Meet JP Morgan Coin, SEC Drops Bitcoin ETF Application</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.newsbtc.com/">NewsBTC</a>.</p>

Bitcoin (BTC) Stable Above $3,600, But Analysts Warn That Further Losses are Likely

<p>Bitcoin has continued to express stability around its current price levels in the low-$3,600 region. Despite being stable currently, BTC has not been able to garner any buying pressure at its current prices, which may signal technical weakness. Now, analysts are claiming that Bitcoin may see further losses in the near-term, as its price has<a href="https://www.newsbtc.com/2019/02/15/bitcoin-btc-stable-above-3600-but-analysts-warn-that-further-losses-are-likely/">...</a></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.newsbtc.com/2019/02/15/bitcoin-btc-stable-above-3600-but-analysts-warn-that-further-losses-are-likely/">Bitcoin (BTC) Stable Above $3,600, But Analysts Warn That Further Losses are Likely</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.newsbtc.com/">NewsBTC</a>.</p>

Crypto Analyst: Bitcoin Price Stuck Between Converging Moving Averages Until Mid-Year

<p>Traders, investors, and analysts are all watching Bitcoin price charts in hopes to better predict when the current crypto bear market ends and a new uptrend will resume. One particular crypto analyst believes that the Bitcoin price will continue to be squeezed tightly together until at least mid-year, as it consolidates between two important converging<a href="https://www.newsbtc.com/2019/02/15/crypto-bitcoin-price-moving-average/">...</a></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.newsbtc.com/2019/02/15/crypto-bitcoin-price-moving-average/">Crypto Analyst: Bitcoin Price Stuck Between Converging Moving Averages Until Mid-Year</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.newsbtc.com/">NewsBTC</a>.</p>

Wyoming Passes New Friendly Regulations for Crypto Assets

<img alt="wyoming.jpg" height="529" src="https://fs.bitcoinmagazine.com/img/images/wyoming.width-800.jpg" width="800"><br><div><div><p>The Wyoming state government has been expanding its status as a hub for crypto and blockchain technology by passing several new bills this February.</p><p>According to Wyoming-based blockchain advocate <a href="https://bitcoinmagazine.com/tags/caitlin-long/">Caitlin Long</a>, the state of Wyoming has recently <a href="https://twitter.com/caitlinlong_/status/1096116466259116032">passed</a> resolution <a href="https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/SF0125">SF0125</a> on February 14, 2019, claiming that Wyoming &ldquo;law recognizes property rights in the direct ownership of digital assets.&rdquo; The bill plainly states &ldquo;that digital assets are property within the Uniform Commercial Code&rdquo; and goes on to elaborate some of its ramifications.</p><p>Long gave a succinct rundown of the bill&rsquo;s most salient points, stating that &ldquo;In other words, you're not forced to own digital securities through an intermediary. Blockchain tech enables direct ownership of assets, and now the law does too.&rdquo; Since property law in the United States is in the hands of state jurisdiction, this new step is not only safe from the federal government but also can serve as a model for other states.</p><p>&ldquo;It makes perfect sense that Wyoming is the epicenter of blockchain law in the US,&rdquo; said Long, a Wyoming native. &ldquo;That's also why institutional investors, which are prohibited by federal law from directly owning the assets they manage, can rest assured that Wyoming's digital asset custodians are actually solvent.&rdquo;</p><p>This is not the only accomplishment made by pro-crypto voices in Wyoming, however. On February 2, 2019, the Wyoming State Senate also passed a bill updating the classification of crypto assets, including a clause to formally label them as currencies.</p><p>According to the <a href="https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/SF0125">text</a> of the bill, crypto assets can be considered to have three different statuses for legal purposes: digital consumer assets, digital securities and virtual currencies. All three of these definitions are specifically registered as personal property rather than private property, formally upholding a stance that <a href="https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=37590569-3f6e-4c5e-bd0e-171a178938e9">other</a> <a href="https://www.pwc.com.au/legal/assets/legaltalk-alert-legal-classification-of-crypto-assets-16-october-2018.pdf">jurisdictions</a> overseas and abroad have taken.</p><p>More significantly, however, the bill also further elaborates on the specific terms and conditions for each of these three statuses. In addition to the respective classifications of &ldquo;general intangibles&rdquo; and securities, the bill also states that &ldquo;virtual currency is intangible personal property and shall be considered money.&rdquo;</p><p>In redefining the legal status of crypto in this way, it formally opens up the possibility for ordinary citizens to treat crypto as an actual currency on a daily basis. This, in turn, could provide the impetus for a more comprehensive tax code or new business use cases.</p><p><a href="https://bitcoinmagazine.com/tags/wyoming/">Wyoming</a> has been cultivating a reputation as a major crypto haven in the United States, in a bid to angle itself as the blockchain hub of the nation. In addition to enabling blockchain into <a href="https://distributed.com/news/legislation-wyoming-could-enable-blockchain-based-stock-certificates">stock certificates</a> with bipartisan support in January 2019, Wyoming has <a href="https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/wyoming-passes-bill-secure-banking-relations-blockchain-companies/">also</a> helped make banking laws more friendly for blockchain companies last December. Many Wyoming legislators are evidently, at the very least, sympathetic to making blockchain a new Wyoming industry and further friendliness can be expected in the future.</p></div></div> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://bitcoinmagazine.com/">Bitcoin Magazine</a>.</em></p>

Bitcoin (BTC) Validation as Jamie Dimon’s Sentiment Shift

<p>Bitcoin prices ranging with clear supports at $3,400-500 zone JP Morgan and Chase rolls out a stable coin, JPM Transactional volumes average 10k, not enough to trigger buyers into action With the release of a banker&rsquo;s stable coin, JPM Coin, crypto is technically valid. As such, we expect more bankers to follow suit endorsing the<a href="https://www.newsbtc.com/2019/02/15/bitcoin-btc-validation-as-jamie-dimon-sentiment-shift/">...</a></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.newsbtc.com/2019/02/15/bitcoin-btc-validation-as-jamie-dimon-sentiment-shift/">Bitcoin (BTC) Validation as Jamie Dimon&rsquo;s Sentiment Shift</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.newsbtc.com/">NewsBTC</a>.</p>

Is It Time to Take an Initiative to Decrease Bitcoin’s Block Size Seriously?

<img alt="Blocksize.jpg" height="529" src="https://fs.bitcoinmagazine.com/img/images/Blocksize.width-800.jpg" width="800"><br><div><div><p>Whilst debate raged throughout the Bitcoin community over whether the block size limit should be increased and how, Luke-jr for years stood out for arguing the exact opposite position. One megabyte blocks weren&rsquo;t too small, he maintained even as SegWit&rsquo;s block size increase gained broad support, they were too big. No increase, but a decrease was needed.</p><p>Now, the Bitcoin Knots and Bitcoin Core developer is spearheading an attempt to make such a decrease happen, as a temporary measure. And if social media is any indication, the initiative is attracting more interest than many might have expected it would.</p><p>&ldquo;I don't know if the proposal will be adopted or not, but support has been growing due to the block size becoming more and more apparently a problem,&rdquo; Luke-jr told <i>Bitcoin Magazine</i>.</p><h4>Block Size Decrease</h4><p>Of course, the arguments <i>for</i> decreasing the block size limit are similar to the by now oft-repeated arguments <i>against</i> increasing the block size limit. In short, bigger blocks add to the cost of running a node (making it more expensive for users to enforce the protocol rules), could increase mining centralization (risking censorship resistance), and reduces fee pressure (translating into less hash power security).</p><p>The most pressing problem of these, for Luke-jr, is the cost of running a full node. This is perhaps best exemplified by the time it takes to initially sync such a node. Getting up to speed with the rest of the network can take days even on modern laptops with a good internet connection.</p><p>&ldquo;Users acting on that cost by simply choosing not to run a full node is a problem,&rdquo; Luke-jr said. &ldquo;When someone does finally attack Bitcoin, it will split the network &mdash; full node users on one chain, and light wallet users on the other.&rdquo;</p><p>In case of such a broad scale attack on light wallet users, &ldquo;a <a href="https://medium.com/@DCGco/bitcoin-scaling-agreement-at-consensus-2017-133521fe9a77">New York Agreement</a>-in-secret,&rdquo; Luke-jr envisions a worst-case scenario where these users would rather continue to use the invalid chain they&rsquo;d been defaulting to since the attack, instead of switching back to the original chain.</p><p>&ldquo;Which side prevails inevitably depends on the economic pressure of users of each chain. If most people are using light wallets, then full node users will lose out, and the invalid chain effectively becomes simply a hard fork to Bitcoin,&rdquo; he argued, leaving little room for nuance. &ldquo;That means all protocol rules are open to change, including the ones that forbid inflation, theft, etcetera.&rdquo;</p><p>Following Luke-jr&rsquo;s reasoning, Bitcoin is well into the danger zone already, as relatively few users rely on full nodes to accept payments. And it may be getting worse. Bitcoin&rsquo;s blockchain grows each day, and while<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore's_law"> Moore&rsquo;s Law</a> and similar trends of computational improvements negate the associated problems with this growth to an extent, the Bitcoin Knots lead maintainer thinks technological progress is not yet keeping up. (It&rsquo;s no exact science, but the drop in<a href="https://bitnodes.earn.com/dashboard/?days=365"> reachable node count</a> over the past year could suggest that the blockchain size is indeed becoming a problem for more users &mdash; then again this node count is <a href="https://bitnodes.earn.com/dashboard/?days=730">up</a> over the past <i>two</i> years.)</p><p>On the flip side, the main argument against smaller blocks is that it would limit the number of transactions the Bitcoin network would be able process, which increases fee pressure, and could out-price certain use cases. (Instead of running full nodes, users may opt to rely on custodial services to save on fees, arguably making matters worse &mdash; not better.)</p><p>But with the development of the Lightning Network making noticeable progress, proponents of a block size limit decrease believe this downside is largely mitigated. Users would be incentivized to migrate to the overlay network for fast and cheap transactions, furthering its growth and taking the load off Bitcoin&rsquo;s blockchain at the same time.</p><h4>The Plan</h4><p>As the initiative is still in its early stages, it&rsquo;s not yet set in stone what the potential block size decrease would look like, exactly. Even the desired limit isn&rsquo;t settled on, though it would most likely be brought down from the current theoretical maximum of almost four megabytes to a theoretical maximum of two or less. (This would, in reality, result in even smaller blocks; closer to one megabyte.) However, if this were to be achieved, the measure would be designed not to be permanent, so that an increase back to the current limit wouldn&rsquo;t be too difficult later on.</p><p>There are at least three rough ideas of how a block size decrease could be achieved.</p><p>The most notable <a href="https://twitter.com/LukeDashjr/status/1093508105156157442">proposal</a> is a user-activated soft fork (UASF), similar to BIP148, the initiative to trigger SegWit activation in 2017. On the same date as two years ago, August 1, users would enforce the stricter rules for five months, incentivizing miners to comply. If a majority of miners (by hash power) go along, even non-upgraded users would remain compatible with the new rules; they&rsquo;d just see smaller blocks than previously allowed. A UASF is a risky strategy, however. If less than half of all miners go along, the blockchain could &ldquo;split&rdquo; between upgraded and non-upgraded users.</p><p>Alternatively, miners could impose a smaller block size limit themselves as a soft cap. Soft caps are non-binding limits that miners put on the blocks they mine and were used particularly throughout the first years of Bitcoin&rsquo;s existence. (Past soft caps were consecutively 250, 500 and 750 kilobytes, as recommended by Bitcoin developers.) This would be a much safer solution but would require that miners reject transactions and, thus, leave transaction fees on the table for each block they mine.</p><p>As a third option,<a href="https://twitter.com/LukeDashjr/status/1093149623307431936"> proposed</a> by Luke-jr, Bitcoin users could limit the size of blocks by making their transactions artificially &ldquo;heavy.&rdquo; Under Bitcoin&rsquo;s protocol rules, these transactions would be counted as if they were larger than they actually are, which means blocks would fill up faster with less actual transaction data. This change wouldn&rsquo;t require any protocol changes; wallets could offer it today. These transactions do, however, require individual users to choose to &ldquo;overpay&rdquo; on fees relative to regular transactions. (That&rsquo;s assuming miners act economically rationally and charge extra to include these transactions.)</p><h4>Block Size Debate Fatigue</h4><p>Some notable proponents of Luke-jr&rsquo;s initiative include Bitrefill CCO<a href="https://twitter.com/BitcoinErrorLog/status/1094731496638873600"> John Carvalho</a>, Block Digest cohost <a href="https://twitter.com/brian_trollz/status/1095179977413353472">Shinobi</a> and JoinMarket developer <a href="https://twitter.com/chris_belcher_/status/1095376540983062528">Chris Belcher</a>. Yet all of them would only want to go through with the effort if it gains broad backing. That also goes for Luke-jr himself: &ldquo;Soft forks like this need a lot of community support,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>But so far, support within the Bitcoin community appears to range from lukewarm (no pun intended) to skeptical to outright dismissive. Other than Luke-jr, no regular Bitcoin Core contributors have thrown their weight behind the proposal and no Bitcoin company of note has stated support; and while the proposal is generating a bit of buzz on social media and in chat rooms, a majority of commenters still seems to reject the idea.</p><p>Even many of those who agree that a decrease would be a technical improvement in and of itself don&rsquo;t believe it would make too much of a difference. If blocks are smaller for several months or even several years, Bitcoin&rsquo;s blockchain size will still be large. Whether tomorrow&rsquo;s new users need to sync two days or three days may not be the deciding factor in whether to use a full node or not. Besides, there are<a href="https://twitter.com/LukeDashjr/status/1095696536405712896"> other solutions</a> that could make running a full node more attractive, some of which may well have much more effect. (Though, as Luke-jr points out, none of these solutions exclude <i>also</i> decreasing the block size limit.)</p><p>What&rsquo;s more, years of in-fighting has made the Bitcoin community wary of commencing another block size battle and dealing with all the controversy that comes with it. After a long-fought &ldquo;civil war,&rdquo; there appears to be little appetite to invest more time and energy in reviving the struggle on the same parameter &mdash; thereby, quite possibly, draining any momentum from the initiative even before it gets well underway.</p><p>Indeed, even Luke-jr himself doubts he&rsquo;ll be the one carrying the initiative to the finish line this time.</p><p>&ldquo;Although I may be the only one popularly pushing it &mdash; I don't have time to champion another BIP148, I fear,&rdquo; he said, noting how exhausting the previous UASF attempt was. &ldquo;I think the only way it will happen is if the community takes the lead on it.&rdquo;</p></div></div> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://bitcoinmagazine.com/">Bitcoin Magazine</a>.</em></p>

Even During Nuclear Winter, the Largest Crypto Asset Manager Controls Nearly $1 Billion

<p>Cryptocurrencies have continued to stumble, but one organization has been making promising strides in the back offices of the Bitcoin space.&nbsp;Grayscale Investments, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the crypto conglomerate that is the New York-based Digital Currency Group, revealed that its products secured millions in investment amid the so-called &ldquo;crypto winter.&rdquo; Crypto Winter Has Been No<a href="https://www.newsbtc.com/2019/02/15/grayscale-secured-237-million-institutional-crypto-investment-during-2018/">...</a></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.newsbtc.com/2019/02/15/grayscale-secured-237-million-institutional-crypto-investment-during-2018/">Even During Nuclear Winter, the Largest Crypto Asset Manager Controls Nearly $1 Billion</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.newsbtc.com/">NewsBTC</a>.</p>

Will Bitcoin Block Size Reduction Argument Cause Another Crypto Conflict?

<p>Things have been busy in crypto land this week and the big debate over Bitcoin&rsquo;s block size has only just been usurped by JP Morgan&rsquo;s attempt to launch its own completely centralized crypto coin. The block size issue is an important one so we&rsquo;ll delve a little deeper into that. Another Crypto Conflict Imminent? Bitcoin<a href="https://www.newsbtc.com/2019/02/15/will-bitcoin-block-size-reduction-argument-cause-another-crypto-conflict/">...</a></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.newsbtc.com/2019/02/15/will-bitcoin-block-size-reduction-argument-cause-another-crypto-conflict/">Will Bitcoin Block Size Reduction Argument Cause Another Crypto Conflict?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.newsbtc.com/">NewsBTC</a>.</p>