Why the Blockchain Technology Is the Biggest Thing Since the Internet.

Why the Blockchain Technology Is the Biggest Thing Since the Internet.
The early history of Bitcoin is often associated with the early days of the Internet. Although some say the killer applications for the peer-to-peer digital cash system have yet to arrive, many people understand the potential of this open system for online value transfer. The Internet completely revolutionized how information travels around the world, and Bitcoin could have the same impact on money, payments and many other aspects of finance.

Permissionless Finance
One of the key innovations of the Internet was that it allowed free publication of information. While a few of media companies held steady control over information and news in the history, anyone with a Facebook or Twitter account can now immediately turn into a reporter on the scene of an interesting event.in

Bitcoin offers a similar transition to a more decentralized version of online finance. Instead of getting permission from PayPal, Visa or MasterCard to accept online payments, anyone can instantly sell their goods and services for Bitcoin; it only takes a Bitcoin wallet to get started. Although online drug markets have existed in the past, these sorts of uncensored marketplaces become more practical in a world where Bitcoin exists. This is not to say these markets are morally right or wrong. They are simply an illustration of the permissionless nature of Bitcoin payments.

Although Bitcoin requires approval from no one on a technical level, legal barriers to entry still exist when it comes to extending financial services on top of the blockchain. Regulations tend to come into play when entrepreneurs are taking custody of their users’ bitcoins. Of course, it’s still feasible to create new p2p protocols for financial services, which can be viewed as nothing more than software. An example of this concept in action is JoinMarket, which is a way for Bitcoin users to get a return on their holdings by offer liquidity to CoinJoin transactions.

Bitcoin Could Change How the Internet Works
Bitcoin also has the potential to completely change the way the Internet works. The creation of a form of true digital cash allows applications to experiment with new incentive structures and monetization models.

The most common monetization model on the Internet has evolved to the point where it’s all about tracking users’ movements and selling that data to third parties. Brave Software is a startup that hopes to fight against this trend by way of a new browser. The idea is to provide users with better privacy while browsing the web and eventually have users choose to make small Bitcoin payments to content creators rather than becoming a product for advertisers. In the meantime, the browser uses ad-blocking technology to replace pop-ups and third-party cookies with less-intrusive advertisements.

21 is another startup in the Bitcoin ecosystem that sees entirely new types of payments becoming possible thanks to the peer-to-peer digital cash system. Part of the mindset here is to view Blockchain as a system resource rather than a currency. Having some bitcoins on devices by default may be useful in creating effective markets for sharing excess bandwidth, storage and other system resources. Bitcoin may enable a future where the specs of a particular device are less important because system resources can be automatically purchased with Bitcoin on p2p markets in the background.

A Complete Revolution in Money
One last thing to keep in mind when it comes to Bitcoin as a commodity or currency is that this is a true revolution in money. Bitcoin has specific implications when it comes to a government’s ability to have control over the economy. Whether it’s to avoid capital controls, inflation, censorship of payments, bail-ins or any other economic policy, citizens now have the ability to opt-out of the traditional system entirely via Bitcoin. Although gold has been viewed as the main hedge against specific government actions in the past, Bitcoin’s role in this regard may increase as more commerce and general economic activity moves online.

The Internet weakened centralized control over information, and Blockchain could do the same for money.
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The Bitcoins Price Stability at its Best since 2010.

The Bitcoin Standard :Price Stability at its Best since 2010
The last 24 days period marks the longest time period in which bitcoin prices have been less volatile than gold prices, since 2010, according to BitCoinsMaster. Some see this as a sign of investor perception of bitcoin as a safe store of value.

Not one for lack of volatility, bitcoin has witnessed wild price fluctuation from its’ beginning. Some claim that the cryptocurrency has taken on a role similar to gold as its usage has grown. Holding bitcoin, like gold 2.0.
. Gold has long been the only refuge for people concerned about the financial system and the global economy.

What The Trend Means
Bitcoin’s volatility fell below gold’s for a short time period in 2012. The more recent trend has more significance as the cryptocurrency’s activity has grown, Luria said. Monthly bitcoin transactions grew from 200,000 in January 2012 to more than 6 million this March, according to Wedbush Securities data. Luria said there are a lot more forces in balance at present.

(Wedbush Securities has acquired holdings in a bitcoin trading platform, Buttercoin, CCN has reported.)

Bitcoin Versus Gold
Some observers claim the situation may not last. The value of the bitcoin industry is estimated at $6.6 billion, according to Blockchain. This pales in comparison to the amount held in gold. The over-the-counter gold market trades between $180 and $250 billion daily, according to the World Gold Council.

The low volatility of the cryptocurrency could be due to a move to the sidelines as investors wait for more information about the economy in addition to the future of digital currency.

Also read: Global economic outlook: gold rally, BTC down

A General Holding Pattern?
Ishan Singh, director of analytics at TradeBlock, which offers trading tools for blockchain assets and bitcoin, said there is a general holding pattern taking place. “We’ve seen some solid volumes to start the year,” he said. “Even though volatility has been low, people are still interested in trading.”

The cryptocurrency has also struggled with regulatory and security issues among the investor community. More stable prices might not be enough to assure institutional investors to invest in digital assets. It may be a long time until a lot of investors are confident in the cryptocurrency as a store of wealth. More and more appears to be stable enough now to be investable, but there is still risk factor. In comparison to gold, he does not believe average investors view bitcoin’s risk as equivalent to gold’s.

The key is to avoid the secondary effects of inflation

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi: The key is to avoid the secondary effects of inflation

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, issued a statement on Friday to the International Monetary and Financial Committee (International Monetary and Financial Committee), that “under the present circumstances, the ECB is concerned, the key is to ensure low inflation environment will not result in the development of second-round effects on wages and prices. ”

Draghi noted that the euro zone economy is sustained over a gradual recovery track, but the euro-zone economic growth outlook is still facing uncertainty, downside risks mainly due to the growth prospects of emerging market economies, accompanied by oil prices and prospects of economic impact is unknown , and geopolitical risks.

Draghi stressed that “Our monetary policy will continue to focus on maintaining price stability.” ECB’s next policy meeting will be held April 21 >>–

China Gold benchmark to create greater price transparency

China Gold benchmark to create greater price transparency
China is set to increase its influence in the gold market with the launch of a highly anticipated yuan-denominated gold fix on April 19. As the largest producer and consumer of gold, it is only logical that they develop the infrastructure to trade, price and provide liquidity for gold in their own currency, the gold fix also provides the People’s Bank of China with the capability to control and stabilize the gold price.
SGE yuan gold price benchmark unlikely to destabilize  the dollar but other exchanges may come under pressure.

Like the London Gold Fix, the Shanghai Gold Exchange’s (SGE) benchmark price will be set twice per business day and both local and foreign banks will be allowed to trade the contract. It is understood that clients of foreign banks will be permitted to trade anonymously while those of domestic banks will not enjoy the same privilege. In China, the initial price for the first auction will be determined by a ‘trimmed arithmetic average of price-setting members’ inputs’ whereas the London auctions kick off using a price selected by an independent chairperson, Donoghue said.

The state-run SGE deals solely in physical gold whereas ‘paper gold’ contracts are factored into the London Gold Fix, determined by the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA). “It’s more unclear that the paper gold market and physical market are as linked as they should be. Someday, there’s going be a delivery issue. A mismatch between paper and physical plays would redirect the market more toward the physical and would help rising positions in Chinese contracts,
“Should the Chinese gold fix deviate from the London fix price, concerns around the pricing and settlement of ‘paper gold’ in London could rise and destabilize the functioning of the market – although we believe it will take some time before the Chinese benchmark has such a notable impact. –>>

Noting that the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) is also considering offering both yuan and dollar-based price on gold futures for physical delivery as well as the rising popularity for physical delivery.http://top4freez.freeblogz.xyz/

Top of the Class: This could be a golden year

Top of the Class: This could be a golden year
This year hasn’t been a stellar period for investors so far, but it’s definitely been a good year to be in gold.

The price of the precious metal surged to $1,272 (£890m) a troy ounce earlier this month, up 20 per cent from the end of December. In a reversal from recent years’ trends, global gold equities have done even better, up 54 per cent in US dollar terms.

Many of the fund managers I speak to believe the fundamentals are now in place for an extended period of gains.

I agree the short-term environment for the commodity looks supportive, with low to negative interest rates, ongoing QE and, sadly, no end in sight to geopolitical concerns in Russia, the Middle East and North Korea.

Lowered expectations around rate rises in the US, in particular, are good news – from a gold perspective – as they suggest shaky global growth prospects and extended market volatility.

Longer term, supply and demand are also moving in favour of price growth. While the World Gold Council says the market remains in surplus, it notes primary gold production peaked in 2015. Four years of declining prices have translated into reduced capex among miners.

Demand in the world’s two major consumer markets for gold, China and India, has been mixed. China’s imports hit record levels in December, but India’s outlook is less certain following yet more gold-related taxes.

On the other hand, demand from emerging market governments (who covet the safe haven asset as insurance against declining currencies) and central banks globally remains strong.

The outlook for gold miners is better than it has been in several years. Gold equities severely underperformed the gold price throughout the most recent downturn, as investors lost confidence in companies with high debt levels and poor management.

However, drastic price falls post-2011 forced miners to become far more cost-efficient. Falling oil prices and weaker currencies also helped, leading to increased margins and improved free cash flow generation. For the first time in several years, we are now seeing gold equities outperforming the price of the underlying commodity.

For individual investors, all this adds up to it being a pretty good time to consider putting gold into a portfolio.

Recent history shows it is one of the few investments that truly functions as a diversifier in turbulent times. Throughout the global financial crisis, for example, many assets became increasingly correlated. Gold, and even gold equities to a lesser extent, was one of the few assets that was negatively correlated – its price moved in the opposite direction – to almost all sectors in 2007–08.

Apple-bitcoin app removal causes fans discarding their iPhones

Apple-bitcoin app removal causes fans discarding their iPhones

Apple’s decision to withdraw an app used to send and receive Bitcoins from its App Store prompted Barry Silbert to end a love affair with his iPhone.

“I’m switching,” Silbert, chief administrative officer of New York-based SecondMarket, said in an email after Apple last week removed his bitcoin application of choice, Blockchain.info. “Shopping for a new phone this weekend.”

From Wall Street to Silicon Valley, the technology enthusiasts who used to see the Cupertino, California-based company as a kindred spirit are voicing their frustration over its policies. Apple requires apps to be legal everywhere they’re offered, and some governments including China andIndia have questioned Bitcoin’s legal status.

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Is bitcoin real money?

The ouster of Blockchain is causing a backlash, and some are going to extreme measures to show their displeasure. Several people posted videos online destroying their iPhones. One user shot his iPhone with a sniper rifle, another smashed it with a metal bar and another threw it down a flight of stairs.

Bitcoins exist only as software, and transactions are completed via computing devices. Even though no physical currency exists, merchants from car dealers and web stores are accepting the digital money. Mobile apps such as Coinbase, which was removed from the App Store last year, and Blockchain have become a popular way to make payments.

Shut down

Blockchain had been downloaded 120,000 times before being removed. Apple has already shut out several other applications that facilitate digital-money payments from its online store.

“Apple has been acting to suppress bitcoin apps for years,” said Rob Banagale, the CEO of Gliph, a bitcoin app that Apple allowed to remain in the store only after the ability to send and receive bitcoins was removed. “Few consumers are using bitcoin actively yet, including Apple customers,” Banagale said.

Since removing the apps “affects only a tiny fraction of their customer base, it isn’t worth having bitcoin as an additional consideration for the company to worry about regulatory oversight,” he said.

Tom Neumayr, a spokesman for Apple, declined to comment.

Backers of bitcoin, including the venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, see it as an alternative to the global-payment system currently dominated by companies including Visa, Western Union and large banks. Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, is an investor in Andreessen Horowitz.

Early adopters of bitcoin technology, many versed in cryptography, saw it as a way to thwart government control of currencies.

Big business

Jerry Brito, director of the technology program at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, said Apple probably banned Blockchain due to concerns that bitcoin transaction apps would run afoul of the law.

“Apple removing bitcoin apps is stupid, but I don’t think it’s doing it to thwart competition,” Brito said. “But it’s so opaque, people will speculate.”

Apple curates its App Store by approving every game, productivity tool, news-reading and social-network app before it can be downloaded by customers. That contrasts with Google Inc., which has a more open approach that allows software developers to post their wares more freely.

The App Store is a big business. Apple said in January that the digital storefront was available to users in 155 countries and had sales of more than $US10 billion in 2013.

Payment systems

Currently, all transactions made in the App Store are facilitated by Apple, which has more than 400 million credit cards on file for the store. The company also is exploring expanding its payments system to allow iPhones to be used to make purchases of physical goods at stores, a person familiar with the plans said last month.

Andreas Antonopoulos, who joined Blockchain last month as chief security officer, isn’t buying the legal theory. App upgrades go through a payments system that Apple controls and profits from, as do subscriptions, so Apple “does already compete with bitcoin” through the App Store, he said.

Antonopoulos predicted that Apple’s move would drive developers to create more websites that are accessed through a smartphone’s browser, bypassing the App Store altogether.

Recent workarounds in HTML5, a software protocol, have enabled browser-based apps to link up with smartphone cameras. Many bitcoin-related apps need to capture QR digital codes to complete transactions.

“We’re working on an application that would do all the very same things, for any mobile device at all,” Antonopoulos said.
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