Canadian Government to Use Blockchain to Trace Steel Supply Chain

Canadian Government to Use Blockchain to Trace Steel Supply Chain

By RTTNews Staff Writer | Published: 1/21/2020 9:22 AM ET

The Canadian Government is planning to use blockchain technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to track the steel industry supply chain for Canadian and possibly North American business users and government.

The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), a government agency, has awarded a C$169,427 or about $130,000 worth contract to Canadian enterprise blockchain start-up Mavennet Systems, Inc. to develop the digital tracing platform by combining the two technologies.

Canada's steel industry is a major international exporter, especially to the U.S.

The solution is intended to provide real-time insights and information to users within minutes of upload on smart phone and web interface, to digitally automate steel supply chain transactions.

The use blockchain technology is expected to ensure secure, accurate and transparency of data. It will also maintain a full digital trail in case of input errors. Users must be able to rectify mistakes by "adding onto the log", rather than deleting mistakes entirely.

Meanwhile, the use of AI enabled data analytics will better capture activities across the steel supply chain. Using AI will enable information on past, current and predicted demand for any input and output and predicting downstream product volume from supply products.

The platform is also expected to provide a comprehensive digital breakdown of the component parts of steel and steel products, such as coal, iron ore, nickel, steel scrap, and finished steel products.

In November last year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)'s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) awarded a grant of $182,700 to Mavennet Systems to develop a blockchain-powered solution to track cross-border oil import.

Under the terms, Mavennet is required to modify its existing oil and gas tracking platform to meet the requirements of the U.S. Custom and Border Protection (CBP) to track cross-border oil imports.

The CPB expects the new platform to track the evidence of oil flow through pipelines and refinement between the U.S. and Canada and attribute oil imports with the accurate composition and country of origin.

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Article written by an RTT News Staff Writer, and posted on the RTT website.

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Why Centralized Exchanges are Decentralizing

Why Centralized Exchanges are Decentralizing

Image courtesy of CoinTelegraph

            JAN 19, 2020

In an industry built on an ethos of decentralization and the empowerment of individuals, where the key idea is that each and every person should have control of their own wealth and begin acting as their own bank, we’ve seen centralized custodial exchanges lead the charge up until now. Now, as the industry continues to develop ethos, we’re seeing centralized exchanges beginning to adopt more properties of decentralization.

Decentralization advances the protection of funds, transparency, economic inclusion and regulatory clarity while empowering each individual to become the custodians of their own funds. As centralized exchanges begin to recognize the benefits of decentralizing, the end result is a stronger, more trusting consumer and industry.


Trust is the foundation on which all relationships are built — with partners, family, friends and businesses — all are rooted deeply in trust. But trust isn’t given freely, it must be earned. Trust is more than an asset, it is the lifeline that dictates the longevity of a relationship.

The loss of trust in centralized entities has given birth to blockchain, a technology based on decentralization, in the hopes of redefining the concept of trust for the next wave of financial systems.

Blockchain technology has the potential to turn financial systems upside down by redefining trust. However, we mustn’t be misinformed. Just because an organization or business claims to employ blockchain technology, this doesn’t automatically make them more trustworthy. The trustworthiness in blockchain stems from the design choices businesses make when employing them.

We are reminded from time to time of the consequences of these design choices. This includes over $4 billion in stolen funds from crypto-related cyberattacks in 2019, with some of the biggest exchanges targeted by cybercriminals. Most notable this year are the incidents on Coinbase, Binance and BitHumb. These are all reminders of how people’s trust in blockchain has been tarnished. The foundations of the technology looking to disrupt the financial systems are still fragile.

But it doesn’t have to be this way

And for this reason, leaders in the industry are making design choices that entirely change how trust is handled. These leaders are decentralizing key business functions to strengthen their foundation. This can be seen first and foremost with exchanges and custody solutions that are transitioning to non-custodial solutions. On an exchange that uses custodial solutions, users need to deposit their funds into a centrally controlled wallet in order to trade. Non-custodial solutions, however, allow users to fully interact with the exchange without requiring deposits into a centrally controlled wallet. Access and control of funds never sits with a third-party, only with the owner of the funds, and counterparty risk is completely removed.

To illustrate this point, imagine the following scenario with centralized, custodial solutions. John wants to buy one BTC with another digital currency, such as EOS. To buy this Bitcoin, John must first transfer his EOS onto an exchange. Once the EOS enters the exchange, he can then interact with the exchange and trade his EOS for the one Bitcoin. At this stage, John is essentially trusting the exchange to hold custody over his assets. During this time, his assets are exposed to several risks. His assets are vulnerable to hackers, exchange shutdowns, flight risks, insolvency or freezing of his account. In all cases, John may lose access to his funds forever.

The scenario is quite different for non-custodial solutions. Non-custodial solutions eliminate the need to trust a third-party with precious assets. Assuming again that John wants to buy one BTC with his EOS, he would go on a non-custodial exchange and initiate a trade for one Bitcoin directly from his wallet. John does this through a trustless smart contract, a transparent computer protocol which enforces the performance of a contract when certain conditions are met. In this case, John agrees to the actions being taken on his funds, and that there are no errors in the transaction. The smart contract recognizes that John has deposited enough EOS to receive one Bitcoin, and the trade is executed, resulting in one BTC being deposited directly into John’s wallet. At this stage, John can do whatever he wishes with his new Bitcoin, as it is already in his possession. He has avoided all the risks of entrusting a central intermediary with custody of his assets.

Decentralizing the element of custody — a small change in business models — ultimately leads to the decentralization of trust. By redefining how trust is handled through a trustless system, exchanges are slowly rebuilding some of the lost reputation with consumers while paving the way for new relationships, where the element of trust is no longer an obstacle in doing business.

Decentralization redistributes power and trust

As centralized entities shift their focus toward decentralization, the end result is beneficial to both consumers and the industry. Decentralization promotes security, transparency, financial inclusion and regulatory clarity, and empowers the individual.

The decentralization of custody means that we are no longer trusting a single entity to have authority over deposits, withdrawals, and the storage and security of funds. Customer funds will no longer be centrally located, giving birth to an entirely new paradigm. Institutions and exchanges will no longer be a central point of attack, eliminating the lurking fear of victimization by cybercriminals, who will no longer be in a position to engage in foul play with funds.

Decentralization redistributes power and trust back to the individual. Gone are the days where customers can’t withdraw or access their funds due to an exchange becoming hacked or insolvent. Customers can instantly interact with multiple exchanges without waiting to transfer funds from one exchange to another.

Decentralization is more secure by design, and in an industry expecting $5 trillion in losses due to cybercrime in 2021, it’s important that industry leaders innovate to meet this challenge. Losses and exchange hacks are some of the biggest concerns of regulatory authorities, but decentralization can relieve most of them.

The hurdles faced in adopting decentralized solutions

While decentralizing certain business aspects has clear benefits, there are several obstacles businesses must overcome before they can deliver the same user experience as their nondecentralized counterparts and achieve wider adoption. Three of the biggest hurdles to the widespread use of decentralized financial systems are:

  1. Liquidity: Exchanges that are based on decentralization have significantly less liquidity compared to their centralized counterparts. The widespread use of these exchanges has yet to reach the majority of users, as there is an entirely new learning curve in getting accustomed to such platforms. Users need to learn how to keep custody of their own funds while connecting their wallets to the platform. The lack of users equates to a lack of liquidity, so it’s important for exchanges to attract more users or to provide liquidity from other sources.
  2. Throughput and speed: Throughput and speed are limitations of decentralized exchanges. These exchanges often rely on a blockchain network for settling trades. So, exchanges that are built on Ethereum for example are at the mercy of Ethereum’s maximum transaction throughput of about 15 transactions per second. Even if millions of users were to switch to a decentralized exchange today, some exchanges wouldn’t be in a position to adequately handle the demand. Exchanges need to be able to handle hundreds, if not thousands, of trades their users make each second. A low transaction throughput limit can cause major delays in transactions or even prevent them from being executed and can lead to millions of dollars in losses.
  3. User experience and features: With decentralized exchanges still in the early stages of development, they are often lacking in features, putting limitations on users’ trading experience. Different order types, from basic limit orders to more advanced order types like Immediate or Cancel orders, and Fill or Kill orders are often missing on decentralized exchanges. Other users may need to margin trade or connect with the exchange’s API to get real-time financial data for analysis. The truth is, users won’t make the transition to a platform that is lacking features that are critical to their trading strategies.

Instilling trust today for the financial systems of tomorrow

The financial systems of tomorrow will be responsible for the trade of real estate, gold, money, securities, cryptocurrencies and other assets, digitally. With trillions of dollars flowing through these systems, the design choices we make today are more important than ever in instilling trust in these systems — trust that our assets are always in our possession; trust that our assets are secure; trust that the companies we do business with are being honest and fair.

Decentralization, when executed properly, results in systems that offer more transparent, secure and higher-performing solutions. It is an essential building block for systems to build trust. Successful implementation of decentralized technology means empowerment for millions of people, whereas failure will result in the loss of all its benefits.

For the greater good of financial systems and their participants, conscious steps toward decentralization need to be taken.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Original article posted on the site, by Steven Quinn.

Article re-posted on Markethive by Jeffrey Sloe

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Why Bitcoin Price Still Has Surge Potential After Impressive 43 Monthly Gain

Why Bitcoin Price Still Has Surge Potential After Impressive 43% Monthly Gain

Bitcoin has been on an absolute tear over the past month or so. Since hitting $6,400, seemingly establishing a bottom, the leading cryptocurrency BTC has surged by 43%, recently hitting a price as high as $9,175 as reported by Ethereum World News earlier today.

This already makes BTC one of the best-performing assets of 2020 and the new decade, only being outpaced by a select few stocks and other digital assets such as the hardfork Bitcoin Satoshi's Vision, which has exploded higher off news that Craig S. Wright may be moving closer to a cryptocurrency stash he purports to have, and Ethereum Classic.

With the digital asset market already surging so far higher to start 2020, analysts have been wondering if more gains are possible.

Interestingly, the consensus is that BTC will continue higher into the block reward reduction for BTC, which will most likely activate in May of this year.

Why Bitcoin Price Still Has Upside

Analysts across the board are convinced BTC’s uptrend is not done yet.

Fundstrat Global Advisors, a top market strategy and sector research company based in New York, recently released its 2020 Crypto Outlook to its clients. The firm identified three factors that will give BTC a “strong probability” of gaining over 100% in 2020, meaning a year-end price of over $15,000, due to a confluence of three primary factors:

  1. The Bitcoin halving: The crypto-friendly firm first looked to the May 2020 so-called “halving” or “halvening,” when the block reward of Bitcoin gets cut in half, effectively resulting in a 50% decrease in the inflation rate of the leading cryptocurrency. Analysts say that this should cause a supply crunch in the cryptocurrency market that could push prices dramatically higher.
  2. Geopolitical risk: Fundstrat next looked at potential geopolitical risks. With the ongoing conflicts between the U.S. and China, the U.S. and Iran, and other spats taking place across the globe, BTC may begin to prove itself as a digital, non-sovereign store of value in these trying times.
  3. 2020's presidential election: Lastly, the firm looked to the 2020 elections. This point was not expanded upon in a sneak peek of the report, though there are notable a few candidates who are more crypto-friendly than others, such as Andrew Yang, and some uncertainty around the election that could push capital towards safe havens.

On the technical side of things, pseudonymous trader Dave the Wave, who called BTC's decline from prices above $10,000 to $6,400, said that he expects for BTC to hit $11,500 by the middle of February.

Backing this prediction, Dave looked to a confluence of factors:

  1. Bitcoin recently broke above a descending channel that has constrained price action for more than six months, marking a large win for bulls.
  2. The weekly Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) is starting to trend higher once again, which was a signal seen in 2015/2016 as BTC moved from a bear market to bull.

Original article posted on the site, by Nick Chong.

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CHO Group To Use IBM Blockchain For Traceability Of Olive Oil

CHO Group To Use IBM Blockchain For Traceability Of Olive Oil

By RTTNews Staff Writer | Published: 1/15/2020 9:22 AM ET

Tunisian olive oil producer CHO Group teamed up with IBM Blockchain to apply blockchain technology to provide consumers traceability for its 'Terra Delyssa extra virgin olive oil' from the olive orchards to the consumers.

Terra Delyssa extra virgin olive oil will be tracked using the blockchain-based Cloud network IBM Food Trust solution, which is based on Blockchain Hyperledger technology.

Terra Delyssa, which is claimed to be grown in CHO's pesticide-free orchards with 320 days of sun, is first cold pressed under the highest standards for quality and is made entirely from a single source.

CHO has already begun using IBM Food Trust network to manage and record traceability data for its extra virgin line, the highest grade of olive oil as classified by the International Olive Oil Council and the USDA.

Customers of Terra Delyssa global retailers will be able to scan a QR-code on each label using a smartphone to view a provenance record, starting with its most recent harvest in November last year that is now being bottled. All data about Terra Delyssa lots are being uploaded to the distributed ledger.

Consumers can track the product across eight quality assurance checkpoints, including the orchard where the olives were grown, the mill where olives were crushed, and the facilities where the oil was filtered, bottled, distributed, and more.

Terra Delyssa's fully traceable extra virgin olive oil is currently being bottled and expected to reach store shelves at major retailers in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Denmark and Japan by March.

Media coverage of olive oil mislabeling and illicit counterfeit olive oil operations had caused general confusion about how olive oils are blended, and was driving consumer distrust.

The use of blockchain for food provenance will help reduce food fraud, including mislabeled, diluted or substituted foodstuffs.

A recent IBM Institute for Business Value study found that 73% of consumers will pay a premium for full transparency into the products they buy.

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IBM Food Trust network connects growers, processors, distributors, shippers, retailers, regulators, and consumers through a permissioned, permanent and shared record of food system data. This will enable them to work together to trace and authenticate products or optimize supply chain processes.

CHO is the latest major food provider to join IBM Food Trust. Other firms include Carrefour, Topco Associates, Wakefern, BeefChain, Dennick Fruit Source, Scoular, and Smithfield as well as other multinational companies such as Nestlé, Kroger, Tyson Foods, and Unilever.

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Article written by an RTT News Staff Writer, and posted on the RTT website.

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US Congress Looks at Role of Crypto and Internet in Funding Hate Crimes

US Congress Looks at Role of Crypto and Internet in Funding Hate Crimes

Image courtesy of CoinTelegraph

                       JAN 15, 2020

The House Financial Services Committee has raised concerns over the use of cryptocurrencies to fund domestic terrorism in the United States.

In a Jan. 15 hearing, the FSC Subcommittee on National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy has examined how U.S. financial institutions can combat domestic terrorism, extremism and acts of hate.

Titled “A Persistent and Evolving Threat: An Examination of the Financing of Domestic Terrorism and Extremism,” the hearing featured five witnesses reporting on various fundraising methods used by organized domestic extremists. Particularly, the officials and executives have outlined crypto as an important fundraising tool for hate crimes, emphasizing that criminal funding is often distributed via popular social media platforms like Facebook and Telegram.

Facebook and Telegram help domestic extremists get funding through Bitcoin

Jared Maples, Director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, the first witness to address the matter in the hearing, stressed that the U.S. authorities should be closely looking to the use of crypto in funding acts of domestic extremism. Noting that foreign terrorist organizations have used Telegram and Facebook to solicit funding through Bitcoin (BTC) the official listed a number of incidents that involved the cryptocurrency.

Projecting that organized domestic extremists will continue to fund their activities via crypto alongside selling counterfeit goods, drug and weapon trafficking, cigarette smuggling, Maples called Congress to not ignore the industry as a source of funding hate crimes in the U.S.:

“We cannot discount the future role of cryptocurrencies in funding acts of domestic extremism, both within New Jersey and across the United States.”

Supremacy groups turning to Bitcoin as they are cut off from traditional payment processors

Rena Miller, specialist in financial economics at the Congressional Research Service, pointed out that combating the financing of extremist groups in the U.S. poses some new challenges due to the emergence of newer online methods of fundraising. In this regard, the executive cited a 2017 study by the Anti Defamation League (ADL) that claims that supremacy groups in the U.S. tend to be decentralized rather than highly organized, often relying on crypto.


As the study also outlined the role of social media and crypto for these domestic extremists, Miller suggested that the U.S. government should be collecting and analyzing financial data more extensively. As part of the effort, authorities should have access to data provided on social media and payment processors. She said:

“Cross-cutting issues that span different areas of congressional oversight may become more important; for example, access to data provided on social media sites and payment platforms.”

ADL exec stresses that Bitcoin is still transparent despite its anonymity

George Selim, senior vice president of programs at the Anti-Defamation League, emphasized that transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain are still transparent and can be tracked despite its anonymous character. In this context, Selim mentioned Neonazi BTC Tracker, a Twitter bot that posts information related to certain identified Bitcoin wallets. Specifically, Selim noted that Stormfront, the oldest and largest white supremacist website on the Internet, received about $30,000 in Bitcoin prior to October 2017, while white supremacist hacker Andrew Auernheimer received more than a million dollars in the cryptocurrency.

The executive concluded that Congress should fund a significant study into how crypto is used in funding domestic hate crimes. Selim also suggested that the U.S. should create a certain framework that allows platforms that enables crypto-related platforms track online transactions and prevent the potential for exploitation of their services. He noted:

“New forms of financial products and services, including cryptocurrencies, should be addressed. Analysis should cover challenges as well as opportunities inherent in these new financial products and services for those endeavoring to stop the funding of hate and violence.”

While the U.S. is trying to address all possible terrorist financing loopholes against the backdrop of disturbing rise of domestic terrorism and hate crimes, some experts claim that crypto is “poor form of money” for terrorists. Back in 2018, U.S. Congress concluded that terrorist groups that attempted to raise funds via crypto have not had great success. Similarly, U.S. nonprofit think tank RAND Corporation said that crypto is not well-suited for the needs of terrorist groups.

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Meanwhile, the European Union has recently enforced another important anti-money laundering law that aims to bring more transparency to financial transactions for combating money laundering and terrorist financing. Came into effect on Jan. 10, the European Union’s 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive has apparently forced some crypto firms in Europe to shut down their businesses, partly due to requirements to disclose too much information about their clients.

Original article posted on the site, by Helen Partz.

Article re-posted on Markethive by Jeffrey Sloe

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If Bitcoin’s Price Holds This Level 9000 Can Come Quick

If Bitcoin's Price Holds This Level, $9,000 Can Come Quick

Bitcoin (BTC) bulls don’t seem to be letting up the pressure. Over the past few hours, the price of the leading cryptocurrency has rocketed higher again, just tapping $8,800 just a few dozen minutes ago as of the time of writing this article. With this latest move, BTC is now up 30% from the latest lows around $6,800 and up 35% from the seeming macro lows of $6,400.

While the bullish pressure has left off slightly, with Bitcoin falling 2% or 3% from the local high of $8,880, analysts are still optimistic that a push higher into the $9,000 range can be had, if this one level is held anyway.

Bitcoin Needs to Hold $8,750

As of the time of writing this, BTC is trading at $8,729. According to prominent cryptocurrency trader Josh Rager, if “BTC can hold above $8750, we should see it push up to $9000 – $9100.” This would represent around a 4% move higher and may set the cryptocurrency up for even more gains in the future.

The technical indicators corroborate the idea that Bitcoin will soon continue to press higher.

Firstly, Mohit Sorout, a partner at Bitazu Capital, noted that with BTC’s latest spike higher, it has broken above two key downtrend resistances that have constrained price action for the past seven months. Not to mention, the one-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) and On-Balance Volume (OBV) indicators have broken past similar downtrends, suggesting more upside is imminent.

Notably, the RSI metric is not yet above 70, meaning that the price of BTC is currently not overextended, implying the price has room to run.

Also, Financial Survivalism, a pseudonymous cryptocurrency trader that called BTC’s ongoing price explosion when Bitcoin was in the low-$7,000s, pointed out that the Ichimoku Cloud — a sort of all-in-one indicator showing key price points and trends — is “fully bullish,” with the indicator printing three distinct signals that suggest prices will appreciate.

Not to mention, altcoins have absolutely exploded higher, with the prices of Ethereum, XRP, Bitcoin Satoshi Vision, and just about everything else in this market seeing gains exceeding that of BTC. The leading cryptocurrency may follow these altcoins higher in the coming days.

Original article posted on the site, by Nick Chong.

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Samsung And Syniverse To Simplify Mobile Payment System

Samsung And Syniverse To Simplify Mobile Payment System

By RTTNews Staff Writer | Published: 1/10/2020 9:02 AM ET

Samsung SDS America, the IT arm of South Korean conglomerate Samsung, and U.S.-based Syniverse are combining their mobile and blockchain technologies to develop a common payment platform that makes the users' mobile phone the easiest payment means. A memorandum of understanding to this effect was signed at the 2020 International CES.

Under the partnership, Samsung SDS's Nexledger Universal blockchain platform will be integrated with Syniverse's industry-leading blockchain solution, Universal Commerce, and market-aware Mobile Engagement platform.

This will enable development of a mobile payment platform for cross-region transactions, and that comply with regulations. This will particularly help mobile operators and companies dealing in logistics, financial, travel and hospitality, media and entertainment, and retail.

The use of blockchain along with the scalability and flexibility of Nexledger Universal, and Syniverse's decades of payment and settlement experience, is expected to deliver a frictionless phone-to-phone or phone-to-merchant payment engine for secure, simple exchange of value. It will also addressing the ever-increasing regulatory requirements.

The common payment platform will work with any mobile operator and allow any mobile user to send money, loyalty points, or other digital currencies to other mobile users or merchants across the globe.

The Nexledger platform allows enterprises to take control of distributed transactions, securely and conveniently. It also offers a flexible application programming interface that can be applied to different blockchains like Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric and Samsung's own Nexledger Consensus Algorithm.

Meanwhile, Syniverse's mobile technology products and services provide a secure instant-access platform for seamless, customizable multi-channel messaging and connectivity. The platform connects more than 7 billion mobile devices in 158 countries and annually processes more than $35 billion in transactions for mobile operators and enterprises.

Syniverse's Universal Commerce blockchain service simplifies, accelerates, and secures multiparty agreements by replacing manual processes with smart contracts, unifying data records, and providing encryption.

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Article written by an RTT News Staff Writer, and posted on the RTT website.

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Analyst: Bitcoin to Target 9500 Due to A Few Key Factors

Analyst: Bitcoin to Target $9,500 Due to A Few Key Factors

Bitcoin has been hovering within the $8,100 region for the past couple of days, with each attempt to break above and below this region quickly resulting in sharp rejections that lead BTC back into this consolidatory range.

Analysts are noting, however, that they anticipate this bout of sideways trading to result in a major bull favoring movement, which could lead it to surge up towards the coveted five figure price region in the coming several days and weeks.

Here Are the Factors Analysts Are Watching That Could Spark the Next Massive Bitcoin Rally

Currently, Bitcoin is trading sideways at its current price of $8,150, struggling to garner any momentum in one direction or another.

It is important to note that bulls did attempt to spark a rally yesterday, which ultimately resulted in a strong and swift rejection at $8,300 that sent the cryptocurrency reeling down to below $8,000.

It does appear that this level has become strong support, as the brief dip to lows of $7,950 was quickly reversed by buyers, who were able to push it back up to its current price levels.

In the near-term, UB – a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter – believes that Bitcoin will soon incur a massive amount of momentum that allows it to surge past all its key resistance levels, which could lead it as high as $9,500 before it finds enough resistance to halt the rally.

“$BTC – I believe it’s more than likely we see continuation to the upside over the next few weeks with a target of ~$9.5k. *A Weekly Close below $7,460 would completely invalidate this argument* Dips are for buying,” he explained, pointing to the chart seen below.

As for what technical factors could help catalyze and sustain this rally, it appears that the crypto recently broke above a key multi-year resistance level.

FlibFlib, another prominent crypto analyst, discussed Bitcoin’s break above this level in a tweet, telling his followers that it makes him feel overall bullish on the cryptocurrency in the near-to-mid-term.


“In my humble opinion, Bitcoin has already broken out on the CME and on Spot exchanges with confirmation on the OBV & now just waiting on a higher high on Macro TFs. Maybe some chop sideways and a bit of a backtest but everything is there to make me overall bullish,” he explained.

If this trendline break is sustained by bulls, it could mean that the crypto’s recent lows will mark a long-term bottom.

Original article posted on the site, by Cole Petersen.

Article re-posted on Markethive by Jeffrey Sloe

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Bitcoin Shines This Week

Bitcoin Shines This Week

By Joji Xavier | Published: 1/10/2020 9:46 AM ET

The past week has been generally good for Bitcoin. In the last seven days the most popular cryptocurrency improved its value by more than $500, or 7 percent.

As of this writing, Bitcoin is trading at $7864.

The virtual currency showed signs of resurgence in the New Year after a relatively dull December.

After dipping below $7000 on January 2, the currency managed to rise from its slumber.

On Tuesday Bitcoin crossed $8000, for the first time since November 20. $8438 was the highest recorded in 48 days, and also of the year.

The 7-day period starting January 2 has been an unprecedented dream-run for Bitcoin, which saw a steep rise of $1338, or more than 20 percent in its value.

However, those gains fizzled in the latter half of the week with price falling back to the $7,000-$8,000 range.

As of today, Bitcoin has a market capitalization of $142.89 billion, and a 24-hour trade volume of $24 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

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Article written by an RTT News Staff Writer, and posted on the RTT website.

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Will Google’s Quantum Supremacy Break Bitcoin in 2020?

Will Google's Quantum Supremacy Break Bitcoin in 2020?

Image courtesy of CoinTelegraph

            JAN 09, 2020

The topic of quantum computing has been steadily gaining interest within the cryptosphere, particularly so over the past 12 months. Given the heightened curiosity and concern, it is worth resolving some open questions around quantum supremacy for the crypto community, as there is a tremendous amount of misinformation circulating online.

Will our Bitcoin be stolen?

Many people harbor the fear that Sycamore, Google’s 54-qubit quantum processor, could outsmart the system and steal everyone’s Bitcoin. If there were to be no changes to the current implementation of the Bitcoin network, this would most likely become a reality within five to 10 years. So, while there is currently no need for users to worry, developers are well advised to commence preparations.

What’s truly alarming is that “quantum deniers” refute the reality of the problem and insist that concern should be curbed. Sadly, the exact opposite is true. We must place a collective focus on solving the issue, as complex distributed systems (does blockchain ring a bell?) are anything but easy to upgrade to a whole new crypto stack. Having spent a decade or two maturing, the ecosystem could be massively undermined if quantum computing advances to the expected degree.

Certainty about this stems from the fact that current encryption schemes (including those used by Bitcoin and Ethereum) have already proven vulnerable to signature forgery executable by quantum computers.

Asymmetric cryptography relies on keypairs (namely a private and public key), where the public could be calculated from its private counterpart but not the other way around. This is due to the impossibility of certain mathematical problems like factoring a number that’s a product of large primes or calculating the multiplicand of the generator that resulted in a public key, which most blockchains and cryptographic systems use.

If the calculation could be done the other way around (i.e., calculating a private key from a public key), the whole scheme breaks. All we need is more qubits and stability in these systems for such attacks to become executable.

Will Google mine away all the remaining Bitcoin?

This is another often-asked question but in reality, quantum computers are far less efficient at symmetric crypto-related computations than asymmetric crypto-related ones. As for the numbers, it takes 2^128 operations on a mainstream computer to locate a BTC private key of a given BTC public key, whereas it only takes 128^3 operations on a quantum computer to achieve the same feat.

For hashing, the difference — while still enormous — is a lot less. In essence, we need to worry more about people with quantum computers spending/stealing our money rather than fretting about Google mining the remaining Bitcoin. Even if that were the case, after successfully mining 2016 blocks, it would set the difficulty to “quantum level” — meaning that Bitcoin would only be mineable by quantum computers.

The tricky question here is that the difficulty is hitting such levels already that miners need to wait to be able to readjust the timestamp field of given blocks because they already ran through all possible nonces for a given block without finding a result below the difficulty target. In light of this, I would venture to say that this mining-related problem is more theoretical than practical. We have already noted that time can be the limiting factor in finding a correct solution for a block, not performance, even without quantum computing-based mining.

The one thing that everyone should focus on

Should Bitcoin holders be concerned about the quantum problem in 2020? No, but there is a caveat: Cryptocurrencies (meaning their developer communities) and enterprises should focus on the issue.

What if there are quantum computers already built that are much more capable than Google’s Sycamore and we are just not allowed to know about them?

We should seek and upgrade to a quantum-resistant crypto stack in blockchain implementations and all other systems that depend on asymmetric crypto (e.g., banks, governments, etc.) as soon as possible. Quantum supremacy is inevitable — it’s just a case of when.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Original article posted on the site, by Johann Polecsak.

Article re-posted on Markethive by Jeffrey Sloe

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