New USD Highs as Bitcoin Bull-Run Primes Altcoin Markets

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After recently establishing an all-time high of nearly $8400, Bitcoin has currently consolidated above $8000 a situation that has resulted in a liquidity shift towards the general altcoin markets. The outcome has been in favor of several of the major altcoins which have recorded very high dollar values even though the prices, when compared to Bitcoin’s value, can be considered to be relatively modest. For instance, Ethereum recorded a new all-time high value of about $420 with the prices stabilizing well above the $400 mark.

At the time of this writing, one Bitcoin is equivalent to about $8140 after it set a new record after establishing a new all-time high value of approximately $8380. Also, Bitcoins current total market capitalization stands significantly above $136 billion – the 24-hour trading volume is also well over $4 billion. This reasserts the market dominance that Bitcoin currently enjoys – it sits at 53.1% which, however, represents a 5% drop from its value a week ago.

Mark Keiser, host of Russia Today’s ‘Keiser Report’ anticipates that the price of Bitcoin is likely to soar from its current $8000 Value to new highs of about $100,000. While it is certainly still too early to tell how his predictions will play out, he has continued to express his confidence in the cryptocurrency’s market dominance saying that;

“Hundreds of obituaries have been written about bitcoin and none of them have come true and none will. Fact is, bitcoin is a gift from God to help humanity sort out the mess it has made with its money.”

November has not been a very good month for Bitcoin – its markets fell by approximately 28% shortly after attaining the preceding all-time high of $7890. This represents Bitcoins largest red weekly candle since its inception. Nonetheless, after dropping to its $5450 all-time low, Bitcoin rapidly regained its momentum and recovered to produce its largest weekly candle when it broke above the $8000 mark.

CME Announces Bitcoin Futures for December!

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In somewhat of an unexpected twist, CME has released its Bitcoin Futures market specifications with the date being officially announced on November 19. The launch date is, however, still awaiting relevant regulatory approval, a situation that the CME Group elaborated in a recent update that read, “Effective Sunday 10 December 2017 for trade date Monday 11 December 2017, and pending all relevant regulatory review periods, please be advised that CME will launch Bitcoin Futures.” Thus, the market will certainly need to wait a little longer even though most of the relevant information has been dispensed – the contract unit for the futures is $25 or 5 index points to be quoted in Bitcoin per US dollar and will be listed on CME, CME’s Globex central standard time and Clearport.

With this year’s planned Bitcoin Futures product, CME, which is currently the largest Futures exchange in the world, intends to prevent extreme Bitcoin volatility. In a CNBC interview, CME Chairman and CEO Terry Duffy expressed his confidence in CME’s self-certification process and the application process. He further confirmed the launch dates by hinting at the possibility of trading beginning by the second week of December 2017. This comes after CME’s huge revelation in October that it had been seeking approval from regulators to launch a Bitcoin-related product. During the reveal, CME expected to keep the futures to be settled through cash and be dependent on existing of 2016’s prevailing price indices – this has since changed and will be based on the Bitcoin Reference Rate. CME’s Bitcoin futures will be capped at price limits of 20% above or below the settlement price. Similarly, there is going to be a spot position limit of 1,000 contracts.

CME has been preparing for the launch for quite a while now as portrayed by Duffy’s sentiments during the CNBC interview where he went ahead to explain;

“I’m going to implement something. If the market drops precipitously, we’ll stop trading, and if we think a product is going away, we have the longs, we have the shorts, we’ll match them up at a price and that’s the way our rules read today.”

This has drawn a lot of attention from the Bitcoin community and everyone is looking forward to seeing how CME’s involvement will impact Bitcoin’s ecosystem.

While some Bitcoin users are speculating that Bitcoin spot markets will be less volatile with CME’s Futures products, stabilizing the weighty fluctuations in the price of Bitcoin with Futures markets is more theoretical than practical. Bitcoin’s price has already transcended the $8000 mark – an upward momentum that is expected to lead the cryptocurrency to all-time highs by the end of the year. To be more specific, Bitcoin’s price is likely to extrapolate towards the $10,000 mark in December if investors from various institutions and hedge funds buy into it.

Phil Ivey Nabs New Deal as Virtue Poker Adviser

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Just days after Tony G, renowned poker player, declared his support for CoinPoker, Virtue Poker which is also an online cryptocurrency-based online poker startup has signed another poker superstar to be its adviser. Phil Ivey is considered to be one of the best poker players of all time and his inclusion in Virtue Poker’s attempt at revolutionizing cryptocurrency-based online poker is a massive step forward. The Virtue Poker team has been busy fine-tuning their site and software ahead of their scheduled 2018 launch with Ivey’s signing coming just a couple of months after fellow poker bigwigs, Brian Rast and Dan Colman were signed by the Ethereum–based startup as its ambassadors. Joining the Virtue Poker team makes Phil Ivey one of the latest pro poker players to show support and advocate for the involvement of cryptocurrencies in online casino gaming, a trend that while is still in its baby steps is expected to take the entire casino industry by storm.

With cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin constantly showing an upward trend in their value, Ivey expressed his faith in the initiative pointing out that the peer-to-peer nature of Virtue Poker’s take on cryptocurrency-based online poker will definitely ramp up the value of every poker player’s online gaming experience.

“I’m looking forward to serving as a strategic adviser to the Virtue Poker team. I believe their new peer-to-peer solution built using blockchain technology can add significant value to the online poker experience,” Phil Ivey said during the announcement of his signing.

In essence, the peer-to-peer blockchain technology the startup uses makes data processing more transparent and safer – the system is decentralized thus making it less prone to fraud. Poker players will, therefore, have to worry less about safety and transparency as the blocks of data will be processed right on their computers. To put this into perspective, Virtue Poker co-founder Ryan Gittleson assures players that, “Instead of trusting a random number generator from an operator stored in some offshore server, every single player has an RNG built into the machine that they utilize and they shuffle the deck for each hand played on the platform.”

Virtue Poker also uses a peer-to-peer card shuffling protocol called Mental Poker where each and every player at the poker tables takes part in the shuffling of the cards making it impossible for poker operators to see players’ cards. These solutions are aimed at some of the biggest and most persistent detrimental issues in the online poker industry such as the unauthorized access to and misuse of players’ money as well as the illegal access to players’ cards by employees of online poker operators.

Phil Ivey and his fellow Virtue Poker Colleagues, Dan Colman and Brain Rast are going to work together alongside the Virtue Poker team to revamp online poker. These poker superstars were probably the best decisions the startup has made since each of them has quite a lot to bring to the table. Ivey, for instance, has several contacts within the casino industry as well as in-depth knowledge about branding and the dynamics of the poker industry, all of which will strengthen Virtue Poker’s foundation and reputation ahead of its 2018 launch date.

Why Zimbabwe Locals Can’t Get Enough of Bitcoin

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Everyone knows that Bitcoin is a safe haven for those who live in countries with political turmoil because the government can’t control it. Citizens of Zimbabwe are far from trusting their own government due to their unreliable political leaders.

Just last week the price of one bitcoin hit $13000 (USD) which is astonishingly almost double the international market price. This sudden rise in demand can be attributed to the news that president Robert Mugabe was put under house arrest by military leaders.

As political turmoil increases in Zimbabwe, the price of Bitcoin can only keep growing as the people lose faith in their government controlled local currency and financial companies. Bitcoin is by far their best option as a storage of value that guarantees security.

It was reported that the top Zimbabwe cryptocurrency exchange, Golix, had processed trading volumes of more than $1 million this past month which is a record breaking number for the country. In these 30 days alone, it had beat the 2016 year by almost tenfold.

“It is an unregulated platform and prices for bitcoin and other currencies are set by supply and demand”
– Taurai Chinyamakobvu, co-owner of Golix

Zimbabwe has always had an issue with currency inflation and it was not until 2009 that hyperinflation made the Zimbabwean dollar worthless. With no local currency, they have been forced to use US dollars and South African rand. It’s safe to say that more and more citizens will slowly transition to cryptocurrencies as global presence increases.

It is likely that Zimbabwe is only one of the many countries where its people will see huge value in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that allow them to be in control of their own money. Although he advantages of the digital coin are obvious, it’s difficult to say what will happen in the future in terms of possible regulations and bans.

The Story Behind the Rise and Fall of Bitcoin Cash

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“Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash will coexist and serve different cases, just like Bitcoin and Ethereum. It is not a zero-sum game. Work on building your project, not on destroying the other,” that was what Bitcoin and security expert, Andreas Antonopoulos had to say to affirm the fact that Bitcoin Cash indeed has a market share based on its ability to serve immediate payments and short-term scaling. This comes after Xapo president Ted Rogers declared that the recent price trend exhibited by the cryptocurrency was not sustainable. But where did this all start?

In an unexpected twist, Bitcoin Cash soared to an all-time high price of $2800 on November 12 – a situation that made the three-month-old cryptocurrency the sole beneficiary of the SegWit2x hard fork cancellation. Nevertheless, this glorious achievement was short-lived with Bitcoin Cash struggling to sustain the upward momentum of its price which eventually dropped to $1100 in just a couple of days. Luckily for Bitcoin Cash users and traders, the price has stabilized at around $1110 as of now.

The collapse of the SegWit2x plan that was potentially the main cause for the dramatic pump in Bitcoin Cash’s price has been attributed to the lack of consensus among Bitcoin community members. There have been varying opinions regarding the future of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash with some still portraying an element of optimism while others expecting worse scenarios considering the over 50% retrace that the currency experienced earlier. The high prices of cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, have attracted millions of users who may or may not be savvy with the concepts revolving around these. The result, especially among the less savvy cryptocurrency users has culminated in the form of confusion which makes matters even worse. In fact, some cannot even tell the difference between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash – which leads us to the unpleasant reality that awaits. So, what can we expect?

According to Auxesis Group chairman and Cashaa founder Kumar Gaurav, “The quick rise [of BCH] from around 600 to 2400 USD in a few days makes it look like a typical artificial pump which was already being followed by a dump back to $1300 USD within 30 min. As compared to the FX market, the crypto market is still small, it is easy to do that and cannot be used to estimate the future of BTC vs BCC.” He further adds that unlike Bitcoin which has already surpassed a lot of expectations, Bitcoin Cash still has a long way to go before its growth in the long term can be estimated.

Divergent opinions suggest that there is still room for both flavors of Bitcoin to co-exist thanks to the increasing number of cryptocurrency users. In Hoskinson’s words, “Bitcoin Cash seems to be a productive split with its existence neither threatening Bitcoin’s nor requiring support from Bitcoin’s remaining adherents. Now Bitcoin is free to provide its small-block vision and cash the large block. My hope is that this will reduce fighting in the long run as both sides realize that the other isn’t going away. Just like we did with Ethereum and Ethereum classic.”

 

Bitcoin Passes $7990 and Reaches a New All-Time High

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It’s been a great week for Bitcoin since it took a dive towards the $5500s after the Bitcoin Cash weekend pump. It has since showed an immense recovery with an increase of $41 billion in market cap and a price of $7990 which is a new all-time high.

Before touching distance of $8000, Bitcoin suffered a slight pullback to the mid 7500s this Friday afternoon but is already on it’s way back towards the next price target.

It’s been an incredibly wild few weeks for all cryptocurrencies as a whole due to the controversy between BTC and BCH after the cancellation of SegWit2x for Bitcoin core which has essentially created a divide between the crypto community. The integration of SegWit2x aimed to increase transaction speeds to support the increasing number of users.

Although the previous all-time high for Bitcoin was likely due to the SegWit2x hard fork and the idea of free Bitcoin Gold, the market price has stabilized in the high $7000 range ready to break new records in the last quarter of 2017.

This recovery from the heavy sell-off last weekend proved that Bitcoin, as per usual, will always bounce back higher than before no matter what obstacles are thrown at it.