According to new research from Chainalysis, a digital forensics firm that studies the bitcoin blockchain, 3.79 million bitcoins are already gone for good based on a high estimate—and 2.78 million based on a low one. Those numbers imply 17% to 23% of existing bitcoins, which are today worth around $8,500 each, are lost.
Source: Lost Bitcoins: 4 Million Bitcoins Gone Forever Study Says | Fortune
In the future, more bitcoins will be lost. But the rate at which they disappear will be much lower than in the past since, now that they’re so valuable, people will be more vigilant about keeping track of them (unlike this poor fellow out who threw away a hard drive with the key to 7,500 bitcoins).
Bitcoin is created and exchanged without the involvement of banks or governments. Transactions allow anonymity, which has made bitcoin popular with people who want to conceal their activity. Bitcoin can be converted to cash when deposited into accounts at prices set in online trading.
Source: Reports: China orders bitcoin exchanges to shut down – ABC News
In a recent survey of 1,100 virtual currency users, 94 percent were positive about the state of Ethereum, while only 49 percent were positive about Bitcoin, the industry publication CoinDesk said this month.
Source: Move Over, Bitcoin. Ether Is the Digital Currency of the Moment. – The New York Times
Investors buying Ether are placing a bet that people will want to use the Ethereum network’s computing capabilities and will need the currency to do so. But that is far from a sure thing. And real-world use of the network is still scant.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has denied the application for the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust ETF, in a stunning defeat for its founders, the Winklevoss Twins. In an order today, the commission found that the proposed fund was too susceptible to fraud, due to the unregulated nature of Bitcoin. The result is a major setback for the fund, and a frustrating false start for the crypto-currency at large.
Source: The SEC just handed Bitcoin a huge setback – The Verge
Yet despite the talk of a borderless currency, a handful of Chinese companies have effectively assumed majority control of the Bitcoin network. They have done so through canny investments and vast farms of computer servers dispersed around the country. The American delegation flew to Beijing because that was where much of the Bitcoin power was concentrated.
Source: How China Took Center Stage in Bitcoin’s Civil War – The New York Times
Mr. Ng, 36, said he had become an expert in finding cheap energy, often in places where a coal plant or hydroelectric dam was built to support some industrial project that never happened. The Bitcoin mining machines in his facilities use about 38 megawatts of electricity, he said, enough to power a small city.
Beyond the price spike, Ethereum is also attracting attention from giants in finance and technology, like JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft and IBM, which have described it as a sort of Bitcoin 2.0.
Source: Ethereum, a Virtual Currency, Enables Transactions That Rival Bitcoin’s – The New York Times
The system is complicated enough that even people who know it well have trouble describing it in plain English.
Researchers argued that Silk Road and its successors, known as cryptomarkets or darknet markets, became successful after bringing together four technologies: the bitcoin virtual currency and encrypted internet protocols such as Tor, which allowed anonymity, as well as Escrow and customer feedback systems, which gave buyers and sellers confidence in their transactions.
Source: Online market ‘is turning drug dealers from goons to geeks’ | World news | The Guardian
“In the drug cryptomarket era, having good customer service and writing skills, and a good reputation, via feedback, as a vendor or buyer may be more important than muscles and face-to-face connections.”
Like records of land ownership. Creating and maintaining incorruptible registers of land titles is a huge – and mostly unsolved – problem for developing countries. So when the government of Honduras launched an investigation into whether a blockchain-based land registry could solve it, the non-geek world sat up and began to take notice. The unmistakable message was that this technology could be much more useful than merely securing cryptocurrencies. It might actually turn out to be one of the biggest IT inventions of our time.
Source: Is Blockchain the most important IT invention of our age? | John Naughton | Opinion | The Guardian
Rutter said the initial focus would be to agree on an underlying architecture, but it had not yet been decided whether that would be underpinned by bitcoin’s blockchain or another one, such as one being built by Ethereum, which offers more features than the original bitcoin technology.
Once that had been agreed on, Rutter said, the first use of the technology might be the issuance of commercial paper on the blockchain.
Source: Nine of world’s biggest banks join to form blockchain partnership | Reuters
GHash is in a position to exercise complete control over which transactions appear on the blockchain and which miners reap mining rewards. They could keep 100% of the mining profits to themselves if they so chose. Bitcoin is currently an expensive distributed database under the control of a single entity, albeit one that requires constantly burning energy to maintain — worst of all worlds.
via It’s Time For a Hard Bitcoin Fork :: Hacking, Distributed.