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Wall Street Strategist Sees Bitcoin at $55,000 by 2022

Wall Street Strategist Sees Bitcoin at $55,000 by 2022

    

Tom Lee, strategist at the firm Fundstrat, has released his estimate on the value of Bitcoin by 2022,

In the next five years

Lee, an expert in market commodities and stock valuations, has made his estimate based on Bitcoin’s limited supply and market stabilization. He’s not the first to make such bullish predictions either. Ronnie Moas, the famous stock picker and strategist has also suggested substantial upside, even in the near term.

What's driving the demand?

Lee believes that one of the main market drivers for Bitcoin is a cannibalizing of gold demand. As the economic situation continues to present concern for many investors, vehicles like Bitcoin can be a way to store value similar to gold and other precious metals. The limitation on supply, as there can be no more than 21 million inherent units, and the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies make Bitcoin a safe harbor in times of economic uncertainty,

according to Lee.

"In other words, substantial upside exists in owning cryptocurrencies here”.

Lee did accept the reality that Bitcoin is wildly volatile, considering that the its annualized volatility is 75 percent, but also argued that gold had the same effect in the late 1970’s, saying, “gold's volatility approached 90% from 1971 to 1980 as the U.S. abandoned the gold standard — hence, we expect this to improve over time."

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

SmartPlay.Tech – New Game, $3,000,000 Trading Volume and Macau Partner

SmartPlay.Tech –
New Game, $3,000,000 Trading Volume and Macau Partner

    

The win-win roulette launch

The beginning of the month was marked by the release of a new win-win roulette, which amount of players surpassed the activity in the previous blockchain game, released by the developers in late February. The success of the project was achieved due to the uniqueness of the solution, favorably differing from other products of this segment. Focusing on a large number of players unfamiliar with the world of blockchain technology and crypto currency, the founders set a goal to expand the popularization of the platform among ordinary users. For this purpose, a whole strategy was developed to create and promote the project including the maximum simplification of the game start without plugins installation, playing for free and the absence of commissions for placing bets. No deposit solution in less than a month attracted 12,800 players who were able to get up to $ 10 for participating in the new roulette testing. Feedback of satisfied users has been spread across forums and social networks, creating an additional advertising effect. At the end of the month, the total amount of bets placed by the players was almost 8 million RLT with the number of rounds played approaching to 570,000, which exceeded the blockchain roulette statistics parameters for 4 months by 43 times.

Having built up the active loyal players’ base SmartPlay.tech founders added the possibility of refilling the account with RLT tokens. Users are given a bonus of up to 50% to their first deposit, which makes it possible to receive 0.025% of each bet regardless of the game outcome. In the near future developers plan to connect the balance of win-win roulette to the system of dividend distribution in order to resume payments and increase their frequency. In addition, to further expand the base of players will be added the ability to deposit ETH.

Exchange statistics

June was a record for the volume of trading and the value of the token on the exchange. RLT more than once held record positions in the amount of transactions made on Livecoin which total monthly value comprised $ 2,872,000. On June 9th, SmartRoulette token reached another record with the price soaring to $1.

Project development In mid-June, in order to attract and build up the audience of players, the project started to be advertised on more than 370 crypto-currency and gaming sites. On a regular basis press releases are posted on the top 20 news outlets and aggregators with the base of active users engaged for the distribution of the information about the project using a whole system of so-called bounty campaigns. In the second half of the month the developers presented the first version of the affiliate program. On unique market conditions earning 0.5% from each bet of the referred player became available not only for professional webmasters and advertisers, but also for ordinary users. In this case, the weekly commission is charged regardless of the player’s game outcome, unlike most affiliate programs. At the moment 23 major affiliate websites are participating in the promotion of the project.

Cooperation with the big partner from Macau

The main news of the outgoing month was the beginning of negotiations between SmartPlay.tech and a major gambling partner with a significant stake in the gambling and hotel business of Macau. The decision to make a big investment in SmartRoulette project was made by the partner after a detailed review of the developed solution. According to him, the project favorably differs from competitors in the presence of a working solution oriented to ordinary players and unique opportunities provided both to players and investors, however its rapid promotion requires aggressive marketing in order to occupy a significant market share and raise its competitiveness. According to the founders’ calculations the conclusion of cooperation with a partner having many years of expertise and a high level of competence in promoting online gambling will increase the project’s capitalization and its share of the presence in the international gambling industry.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
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Blockchain – “Bitcoin with Haircut” or Replacement for Inefficient Banking System?

Blockchain – “Bitcoin with Haircut” or Replacement for Inefficient Banking System?

    

Following other major banks and financial institutions

such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, the New York-based $335.4 bn banking giant, has started to utilize Blockchain technology to automate high throughput transaction processing. Most operations and settlements facilitated by banks including JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs require significant manual verification and labor. In most cases, bank wire and transfers can take at least five days to three weeks, due to the requirement of manual approval required by financial regulations, money transmission policies and KYC and AML systems globally. Although it will be more accurate to describe the efforts of Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan as the development of Blockchain technology-inspired systems rather than Blockchain-based decentralized applications as by law, banks are required to have strict control over their transactions and settlements.

“Blockchain vs. Bad Banking”

At the Blockchain Arica Conference hosted on March 2, Bitcoin and security expert Andreas Antonopoulos explained in a talk called “Blockchain vs. Bad Banking” that the actual Blockchain technology used by Bitcoin and other successful public Blockchain networks such as Ethereum require much more than the conventional “Blockchain technology” itself.

Antonopoulos stated:

“Blockchain is the technology behind Bitcoin. Which is incorrect. Blockchain is one of the four foundational technologies behind Bitcoin and it can’t stand alone. But that hasn’t stopped people from trying to sell it. Blockchain is Bitcoin with a haircut and a suit you parade in front of your board. It is the ability to deliver sanitized clean, comfortable version of Blockchain of Bitcoin to people who are too terrified of actually disruptive technology.”

Then what are banks actually building?

Cryptographic evidence and signatures are essential in most cryptographic platforms such as Blockchain networks as they allow financial service providers to record time stamps of settlements of assets and transactions in an immutable ledger. Because the vast majority of banking systems are centralized, they are vulnerable to sophisticated hacking attacks and security breaches. However, with the usage of Blockchain technology, banks such as JPMorgan Chase can process high throughput transactions efficiently and most importantly, securely.

JPMorgan: Blockchain will replace inefficient banking systems

Alex Liu, the CEO of AMIS, the Blockchain infrastructure provider that partnered with JPMorgan recently and joined the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance in its early days,

stated:

“The protocol is a vital part of efforts aimed at building the next evolution of the Internet of Value, similar to the creation of the TCP/IP protocol earlier in the history of computer networks.”

More to that, Liu explained that the JPMorgan Chase development team would showcase a new technology called proof of authority (PoA), a consensus protocol that would allow the verification of pre-approved nodes. Whether the pre-approval process of nodes will become an issue in the future regarding security and network efficiency will be answered by the public launching of JPMorgan’s launch of its PoA Blockchain in the near future. At the moment, JPMorgan Chase and AMIS remain absolutely confident that Blockchain will replace inefficient, insecure and centralized financial networks in the upcoming years, to optimize the settlement process of assets and transactions for users and customers.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Fourth Largest Cryptocurrency Exchange Was Hacked. Users Lose Ethereum & Bitcoin

Fourth Largest Cryptocurrency Exchange Was Hacked. Users Lose Ethereum & Bitcoin

    

Bithumb, the world's fourth largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume,

confirmed a security incident during which an unknown hacker was able to make off with an yet undetermined amount of funds. Clues that something was wrong emerged on Thursday, when South Korean users, who make most of Bithumb's userbase, started complaining on a local social network about losing control over large funds stored in their Bithumb accounts. A day later after these complaints, the company officially admitted the breach in a blog post on its website, albeit it did not provide any meaningful details.

Attacker hacked Bithumb employee's PC

More facts came to light on Monday, when pressured by local media, the company revealed that the breach occurred after an unknown attacker hacked the personal computer of a Bithumb employee, from where he stole the details of over 31,800 Bithumb users — about 3% of the platform's entire userbase. According to local media [1, 2, 3, 4], the hack took place at around 22:00, local time, on Thursday, June 29, and the documents the hacker managed to access contained data on customer names, email addresses, and mobile phone numbers.

Soon after, Bithumb users started complaining online that someone was draining their accounts. It is unclear how the hacker gained control to targeted accounts. Some users reported losses as big as 10 million won ($8,700) worth of cryptocurrency. Local media grossly estimates that the attacker made off with billions of won in cryptocurrency, but Bithumb never confirmed the exact amount of stolen funds.

Bithumb promises to reimburse users

Based on a blog post published on Monday, the exchange doesn't seem to know the exact amount of money the attacker took. Nonetheless, in a gracious move, the company is willing to provide compensations of up to 100,000 won ($897) per affected user until midnight July 5. "As soon as the amount of damages is confirmed, we will reimburse the entire amount of damages," said Bithumb in an official statement.

According to user complaints, the hacker stole both Bitcoin and Ethereum from user accounts. Besides being the fourth largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, Bithumb is also the Internet's second largest Ethereum trading platform by volume. Bithumb told South Korean media it contacted law enforcement last week and informed them of the theft. Two months ago, an unknown attacker hacked fellow South Korean Bitcoin exchange Yapizon and stole 3816.2028 Bitcoin (over $5.5 million). This is not the only Ethereum-related hack that took place this past we

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
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Goldman Sachs Finally Recognizes the Power of Blockchain Technology

Goldman Sachs Finally Recognizes the Power of Blockchain Technology

 

In the most recent initiative to promote

its acceptance of Blockchain technology, one of leading US investment banking institutions, Goldman Sachs, has set up a microsite dedicated to explaining the benefits of Blockchain technology.  It was then followed by a tweet on July 1 which clearly sends a message of the banking giant finally embracing the same technology

that powers Bitcoin. 

Trusted, secure, efficient — why #blockchain could revolutionize how we work together

The page was created for the purpose of giving people an idea of how Blockchain technology is used and how cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin run on these programs. One of their key messages include Blockchain technology’s security feature: Blockchain is designed to store information in a way that makes it virtually impossible to add, remove or change data without being detected by other users.

Goldman Sachs on Blockchain-based projects

Although the financial sector has not really been very keen on cryptocurrencies for quite a long time, Goldman Sachs has been involved in some Blockchain technology based companies like Circle and even Digital Asset Holdings. While the banking giant has been helping startups such as these, it is just now that they have formally announced their acceptance of Blockchain technology.

Blockchain's future in finance sector

Despite its price volatility, there is no doubt that Blockchain technology is making waves in various industries, including finance. In fact, a report by Accenture shows the cost data of eight of the world’s largest investment banks states that Blockchain technology could help reduce the costs of investment banks by as much as $12 bln per annum by the time 2025 comes. This is a big thing for investment banks because not only will this new technology help make the transaction of data safer and more secure, but it will also help drive the costs down.

The foray of mainstream banking, financial and technology giants into the cryptocurrency sector showcases the promising future of Blockchain technology and its applications in various industry segments. The initial wave was caused due to the increasing threat to conventional banking methods by Bitcoin, which could execute cross-border transactions much faster at a much cheaper rate while staying decentralized the whole time. Now, with the capabilities of cryptocurrency technology well-known, could its widespread implementation will be expected in the next 3-4 years?

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Altcoin EOS Joins Top Crypto League, Surges 321 Percent After ICO Launch

Altcoin EOS Joins Top Crypto League, Surges 321 Percent After ICO Launch

    

Last week’s season of mourning saw gloomy markets

that were inspiring only fear and panic in Bitcoin and altcoin communities, in particular for those who have not been in the crypto space for long. But this week has begun on a bright note with the green days coming back as most of the tokens have recorded growth.

On top 10 cryptocurrencies, for instance, only two tokens continued to fall.

But the biggest surprise was a new entrant to the top echelons. EOS in a fairytale manner growth jumped more than 300 percent to occupy the number nine spot on CoinMarketCap early morning on Monday.

The decentralized business application Blockchain in the process pushed Monero to number 10 resulting in BitShares losing top notch status. In Cryptoland such astronomical growth has been seen so many times… Needless to say, they just pass with the wind and becomes a nine-day wonder.

Meteoric rise

This catalytic move comes at a time where EOS is ending its first 350 consecutive 23-hour  token sales in a few hours. At the time of filing this report on Monday morning, two mln tokens have already been distributed. However, the sale of the total of one bln tokens will continue on the Ethereum network for a period of 341 days. According to Block.one, the company behind EOS, the extended period of token sales is to render adequate time for the community to familiarize themselves with the project, as well as participate in the distribution. With an incredible 321.67 percent growth, EOS token was selling for $5.40. This actually brought its market valuation to more than $800 mln. The digital currency was first listed by Bitfinex in June, a few days before launching its token sale.

Hype? Don’t think so

Meanwhile, Cointelegraph reached out to some members of the crypto community on Bitcoin PowPow for their opinion on EOS's sudden magnificent growth. For Priyabrata Dash it is more of a hype. But David Mondrus of Trive has a lot of admiration for one of the founders of EOS. "I like anything Brock touches, but I know nothing about the details," David said, referring to Brock Pierce, co-founder of block.one.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
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The Blockchain Fuels Startups Unlike Any You’ve Ever Seen

The Blockchain Fuels Startups
Unlike Any You've Ever Seen

    

Bitcoin was hailed as the digital currency of a utopian future,

but, at least in the US, few people use it. (At Overstock.com, the first major retailer to accept bitcoin, it accounts for less than 0.1 percent of sales.) What is taking off, however, is the tech underlying bitcoin. Called the blockchain, it’s an online ledger for a virtually endless chain of transactions, or “blocks,” stored across a worldwide network of computers. Using cryptography, a blockchain verifies, records, and protects the integrity of those transactions, without answering to a government, bank, or company. Separate from bitcoin, it’s being used to create businesses that look like nothing we’ve seen before.

Augur

Prediction Markets

At Augur people bet on the outcome of events—sports, stock offerings, elections. Because it runs on a blockchain, it spans borders, roping in so many bets that its predictions could be far more accurate than any market in history.

Utopian future: We’ll gain the ability to truly see the future.

Blockchain Capital

Venture Capital

Using a blockchain called Ethereum, this VC firm issued an ICO, or initial coin offering, selling its own digital token to raise money for its latest venture fund. Anyone who owns a token owns a piece of the fund. And because digital tokens are so easily resold, it’s a particularly liquid VC investment. In the past two years, more than 75 entities have raised over $250 million through ICOs.

Utopian future:

Anyone can play the VC game.

Numerai

Hedge Funds

Inside this hedge fund, all trades are decided by AI models built by thousands of anonymous data scientists from across the internet. It gets weirder. The data wonks all get digital tokens, and if the fund is successful, the value of the token rises, a dynamic that transforms normally cutthroat traders into eager collaborators.

Utopian future:

Hedge funds go from shark tanks to kumbaya show-and-tell sessions.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Are cryptocurrencies about to go mainstream?

Are cryptocurrencies about to go mainstream?

Experts call for caution about digital currencies, such as bitcoin and Ethereum, but financial firms are considering adopting them or even establishing their own.

   

Bitcoin is the world’s biggest cryptocurrency

but there are now close to 800 digital currencies work around $96bn total. Last Sunday a message posted on message board 4Chan started the rumor that Vitalik Buterin, the founder of cryptocurrency Ethereum, had been killed in a car crash. News of the 23-year-old, Russian-born programmer’s demise was soon proved false – but not before 20%, or roughly $4bn, had been wiped from Ethereum’s soaring market value. The hoax not only drew attention to Ethereum, the second largest digital currency after bitcoin, which had seen its value rise fiftyfold since the start of the year to $300 a coin, but also to the booming market in other so-called cryptocurrencies that could now be on the cusp of mainstream financial credibility.

Vaswani’s comments came after several central banks from across Europe and Asia said they were looking into establishing digital-only currencies in addition to traditional denominations. The People’s Bank of China has reportedly run trials, while the Danish central bank is considering a digital-only e-krone. On 19 June, the International Monetary Fund issued a staff discussion note stating that banks should consider investing in cryptocurrencies, saying: “Rapid advances in digital technology are transforming the financial services landscape, creating opportunities and challenges for consumers, service providers and regulators alike.”

At the same time, IBM announced it had made a deal with the Digital Trade Chain Consortium – a group of seven European banks that includes Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Rabobank, Societe Generale and Unicredit – to build a digital trade platform that will run on IBM’s cloud. Andrew Levin, professor of economics at Dartmouth and co-author of a study on central bank digital currencies, told the Guardian that the concept of private institutions creating new forms of payment was not in itself new, “but the greater need is for consumers and businesses to have access to money that has a stable value and is practically costless to use. We think there’s a strong case for central banks to issue digital currencies that would be free to use.”

Crypto- or cyber-currencies are digital-only currencies in which encryption and registry techniques, often called blockchains, are used to regulate the generation of units of currency independent of a central bank. It is a booming, dizzying market. Since the start of the year, bitcoin, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency, has almost tripled in value to $2,565. By some estimates, the cryptocurrency business could be worth $5tn by 2022. There are now close to 800 cryptocurrencies worth, in total, around $96bn. One of the newest offered to market is Tazos, backed by billionaire venture capitalist and early bitcoin investor Tim Draper of Draper Fisher Jurvetson. According to a prospectus, a total of US$893,200.77 worth of XTZ tokens will be issued on 1 July. “The best thing I can do is lead by example,” Draper told Reuters last month. “Over time, I actually feel that some of these tokens are going to improve the world, and I want to make sure those tokens get promoted as well. I think Tezos is one of those tokens.”

Tezos’ founders, Kathleen and Arthur Breitman, anticipate their ICO will become a “digital commonwealth” or “self-governing network”. The couple’s background in finance speaks to the seriousness of the endeavor: Arthur worked at the high-frequency trading desk at Goldman Sachs; Kathleen at Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund. “We think our competitive advantage is in our ability to assign governance,” Kathleen told the Observer. “The thing about blockchain is it’s very interdisciplinary. You have to have an understanding of finance and economics, but also game theory, pure science and networking theory.”

She concedes that blockchain complexity is also cause for investor skepticism. “A lot of people struggle to understand its value proposition, because it offers something different to everyone. I like the idea of putting business logic in a decentralised network, and hopefully, it will help people to conduct business more easily.” Brock Pierce, managing partner of Blockchain Capital and a relative veteran of the ICO market, recently launched a tradeable, digital securities token called BCAP that he considers “the next giant leap in the democratization of venture capital and liquidity where everybody has equal access”.

Three days ago, Pierce launched the crowd sale of EOS, a blockchain coin (or token) offering that’s already taken in $100m. “This is a 340-day project that’s already broken every record. It’s 100% certain we’re going to surpass Bancor, the most successful ICO to date.”

Pierce predicts that the underlying technology of blockchain – essentially a public record of actions – “is going to impact our world more than the internet has”. He added: “The implications are huge, and it’s going to have huge implications not only on venture, but private equity, real estate, digitizing currency. This is going to be the technology that democratizes the global financial system so everybody has equal access.” But such rapid increases in value is cause for concern. Five-year-old Ripple XRP, which is connected to 75 banks, including Bank of America and Royal Bank of Canada, has increased in value by 40 times this year alone. According to CNBC, 100 billion XRP are in existence, each priced 26 cents.

“A lot of lessons will be learned and a lot of money will be lost, before a lot of money can be made,” Peter Denious, head of global venture capital at Aberdeen Asset Management, told Bloomberg last week. “Prices right now aren’t being driven by network usage, they’re being driven by speculation that tokens are going to appreciate. It’s a gold-rush mentality.” But Les Borsai, an early investor in Ethereum, believes that what is under way is a re-ordering of the financial systems. At root, he argues, blockchain technology shows “we don’t need a centralized solution for anything. It’s a liberated attitude and the implications are huge”.

Since you’re here …

… we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too. I appreciate there not being a paywall: it is more democratic for the media to be available for all and not a commodity to be purchased by a few. I’m happy to make a contribution so others with less means still have access to information.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
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Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Prominent Venture Capitalist Shares Bitcoin, Ethereum Investment Tips

Prominent Venture Capitalist Shares Bitcoin, Ethereum Investment Tips

    

Prominent venture capitalist and investment firm

co-founder Fred Wilson shares investment tips for Bitcoin and Ethereum traders in a blog post entitled “The Selloff.” His investment firm Union Square Ventures is based in New York.

Rollercoaster

Since the beginning of January, the cryptocurrency market and leading cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have experienced corrections. Some market corrections saw Bitcoin and Ethereum falling by as much as 30 percent, although the two cryptocurrencies recovered relatively quickly after their initial decline. In a blog post, Wilson noted that as he told his daughter who has also been an early investor in Bitcoin and Ethereum, he encourages traders and investors to consider what the price trend and value of Bitcoin and Ethereum will be in five to 10 years, not in the short-term.

Long-term

Admittedly, the majority of traders within the cryptocurrency market are looking to profit off minor corrections and rallies of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Hence, when the price of the two cryptocurrencies achieve new all-time highs or are in a position to sustain an upward momentum, traders tend to sell off and cause a price correction. However, like many early-stage investors, Wilson, who has invested in Bitcoin since 2013 and Ethereum since its launch in 2015, explained that most market corrections don’t hold much significance for his portfolio. Wilson is considering Bitcoin and Ethereum as long-term investments and is taking its long-term price trend into consideration.

Wilson writes:

“I have been buying Bitcoin since early 2013 and Ethereum since last year. I keep buying but never that much at one time. Just a little bit every week. You can build a pretty big position that way, but you have to be patient, and you have to keep at it.”

More importantly, Wilson emphasized that he doesn’t attempt to predict price corrections and market bottoms even though his predictions turned out to be accurate often. Because Wilson is maintaining a cryptocurrency portfolio as a long-term investment, he explained that he doesn’t focus on evaluating short-term price development of cryptocurrencies. 

Wilson adds:

“I don’t try to time market bottoms and market tops, even though I can sense when they are happening. I don’t try to predict where these assets are going in the near term and I just believe they will be a lot more valuable in five or ten years than they are now.

Many analysts within the cryptocurrency sector have also stated in the past that most traders will earn a profit if they only trade a monthly basis. Over the past few years, Bitcoin has consistently made gains on a monthly basis as it always bounced back from market corrections. “I am wrong a lot. But honestly, I don’t really care. I will keep buying into this correction or rally, whatever it turns out to be. Because the more important question is where these assets will be in five or ten years,” said Wilson.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Scaling Project Segwit2x to Release New Code Tomorrow

    

Segwit2x is moving ahead in adherence with its previously announced timeline

Segwit2x, a controversial scaling proposal largely backed by the bitcoin network's enterprises and miners, is moving ahead in adherence with its previously announced timeline. In an email yesterday, Bloq co-founder and Segwit2x lead developer Jeff Garzik confirmed to CoinDesk that new code is set to be released on Friday, following two weeks of alpha release testing. The release is said to address issues and comments on the initial version. As such, the release is expected to mark a new phase for the proposal, which has been praised by some as a pragmatic solution to the network's perceived capacity issues and derided by others as a deal that misunderstands the nature of bitcoin development and the network's intended design.

Still, it has emerged as unique, given that it was able to bring together perhaps the largest contingent of companies and mining pools ever in support of a scaling proposal. Further, its support by a large majority of miners means, if released, the code could quickly gain the necessary backing from the network to activate the upgrade. If development continues as planned, bitcoin’s long-requested scaling optimization SegWit could be activated before August, with a hard fork to double the block size slated for three months later. This change, though, also remains a matter of controversy and critique.

Testing phase

So far, little is publicly known about the testing process.

According to those involved, the last two weeks of development have been dedicated to testing, with the firms involved using a new testnet ("testnet5") and a so-called faucet that spits out fake coins to test the system. A notable change this week was that the team tweaked the details of the hard fork portion of the agreement for the time being Companies involved in the project – including Abra, Bitfury, Blockchain, BTCC, OpenBazaar, Purse and Xapo – have been contributing to development and testing, though it’s still not public who's working on what. From the SegWit2x GitHub site, it is apparent that developers have been testing the code. Purse CTO Christopher Jeffrey, for instance, identified and fixed some bugs during this two-week stage, while others flagged and put forth other ideas.

Some companies are playing a smaller role in the effort. For example, OpenBazaar's lead backend developer, Chris Pacia, said that he is the sole developer from the firm to contribute to the project. He explained that he created a testnet5 DNS seed (which helps new nodes connect to the test network) and has offered occasional feedback. However, a few of the firms that pledged to assist in testing the code have been hesitant to reply to requests about their involvement. (Some critics have gone as far as to argue that the firms involved are "corporatizing" bitcoin, asserting that Segwit2x is a small group of companies in an invite-only Slack channel attempting to govern a decentralized online currency.)

Remaining questions

So, with the beta release almost here, what's next?

According to the schedule, mining pools are supposed to install the software on 14th June, which they can use to signal for the network to activate the upgrade from 21st July. Last week mining pools representing 80% of the bitcoin hashrate agreed to run the code that could lock in SegWit before 31st July. After that, three months later, is the hard fork to boost the block size. Of concern, is that the fork could potentially result in a split into two competing tradeable bitcoin assets if not everyone agrees to upgrade their software to the change. While this is the plan for later in the summer, bitcoin developer James Hilliard mentioned that the details of the 2MB hard fork portion are still up for debate.

"It’s unclear what the details are," he told CoinDesk.

Hilliard, who's contributed code to Segwit2x that might help to avoid a split into two assets, is skeptical of the hard fork timeline, calling it "unrealistic" – a sentiment shared by other Bitcoin Core contributors, who nearly universally reject the SegWit2x project. Developers have proposed various ways of doing the hard fork portion of the code, though Hilliard said it would be possible to wait and finish the code and logistics for increasing the block size parameter after SegWit activates. As usual, users will have to wait and see how this will unfold, and for now, speculate on the possible outcomes and their impact.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.