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What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital crypto-currency with no single point of failure due to its decentralized peer-to-peer architecture. The source code is publicly available and changes to the reference Bitcoin client are made via concensus within the community. Advantages of Bitcoin include irreversible transactions (i.e. no possibility of chargebacks as with credit cards), pseudo-anonymous, limited and fixed inflation, near instant transactions, multi-platform, no double-spend and little to no barriers to entry and more. It was created by an anonymous person known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Find out more at WeUseCoins.com.

Bitcoin Latest News

Bitcoin's Biggest Software Wallet Blockchain Adds Ethereum

Bitcoin wallet startup Blockchain is expanding its service to support ether, the cryptocurrency of the ethereum network.

Posted on 17 August 2017 | 9:59 am

Bitcoin peaks at $4500 in latest milestone for volatile digital currency - Telegraph.co.uk


Telegraph.co.uk

Bitcoin peaks at $4500 in latest milestone for volatile digital currency
Telegraph.co.uk
Digital currency bitcoin soared to a new high of $4,500 (£3,492) on Thursday as the currency continues to grow following a split between its backers. The cryptocurrency has grown steadily for the past two weeks since it experienced a "hard fork", where ...

Posted on 17 August 2017 | 8:54 am

Bitcoin's market value tops that of Netflix - CNBC


CNBC

Bitcoin's market value tops that of Netflix
CNBC
Bitcoin climbed above $4,500 to a record high Thursday, giving it a market valuation larger than that of Netflix. The digital currency has a market value of about $74 billion, up $30 billion in August and topping Netflix's $72.7 billion market ...

Posted on 17 August 2017 | 8:49 am

This teenage Bitcoin millionaire high school dropout is sending a signed Taylor Swift CD into space - Business Insider


Business Insider

This teenage Bitcoin millionaire high school dropout is sending a signed Taylor Swift CD into space
Business Insider
Erik Finman dropped out of school at age 15 to pursue a career as an entrepreneur. Now, he's worth over $1.5 million in bitcoin holdings. Finman. When Erik Finman was 12 years old, he turned a $1,000 gift from his grandmother — intended for his ...
Teen bitcoin millionaire Erik Finman is launching Taylor Swift's '1989' into spaceTechCrunch

all 3 news articles »

Posted on 17 August 2017 | 8:02 am

Goldman's sketchy case to buy (and then sell) bitcoin - Financial Times


Financial Times

Goldman's sketchy case to buy (and then sell) bitcoin
Financial Times
Attracting attention in parts of the web this week were headlines that captured the strange place on the fringes of modern banking where astrology, finance and computer games intersect. A Goldman Sachs analyst had predicted the price of bitcoin ...

Posted on 17 August 2017 | 7:58 am

$7 Million: Bitcoin Wallet Startup Breadwallet Raises New Funding

Bitcoin wallet startup Breadwallet has closed a new $7 million funding to boost staffing levels and product development.

Posted on 17 August 2017 | 7:29 am

Lightning Bank Ledgers? Bitfury and Ripple Demo New Twist on Bitcoin Tech

Bitcoin's much-anticipated Lightning Network is now compatible with seven payment networks, thanks to new code from Ripple and Bitfury.

Posted on 17 August 2017 | 6:59 am

Major Newspapers Notice Bitcoin Growth and Advocate Buying - CoinTelegraph


CoinTelegraph

Major Newspapers Notice Bitcoin Growth and Advocate Buying
CoinTelegraph
"Bitcoin is a tool for freeing humanity from oligarchs and tyrants You don't want a world where bitcoin is the main currency. Governments may be bad, but anarcho-capitalism is many times worse. It is, however the direction in which the world is moving ...

Posted on 17 August 2017 | 5:31 am

Bitcoin Prices Reach New All-Time High of Over $4500 - CoinDesk


CoinDesk

Bitcoin Prices Reach New All-Time High of Over $4500
CoinDesk
At press time, the price stood at $4,495 – a 1.58 percent gain for the day so far, according to CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index. Bitcoin's market capitalization now stands at over $73 billion, up from $68 billion two days ago. Looking at wider market ...

and more »

Posted on 17 August 2017 | 5:19 am

Coinbase Awarded Patent for Bitcoin Security Concept

Cryptocurrency exchange startup Coinbase has been awarded a new patent related to private key security, public records show.

Posted on 17 August 2017 | 5:00 am

Bitcoin Prices Reach New All-Time High of Over $4,500

Following two days of sideways trading, bitcoin prices have once again reached record levels.

Posted on 17 August 2017 | 4:34 am

Another major country joins China and Japan in cracking down on bitcoin exchanges - CNBC


CNBC

Another major country joins China and Japan in cracking down on bitcoin exchanges
CNBC
Following moves by China and Japan to regulate digital currencies, Australia is attempting to crackdown on money laundering and terrorism financing with plans to regulate bitcoin exchanges. "The threat of serious financial crime is constantly evolving, ...
Australia follows Japan in move to regulate bitcoinFinancial Times
Bitcoin: Australia Cracks Down on Digital Currency ExchangesBarron's
Australian bitcoin exchanges to face requirements that put CBA in hot waterZDNet
CryptoCoinsNews
all 23 news articles »

Posted on 17 August 2017 | 4:26 am

Australia Takes Aim at Cryptocurrencies With New Money Laundering Bill

Australia is moving to introduce a new bill that would extend the country's anti-money laundering laws to cover domestic cryptocurrency exchanges.

Posted on 17 August 2017 | 4:04 am

Anonymous Email Service ProtonMail Adds Bitcoin Payment Option

ProtonMail has revealed it is adding bitcoin as an official, automated payment option – and other cryptocurrencies may soon follow.

Posted on 17 August 2017 | 3:00 am

$80,000: Zcash Foundation to Launch Grant Initiative

In an effort to propel development of its protocol, the Zcash Foundation is offering roughly $80,000 in new grants to its community.

Posted on 17 August 2017 | 2:00 am

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ASX Calls for Review of Distributed Ledger Settlement Platform

The Australian Securities Exchange wants to know more about the Digital Asset DLT platform, and will commission a third party study to do so.

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 10:00 pm

CULedger Credit Union Consortium Launches Blockchain Services Business

A blockchain initiative backed by a group of US credit unions has formed a new organization to support its efforts.

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 11:20 am

Crypto Exchange Shapeshift Acquires KeepKey Hardware Wallets

ShapeShift Acquires KeepKey

Today, Shapeshift.io announced its acquisition of hardware wallet manufacturer KeepKey. According to the cryptocurrency exchange, by pairing the KeepKey hardware wallet with ShapeShift, users will be allowed to safely store their coins on a secure physical device while trading their assets directly over the ShapeShift API, which can be reached from KeepKey’s interface.

“Security is of critical importance when it comes to holding and trading digital assets. One of our priorities has always been to make the exchange experience as safe and easy for users as possible, and our pairing with KeepKey enables us to provide an unmatched customer experience. Users can hold their coins on the hardware device and exchange them on demand within the wallet, without even visiting a website. When you pair the KeepKey hardware wallet with ShapeShift’s exchange, the experience is magical,” Erik Voorhees, CEO of ShapeShift, said.

KeepKey already had integrated ShapeShift’s API a year ago, allowing it to supporting the most popular cryptocurrencies. The firm’s objective is to support all leading digital assets providing the users with the “most secure storage wallet available.”

“This partnership will not only guarantee the future success of the KeepKey brand and product line, but joining the ShapeShift team will enable us to focus on continuing to work on developing better technology and security for crypto-holders,“ said Ken Hodler, Chief Technology Officer at KeepKey.

ShapeShift confirmed that the company will preserve KeepKey’s brand and product line. Furthermore, the acquisition of KeepKey will allows ShapeShift to “provide increased capital for inventory and security expertise.”

“Amid heightened interest in the concept of digital currencies, a simple, user-friendly cold storage wallet with native exchange functionality is one key to wider adoption,” said Voorhees.

The combination of ShapeShift and KeepKey reflects both companies’ commitment to security and privacy. ShapeShift does not collect any personal information on its users. Furthermore, customer funds are not collected on the company accounts and users maintain control of their keys at all times.

The KeepKey drive is physical hardware device that protects users’ funds from “hackers and thieves.” It uses wallet software located on the user’s computer. The device takes over the management of private key generation and storage along with the signing of transactions. The hardware has a built-in random number generator for private keys, which works in combination with the “randomness” provided by the user’s computer. After the private key is generated, the user is given a twelve-word recovery sentence, which can be used to recover the device without compromising its private keys.

The post Crypto Exchange Shapeshift Acquires KeepKey Hardware Wallets appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 10:12 am

Block 494,784: Segwit2x Developers Set Date for Bitcoin Hard Fork

The developer team behind the Segwit2x scaling proposal is set to announce a formal date for a planned bitcoin hard fork today.

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 9:35 am

Bitcoin's Next Battle May Already Be Looming - Fortune


Fortune

Bitcoin's Next Battle May Already Be Looming
Fortune
Hi everyone, it's Yuji from Tokyo. I've been writing about the trials and tribulations of bitcoin for more than a year. The recent bitcoin civil war has been an ugly, highly politicized affair, with each side trying to manipulate the media and tilt ...
Chaos Ensues As Bitcoin Splits Into Two Separate CryptocurrenciesForbes
Get Ready, November Event Coming For BitcoinSeeking Alpha
Unknown Bitcoin Cash Miners Control Almost 97% of the Network's HashpowerThe Merkle
Investopedia -CoinDesk -ExtremeTech
all 20 news articles »

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 9:15 am

AMD Releases New Software Package for Cryptocurrency Mining

Graphics card (GPU) maker AMD is rolling out a new software driver geared specifically toward cryptocurrency mining.

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 9:00 am

Blockstack Partners with VCs to Launch $25 Million Blockstack Signature Fund

blockstack.jpg

New York-based decentralized internet and developer platform Blockstack has partnered with a number of venture capital groups to launch the $25 million Blockstack Signature fund.

The Blockstack Signature fund is backed by Lux, OpenOcean, VersionOne, RisingTide, and Compound, and funding will go toward apps being built in the Blockstack ecosystem.

Patrick Stanley, growth partner at Blockstack, explained to Bitcoin Magazine that “Blockstack is not launching the VC fund but facilitating.” That is, the company’s role in the fund has been to gather the venture capital groups, attract the developers and facilitate the partnerships that will result in quality app development on the Blockstack platform.

According to Blockstack, the VC fund will dedicated to “rapidly accelerating startups building decentralized applications on the platform, and tools for developers to bootstrap their apps, with tokens on the Blockstack network — just like you see with Ethereum.”

Muneeb Ali, co-founder at Blockstack, told Bitcoin Magazine: “We are at a stage where some of the developers are incredibly excited about building apps and usually get in touch with us. If developers get in touch with us with an app that they are excited about, this is one funding channel we can point them to.”

Ali added: “The VCs involved in the fund will take a look at that application and make a independent decision to fund that company or now. Our intention here is to bring together sophisticated investors, people who have been thinking a lot about decentralization and can do their due diligence.”

VC investing is a type of private equity, a form of financing that is provided by firms or funds to small, early-stage, emerging firms that are deemed to have high-growth potential, or which have demonstrated high growth in terms of number of employees, annual revenue or both.

Ali explains: “If you look at this space in general we feel that there are a lot of low quality apps which are raising an insane amount of capital from token sales, for example. We want to bring some quality and sanity to the picture. We feel that VCs can still have a seat at the table … we want to open up that channel as well.”

Blockstack was formerly known as Onename and passed through its young company status in the summer of 2014 as a startup looking to streamline bitcoin transactions.

Watch the video here.

blockstack video


The post Blockstack Partners with VCs to Launch $25 Million Blockstack Signature Fund appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 6:23 am

Bitcoin Down $100 as Price Seeks Support Above $4,000

Bitcoin prices are beginning to move sideways, just a day after setting a new all-time high.

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 6:15 am

ICO Meets VC: Blockstack Raises $25 Million for Decentralized Internet Fund

Decentralized internet startup Blockstack has raised $25 million in venture funding to grow and develop its distributed ecosystem.

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 5:59 am

'Boiler Room' Crypto Scam Targeted by London Police

British police arrested an individual last week for allegedly fleecing would-be investors via a fake cryptocurrency investment scheme.

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 4:00 am

IBM Reveals Blockchain Supply Chain Trial with Singapore Port Operator

A major port operator in Singapore has inked a deal to work with IBM and a regional shipping firm to test a new blockchain-based supply chain network.

Posted on 16 August 2017 | 3:00 am

Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Expands Legal Industry Working Group

Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Expands Legal Industry Working Group

On August 14, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance announced the addition of more than a dozen organizations to its blockchain collaboration under the umbrella of its Legal Industry Working Group, responsible for creating enterprise-grade applications on the Ethereum blockchain. The new members include law schools, legal departments of universities, academic institutions and leading global law firms.

According to the EEA, the swift expansion of the Legal Industry Working Group is due to the fact that an increased number of legal professionals are showing interest in blockchain technology. The Ethereum blockchain consortium believes this working group will serve as a base for the success of “various efforts taking place within the organization.”

“We are thrilled to see robust interest in blockchain technology by forward-looking law firms and institutions. Lawyers are poised to serve as the catalysts for blockchain technology, and the Legal Working Group will serve as a neutral space to explore blockchain-based legal technology, develop standards for “smart” legal agreements, support emerging enterprise use cases and tackle important policy issues raised by this new impactful technology,” Aaron Wright, Chair of the EEA Legal Industry Working Group, Associate Clinical Professor and Co-Director of the Cardozo Law School’s Blockchain Project, and co-founder of the smart contract project OpenLaw, said in a statement.

The Legal Industry Working Group isn’t the only part of the blockchain collaboration to be experiencing a rapid growth in new members. On July 18, 2017, the EEA announced that the alliance had onboarded 34 new organizations, bringing the number of the participants to more than 150 members. The newly joined participants included Mastercard, Cisco, the Government of Andhra Pradesh (one of the 29 states of India), Scotiabank and many others.

Formed in late February 2017 by founding members such as Intel and J.P. Morgan, the EEA strives to create, promote and support open standards, best practices and open source reference architectures on the Ethereum blockchain. The consortium serves as the major research and development body of the Ethereum blockchain, helping Ethereum to evolve into an enterprise-grade technology. In terms of development and research, the EEA focuses on multiple areas, including privacy, confidentiality, scalability and security, as well as investigating hybrid architectures and industry-specific, application-layer working groups.

The 14 new members of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance include:

Cooley, Debevoise & Plimpton, Goodwin, Hogan Lovells, Holland & Knight, Jones Day, Latham & Watkins, Morrison & Foerster, Perkins Coie, Shearman & Sterling, Cardozo Law School, Duke Center on Law & Technology, and the Department of Legal Studies and Business Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

In addition, existing members of the consortium will be joining the EEA Legal Industry Working Group, including BNY Mellon, ConsenSys, ING and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The post Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Expands Legal Industry Working Group appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 15 August 2017 | 12:45 pm

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Still More Room at the Top, For Now

Bitcoin Price Analysis

While many fear BTC-USD is entering bubble territory, others are calling for even higher price targets.  Politics aside, there is a clear push for higher BTC-USD prices and it’s creating market uncertainty.

Here are the facts:

  1. 30 days ago, BTC-USD was $1800.

  2. Today the price of BTC-USD has risen 130% and has managed to establish an all time high at $4300.

  3. In 5 days alone, the price of BTC-USD has increased its market value by 30%.

Taking a look at the macro trend since the rise post-$1800s, we see clear lines of support along the Fibonacci Retracements:

Figure_1.JPG
Figure 1:  BTC-USD, 6-Hour Candles, Bitfinex, Macro Fib. Lines

Across the length of the bullish push from the $2700s (the 61% line) there are signs of sustained momentum in the RSI and MACD.  Looking at the volume profile, there is no clear decline in volume and it appears to show market interest in higher values as the volume’s moving average has remained mostly flat.  However, since the bullish push from the $3200s (the 38% line) we can see signs of bullish exhaustion in the form MACD and RSI divergence.  

Zooming in on a smaller timescale, we see evidence of a higher push to new all time highs:

Figure_2.jpgFigure 2:  BTC-USD, 1-Hour Candles, Bitfinex, Potential Bull Pennant Breakout

At the top of BTC-USD’s strong run from the $3200s stands a classic bullish continuation pattern called a “Bull Pennant.”  The pennant is characterized by price consolidation within a convergent pattern and has decreasing volume throughout the length of the pennant body.  To accompany this pattern is a 1-hour RSI and MACD that began to consolidate toward its centerline.

At the time of this article, BTC-USD appears to have broken out of this pennant with a sharp increase in volume.  Currently, based on typical price projections for Bull Pennant breakouts, this pennant breakout has a price target of $5000.

Although this is a rather aggressive price target for this bull pennant, there are some considerations on a macro scale that should be addressed and discussed.

Figure_3.JPGFigure 3:  BTC-USD, 1 Day Candles, Bitfinex, Bollinger Bands

For the fourth day in a row, BTC-USD continues to push outside the Bollinger Bands.  Historically, this sort of push has led to market pullback or consolidation.  Even on high timescales, the current 3-day candle (not shown above) is fully formed outside the Bollinger Bands and shows, on a macro scale, that the market is overbought.  To accompany this push of the Bollinger Bands, a clear decrease in volume is seen on the moving average that shows, since the rise from $1800s, there has been waning bullish sentiment.  

While there is a lot of hype surrounding BTC’s recent rise, it is paramount to remain objective and skeptical of market activity and to view the market soberly.  The price target of $5000, on a micro level seems plausible.  However, on a macro level the bullish market appears to have slightly bearish divergence.  To remain a reliable price target, the market needs to see a push to newer all time highs accompanied by increase in volume to sustain the next $800 of price movement.

Summary:

  1. BTC-USD has broken out of a bullish continuation pattern called a “Bull Pennant” with a price target of $5,000.

  2. On a macro scale, there are signs of bullish momentum loss in the form of bearish divergence and overbought signals on the Bollinger Bands.  

  3. While the market can remain overbought for days and weeks, it’s important to keep in mind that the higher the market pushes into overbought zones, the more necessary market consolidation becomes in order to prevent a market pullback.  So far, there has yet to be any considerable market consolidation during this 130% rise.

Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin, bitcoin cash and ether is highly speculative and comes with many risks. This analysis is for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice. Statements and financial information on Bitcoin Magazine and BTC Media related sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BTC Media and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.


The post Bitcoin Price Analysis: Still More Room at the Top, For Now appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 14 August 2017 | 3:35 pm

Last Week on LTB Network: Factom's Paul Snow Shares Thoughts on Bitcoin Cash

Last Week on LTB Network: Factom's Paul Snow Shares Thoughts on Bitcoin Cash

Some confusion still exists around Bitcoin Cash (or Bcash), the new token that resulted from a split in the Bitcoin network on August 1. Many bitcoin (BTC) holders are still wondering how to safely remove the new tokens (BCH) from exchanges (and wallets) without putting their BTC at risk.

In a recent episode of the Crypto Show, Paul Snow, the founder of the blockchain-based data management solution Factom, offered some suggestions. He also talked about the potential benefits of holding onto BCH a little while longer.

First, while some exchanges may be offering to extract BCH for some users, Snow firmly advises people not to hand over their private keys to exchanges. He thinks sharing private keys is a bad policy in general. “Don’t do it,” he said.

“It is kind of like, you don’t wear underwear on the outside of your pants; you don’t give people your private keys,” he said. But for those anxious to cash in on their BCH right away, he describes a safe way to do it.

Create New Addresses

Snow suggests users separate their BTC from their BCH first, as follows:

If you had any number of addresses holding BTC before August 1, then you will now have an equal amount of BCH on those same addresses.

Snow recommends you go into your BTC wallets and move the entire amounts of BTC in those addresses, (imagine three addresses we’ll call A, B, C) to three new addresses (D, E, F). Now, the second set of addresses (D, E, F) will have BTC in them, but no BCH because those addresses did not exist before August 1. The first set (A, B, C) will have BCH in them, but no BTC.

“To reiterate,” Snow said, “move your Bitcoin addresses from where they were on August 1 to new addresses. Step two, input those private keys into your Bitcoin Cash wallet. Step three, profit,” he said.


For more info on how to handle your BCH safely, read A Beginner’s Guide to Claiming Your Bitcoin Cash (and Selling It).


Neutral on Bcash

Bitcoin Cash has, in a sense, divided the community. Some like Bitcoin Cash because it raises the Bitcoin block size limit to 8MB, while others are appalled at how the new chain is attempting to usurp users and hashpower from the main Bitcoin network.

Snow maintains a neutral stance. “I’m not sure I have an opinion on any particular blockchain out there,” he said.

After all, Bitcoin is not the only game in town. He pointed out that right now there are nine cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin with a market cap of $1B or more. Those are the facts. “I don’t care whether you think Bitcoin should be the only blockchain or not. They [those other coins] exist,” he said

Moveover, he thinks Bitcoin Cash played fair and square in launching an alternative currency. Everyone who had BTC got their share of BCH in the airdrop. Nevertheless, nearly everyone he hears from is looking to reinvest that money back into BTC.

“I am seeing a lot of people who are going to cash out on the Bitcoin Cash as fast as they can and buy Bitcoin with it,” he said. 

“Hodling” Bcash

Of course, there is another option. People could hold onto (or “hodl”) their BCH just like they hold on to their BTC and see if the price goes up.

After all, Snow said the market for BCH won’t hit its stride until mid September when the mining difficulty on the new chain eases up to the point where Bitcoin miners consider it economically viable to redirect their hash power over to it.

“Right now, anyone mining on Bitcoin Cash now is effectively donating their power,” he said. “That [Bitcoin Cash] bandwagon doesn’t leave town until September 18th. Until then, it is just kind of puddling along and not quite getting anywhere.”

Dropping Anchor

But, say the Bitcoin Cash chain were to beat all odds and become super successful. If that were to happen, would Factom anchor onto the Bitcoin Cash chain instead of the Bitcoin chain?

To explain Snow’s business, Factom is a protocol that runs on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. By doing so, it allows any kind of data to be time-stamped and secured using the Bitcoin blockchain. So hashrate is essential to Factom’s security.

“We are anchoring into a chain for its proof of work,” Snow said. “But if proof of work is largely in Bitcoin Cash, then we will anchor onto Bitcoin Cash.”

He added that if the hashrate between the two chains were to split 60/40, Factom could anchor on both chains and still get 100 percent of the hashpower.

“We can anchor as many chains as we want,” he said, but added that he doesn’t think Bitcoin Cash will ever capture that much hashpower. With BCH currently only valued at less than one tenth of BTC, the economic rewards for miners just aren’t there.

But as Snow pointed out, all of this plays into Bitcoin’s security. “Bitcoin is designed so that it is very, very hard to split off and be successful,” Snow said.

During the course of the interview, Snow also discussed the mechanics of how Factom anchors onto the Bitcoin network and the third annual Texas Bitcoin Conference, which he founded and helps organize. The conference will take place from October 28-29.

Listen to the entire podcast here.


The post Last Week on LTB Network: Factom's Paul Snow Shares Thoughts on Bitcoin Cash appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 14 August 2017 | 1:28 pm

Op Ed: Cryptocurrencies, ICOs and the Untapped "Family Office" Group

gpfamily.jpg

With cryptocurrency investing becoming increasingly mainstream, it’s important to understand the types of potential investors waiting on the sidelines. One largely untapped investment group would be a “family office” (FO), which is a private wealth manager of investments and trusts for ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs). In 2015, UHNWIs included almost 173,000 individuals whose wealth accounted for $20.8 trillion. FOs can represent a single-family office (SFO) or multi-family office (MFO), with the former being the largest group that represents one extremely wealthy single family.

The Family Office Databases reports that most FOs reside in the United States.

FO_breakdown.png

According to UBS and Global Wealth, the top three investments of an average FO portfolio are in the developed market, real estate, or venture capital and private equities.

UBS_investment_breakdown.png

Cryptocurrencies would be classified as a commodity, whereas initial coin offerings (ICOs) would represent venture capital. Furthermore, most ICOs are deemed securities based on the parameters of the Howey test. Cryptocurrencies themselves are still very new and highly complex, and innovation is happening every day. Few people understand them deeply due to the intense learning curve.

Being decentralized and transparent on a blockchain with low transaction fees means cryptocurrencies have attractive properties for UHNWIs. Cryptocurrencies provide FOs with diversification from traditional assets usually in an average portfolio. However, the risk of investing remains high, especially if there is a lack of understanding around how cryptocurrencies work or how to secure them properly.

The recent explosion of ICOs and ICO funding represents a growing percentage of investors backing the creation of software or companies that are building the technology and infrastructure. David Drake, managing partner of LDJ capital, whose focus is on compliance and underwriting for ICOs, said to Bitcoin Magazine, “These ICOs need to have a real team and business structure behind them before anyone is willing to invest.”

Drake added that many investors he speaks with “are afraid that they will not understand what is happening with cryptocurrencies, but this is changing very quickly as they become curious about the subject.”

Projects that will be able to cut through the noise and hype with a clear message and identifiable use cases will likely acquire more investors through an ICO. Two such examples of successful ICOs with straightforward use cases include Civic, a project focused on providing proof of identity, which raised $33 million; and Filecoin, a decentralized storage network, which raised $252 million.

Generally, ICOs accept funds through cryptocurrencies only, although this may change to bring in more investors. Kamil Przeorski, co-founder of Experty.io and ReactPoland, told Bitcoin Magazine that “many people I talk with are very interested in my project, but don’t always understand the process and would rather use USD.”

Ultimately, the better the cryptocurrency community can communicate and explain the complexities, intricacies and possibilities, the more potential investors will flock to this space.

This guest post is by Josh Olszewicz, an advisor to Experty.io. The views in this piece are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Bitcoin Magazine or BTC Media.




The post Op Ed: Cryptocurrencies, ICOs and the Untapped "Family Office" Group appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

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