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forexBitcoin.com : Bitcoin news and Domain names for sale. Please go to Buy This Domain to purchase these domain names: 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. This RSS feed URL is deprecated. This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news. Posted on 3 February 2018 | 2:11 am. Bitcoin: Here Are My Concerns - Seeking Alpha. This means that Bitcoin prices can, and will, continue to fluctuate, sometimes wildly. For believers in cryptocurrencies - whether or not you own any - the price changes should not be the focus. Cryptos will ultimately succeed or fail based on the . Posted on 2 February 2018 | 4:05 pm. Report: Bank of America, JP Morgan Ban Credit Crypto Purchases. Two of Wall Street's biggest banks are reportedly taking steps to bar customers from using credit cards to purchase cryptocurrencies. Posted on 2 February 2018 | 3:55 pm. The game of bitcoin hasn't even started yet: Crypto trader - CNBC. "Yes, there is a new digital gold, a new digital store of value," said Neu-Ner, whose own portfolio includes more than 40 cryptocurrencies. "I think bitcoin is the store of value. But the game hasn't even started yet." As mass market adoption of . Posted on 2 February 2018 | 3:16 pm. Bitcoin is bottoming, expect a 70 percent surge: Trader - CNBC. The old saying goes, "buy when there's blood in the streets," and that's what I'm doing with the recent bitcoin price action. Bitcoin traded to a low of $7,700, this level is a loss of 25 percent on the week and 40 percent on the year. That $7,700 low . Posted on 2 February 2018 | 2:58 pm. Santander to Roll Out Ripple-Powered App in 4 Countries. Santander UK is working with Ripple to allow customers to make international payments using a new mobile app. Posted on 2 February 2018 | 1:15 pm. Blockchain’s Greatest Impact Will Be in Developing Countries, Says UPenn Lecturer. Most of the attention, flurry and investment around blockchain technology is in the West, where people are investing in cryptocurrencies and focused on a slew of novel applications, like using a blockchain to track vegetables from the field to store shelves. But the greatest impact of blockchain technology will be in developing countries, such as Zimbabwe and Venezuela. At least, that is the view of David Crosbie , a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania. He thinks blockchain technology will bring the same everyday levels of convenience and automation to the developing world that we take for granted in places like the U.S., and he is convinced it all comes down to a notion of moving trust away from society. A Matter of Trust. Trust is essential to how society functions. “Many years ago, we used to run around on the savanna, and we only trusted our blood kin,” Crosbie said in an interview with Bitcoin Magazine . He explained that we went on to put our trust in the church, which used ideas like hell and damnation to get people to follow the the rules, and then, for better or worse, we put our trust in government. The problem is we have handed governments the ability to lock us up, take away our belongings and even kill us, in exchange for a reliable and predictable legal structure, he says. Blockchain technology is the first real effort to expand on that trust model with any success. “Because it is so effective in providing trust, blockchain is most effective in environments where there is no competition,” said Crosbie. In other words, in places where the state does not provide a good trust model, blockchain technology can step in and provide a way around existing rules and regulations. That is not to say there is no need for blockchain technology in the developed world, says Crosbie; it’s just that the use cases in the West are not as compelling. We already have good banking and court systems in the U.S., for example, that support most people’s needs. Life With Blockchain Technology. If blockchain technology does establish itself in the developing world, life there would look a lot more like life in the Western world, says Crosbie. As an example, he tells how he recently had to file a renewal for a limited liability company. He was able to do his research, collect details and fill out the forms online. “I did it all from my chair,” he said. In a lesser-developed country, a similar task would have required a lot more exertion. In most places in Africa and India, for instance, state organizations are inefficient and poorly run, and record keeping is predominantly paper-based. Renewing a business license would likely require getting on a bus, going into town and standing in a queue for hours. And since computers are too costly in those areas, official documents are often typed by hand. While record-keeping systems in the West have steadily evolved from paper to computer to online and, as a next step, maybe blockchain technology or “maybe not,” says Crosbie, blockchain technology may be a way for lesser-developed countries to jump those intermediate stages. “Blockchain provides something fundamentally funded by the end user who provides access, and that enables [documents] to be computerized without the government having to spend the money,” he said. Efficiency improvements in developing countries would open roads to productivity because people would have more time, says Crosbie. Ownership would be easier to establish. If you wanted to show someone you owned a piece a land, rather than investing a day in chasing down a paper document, you could simply show them a link on the blockchain. Crosbie says chain of custody is another use case. Blockchain technology would enable someone to figure out if the brake pads they were buying for a car were real, so they would not run the risk of a serious accident. Or it could help ensure the vaccines received in a small village had been handled properly. Smart contracts (applications that run on the blockchain and control the transfer of digital assets between parties ) could also provide value in areas where the legal system is too expensive, slow or untrustworthy. And establishing an identity on the blockchain would be a core part of giving people access to services. As far as banking goes, mobile banking already exists in Kenya with M-Pesa and other mobile phone–related services. “Whether blockchain can compete depends entirely on whether it can be done in a cost-effective and quick and reliable way. And I actually t hink that blockchain is not there yet,” Crosbie cautioned. Deployment. Getting blockchain technology deployed in developing areas around the world requires a different technology mindset, however. Right now, most of the technology is targeted to areas like the U.S., where infrastructure and connectivity are good and computer systems are affordable. In many developing areas, people do not have access to computers or laptops or even Wi-Fi, but they do have access to smartphones and cellular connectivity. “We need to move our technology focus from desktop and servers and high-speed networks to smartphones on 3G networks,” Crosbie said. That requires being smart not only about how we write data to the blockchain, he says, but also how we read data from it. Smartphones, for example, don’t have the capacity to download an entire blockchain, and that means finding new workarounds. “If it has been tracked on the blockchain, how do I know the vaccine I have received in rural Kenya is good if I can’t read it from my smartphone while standing in the hospital?” he said. He points out the importance of looking at alternatives to move large amounts of data without relying on networks. One idea is to ship a USB device with the physical goods and then to use the blockchain to validate the authenticity of that data. “Those are the areas I’m looking at,” he said. “And I think that is what is going to allow people to expand from blockchain being a few thousand to millions and billions of nodes.” Crosbie will be discussing the social impact of blockchain technology on a panel at the Blockchain Economic Forum in Singapore, February 4 – 6, 2018. This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine. Posted on 2 February 2018 | 1:04 pm. Bitcoin touches below $8000 as bubble shows signs of bursting - Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. Mugs with the bitcoin logo are displayed for sale at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris. (Geoffroy Van der Hasselt / AFP/Getty Images). Bitcoin whipsawed investors Friday, falling below $8,000 for the first time since November before recovering most of the . Posted on 2 February 2018 | 11:08 am. Former Iced Tea Maker Cancels Purchase of Bitcoin Mining Rigs. Long Blockchain announced Friday that it was no longer pursuing a purchase of 1,000 AntMiners. Posted on 2 February 2018 | 10:45 am. Here Are the Signs the Bitcoin Bubble Is About to Burst - Fortune. Bitcoin whipsawed investors, falling below $8,000 for the first time since November before recovering most of today's losses, as a miserable 2018 continued for cryptocurrencies, with investors confronting a mounting list of concerns about the future of . Posted on 2 February 2018 | 9:39 am. Toronto Councillor: City Should “Be Ahead of the Wave” of Blockchain Tech. Toronto City Council voted today to invite the public to make “deputations” to the City Executive on March 19, 2018, about why and how blockchain technology and new cryptocurrencies can be integrated into the way the city does business. The motion was introduced by Councillor Norm Kelly , who believes that Toronto is already well on the way to being an international innovation hub, and that the use of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies could fast-forward this process. In an interview with Bitcoin Magazine , Councillor Kelly said: “Toronto is a world class city and well placed to be one of the premier innovation centres in the world. We have startups and talented innovators right here that are working on the frontier of the new digital revolution.” Kelly noted that the city has fallen behind other Canadian jurisdictions in exploring the possibilities opened up by the world of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. “The Ontario and federal governments and some of our banks are already running pilot projects to see what practical applications can come from using blockchain technology,” Kelly said. Both the provincial and federal governments are exploring putting digital IDs on the blockchain so that each citizen would have only one ID. The Canadian government’s National Research Council is using the Catena Blockchain Suite, built on the Ethereum blockchain, to make government research grants and funding information more transparent to the public. “I’d rather be ahead of the wave than behind it,” Kelly said . Among other use cases, Kelly wants the city to consider whether Toronto residents should be able to use cryptocurrencies to pay property taxes, parking tickets, utility bills and land transfer taxes. “A number of communities like Zug, Switzerland, are already taking cryptocurrencies for payments. Venezuela has its own cryptocurrency and many international charities accept bitcoin,” Kelly noted. Toronto’s Burgeoning Blockchain Scene. Toronto is already a hotbed of crypto activity with businesses including Decentral and Coinsquare. TrueBit COO Robbie Bent estimates that the Toronto crypto community numbers about 3,000 and is growing rapidly. And the city has literally hundreds of blockchain and cryptocurrency Meetups including a Meetup for Crypto Kids . Toronto is also home to MaRS, a world-class innovation center that is incubating a number of Bitcoin and blockchain startups. “Toronto’s Innovation Centre MaRS is a symbol and an example of what can be done when governments partner with business to promote the future growth potential of an innovation economy,” Kelly said. The Toronto-based Blockchain Research Institute (BRI) is only one of two in the world; the other is in Beijing, China. The BRI, which has been working on possible use cases for Toronto, has already said it will be presenting to the City Executive on March 19. Toronto Mayor John Tory was instrumental in getting Toronto to join the BRI and agrees with Kelly that Toronto must keep up with a changing world or risk falling behind. This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine. Posted on 2 February 2018 | 9:17 am. Copycat Twitter Accounts Seek to Scam Crypto Users. A new type of scam sees Twitter users copying cryptocurrency developers and companies and asking the public to send "donations." Posted on 2 February 2018 | 9:10 am. Chinese Retail Giant JD.com Joins Blockchain in Transport Alliance. The logistics arm of Chinese retail and internet giant JD.com has joined the Blockchain in Transport Alliance. Posted on 2 February 2018 | 8:01 am. As bitcoin gets cut in half and continues to dive, Wall Street's Tom . - CNBC. For a third time since bitcoin's plunge from a mid-December high, Fundstrat's Tom Lee published a report reemphasizing his optimistic outlook. Posted on 2 February 2018 | 7:51 am. Bitcoin Is Going Below $5,000 - Forbes - Forbes. There may be a time to buy Bitcoin again, but it isn't until it breaks $5,000. That is the level when I will reevaluate what to do next. Basically, the reasons to buy or own Bitcoin have been eroded, one by one, so we need to see prices correct and new . Posted on 2 February 2018 | 7:45 am. January was bitcoin's worst month on record. Here's how to stay calm - CNBC. Holding a currency that some people say is a fraud and others say is the future can be an emotionally intense experience. Here's how to stay sane. Posted on 2 February 2018 | 7:37 am. Mnuchin Calls for Crypto Regulatory Talk At G20 Summit. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has indicated he is planning to raise the subject of cryptocurrency regulation during an upcoming G20 summit. Posted on 2 February 2018 | 7:15 am. Red Tide: Double-Digit Losses Sweep Crypto Asset Market. The cryptocurrency markets are a sea of red today, with all the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap reporting double-digit percentage losses for the last 24 hours (at press time). Bitcoin (BTC) has dropped 16 percent over the same period to 10-week lows below $8,000, and is heading towards its worst weekly loss (more than […] Posted on 2 February 2018 | 6:32 am. Texas Takes Aim at Overseas ICO with Cease-and-Desist. The Texas State Securities Board has ordered a cease-and-desist to an overseas ICO that allegedly solicited investors within its jurisdiction. Posted on 2 February 2018 | 5:30 am. Bitcoin's January struggles may hold clues for the near future - CNBC. After bitcoin's struggles last month, several analysts see other digital coins gaining ground in a cryptocurrency world that is trying to mature. Posted on 2 February 2018 | 5:00 am. Bitcoin Slides Towards $8K Amid Market Slump. Bitcoin could be heading for its worst weekly loss since April 2013, but the charts indicate a defense may be in the offing. Posted on 2 February 2018 | 4:45 am. Philippines Investigates Crypto Firm over Use of Politician's Name. The Philippines' Department of Justice has ordered an investigation over the alleged misrepresentation of the senate president by a crypto firm. Posted on 2 February 2018 | 4:00 am. Regulators Probe Coincheck's Hack Compensation Claims. Japan's Financial Services Agency is conducting an on-site inspection at Coincheck to see if it can afford to compensate victims of its recent hack. Posted on 2 February 2018 | 3:00 am. January's Top Large Cap Crypto? Not Bitcoin or Ether. Which coins saw big price gains in January? Data shows it wasn't a great month for the more name-brand assets. Posted on 2 February 2018 | 2:00 am. EU Launches Blockchain Observatory With Ethereum Startup. The European Union initiative launched Thursday will fund up to $425 million in blockchain projects and draw on ConsenSys' expertise and connections. Posted on 2 February 2018 | 12:03 am. Tezos Has a New Board, But What About the Money? Tezos may be embroiled in a back-room brawl, but what does this mean for the funds raised at ICO? The answer to that question isn't so clear. Posted on 1 February 2018 | 10:00 pm. US Commodities Regulator Beefs Up Bitcoin Futures Review. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has issued a new checklist as part of the "heightened review process" it's developing for virtual currencies. Posted on 1 February 2018 | 8:00 pm. Blockchain Observatory and Forum to Bring EU to “Forefront” of Blockchain Tech. The European Commision (EC) has launched the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum (BOF) to consolidate and grow blockchain initiatives within the European Union (EU). With the support of the European Parliament, the BOF is a pilot project proposed by Member of the European Parliament Jakob von Weizsäcker, who is responsible for the recent report on virtual currencies. The project is intended to support the Commission’s work on financial technology. This new initiative will highlight key developments of blockchain technology and promote European actors to accelerate the growth and adoption of blockchain within the EU. “Among the many technologies that are driving digital innovation, blockchain has the potential to be truly transformative for financial services and markets. The Blockchain Observatory and Forum will monitor developments and also inform our policy making,” said EC Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, who is responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union. Many EU member states have announced initiatives with blockchain technology, and the EC wants to ensure those projects can work across borders, consolidate expertise and address challenges such as disintermediation, trust, security and traceability by design. Of concern are the many initiatives from banks, insurance companies, stock exchanges and other business sectors, leading to diverse systems that cannot work together. “I see blockchain as a game changer and I want Europe to be at the forefront of its development. We need to establish the right enabling environment — a Digital Single Market for blockchain so that all citizens can benefit, instead of a patchwork of initiatives. The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum is an important step in that direction,” said Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society. Following a call for tenders in July 2017, the EC selected ConsenSys as their partner to support the Observatory’s outreach in Europe. “It is a mission of ConsenSys to enable open, transparent cooperation between citizens, institutions and governments,” Ken Timsit of ConsenSys France said to Bitcoin Magazine . “The EU was created to enable cooperation between member states.” This shared vision made the partnership a good fit. According to Timsit, ConsenSys will manage the initiative in cooperation with the Commission, coordinate the preparation of a number of research reports, and organize workshops and events in order to collect input and feedback from a large number of stakeholders. The Commission has been funding blockchain projects throughout the EU since 2013 and expects to fund up to $425 million through 2020. This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine. Posted on 1 February 2018 | 3:42 pm. Bee Token ICO Stung by $1 Million Phishing Scam. Due to a phishing scam, investors in the Bee Token ICO have actually sent nearly $1 million to malicious actors instead. Posted on 1 February 2018 | 3:15 pm. Cryptocurrency Regulation in 2018: Where the World Stands Right Now. This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine. Posted on 1 February 2018 | 12:45 pm. Crypto Cleanup? Law Group to Focus on Tech Messes. Stephen Palley's team will work on mediating disputes and what people in the traditional finance world call "workouts" – fixing distressed situations. Posted on 1 February 2018 | 12:30 pm. Bitcoin Transaction Fees Are Pretty Low Right Now: Here's Why. The relatively high transaction fees on the Bitcoin network were a major topic of conversation last year, but these fees have been plummeting so far in 2018. According to data from CoinMetrics , bitcoin miners are now collecting less than a third of the value they were collecting in fees at one point in December 2017. So what’s causing this decline in the costs of on-chain transactions? Is it as simple as declining demand leading to a lower price? Are there other factors at play? Let’s take a closer look. The Simple Explanation for Lower Fees. In 2017, the congestion on the Bitcoin blockchain led to a bidding war over block space, especially as speculative interest in bitcoin continued to rise over the course of the year. According to CoinMetrics , bitcoin transaction fees started 2017 at an average of $0.30, but they eventually peaked at over $40 in December. As the price tripled during a month-long stretch from mid-November to mid-December, those who were purchasing bitcoin for the first time simply did not care about how much they were paying in on-chain transaction fees. This chart from CoinMetrics shows the bitcoin price and average transaction fee. As the speculative frenzy around the bitcoin asset has calmed a bit in 2018, the number of transactions broadcast to the Bitcoin network has also declined. According to data from Blockchain , the number of transactions added to the mempool per second has declined by nearly 50 percent from the December highs. The number of transactions added to the mempool per second is at the same levels as May 2016. Data via Blockchain.info. It’s possible that bitcoin fees are now lower simply because the FOMO around getting some bitcoin before the price goes to the moon has subsided, leading to a decline in demand for block space. Since transaction fees are denominated in bitcoin, a falling bitcoin price can also mean a decrease in U.S.-dollar denominated transaction fees. This chart from CoinMetrics shows the level of correlation between transaction fees denominated in bitcoin and U.S. dollars. Other Factors at Play? Although the reasoning behind the drop in transaction fees seems pretty straightforward, there could also be other factors at play. One explanation that has been floated on social media is that a large amount of new hashing power has come online, which has increased the frequency at which blocks are found. This would effectively increase the capacity of the network. The average number of blocks mined per day should be around 144, based on the 10-minute block time target, but around 164 blocks were mined per day in the month of January 2018. However, this is not a new phenomenon. As BitGo engineer Mark Erhardt recently pointed out on Twitter , Bitcoin has long operated at a rate faster than 10 blocks per minute due to the fact that adjustments to the mining difficulty are only made every two weeks. As more hashpower is added to the Bitcoin network during nearly every difficulty adjustment period, the pace at which blocks are mined increases until the difficulty is eventually readjusted once again. Having said that, the 164 blocks per day number from January 2018 is a bit more than normal, and 162 blocks were mined per day in December 2017 as well. For 2017 as a whole, the average number of blocks mined per day was around 153, which is near the historical average per day. So, if an extra 10 blocks were being mined per day in December 2017 and January 2018 (as compared to the all-time average), then there was effectively an increase in the supply of block space by more than 600MB over that time, as blocks have been a little over 1MB in size each. In addition to the increased supply of block space by way of more blocks mined on a daily basis, there have also been a number of efficiency improvements enabled in terms of how the blockchain is used by those who wish to create transactions. Bitcoin writer and researcher David Harding recently wrote on this topic on the Bitcoin Wiki . Some methods of cutting down on transactions fees mentioned by Harding included transaction batching, Segregated Witness (SegWit), dynamic fee estimation and UTXO consolidation. Transaction batching is when a payment is sent to multiple recipients via one on-chain transaction. Data made available by outputs.today appears to show an increase in the use of batching over the course of 2017, including an noticable increase starting in late November 2017. Another article written by Harding indicates this technique could enable transaction fee savings of up to 80 percent. Another way to lower transaction fees for everyone is to use SegWit, which is a soft fork that has enabled an increase to the block size limit (and thus the supply of block space). That increase to the block size limit is only enabled if users take advantage of the feature. At press time, around 14 percent of transactions were using SegWit. While there was an increase in SegWit transactions over the weekend, this appears to have been caused by users taking advantage of the currently low fees to consolidate their UTXOs. In addition to batching and SegWit, other methods of using the blockchain more efficiently, such as UTXO consolidation and dynamic fee estimation, may also be leading to generally lower transaction fees. Some Bitcoin Wallets Haven’t Gotten the Memo. While fees paid on the network have clearly declined, some bitcoin wallets have not taken advantage of the new state of the transaction fee market. Relatively new website transactionfee.info allows bitcoin users to check the price efficiency of any recent transaction. Users of the site can also let others know which wallet, exchange or other bitcoin service was used to generate the transaction. This allows visitors to get a better idea of which services are best at estimating an efficient transaction fee price. On the homepage, digital asset brokerage Coinbase is often listed as a sender of transactions that could have been sent for an 80 to 90 percent lower fee. According to the site, other bitcoin services that routinely use much larger fees than what is necessary include ShapeShift, Xapo, Electrum and Gemini. Coinbase has received some criticism due to the fact that the extremely popular bitcoin custodian has not implemented batching or SegWit. Having said that, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong recently tweeted that the company is working on both methods of lowering fees for their customers. Putting all of this information together, it becomes easier to understand why bitcoin transaction fees have been falling so quickly this year. However, the large number of different variables at play make it difficult to say there is one reason that fees have declined. As these variables change again in the future, fees could rise rather quickly once again. Note: A previous version of this article indicated that Bitcoin transactions from legacy addresses to SegWit addresses are SegWit transactions, but this was incorrect and has since been changed. This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine. Posted on 31 January 2018 | 11:38 am. Hyperledger Releases Sawtooth 1.0. Hyperledger is a collaborative cross-industry effort to advance blockchain technology that is hosted by The Linux Foundation. Today, January 30, 2018, sees the release of Sawtooth 1.0, the second active Hyperledger project to reach 1.0, following Hyperledger Fabric 1.0 in July 2017. Sawtooth is a modular platform for building, deploying and running distributed ledgers using a new consensus algorithm, Proof of Elapsed Time (PoET), which targets large distributed validator populations with minimal resource consumption. Sawtooth was originally contributed by Intel and saw its graduation from “Incubation” to “Active” status in May 2017. "We’re beyond excited to see not one but two of Hyperledger’s active projects hit 1.0,” said Brian Behlendorf, executive director of Hyperledger. "This is a huge testament to the strong collaboration of our growing community - I look forward to seeing even more products and services being powered by Hyperledger Sawtooth later this year.” Sawtooth 1.0 introduces a number of new enterprise features: On-chain governance – Utilizing smart contracts to vote on blockchain configuration settings such as the allowed participants and smart contracts. The new design enables parallel execution of code for better performance. It also enforces complete separation between the core blockchain and the apps, such that apps can be written in just about any language. This enabled the Sawtooth team to integrate the Hyperledger Burrow EVM as an application they call Seth , a combination of Sawtooth and Ethereum. Some companies working on or with Sawtooth include Active Ticketing PLC, Amazon Web Services (AWS), dotBlockchain Media, Cisco, Huawei, Monax, The Open Music Initiative, PokitDok, Primechain Technologies, State Bank of India, T-Mobile, Wind River and Filament. “Our customers are looking to build scalable blockchain solutions for use cases across multiple industries,” said Matt Yanchyshyn, director of Solutions Architecture, Amazon Web Services. “Providing Sawtooth as a turn-key product running on Amazon Web Services (AWS) allows our customers to deploy their own blockchains in a matter of minutes, while reducing the time it takes to run blockchain-based solutions on AWS.” This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine. Posted on 30 January 2018 | 10:34 am. Cryptocurrency-Friendly Regulations in Belarus Could Attract Foreign Capital and ICOs. At the end of 2017, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko signed a “ Digital Economy Development Ordinance ,” aimed at developing the country’s IT sector and attracting blockchain technology companies, capital and talent from all over the world. “Belarus becomes the first state in the world which opens up broad opportunities for the use of the blockchain technology,” said Lukashenko. “We have all opportunities to become a regional center of competence in this field.” According to the Belarus News Agency, the new ordinance gives “a serious competitive edge” to the country in the creation of a 21st-century digital economy. It provides friendly conditions and simplified regulations for resident companies of the Hi-Tech Park (HTP), a cluster for innovative IT. Belarus promotes the HTP as a special economic zone with a special tax and legal regime. In particular, Belarus wants to offer comprehensive regulations for business based on blockchain technology, as well as legalize cryptocurrencies, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and smart contracts at the national level. The Digital Economy Development Ordinance is expected to come into force in March 2018, three months after its publication. “Now, the people of Belarus can list and promote ICOs, create and sell cryptocurrencies, establish cryptocurrency exchanges and do other operations with digital money,” reported RT . Foreign businesses will be able to take advantage of the country’s simplified and permissive regulations by registering a local company. It’s worth noting that many transactions with crypto tokens will not be taxed and will be exempt from VAT until 2023. According to Reuters , the decree is designed to attract cryptocurrency ventures seeking to escape cryptocurrency and ICO regulations, which are becoming more and more restrictive in the rest of the world. “The decree is a breakthrough for Belarus,” Anton Myakishev, the head of Microsoft’s Belarus office, told Reuters . “It gives the industry the possibility to make a leap forward in its development and allows foreign capital the possibility to come to Belarus and work in comfortable conditions.” “I am firmly convinced that the effect will be huge,” Mikhail Myasnikovich, chairman of the Council of the Republic of Belarus' National Assembly, noted in a national television interview, adding that Belarus has become the first country in the world to adopt comprehensive business regulations for blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, smart contracts and ICOs. “As far as I know, we are pioneers in this field,” said Myasnikovich. “No country has ever said with such certainty that it is ready to work towards setting up an analogue of an international financial or currency center. The decree describes every process in detail, namely registration, turnover and taxation.” “Our country enables a legal environment for using the blockchain,” said IT businessman Viktor Prokopenya. “This technology can be compared with internet development in the 1990s. The web has transformed many professional fields. So will the blockchain.” Prokopenya added that the new ordinance doesn’t go as far as recognizing cryptocurrencies as a means of payment in Belarus, but recognizes cryptocurrency mining as a legitimate business activity. According to an opinion piece published in The Washington Post , titled “ Why would authoritarian Belarus liberalize cryptocurrencies? ,” permissive cryptocurrency regulations in Belarus could force Russia to follow suit. Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev acknowledged that heavy cryptocurrency regulation in Russia could encourage the outflow of ICOs from Russia into the neighboring country. It seems plausible, in fact, that if even a few countries introduce crypto-friendly regulations that allow businesses to do things they couldn’t do at home, the world’s most innovative companies would move to those countries. This could force other countries to adopt crypto-friendly regulations themselves, creating a powerful domino effect. This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine. Posted on 30 January 2018 | 10:00 am. Bitcoin Price Analysis: Possible Bear Pennant Suggests End to Market Consolidation. Looking back at bitcoin’s parabolic curve, we can see notable lines of support and resistance throughout its market cycle. Two highly reliable sources of support and resistance are the set of 50/200 EMAs and the Fibonacci Retracement set from the beginning of the bull market to the top of our current all-time high: Figure 1: BTC-USD, 1-Day Candles, Macro Trend. Over the last couple days, bitcoin has attempted to break the overhead resistance surrounding the 38% retracement values and the 50 EMA on the daily candles. Unfortunately, it hasn’t gathered enough bullish momentum to carry us through the resistance level. If we begin to look at lower time frames, we can see the signs of bearish consolidation that could potentially lead to a significant markdown in price: Figure 2: BTC-USD, 4-Hour Candles, Macro Bear Pennant. The bear pennant (outlined by the pink dashed line) marks a strong, bearish continuation pattern that could have us testing values as low as the $4,000s. The textbook signs of the bear pennant include a bearish move leading into a symmetrical triangle. Confidence of this continuation pattern increases when we see volume consolidation throughout the length of the symmetrical triangle. Together, all these signs make the bear pennant continuation pattern very likely. In the event of the bearish continuation, we can expect to find support in the follow zone that may slow the dramatic price target considerably until it meets its ultimate price target: Figure 3: BTC-USD, 1-Day Candles, Support Below Bearish Pennant. The 61% Fibonacci retracement values and the daily 200 EMA are very strong support areas that will not be punctured without some significant volume and selling pressure. This area of support also coincides with the macro linear trendline outlined in Figure 1 above. This confluence of support leads me to believe that the 61% Fibonacci levels will be a logical level of consolidation where the market will decide if it has bottomed out or will ultimately continue further down. Summary: Bitcoin appears to be at the end of its multiweek consolidation period. Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin 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. This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.