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Thread: All Information About Bitcoin

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    A debate about bitcoin that was a debate about nothing

    JAMES ALTUCHER WOULD like to remind us of the math behind cryptocurrency: Two hundred billion dollars in supply. Two hundred trillion dollars of potential demand, even more if you throw in contract law. There’s 10,000 man-years of science behind it. The investment opportunity is bigger than you think, and trust him, he knows. “More than trading, more than charts, more than, like, investing—I run a hedge fund, I’ve been a day trader, I run a bunch of hedge funds, I’ve seen every trade in the book, I’ve written the book! It’s called Trade Like a Hedge Fund. Don’t buy it, I wrote it in 2004 ... I worked with Jim Rogers a long time, he hates it—but, but, what you have to ask is, not these little trading things, but what is going on? Why does bitcoin even exist? Why do cryptocurrencies even exist?” he tells a crowd of around 60 people crammed into a comedy club on New York's Upper East Side.

    I’m in the crowd to watch Altucher, a self-help guru, author, and podcaster, participate in a debate. His pale face, framed by crooked, rimless glasses and topped by a fluffy mop of curls, is instantly recognizable from the banner ads that have stalked me around the web for the last couple of months. Altucher, according to the ads, is the “crypto-genius” who will unveil the next bitcoin. Never mind criticisms that he directs his followers to invest in risky small-cap stocks and cryptocurrencies, leading to a temporary bump in their prices followed by a sell-off. Never mind the complaints from some customers that the newsletters and research papers he hawks via publishing company Agora Financial offer obvious information that’s otherwise freely available online. (Altucher and Agora Financial CEO Doug Hill have disputed these complaints.) Tonight he’s introduced as “the bitcoin baron,” “Mr. Bitcoin,” and even “the bitcoin babe.”

    The debate topic—Which is a better investment, gold or bitcoin?—is mostly a farce, since both present opportunities for people eager to make a quick buck. (Tonight, it’s just a room full of New Yorkers, but online the supply of suckers is infinite.) Anything in the world can be twisted into a get-rich-quick scheme with the right buzzwords, charisma, and $2,000 newsletter subscriptions. And no one knows this better than James Altucher.

    The crypto-genius enters the stage wearing a shiny blue boxing robe over a baggy cardigan over a baggy button-up over a white T-shirt that says “i’m fine.” He just turned 50 and bought a stake in this very comedy club. He relishes in celebrating his failures and counterintuitive rejections of things like college and 401(k)s. Lately, he’s been all-in on digital currency, an area that’s blazing with hype, greed, breathless speculation, and fear of missing out but is poorly understood by most people. Digital currencies are worth something because people value them as worth something, and Altucher’s endorsement can boost the price of the tiny crypto tokens. In that way, his predictions become self-fulfilling—his saying a token is valuable could actually make it so. For a couple of days, at least.

    Agora Financial has used Altucher’s messy hair (geniuses don’t primp!), crooked glasses (geniuses don’t care!), and distant stare (geniuses think complex thoughts!) to market his financial advice via ubiquitous banner ads. Despite looking like a stereotypical geek genius, Altucher possesses something most of them don’t—charm, wit, the ability to entertain, and the ability to sell. Just buy this newsletter subscription, and then this research report, and then this video.

    Debate opponent James Rickards, who is also a member of Agora Financial’s network of financial forecasters, dons an appropriately gold boxing robe. He is an equally cartoonish physical embodiment of his investment philosophy with a combover and navy sport coat that screams “your grandfather’s safe investment tip.”

    Altucher predicts the price of bitcoin will reach $1 million by 2020. Rickards predicts the price of an ounce of gold will go to $10,000 in the same time frame. “So, who’s right?” the opening speaker asks as a rhetorical lead-in.

    “JAMES!” someone yells from the audience, though it’s not clear which James he means. Perhaps he means both—neither prediction necessarily negates the other. Early in the debate the Jameses agree on one point: They hate banks and paper money. Altucher notes that paper money requires working with banks, which have endless fees and potential for human error every step of the way. He adds, “Probably most people in here don’t like banks. That’s why you’re here.”

    I notice most audience members are sporting an off-duty banker look: Blue-checked button-downs, fleece vests, expensive haircuts, and shiny dress shoes. There are a few shady-looking characters in the back (ahem, neck-tattoo guy). But I see no hoodies, no signs of stereotypical bitcoin bros. Are these (likely) bankers here because they hate the institutions that they (likely) work for? Perhaps they’re just hoping for a hot crypto investment tip. One of them begins taking notes after Altucher name-checks Zcash and Monero, two cryptocurrencies that are well-known among enthusiasts.

    The few attendees I meet are either curious lookie-loos trying to learn about bitcoin or fans of one or both Jameses. The fans consider themselves technophiles, even if they don’t work in tech. They’re also investment geeks, even if they don’t work in finance. They’re libertarians, even if they don’t use Reddit. And they’ve bought into bitcoin, even if they don’t actually own that much of it. Bitcoin is now a lifestyle brand and personal identity choice in the same way a Prius signifies environmental awareness or a New Yorker tote shows you’re an aspiring member of the intelligentsia. Getting into crypto shows you support a set of ideals: decentralization, anti-institution, revolution. The social movement is so strong that true believers don’t mind the influx of greed-driven mercenaries in the sector. They don’t even care about the silly stuff like CryptoKitties or Dogecoin, or the ridiculousness of two stock-tip newsletter writers pimping investment ideas in boxing robes. Anything that gets more people involved is a net positive.

    Altucher keeps things loose in his opening arguments. We’re in a comedy club, after all. His comedy club. Why not start with a little crowd work? Who here owns bitcoin? Hands fly up, but not every hand, and Altucher zooms in on a woman named Beverly. “So, you’re the only woman in this place who owns a bitcoin. Bitcoin is usually owned by men,” he says, which isn’t true of the bitcoin community, much less of the hands in the air in front of him. He does not seem concerned about the tech industry’s gender disparity or how such comments may perpetuate it.

    He puts us at ease by ensuring he won’t get too technical. He’s not here to talk about economics or technology, he says, because “economics is boring, and technology is even more boring.” Buzzwords connect to pat narrative arcs, which connect to punch lines, which connect to applause lines. Everything he says feels Tweetable, except when I go to do so, I realize I’m not exactly sure what it means. Did I miss a word? It certainly sounded good. Altucher delivers a flip explanation of the history of gold as a currency, stating that around 5,000 BC, humans turned gold into coins, which meant gold was no longer a necessary form of currency. By the following year, he says, “it was a rock.”

    “It’s a metal, actually,” Rickards quips. Details, details.

    The audience laughs when Altucher tells a story about the time he used bitcoin to pay for lap dances at his bachelor party. (At current prices, the bitcoin he used to pay for lap dances would be worth $17 million, so the point is: Don’t worry about volatility.) He gets some laughs noting that the only use for lawyers in the future will be to deal with DUIs. He says his two teenage daughters are “somewhat below average,” adding, “on a scale of zero to 10, maybe a three or four in intelligence. And yes, they use digital currencies, but they don’t have the slightest clue about bitcoin. I can explain to them whatever which way, they’re like, ‘Dad, just, we’re too stupid to listen to you.’”

    Altucher and Rickards banter over the history of bartering, whether the US government can use cryptocurrency to pay off Afghan warlords, and whether bitcoin mining is a form of the rich stealing from the poor. Rickards jokes that he “needs a net to scoop up all the red herrings” that Altucher released, before declaring bitcoin is a “fraud, a Ponzi, and a bubble all at the same time” and touting 2 billion views on a related Facebook video of his. (Rickards hinted that he is a fan of other cryptocurrencies. Indeed, last week he hawked “the $0.70 crypto that could make you rich in 2018” in a members-only online group called Rickards’ Crypto Profits.)

    After the debate, the comedy club’s cofounder shows me a photo of himself with Tracy Morgan, taken at the bar minutes earlier. He tells me that while the rest of us were hitting our two-drink minimums listening to a couple of middle-aged internet personalities promote themselves and their investment tips, Morgan stopped by, saw it wasn’t a normal standup night, and held court at the tiny bar for 30 minutes. Suddenly all the attraction and revulsion and fascination I’ve felt toward the world of cryptocurrencies in recent months makes me dizzy. There’s only one conclusion to draw, and it’s that life is a series of sexist jokes and fake boxing matches, then you die. HODL on for dear life.

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    Facebook is banning all ads promoting cryptocurrencies — including bitcoin and ICOs

    It’s an “intentionally broad” policy aimed at stopping scammers.

    Facebook is banning all ads that promote cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, in an effort to prevent people from advertising what the company is calling “financial products and services frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”

    That means no advertiser — even those that operate legal, legitimate businesses — will be able to promote things like bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings — ICOs for short — or binary options, according to a Facebook blog post.

    That also means that “crypto-genius” James Altucher, whose ads have appeared all over the internet and have become a meme of sorts for the entire crypto industry, won’t be able to advertise on Facebook.

    Ads that violate the company’s new policy will be banned on Facebook’s core app, but also in other places where Facebook sells ads, including Instagram and its ad network, Audience Network, which places ads on third-party apps.

    “This policy is intentionally broad while we work to better detect deceptive and misleading advertising practices,” wrote Rob Leathern, one of Facebook’s ad tech directors. “We will revisit this policy and how we enforce it as our signals improve.”

    The cryptocurrency boom/bubble has led to scams and wild price fluctuations that have cost a lot of people — including unsophisticated investors — a lot of money. Scams are illegal, but gambling on investments you don’t understand is not.

    Look for blowback from entrepreneurs and investors who argue that the move unfairly punishes legitimate cryptocurrency companies and related crypto products. Facebook’s board of directors includes two investors — Marc Andreessen and Peter Thiel — whose firms have been prominent crypto backers. Facebook Messenger boss, David Marcus, is also on the board at the popular crypto exchange Coinbase.

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    Bitcoin is heading for its biggest monthly decline since January 2015

    • The bitcoin price could be headed for its worst monthly decline since January 2015.
    • Increased scrutiny from regulators and criticism from major businesses and leaders has weighed on the price.
    • Bitcoin has fallen in four out of five of the Januarys in the period between 2013 and 2017.

    Bitcoin is heading for its biggest monthly decline since January 2015 Bitcoin is heading for its biggest monthly decline since January 2015
    12 Hours Ago | 00:48
    Bitcoin is headed for its worst monthly decline since January 2015 this month amid increasing scrutiny from regulators on the cryptocurrency space.

    At 4:01 p.m., ET, bitcoin was trading at around $10,073, according to CoinDesk, which tracks the price of the cryptocurrency based on a number of major exchanges.

    On January 1, the cryptocurrency traded at $13,412.44; Wednesday's price marked a nearly 25 percent decline. But bitcoin did hit a low of $9,627.89 on Wednesday, which represented a 28.2 percent decline.

    So far, this is the biggest monthly decline since a fall of 30.9 percent in January 2015. In fact, January is typically a bad month for bitcoin — the cryptocurrency has fallen in four out of five of the Januarys in the period between 2013 and 2017.

    The other major fall happened in February 2014 when bitcoin fell over 36 percent in the month.

    So far this month, well over $60 billion has been wiped off the value of bitcoin, according to analysis of data from Coinmarketcap.com.

    Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies, have suffered from closer regulatory scrutiny, which is weighing on their price.

    South Korea brought in new rules to regulate cryptocurrency trading but stopped short of banning it outright. The country's customs service said Wednesday that it had uncovered cryptocurrency crimes worth 637.5 billion won ($594.35 million).

    And on Tuesday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said it had obtained a court order to halt and freeze the assets of what is likely the largest initial coin offering ever.

    Meanwhile, Facebook said Tuesday that it was banning ads that promote cryptocurrencies. The social networking giant said it is trying to stop the promotion of "financial products and services frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices."

    Bitcoin and other digital coins have also been criticized by key business figures. Legendary investor Warren Buffett told CNBC that cryptocurrencies will "come to a bad ending."

  5. #74
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    Why is Bitcoin’s price down to two-month lows?

    Crypto investors are seeing red this week. Bitcoin plunged to two-month lows on Thursday, dipping below $9,000 for the first time since November. At the time of writing, Bitcoin had bounced back up to the $9,200 level, down from weekly highs just above $12,000. This week has seen coins across the board in the red — a sign that investors are jumping ship to fiat currencies this time instead of swapping into altcoins as we’ve seen in the recent past.

    At the time of writing, the total cryptocurrency market cap weighed in at $459 billion, down from January highs around $830 billion. It’s a contraction to be sure, but not a low for the last 30 days (that low came on January 18).

    Is this the bitter end for Bitcoin? For cryptos? Well, no, probably not. Get your head screwed on right and you’ll see that (for better or worse) many coins have seen unprecedented growth in the last six months to a year, even with Bitcoin’s price halved from holiday highs closer to $20,000. On this day last year, Bitcoin was sitting pretty at $982. At the height of December’s craze, most reasonable crypto-watchers could agree that the price was overheated and there was only one way for it to go in the short term. Still, in the thick of the current correction, Bitcoin’s longer-term growth is anyone’s guess.

    Cryptocurrency die-hards expecting the price to bounce back, even partially, will see these tanking numbers as the perfect entry point for getting in low and maximizing gains. Late speculators who got in during the mass crypto hysteria of the holiday season aren’t likely to have such steady hands, a factor that’s likely contributing to the slide.

    So what’s causing the slide to begin with? As usual, no one thing can be blamed for Bitcoin’s current downturn, but recent skittishness around a subpoena for Bitfinex and concerns around Tether — a kind of cryptocurrency counterpart to USD that matches the dollar one to one — probably factor in. Recent news that Facebook would ban ads for ICOs probably didn’t help either. And it seems like every day a new Ponzi scheme gets busted, throwing yet more doubt on the credibility of plenty of less than legit ICOs.

    Even beyond news cycle highs and lows, Bitcoin has seen a few mid-January dips before, though 2017’s Bitcoin behavior certainly broke from any seasonal patterns of the past.

    Still, these growing pains are far from surprising. As cryptocurrencies mature — assuming they continue to do so — regulatory “bad” news will become more common. Countries across the globe will continue to struggle to accommodate their citizens’ sudden interest in digital currencies. In some countries, as is the case of India, that’s shaping up to be a crackdown on illegitimate activity that might also affect legitimate transactions. Unsurprisingly, headlines like these inspire a sense of foreboding among cryptocurrency enthusiasts wondering which country will be next to come down hard. Fear, perhaps justified fear for many speculators with plenty to lose, amplifies each new regulatory revelation. But for cryptocurrencies to grow out of the current scam-laden chaotic era, a thorough house cleaning is healthy.

    Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have also looked less responsive to positive news in the latter half of January compared to their relative buoyancy during December’s dizzying highs. Then, every little positive news blip seemed to push the prices higher.

    itcoin aside, some altcoins might just be adjusting from overheated, overhyped December highs. Ripple is a good example of this, hovering around $1 Thursday, a price that’s five times its November value and only looks bad after XRP flew a bit too close to the sun with sudden early January highs above $3. Ethereum is also faring pretty well, all things considered, down from all-time highs above $1,400 but holding most of its newly built value after doubling in price from December prices around $500.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens as we move into next week’s Senate Banking Committee hearings on cryptocurrency. Titled “Virtual Currencies: The Oversight Role of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission,” the open hearings will air on February 6 at 10:00 Eastern time. It’s possible that the upcoming discussion in Congress has traders nervous, but ultimately variables from all over the globe combine to affect the market every day.

    For anyone considering riding out the current correction, a little historical perspective — in this case, even a few months’ worth — could go a long way.

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    Lloyds Bank bans Bitcoin purchases on its credit cards

    Lloyds Banking Group has banned its customers from buying Bitcoin on their credit cards following a sharp fall in the value of the digital currency.

    The ban, starting on Monday, applies to Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA customers.

    It will not apply to debit cards, only to the banking group's eight million credit card customers.

    Lloyds fears people are buying Bitcoin to make a profit if its value rises but face debts if it falls.

    It is concerned it could end up footing the bill for unpaid debts should the price continue to fall.

    Explaining the ban, a Lloyds spokeswoman said: "We continually review our products and procedures and this is part of that."

    What's the fuss about Bitcoin?
    From high school dropout to Bitcoin millionaire
    Bitcoin ended last week down 30% at $8,291.87 - its worst week since April 2013 and far below the $19,000 it reached last November.

    However, the cryptocurrency is still ahead of the $1,000 it was trading at this time last year.

    Police have warned that digital currencies remain popular among criminals as they can use them to evade traditional money laundering checks and other regulations.

    Prime Minister Theresa May recently said that action against digital currencies may be required "precisely because of the way they are used, particularly by criminals".

    She told Bloomberg: "In areas like cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, we should be looking at these very seriously."

    The Treasury said that it intends to update regulation to bring virtual currency platforms into anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulation.

    Facebook recently announced it would block any advertising that promotes cryptocurrency products and services.

  7. #76
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    Bitcoin price falls below $6,000 as banker signals crackdown

    The price of bitcoin fell below $6,000 (£4,300) for the first time this year as a leading central banker said it posed a threat to financial stability and signalled a global clampdown on the cryptocurrency.

    The new head of the Bank for International Settlements, Agustín Carstens, said bitcoin had become a combination of “a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster” that threatened to undermine public trust in central banks.

    “If authorities do not act pre-emptively, cryptocurrencies could become more interconnected with the main financial system and become a threat to financial stability,” he said, speaking at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany.

    “There is a strong case for policy intervention. Appropriate authorities have a duty to educate and protect investors and consumers, and need to be prepared to act.”

    Carsten, a former governor of Mexico’s central bank, said that despite the meteoric rise of bitcoin, cryptocurrencies were merely “pretending” to be currencies and were “unsafe”, potentially facilitating tax evasion, money laundering and criminal finance.

    As the head of the body that represents the world’s central banks, his comments are the clearest sign yet that global regulators are preparing a crackdown on bitcoin, the price of which rose by 900% last year, making it the best performing asset of 2017. It hit a peak of near $20,000 in the week before Christmas.


    Lloyds Bank bans customers from buying bitcoins using credit cards
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    However, it has fallen by more than 50% since the beginning of 2018, as investors grow increasingly fearful of intervention by regulators.

    Bitcoin is not recognised by any central bank and allows people to bypass banks and traditional payment methods to pay for goods and services.

    Carstens said central banks should in particular pay attention to the ties linking cryptocurrencies to real currencies, to ensure the relationship was “not parasitic”.

    His comments follow a string of warnings on bitcoin from authorities and economists around the world, including India, the US, and South Korea. Facebook has banned bitcoin and other cryptocurrency adverts on its site.

    Meanwhile, Lloyds Banking Group has banned customers from using its credit cards to buy bitcoin, amid fears it could be left in debt as the cryptocurrency’s value deflates.

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    Bitcoin is bonkers right now. Here's why you shouldn't count it out.

    Bitcoin’s price is a moving target. In the short term, the cryptocurrency is plunging in value: from north of $17,000 a month ago, it crashed down to around $7,500 today. The fluctuations are enough to make anyone wonder: What’s going on?

    In the simplest sense, Bitcoin’s price is determined through a process of price discovery on exchanges, like GDAX, where it and other cryptocurrencies are bought and sold. But the bigger picture is more complex. Many factors, like regulation, possible regulation, or comments from a government official can affect whether people want to buy in on the crypto game. And that affects the price.

    One thing is clear, though. It’s been a “wild ride,” says Christian Catalini, an assistant professor at MIT Sloan School of Management who focuses on cryptocurrencies. After all, this time last year, the price of Bitcoin was around $1,000. It eventually shot up to over $19,000 before dropping down to its current value.

    What fueled that giant spike? “It’s not clear how much of that was enthusiasm, hype, maybe even market manipulation,” says Catalini.

    By market manipulation, Catalini was referring to doubts surrounding a cryptocurrency called Tether, which is ostensibly pegged to the U.S. dollar, and a related exchange, Bitfinex; both Tether and Bitfinex have been subpoened by the CFTC, or Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Bloomberg reported. The key question at hand with Tether is this: does it actually back each Tether token with a U.S. dollar, as it says it does?

    But Tether isn’t the only issue. What follows isn’t a comprehensive list, but instead a look at some events that have transpired with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies lately that affect how people think about them—and whether or not they give into the animal spirits of the Bitcoin frenzy and make a buy. And, if some of these issues can be ironed out, the currency may just become stable.

    Stamping out fraud
    Bitcoin is the most prominent cryptocurrency, but it is not the only one—others include Ethereum and Litecoin. Startups offer new coins, or tokens, in events known as ICOs, or initial coin offerings. One of the most prominent ICOs involved a token called Filecoin, for example.

    But some ICOs are fraudulent. In an effort to figure out just how common those frauds are, Catalini led a research team that analyzed around 1,500 ICOs. He says that a conservative estimate is that somewhere in the range of 14 to 30 percent of those were “very likely to be scams.”

    The Securities and Exchange Commission has taken notice of ICOs too, and its chairman has written about their risks to investors.

    But at the end of the day, more regulations and protections for investors could actually make the cryptocurrency world more stable. “What’s useful is that as regulation will become more clear,” Catalini says, “that will actually allow the space overall to thrive.”

    Facebook unfriends cryptocurrency
    Like the SEC, Facebook also has had its eye on ICOs and cryptocurrencies. On January 30, it announced that it would not allow ads that hawked either of those two types of products on its platform. That’s because some of the companies behind those ads are “not currently operating in good faith,” Rob Leathern, a product management director at Facebook, wrote.

    Catalini, of MIT, calls Facebook’s decision to ban them “smart self-regulation.”

    “One cheap way these scammers and fraudsters can pump these coins is by pushing ads,” Catalini ads. “You see an ad, and you think, ‘Oh, I missed on Bitcoin, and this is the next great thing.’ That’s exactly what we don’t need.”

    Your credit cards are no good here
    Don’t put your big Bitcoin purchases on plastic—that’s the new rule from big banks like Citigroup, Bank of America, and Chase; they will no longer allow people to purchase cryptocurrency with credit cards. A spokesperson from JP Morgan Chase told CNBC that the move was because of the “volatility and risk involved."

    After all, buying Bitcoin with cash you don’t have is “extremely dangerous,” Catalini says. The banks are “trying to stop people from buying cryptocurrency on borrowed money, which I think is a very good idea.”

    It's worth emphasizing: Bitcoin investors should never risk money they cannot afford to lose.

    Ensuring the exchanges are secure
    Hackers reportedly stole hundreds of millions of dollars from a cryptocurrency exchange in Japan called Coincheck, and security breaches like that can also contribute to the market’s volatility—how good would you feel about your bank if it got robbed?

    In fact, that’s a key issue that the cryptocurrency world needs to figure out, says Tyler Moore, an assistant professor of cybersecurity and information assurance at the University of Tulsa. He’s concerned about the “operational security risks of the platforms,” he says, referring to exchanges that either go out of business or get hacked, like Coincheck. He’d like to know what happens to customer money in these kinds of cases.

    As for Bitcoin’s recent drop in value, and its steep rise before that, Moore says it’s unclear to him what caused either event. “There was a lot of hyped-up interest,” he says. “You have this classic bubble behavior where people start buying because they expect the price to keep going up.” That in itself can actually cause the price to keep rising—until it doesn’t any longer.

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    Bitcoin energy use in Iceland set to overtake homes, says local firm

    Iceland is facing an "exponential" rise in Bitcoin mining that is gobbling up power resources, a spokesman for Icelandic energy firm HS Orka has said.

    This year, electricity use at Bitcoin mining data centres is likely to exceed that of all Iceland's homes, according to Johann Snorri Sigurbergsson.

    He said many potential customers were keen to get in on the act.

    "If all these projects are realised, we won't have enough energy for it," he told the BBC.

    Mr Sigurbergsson's calculations were first reported by the Associated Press.

    Iceland has a small population, of around 340,000 people.

    But in recent years it has seen a marked increase in the number of new data centres, often built by firms wishing to tout green credentials. Nearly 100% of energy in Iceland comes from renewable sources.

    Bitcoin mining refers to the process of connecting computers to the global Bitcoin network and using them to verify transactions between users of the crypto-currency.

    'Exponential growth'
    The computers that do this verification work receive small Bitcoin rewards for their trouble, making it a lucrative exercise, especially when done at a large scale.

    "What we're seeing now is... you can almost call it exponential growth, I think, in the [energy] consumption of data centres," said Mr Sigurbergsson.

    He added that he expects Bitcoin mining operations will use around 840 gigawatt hours of electricity to supply data centre computers and cooling systems, for example.

    He estimated that the county's homes, in contrast, use around 700 gigawatt hours every year.

    "I don't see it stopping quite yet," added Mr Sigurbergsson, referring to data centre projects.

    "I'm getting a lot of calls, visits from potential investors or companies wanting to build data centres in Iceland."

    He also said that there are so many proposed data centres that it wouldn't be possible to supply all of them.

    He added that his firm was mostly interested in dealing with companies that were willing to commit to long-term contracts of a few years or more.

    If Iceland took on all of the proposed Bitcoin mining ventures, there simply wouldn't be enough electricity to supply them all, he added.

    The crypto-currency mining industry in Iceland was recently given a boost thanks to the launch of The Moonlite Project - a large data centre where various crypto-currencies, including Bitcoin, will be mined.

    It is set to open later this year and will have an initial capacity of 15 megawatts, though this is expected to increase in the future.

    Some have questioned how beneficial the rise of the crypto-currency mining will be to Iceland.

    Smari McCarthy, a member of the Icelandic parliament for the Pirate Party, tweeted: "Cryptocurrency mining requires almost no staff, very little in capital investments, and mostly leaves no taxes either.

    "The value to Iceland... is virtually zero."

    He also clarified previous reports that quoted him as saying he was keen to tax Bitcoin mining firms.

    It has previously been reported that the electricity demand of the world's total combined Bitcoin mining operations may now exceed the energy use of the Republic of Ireland, though this calculation may not be entirely accurate.

    But as crypto-currencies rise in popularity, mining operations certainly continue to use more and more resources - recent analysis of European energy use in 2017 by campaign group Sandbag noted that Bitcoin mining was contributing to additional power demand in the technology sector.

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    Bull Resistance? Bitcoin Price Needs Break Above $9K

    Bitcoin bulls risk losing control unless prices see a convincing break above the $9,000 mark soon, according to the technical charts.

    Of concern is that the cryptocurrency has failed twice to hold above $8,900, as indicated by CoinDesks's Bitcoin Price Index (BPI). Further, bitcoin also clocked a six-day high of $9,070.64 on Feb. 10, but quickly fell back below the key psychological level of $9,000.

    Thus, the area around the $9,000 mark has been established as a point of stiff resistance, as is being discussed by the investor community.

    As of writing, bitcoin's global average price on the BPI is at $8,390. The cryptocurrency has appreciated by at least 40 percent from the recent lows below $6,000. However, the bulls are still not out of the woods and need to move prices quickly above $9,000 or the bears could once more exert their influence.

    That said, exhaustion around $9,000 has neutralized the immediate outlook and bearish revival is seen only below Feb. 2 low of $7,845.

    BTC is trapped inside a falling channel marked by trendlines representing lower highs and lower lows.
    Both the bullish 5-day moving average (MA) and 10-day MA crossover and an upside break of the descending trendline on the RSI favor the upside.
    Still, the cryptocurrency faced rejection at the descending trendline/falling channel hurdle earlier today and is now changing hands below $8,500.

    The longer-term 50-day MA and 100-day MA (momentum studies) will likely see bearish crossover (50-day MA cuts 100-day MA from above) in a day or two (marked by circle).
    Further, the 200-day MA has shed bullish bias (is no longer sloping higher in favor of the bulls).
    As discussed yesterday, the weekly chart is biased towards the bears. Thus, the bulls need progress soon,via a quick move above $9,000.

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    Bitcoin Sees Bull Reversal Ahead of Chinese New Year

    Bitcoin looks set to test the $10,000 mark soon, as per technical analysis, although some investors fear the Lunar New Year may play spoilsport.

    Ahead of New Year holidays (starting Feb. 15), Chinese and South Koreans often exchange bitcoin for fiat currencies (to fund increased spending), and bitcoin (BTC) tends to drop in the run-up to the event.

    Boosting such fears this year is bitcoin's (BTC) recent inability to move above $9,000 in a convincing manner. Since Feb. 10, the cryptocurrency has been restricted to a narrow range of $8,000 to $9,000, shows CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index (BPI).

    Still, historical data indicates the probability of bitcoin reporting gains this month is high.

    January was a good month for bitcoin during the three year period of 2012–2014, while the performance was mixed in February.

    However, since 2015 a clear pattern has been established: BTC drops in January and gains value in February.

    The 26 percent decline seen in January this year is the second biggest monthly drop since 2015. Going by the pattern seen in the last three years, the cryptocurrency could see gains this month.

    Looking at the technical charts, bitcoin has seen a major bullish reversal pattern today. As of writing, the BPI is seen at around $8,800, and has appreciated by 3.76 percent in the last 24 hours, according to data

    The above chart (prices as per Bitstamp) shows:

    Inverse head and shoulders breakout – a bullish reversal pattern, indicating a bearish-to-bullish trend change.

    The previous 4-hour candle closed above the neckline, confirming an upside breakout. As per the measured height method, the breakout has opened the doors for a rally to at least $11,000.

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