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Is Bitcoin Cash the Original Blockchain?

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Bitcoin vs. bitcoin cash

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the title of original blockchain belongs to bitcoin cash and not bitcoin, according to a recently published paper by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

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The Original Blockchain

In a 57-page draft paper published by NIST’s Computer Security Resource Center, researchers Dylan Yaga, Peter Mell, Nik Roby and Karen Scarfone argue that bitcoin cash is the original blockchain created by Satoshi Nakamoto. The paper reads:

“When SegWit was activated, it caused a hard fork, and all the mining nodes and users who did not want to change started calling the original Bitcoin blockchain Bitcoin Cash (BCC). Technically, Bitcoin is a fork and Bitcoin Cash is the original blockchain. When the hard fork occurred, people had access to the same amount of coins on Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.”

Interestingly, this was the only thing the researchers said on the subject, with the rest of the paper devoted to a broad overview of blockchain technology.

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NIST is a non-regulatory arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce that conducts research and promotes industrial competitiveness for the world’s largest economy. The institute provides standards and measurement infrastructure that support a diverse range of industries including nanomaterials and computer chips.

Contentious Debate

Of course, not everybody agrees with NIST’s assertion that bitcoin cash is the original blockchain. After all, it was bitcoin cash and not BTC that came into existence following the highly anticipated Aug. 1 fork. The NIST’s claim that Segregated Witness  (SegWit) was implemented through a hard fork is also contentious because the protocol is still compatible with legacy bitcoin infrastructure. This would make SegWit a soft fork.

Others argue that NIST is technically correct in its claim because the bitcoin cash fork moved the blockchain back to its original path instead of the new direction set forth by the SegWit protocol. Looking at it today, bitcoin cash incorporates fewer changes than the post-SegWit bitcoin. The key point in this argument is that bitcoin and bitcoin cash both forked from the original, with BCH more closely mirroring the previous version. (Although bitcoin cash forked on Aug. 1, SegWit didn’t activate until three weeks later.)

The NIST will allow the public to comment on the paper until Feb. 23. Given the highly contentious nature of the debate, the institute will likely generate significant interest from the blockchain community.

BCH Price Levels

Bitcoin cash was among the crypto market’s top performers on Monday. The coin rose nearly 6% against the dollar to trade around $1,650.

At the time of writing, the coin was down slightly at $1,631 for a market cap of $28 billion, placing it fourth among active cryptocurrencies. Daily trade volumes exceeded $365 million, according to CoinMarketCap, with the bulk of the turnover handled by HitBTC and OKEx.

Bitcoin cash peaked above $4,000 more than one month ago, but like the broader cryptocurrency market, has struggled to regain momentum in recent weeks.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 165 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Altcoins

Crypto Correction Deepens With Bitcoin Falling Below $10,000

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Cryptocurrencies hastened their decline on Thursday, with the total market cap falling to its lowest level in over a week as bitcoin and the major altcoins backtracked.

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Fresh Selloff Hits Crypto Market

Ninety-two of the top 100 cryptocurrencies tracked by CoinMarketCap were trading lower Thursday afternoon. The combined market capitalization for all coins fell 6% to $430 billion, the lowest since Feb. 13.

Bitcoin broke below $10,000 for the first time in nearly a week, and was last seen trading at $9.891. Even with the decline, bitcoin is maintaining its bullish outlook insofar as prices hold above the technically important $9,000-$9,200 region. Although downside is expected to persist in the short term, a bounce back toward $11,000 is expected. This is confirmed by the oversold Relative Strength Index (RSI), which also points to a rebound.

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As the following chart illustrates, the value of bitcoin peaked near $11,800 earlier this week before the recent bout of profit-taking took hold.

Ethereum, the world’s no. 2 cryptocurrency by market cap, fell below $800 for the first time in almost two weeks. At the time of writing, one ether was worth around $793, which represents a decline of 4% from the previous close.

Like bitcoin, ether is also grappling with oversold levels. However, the recent low is much shallower than the one Ethereum experienced in early February when prices fell toward $550.

Meanwhile, Litecoin tumbled to a session low of $188.73, more than offsetting a 50% gain earlier in the week. At the time of writing, the coin was down 6.5% at $192.59.

Elsewhere in the market, Ripple plunged nearly 9% to $0.93, while bitcoin cash fell fell nearly 8% to $1,210.

No Immediate Catalyst for the Decline

Like previous corrective phases, there was no immediate catalyst for the market’s sharp reversal, a sign that technical traders were largely responsible for the downshift. Since peaking above $518 billion on Saturday, the crypto market has declined 17%, all but reversing the previous week’s sharp rally.

On the regulatory front, the French government just announced it will be cracking down on unregulated cryptocurrency trading. In a statement issued by Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF), the nation’s financial market watchdog, regulators said they had noticed a growing trend in unregulated futures and derivatives trading involving cryptocurrency.

“The AMF concludes that a cash-settled cryptocurrency contract may qualify as a derivative, irrespective of the legal qualification of a cryptocurrency,” the AMF said in the statement, as reported by CCN. “As a result, online platforms which offer cryptocurrency derivatives fall within the scope of MiFID 2 and must therefore comply with the authorisation, conduct of business rules, and the EMIR trade reporting obligation to a trade repository.”

MiFID stands for Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, a harmonized regulatory framework for the European Union’s financial markets. MiFID 2 was launched earlier this year to provide more transparency on traders and go after non-compliance more aggressively.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 165 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Altcoins

Cryptocurrency Market Enters Corrective Phase as Majors Retreat from Recent Highs

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The cryptocurrency market declined across the board Thursday, as bitcoin, Ethereum and the rest of the major altcoins retreated from recent highs.

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Crypto Market Backpedals

After peaking above $518 billion on Saturday, the market capitalization for all cryptocurrencies has fallen to $469 billion, based on latest data from CoinMarketCap. That represents a decline of more than 9%. Trade volume across all digital assets approached $24 billion over the past 24 hours.

The latest drop in total coin value seems to have coincided with broader uptake in bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency both in terms of market cap and trade volume. Bitcoin now accounts for more than 39% of the total market,  a near seven-point increase over last month’s lows.

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Bitcoin made a strong move above $11,000 on Wednesday, eventually hitting a three-week high of $11,329. As we wrote Wednesday, bitcoin in particular seems to be benefiting from a myriad of market forces ranging from favorable regulations to improved investor sentiment.

At the time of writing, the cryptocurrency was worth $10,901.

Other major cryptos were also down at the start of Thursday trading, with Ethereum slipping 3.6% to $864.83. Ripple’s XRP token declined 2.7% to $1.04, while bitcoin cash fell 4.3% to $1,336.50.

Even Litecoin, a currency that has witnessed a 50% surge this week, fell more than 3% to $219.43.

Paul Singer Calls Cryptocurrencies a Huge Scam

Elliot Management, a multi-billion-dollar hedge fund headed by Paul Singer, recently came out with a report calling cryptocurrencies “one of the most brilliant scams in history.” It added that “FOMO (fear of missing out) has solidly trumped WTHIT (what the hell is this??).”

In the cryptocurrency world, talk is incredibly cheap, and arguments from authority don’t hold much credence. Although Elliott dedicated three pages to cryptocurrencies, there doesn’t seem to be a strong argument against cryptocurrencies. (Calling cryptos “nothing except the marketing power of inventors, financiers and others who love the idea of buying a black box…” is not an argument.)

That being said, the fund’s comments may have resonated with speculators who are already on the fence about re-entering the market. After all, the daily news headlines play a huge role in shaping investor sentiment, regardless of whether those headlines are true. This has been demonstrated time and time again by regulatory developments in nations such as South Korea and India.

As Singer’s comments clearly show, there’s still plenty of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) driving the cryptocurrency market. This is unlikely to change soon even as bitcoin and the technology that underlies it enjoys greater mainstream adoption.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 165 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Altcoins

Litecoin Touches New Five-Week High in Wake of Hard Fork

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litecoin

Litecoin hit fresh five-week highs Tuesday, as the coin continued to generate momentum in the wake of a hard fork that produce Litecoin Cash (LCC). Although holders of the original Litecoin were credited with the new token, project founder Charlie Lee has warned investors that LCC has nothing to do with the original cryptocurrency.

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LTC/USD Price Levels

Litecoin jumped around 9% to a session high of $244.11, putting it on track for its best close since Jan. 15. At press time, the LTC/USD exchange rate was valued at $240 for a gain of 8%. The currency has added more than 53% over the past five days, but is still trailing its year-to-date high by about 25%.

With recent gains, Litecoin has moved back into fifth place on the active list of cryptocurrencies with a market cap of $13.5 billion. The coin was previously overtaken by Cardano, a lesser known altcoin that has seen huge gains this year.

The latest rally has also been accompanied by an upsurge in trade volumes involving LTC. More than $1.1 billion worth of Litecoin trades were placed over the past 24 hours, according to data provider CoinMarketCap.

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Hard Fork Produces Litecoin Cash

Litecoin Cash came into existence on Sunday following a hard fork of the original LTC protocol at block 1,371,111. The official split occurred around 11:00 p.m. GMT. Investors who held the original Litecoin at the time of the hard fork received the new LCC at a ratio of 10:1.

The hard fork introduces bitcoin’s SHA-256 algorithm into the blockchain. The original uses Scrypt to verify transactions.

Earlier this month, Litecoin founder and chief visionary Charlie Lee warned investors that the planned hard fork was not affiliated with his company. In a Feb. 4 tweet, Lee issued the following statement from his @SatoshiLite handle:

“PSA: The Litecoin team and I are not forking Litecoin. Any forks that you hear about is a scam trying to confuse you to think it’s related to Litecoin. Don’t fall for it and definitely don’t enter your private keys or seed into their website or client. Be careful out there!”

A hard fork is generated when the original cryptocurrency splits into two, usually as a result of changes to the original blockchain’s code. Bitcoin went through two hard forks last year that produced bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin gold (BTG).

As for the newly created Litecoin Cash, prices surged more than 400% following the Sunday fork. At the time of writing, LCC was valued at $7.63 for a gain of 150%. The coin peaked at $9.25.

Though largely influenced by the LCC fork, Litecoin’s recent bullish streak has also benefited from the planned launch of LitePay, a new payment processor that will help e-commerce businesses accept cryptocurrency payments. LitePay is scheduled to go live Feb. 26.

Litecoin’s popularity is also growing on the dark web and among those who are more concerned with privacy. A recent study published by Recorded Future found Litecoin to be the second-most popular cryptocurrency among criminals, behind bitcoin.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 165 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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