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Inside Bitcoin

Inside Bitcoin (Aug 15th, 2017)

$BTC (10:18 AM EST): $3,968.00 (-7.72%)

90-day high: $4,299 // 90-day low: $1,708.27 // More info

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Bitcoin reached a new all-time high early on Tuesday, hitting a peak of $4,483 per coin before falling below $4,000. The peak follows a furious weekend for the cryptocurrency, which has grown 50 percent since August 1. The price increase coincides with the introduction of a new system to improve the speed of transactions, known as Segregated Witness, or SegWit. Segregated Witness still does not expand the network as quickly as Bitcoin Cash, but makes it easier to build services on top of the Bitcoin network. SegWit temporarily ends the scaling debate the caused the controversial fork in the blockchain and the creation of BCH.  “The scaling debate has certainly been holding the Bitcoin price back,” said Charles Hayter, the founder of the data company CryptoCompare. —NEW YORK TIMES

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Standpoint’s Ronnie Moas remained extremely bullish on the future of digital currency on Monday, predicting that the market for digital currencies will grow from its current value of $140 billion to more than $2 trillion in 10 years. "What's happening is the floodgates are opening. I believe there are hedge funds and very deep-pocketed individuals going into this now, really hundreds of millions of dollars," Moas told CNBC on Monday. Moas also increased his prediction for Bitcoin for this year. He said in July it could trade at $5,000 by 2018, but now believes it could sell as high as $7,500. –THE STREET

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Bitcoin Cash can now be traded on Poloniex, the company announced Monday just days after the cryptocurrency fell 12 percent in a single day. The company previously announced it would allow withdrawals of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), but gave no indication it planned to launch a BCH market until making its announcement. Live Bitcoin News said the more exchanges that trade BCH will increase liquidity, making the price more difficult to control. “With mining profitability still pretty low, there is no reason for people to hold onto the BCH they own,” Live Bitcoin News wrote. “Instead, we will see more coins dumped on the market at bottom prices whenever possible.” – LIVE BITCOIN NEWS 

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Apple officially approved Toast Wallet on Sunday, a solution designed for Ripple users. Toast Wallet has long been available for Android devices, but Apple has taken longer to give its official blessing. The Bitcoin News Service said there has been a shortage of XRP wallets, especially for mobile devices. iOS users of Toast Wallet, though, may see some balance delays as Apple apps sometimes take longer to refresh data pulled from Ripple servers. — BITCOIN NEWS SERVICE

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Microsoft has released the Confidential Consortium (Coco) Framework. Coco is an Ethereum-based protocol that allows private companies and large-scale organizations to process information on the Ethereum blockchain with increased privacy. The Coco Framework leverages local hardware-based environments to facilitate the settlement of information in an off-chain ecosystem, allowing for a more functional and flexible infrastructure for decentralized applications. “Industry enthusiasm for blockchain is growing, and while it will still take time for blockchain to achieve enterprise assurance, we remain laser focused on accelerating its development and enterprise adoption in partnership with the community,” said Mark Russinovich, the CTO at Microsoft Azure, the company’s cloud computing arm. – COIN TELEGRAPH

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Ukraine’s National Police arrested several suspects last week after they allegedly set up a cryptocurrency mining operation in an unused swimming pool at a state-owned recreation center in Kiev. The NBU, Ukraine’s central bank, allows Ukrainian citizens to only use the country’s official currency, the hryvnia, in official transactions. The NBU released a statement, saying “currently bitcoin does not have a definite legal status in Ukraine,” but will be considered at the country’s Financial Stability Board meeting to be held before the end of this month. The miners were arrested for illegally using government property; not for mining cryptocurrency. – BITCOIN.COM 

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The FBI has brought additional charges against a former Secret Service agent who previously pled guilty to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars of bitcoin during the government’s Silk Road investigation. In new court documents, the FBI alleges that Shaun Bridges, who was already sentenced to six years in prison for the initial theft, stole 1606.6488 BTC during the investigation – an amount worth more than $6.5 million today. If found guilty on these new charges Bridges could face an additional 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. — COINDESK

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Blockstream Inc. announced Tuesday plans to make the bitcoin blockchain accessible through a satellite signal, providing people without internet access or affordable bandwidth the ability to trade and mine the cryptocurrency. “With more users accessing the bitcoin blockchain … from Blockstream Satellite, we expect the global reach to drive more adoption and use cases for bitcoin, while strengthening the overall robustness of the network,” Blockstream co-founder Adam Back said. The Blockstream network currently covers Africa, Europe and the Americas, but the company expects to “reach almost every person on the planet” by the end of the year. The company added that the service will add an additional layer of reliability for bitcoin’s blockchain data in case of a network disruption. -BLOOMBERG

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