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China Bans Initial Coin Offering (ICO) Crowdfunding

chinaflagChina is issuing an immediate ban on Initial Coin Offerings, also referred to as ICO’s.  An ICO is a way for a company to raise funds to support a project or new product.  It is a type of crowdfunding where customers can purchase a digital token that acts similar to purchasing a share of the company.  Think of this as a type of crowdfunding where the public can purchase stake in a company before a product has been released.  In the past start-ups would go through venture capital companies, angel investors and seed rounds to raise money for a new venture.  ICO’s gave a new way for these startups to raise money faster and with less oversight by regulator bodies.

There is a chance that the ban will be lifted or adjusted in the future as Chinese regulators have more time to review ICO funding.  This is not the first time that China has taken similar action; in 2013 China prohibited the exchange of Yuan to BTC.  They later removed this ruling and today China has one of the largest BTC mining operations in the world.  They have one of the lowest electricity cost and this along with the cooler climate in the mountains makes China a good location for digital mining operations.  It remains to be seen if they will lift this ban with the requirement for additional regulation of company ICO’s in the future.

ICO’s raised more than a Billion dollars in the first half of 2017 for new startups and projects.  ICO’s are still available for companies in the USA and many other countries as a means to raise capital for new projects.

*Note – Bitcoin and Litecoin are not ICO’s and this ruling does not have a direct impact on Bitcoin or Litecoin.  Of course, any related news will swing markets so dips are to be expected even when they are not directly related.

Will that be cash, card or Litecoin?

LTC_silverLitecoin has been making a splash in the cryptocurrency market this week, increasing value by nearly 45% in one week.  LTC (Litecoin) hit over $90 per coin on September 1, 2017, before pulling back to land around $77 on September 2, 2017.  A big contributor to the increase is around a new payment system called the Lightning Network and the successful testing of using Litecoin on the Lightning Network .  The Lightning Network will allow for even faster, lower cost micro-transactions (think a cup of coffee) using existing cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Litecoin).

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Litecoin was released in 2011 by Charlie Lee; previously an Engineer at Google and then the Director of Engineering at Coinbase.  Mr. Lee announced in 2017 that he would be leaving his role at Coinbase to focus fully on the development of Litecoin.

LTC shares many features with Bitcoin but also includes some additional features such as faster transaction processing and has been faster to release new features.  LTC adopted SegWit (a streamlined method of processing transaction data) several months ahead of Bitcoin.

LTC is often referred to as the silver to Bitcoin’s gold.  This may prove to be a very good analogue as Litecoin is developed and could be the currency of choice for day to day spending and Bitcoin remains the choice for large purchases or as a store of value.  You can move value between Bitcoin and Litecoin using exchanges with just a few clicks.  Even though they are separate from one another they are deploying many of the same features and this will only work to move them closer together as a compliment to one another VS a competitor.  Both have adopted SegWit transactions and are compatible with the Lightning network.  Another way to think of the difference for how both may be utilized, think of the difference between a $100 bill and a $20 bill.  These bills are separate bills with the $20 being used for more day to day purchases and you can easily exchange 5x$20’s for $100 or vice versa.

There are currently 52,751,282 Litecoin in circulation with a max amount of 84 million Litecoin.  The current market cap (value of all LTC in circulation) is over $4 Billion as of Sept 2, 2017.  Litecoin can be purchased on nearly all exchanges such as Coinbase, Bitstamp, and Kraken.

What are your thoughts on the adoption of Litecoin as a day to day currency?

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Trezor releases Bitcoin SegWit support

Trezor releases SegWit (Segregated Witness) support.  Segwit will decrease the amount of data needed to complete transaction, increase the speed of transfer, decrease the cost/fee to complete a transaction, allow faster deployment of new features and improve security.

Full story can be found here:

https://blog.trezor.io/rolling-out-trezor-wallet-segwit-segregated-witness-5700269debc5

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Bitcoin headed North

Bitcoin has been down since it hit a high on 08/17/17 but has once again turned north and is setting new all time highs.

ProtectingCoin.com had asked this on 08/14/17
“Do we break $4,500 this week or is it time for a pull back under $4,000?”

The pull back to under $4,000 came just 1 week later, on 08/21/17. Now that the pull back has passed, is $5,000 coming by early September?

The gains today are most likely aided by the go-live of SegWit (Segregated Witness) that went active this week on Bitcoin. What is SegWit, you ask? I won’t go into the technical details of SegWit but will sum it up to saw it is a more efficient way to process/store transactions on the Bitcoin network. This can increase the speed of transactions over time which will be needed as the popularity of Bitcoin continues to increase. Just how popular is Bitcoin becoming, you ask? Well, recent Google search reports show Bitcoin searches have become more popular than Beyoncé! Pretty sure that is the be all, end all yardstick for measuring popularity.

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How to upgrade Trezor Wallet to 1.5.2

Trezor Hardware Wallet released Firmware (the software that is installed on your hardware wallet) version 1.5.2 this past week.  I have upgraded a couple now and recommend everyone upgrade your wallet to the latest version.  It takes all of 2 minutes.

  1. Login to htttps://trezor.io and click “Wallet” in the right hand cornerFWupgrade1
  2. Plug in your Trezor Wallet and enter your PIN #
  3. The top of your wallet screen will show an announcement for the new firmware release.  Click “Show Details”FWupgrade2
  4. You should now see instructions to disconnect your Trezor Wallet from the USB port, hold down both buttons on your Trezor Wallet and reconnect to the USB port.*It can be a little bit of a juggling act to hold down both buttons and plug it in but the buttons don’t need much force so you can hold those with one hand.FWupgrade3
  5. Once you receive the screen below, you can release the buttons and click “Yes, update”fwupgrade5
  6. On your Trezor Wallet you will receive a message to confirm you want to upgrade the Firmware, click “Continue” (*Note* Always make sure you know where your 24 word backup seed is before starting.  You should not need it for this process unless the update was to fail for some reason.  It would be rare that it would fail the update but as insurance make sure your 24 word paper seed is where you think you left it!)20170818_104112.jpg
  7. Your Trezor Wallet will now erase your old firmware and install the new firmware.20170818_104149
  8. After the install is completed you will see a Fingerprint code on your computer screen and on your Trezor Wallet screen.  Confirm that these numbers are the same on both screens and click “Continue” (*Note* fingerprint scrambled in photo below but yours will be numbers and letters that are legible)fwupgrade7b
  9. That’s it, you Firmware is upgraded to the latest version in all of 2 minutes!  You can now disconnect your Trezor Wallet.20170818_104216

 

Trezor Hardware Wallet releases firmware update 1.5.2

Trezor has released firmware update 1.5.2 for the Trezor Hardware Wallet.

https://blog.trezor.io/trezor-firmware-security-update-1-5-2-5ef1b6f13fed

Today, SatoshiLabs released a security update to your TREZOR; a new firmware version — 1.5.2 — was pushed out to all users. This update fixes a security issue which affects all devices with firmware versions lower than 1.5.2.

TREZOR Wallet will notify you about this update. Please make sure you have your recovery seed nearby, before starting the update process. Refer to the User Manual if you need assistance with the firmware update. For users with Bootloader version 1.3.0, please consult this guide first.

 

Make sure you have your paper copy of your 24 seed words and allow the firmware to upgrade to 1.5.2 by connecting your Trezor and opening your wallet.  It should auto detect that you need the firmware upgrade.

Bitcoin Giveaway to Celebrate BTC hitting $4,000!

ProtectingCoin.com will be giving away .005 Bitcoin (valued at more than $21 US as of 08/14/17)  on 08/25/2017 to one lucky winner in celebration of BTC breaking through $4,000.  ProtectingCoin.com will also assist you with setting up a free BTC wallet (the value of this personal lesson is priceless and only takes minutes to complete).

How to enter: Share, like and comment on our Facebook post.  You may also want to like the ProtectingCoin.com facebook page for future updates and contest.

How to win: A random winner will be selected at 9PM ET on 08/25/2017

How to claim your prize: You do not need any current Bitcoin wallet or knowledge.  The only thing you will need to win is a smart phone so you can download a wallet app to receive your winnings.  ProtectingCoin.com will assist you to setup your wallet and transfer your winnings to you if you are new to Bitcoin.

What do you do with the BTC if you win:  Well, that is up to you.  You can leave it in the Bitcoin wallet and hope that it grows in value if BTC continues to appreciate in value.  You could move it to an exchange and cash it out to your standard currency.  You can use it to purchase good/services from one of the thousands of vendors that are now accepting BTC for payment.

Other:  Must be 18+ to win and have a smart phone.

Good luck!

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