Blockchain Could Cut Oil Market Costs 30%


The chief executive of Mercuria, one of the world’s largest commodities traders, is bullish on blockchain.

The head of the Swiss-based firm appeared earlier this week during an event hosted by Thomson Reuters. In remarks, Mercuria chief executive officer Marco Dunand revealed that he had been engaging with stakeholders on the technology and that, in his belief, it could have a major impact on how commodities are traded and exchanged.

According to Reuters, Dunand told attendees:

“I’ve seen sufficient bank presentations to believe the technology is there and it’s solid. And I believe we’re going to see a digital transformation of the oil and gas industry.”

Dunand’s comments are the first from the oil trading giant, which earned as much as $300m in oil trading profits during 2015, according to Blomberg.

During the event, Dunand speculated that blockchain-based payments could help significantly cut costs.

“[Brent, Forties, Oseberg, Ekofisk] for instance is a market that has a limited amount of participants, that requires a reasonably solid balance sheet. You could see this type of market going to blockchain payments within the next 12 months,” Dunand said. “We think this could reduce costs, certainly on payments, by 30 percent.”

At the same time, adoption won’t happen quickly unless more firms come together to collaborate on the development of any future blockchain networks tied to the oil market.

“We could adapt it fast, but you need a certain amount of participants in the industry to get it going,” he told attendees.

Commodities exchanges worldwide have already begun looking at how they can apply blockchain to their own operations. Organizations like the CME Group and Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, for example, have spent much of the past year testing the technology in a bid to cut costs and improve how their markets work.

UN Considers Blockchain locking for Sustainability


Blockchain is set to be discussed at a United Nations (UN) meeting on sustainable development today.

According to a UN agenda, the meeting in New York will focus on how private-public partnerships could use blockchain (among other tools) to achieve sustainable development goals. The event is being organized by the diplomatic missions from Bangladesh and El Salvador, along with the World Organization of Governance and Competitiveness and New Jersey-based Saint Peter’s University.

The UN’s 16th Sustainable Development Goal focuses on a variety of areas related to inclusion, transparent government and fair justice systems. Specific calls to action include the goal to “provide legal identity for all, including birth registration [by 2030]”, “develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels” and “substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms”.

While notable, the idea that blockchain technology could yield new solutions in finance and beyond has slowly gained traction within the UN for much of the past year.

Last month, a research outfit funded by the UN disclosed that it was working on a number ofblockchain initiatives, and the UN’s agency focused on aid for impoverished children has also begun moving to fund related projects.

What specific use cases today’s meeting will cover aren’t immediately apparent, though blockchain has long been seen as an enabler of change in governance and identity.

Organizers for the event were not immediately available for comment.

The Best Ways To Get Bitcoins


There is no doubt in the fact that bitcoin trading is slowly taking the world of trading by storm. There is some hype, which says that the Way to get Bitocins Free can be dangerous and difficult but honestly, it is a lot easier than Way to get Bitocins Free, even easier than you think it is. There are a variety of general Way to get Bitocins Free:


· Accept bitcoins as payment for goods or services.


· There are several services where you can trade them for traditional currency.


· Find someone to trade cash for bitcoins in-person through a local directory.


· Participate in a mining pool


Here are some simple Way to get Bitocins Free:


· Find A Wallet


First of all, you have to find an e-wallet. It is basically a store or a provider that offers software from where bitcoins can be bought, stored, and traded. You can easily run it on your desktop, laptop, and even smartphones.


· Sign Up


Next, you have to sign up with e-wallet. You will make an account that will let you store your bitcoins. The e-wallet trader will offer you a chance to convert your local currency into bitcoin. Therefore, the more local currency you have, the more bitcoins you can purchase.


· Connect Your Bank Account


After signing up, the trader has to connect his bank account with his trading account. For this purpose, some verification steps are to be performed. Once the verifications are performed, then you can start purchasing bitcoins and get started.


· Buying And Selling


Once you are done with your first purchase, your bank account will be debited and you will get the bitcoins. Selling is done in the same way purchasing is done. Keep in mind that the price of bitcoin changes time after time. The e-wallet you are working with will show you the current exchange rate. You should be aware of the rate before you buy.


Mining bitcoin


There is another Way to get Bitocins Free.This process is known as mining. Mining of bitcoins is similar to discovering gold from a mine. However, as mining gold is time consuming and a lot of effort is required, the same is the case with mining bitcoins. You have to solve a series of mathematical calculations that are designed by computer algorithms to win bitcoins for free.

How Bitcoin Mining Works


In traditional fiat money systems, governments simply print more money when they need to. But in bitcoin, money isn’t printed at all – it is discovered. Computers around the world ‘mine’ for coins by competing with each other.

How does mining take place?

People are sending bitcoins to each other over the bitcoin network all the time, but unless someone keeps a record of all these transactions, no-one would be able to keep track of who had paid what. The bitcoin network deals with this by collecting all of the transactions made during a set period into a list, called a block. It’s the miners’ job to confirm those transactions, and write them into a general ledger.

Making a hash of it

This general ledger is a long list of blocks, known as the ‘blockchain’. It can be used to explore any transaction made between any bitcoin addresses, at any point on the network. Whenever a new block of transactions is created, it is added to the blockchain, creating an increasingly lengthy list of all the transactions that ever took place on the bitcoin network. A constantly updated copy of the block is given to everyone who participates, so that they know what is going on.

But a general ledger has to be trusted, and all of this is held digitally. How can we be sure that the blockchain stays intact, and is never tampered with? This is where the miners come in.

When a block of transactions is created, miners put it through a process. They take the information in the block, and apply a mathematical formula to it, turning it into something else. That something else is a far shorter, seemingly random sequence of letters and numbers known as a hash. This hash is stored along with the block, at the end of the blockchain at that point in time.

Hashes have some interesting properties. It’s easy to produce a hash from a collection of data like a bitcoin block, but it’s practically impossible to work out what the data was just by looking at the hash. And while it is very easy to produce a hash from a large amount of data, each hash is unique. If you change just one character in a bitcoin block, its hash will change completely.

Miners don’t just use the transactions in a block to generate a hash. Some other pieces of data are used too. One of these pieces of data is the hash of the last block stored in the blockchain.

Because each block’s hash is produced using the hash of the block before it, it becomes a digital version of a wax seal. It confirms that this block – and every block after it – is legitimate, because if you tampered with it, everyone would know.

If you tried to fake a transaction by changing a block that had already been stored in the blockchain, that block’s hash would change. If someone checked the block’s authenticity by running the hashing function on it, they’d find that the hash was different from the one already stored along with that block in the blockchain. The block would be instantly spotted as a fake.

Because each block’s hash is used to help produce the hash of the next block in the chain, tampering with a block would also make the subsequent block’s hash wrong too. That would continue all the way down the chain, throwing everything out of whack.

Why Use Bitcoin?


Bitcoin is a relatively new form of currency that is just beginning to hit the mainstream, but many people still don’t understand why they should make the effort to use it.

Why use bitcoin? Here are 10 good reasons why it’s worth taking the time to get involved in this virtual currency.

It’s fast

When you pay a cheque from another bank into your bank, the bank will often hold that money for several days, because it can’t trust that the funds are really available. Similarly, international wire transfers can take a relatively long time. Bitcoin transactions, however, are generally far faster.
Transactions can be instantaneous if they are “zero-confirmation” transactions, meaning that the merchant takes on the risk of accepting a transaction that hasn’t yet beenconfirmed by the bitcoin blockchain. Or, they can take around 10 minutes if a merchant requires the transaction to be confirmed. That is far faster than any inter-bank transfer.

It’s cheap

What’s that you say? Your credit card transactions are instantaneous too? Well, that’s true. But your merchant (and possibly you) pay for that privilege. Some merchants will charge a fee for debit card transactions too, as they have to pay a ‘swipe fee’ for fulfilling them. Bitcoin transaction fees are minimal, or in some cases free.

Central governments can’t take it away

Remember what happened in Cyprus in March 2013? The Central Bank wanted to take back uninsured deposits larger than $100,000 to help recapitalize itself, causing huge unrest in the local population. It originally wanted to take a percentage of deposits below that figure, eating directly into family savings. That can’t happen with bitcoin. Because the currency is decentralized, you own it. No central authority has control, and so a bank can’t take it away from you. For those who find their trust in the traditional banking system unravelling, that’s a big benefit.

There are no chargebacks

Once bitcoins have been sent, they’re gone. A person who has sent bitcoins cannot try to retrieve them without the recipient’s consent. This makes it difficult to commit the kind of fraud that we often see with credit cards, in which people make a purchase and then contact the credit card company to make a chargeback, effectively reversing the transaction.

People can’t steal your payment information from merchants

This is a big one. Most online purchases today are made via credit cards, but in the 1920s and ’30s, when the first precursors to credit cards appeared, the Internet hadn’t yet been conceived. Credit cards were never supposed to be used online and are insecure. Online forms require you to enter all your secret information (the credit card number, expiry date, and CSV number) into a web form. It’s hard to think of a less secure way to do online business. This is why credit card numbers keep being stolen.


Bitcoin transactions, however, don’t require you to give up any secret information. Instead, they use two keys: a public key, and a private one. Anyone can see the public key (which is actually your bitcoin address), but your private key is secret. When you send a bitcoin, you ‘sign’ the transaction by combining your public and private keys together, and applying a mathematical function to them. This creates a certificate that proves the transaction came from you. As long as you don’t do anything silly like publishing your private key for everyone to see, you’re safe.

It isn’t inflationary

The problem with regular fiat currency is that governments can print as much of it as they like, and they frequently do. If there are not enough US dollars to pay off the national debt, then the Federal Reserve can simply print more. If the economy is sputtering, then the government can take newly created money and inject it into the economy, via a much-publicised process known as quantitative easing. This causes the value of a currency to decrease.

If you suddenly double the number of dollars in circulation, then that means there are two dollars where before there was only one. Someone who had been selling a chocolate bar for a dollar will have to double the price to make it worth the same as it was before, because a dollar suddenly has only half its value. This is called inflation, and it causes the price of goods and services to increase. Inflation can be difficult to control, and can decrease people’s buying power. Bitcoin was designed to have a maximum number of coins. Only 21 million will ever be created under the original specification. This means that after that, the number of bitcoins won’t grow, so inflation won’t be a problem. In fact, deflation – where the price of goods and services falls – is more likely in the bitcoin world.

Mobile wallets


Desktop-based wallets are all very well, but they aren’t very useful if you are out on the street, trying to pay for something in a physical store. This is where a mobile walletcomes in handy. Running as an app on your smartphone, the wallet can store the private keys for your bitcoin addresses, and enable you to pay for things directly with your phone.

In some cases, a bitcoin wallet will even take advantage of a smartphone’s near-field communication (NFC) feature, enabling you to tap the phone against a reader and pay with bitcoins without having to enter any information at all.

One common feature of mobile wallets is that they are not full bitcoin clients. A full bitcoin client has to download the entire bitcoin blockchain, which is always growing and is multiple gigabytes in size. That could get you into a heap of trouble with your mobile service provider, who will be only too happy to send you a hefty bill for downloading it over a cellular link. Many phones wouldn’t be able to hold the blockchain in their memory, in any case.

Instead, these mobile clients are often designed with simplified payment verification (SPV) in mind. They download a very small subset of the blockchain, and rely on other, trusted nodes in the bitcoin network to ensure that they have the right information.

Examples of mobile wallets include the Android-based Bitcoin wallet, Mycelium, Xapoand Blockchain (which keeps your bitcoin keys encrypted on your phone, and backed up on a web-based server).

Apple is notoriously paranoid about bitcoin wallets. Coinbase had its mobile wallet apppulled from the app store altogether in November 2013, and this was followed in February 2014 by removal of Blockchain’s iOS app. However, in July 2014, bitcoin wallet apps began to reappear on the iOS store, and now all of the major bitcoin wallet providers have released new editions of their previous apps.

The Aegis Bitcoin Wallet even supports android smartwatches

There are also other types of wallets that can be used on a mobile, such as the browser-based wallet CoinPunk is developing. Another unusual wallet is the Aegis Bitcoin Wallet, which supports Android smartwatches.

Bitcoins Wallet

bitcoin wallet 1

Bitcoin wallets store the private keys that you need to access a bitcoin address and spend your funds. They come in different forms, designed for different types of device. You can even use paper storage to avoid having them on a computer at all. Of course, it is very important to secure and back up your bitcoin wallet.

Bitcoins are a modern equivalent of cash and, every day, another merchant starts accepting them as payment. We know how they are generated and how a bitcoin transaction works, but how are they stored? We store fiat cash in a physical wallet, and bitcoin works in a similar way, except it’s normally digital.

Bitcoin paper, coin and USB wallets

Well, to be absolutely accurate, you don’t technically store bitcoins anywhere. What you store are the secure digital keys used to access your public bitcoin addresses and sign transactions. This information is stored in a bitcoin wallet.

Bitcoin wallets come in a variety of forms. There are five main types of wallet: desktop, mobile, web, paper and hardware. Here’s how they work.

Desktop wallets

If you have already installed the original bitcoin client (Bitcoin Core), then you are running a wallet, but may not even know it. In addition to relaying transactions on the network, this software also enables you to create a bitcoin address for sending and receiving the virtual currency, and to store the private key for it.

There are other desktop wallets too, all with different features. MultiBit runs on Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux. Hive is an OS X-based wallet with some unique features, including an app store that connects directly to bitcoin services.

Some desktop wallets are tailored for enhanced security: Armory falls into this category.

Others focus on anonymity: DarkWallet – uses a lightweight browser plug-in to provide services including coin ‘mixing’ in which users’ coins are exchanged for others’, to prevent people tracking them.

Bitcoin Price


Bitcoin Price Passes $750 to Hit 28-Month High.

The price of bitcoin broke $750 today, building on recent gains to hit a 28-month high.

Bitcoin prices reached $750.37 during the day’s session, the highest since 7th February, 2014, CoinDesk USD Bitcoin Price Index (BPI) figures reveal. The digital currency exceeded its latest milestone of $750 after surpassing $700 early on 13th June, and then nearing $720 later that day.

Of late, bitcoin has benefited from a multitude of factors, including concerns about China’s economy, anticipation surrounding the upcoming halving and fear of a Brexit, and this momentum is showing signs it is continuing to build.

The digital currency suffered a notable drop on 14th June, falling more than 8% and coming within a few percentage points of a correction. While such a decline might have prompted concerns it had become overvalued, the digital currency’s recent gains support the position this was merely atemporary pullback.

Going forward, bitcoin could easily enjoy further appreciation, as data provided by bitcoin trading platform Whaleclub indicates short interest has dwindled to practically zero while long interest has hit an all-time high.

Past that, the digital currency could easily benefit from the visibility that blockchain technology has been generating.

A wide range of market participants, central banks and other entities have been examining this distributed ledger’s potential uses, and as the technology draws more attention, it may draw mainstream traders to the nascent market.

While market experts have provided various explanations for bitcoin’s recent price appreciation, one variable they are pointing to as having key importance is the upcoming halving of network rewards.

For more on the upcoming halving, read our full guide here.

Charles L. Bovaird II is a financial writer and consultant with strong knowledge of securities markets and investing concepts.

Follow Charles Bovaird on Twitter here.

Little boy with kite image via Shutterstock

BTCC Launches Five Bitcoin Titanium Coin on Fifth Anniversary

bitcoin 2

Longest-Running Bitcoin Exchange Launches New Commemorative Physical Bitcoin to Celebrate Five Years of Continuous Operation

BTCC today introduced a new set of physical bitcoins to celebrate its fifth anniversary. The 2016 V Series Five Bitcoin is a 50 mm diameter physical bitcoin, 5 mm thick, struck in pure titanium.

“We made the Five Bitcoin coin to honor the trust and support our customers have shown us over the past five years,” said BTCC’s chief executive officer Bobby Lee. “We are now the longest-running bitcoin exchange, and our longevity reflects the unwavering confidence people worldwide place in bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.”

BTCC Five Bitcoin coins are housed in elegant solid beech display boxes with crushed velvet linings. Each display box contains a removable coin well that can be hoisted at an angle with the included stainless steel module for presentation.

To commemorate BTCC’s fifth anniversary, each Five Bitcoin coin’s reverse side is meticulously inscribed with the words “FIVE” in 21 major languages. The inscriptions are bound by a solid round line symbolizing the universality of bitcoin.

“The BTCC brand is now synonymous with global excellence in the provision of bitcoin services,” said BTCC’s chief operating officer Samson Mow. “The Five Bitcoin reflects BTCC’s position as the most trustworthy bitcoin company.”

Preorders for the 2016 V Series Five Bitcoin will begin on June 9th, BTCC’s fifth anniversary. Orders start shipping on June 13th.

About BTCC Mint

BTCC Mint is the brand of physical bitcoins made by BTCC, the company behind the longest-running bitcoin exchange — BTCC Spot Exchange. BTCC launched BTCC Mint in 2016 to produce collectible physical representations of bitcoin. Find out more at

About BTCC

BTCC was originally founded as BTCChina in 2011. It is the longest-running and one of the largest bitcoin exchanges worldwide. BTCC plays a leading role in every segment of the bitcoin ecosystem, offering a digital currency exchange, a mining pool, payment processing, consumer wallets, and blockchain engraving. The diverse products and services BTCC offers allow its customers to engage in all aspects of the digital currency spectrum in one integrated platform.

Headquartered in Shanghai, BTCC serves a global customer base and has become an industry leader for security, risk mitigation, credibility, and technological innovation. BTCC’s mission is to provide the world with the most convenient and trustworthy digital currency services.

How to Set Up a Bitcoin Miner


There are three main categories of bitcoin mining hardware, each more expensive and more powerful than the last. This guide to setting up a bitcoin miner explains each of them, and talks about how to make them work.


By this stage, you will understand how bitcoin works, and what mining means. But we need to get from theory to practice. How can you set up a bitcoin mining hardware and start generating some digital cash? The first thing you’re going to need to do is decide on your hardware, and there are two main things to think about when choosing it:

Hash rate

This is the number of calculations that your hardware can perform every second as it tries to crack the mathematical problem we described in our mining section. Hash rates are measured in megahashes, gigahashes, and terahashes per second (MH/sec, GH/sec, and TH/sec. The higher your hash rate (compared to the current average hash rate), the more likely you are to solve a transaction block. The bitcoin wiki’s mining hardware comparison page is a good place to go for rough information on hash rates for different hardware.

Energy consumption

All this computing power chews up electricity, and that costs money. It’s worth looking at your hardware’s energy consumption in watts, when making your choice. You want to make sure that you don’t end up spending all of your money on electricity to mine coins that won’t be worth what you paid.

Use these two factors to work out how many hashes you’re getting for every watt of electricity that you use. To do this, divide the hash count by the number of watts.

For example, if you have a 500 GH/sec device, and it’s taking 400 watts of power, then you’re getting 1.25 GH/sec per watt. You can check your power bill or use an electricity price calculator online to find out how much that means in hard cash.

However, there’s a caveat here. In some cases, you’ll be using your computer to run the mining hardware. Your computer has its own electricity draw on top of the mining hardware, and you’ll need to factor that into your calculation.

Bitcoin Mining Hardware

There are three main hardware categories for bitcoin miners: GPUs, FPGAs, and ASICs. We’ll explore them in depth below.

CPU/GPU Bitcoin Mining

The least powerful category of bitcoin mining hardware is your computer itself. Theoretically, you could use your computer’s CPU to mine for bitcoins, but in practice, this is so slow by today’s standards that there isn’t any point.

You can enhance your bitcoin hash rate by adding graphics hardware to your desktop computer. Graphics cards feature graphical processing units (GPUs). These are designed for heavy mathematical lifting so they can calculate all the complex polygons needed in high-end video games. This makes them particularly good at the SHA hashing mathematics necessary to solve transaction blocks.

You can buy GPUs from two main vendors: ATI and Nvidia. High-end cards can cost hundreds of dollars, but also give you a significant advantage over CPU hashing. For example, an ATI 5970 graphics card can give you over 800 MH/sec compared with a CPU, which will generally give you less than 10 MH/sec.

One of the nice things about GPUs is that they also leave your options open. Unlike other options discussed later, these units can be used with cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin. Litecoin, for example, uses a different proof of work algorithm to bitcoin, called Scrypt. This has been optimized to be friendly to CPUs and GPUs, making them a good option for GPU miners who want to switch between different currencies.

GPU mining is largely dead these days. Bitcoin mining difficulty has accelerated so much with the release of ASIC mining power that graphics cards can’t compete. If you do want to use them, you’d best equip yourself with a motherboard that can take multiple boards, to save on running separate PSUs for different boards.

FPGA Bitcoin Mining

A Field Programmable Gate Array is an integrated circuit designed to be configured after being built. This enables a mining hardware manufacturer to buy the chips in volume, and then customize them for bitcoin mining before putting them into their own equipment. Because they are customized for mining, they offer performance improvements over CPUs and GPUs. Single-chip FPGAs have been seen operating at around 750 Megahashes/sec, although that’s at the high end. It is of course possible to put more than one chip in a box.

ASIC Bitcoin Miners

This is where the action’s really at. Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) are specifically designed to do just one thing: mine bitcoins at mind-crushing speeds, with relatively low power consumption. Because these chips have to be designed specifically for that task and then fabricated, they are expensive and time-consuming to produce – but the speeds are stunning. At the time of writing, units are selling with speeds anywhere from 5-500 Gigahashes/sec (although actually getting some of them to them to ship has been a problem). Vendors are already promising ASIC devices with far more power, stretching up into the 2 Terahashes/sec range.

In September 2015, 21 released its ‘Bitcoin Computer’, which houses a mining chip andretails for around $400. It is aimed at developers to build applications with and not those wishing to mine bitcoin for profit.