Bitcoin Developer Activity Hits All-Time High Ahead of Halving

In the weeks leading up to Bitcoin’s halving, developers have committed more code to the cryptocurrency than ever before, according to available data.

In April of this year, Bitcoin Core had a total of 510 commits, more than in any other month since BTC was launched. A commit means code is uploaded to GitHub, a popular website for hosting open-source coding projects. Bitcoin Core’s code is hosted there.

Only a few other months in the flagship cryptocurrency’s history have come close to 500 commits. These were April 2018, and October and November 2019. Bitcoin Core, it’s worth noting, it’s the most common software used to run the Bitcoin blockchain. It was originally published by Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

bitcoin commits over time

Most experienced developers can contribute to the Bitcoin Core cod, and data from GitGitLog shows that over the cryptocurrency’s 10-year history 830 developers have contributed. There are currently, however, 56 active developers.

Bitcoin Core’s development is partly funded by the MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative and by some companies in the sector that fund full-time developers. These include BitMEX, Square crypto, OKCoin, Bitfinex, Chaincode Labs, and others.

It’s unclear why the number of commits hit a new all-time high ahead last month, although on Reddit users have speculated either programmers are “lacking distractions” because of the coronavirus-induced lockdowns, or developers are working on the code ahead of the halving.

One Redditor pointed out most of the commits were fixing tools that make it easier to test, and “tidying up sections of code that are a little messy or inefficient.”

By: Francisco Memoria

Featured image via Pixabay.

Source: CryptoGlobe

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Just One Major Cryptocurrency Is Outperforming Bitcoin Right Now And It’s Climbing Fast

Bitcoin has rebounded this week, climbing along with gold and other safe-havens as major stock markets struggle.The bitcoin price is up just over 2% over the last week—making strong gains yesterday as investors search for somewhere to put their cash. However, one major cryptocurrency has outpaced bitcoin’s gains over the last week and is still rocketing higher.

The privacy-focused cryptocurrency monero, currently ranked as the 11th most valuable cryptocurrency on data site CoinMarketCap with a total value of just under $1 billion, has added almost 5% in the past week—beating bitcoin’s gains.

Monero, which masks the identity of users better than the likes of bitcoin, is up by over 6% over the last 24-hour trading period, soaring as the broader cryptocurrency market climbed.

The precise reason for monero’s sudden surge wasn’t immediately clear, though there have been a number of positive developments for the bitcoin rival over recent months.

Monero developers recently rolled out an update to its Carbon Chameleon software, designed to improve transaction execution and how the cryptocurrency works with the privacy networks Tor and I2P.

Monero and privacy coins have also recently gained support from some high profile figures in the tech and crypto industry.

“I think we’ll also see privacy integrated into one of the dominant chains in the 2020s,” Coinbase’s chief executive Brian Armstrong wrote in a blog post back in January.

“Just like how the internet launched with HTTP, and only later introduced HTTPS as a default on many websites, I believe we’ll eventually see a privacy coin or blockchain with built in privacy features get mainstream adoption in the 2020s. It doesn’t make sense in most cases to broadcast every payment you make on a transparent ledger.”

John McAfee, the controversial and outspoken antivirus software developer and curve-ball U.S. presidential candidate, named monero as his cryptocurrency of choice earlier this year.

McAfee, who has reneged on his promise to “eat [his] own dick on national television” if the bitcoin price didn’t hit $500,000 per bitcoin by the end of 2020, praised monero, along with ethereum, the second most valuable cryptocurrency after bitcoin.

McAfee made similar allusions to monero’s technological superiority over bitcoin.”Bitcoin was first. It’s an ancient technology. All know it,” McAfee said via Twitter before recommending monero to cryptocurrency users.

“Newer blockchains have privacy, smart contracts, distributed apps and more. Bitcoin is our future? Was the Model T the future of the automobile?”

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I am a journalist with significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business around the world. As the founding editor of Verdict.co.uk I reported on how technology is changing business, political trends, and the latest culture and lifestyle. I have covered the rise of bitcoin and cryptocurrency since 2012 and have charted its emergence as a niche technology into the greatest threat to the established financial system the world has ever seen and the most important new technology since the internet itself. I have worked and written for CityAM, the Financial Times, and the New Statesman, amongst others. Follow me on Twitter @billybambrough or email me on billyATbillybambrough.com. Disclosure: I occasionally hold some small amount of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Source: Just One Major Cryptocurrency Is Outperforming Bitcoin Right Now And It’s Climbing Fast

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Don’t Forget About Cryptocurrency Like Bitcoin At Tax Time

Form 1040 may look similar to last year’s return, but there’s one key difference that’s attracting attention: a question about cryptocurrency.

As I reported late last year, early drafts of Form 1040 reflected a new question on the top of Schedule 1, Additional Income and Adjustments to Income (downloads as a PDF). Schedule 1 is used to report income or adjustments to income that can’t be entered directly on the front page of form 1040.

The new question made it onto the final version of Schedule 1:

The question asks: At any time during 2019, did you receive, sell, send, exchange, or otherwise acquire any financial interest in any virtual currency? 

The placement of the question is important. I believe the question is intended to be so conspicuous that it makes it difficult for any taxpayer to argue that they didn’t know that it was necessary to report cryptocurrency transactions.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has made no secret of the fact that it believes that taxpayers are not properly reporting cryptocurrency transactions. An IRS dive into the data showed that for the 2013 through 2015 tax years, the IRS processed, on average, just under 150 million individual returns annually. Of those, approximately 84% were filed electronically. When IRS matched data collected from forms 8949, Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets, which were filed electronically, they found that just 807 individuals reported a transaction using a property description likely related to bitcoin in 2013; in 2014, that number was only 893; and in 2015, the number fell to 802.

But… so what? If you skip over the question or answer it wrong, you can still claim that you made a mistake, right?

Here’s the thing. Even though the question is new, this kind of question certainly isn’t. Tax professionals have watched taxpayers struggle before when answering a similar question about offshore accounts and interests at the bottom of Schedule B. This one:

The IRS can and has taken the position that willfully failing to check the box related to offshores accounts and interests on Schedule B can form the basis for criminal prosecution. Failing to check the box by accident can still result in expensive headaches and draconian penalties. I fully expect a similar result when it comes to cryptocurrency.

So why all the fuss over this new question? The IRS has made cryptocurrency compliance a priority. Last year, the IRS mailed letters to more than 10,000 taxpayers who might have failed to report income and pay the resulting tax from virtual currency transactions or did not accurately report their transactions. This wasn’t unexpected since the IRS campaigns announced in 2018 that they were making noncompliance related to the use of virtual currency one of their targeted compliance campaigns.

In 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidance to taxpayers (downloads as a PDF), making it clear that virtual currency like Bitcoin and Ethereum will be treated as capital assets, provided they are convertible into cash. In simple terms, this means that capital gains rules apply to gains or losses. (You can read more on the taxation of cryptocurrencies here.)

https://i0.wp.com/onlinemarketingscoops.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Comfortable-Leather-Sandals.jpg?resize=779%2C287&ssl=1

It’s clear that the IRS is getting serious about cryptocurrency reporting. If you have questions about how and what to report, don’t stay silent: ask your tax professional for more information.

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Years ago, I found myself sitting in law school in Moot Court wearing an oversized itchy blue suit. It was a horrible experience. In a desperate attempt to avoid anything like that in the future, I enrolled in a tax course. I loved it. I signed up for another. Before I knew it, in addition to my JD, I earned an LL.M Taxation. While at law school, I interned at the estates attorney division of the IRS. At IRS, I participated in the review and audit of federal estate tax returns. At one such audit, opposing counsel read my report, looked at his file and said, “Gentlemen, she’s exactly right.” I nearly fainted. It was a short jump from there to practicing, teaching, writing and breathing tax. Just like that, Taxgirl® was born.

Source: Don’t Forget About Cryptocurrency Like Bitcoin At Tax Time

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For more information, Checkout our Complete 2019 Guide To Cryptocurrency Taxes: https://www.cryptotrader.tax/blog/the… To learn how to import your cryptocurrency data into TurboTax: https://www.cryptotrader.tax/blog/how… To learn more about the “Cryptocurrency Tax Problem”: https://www.cryptotrader.tax/blog/cry… To learn how Cryptocurrency Mining is Treated for Tax Purposes: https://www.cryptotrader.tax/blog/how…

China’s Planned Bitcoin-Killer Sparks Major Concerns

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency have this year successfully provoked central bankers and governments to take digital currencies seriouslythough many remain skeptical.

The bitcoin price, which has failed to return to its all-time highs set in late 2017 despite a late December rally, was given a substantial boost in the first half of this year by social media giant Facebook’s plans for a bitcoin-like rival.

Now, China’s long-awaited answer to bitcoin and Facebook’s libra is taking shape, with People’s Bank of China confirming the “digital yuan” won’t be “for speculation or require the support of a basket of currencies”— leaving many disappointed and others concerned.

“The currency is not for speculation,” Mu Changchun, head of the People’s Bank of China’s digital currency research institute, said over the weekend, according to the official Shanghai Securities News and reported by China’s South China Morning Post newspaper.

“It is different to bitcoin or stable tokens, which can be used for speculation or require the support of a basket of currencies,” Mu said, with the newspaper adding “the top-level design, formulation, functional research and testing of the Digital Currency Electronic Payment had been completed,” with “the next step” to roll out pilot programmes.

The news was met with disappointment from China’s social media users, the South China Morning Post reported.

One said there will be “no fun in it,” while another added “if you don’t allow me to speculate on the digital form of the yuan, I’ll speculate on other things, like foreign exchange.”

Meanwhile, China’s plans for a bitcoin-rival have sparked fears Beijing will use the digital yuan to better control its citizens.

“A roller-coaster decade—not just for for banking and money but also for privacy and politics—may just be beginning,” wrote Andy Mukherjee for Bloomberg, a financial newswire.

“[China’s digital yuan is] far bigger than [bitcoin]. The crypto yuan, which may be on offer as soon as 2020, will be fully backed by the central bank of the world’s second-largest economy, drawing its value from the Chinese state’s ability to impose taxes in perpetuity,” Mukherjee wrote, adding “a digital yuan could bypass [the current deposit-based banking] system and allow any holder of the currency to have a deposit at the central bank, potentially making the state the monopoly supplier of money to retail customers.”

Mukherjee also warned other nations will follow China’s lead and that “anonymity disappears when cash does.”

Last month, outgoing European Central Bank executive board member Benoît Cœuré, who last year described bitcoin as “the evil spawn of the financial crisis,” outlined plans for a European “central bank digital currency” to rival the likes of Facebook’s libra and bitcoin.

Bitcoin, with its well-earned reputation as internet cash, is only going to become more important as regions, countries and companies try to control digital assets.

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I am a journalist with significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business around the world. As the founding editor of Verdict.co.uk I reported on how technology is changing business, political trends, and the latest culture and lifestyle. I have covered the rise of bitcoin and cryptocurrency since 2012 and have charted its emergence as a niche technology into the greatest threat to the established financial system the world has ever seen and the most important new technology since the internet itself. I have worked and written for CityAM, the Financial Times, and the New Statesman, amongst others. Follow me on Twitter @billybambrough or email me on billyATbillybambrough.com. Disclosure: I occasionally hold some small amount of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Source: China’s Planned Bitcoin-Killer Sparks Major Concerns

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China’s big move for the 21st century is to pull a “trap door” on the U.S. by launching a gold-backed crypto currency that will devalue the U.S. dollar to “zero,” this according to Max Keiser, host of the Keiser Report. “[China] is rolling out a cryptocurrency, a lot of the details have not been divulged. I can tell you that the cryptocurrency that China’s rolling out will be backed by gold. It’s a two-pronged announcement. Number one, China’s got 20,000 tonnes of gold, number two, we’re rolling out a crypto coin backed by gold, and the dollar is toast,” Keiser told Kitco News. Keiser added that bitcoin is a superior form of currency to gold. “Both fiat money and gold are inferior to bitcoin for one very simple reason, that with a bitcoin transaction, it is also simultaneously the settlement. You don’t have that with fiat, you don’t have that with gold,” he said. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Kitco News is the world’s #1 source of metals market information. Our videos feature interviews with prominent industry figures to bring you market-affecting insights, with the goal of helping people make informed investment decisions. Subscribe to our channel to stay up to date on the latest insights moving the metals markets. For more breaking news, visit http://www.kitco.com/ Follow us on social media: Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/KitcoNews/?r… Twitter – https://twitter.com/kitconewsnow Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/116266490… StockTwits – https://stocktwits.com/kitconews Live gold price and charts: http://www.kitco.com/gold-price-today… Live silver price and charts: http://www.kitco.com/silver-price-tod… Don’t forget to sign up for Kitco News’ Weekly Roundup – comes out every Friday to recap the hottest stories & videos of the week: https://connect.kitco.com/subscriptio… Join the conversation @ The Kitco Forums and be part of the premier online community for precious metals investors: https://gold-forum.kitco.com/ Disclaimer: Videos are not trading advice and the views expressed may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc.

Bitcoin Suddenly Dives Below $7,000 As Crypto Markets Lose Billions

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets were suddenly sold off today, with the bitcoin price losing around $200 per bitcoin in minutes and dipping under the psychological $7,000 mark once againcontinuing a period of relative volatility for digital tokens.

Bitcoin-rivals ethereum, Ripple’s XRP, bitcoin cash, litecoin, EOS and binance coin were also heavily sold off, wiping billions of dollars from the combined cryptocurrency market capitalization.

The cause of the sudden sell-off was not immediately clear, however, analysts have noted a drop in crypto market trading volume recently.

“All is quiet on the crypto front. Perhaps, a little too quiet,” Mati Greenspan, the founder of bitcoin and crypto research outlet Quantum Economics wrote in a note ahead of the bitcoin sell-off today, adding the dominance of the world’s biggest stablecoin, tether, “seems to be waning.”

Bitcoin was earlier trading at $6,880, down by 3.5% over the last 24-hour trading period, according to prices from U.S.-based crypto exchange Coinbase, with ethereum, Ripple’s XRP, litecoin, and bitcoin cash all off by between 5% and 8%.

EOS, a dectralized app token similar to ethereum, led the bitcoin and crypto market lower.

Earlier this year, bitcoin and cryptocurrency price watchers warned that “dismal” bitcoin volumes could mean the market was headed for a perfect storm.

In periods of low trading volume, crypto prices are more vulnerable to so-called whales moving the market by placing massive buy or sell orders at a little above or below current market rates. These can trigger trading algorithms that then send prices sharply higher or lower and can be a sign of market manipulation.

Meanwhile, research out earlier today suggested the bitcoin price might struggle over the short term due to the $2 billion PlusToken scandal—one of the biggest ever cryptocurrency scams.

“That’s certainly something to consider when you are thinking about where the price is going, at least in the short term,” Kim Grauer, senior economist at blockchain analysis company Chainalysis told financial newswire Bloomberg. “It could be, according to our research, continued downward pressure.”

PlusToken scammers are thought to have sold some 25,000 bitcoin, according to Chainalysis data, with a further 20,000 still to be dumped back onto the market.

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I am a journalist with significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business around the world. As the founding editor of Verdict.co.uk I reported on how technology is changing business, political trends, and the latest culture and lifestyle. I have covered the rise of bitcoin and cryptocurrency since 2012 and have charted its emergence as a niche technology into the greatest threat to the established financial system the world has ever seen and the most important new technology since the internet itself. I have worked and written for CityAM, the Financial Times, and the New Statesman, amongst others. Follow me on Twitter @billybambrough or email me on billyATbillybambrough.com. Disclosure: I occasionally hold some small amount of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Source: Bitcoin Suddenly Dives Below $7,000 As Crypto Markets Lose Billions

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