Bitcoin Forking Simplified

bitcoin.png

There has been a lot of noise lately in the media and on all social media about the possible Bitcoin hard fork, some say it will be a soft fork, others are calling for no fork whatsoever…but what the heck is this all about and why all the panic?

The problem Bitcoin faces right now is one of scale-ability. The current block size is limited to 1MB – a cautionary measure implemented early on in the Bitcoin development after the blockchain suffered numerous hacking attacks. This was supposed to be a temporary limit on the block size but it was never lifted and we now face a big backlog on transactions, some days amounting to 100 000+  pending transactions for hours on end. Which in effect brings the fees up with many companies allowing their customers to pay higher fees and speed up their transactions processing. Currently, the daily revenue of fees on Bitcoin transactions is $350 000. Each day….

At the same time there are new coins, most of which are soft forks on Bitcoin in a way and offer improvements like instant-pay [by DASH] or higher privacy [Zcash, PIVX] or superior blockchain [Ethereum].

Many argue that if Bitcoin is to stay the dominant crypto currency, it has to be able to evolve and rise to the challenges of the times. The debate about the possible forking is not new, but it was reignited in December last year [2016] when the news about Bitcoin Unlimited began circulating.

What exactly is a Fork?

Forking is used as a term to describe a split in the system.  In simple terms, we see a proposal of a diversion from the current software that will enable size blocks to . There are two ways to do this.

“Hard Fork”is a permanent change in the block chain, where only the new software is accepted in the network. It means that every node – miners, merchants and users – has to upgrade to be able to validate the new blocks. Old nodes will not be able to validate new blocks. This will cause a split in the blockchain [version A and version B].

“Soft fork” does not cause a split in two blockchains because it is backwards-compatible and self-correcting in that only a majority of miners need to update to the new consensus rules. Old nodes will then see the new blocks as valid.

SegWit [ Segregated Witness] is one solution proposed for upgrading the block size to 2MB without the need to split the blockchain and it’s effectively a soft fork. This is not met with agreement by all miners unfortunately as some are in support of a bigger scale-ability of the blocks.

In the occurrence of a “Hard Fork” the result will be two development groups which is a split into:

  • Bitcoin Core [the current network]
  • Bitcoin Unlimited [the new version of the network with up-scaled block size].

BTC Vs BTU

Bitcoin Core [BTC] is the current version of Bitcoin that we know and use. It supports 1MB blocks and has the ability to support SegWit but does not agree with proposed upgrades by BTU

Bitcoin Unlimited [BTU] is a group of miners who propose a change in the software that allows for greater size of the blocks to be determined by market demand [and accepted by consensus of the miners]. The change is, however, incompatible with the current Bitcoin software and would therefore create a “new coin,” while carrying over the entire transaction history of the currency. BTU was developed by software engineer Andrew Stone and is supported by a minority but headed strongly by one of the biggest Bitcoin PR faces – Roger Ver, CEO of Bitcoin.com

Under normal circumstances, a change of rules would only occur if the whole network would agree on the new rules. Only one coin would emerge, causing no problem. However, as this split is caused by the very disagreement on the rules, initiated by Bitcoin Unlimited, it is very unlikely that Bitcoin Core would give in and would move to Unlimited.

If more than 51% of the nodes agree on the changes proposed by BTU, a hard fork will be possible and there would be two coins, each adhering to their own rules and the public opinion is that BTU forming as an Alt Coin. Many Alt Coins are just different versions of Bitcoin. My research shows that BTU is not very well-received in the Bitcoin community and most people would prefer that a split did not happen.

How would this affect us?

At times of uncertainty we usually see a price-dip and this is already quite noticeable this week. Bitcoin is currently standing at $950-970 per coin, down from $1200 in February. In the short term this is expected and it could be a trend that will last for a few more weeks. As soon as we see the end of this debate or at least some stability in the market, we will expect a recovery and some readjustment back to the higher numbers. Many speculators will take advantage of this lower price and the media hype that surrounds this topic only feeds the panic that causes a big dump at the exchanges which will make those buyers very happy. Some are diversifying their holdings with Alt Coins, others prefer to convert to USD for a short time and buy Bitcoin at a lower rate.

If you are not an active trader but holding Bitcoin for longer term, I would advise to just do nothing. Hold it but make sure you are using a cold storage. [like Ledger or Trezor] so you are the owner of your private keys. This way you can benefit from the choice of what version you will use in the future while some vendors and wallet providers might only choose to work with one of the two versions. Trezor and Ledger both give this response to the question about the splitting of the blockchain:

sdlkgjsdlgi

This might not be the case if you are holding your coins in an online wallet. Most cloud storage wallets might not offer a choice to customers, so we see warnings issued by Coinbase, Circle and other providers to their customers.


sgjsndfkj.JPG


circle-fork.JPG


 

btcforking.jpg

 


Further reading:
http://www.coindesk.com/preparing-bitcoin-hard-fork/
http://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/30817/what-is-a-soft-fork
https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitcoin-hard-fork-will-be-felt-deeper-than-ethereums-experts
https://blog.coinbase.com/update-for-customers-with-bitcoin-stored-on-coinbase-904dea08ac5f#.khru1mle3
https://arstechnica.com/business/2015/08/op-ed-why-is-bitcoin-forking/
https://blog.trezor.io/contingency-plan-bitcoin-hard-fork-b6ce85cde028#.s2g11vixi

Bitcoin ETF rejected today. Price dips by 15%

Bitcoin had been soaring in recent days on the anticipation of a ruling by the SEC on the listing of a bitcoin backed ETF. It jumped to $1279.00 in the last hour before the result was announced. Then moments later it was down to $1150.00 and later reached as low as $1060.00

how-can-i-buy-bitcoins-630x382

The event today was an important ruling by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that rejected the proposed Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF [a trading exchange similar to Forex and the stock market]

The reason the ETF was not approved, according to the SEC, was because bitcoin is “too susceptible to fraud due to its unregulated nature.”

This is quite wry coming from the ultra-corrupt and anti-free market SEC. The market needs no regulation by an outside and violent entity (government) operating through the use of stolen funds (taxes) to manipulate, extort and attack people who do not pay enough bribes (political donations).

Bitcoin, in fact, is perfectly regulated the way it should be. By the blockchain itself. Bitcoin is 100% regulated by the blockchain which is a ledger system that is completely transparent, available to all, and unchangeable by any one entity.

In fact, “regulation” in and of itself is a tool used by branches of crime syndicates such as the SEC. Luckily, bitcoin cannot actually be regulated by the SEC, which makes it far more secure and less susceptible to manipulation and corruption.

Many in the bitcoin community were quite happy to hear that the SEC did not approve the ETF. Aside from not wanting the blessings of a corrupt, criminal entity they also said it limits the ability of some to manipulate the market, via shorting and other means that would be made easier via the ETF.

We now live in a very digital world. The largest population today is not China’s. It’s the internet. The largest economy in the world is not the United States. It’s the internet. The largest postal carrier is not the DHL, UPS or FEDEX. It’s the internet.

Bitcoin is internet’s money. It’s the defacto currency adopted by those on the internet. It has no state nor borders. No bank can control it. It’s not about “what country will adopt bitcoin first”. It’s about bitcoin not needing a country to exist.

That is what makes bitcoin so valuable. And, it is not going away anytime soon.

If you aren’t yet using Bitcoin, you are missing out on a very swift, easy and cheap way of transacting money. If you have not yet purchased any Bitcoin yet, you are missing on a massive earning potential. In the past year alone, the price of Bitcoin tripled, that’s 300% gain for those who had it already. In the coming year it will possibly reach around $2500-$3000 and then it will continue to rise due to its limited supply and ever increasing demand.

This is just a projection, but one that has been agreed and shared by almost every financial expert in the field. Make no mistake, Bitcoin is a must-have in any online entrepreneur’s portfolio. Don’t let it pass you by.

Bitcoin or Gold?

February 24th 2017 will be remembered as the day when Bitcoin finally reached that pivotal point of beating its own record price that was set back in 2014. With this came the inevitable question : Is Bitcoin better than Gold? A touch question if we talk about value in the long run, but I do have a very clear idea about its short term performance…

If you are looking to get your hands on some Bitcoin, my top choice for a beginner is dfinitely Coinbase – the biggest Bitcoin wallet and exchange. Here is my review and tutorial about Coinbase:

Bitcoin – the revolution

bitcoin-perfecthue
2016 will go down as the year when we [the marketing world] embraced Bitcoin.
We started 2016 with some knowledge of the digital currency that has been growing since 2009 [it took us a while, I admit] but once we added Bitcoin in the game things took of and it was really a no-brainer. For a community that earns their income online it makes perfect sense to use this online currency. Surprisingly, it appears that Bitcoin makes things easier rather than complex, but most importantly, the fees are minuscule and that means you get more from your earnings to yourself. 
I bought my first Bitcoin in late Spring for about $425 and I still remember how disappointed I was with myself for an earlier rejection to the idea, at a time when Bitcoin was a mere $130 some years back. Nevertheless, a firm believer in the digital coin, I am happy to see Bitcoin reaching for the $1000 mark. It is something that many early investors are waiting for and it’s happening already.
Well, we are closing the year with a rough price of $950 and up.
What is he future of Bitcoin in 2017? More ups or downs? That is the question on everyone’s lips. Those who came in late and bought it in the past month are going to watch it with trepidation, stress about every little dip in the chart of course but one thing is for sure: Bitcoin will keep rising, it is still the only real crypto on the market that offers usability aside from the general investment outlook which will keep its rising popularity. And there is even a chance that it may hit the mainstream public. And if that happens, we might see it shoot straight up.
A few factors are needed if this is going to happen and the first one is : Promotion.
If we are to see the general public going mad for the coin it has to be marketed correctly. Through the mainstream media. And this is already happening. Financial outlets like newspapers and magazines have been banging on about it for years. It’s time for something more attractive and it’s coming in the shape of a full feature movie. Yes, in 2017 we are to have the first major movie about the revolution of the digital currency and it’s opening really soon.
“Banking on Bitcoin” is a feature film on Bitcoin, its history and future.
Set to be released on January 6, 2017. Produced by Gravitas Ventures, the film will be launched at select theatres and will also be made available on VOD.

The  film covers the most disruptive digital invention since the Internet. It follows the ideological battle underway between fringe utopists and mainstream capitalism. An in-depth coverage of key players in the space including Charlie Shrem, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, Barry Silbert, Erik Voorhees, Nathanial Popper, Alex Winter and more gives an insight into how they think this revolutionary cryptocurrency technology will shape our lives.

Could that be the next big push that is needed to carry on the ever growing popularity of Bitcoin into the mainstream and will that help the price reach the long awaited $2000 price value of the currency is yet to be seen but one thing is for sure. Bitcoin is here to stay and 2017 will be crucial year for its development and growth. Many governments are looking at utilising the Bitcoin and if successful they will do more damage to the currency than we would have expected but will they succeed is still questionable.

2017 will be a really interesting year for Bitcoin and we are all eager to find out what is coming.

Happy New Year everyone!

Security must come first…

Online hacking is a big risk for everyone making an income on the internet and it’s not only the big earners and businesses that are targeted. Many recent hacking attacks were directed toward the online marketing community and even those with little experience and new to this marketplace were under threat.
online-security-padlock

Since we are working in the internet space, all our data: accounts, profiles, transactions and so on, is exposed and could be violated if there is enough intent and effort involved. But even if you are not tech-savvy, there is still a chance of reducing that risk by taking some extra precautions.

Here are the most common mistakes we make and how to avoid them:

1 – The most common mistake and quoted as the biggest threat by most security experts is basically our own careless attitude to the issue of hacking. Most of us think that we aren’t important enough to be a target thus being complacent about the passwords we use and how difficult they are.

Tip: With the popularity of Facebook and random messaging, literally everyone is a target, even those of us who are hardly making ends meet. Better be safe than sorry, so make sure your passwords are strong, complicated and incomprehensible. A mixture of numbers and letters, capitals and small and a few special characters are all needed to make your password stronger. The best tip someone gave me recently is to use any unique characters or signs that might only be available in your country region. For instance here in UK we use the pound sign £ and many other keyboards don’t have it, so that’s an idea. 🙂

2 – Using the same password for multiple accounts is possibly the biggest mistake by far, but it stems from the above mentioned negligent take on security, hence why it is coming second in my opinion. This is not an official statistic, it is my take on the facts and based on a combination of research and personal experience.

Tip: Use a different password for each account or profile you have, this way if one account is compromised, your other accounts might be safe (depending on the nature of the hack).
The only time I had a hack on my accounts, I allowed the intruder to steal my money from both Payza and Payeer, two finance related services, both with the same password…and to make things worse, the email linked to these two accounts had the same password. Ideal scenario for an easy hack. The emails that were supposed to alert me of these fraudulent transactions were being deleted in real time so I wasn’t able to find out about the fraud until it was too late and my money was gone.

spam

3 – Another common mistake is using public wifi hotspots when on the go or on vacation. Public wifi is never secure enough and is not to be trusted.

Tip: while it’s okay to use that for social media and other non-paying websites, try not to login in your payment processors from a public hotspot if you are not in an urgency

4 – Opening links from messages on social media. Many of us who work in the network marketing domain are exposed to threats simply due to the fact that we communicate with strangers a lot. Learn to spot suspicious accounts early on, check the profiles of the people you are chatting with. 90% of the personal hacks depend heavily on the interaction with the user. A common trick is to send a virus file in a message, that could range from a exe file, to rar or zip or even just a link that is cookied to a different URL which does the damage. It is sometimes very hard to spot the danger immediately, so you must avoid opening any such files and always make sure that the person sending any links is the real person you’re speaking with and that you know them enough to trust that what they’re sending isn’t affected.

Tip : Make sure that they have enough history and a lot of real photos, just look out for any signs of fake activity, whether it be fake profile pics or lack of pics, lack of posts from previous years or months, lack of personal identity in the profile,

5 – Email hacking is still a very high risk factor. You should have a high level spam filtering in place but for us marketers the spam folder is the new inbox, right? So we ought to be very careful with those newsletters and offers we receive from the numerous programs or networks we sign up for. And of course the payment processors. Not a day goes by without receiving a fake email in my spam folder, asking me to verify my PayPal details or something of the sort.

Tip: If unsure about the authenticity of the email, first check the sender details, sometimes it’s obviously a different email address, but it can even be masked as the original sender, so you should always be suspicious of any email asking for confirmation of any details that directs you to a link. Reach out to the sender’s facebook page or website to inquire about the authenticity first. This is a must.

6ac60433ce1cb039a7468392b4778127

6 – Using anti-virus and anti-malware software is an obvious step you’d think but more importantly, you need to have an updated version (or two) of these . There are free ones like  AVG  or paid ones like Norton or Kasperski. I also use  Malwarebytes  to scan for things that anti-virus programs miss. Get one and update it automatically.

Tip : The same goes for your Internet browser. Always have the latest Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge or Safari versions. Don’t just ignore that update request from your browser, do it right away. Some of those updates are security ones. In fact, keep up to date as to which is  the most secure browser  and just use that. Chrome, I’m looking at you buddy.

7 – Username matching your emails or other accounts. I am still guilty of this since I only found out recently that this was an issue.

Tip : You should make your usernames as complex as your passwords. Special characters and all that jazz. It should be unpredictable and not a real word.

8 – Being lazy when it comes to back ups is a bad habit. Why risk loosing important data?

Back up everything. You should constantly be backing up your hard drive, emails and  blog contents  to an external hard drive. If the worst happens and someone deletes your blog content you can get it back up without too much trouble. Imagine if you were relying on a website for your income and it all got deleted?

9 – Not using extra verification is a big setback. Always enable 2-step Authentication on all websites that have this option, especially for financial sites and emails. Whether it be via Google Authenticator or a different one or a text message with the code sent to your mobile, this is a really good feature and is also a must. Do not miss that.

10 – Back to the subject of passwords, here is what Candid Wuest, Threat Analyst at  Symantec has to advise about them:

“Two of the most common and basic mistakes consumers make when it comes to protecting their online assets is not to use strong passwords on all their devices and not applying patches or software updates, leaving people exposed to exploits cybercriminals actively leverage. The most common password of all is simply the word ‘password’. People think they are being clever – but it is one of the first words cyber-thieves try. Other passwords to avoid include children and pet names as well as favourite football teams and dates of birth – all commonly used. A hacker can find such details easily on social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

A better idea to create strong passwords is to remember a phrase – for example, “An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away!”. The sentence as a whole, including spaces, would be the best password to use. If the system is older and only allows for short passwords, then use the first letters and you have a password “AAaDKtDA!”. If you also want numbers in it, then change a letter to a number that reminds you of the letter or replace words. For example, 1AaDKtD1!.

Use a password manager, such as Norton Identity Safe, to help remember multiple strong passwords across all your online accounts. Where possible, enable additional security features such as two factor strong authentication.

So these are all the tips I could think of today. Hopefully this post will make you revise your security and will improve your awareness on the subject.

And before I go, here is a list of the 25 most commonly used passwords according to a survey published by the Daily Telegraph

123456

password

12345678

qwerty

12345

123456789

football

1234

1234567

baseball

welcome

1234567890

abc123

111111

1qaz2wsx

dragon

master

monkey

letmein

login

princess

qwertyuiop

solo

passw0rd

starwars

 

If yours is one of these you might want to take action TODAY.

To find out how secure is your current password, go HERE:

To find out another 500 of the most used passwords [not the latest statistic] go HERE

**************

s2

Reference and further reading:

http://www.whatsmypass.com/the-top-500-worst-passwords-of-all-time

https://heimdalsecurity.com/blog/most-common-mistakes-27-cyber-security-experts/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2016/01/26/most-common-passwords-revealed—and-theyre-ridiculously-easy-to/

https://howsecureismypassword.net/

http://www.passwordmeter.com/

https://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Backups  [back up your blog content]

https://www.mywot.com/en/mobile   [This  can help you  identify if anyone is trying to run a phishing scam on you by showing you what is safe.]

Coinbase – Getting Started with Bitcoin

If Bitcoin is still a mystery to you perhaps it is time to look at it as just another currency.

Bitcoin is the currency of the Internet. A distributed worldwide, decentralized, digital money.
Unlike traditional currencies such as dollars, bitcoins are issued and managed without any central authority whatsoever: there is no government, company, or bank in charge of Bitcoin. As such, it is more resistant to wild inflation and corrupt banks.
With Bitcoin, you can be your own bank.

Join Coinbase and get $10 free bitcoin : https://www.coinbase.com/join/busyjordy

Why Duplication is the Key to Success.

There is a familiar thread which runs through all massively and even moderately successful Network Marketers, they have all applied one very simple principle. The principle is that of ‘duplication’. Duplication is an absolute corner stone of success in Network Marketing and MLM. I will even go so far as to say that if the network marketing business does not posses the ability to duplicate their efforts, business is doomed to failure!

What is Duplication?
Network Marketing or MLM businesses are effectively organisations or networks of people who are all building the same business. Someone develops a business model, be it product or service based, and he (or she) figures out how to make it work, they put in place a ‘system’ or ‘success formula’ that an affiliate is able to duplicate or copy, therefore guaranteeing success. At least, that’s the principle.

Individuals, team leaders and successful marketers are using this same principle in their approach to building their teams and businesses. In simple terms, we’re talking about the ability to pass on your experience and teach your team to follow what you do with the tools you use and ultimately, to help them achieve the results you have.

As an online marketer I have experienced it first hand, without duplication there is no long-term sustainability in your business. If my downline fails to make a profit from their use of the system, they will not be able to stay with it for long therefore my team goes weak. Even if I were to constantly recruit and gain new members,  I cannot continue doing so indefinitely.

This is why I say you need Duplication. Your Success Depends on This.
Fortunately, duplication is one of the first principles that any successful leader in the MLM industry will teach to their organisation. After all, another key success principle in MLM is that in order to succeed, you absolutely must help others to succeed first. You have to be generous with your time, patience and really set out to help people. You cannot be too self-centered or ego-driven either, because your own results will not apply to your downline and you must not mislead in your early attempts as this only hinder your team progress.

Let’s look at an example:

The network marketer contacts one of their prospects to discuss the idea of the prospect becoming an affilliate, the prospect responds with “Yes, that sounds great, but, are you making any money?”
How should the network marketer respond to this question?
You will notice that we don’t know if the network marketer in this example is incredibly successful or if they are brand new to the business. In either case, the response is critical, and in either case it should be the same. You see, we teach by doing. In MLM people will need to be able to duplicate your efforts.
So, the wrong response would be “Yes, I’m making $$$ thousand a month and it’s great, you should look at it!”

Why is this wrong?

Quite simply, it cannot be duplicated. The new network marketer will not be able to say this to their prospects, at least not honestly.
The correct response would be “My upline team are incredibly successful, they have developed large organisations and we are working together to find more like minded people to work with” Why is this correct? Again, very simple, it can easily be duplicated! The new network marketer can use this exact same technique in their business.
This is just one working example, there are many, many situations where duplication and the ability to duplicate need to be considered. The principle of duplication must be taught very early on in the network marketing business owner’s career if they are to succeed and achieve and experience rapid growth in their organisation
In Short:

The key to success in network marketing and MLM is duplication, it is also in the ability to teach duplication. Teaching this principle early on will help your organisation grow and duplicate rapidly. Helping others to become successful in this technique is a cornerstone of building large network marketing organisations.
Depending on how you go about getting leads is also going to be a factor. It is important to create a lead generation method that others can follow. The last thing you want to do is have your newcomers become overwhelmed because they cannot figure out how to do something. Keep it simple, and do whatever it takes to help them get off to a good start. Simplifying the process for your new team members, and helping them create early success will help to create a stable team, as opposed to people coming and going all of the time.