Bitcoin in a Nutshell

Bitcoin has almost become a household name with ever increasing coverage in the media, and fair to say its notoriety continues to increase. So what’s all the fuss about? Bitcoin appeared around 2009 as a new form of digital currency and was develop from the off as open-source by a clever chap called Satoshi Nakamoto. We are told his true identify is ‘shrouded in mystery’ like he’s some kind of Marvel superhero, I suspect this simply means he’s a super nerd, but there’s no question, he’s certainly a pioneer…

So what’s it all about?

Bitcoin is a form of currency the same as any other, however it is not under the control of any government or financial institution. The premise is for it to be owned and managed by its own community. Bitcoin is de-centralised and managed by peer-to-peer members who all partake in new transaction activity and store previous activity in what are known as ‘block chains’. This means that a full ‘copy’ of all transactions are stored locally and used to verify, between participants, new activity, thereby preventing any one person from malforming, adding or creating fake transactions within the block chain. This ‘consensus’ approach protects the security of Bitcoin transactions.

Bitcoin works in not a dissimilar way to PayPal in that you have a digital wallet with a unique address where people can send you Bitcoins. You can simply install a wallet on your device, or you can download the full Bitcoin wallet and participate in the network as a node.

Bitcoin’s value is very much an effect of supply and demand with risky investors gambling on the highs. Currently a single Bitcoin (shown as 1.0000000) is worth £573 or $935. You can purchase Bitcoins at any of the 8 decimal places so for example 0.0100000 would cost you £5.70 and 0.1000000 would cost you £57.00, no surprise where Bitcoin got its name!

OK, where do I buy Bitcoins?

Unless you have some Bitcoins coming your way via a payment, you will need to purchase Bitcoins in your existing currency. Purchasing is all about trust as it is not regulated, however that’s sort of how eBay started out, where users trusted each other to pay for and send items, and they’ve done rather well for themselves…

The Bitcoin coal face

Bitcoin mining, as it is known, is the process of generating (and securing) Bitcoins and a small payment in the form of units of Bitcoins are paid for the time and effort your hardware is used and your level of participation. This is done via a number of methods from using your own PC’s CPU or GPU (not dissimilar to other grid based BOINC projects such as Seti @ Home) to using ASIC miners (Application Specific Integrated Circuits), these are designed for the singular purpose for which they are built, which in this case is generating Bitcoins. Unless you have significant investment to purchase powerful ASIC miners such as those from butterflylabs.com which can run at 600GH/s (Hash’s per second) you will have to look at USB ASIC Miners such as the popular BlockErupter which generate 336MH/s. Using the BlockErupters you can create your own USB hub style rig running lots of them concurrently.

The reality though, is that it may be too late in the game to make any serious money from Bitcoin mining. The complexity (Hash rate) of the Block Chain is now such that even joining and contributing to a Mining Pool, where miners work together and share the profits, will likely see more spent in electricity than in any real financial return. Also there is a maximum limit of 21 million Bitcoins and at present it is nearing 12.4 million and as more miners join, the quicker this limit will be reached. It is now more likely you will make money buying Bitcoins themselves than generating them.

The future of Bitcoin…

Bitcoin is an emerging technology, as such the price has been volatile, however recently it has started to become more stable as the community of users grows. As of this writing, Bitcoin is seeing the number of transactions reach as high as 100,000 per day. While banks and big business are yet to consider whether Bitcoin is a threat or an opportunity, there is no doubt they are beginning to sit up and take notice of this new digital currency which continues to grow its user base daily.

Should You Buy Bitcoin?

As the world’s current front runner in the Crypto Currency market, Bitcoin have been making some serious headlines, and some serious fluctuations in the last 6 months. Almost everyone has heard of them, and almost everyone has an opinion. Some can’t fathom the idea that a currency with any value can be created from nothing, whilst some love the idea that something without Government control can be traded as a valuable entity in its own right.

Where you sit on the “Should I Buy Bitcoin?” fence probably ultimately boils down to one question: Can I Make Money from Bitcoin?

Can You Make Money from Bitcoin?

In just the last 6 months, we have seen the price go from $20 a coin in February, up to $260 a coin in April, back down to $60 in March, and back up to $130 in May. The price has now settled to around $100 a Bitcoin, but what happens next is anyone’s guess.

Bitcoin’s future ultimately rests on two major variables: its adoption as a currency by a wide audience, and the absence of prohibitive Government intervention.

The Bitcoin community is growing rapidly, interest in the Crypto currency has spread dramatically online, and new services are accepting Bitcoin payments increasingly. Blogging giant, WordPress, accepts Bitcoin payments, and African based mobile application provider, Kipochi, have developed a Bitcoin wallet that will allow Bitcoin payments on mobile phones in developing nations.

We have already seen people make millions on the currency. We are seeing increasing numbers of people experimenting with living only on Bitcoin for months on end, whilst recording the experience for documentary viewing.

You can buy a takeaway in Boston, coffee in London, and even a few cars on Craigslist using Bitcoin. Searches for Bitcoin have rocketed in 2013, with April’s hike and subsequent fall in the Bitcoin price. Last week the first large acquisition of a Bitcoin company was made for SatoshiDice, an online gambling site, for 126,315 BTC (about $11.47 million), by an undisclosed buyer.

This rapid growth in awareness and uptake looks set to continue, if trust in the currency remains strong. Which leads to the second dependency. Government regulation.

Although specifically designed to work independently from Government control, Bitcoin will inevitably be affected by Governments in some way. This must be the case for two reasons.

Firstly, to achieve high levels of adoption, Bitcoin will have to be accessible to large numbers of people, and that means spreading beyond the realms of hidden transactions to normal everyday transactions for individuals and businesses. Secondly, these Bitcoin transactions could become a trackable part of people’s taxable wealth, to be declared and regulated alongside any other kind of wealth.

The European Union has already declared that Bitcoin is not classed as a Fiat currency, or as money, and as such, will not be regulated in its own right. In the US, the 50 state system and number of bureaucratic bodies involved has inevitably made decisions more difficult, with no consensus reached thus far. Bitcoin is not considered to be money as such, but it is considered to act like money.

A thriving Bitcoin market in the US has a more uncertain future for now, and any conclusive legislation in the US could either have a very positive, or a very negative effect on the future of Bitcoin.

What Can I Use Bitcoins For?

Practically, almost any product or service that can be bought with dollars or other currencies can also be bought with bitcoins. On the other hand, the high volatility of bitcoins is a huge risk for some people that might want to use this cryptocurrency, but they are afraid about price differences. Even so, the characteristics of bitcoins make them perfect for internet payments:

1. Fast transactions

A bitcoin transaction is processed in 10-15 minutes. In case of a bank transfer, it might take hours or even days for the money to get from one account to the other. Some might say that PayPal or other ewallets are even faster. It is true, but there are other aspects that ewallets can’t give: privacy and smaller commissions.

2. Privacy

When you send bitcoins to a partner over the internet, the transaction will be registered in a blockchain. The list of transactions is public, and it can be verified on specialized websites. Only the identification number, the sum and the time are recorded. There is no way for somebody to find out from where the bitcoins come, and where they go. This is characteristic of bitcoins attracted many people. Well, some of those are interested about it because they can buy illegal goods with those, but the majority of bitcoin users are people that want to buy legal items and services, but which don’t want to disclose their identity. Porn and gambling websites might be immoral, but they are not illegal, so people that want to subscribe for those services can safely pay in bitcoins on the websites that accept this currency, knowing that their reputation will not be affected.

3. Smaller commissions

The average commission is 0.002 BTC for a transaction. It is significantly smaller compared with the PayPal or banking commissions. Moreover, you are not even obliged to pay it. By paying a commission, you “reserve” the computational power of a pool (or at least a part of it), to process your transaction faster. You even have the possibility not to pay the commission. In this case, you might need to wait two or even three days for your transaction to be processed. If you are not in a hurry, this might be the perfect opportunity to make money transactions with zero costs.

Of course, there are also disadvantages for using bitcoins, such as the possibility to lose them. If somebody steals your bitcoins, or if you delete the wallet files, it is impossible to recover those. As long as the bitcoin is not regulated, there is no central organism for arbitrage between divergent parts. In other words, you can’t complain if you lose or you are robbed by your bitcoins, simply because there is nobody to complain to.

Don’t Get Burned by Cryptocurrencies

Over the last few years I’ve come to know a lot about the various types of investors out there.

Most investors are steady, careful people who seek out the best possible advice before they act. They spend a lot of time trying to understand the investment environment, and have a good sense of the risks associated with any given trade.

Then there are the gamblers. Most of them are also pretty clear about the risks associated with their decisions. Like any good gambler, they take risks – calculated risks.

Then there are the desperate. They are driven by a sense of panic… by the need to make a big score, perhaps to make up for years of financial neglect.

A high proportion of those desperate folks are attracted to cryptocurrencies. The last few days have been tough for them…

The Mighty Fall, Then Rise Again

Many people I know who aren’t involved in the cryptocurrency world were quite surprised two weeks ago when it was reported that ether, an e-currency launched in 2014, had a total market value almost as big as bitcoin.

I admit to being surprised myself even though I pay attention to cryptocurrencies as part of my job.

The reason for that is straightforward: The tendency is to watch the value of an individual unit of a currency. In that respect, bitcoin is way more valuable than ether. One bitcoin is about $2,136 right now. One ether is $175. Bitcoin’s higher price makes it seem like the big kid on the block – which it is, of course, being the granddaddy of all e-currencies.

But there are a lot more ether out there than bitcoin, so despite the former’s lower price, its share of the total cryptocurrency market is nearly 30%.

That’s a pretty big jump: Ether’s share of the cryptocurrency universe was just 5% at the beginning of the year. It reached 30% in June, then crashed over this past weekend: It tumbled about 25% to a low of $140 an ether, down 65% from its record high of $395 set on June 13. It has rebounded somewhat since then.

Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble

Ether has done well largely because it is part of a larger initiative called Ethereum, which seeks to develop new uses for the blockchain technology that underlies all cryptocurrencies.

But it has also benefited from a general rush to cryptocurrencies in the last three years, in the form of initial coin offerings (ICOs).

An ICO is a way to crowdfund the release of a new cryptocurrency. When a cryptocurrency startup firm wants to raise money through an ICO, it sells “tokens” for dollars or bitcoin that can be exchanged for the new currency at some date in the future. Generally, tokens for the new cryptocurrency are sold to raise money for technical development before the cryptocurrency itself is released.

These tokens are similar to shares of a company sold to investors in an initial public offering (IPO) transaction. Unlike an IPO, however, acquisition of the tokens does not grant ownership in the company developing the new cryptocurrency. All you get is a promise of coins to come.

And unlike an IPO, there is little or no government regulation of an ICO.

Early ICO investors are usually motivated to buy the new cryptocurrency in the hope that it will increase in value when released. Ethereum is an example of a successful ICO project that was profitable to early investors. In 2014, the Ethereum ICO raised $18 million in bitcoin, or $0.40 per ether. The project went live in 2015, and in 2016 ether rose as high as $14, with a market capitalization of over $1 billion.

Now ether is at $175. You can imagine how people feel when they realize that had they bought ether at the ICO, every $0.40 they’d invested would now be worth that much.

On the other hand, those who bought ether at $395 a few weeks ago are less impressed.

A Cryptocurrency Wild West

So far this year, there have been around 20 ICOs a month.

You read that right: 20 brand-new cryptocurrencies proposed every single month.

Frankly, that’s crazy. There’s no way all those currencies are going to succeed. But apparently there are plenty of people out there who are either willing or desperate enough to believe that they will, and who hand over money or bitcoin to get a piece of the action.

Those people are the fuel beneath the current ICO fire.

When fuel burns, it disappears. Remember that if you’re ever tempted to gamble on a cryptocurrency ICO.

The True Story of the Bitcoin Market and Its Phenomenal Course

Bitcoin is now deemed to be the foremost payment procedure for online commerce, ardent spectators of cryptocurrencies consider this fact to be a drastic march on the trails of finance viewed on a universal scale. Experts however, spark a fresh debate around and on the matter of Bitcoin, simply the fact that majority of buyers in Bitcoin market are a bunch of speculators. Bitcoin is an ideal reflection of how cryptocurrencies can assume a shape in the imminent time, and capitalists must deem a larger perspective. The immense popularity and ever-mounting price is momentary, but dealing with the essentials regarding Bitcoin and its trivial competitors will lead to a perfect deliberation and that’s going to determine its imminent future.

Cryptocurrency requires a contender to crown. The technology of Bitcoin is repetitive, this is both risky and fascinating at the same time, and Bitcoin is a pioneer. Only 21 million Bitcoins can ever be mined, inflation is not a possible option, and cryptocurrency can assume countless directions. Cryptocurrencies like Litecoin are gaining ground. As these digital currencies provide consumers patterns of monetary growth and reflect inflation as well. Recent Bitcoin news proves that companies are trying to develop competitors, to build up a solution to global monetary transactions by digital currencies. Volatile Bitcoin, which is somewhat acceptable or debatable by large and small businesses alike, even fuel the need for a stable digital currency for smoother transactions.

Bitcoin is one of a kind. Publicity is sole reason for its implausible success. Consumers can feel an urge to buy it, when they perceive the Bitcoin Charts, demands soar but intents are still unidentified. They are yet to grasp its meaning and find a good use of it after they’ve already taken a step of going ahead and acquiring it. Although a currency, Bitcoin, with its sheer volatility is somewhat considered as gold by this world. Crashes and debates may be a matter of the past, but certainly not for its innate worth. There is nothing wrong with innovating with cryptocurrencies, but an excessive hype around one is not healthy. Data can even confirm that a big percentage of spent Bitcoins are traded via gambling entities. Curiosity triggers the urge to buy this volatile digital currency; consumers are enticed by the rising course of Bitcoin value and are completely absorbed by it.

Mix-ups do happen with digital currency. A decentralized, open-source entity such as Bitcoin is, triggered craze among its creators to put together something unique. Money and resources weren’t a thing of concern with them. The Bitcoin price has, paradoxically, increased as it became reputed day by day. As volatility of the currency is confirmed by it rapid rises and plunges, and the feature of illiquidity for buyers is an undeniable issue. A revolutionary delight attracted the very first Bitcoin takers. Though, somewhere in the process, an important thing is getting lost, something that could follow or accompany a digital currency like a shadow, the extensive utilization for facilitating any sort of transactions.

Astrology Predictions for 2014-2015

As we can see, there have been huge world changes since then.

Let me outline just a few of them:

– The Central Banks have more power than ever before
– The Federal Reserve brought down interest rates to almost 0%
– Quantitative Easing or money-printing has become the new norm
– Disputes over taxes and tax reforms have escalated
– Movements to unseat leaders continue, including the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and the stepping down of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya
– Cyber-spying is rampant with the revelations that the NSA has been regularly unlawfully spying on its citizens
– We’ve seen earth changes escalate with earthquakes and tsunamis causing whole continents to shift

What does the future look like as we near the end of the Cardinal Climax?

I see two diametrically opposed scenarios playing out:
– Worldwide debt reaches its limit, the financial system panics and the stock market crashes
– Governments shut down and default on their debts
OR
– Leaders in business, banking and government start to behave with transparency instead of secrecy, working hard to restore peoples’ trust in them
– Political leaders make compromises to reduce debt levels
– Businesses are rewarded for hiring people and not penalized

It could go either way. There could be a turnaround from the oppressive economic activities of the last 6 years or an escalation of the same practices.
With 3 planets going retrograde one after the other from the beginning of 2014, (Venus retrograde during January, Mercury retrograde in February, and Mars retrograde from March until May), I am anticipating leaders will change their minds quickly, bankers will change their policies unexpectedly, markets will reverse because of greater uncertainty.

President Obama
As I predicted last year, with transiting Neptune square to his natal Moon, there is the possibility of scandal, deception and misleading behaviour and his trustworthiness could be put into question. There could be damage to his reputation and he needs to make sure that he does everything above board.

This aspect is a hard one because the Moon represents his public image. Not just Americans feel betrayed by him, but also Germany, Israel, Saudi Arabia, to name but a few, by his reversals and failure to communicate with them.

Transiting Jupiter will be conjunct his Sun in September 2014. This could be a high point in his career, but it could also mean that he goes to extremes. His reputation could be severely tarnished especially when Saturn is opposite his natal Moon and square to natal Pluto in 2015.

The main thing is that he needs to be honest. If he can do this, he will be able to salvage his reputation. If not, he will fall from grace and leave office with his reputation in tatters.

Stock Market
I predicted that the stock market would crash in 2013 and I was wrong. I had failed to understand the powerful impact of Pluto in Capricorn on Central Banking intervention in the financial markets. I didn’t realise it would distort the markets to such a degree. I had no idea how far and how deeply the powers that be could manipulate the markets. With the strong influence of Pluto in Capricorn in mutual reception to Saturn in Scorpio, this had led to the infinite printing of money out of thin air. This looks set to continue at least for the next year or so indicating that the stock markets are set to rise for the foreseeable future.

What to invest in and what to avoid:
Jupiter moves back and forth between Cancer and Leo in 2014. The sign Jupiter is in shows the stock sectors more likely to outperform the general market.

Jupiter in Cancer until July 16th, 2014 indicates the stock sectors that are likely to benefit are: housing, hotels, motels, restaurants, anything connected with families and homes, food, drink, caretaking.

Jupiter in Leo from July 17th 2014 until August 11th 2015 favours children’s games and toys, games, gaming companies, leisure, entertainment industry, gambling, anything connected to children, gold mining, romance, love and the dating industry.
The position of Saturn tends to show those sectors that will decline in price. With Saturn in Scorpio until almost the end of 2014, the sectors most likely to be affected by declines are: banks, insurance companies, investment companies, security companies, waste management, funeral services, oil and gas companies, medical and surgical suppliers.

As long as the Fed continues to intervene in financial markets, stock prices will increase. I doubt they will stop QE in the foreseeable future, so stocks are likely to continue rising. If the Dow Jones Index falls below 13000, this could mark a bearish shift in the market.

Gold and Silver
The Federal Reserve may taper its bond and securities purchases, thus pushing up interest rates and resulting in the falling of the price of gold.

If, however, we see increasing political upheaval and a greater social unrest, which I am anticipating, this would support a rise in the price of gold.

With Jupiter in Cancer and in Leo, which represent silver and gold respectively, and with Mars going into Scorpio from July 25th until September 13th, 2014, this could be a time of a strong rally for precious metals since Mars in Scorpio is a good predictor of a surge in the price of gold and silver.

In the long run, however, gold and silver prices will soar. As to exactly when, depends on how long the manipulators can control the markets. Once there is a breakdown in trust and a market panic, everyone will turn to gold. Right now it is a bargain. If you have any spare money, buy a small amount of both gold and silver. Keep buying more each time the price dips. At some point, I am still confident that gold will trade above $3000 USD an ounce and silver will be at $100 per ounce.

Weather Changes
I predicted last year that with so many planets in water signs that we would see flooding, heavy rains, tornadoes, and great destruction from water. We saw flooding in so many places around the world: in Colorado, throughout much of Europe, in Canada, the devastating floods in Jakarta, Indonesia, in Thailand, and more recently, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, to name but a few.

With Jupiter in Cancer for almost 7 months of the year, Saturn still in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces, I am anticipating more issues around water and flooding again this year.

With Jupiter in Leo from July 16th, especially with the square to Saturn in Scorpio, I think this could result in extreme heat, widespread fires, and heat in areas where it is least expected.

With Uranus playing such a central role in Aries triggering the Cardinal Cross, I anticipate extreme temperature changes, earthquakes, tsunamis, power outages and general weather and earth changes.

During Mars Retrograde from March 2nd until May 20th is not the best time to start something new e.g. a job, a house move.
It is not a good time to initiate a dispute as the person who is the aggressor usually loses.
Mars rules surgery so if you have any elective surgery, try to schedule it before or after the Mars retrograde.
This will be a wonderful time for people in the repair business, especially anything connected with mechanical or technical breakdowns. So many people’s systems will break down at this time and their services will be in great demand.

Summary of Predictions for 2014:

Economy and Government:
Continued economic stagnation
More riots and protests
Bailout after bailout continues
Higher unemployment
More failures of large insurance companies
Rising food and power costs
Gold and silver very volatile but going upwards by the end of the year
Mobile money will continue to grow
Adoption of more crypto-currencies like Bitcoin
Print publications continue to die off
More whistleblowers come forward like Edward Snowden
Attempted crackdown on Internet freedoms by various governments

Medical:
Improvements in stem cell therapy
Breakthroughs in cancer research and treatments
Great progress in genome sequencing
Mobile fitness device market growing
Growth of Health Apps e.g. Diabetes UK for blood glucose, Healthsome for blood pressure
People becoming more actively involved in their own healthcare

Housing and living:
Passive housing becoming a growing market
Sustainable cities becoming more prevalent
Growth in use and application of Green Technology
Cities getting smarter as sensors connect transportation, health care, lighting e.g. sensors to help you find a parting spot, safety, security, earthquake detection

Technology:
Wearable devices will proliferate
Google Glass to be launched into mainstream
Apple iWatch coming this year
Ipads and tablets growing use in education globally
Improvements in battery technology e.g. mobile phones which can be recharged from flat in just 10 minutes and will stay charged for at least a week
More space travel and exploration
Robots being used for daily activities
3D printing becoming mainstream
Smarter devices for tracking where we are, what we are doing and how they can help us
More time travel experiments
Space explorations increase with research into other universes
New technology and social media helping people to find work e.g. Backr, Networking for Work which trains jobseekers how to use social media to find work
Using technology so that we can all find meaningful work

Weather:
Extreme patterns worldwide
More earthquakes than usual
Greater extremes of hot and cold
Flooding and water problems
Discovery of new lands emerging from the sea
Power outages
Necessity of survival kits and backup for power, food and water
Breakthroughs in our understanding of the sea

Spiritual:
An awakening of consciousness becoming more and more widespread
People connecting with their ‘tribes’
Movements of large numbers of people to safer places where they can be more self-sufficient and connect with like-minded people

Conclusion
During these tumultuous times of the Cardinal Climax we have a unique opportunity to bring about personal and global changes that will change our world for the better.
These difficult aspects can help to bring about much-needed changes as we cannot continue to destroy our planet as we have been doing. The trine between Jupiter, Neptune and Saturn is still in play, giving us a window of opportunity to create the kind of world where love and peace prevail.

How Bitcoin Works

Bitcoins are a decentralized form of crypto currency. Meaning, they are not regulated by a financial institution or the government. As such, unlike a traditional bank account, you do not need a long list a paperwork such as an ID in order for you to establish what’s known as a bitcoin wallet. The bitcoin wallet is what you will use to access your bitcoins and to send bitcoins to other individuals.

How To Setup An Account

You can acquire a bitcoin wallet from a bitcoin broker such as Coinbase. When you open up a wallet through a certified broker, you are given a bitcoin address which is a series of numbers and letters, similarly to an account number for a bank account and a private key which is a series of numbers and letters as well, which serve as your password.

How Does Bitcoin Work As An Anonymous Payment Processor

You can do 3 things with bitcoins, you can make a purchase, send money anonymously to someone or utilize it as an investment. More and more merchants have been accepting bitcoins as a form of payment. By utilizing bitcoins instead of cash, you are essentially making that purchase anonymously. The same thing goes for sending money, based on the fact that you do not have to submit a mountain of payment in order for you to establish a bitcoin anonymously, essentially you can send money to someone else anonymously.

How Does Bitcoin Work As An Investment

The price of a bitcoin fluctuates from time to time. Just to put things in perspective, back in the beginning of 2013, the average price of a bitcoin was approximately $400 per bitcoin, but by the end of 2013, the price for bitcoin rose to over $1000. This meant that if you had 2 bitcoins worth $800 in the beginning of 2013 and you stored it as an investment by the end of 2013 those two bitcoins would have been worth over $2000 instead of $800. Many people store bitcoins due to the fact that the value of it fluctuates.

Bitcoin Casino and Poker Sites

Due to the anonymity of bitcoin the gambling industry has taken up bitcoin as a payment method. Both bitcoin casinos and bitcoin poker sites are coming to life and offering their players to make deposits, play with bitcoin at the tables and withdraw directly to their bitcoin wallet. This means that there’s no taxes or possibilities for government control. Much like a regular Nevada casino where do you don’t need to register anywhere and all your transactions are anonymous.

How Do You Send Bitcoin

In order for you to pay for goods and services or to send bitcoins to an individual, 3 things are needed. Your bitcoin address, your private key and the individual’s bitcoin address. From that point, through your bitcoin wallet, you will put 3 pieces of information, which are: input, balance and output. Input refers to your address, balance refers to the amount of bitcoins you are going to send and output is the recipient’s address.