The first investor in Snapchat explains why the bitcoin rally is just getting started

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Jeremy Liew

Uncertainty about governments could make cryptocurrency like bitcoin an even more in-demand commodity, said Lightspeed Venture Partners partner Jeremy Liew.

“Bitcoin and the other digital currencies, they all really see a lot of benefit in times of political and economic instability,” Liew said to CNBC. “Fundamentally when a citizen doesn’t have faith in their currency of their country, then they are looking for alternatives, and a digital alternative like bitcoin becomes much more compelling in those circumstances.”

Lightspeed co-led the first venture round in Blockchain, a bitcoin wallet, in October 2014. Liew also led the first venture investment in Snap, whose IPO in March turned a $485,000 investment into a stake worth more than $1 billion.

Liew said in parts of the Middle East, Africa, South America and Eastern Europe, concerns over the government being overthrown or persistent long-term currency inflation have been driving bitcoin’s increasing valuation. A bitcoin is valued at a little over $2,800 as of Tuesday afternoon, according to Coindesk.

While there are other cryptocurrencies like ethereum, Liew points out it’s currently valued at just a fraction of bitcoin’s market cap.

“If you’re going to be an investor in anything, you want to be where the most trading volume is happening, and right now that’s happening in bitcoin,” he said.



This high-school dropout who invested in bitcoin at $12 is now a millionaire at 18


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Your mom will soon be able to text the Bitcoin symbol, along with a bunch of new emoji

Bitcoin remains a thriving cryptocurrency, but its reputation as a cool, futuristic currency for savvy individuals may have just received a mortal blow. Along with a sampling of dinosaurs, shushing emoji, and many more, the Unicode Consortium’s 10.0 version of the Unicode Standard also includes the Bitcoin symbol.

The timely addition won’t appear as a traditional bubble-like emoji, but rather a regular Unicode character, the currency’s B-like symbol. Unicode 10.0 is dropping today, though the long delay for Bitcoin’s arrival — it’s been around for almost a decade now — could be due to the process for proposing new emoji and icons to the Unicode Standard. Still, it’s arguably the most mainstream Bitcoin has ever been: it’s no longer so unknown that your parents couldn’t pop off a quick reference to it in the same text about siblings or your family pet.

Unicode 10.0 is expected to add 56 new emoji, 8,518 characters, and four new scripts. For a complete breakdown with images, check out Emojipedia.

Article source: https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/20/15840008/new-emoji-unicode-consortium-version-10-bitcoin-symbol

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Understanding the BTC-USD Price Correction

Note: This analysis does not attempt to speculate on the market implications of news events. This is a pure analysis of the market data.

The unprecedented rise in the BTC-USD market to near $3,000 even caught many of the more bullish traders by surprise. However, this quick rise in value did not come cheaply: once BTC finally ran out of steam, the market correction not only affected BTC-USD prices, but it was felt throughout the entire crypto-space as entire market cap took a massive plunge from $49B to $36B over the course of three days.BTC Market Cap 1.png

Figure 1: Market Cap Pre–Bitcoin Price Correction

BTC Market Cap 2.png

Figure 2: Market Cap Post–Bitcoin Price Correction

Why Did This Massive Price Correction Happen and Where Are We Heading?

There are two ways of viewing the BTC-USD run to near $3,000 levels:

  1. The top can be viewed as the absolute top of the market ($2,948)

  2. The top can viewed as the peak at $2,726.50 with a healthy 127 percent Fibonacci Extension

I’m going to analyze the market from the view of option 2 because I feel this provides a more sober outlook on the direction of the BTC-USD market. In strong Bull Runs, it is very common for markets to take a 50 percent correction; a 100 percent Retracement of the initial downward move (if it’s a very strong Bull Run), followed by a 127 percent Fibonacci Extension will provide another test to see how the market feels in the new market highs. In our case, we didn’t quite make it to the 127 percent Extension (shown in orange in Figures 3 and 4).

BTCUSD Chart 1.png

Figure 3: BTC-USD, GDAX, 6-hr Candles, the Relative Market Top With Accompanying Extension

Failed Fib Ext.png

Figure 4: BTC-USD, GDAX, 2-hr Candles, Failed 127 Percent Fibonacci Extension

Currently, BTC-USD is finding support on the 50 percent Fibonacci Retracement of the Bear Run from $3,000 (labeled in green). It made a test of the 61 percent line (labeled in red) and it was ultimately rejected. This rejection and subsequent support test of the 50 percent line coincides with a decrease in volume and a near flip of the four-hour MACD from Bullish to Bearish (labeled in yellow). These market moves show that, unless significant volume hits the BTC-USD markets, there is a likely test of the lower Fibonacci Retracement Lines in its future.

BTCUSD 4HR Chart.png

Figure 5: BTC-USD, GDAX, 4-hr Candles, Fibonacci Retracement of Bear Run

After our initial market high around $2,700, multiple momentum indicators began to reveal that, although the price was increasing, the market was beginning to lose upward momentum — this type of price activity is called “Divergence” and can be seen across the RSI, MACD and Volume. The long-term outlook for BTC-USD indicates a possibility of lower lows in its future. On the higher time-scales (refer to Figure 3), the momentum indicators are pointing toward more downward movement as the price is currently failing to make a new high and seeing decreased market volume. It’s totally possible that the market could move sideways or even see price growth on decreasing volume — markets aren’t always rational. However, if you want to know whether the price growth is sustainable and reliable, keep an eye on the momentum indicators and watch for volume to accompany price growth in the coming days. For the time being, I find it very unlikely that BTC-USD will see any significant price growth. But, after all, this is cryptocurrency; anything is possible.

Summary:
  1. Short-term indicators are showing a possible move to the lower Fibonacci Retracement values ($2,500, $2,400, $2,280).

  2. Long-term indicators are showing a loss of upward momentum. Until more volume hits the markets, very little price growth is likely.

Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin and ether is highly speculative and comes with many risks. This analysis is for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice. Statements and financial information on Bitcoin Magazine and BTCMedia related sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BTCMedia and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

Article source: https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/bitcoin-price-analysis-understanding-btc-usd-price-correction/

Nearly 1000 trademark owners register for .africa names

Trademark owners have registered nearly 1000 .africa domain names, making it one of the top ten largest number of domain name reservations during the sunrise phase of the new geographic Top Level Domain (gTLD) ‘s launch process. In total, .africa recorded 981 registrations by trademark owners over the two months from launch date 4 April.

Like other Registry Operators, ZACR monitored and measured the number of intellectual property owners that submitted marks through the global Trade Mark Clearing House (TMCH) and ZACR’s own Mark Validation System (MVS) to ensure protection of priority rights as far as is reasonably possible before .africa is launched to the general public on 04 July. 

The .africa Sunrise Period prioritised the securing of valuable brand names in the form of registered trademarks. During Sunrise, brand owners across Africa were encouraged to apply for .africa domain names matching their registered or validated intellectual property. 

The new .africa gTLD enables the acquisition of valuable online real-estate in a fast-growing and high-potential market. It also enables individuals and organisations to showcase their brands while establishing a home for Africa-specific products and services. The .africa domain is now at the tail end of the second Landrush Phase, meaning .africa registrations are now open to everyone around the world, without any restriction.

Article source: https://www.telecompaper.com/news/nearly-1000-trademark-owners-register-for-africa-names--1200596

How To Buy Bitcoin, Now That It’s Reached An All-Time High – Forbes

(Shutterstock)

This story appeared in the June 19, 2017 issue of Level Up by Forbes newsletter. Subscribe

If you’ve ever exchanged dollars for euros, you expect the exchange rate to be nearly equal, give or take a few cents. Knowing that, it’s easy to see why bitcoin has been so hot lately. The price for one coin has spiked to about $2,900. If you haven’t already, now is the time to buy in.

Nixing exchange rate fees is just one of the appeals of a digital currency like bitcoin. Forget intermediaries like credit card companies or PayPal retaining your money in transaction fees. Forget the hassles of converting when you travel—dollars and euros don’t matter with this universal currency. Nor does your name, given bitcoin’s anonymity, so go for guilty pleasures like $56 worth of cupcakes. This brings up bitcoin’s biggest drawback: volatility. The relative novelty and mixed press have caused the value to vary, meaning those delicacies bought in April 2013 for .5896 BTC equated to $800 when BTC soared to 1,000 in December that year.

For the most user-friendly bitcoin experience, consider Coinbase. Like mobile banking, the app lets you buy, sell and check transactions on the go. Coinbase is a hosted wallet, so if you don’t want a third party to have access to your money, consider a user-controlled wallet, like Blockchain or Mycelium.

Article source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/levelup/2017/06/19/how-to-buy-bitcoin-now-that-its-reached-an-all-time-high/

Finding healing in Ubuntu

Hout Bay residents had an opportunity to learn more about Ubuntu and how they can live peacefully with each other.

Ubuntu, a Nguni word widely used in the county has different meaning from humanity and compassion amongst others.

Hout Bay Partnership in collaboration with Nucleus Integrated Financial Development Services welcomed Mike Boon to Hout Bay to the community about Ubuntu and how to solve conflicts from the other person’s view. Boon is well versed on the subject of Ubuntu and has many years of experience in connecting people and entire communities through the philosophy.

Boon has hosted religious leaders and statesmen from all around the world and helped facilitate talks that have shaped the futures of communities and countries, including South Africa. “It was an interesting evening as we learnt a lot from him. He taught us to speak about creating a sense of community with those around us through detaching ourselves from generational conditioning and creating connections, regardless of demographics. We said should be speaking of ‘us’ rather than ‘I’. More emphasise was put on paying attention to body language and what we do rather than what we say. Most importantly he spoke of creating connections through the simple act of learning to speak a new South African language by learning a few new words a year which will make communities better and live peacefully,� says Ashley Newell, project coordinator for Hout Bay Partnership.

NGOs, residents, business owners, community leaders, youth came to the event.

“Boon introduced the audience to concepts such as approaching relationships or conflict from the perspective of the other party. Being able to understand what their interpretation of the situation is and communicating from that viewpoint instead of one’s own, can change the entire direction of a conflict and result in real resolutions being made, that really last,� she says.

“He made examples of us in South Africa being able to describe the traditional attire of a Scottsman from head to toe when asked, yet when shown images of different tribes or cultures in South Africa we could not describe or distinguish between them. We were shown how little we actually know about one another, not to make us feel bad about ourselves, but for us to become aware of what we were paying more attention to and what we were taking for granted so that we can,� says Newell.

Those who attended also shared the spirit of Ubuntu with warm oven-baked bread, home-made snoek pate’, hot-off-the-braai chicken kebabs,locally sourced wines and beverages.

The talk ended with the audience in a state of introspection and thinking on how they can improve their communities and live in the spirit of Ubuntu

Article source: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/Local/Peoples-Post/finding-healing-in-ubuntu-20170619

Move Over, Bitcoin. Ether Is the Digital Currency of the Moment.

Even though most of the people buying Ether and Bitcoin are individual investors, the gains that both have experienced have taken what was until very recently a quirky fringe experiment into the realm of big money. The combined value of all Ether and Bitcoin is now worth more than the market value of PayPal and is approaching the size of Goldman Sachs.

Investors buying Ether are placing a bet that people will want to use the Ethereum network’s computing capabilities and will need the currency to do so. But that is far from a sure thing. And real-world use of the network is still scant.

Bitcoin, on the other hand, has made inroads into mainstream commerce, with companies like Overstock.com and Expedia accepting Bitcoin for purchases, along with the black-market operators who use the currency.

The fact that there are fewer real-world uses for Ethereum has many market experts expecting a crash similar to the ones that have followed previous run-ups in the price of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. Even during recent pullbacks, though, the value of Ether has generally continued to gain on Bitcoin in relative terms.

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Ethereum was launched in the middle of 2015 by a 21-year-old college dropout, Vitalik Buterin, who was born in Russia and raised in Canada. He now lists his residence, jokingly, as Cathay Pacific Airlines because of his travel schedule.

The Ether he holds has made him a millionaire many times over, but he has generally avoided commenting on the price increase in Ether.

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Mr. Buterin was inspired by Bitcoin, and the software he built shares some of the same basic qualities. Both are hosted and maintained by the computers of volunteers around the world, who are rewarded for their participation with the new digital tokens that are released onto the network each day.

Because the virtual currencies are tracked and maintained by a network of computers, no government or company is in charge. The prices of both Bitcoin and Ether are established on private exchanges, where people can sell the tokens they own at the going market price.

But Ethereum was designed to do much more than just serve as a digital money. The network of computers hooked into Ethereum can be harnessed to do computational work, essentially making it possible to run computer programs on the network, or what are referred to as decentralized applications, or Dapps. This has led to an enormous community of programmers working on the software.

One of the first applications to take off was a user-led venture capital fund of sorts, known as the Decentralized Autonomous Organization. After raising over $150 million last summer, the project crashed and burned, and appeared ready to take Ethereum with it.

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Ethereum was launched in 2015 by Vitalik Buterin, a 21-year-old college dropout who was born in Russia and raised in Canada.

Credit
John Phillips/Getty Images

But the way that Mr. Buterin and other developers dealt with the problems, returning the hacked Ether to users, won him the respect of many in the corporate world.

“It was good to see that there is governance on Ethereum and that they can fix issues in a timely manner if they have to,” said Eric Piscini, who leads the team looking into virtual currency technology at the consulting firm Deloitte.

Many applications being built on Ethereum are also raising money using the Ether currency, in what are known as initial coin offerings, a play on initial public offerings.

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Start-ups that have followed this path have generally collected Ether from investors and exchanged them for units of their own specialized virtual currency, leaving the entrepreneurs with the Ether to convert into dollars and spend on operational expenses.

These coin offerings, which have proliferated in recent months, have created a surge of demand for the Ether currency. Just last week, investors sent $150 million worth of Ether to a start-up, Bancor, that wants to make it easier to launch virtual currencies. If projects like Bancor stumble, Ether could as well.

Several big companies have also been building programs on top of Ethereum, including the mining company BHP Billiton, which has built a trial program to track its raw materials, and JPMorgan, which is working on a system to monitor trading.

Over the last few months, over 100 companies have joined the nonprofit Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, including global names like Toyota, Merck and Samsung, to build tools that will make Ethereum useful in corporate settings.

Many of the companies using Ethereum are building their own private versions of the software, which won’t make use of the Ether currency. Speculators are betting that these companies will eventually plug their software into the broader Ethereum network.

There is, though, also the possibility that none of these big trials come to fruition, and the current excitement fizzles out, as has happened many times in the past with Bitcoin after big price surges.

“I hope this is the year where we start to close the gap between the speculative value and the actual value,” Mr. Mougayar said. “There is a lot at stake right now.”

Continue reading the main story

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/19/business/dealbook/ethereum-bitcoin-digital-currency.html

dotAfrica hits world top 10 – IT

Great interest in dotAfrica (.africa) by trademark owners has seen the geographic Top Level Domain (gTLD) score within the top 10 globally for the largest number of domain name reservations during the Sunrise Phase of the new gTLD’s launch process.
In total, .africa recorded an impressive 981 registrations by trademark owners over the 60 days from 4 April 2017, placing it firmly within the top 10.
“The long journey to delegate the rights to administer .africa to the ZACR has clearly created a tremendous amount of pent-up demand for Africa’s new home on the web,” says Lucky Masilela, ZACR CEO. “All good things come to those who wait, Africans have certainly waited, and it’s been worth the wait.”
The ZACR-administered gTLD enjoys the support of the African Union Commission (AUC) and an overwhelming majority of African governments.
Like other Registry Operators, ZACR monitored and measured the number of intellectual property owners that submitted marks through the global Trade Mark Clearing House (TMCH) and ZACR’s own Mark Validation System (MVS) to ensure protection of priority rights as far as is reasonably possible before .africa is launched to the general public on 04 July 2017.
The .africa Sunrise Period prioritised the securing of valuable brand names in the form of registered trademarks. During Sunrise, brand owners across Africa were encouraged to apply for .africa domain names matching their registered or validated intellectual property.
Masilela thanked ZACR’s accredited registrars for their steadfast commitment to .africa. “Their support has been invaluable in providing trademark holders with the opportunity to secure relevant domain names that are associated with their marks.”
The new .africa gTLD enables the acquisition of valuable online real-estate in a fast-growing and high-potential market. It also enables individuals and organisations to showcase their brands while establishing a home for Africa-specific products and services.
The .africa domain is now at the tail end of the second Landrush Phase, meaning .africa registrations are now open to everyone around the world, without any restriction.

Article source: http://it-online.co.za/2017/06/19/dotafrica-hits-world-top-10/

How To Buy Bitcoin, Now That It’s Reached An All-Time High

(Shutterstock)

This story appeared in the June 19, 2017 issue of Level Up by Forbes newsletter. Subscribe

If you’ve ever exchanged dollars for euros, you expect the exchange rate to be nearly equal, give or take a few cents. Knowing that, it’s easy to see why bitcoin has been so hot lately. The price for one coin has spiked to about $2,900. If you haven’t already, now is the time to buy in.

Nixing exchange rate fees is just one of the appeals of a digital currency like bitcoin. Forget intermediaries like credit card companies or PayPal retaining your money in transaction fees. Forget the hassles of converting when you travel—dollars and euros don’t matter with this universal currency. Nor does your name, given bitcoin’s anonymity, so go for guilty pleasures like $56 worth of cupcakes. This brings up bitcoin’s biggest drawback: volatility. The relative novelty and mixed press have caused the value to vary, meaning those delicacies bought in April 2013 for .5896 BTC equated to $800 when BTC soared to 1,000 in December that year.

For the most user-friendly bitcoin experience, consider Coinbase. Like mobile banking, the app lets you buy, sell and check transactions on the go. Coinbase is a hosted wallet, so if you don’t want a third party to have access to your money, consider a user-controlled wallet, like Blockchain or Mycelium.

Article source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/levelup/2017/06/19/how-to-buy-bitcoin-now-that-its-reached-an-all-time-high/

dotAfrica hits world top 10 | IT-Online – IT

Great interest in dotAfrica (.africa) by trademark owners has seen the geographic Top Level Domain (gTLD) score within the top 10 globally for the largest number of domain name reservations during the Sunrise Phase of the new gTLD’s launch process.
In total, .africa recorded an impressive 981 registrations by trademark owners over the 60 days from 4 April 2017, placing it firmly within the top 10.
“The long journey to delegate the rights to administer .africa to the ZACR has clearly created a tremendous amount of pent-up demand for Africa’s new home on the web,” says Lucky Masilela, ZACR CEO. “All good things come to those who wait, Africans have certainly waited, and it’s been worth the wait.”
The ZACR-administered gTLD enjoys the support of the African Union Commission (AUC) and an overwhelming majority of African governments.
Like other Registry Operators, ZACR monitored and measured the number of intellectual property owners that submitted marks through the global Trade Mark Clearing House (TMCH) and ZACR’s own Mark Validation System (MVS) to ensure protection of priority rights as far as is reasonably possible before .africa is launched to the general public on 04 July 2017.
The .africa Sunrise Period prioritised the securing of valuable brand names in the form of registered trademarks. During Sunrise, brand owners across Africa were encouraged to apply for .africa domain names matching their registered or validated intellectual property.
Masilela thanked ZACR’s accredited registrars for their steadfast commitment to .africa. “Their support has been invaluable in providing trademark holders with the opportunity to secure relevant domain names that are associated with their marks.”
The new .africa gTLD enables the acquisition of valuable online real-estate in a fast-growing and high-potential market. It also enables individuals and organisations to showcase their brands while establishing a home for Africa-specific products and services.
The .africa domain is now at the tail end of the second Landrush Phase, meaning .africa registrations are now open to everyone around the world, without any restriction.

Article source: http://it-online.co.za/2017/06/19/dotafrica-hits-world-top-10/

Bitcoin Is Not Garbage, Embrace It

I ran across an article on MarketWatch regarding Bitcoin. The title: Stay Away From Bitcoin, It’s Complete Garbage. In the article, the author, Brett Arands, goes on to lay out a fictitious conversation where a supposed elite is asking an adherent why someone should use Bitcoin, but he never gets the question answered. Quickly, you throw in the towel on the article. The fact is, compared to the dollar in your pocket, Bitcoin may be the better form of payment when comparing apples to apples. First, however, you need a simple primer on what money is.

Money is a medium of exchange to avoid having to barter. Nothing more. That crisp piece of paper in your pocket is a form of medium of exchange. Long ago, society realized that the coincidence of want was a difficult hurdle to cross and so money, or the medium of exchange, was quickly adopted to facilitate this. Let me explain.

Suppose there is no money in the world. Instead, we are on the barter system. And, let us suppose you work for ABC Automotive and you manufacture transmissions for the car company. For your 40 hours of effort every week, the ABC Auto company provides you with one transmission as payment. You can use the transmission to barter for whatever you would like in this world.

It is Friday, and you want a beer and a burger because it’s been a long week. You step into a pub that I own and order said burger and beer. But, before that happens you inform me that you have one transmission that is valued at 250 beers. You would like one beer and wish me to trade off the rest the rest of the value of the transmission.

I ride a scooter. I do not want your transmission. Nor, do I want to be involved in trading off portions of the value of a transmission. You and I do not have a coincidence of want. So in theory, while although your transmission is valuable to you, it has no value to me, someone who needs to buy supplies for tomorrow’s restaurant patrons.

That simple story is the same story I was told in economics school at Pasadena City College with Mr McLean some period of time ago. It is easy to carry that story with you because of its simplistic approach of explaining why you have paper in your pocket instead of lugging around transmissions to try and trade for a beer and a burger.

The way fiat currency works is that there is an agreement that $1.00 purchases a certain product, such as a Snickers bar. You and I both agree that a snickers bar is worth $1.00 and so, therefore will make the exchange of $1.00 for a Snickers bar. And that is satisfying.

Bitcoin is nothing more than a medium of exchange. You and I would be able to exchange a Bitcoin for something. While there is technology involved in creating that exchange, the same job can get done.

There is one massive difference between Bitcoin and any other fiat currency in the world: Bitcoin has no central bank that is diluting the purchasing ability of the coin. In fact, just the opposite.

I bet if you asked Mr. Arands if he could buy the exact same amount of Snickers bar today than he could when he was a kid, his response would be the exact same as anyone who has lived more than 1 year on this planet: “Pssshhh… back in my day…”.

And, why is that? Because there is a central bank that “backs” said fiat currency. And, that central bank is moving society forward by wasting away said fiat currency by deflating the currency.

And Bitcoin? Back when Bitcoin first came, all the way back in 2009, 1,000 Bitcoins were needed to buy 1 Snickers bar. Today? 1 Bitcoin can purchase 2,500 Snickers bars.

Hmmm… should I go with the paper in my pocket that has value being destroyed every day? Or, should I go digital, like every other aspect of humanities life, and see my purchasing ability increase?

Decisions. Decisions.

Bitcoin has a set amount of currency. The US Dollar has an infinite supply and more and more is being created every day, destroying the purchasing value of the currency… because inflation is very healthy for an economy.

In Japan, where the Bank of Japan is desperately trying to decimate its currency to prop up inflation, Bitcoin was recently legalized and the country is rapidly embracing the technology and payment form. Some 100s of thousands of Bitcoin pay stations are being installed around the country. This has created a surge in demand, pushing the currency upward since the April 9th announcement from $900.00 to its recent high of $2,980.00 per coin. Read this paragraph again. Now, read it again. Until that sinks in.

Bitcoin works because individuals agree that it works. You and I can look at an exchange and see the rate of exchange for Bitcoin, whether it be against the USD, EUR, JPY, CNH, or every other currency out there. Then, if we decide to agree to use this form of medium of exchange, we do.

I remember the trust factor I needed to add PayPal as a source to have access to my bank account and then hitting the send button when I wanted to purchase something. That was eery. That was 20 years ago.

I remember telling a friend of mine that when I got back from a vacation, I was going to turn off my home phone because I only needed my cell phone anymore so why pay for two phones. He laughed and scorned me that I would be turning that phone on in no time at all. Again, that was 20 years ago. I have not owned a home line since the late 1990s.

Americans get too stuck in their ways when it comes to currency. When we cross a jurisdiction, we can still use the US Dollar. But, the Japanese, Brits, Europeans, Africans, Asians, South Americans… and on and on, when these individuals cross a jurisdictional boundary, they have to think in terms of another currency.

I guess I was an fairly early adapter to some forms of technology that we now utilize every single day without hesitation. But, I am rarely the first in line. The pioneers, those people tend to get arrows in their backs. But, I try and think things through. I have thought through Bitcoin. It is a viable medium of exchange.

I can use Bitcoin to buy and sell things, if I like. Or, I can use the crusty, germ-ridden, who-knows-who-touched-ti-before-me paper in my pocket. Either way, really. But, as a store of value, Bitcoin has fiat currencies beat all day long and will continue to do so. There are 7,000,000,000 people on the planet that potentially could use Bitcoin. There are only 21,000,000 coins in existence.

That is why the value keeps surging. And, more and more, there are pay stations going up around the world to facilitate this medium of exchange. I guess, however, these pay stations are not going up in Mr, Arand’s neighborhood, though. Too bad.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, but may initiate a long position in COI over the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Article source: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4082254-bitcoin-garbage-embrace

Brands Containing “Geographic Terms” May be at Risk In The Next gTLD Round

Does your or your client’s brand contain a “Term of National Significance”? If it contains a word that matches a geographic place, or feature name, or could be characterized by a government as such, then you may be surprised to learn that some government body, national association, or regulatory group could interfere with your obtaining a top-level domain name even if it reflects your brand. Many famous brands coincidentally match a geographic name, and face the possibility of having their future .BRAND top-level domain (TLD) rejected because a government claims “sovereign rights” over the term.

Such conflicts were one of the most controversial aspects of the first new generic top-level domain (gTLD) application round, especially for .BRAND TLDs. For example, ICANN rejected the good-faith application for .TATA by the Indian conglomerate Tata (named after the Tata family and protected globally as a trademark) because “Tata” is the name of a Moroccan province, and the Moroccan government would not consent to the application, even though Tata had Moroccan trademark registrations dating back to 2008. Reportedly, the company Tata had never had a conflict or objection before from the Moroccan government over the use of its name, nor had there been any confusion that its famous brand could be confused as endorsed by the government, or that its use could confuse citizens who would be looking for information about the Moroccan province online. As we prepare for the next round, brands should be aware that this issue may affect their ability to obtain and enjoy freedom to operate the TLD that matches their brand.

Steps to Reach a Solution

In April 2017, the co-chairs of ICANN’s Subsequent Procedures Working Group invited ICANN community members to present positions, or possible solutions, in a webinar which laid the foundation for community discussions to take place at the ICANN meeting in Johannesburg later this month.

One notable webinar proposal was the “Repository Proposal,” which advocated for creating a “Repository of Names of Geographical Significance” into which governments could add the names of places, rivers, mountains, regions, national monuments, etc.—essentially, any terms that the governments could identify as “sensitive” in their countries. Under the Repository Proposal, all future gTLD applicants must check the Repository for their desired TLD. If the TLD matches a Term of National Significance, the applicant must obtain prior consent for its intended TLD from all governments that added the term.

Many individuals (including Intellectual Property Constituency members and GAC representatives) voiced concerns about the Repository Proposal, such as:

  • It restricts a trademark owner’s right to use its mark(s) under international law;
  • It ignores the principle that governmental rights over terms of geographical significance (if any) are restricted to their national borders;
  • International law has no definition of “Terms of National Significance”;
  • It creates conflict if one government consents to a .BRAND TLD, but another government does not; and
  • It gives individual governments a veto, with no possibility of appeal or due process, over the global internet’s expansion.

GeoPIC—A Proposed Solution

I presented at the webinar a proposal that is much simpler, and fairer, than a Repository and is consistent with international law—a Geographic Term Public Interest Commitment (“GeoPIC”). Under the proposed GeoPIC, an applicant for a TLD that is an identical match to a geographic term protected under national law would, at governmental request, include in its Registry Agreement with ICANN a binding undertaking to not use the TLD in a way that might confuse an internet user into thinking there is a connection between the registry and a national government or geographic term.

The GeoPIC has many advantages:

  • It accords with norms of international law and does not create any new legal rights;
  • It does not diminish the rights of others—it respects both trademark rights and the desires of governments to protect terms of importance to them;
  • It is cost-effective;
  • It works for all registry types and is language- and script-neutral;
  • It is easy to implement and relies on an existing enforcement mechanism;
  • It is predictable for applicants while respecting individual governmental concerns; and,
  • It is consistent with the “permissionless” evolution of the internet.

I will present the GeoPIC proposal again later this month at the ICANN meeting in Johannesburg. In the meantime, listed below are the basic terms of the GeoPIC proposal. I welcome all feedback—especially suggestions for improvement.

Summary of GeoPIC

Applicable Terms:

Only applicable to geographic and territorial terms protected under national legislation (“Geographic Protected Terms”).

Purpose:

To address the governmental concern that an applied-for string at the top level, which is identical to a Geographic Protected Term, might be used in a manner:

  • That falsely suggests to the public that a connection exists between the TLD or its Operator and the Geographic Protected Term, and/or
  • That is otherwise of a nature as to mislead the public as to the existence of a connection between the TLD or its Operator and the Geographic Protected Term.

Proposed Procedure:

  1. Applicant applies for a TLD containing a Geographic Protected Term
  2. ICANN receives a timely objection to the TLD Application from the GAC
    • Working options for what constitutes a “GAC Objection”:
      • GAC Consensus Advice
      • Objection from five or more GAC members
      • Objection from three or more GAC members
  3. TLD Applicant agrees to a Public Interest Commitment (PIC) that requires:
    • That the TLD Applicant not use the TLD in a manner that falsely suggests to the public that a connection exists between the TLD or its Operator and the Geographic Protected Term (“GeoPIC”).
  4. GeoPIC will be included in the TLD Applicant’s Registry Agreement, should such Agreement be executed by ICANN. This GeoPIC shall be enforced in the same manner, and process, currently contained in the Registry Agreement for other PICs.
    • PICS are enforced through:
      • Complaints to ICANN Contractual Compliance, which may result in ICANN Compliance Action
      • Formal PICDRP complaints to the PICDRP Standing Panel, which can make a formal ruling of compliance or non-compliance

A note on the intended scope of the proposal:

This proposal is not intended to replace the current restrictions on geographic terms at the top level, which are set out in the Applicant Guidebook (“AGB”—which can be found here) used in the 2012 Round at Sections 2.2.1.4.1 and 2.2.1.4.2 (extracts of which are here for convenience). The proposal is intended to address terms which fall outside of these AGB provisions and which might, under the previous AGB, otherwise have given rise to GAC Advice under Section 3.1 AGB.

Article source: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=e8114839-94f2-43fc-a962-dc455f21fc94

Bitcoin Is Digital Gold. But Will You Buy a Sandwich With It?

For digital-marketing agency Cooperatize.com, taking bitcoin for payment was easy enough, all co-founder Roger Wu had to do was obtain a digital wallet. To promote the move in 2014, he even penned a blog post for Forbes explaining the decision.

The number of transactions the New York-based firm has made since? Zero.

“The biggest thing is are people willing to pay in bitcoin?” Wu said. “The reality is that most of our customers are other businesses and other businesses don’t use bitcoin.”

Even as the euphoria over bitcoin reached a fever pitch last week as the price surged to almost $3,000, slow transaction times and inertia are helping to prevent it from achieving widespread usage. Adoption has slowed, according to Morgan Stanley, after a slew of companies from Microsoft Corp. to Expedia Inc. initially trumpeted its use, and hurdles remain when it comes to longer-term viability.

“We see few reasons for consumers to use bitcoin over a credit/debit card given that paying online with bitcoin represents a marginally more inconvenient way to pay,” Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a 33-page report released June 13. Processing costs for bitcoin and other digital currencies are likely to grow, they said.

Read more on the companies benefiting from the demand for cryptocurrencies

Time Inc. and Dell Inc. said they’ve stopped accepting the cryptocurrency, with the computer maker citing low usage. When website content management system WordPress stopped taking bitcoin in 2015, founder Matt Mullenweg said usage was “vanishingly small,” adding that it was initially incorporated for philosophical reasons, not commercial ones.

“It’s quite possible that after a while you just realize it’s not worth the cost of tooling up to take it and you decide to drop it if the publicity has run its course,” said David Yermack, a professor at New York University Stern School of Business who studies bitcoin.

Still, there’s plenty of evidence the price surge has helped boost bitcoin’s use — albeit from a low base. 

Payment processor BitPay said its now handling about $2 million in transactions a day, up almost threefold from April 2016. Coinbase’s volume has doubled since the start of the year. Overstock.com Inc., an online discounter, said it’s been handling around 100,000 bitcoin transactions per week, up from about 30,000 when it first added the payment method in 2014.

“There is what might be called a wealth effect that occurs, so as price increases people actually counter-intuitively are more likely to spend bitcoin,” said Justin O’Brien, product manager at Coinbase in San Francisco, which has partnered with more than 46,000 businesses for bitcoin payment.

Yet somewhat paradoxically, there’s the question of whether its status as a red-hot asset is compatible with being a stable method of payment.

There’s the issue of volatility. This year has seen bitcoin surge and plunge by as much as 19 percent over the course of a day. As transactions rise, processing them is also becoming slower and more expensive because of a cap on the data the bitcoin blockchain can process — an issue whose resolution has spurred bitter infighting within the development community.

“The blockchain underpinnings of most cryptocurrencies scale too poorly for most currency-like uses,” the Morgan Stanley analysts wrote. “Time to clear single transactions can often be from 10 minutes to more than an hour.”

And probably most importantly, bitcoin isn’t recognized as legal tender. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has ruled that bitcoins are property, while regulators treat it as a commodity.

Most big businesses take bitcoin through payment processors such as BitPay and Coinbase. When a consumer makes a purchase via those platforms, he or she will pay at a conversion rate based on the latest bitcoin price. The processors then convert the bitcoin immediately and pass the fiat currency to the seller, essentially removing all exposure to bitcoin’s volatility.

Read more on how bitcoin is perplexing analysts

For merchants, Coinbase charges nothing for the first $1 million and 1 percent of transaction values afterward. That compares with Visa Inc.’s roughly 2 percent interchange rate and almost 3 percent charged by PayPal Holdings Inc. 

The process is more complicated for shoppers. Unless your digital wallet is already on the platform that’s processing the payment, transferring bitcoins incurs a transaction fee, which can vary depending on its size, how quickly you want it processed and network conditions. The median transaction fee was $2.10 on June 15, compared with an all-time high of nearly $3 reached earlier this month, according to BitInfoCharts.

Sonny Singh, BitPay’s chief commercial officer, said bitcoin is more useful in emerging economies where trust in local currencies is weaker and credit cards are less common.

The cryptocurrency is making more headway in markets like Japan, which started recognizing digital currencies as a form of payment this year, and in Venezuela, where the bolivar is almost worthless. It’s also useful for businesses that can’t rely on traditional banking, such as cannabis sellers.

While greater usage remains in question, there are often some unexpected benefits for merchants who’ve embraced bitcoin.

Since the Roast of Sherwood added a Coinbase wallet six weeks ago, it has averaged five bitcoin or ether transactions each week, according to Lee Galloway, who runs the sandwich stall with his father in a bustling street market along London’s Whitecross Street.

“For a few small payments we’ve taken, it’s a large amount of publicity,” the 32-year-old said. “If we’re taking large amounts of cryptocurrency payments, I’ll probably have to re-address and re-look at the entire issue, but I can’t imagine that happening any time soon.”

    Article source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-19/bitcoin-is-digital-gold-but-will-you-buy-a-sandwich-with-it

Bitcoin and Ransomware: Regulations Hit White-Hat Hackers …

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. FORTUNE may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.

Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Interactive Data. ETF and Mutual Fund data provided by Morningstar, Inc. Dow Jones Terms Conditions: http://www.djindexes.com/mdsidx/html/tandc/indexestandcs.html. SP Index data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Terms Conditions. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions

Article source: http://fortune.com/2017/06/18/regulations-bitcoin-hacking/

Regulations Are Making it Harder For Security Experts to Use Bitcoin

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. FORTUNE may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.

Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Interactive Data. ETF and Mutual Fund data provided by Morningstar, Inc. Dow Jones Terms Conditions: http://www.djindexes.com/mdsidx/html/tandc/indexestandcs.html. SP Index data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Terms Conditions. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions

Article source: http://fortune.com/2017/06/18/regulations-bitcoin-hacking/

Bitcoin price stabilises after crypto markets crumble

A frenzied few weeks of rapid Bitcoin speculation, which saw the price rocket to $US3000 a coin, looks to be easing.

The entire cryptocurrency market was rallying up until last week, when it was worth around $US106 billion. But a dramatic sell-off on Friday saw the cryptocurrency market shed around $US6 billion in the space of a few hours. 

The sell-off came as Bitcoin investors look to hedge against the “irrational exuberance” that has gripped the market, prompted in part by a flood of new, speculative capital from optimistic newcomers. 

But the top 10 cryptocurrencies appear to have stabilised over the weekend.

On Sunday afternoon the combined total of Bitcoin, ether and a host of new tokens was around $US99.3 billion, up from a low of $US91.3 billion, data from CoinMarketCap shows.

Eighty of the top 100 cryptocurrencies suffered double-digit declines in the past week.  

“Many of these new traders are retail traders that have little knowledge of crypto-assets or trading in general,” said Marius Rupsys, a cryptocurrency trader and co-founder of fintech startup InvoicePool.

​Bitcoin has experienced a rush of interest as investors look to get their hands on new cryptographic tokens released via Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). 

Developers are releasing hundreds of new assets (called coins or tokens) that might power yet-to-be developed peer-to-peer blockchain networks. 

These tokens can only be bought using Bitcoin or ether – the asset that powers another widely-adopted network, Ethereum. 

The appetite for these tokens has been so voracious that developers have been able to raise more than $US1 billion in a few minutes. 

But waves of selling are gripping newly-released tokens as speculative traders cash in on the initial run-up in price. 

IOTA – which hopes to develop a “blockless” distributed ledger – listed on exchanges last week, breaking records by exceeding a $US1.5 billion market capitalisation on its first day of trading. 

However, IOTA was caught up in the sharp correction as investors scooped profits and the price of the token plummeted more than 40 per cent on Friday. 

“I’ve been making the bubble argument for weeks,” Jacob Eliosoff, a trader who runs a cryptocurrency fund told Coindesk. “Doge, Dash, Litecoin, Stellar, Gnosis … practically every coin has surged.

“[This is a] sign of unthinking buyers that will sell as soon as the tide turns.”

​The frenzied activity within Bitcoin markets saw the collective market cap rocket to an all-time high of $US117.2 billion on June 12, a rise of more than 500 per cent year to date.

Traders are also paying attention to the ongoing scaling debate within the community.

The Bitcoin network can process about seven transactions a second, but people are trying to send many more than that. The network has a serious backlog which is only going to get worse.

Developers and investors are discussing two solutions to the problem. They can either increase the blockchain size or perhaps split Bitcoin into two. 

Both these options play havoc with the fundamentals for the price of Bitcoin and its related cryptocurrencies. Speculators are having a hard time positioning effectively ahead of whatever gets decided, giving the markets another layer of volatility. 

Article source: http://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/bitcoin-price-stabilise-after-crypto-markets-crumble-20170614-gwre8x.html

In relief rally, bitcoin jumps more than 20% from June low – CNBC.com

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Denarium Bitcoins.

Bitcoin quickly bounced back from the lows of June, amid improved sentiment about the future of the digital currency.

Bitcoin traded higher Saturday near $2,680, up more than 20 percent from a June low of $2,185.96 hit Thursday that had erased gains for the month, according to CoinDesk.

Worries about overexuberance in digital currencies overall and heated debate among developers about how to upgrade bitcoin’s technology weighed on its price.

“A proposal was accepted to merge the two upgrade methods, making them compatible,” Brian Kelly, a CNBC contributor and founder of BKCM, which runs a digital assets strategy, said Friday. “So we have seen a relief rally on this progress.”

Kelly added that the latest development “reduces the threat of a coin split, but we are not out of the woods yet. The miners still need to agree to this merged upgrade.”

Bitcoin one-week performance

Source: CoinDesk

Bitcoin development fight

Bitcoin’s future relies on a network of developers, who have announced two incompatible methods for upgrading the digital currency system: BIP148 and SegWit2x. Both are set to go into effect later this summer, and their potential for dividing bitcoin in two has ramped up uncertainty among investors.

This week, a developer named James Hilliard announced a proposal that would make the two upgrades compatible, and SegWit2x developers said Friday they would adopt Hilliard’s idea, according to Bitcoin Magazine.

Bitcoin remains more than 150 percent higher year-to-date, while another digital currency called ethereum has skyrocketed more than 4,000 percent this year and came closer this week to topping bitcoin in market value.

A slew of other major events in the digital currency world rocked bitcoin as well after it topped $3,000 for the first time last Sunday.

  • Adding to worries of overexuberance, money flooded cryptocurrencies as Bancor raised a record $153 million Monday in a process called an “initial coin offering.” Separately, IOTA began trading Tuesday on Bitfinex in a record debut that sent its market value to $1.5 billion.
  • Meanwhile, the largest U.S. dollar-based bitcoin exchange Bitfinex and a smaller BTC-e exchange reporteddistributed denial-of-service, or DDoS, attacks.
  • Wall Street took note of bitcoin’s meteoric rise this week, with Morgan Stanley issuing a report on bitcoin’s blockchain technology and Goldman Sachs saying in a technical analysis of bitcoin’s price that it should fall slightly.

Evelyn Cheng CNBC

In relief rally, bitcoin jumps more than 20% from June low

<!– //www.cnbc.com/staticContent/showads.js –>


Denarium Bitcoins.

Bitcoin quickly bounced back from the lows of June, amid improved sentiment about the future of the digital currency.

Bitcoin traded slightly higher Saturday near $2,658, up more than 20 percent from a June low of $2,185.96 hit Thursday that had erased gains for the month, according to CoinDesk.

Worries about overexuberance in digital currencies overall and heated debate among developers about how to upgrade bitcoin’s technology weighed on its price.

“A proposal was accepted to merge the two upgrade methods, making them compatible,” Brian Kelly, a CNBC contributor and founder of BKCM, which runs a digital assets strategy, said Friday. “So we have seen a relief rally on this progress.”

Kelly added that the latest development “reduces the threat of a coin split, but we are not out of the woods yet. The miners still need to agree to this merged upgrade.”

Bitcoin one-week performance

Source: CoinDesk

Bitcoin development fight

Bitcoin’s future relies on a network of developers, who have announced two incompatible methods for upgrading the digital currency system: BIP148 and SegWit2x. Both are set to go into effect later this summer, and their potential for dividing bitcoin in two has ramped up uncertainty among investors.

This week, a developer named James Hilliard announced a proposal that would make the two upgrades compatible, and SegWit2x developers said Friday they would adopt Hilliard’s idea, according to Bitcoin Magazine.

Bitcoin remains more than 150 percent higher year-to-date, while another digital currency called ethereum has skyrocketed more than 4,000 percent this year and came closer this week to topping bitcoin in market value.

A slew of other major events in the digital currency world rocked bitcoin as well after it topped $3,000 for the first time last Sunday.

  • Adding to worries of overexuberance, money flooded cryptocurrencies as Bancor raised a record $153 million Monday in a process called an “initial coin offering.” Separately, IOTA began trading Tuesday on Bitfinex in a record debut that sent its market value to $1.5 billion.
  • Meanwhile, the largest U.S. dollar-based bitcoin exchange Bitfinex and a smaller BTC-e exchange reporteddistributed denial-of-service, or DDoS, attacks.
  • Wall Street took note of bitcoin’s meteoric rise this week, with Morgan Stanley issuing a report on bitcoin’s blockchain technology and Goldman Sachs saying in a technical analysis of bitcoin’s price that it should fall slightly.

Evelyn Cheng CNBC

BIP91: The SegWit Activation "Kludge" That Should Keep Bitcoin …

Bitcoin’s long-lasting scaling debate appeared to be heading toward a climax lately, with two proposals gaining significant traction. At one end of the fence there is Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 148 (BIP148), a user activated soft fork (UASF) originally proposed by the pseudonymous developer “shaolinfry.” On the other, there’s SegWit2x, an agreement forged between a significant number of Bitcoin companies and miners.

The good news is that both of these proposals have a short-term solution in common: both plan to activate Segregated Witness (SegWit) this summer. The bad news is that the activation method of the two has differed, which could lead to a coin-split.

As of today, it seems this schism will be avoided — at least initially. The SegWit2x development team plans to implement BIP91, a proposal by Bitmain Warranty engineer James Hilliard that cleverly makes the two conflicting activation methods compatible.

Here’s how.

BIP141

The current implementation of Segregated Witness is defined by BIP141. This version is included in the latest Bitcoin Core releases, and is widely deployed on the Bitcoin network. BIP141 is activated through the activation method defined by BIP9. This means that 95 percent of all blocks within a two-week period need to include a piece of data: “bit 1.” This indicates that a miner is ready for the upgrade. As such, SegWit would be activated if the vast majority of miners are ready for it.

Or that was the intention. So far, only some 30 percent of hash power is signaling support for the upgrade. There is a lot of speculation as to why this is the case, but it almost certainly has nothing to do with (a lack of) readiness.

That’s why other activation methods are increasingly being considered.

BIP148

BIP148 is a user activated soft fork (UASF), specifically designed to trigger BIP141.

On August 1st, anyone running Bitcoin software that implemented BIP148 will start rejecting all blocks that do not include bit 1, the SegWit signalling data.

This means that if a mere majority of miners (by hash power) runs this software, they will reject all blocks from the minority of miners that does not. As a result, this majority of miners will always have the longest valid chain according to all Bitcoin nodes on the network. Consequently, all deployed BIP141 nodes will see a chain that includes over 95 percent of bit 1 blocks, meaning SegWit would be activated on the network.

However, if BIP148 is not supported by a majority of miners (by hash power), Bitcoin’s blockchain could split in two. In that case, there would effectively be two types of Bitcoin, where one activated BIP148 and the other did not. This may resolve over time — or it may not.

SegWit2x

SegWit2x (also referred to as “SegWit2MB” or “the Silbert Accord”), is the scaling agreement reached by a numer of Bitcoin companies and over 80 percent of miners (by hash power), drafted just before the Consensus 2017 conference.

For some time, the details surrounding SegWit2x were not very specific. As the name suggests, all that was really known was that SegWit was included in the agreement, and that it included a hard fork to double Bitcoin’s “base block size” to two megabytes.

And, of course, SegWit was meant to be implemented using a different activation method. Like the original BIP141 proposal, SegWit2x was to be activated by miners through hash power. But where BIP141 requires 95 percent hash power support, SegWit2x would only require 80 percent. Moreover, SegWit2x readiness would be signaled using another piece of activation data: “bit 4” instead of “bit 1.”

This makes SegWit2x largely incompatible with BIP141, and especially with BIP148: Different nodes would be looking at different activation bits, meaning they could activate SegWit under different circumstances and at different times; and that would mess up SegWit-specific block relay policy between nodes, potentially fracturing the network.

BIP91

Now, it seems BIP91 has provided the solution.

BIP91 is a proposal by Bitmain Warranty (not to be confused with Bitmain) engineer James Hilliard which was specifically designed to prevent a coin-split by making SegWit2x and BIP148 compatible.

The proposal resembles BIP148 to some extent. Upon activation of BIP91, all BIP91 nodes will reject any blocks that do not signal support for SegWit through bit 1. As such, if a majority of miners (by hash power) run BIP91, the longest valid Bitcoin chain will consist of SegWit-signaling blocks only, and all regular BIP141 SegWit nodes will activate the protocol upgrade.

Where BIP91 differs from BIP148 is that it doesn’t have a set activation date, but is instead triggered by hash power. BIP91 nodes will reject any non-SegWit signalling blocks if, and only if, 80 percent of blocks first indicate within two days that’s what they’ll do.

This indication is done with bit 4. As such, the Silbert Accord can technically be upheld — 80 percent hash power activation with bit 4 — while at the same time activating the existing SegWit proposal. And if this is done before August 1st, it’s also compatible with BIP148, since BIP148 nodes would reject non-bit 1 blocks just the same.

This proposal gives miners a little over six weeks to avoid a coin-split, under their own agreed-upon terms. With a SegWit2x launch date planned for July 21st, that should not be a problem… assuming that the miners actually follow through.

Article source: https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/bip91-segwit-activation-kludge-should-keep-bitcoin-whole/