A bitcoin mine in China
3.05pm – UPDATE – Bitcoin tumbles
The price of bitcoin has fallen to $14,348 a massive $1,830 drop on the price so far today.
The volatility today has seen the price peak at $16,461 before dropping to the new low.
2.10pm – UPDATE – Bitcoin falls below $15,000
The price of bitcoin has fallen below the $15,00 again, registering a price at the time of press of $1,4718 (£10,867).
Ethereum has also slipped down to $1,096, marking a $52 drop on the price today.
Ripple still stands at $2.44.
Bitcoin has spent the day heading south
12.51pm – UPDATE – Ripple hype: what’s going on?
With Ripple now valued at $2.55 (£1.88) a token but with a market cap of $98,645,745,829.85 (72,853,829,124) industry experts are rushing to explain why it offers such a threat to bitcoin’s crypto hegemony.
Speaking to CNBC, money manager Brian Kelly has explained why Ripple is so controversial:
“Ripple’s somewhat controversial here in the decentralised world because Ripple is a centralised currency. It was pre-mined 100 percent by the Ripple company.
“Now what they’ve done to alleviate a lot of those fears is they’ve locked up a lot of the Ripple that they own.”
12.00pm – UPDATE – Ripple the bitcoin beater
As Ripple, or XRP, continues to rise and rise it has been revealed that the price only needs to hit $6.80 (£5) for its market capitalisation to becomes bigger than bitcoin’s.
This would mark a staggering 165 per cent price increase that would seem unlikely if ripple hadn’t already seen a 35,000 per cent price surge in 2017
Ethereum would only need to rise 132 per cent from its current price to surpass bitcoin, but ripple has far more coins in circulation.
Bitcoin’s price is currently at $15,486, with ether at $1,152.
Ripple is surging in price
11.12am – UPDATE – Bitcoin falls as ether continues to climb
Bitcoin’s price has fallen to $15,465, a $277 dollar loss on the day so far, as Ethereum continues its steady rise hitting $1,159 at the time of press.
CEO of NextBlock Global, Alex Tapscott has warned that bitcoin might be the first of the cryptocurrencies and its underlying blockchain technology, but that does not mean it will be the most important.
Speaking to Bloomberg, the founder of the blockchain investment company said: “I think bitcoin is the first killer application for the underlying blockchain technology, in the same way that email is the first killer application for the internet.
“Email is this amazingly powerful tool but it wasn’t the last thing that the internet did and arguably not even the most important.”
Mr Tapscott said that new cryptocurrencies like ethereum are building on the underlying blockchain technology, making them more useful that bitcoin.
See video below.
10.18am – Update – $2bn ‘joke’ bitcoin, the dogecoin
Dogecoin a cryptocurrency created as a joke and named after an internet meme now has a market value of more than $2 billion.
With the alternative digital currency trading at $0.018773 this weekend, its market capitalisation (total value of a company’s outstanding shares) stands at $2.12 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.
The parody coin was named after an internet meme featuring a Shiba Inu dog and had largely been forgotten about since its heyday in 2014.
However over the last month the cryptocurrency’s price has skyrocketed, rising by more than 400 percent, hitting an all-time high above $0.01.
Jackson Palmer told Coindesk, a website that tracks cryptocurrency news and prices, that he had faith in the development team behind dogecoin’s technology, but that it “says a lot about the state of the cryptocurrency space in general that a currency with a dog on it which hasn’t released a software update in over two years has a $1bn-plus market cap”.
He added that the fact that most conversations about cryptocurrencies in the media concern investment and the potential to make money “draws attention away from the underlying technology and goals this movement was based on”.
A Shiba Inu dog inspired the dogecoin
8.46am – UPDATE – Utah Division of Securities says ‘We see a lot of fraudsters capitalising on this fad’
The Utah Division of Securities has warned investors that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum and ripple are risky investments, often used for fraud.
The division has released information to warn consumers about schemes that may target individuals’ retirement savings.
Keith Woodwell, director of the Utah Division of Securities said:
“Utah’s reputation as a technically savvy and connected state makes our population ripe for cryptocurrency fraud,” he said. “While it’s a compliment to our population for being plugged into what’s trending, internet hype can lead to rash decisions.
“Things that tend to go up very fast also tend to come down very fast,” Woodwell said. “We see a lot of fraudsters capitalising on this fad that so many people are paying attention to. Scammers are using that greed and the little bit of knowledge that people have to offer bogus investments.”
Is bitcoin linked to fraud?
07.47am – UPDATE – Bitcoin mines to shut in China
Bitcoin has slipped to $15,913 after hitting a high of $17,005 on Saturday.
It is not known yet how bitcoin’s price will react to the leaked report that China’s top internet-finance regulator, the Leading Group of Internet Financial Risks Remediation, has issued a notice asking local governments to help bitcoin-mining operations make an “orderly exit” from the business.
The document, currently available through twitter user @cryptovenus, asks local authorities to use price rising measures linked to electricity supply, land use, tax, and environmental protection, to force bitcoin miners to quit the business.
It also asks the local offices to report information about mining facilities in their regions.
A bitcoin mine in China
How does it work?
Bitcoin miners use a special software to solve increasingly complex mathematical problems that both confirm legitimate transactions, or blocks, and create new bitcoins, adding new transactions to the blockchain about every 10 minutes.
The hash rate is the number of calculations a piece of hardware can make every second as it works to solve that maths problem, and the higher the hash rate, the more likely a miner is to solve a transaction and thus be rewarded with a set amount of bitcoin.
As the price of bitcoin continues to rise mining can be profitable, as miners are rewarded with a fixed amount of coins and transaction fees for their hard work.
However, the power of the computers and expense of the hardware needed for powering through blocks can eat up a lot of electricity and end up running huge costs.
Beijing is worried about social and financial chaos triggered by small investors who lose money investing in risky financial products.
After building up trillions of pounds worth of debt on the ‘shadow’ investments market, China and has cracked down on investment vehicles like peer-to-peer lending and online insurance.
The leaked report says that China will end mining operation