Mastercard Announces ‘Fintech Express’ In Asia-Pacific Region

mastercard fintech express

Mastercard proudly announced its new ‘FinTech Express’ platform at the Singapore FinTech Festival. In an interview with Bloomberg, Mastercard Asia Pacific Co-President, Ari Sarker discussed the platform, and also gave some insight into Mastercard’s withdrawal from the Libra Association.

Doesn’t Quite Live Up To The Billing

Sarker’s portrayal of the initiative was of expanding Mastercard’s reach for FinTech partnership. Painting Mastercard as an enabler for all players, whether traditional banking or FinTech. The platform would accelerate the way that Mastercard onboard FinTech firms onto its global platform, he said.

When pushed for tangible examples, Sarker explained that the company was targeting FinTechs with its rules, capability, platforms and licensing process. In essence, Mastercard has streamlined the onboarding process for FinTech companies that want to use their services.

Hardly ‘expanding the reach for FinTech partnership’, but a huge improvement in refusing to provide services for companies in the sector. Sarker even said that many services could be enabled in a fraction of the time of that for traditional firms.

Avoid Becoming Obsolete

It was asked why (when the need for efficiency has always existed) this should be announced now. Was it because the technology now existed or because competitors would offer the services of Mastercard didn’t?

Sarker responded that it was a little of both. Whilst he saw Mastercard’s role in the evolution of payment services, from plastic cards through to mobile devices, he acknowledged that new players would offer the services if it didn’t.

Sarker wouldn’t be drawn on what parts of Mastercard’s business may be obsolete in ten years’ time, focussing instead on remaining nimble enough to respond to changes.

Mastercard Explains Withdrawal From Libra Association

Sarker also gave some insight into Mastercard’s recent withdrawal from the Libra Association. He said that the partnership came about because Mastercard recognized its commitments as a regulated payments framework.

If it was inside the tent, he said, the feeling was that it would give an opportunity to shape some of the conversations.

However, the company stepped back because it felt that certain basic core tenets were not being adhered to.

What do you think about Mastercard’s Fintech Express Platform? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

Images via Bitcoinist Media Library

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Sunday Digest: Bitcoin Price And Other News

bitcoin price and general weekly news

Japan celebrated the enthronement of its new emperor, Naruhito, with a festival in Tokyo on Saturday. It is not yet known whether the new emperor owns any bitcoin.

Bitcoin Price: Consolidation And Retracement

A week of consolidation for BTC price this week, whilst people were still arguing over what caused the ‘Xi’ pump of two weeks ago. Outflows from Bitcoin exchanges have overtaken inflows in recent weeks, suggesting a potential renewed HODLing period.

The first part of the week saw modest gains with price pushing for but not quite reaching $9500 on global markets. One exception was in Argentina, where stricter capital controls have seen premiums on local exchanges, with the price hitting $11.6k.

According to an alternate take on the stock-to-flow method, we may have to wait until after next year’s halving for a new all-time high. Certainly price seemed quite happy to trade sideways… for a while.

Then on Thursday, bitcoin price began to dip, developing into a $500 crash on Friday. Crypto Twitter took a decidedly bearish turn, although some suggested that this was unwarranted. Certainly, price has continued to trade sideways at around $8800 since the drop.

To finish on a bullish note, crypto-stalwart Bobby Lee threw his hat into the $1 million bitcoin prediction ring. According to Lee, the figure will be reached in about 5 to 10 years, after two more bubbles.

Getting On The Bitcoin and Digital Currency Train

No further news of China’s state-backed digital currency this week, but we did find out that Turkey could possibly beat it to the punch. Plans for a digital Lira are well underway, with a potential launch next year.

There were also reports that the European Union might introduce a public digital currency, to counteract the influence of Facebook’s Libra.

A former head of the Chinese Central Bank even suggested that Libra might be better served if it was under the control of the IMF.

News In Brief

Last week’s leak of customer email addresses by BitMEX, has lead to a number of accounts being compromised. Customers were advised to enable two-factor authentication (2FA) if they have any concerns about account security.

Since China’s announcement of intent regarding blockchain, it has started to censor news articles denouncing the technology. Ironically, there had previously been moves to delete pro-blockchain articles.

The Winklevii’s Gemini Exchange added automated tax reporting for its customers this week… which is nice if you like that sort of thing.

Bakkt has continued to build strongly on its perhaps underwhelming start. This week saw the company record its second highest Bitcoin futures volume, followed closely by its highest ever daily volume.

And Finally…

The power struggle at Bitmain seems to be hotting up.

Co-founder Micree Zhan, who was ousted by the returning Jihan Wu last week, showed that he isn’t going down without a fight.

Describing his own removal as a coup without consent, he vowed to retake control of the company through legal action.

What do you make of this week’s bitcoin and crypto news? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Image via Shutterstock

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Bitcoin Price: Crypto Twitter Bearish, But Is This A Crash Or Just Retracement?

bitcoin price retracement

As surely as night follows day, after a three-digit drop in bitcoin price, crypto-twitter turns bearish. This time the drop was a not-insignificant $500, and the bearishness has become hard to bear [sorry]. But is the outlook really so negative, or is CT waiting to buy a dip which isn’t coming?

Don’t Wait So Long You Buy Back In At $10k

As pointed out by cryptocurrency and fx trader, Mayne, on Twitter, feeds have become increasingly bearish since the latest losses. But whilst he believes bitcoin price can still go lower, he feels that those waiting for a larger dip to buy may end up disappointed.

We can go lower sure, but I think the same people [who were] waiting for $6k are going to be waiting for $7k and will buy back above $10k.

BTC Retracement After Historic Bullish Day

Bitcoin price recently posted its fourth-biggest daily gain of all time. Despite our desire for every pump to go parabolic, that just doesn’t happen. Without buying pressure, such spikes are unsustainable and followed by a period of consolidation and retracement to find support following the pump.

Economist, Alex Krüger, agreed, suggesting that the dip is already being bought:

after the 4th biggest bull move ever, the trade is buying the dip, regardless of whatever perceived fundamentals

Bitcoin Price Not Looking As Bad As All That

Bitcoin’s price drop yesterday pushed it once again below $9k, and the timing seemed to correlate with a general slump in the global stock markets. However, just two weeks ago the price was as low as $7500, so we have seen significant overall gains in this period.

Bakkt’s bitcoin futures products also continue to gain a foothold in the market. They set a new daily record of a number of futures contracts traded yesterday, even as BTC price was dropping.

Are you buying this bitcoin price dip? Let us know in the comments below. 

Images via Shutterstock, Twitter: @Tradermayne, @krugermacro

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Ethereum ‘Brand’ To Benefit From Marketing DAO

ethereum branding

A group of 50+ marketers, designers and communications professionals have grouped together to form the Ethereum Marketing DAO. Their aim is to communicate the cryptocurrency’s vision and value propositions and to grow Ethereum as a brand.

But should decentralized assets like Ethereum be relying on marketing campaigns to grow their brands? Has this become a necessity in the currently overcrowded crypto-landscape?

So Tell Me About This Ethereum Of Which You Speak

Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap. It has achieved this, largely without any co-ordinated marketing strategy, as the Ethereum Foundation focusses on the technology and infrastructure. This would be nothing short of incredible in any other industry, even considering its ‘first-mover advantage’.

Now though, the cryptocurrency market is a different landscape, full of competing tokens, many of which are directly positioned against Ethereum. And, Ethereum’s position leaves it a key target of attacks from detractors, often purely to spread FUD and shill their own bags.

Introducing The Ethereum Marketing DAO

Admittedly, to provide a centralized marketing arm for a decentralized asset would seem fairly perverse to say the least. But Ethereum as a ‘brand’ could certainly benefit from a little marketing to stand out in an increasingly large crowd. As could Bitcoin in fairness. Imagine the penetration, if Bitcoin had the marketing dollar of say, Coca Cola. Although that’s another story.

Anyway, the solution proposed is a DAO (or decentralized autonomous organization). This has two big objectives: to pool pledged funds towards upvoted marketing initiatives and to propose, select and action such initiatives.

The group plans to fork the Moloch DAO as a baseline for implementing its marketing initiatives.

First Projects

The initial plan of attack is three-fold. It involves research to identify the audience and lay the foundation for futures campaigns, ensuring a presence ‘on the ground’ at global events, and develop a strong Ethereum positioning to make it more easily understandable.

This would all be great, although in a tweet-thread, this ‘positioning of Ethereum’ is labeled ‘Memes’. Perhaps that’s the sort of decision which needs to wait until after the research part? And only if the research reveals that the audience is particularly going to be influenced by memes.

Anyway, this is an interesting development, and it will give some balance to the flow of Ethereum information, which is currently too often tainted by either Bitcoin maximalists or sh*tcoin shills wanting to take the currency down a peg or two.

What do you think of decentralized assets like Ethereum trying to redefine their brand through marketing? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

Image via Shutterstock

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Trial of Former OneCoin Lawyer Kicks Off In New York

Former OneCoin Lawyers faces New York trial

The trial of an American lawyer accused of laundering money for the notorious OneCoin pyramid scheme, began in New York yesterday. The lawyer is the first of three key players in the scam to face trial. However the founder, self-styled Crypto-Queen, Ruja Ignatova, is still on the run.

Defendant Denies Any Wrongdoing

The lawyer, Mark Scott, formerly a partner at Locke Lord LLP, denies moving hundreds of millions of dollars from the OneCoin scheme into offshore accounts. He was arrested just over a year ago, for his role in the multi-billion dollar global pyramid scheme.

Formal charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering and bank fraud were brought last month, when Scott plead ‘not guilty’.

His defence is likely to hinge on his claim that, although he did move millions of dollars through the scheme, he was unaware that it was a criminal scheme. He even claims to have raised several concerns about OneCoin, although to whom wasn’t specified.

The hearings are expected to last two to three weeks.

Ongoing OneCoin Court Action

Also facing prosecution are OneCoin co-founder, Sebastian Greenwood, who was arrested in Thailand last year and extradited to the US, and Konstantin Ignatov. Ignatov is the brother of OneCoin founder, Ruja Ignatova, and was arrested at LAX airport earlier this year.

Ruja Ignatova is still at large, but has been charged in her absence with various counts of fraud and money laundering.

OneCoin is also being taken to court in a class-action lawsuit, brought by an investor who lost $103k to the scheme.

Despite all of this, OneCoin continues to function in certain jurisdictions around the globe. It was recently the subject of a BBC Sounds documentary, speculating as to the whereabouts of the Crypto-Queen.

Possibly living incognito in Europe, having had extensive facial reconstructive surgery using all the OneCoin money… in case you were interested.

Where do you think the Crypto Queen is hiding? Add your thoughts below!

Images via Shutterstock

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Bitcoin Podcaster Confronts German Faketoshi

Bitcoin podcaster confronts german faketoshi

Part of the joy in seeing the latest would-be Satoshi Nakamoto revealed as a fraud, is in watching their so-called ‘evidence’ being pulled apart and proven false by experts. Bitcoin Podcaster, Kenn Bosak, however chose a different tack.

Use Your Words

The Faketoshi in question is Jörg Molt, a German man who clearly isn’t Satoshi, but we’ll get to that later.

Presenter of the ‘Not Another Bitcoin’ podcast, Kenn Bosak, tweeted a video of himself outing Molt at the World Crypto Conference in Las Vegas last week.

Bosak filmed himself in front of Molt at the event, and publicly called him out as a scammer. He said that Molt has been telling people that he is Satoshi, but that he is not. This would all be perfectly reasonable if Bosak could manage to finish a single sentence without using expletives. However, this was not the case.

When asked by another gentleman to leave and take his behaviour outside, Bosak initially started to protest. Then Molt flipped off Bosak’s baseball cap, and we saw Bosak’s true colours. Whilst the gentleman continued to usher Bosak out of the event, he continued to protest.

He even attacked a passer-by who steps in to help, shouting ‘you need to get the f**k out of my face… this guy doesn’t know me… shut the f**k up.’

Of course, the people didn’t need to ‘know’ Bosak to realise that his behaviour was inappropriate and that he was rightfully being ejected.

Who is Jörg Molt?

Back to Molt, aka Jörg Örtl/ DJ Sunlove. At a SIMS conference in Pune, Molt delivered a speech under the pretence that he was Bitcoin’s Co-Founder.

The fact that nobody seemed to question this at the time, and that he has since flown almost completely under the radar (until now), speaks volumes about the utter lack of credibility behind his statements.

Here is a man with allegedly no coding skills, no economic background, and a reputation for scamming older women out of money.

His own ex-wife felt the need to make a YouTube video a year ago, in which she detailed his scams. She claims that he owes money to at least six people, and isn’t paying alimony for his two children. This isn’t a very nice guy, so it’s a shame that he wins a moral victory in the confrontation with Bosak.

Perhaps most amusingly, Molt’s ex wife says that he didn’t even own a computer at the time that the Bitcoin white paper was released.

Despite this, he claims to have co-founded Bitcoin, that Craig Wright isn’t Satoshi Nakamoto (well duh!), and that he has 250,000 BTC.

Andreas Antonopolous yesterday also felt the need to tweet, distancing himself from Molt, after learning that Molt had been showing people a selfie of the pair and saying they were friends. This was a lie, said Antonopolous, as was Molt’s claim to have 250k BTC.

Bosak Turns On Bitcoin Jesus

Since the video of the confrontation was released, Bosak has decided to pick a fight with Roger Ver. After a news story on Molt described Bosak as previously accosting two of its own unsuspecting booth workers at an event in 2018, he challenged: “Whoever wrote this. F**k you. Fight me.”

If he had the guile to put together a decent argument to back up his passion, then it might have been a different story. Obviously Ver did have the wherewithal to politely put Bosak in his place, not that Bosak seems to have realised that.

Meanwhile, although there are many scammers in our space, and tempers do get heated (especially if someone knocks our favourite hat off)… please, for the sake of the industry, stay classy out there.

What do you make of Kenn Bosak’s denouncement of Jörg Molt? Add your thoughts below!

Images via Speakingofcrypto, Twitter @KennethBosak


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Did US Regulatory Filing Really Cause Bitcoin ‘Xi’ Pump?

Did US Filing Really Cause Bitcoin "XI" Pump?

As human beings, one of our greatest drivers is the desire to codify and make sense of the world around us. Never more so than when analysing bitcoin price moves. But the most obvious answer is not always the correct one. So was last month’s ‘Xi’ pump more to do with TD Ameritrade than China?

Bitcoin, Not Blockchain

Whenever we see a significant movement in Bitcoin price, either up or down, speculation is rife as to the cause. Last month’s 40%+ rally occurred directly following President Xi of China’s blockchain adoption speech. Therefore, the price of Bitcoin going up was readily attributed as a direct effect of this, despite Xi not mentioning Bitcoin or even cryptocurrency.

So were there any more likely contenders which might have prompted Bitcoin’s fourth biggest price jump of all time? Well, according to research from Bitcite, it was down to a regulatory approval occurring on the other side of the world, in the United States.

President Xi Outshines The CFTC

Whilst Xi’s speech got all the media coverage, it clearly wasn’t the only thing that happened before the price pump. Overshadowed perhaps, but still important, were two filings certified by the CFTC that morning.

The filings in question were for ErisX Bitcoin Futures and amendments to the ErisX rulebook, which also covers cryptocurrency trading outside of futures. The futures filing contains the following passage:

…listing of Physically Delivered Bitcoin Futures (the “Contracts”) on Eris Exchange’s electronic trading platform, anticipated to begin on or after December 1, 2019.

ErisX Is Backed By TD Ameritrade

Importantly, ErisX is backed by a certain TD Ameritrade, boasting 11 million retail customers and over $1 trillion in assets held. Ameritrade has been quietly testing Bitcoin spot-trading for a while now, and has also been offering futures products, although not to its retail customers.

According to the Ameritrade website, the availability of ErisX futures, “will be dependent on when ErisX completes its product development and obtains regulatory approval.”

With regulatory approval now gained, 11 million Ameritrade retail customers could have the door to crypto trading opened to them in the very near future.

What are your thoughts on what caused Bitcoin’s most recent rally? Add your thoughts below!

Images via Shutterstock

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Sunday Digest: Bitcoin Price Holds Above $9k, Week’s Other News

sunday bitcoin news

The world’s most profitable company, today announced that it is going public, in what could be the biggest ever IPO. The oil giant, Saudi Aramco, posted an H1 profit of $46.9bn in 2019, compared to Apple’s $21.6bn in the same period. But one imagines that return on investment will still pale into insignificance compared to Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Price

Following last week’s contested Xi-pump, could bitcoin price capitalize on the move and post further gains?

Initially, it seemed like that could well happen as a late Sunday pump took price over $9,600. One analyst noted that it would only take 9 further days of 20%+ gains for BTC to hit $50k.

Analysts were coming out of the woodwork with increasingly bullish price predictions, including one which had BTC priced in the millions, but was over a decade away. Perhaps more tangible was a target of $20k by the end of 2019.

Fundstrat’s Tom Lee declared the interim ‘risk-off’ to have ended and the bull market resumed. BTC price, of course, had other ideas, and trickled back downwards, though crucially, support held at $9k.

Binance CEO, CZ, said that bitcoin price would hit $16k ‘soonish’, although it won’t be soon enough to prove the 4Chan ‘wizard’ prediction, which was proven wrong this week. There is no suggestion that CZ’s defense of the ‘wizard’ prediction means that it was secretly him.

Other analysts suggested that regaining five figures might be a suitable target by the end of Q3. Either way, yearly gains have exceeded 140% to date, so it would be churlish to complain.

China In Your Hands

Following President Xi’s call for accelerated blockchain adoption in the country last week, China has already seen several developments. The bitcoin price pump that followed spurred one commentator to claim that Chinese FOMO was bigger than Bakkt, Libra and ETFs combined, as it had actually moved the market.

A Chinese merchant bank felt compelled to invest in a local bitcoin wallet platform. Some felt that the Chinese FOMO would cause FOMO in the American government and that Mark Zuckerberg may owe Xi a debt of thanks.

Then we got a tantalizing tease that China’s proposed Central Bank Digital Currency may be closer than we think. And according to Max Keiser will be gold-backed, and spell trouble for the dollar as a world reserve currency.

News In Brief

The Argentine government imposed capital control restrictions on its citizens this week to ‘preserve its foreign currency reserves’. Firstly it reduced the US Dollar amount which savers could purchase each month from $10k to just $200.

On Friday, BitMEX suffered a mass leak of its user’s email addresses, in what appeared to be a simple case of forgetting to use BCC. The company’s Twitter account was then purportedly hacked, although it has been rumored that it was simply commandeered by a recently-fired email communications employee.

And Finally…

The Bitcoin Time-Traveller re-emerged with the shock confession that… he wasn’t really a time traveler! He was still concerned that Bitcoin would destroy the planet though, and suggested that we should all sell ours.

We won’t, of course, on the off chance that this new ‘time-traveler’ had simply hacked the old one’s Reddit login. Some of us were looking forward to living in a shiny new citadel.

Do you think there will be a massive bitcoin rally towards the end of the year? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Image via Shutterstock

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LAToken Cryptocurrency Exchange Defends Listing Of ‘SpaceX’ IEO

Latoken responds to SpaceX IEO listing

Following our story yesterday about a suspicious looking Initial Exchange Offering on LAToken cryptocurrency exchange, the CEO has been in touch to defend the listing.

LAToken CEO Responds

We felt that it was either disingenuous or negligent to claim that the management team of the IEO was that of SpaceX, when in actual fact, Elon Musk and SpaceX are not involved with the token.

However, LAToken CEO, Valentin Preobrazhenskiy says that he admires startups who have the courage to pioneer such powerful innovation.

Preobrazhenskiy sees the USPX token as serving to “unite people to explore an alternative planet to settle and hedge from an asteroid type of disaster. Something that dinosaurs did not manage to structure.”

He also believes that it is “a great opportunity to test the legal structure and business model to provide worldwide liquidity for assets previously not available to most investors.”

USPX Token Backed By SpaceX Shares

Bold statements calling for investment into the future of humanity, and hedging against “dino asteroid disaster” are one thing. But how exactly will the LAToken listed token function?

According to the token issuer, 10 USPX will track the value of 1 SpaceX share. The issuer is Unicorn Tokenization Corp. which is managed by a SEC regulated, FINRA member company, Threesixty Elements S.A.

the raised funds will be invested in direct or indirect economic interest in Space Exploration Technologies Corp. Otherwise, the funds will be transferred back to the contributors. The potential availability of SpaceX shares is confirmed by a comfort letter issued by US Capital Global Partners LLC. to Ambisafe.

But Is It Okay To List Elon Musk On The Team?

Unfortunately, Preobrazhenskiy chose not to address our issue with the listing in his communication. Being that the LAToken launchpad page for the IEO had been set up to suggest Elon Musk and the SpaceX team were involved with the sale.

Instead he included the following:

Please be aware that neither Space Exploration Technologies Corp. nor its CEO Elon Musk are affiliated or involved in the organization of USPX token issuance and offering.

A number of asterisks have now also been added to the landing page, linking to a similar disclaimer…

Which I guess is as close as we will get to an admission that it should have been prominently displayed in the first place.

Do you feel that LAToken’s response justifies the SpaceX IEO listing? Add your thoughts below.

Images via Shutterstock

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Elon Musk SpaceX IEO Appears On Suspicious LAToken Exchange

Elon Musk SpaceX IEO Appears on LAToken Exchange

Increasingly questionable cryptocurrency exchange, LAToken, is currently listing an IEO purportedly run by Elon Musk for SpaceX. Although this would be many a tech-fan’s dream, closer inspection reveals that this is completely false.

No, Elon Musk Is Not Launching A SpaceX IEO

The offending Initial Exchange Offering was highlighted in a tweet by Cointelligence CEO, On Yavin. On LAToken’s IEO Launchpad, the relevant page features an embedded YouTube video of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy, along with further details of the IEO.

The underlying asset is valued at $36 billion, key investors of SpaceX are listed, along with the SpaceX management team. Elon Musk is listed as founder, lead designer, CTO, and CEO. At the bottom of the page, the SpaceX Twitter feed is embedded.

Which would be fine, if SpaceX were involved with the launch of this IEO… but they’re not.

In a private interview with Bitcoinist, On Yavin added,

It is highly unlikely that Elon musk allowed LAToken to use his name, company and reputation to fraudulently advertise the USPX IEO. This is completely misleading, and as long as we have these kind of scammy exchanges, the industry will not be able to progress.

Disingenuous, To Say The Least

The USPX token is actually being launched by Unicorn Equities, who’s management team, asset value, and investors are not included. Unicorn Equities plan to acquire an undisclosed number of SpaceX shares with the funds raised, which will then form the equity. SpaceX shares are not publicly traded, so it is hard for the general public to acquire them.

The page is clearly designed to make potential clients think that this IEO is SpaceX sanctioned, and Elon Musk managed. Whilst there is no suggestion that LAToken supplied this information, it is at the very least, incredibly unprofessional for the exchange not to vet the information provided by clients.

LAToken has faced criticism in the past, being accused of everything from carelessness to outright fraud. Cointelligence rates the exchange at a not-at-all impressive, 3.88, scoring it a lowly 1.0 for ‘trust’.

Elon Musk has long shown an interest in cryptocurrency, and was even voted in as CEO of DogeCoin without his knowledge. However, he is not currently known to have made a direct investment in the space.

What do you make of this misleading LAToken IEO? Add your thoughts in the comment section below

Images via CNBC, Twitter @on_yavin

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Bitcoin Time-Traveller: Not Really From The Future, Shock!

Bitcoin time traveller not actually from future

The Bitcoin Time-Traveller has returned, so what further information about the future can he bring? Turns out, none… as he reveals himself to be just some guy with a beef about Bitcoin. Oh, and also, Quantum computing isn’t at risk of breaking Bitcoin any time soon, so chill out!

“I Am [Not] A Time-Traveler From The Future”

The Time-Traveller story is one of the most endearing in Bitcoin’s canon of out-there conspiracy theories, even resurfacing on Hong Kong national TV, being explained by a former beauty-queen. It emerged from a 2013 reddit post, purportedly from a future time-traveller living in a dystopian world, destroyed by Bitcoin.

HODLers protect their assets by holing up in gated ‘Citadels’ to keep well away from the No-coiner masses. Most governments no longer exist, although that of North Korea inexplicably does, and holds 180,000 BTC (the largest remaining accessible stockpile).

Perhaps we liked the story for its sheer unadulterated incredulity? Or maybe we liked it because we already had some BTC and (according to the time-traveller) would be safely ensconced inside a future Citadel?

Demonstrably False… Even Before The Confession

Aside from the alluring predictions of exponentially increasing Bitcoin price, the time-traveller story gained a certain amount of prominence, because in its early years it seemed to be coming true… except of course, that it didn’t.

However, if you were hopped up on Hopium and reasonably adept at mental gymnastics then you could argue that the predicted figures roughly tallied with what came to pass.

“Well gee, this blew up.”

Now, however, the ‘time-traveler’ has returned, seeming genuinely surprised at the traction his post got. Despite his current admission of a lack of concrete future knowledge, he is still ranting against Bitcoin. Albeit now his main focus is on the network’s energy consumption, which wasn’t considered so much of an issue in 2013 when the original post was made.

As a Bitcoin investor, you’re paying for Chinese businesses to waste electricity by solving an abstract math problem that is designed to get continually more difficult.

His suggested solution is to sell your bitcoin, which he claims, “indirectly has the effect of reducing the ecological damage caused by Bitcoin mining.”

Except of course… that it doesn’t… unless everyone else does that too… in which case nobody is left to buy them.

The hardest of the hard-core tinfoil hat brigade may still attempt to cling on to the theory. After all, perhaps somebody just managed to hack the time-traveller’s Reddit details? But for the rest of us… well I guess we still have a day for the 4Chan ‘Wizard’ to be proved right.

Quantum Computing: Another Bitcoin Myth Busted

Whilst we have our myth-busting hats on, lets have a look at this idea that quantum computing is about to break Bitcoin’s cryptography.

Not so, according to Blockstream CSO, Samson Mow. At a Liquid meetup in Las Vegas yesterday, he was quizzed over his thoughts on quantum computing.

Mow suggested that, although a 53 qubit quantum computer exists today, you would need 3000 qubits to break Bitcoin. And that isn’t going to happen any time soon. Keep calm and carry on people.

Are you in any way surprised that the Bitcoin Time-Traveller was a hoax? Add your thoughts below!

Images via Shutterstock

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Is China’s Blockchain Future A Brave New World Or Orwellian Dystopia?

china blockchain drive

Last week, China’s President Xi Jinping nailed his colors firmly to the blockchain post, urging accelerated adoption of the technology. The announcement excited investors in Bitcoin and tech stocks, but the first ‘official’ output is slightly more ominous. China’s Communist Party (CCP) has released a decentralized app (dApp) for members to pledge their allegiance to the party on a public blockchain.

Original Intentions Onchain

Even the name of the dApp is enough to strike fear into the heart of any democracy-dwelling reader of Orwell’s ‘1984’. The literal translation is ‘Original Intentions Onchain’, co-opting the ‘Original Intentions’ remark made by Xi in 2017.

This became a mainstay communist party propaganda tool, to encourage members to stay committed to their party. And now, all those lucky Chinese citizens get the chance to show their loyalty to the CCP on an immutable permanent blockchain, for everybody to see…

Or perhaps, so that the CCP can easily identify citizens who haven’t pledged their allegiance.

The official press release describes the purpose of the dApp as allowing members to:

experienc[e] the new technology of blockchain, in a novel form to let party members retain their original intentions, verify the original intentions, Do not forget the original intentions.

Ripple Effects Of Allowing Xi Speech

President Xi’s comments have done more than just produce a dApp to monitor ‘thoughtcrime’ though.

The immediate aftermath of the speech caused a serious pump in bitcoin price, producing the fourth biggest daily price gain ever. Online interest in China has remained high, with searches for ‘Bitcoin’ on Weibo, WeChat and Baidu showing net positive gains since last week.

BTC/CNY trading volumes are also up, with peer to peer trading site, Paxful, showing a doubling in weekly volume compared to just a few weeks ago.

As Bitcoinist reported, China’s blockchain and tech stocks also surged following Xi’s announcement and Chinese mainstream media interest. Universities also started offering ‘blockchain’ courses almost overnight.

The thing about a blockchain, of course, is that it’s an immutable permanent public ledger. Making it a lot easier to suppress those pesky dissidents. Not that Xi had this purpose in mind when calling for adoption.

What do you think about China’s sudden blockchain implementation drive? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Image via Shutterstock

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A Bitcoin Price In The Millions?… But We Have To Wait A Decade

Bitcoin price could hit millions says analyst

Analysis by Cane Island’s Timothy Peterson suggests that bitcoin price will indeed come to be counted in the millions, based on current adoption rate. But before we all start immediately ordering Lambos, this won’t be happening for at least a decade, according to Peterson’s calculations.

Because… Metcalfe’s Law?

Bitcoin price predictions are pretty much ten-a-penny around here. After all, predictions cost nothing (except in terms of reputation) and price still generates the majority of public interest in bitcoin.

But if you’re gonna start swinging round a prediction in the millions of dollars, then you need some cojones. If being proved wrong may result in the removal of said cojones, then even more so.

Thankfully, that’s not the case this time, and Peterson cheerfully announced his prediction on Twitter, stating that:

bitcoin’s adoption rate implies a price into the millions

Alongside a comparison chart of adoption rates for Bitcoin and the internet, and the disclaimer that it wouldn’t happen “for at least a decade.”

Peterson’s analysis relies on Metcalfe’s Law, which states that ‘the value of a network is proportional to the square of its user numbers’.

Because… Internet?

So, if bitcoin adoption happens at a similar rate to internet adoption, then in a decade, user numbers should imply a price of seven figures… if it does follow Metcalfe’s Law.

Thus far, if you squint a bit, then the bitcoin adoption graph does roughly reflect that of internet adoption. With the caveat that active wallet addresses are down from late-2017 highs, which didn’t happen to internet penetration. It must also be noted that the y-scale of the graphs is pretty arbitrary, equating 100,000,000 active bitcoin addresses to 100% internet penetration.

It might also be relevant to question why we should expect bitcoin and internet adoption to correlate. Bitcoin is a product competing in the cryptocurrency space, whereas the Internet was n entirely new space to be discovered.

Peterson is Big on Bitcoin Analyses

Despite the inclusion of certain assumptions which may or may not be valid, Peterson is consistently producing fresh analysis in the cryptocurrency space.

Recently he has published blog post championing bitcoin’s ‘never look back price‘, and applied a ‘Monte Carlo’ financial simulation to declare that the leading cryptocurrency’s price would never again drop to $6000.

Do you think Bitcoin will reach into the millions? Add your thoughts in the comment section below.

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4 Bitcoin ‘Loss’ On Lightning Network is FUD, Says Community

Man who lost 4 BTC on Lightning network is lying

A reported loss of 4 bitcoin on Lightning Network has been blamed on either user-negligence or FUD-spreading. Community members variously described the user as ‘an idiot’ and ‘in over his head’, if the loss really occurred at all.

“Wow… looks like I lost 4 BTC”

It all started with a question posted on Reddit along with some screenshots: “am I able to loose [sic] money after force-closing channels?”

When told that this was possible if channels were force closed using an older invalid state, the OP claimed to have lost 4BTC.

Apparently, a power outage had caused the OP to force close from a few-day-old backup, causing a breach. Despite claiming to be a system administrator with ‘some server knowledge’, he did not know that force-closing from an older state was a ‘no-no’.

However it was pointed out that this “isn’t the first time I’ve seen you with the same issue of carelessly locking so much money on useless nodes and then decid[ing] to just mass close them all.”

The OP’s apparent calmness at the loss of his 4BTC was also called into question.

Dissecting The Loss

A Twitter thread looking into the circumstances behind the loss and how it could be prevented in future, suggested that LN had been working as intended. The victim would have been fine if he had waited, but impatience caused him to “crash through multiple safety barriers,” as he was deemed “in over his head.”

As LN is still classed as an experiment, it requires a level of technical hands-on knowledge to set-up and operate. It is also recommended that users should not send large transactions over the network.

Zap wallet developer, Jack Mallers, however, found no evidence of any breaches. Fellow LN developer TheRustyTwit confirmed this and concluded that:

either lnd saved confused-dude’s ass here despite his best efforts, or he’s just making it all up.

Mallers then responded that he hoped it was just user confusion, and that this wasn’t the result of a social attack on the network. One user suggested that it might be Bitcoin Cash propaganda, but there is no evidence of this.

Bitcoin Cash has enough issues of its own at the moment, as hash rate performance has raised questions over the network’s security.

Do you think the whole thing was made up to spread FUD? Add your thoughts below!

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Are Miners Losing Interest In Bitcoin Cash?

bitcoin cash mining interest down

Miners seem to be ditching Bitcoin Cash in droves, as hash rates continue to underperform. This has led to serious concerns as to the security of the network.

Bitcoin Cash Hash Rate 0.1% Of Bitcoin

Whilst BTC hash rates have climbed to record highs (even as markets have been going down), BCH power has languished. Bitcoin hash rate has gone up at a factor of ten, whilst BCH hasn’t increased. The BCH network will soon have less than $1250 of security generated every ten minutes.

This has led to slow and only partially full blocks. Recently there was a block which took three hours to mine, rather than the usual ten minutes. When finally produced it was only 2.4MB, or less than 10% of the maximum 32MB.

However, it should be noted that slow blocks are not unheard of, even on the Bitcoin network.

How Secure Is BCH?

These issues have raised concerns as to the security of the Bitcoin Cash network. Twitter commentator and long-time miner, Dr Checksum 0. Zero, Ph.D. tweeted that the number of miners who could attack the service had gone up tenfold.

“…now I know at least 20 miners who could,” he claimed, suggesting that every single BTC pool could also stage an attack should it choose.

Blockchain research specialist, hash. fail, suggested there was “*enormous cause for concern*”

Allegedly one miner now controls 50% of the BCH network’s hash rate, and “essentially has full control of the chain at this point in time.”

The unknown miner recently found 24 (supposedly ten-minute blocks) in the course of two hours. Thus, not only beating out the entire network but pretty much breaking it. gave the following recommendation:

It is strongly recommended that users *avoid transacting on or with $BCH at any and all costs* until this issue is resolved.

When this is likely to be is uncertain, as reports suggest the developers currently can’t do anything about it.

Do you think Bitcoin Cash is losing its sheen? Where do you see BCH going in the future? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 

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Sunday Digest: Bitcoin Price Rally And The Weeks Top Headlines

sunday bitcoin news digest

This week, a string of Chinese hitmen were jailed after each subcontracted the next to carry out an assassination. The final hitman colluded with the target to fake his death, thus getting the whole lot caught and imprisoned. Thankfully not everyone in China is incompetent. President Xi Jinping did a great job of pumping Bitcoin this week, albeit perhaps unintentionally.

Bitcoin Price

For a week which had some heart-stopping moments, things seem (touch wood) to be ending well for BTC. So how did it all pan out?

The beginning of the week saw what turned out to be a false start for bitcoin price, though it got us all excited at the time. BTC bounced back above $8,200, and suddenly perhaps McAfee’s new $2 million predictions weren’t so crazy.

Tightening technicals were signaling a big move, and PlanB confirmed that the stock-to-flow model still put us on track for a $100k bitcoin price in 2021.

And then came the two-stage flash crash. First, we dipped back under $8k, wiping out the week’s gains in one fell swoop. Then we took a $500 dollar hit down to $7500. Was this pattern of sideways trading, followed by big moves, down to  day-traders pumping and dumping? Or could a drop in network velocity have caused the crash?

Whatever the cause, time seemed to be running out for the (so far incredibly accurate) 4Chan ‘wizard’ prediction of a $16k bitcoin price by the end of October.

And then President Xi bigged-up blockchain and price bigged-up with it. The gains came super fast, clocking up a 13% jump in just ten minutes. But by the end of the rally price had surged over 40% for its fourth-best day of all time.

It also lent itself nicely to a July prediction, which would now see us entering a bullish ‘wildcard’ rally. We can only wait and see. Maybe that 4Chan ‘wizard’ may be proven right yet?

News In Brief

At least somebody seemed to benefit from the midweek flash crash. Bakkt reported record trading volumes on its physically-backed futures offerings. Although some questioned whether Bitcoin futures could just be one big market manipulation scheme.

Also, Bakkt related, Mike Novogratz suggested that the company’s new custody solution coming online could see prices go up to $10k… just before they did.

Google (questionably) claimed that it had achieved ‘quantum supremacy’ with its Sycamore quantum computer. A back-of-an-envelope calculation suggested that it had the power to mine all the 3 million remaining bitcoin in 2 seconds.

Russian authorities said they would ban Facebook if the US blocked the company’s proposed Libra ‘cryptocurrency’.

And Finally…

Earlier in the week, Bitcoinist lamented the continued radio silence of much-loved bitcoin-championing former serial-tweeter, Max Keiser. Whilst Max continues to host his regular Keiser Report on RT, it has now been over a month without a tweet for the previously-20-a-day man.

Bitcoinist‘s erstwhile impressive track record in luring industry figures back to social media has so far not succeeded with Max. We guess sometimes you just have to go cold turkey. But we’ll be here waiting when he does return, and it’ll be good to see him back.

Did you reap the benefits of hodling in this latest bitcoin rally? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

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Ripple Effect From Bitcoin ‘Xi Pump’ Is Strong In China

xi bitcoin pump ripple effect

It seems that the words ‘blockchain’ and ‘breakthrough’ were scarcely out of China’s President Xi’s mouth (albeit in the equivalent Chinese language form) before bitcoin price started to pump. Well 12 hours later, Primitive founding partner, Dovey Wan, noted some additional ripple effects caused by Xi’s comments.

Bitcoin, Not Blockchain

The fact that Xi’s proclamation was about blockchain (not Bitcoin) being a breakthrough for innovation didn’t seem to trouble investors. His message was (mis)read, loud and clear; ‘Buy Bitcoin… it’s the future.’

And buy, they did. At ever-increasing prices. BTC price saw a 13% jump in just ten minutes. But the rally wasn’t done until it had seen gains of over 40%, posting bitcoin’s fourth-best day ever.

One can only speculate as to whether President Xi filled his bags before giving the speech.

When Xi Speaks, China Pays Attention

Noted Chinese cryptocurrency commentator, Dovey Wan, took to Twitter twelve hours after the ‘Xi pump’, to point out some immediate blockchain-based developments in the country.

1. “Blockchain” headlined on People’s Daily print version today
2. Top Universities in China start “Blockchain” course offering overnight

Now, if Presidents Trump, Putin, or indeed, even acting caretaker Johnson, were to make a big declaration about blockchain being the future of innovation, then we would rightly expect the newspapers (especially state-sponsored ones) to report it.

But for a university to knock together and promote a “Blockchain” course overnight. One imagines someone will have the unenviable task of hurriedly piecing together a syllabus before the start of term.

More To Come?

Wan believes this is just the beginning, and that more blockchain-related initiatives are imminent. In particular, she expects large-scale projects from regional authorities to be announced.

3. Expect to see massive blockchain initiatives from local municipal[ities] soon

Wan signed out with, “The ripple effect is strong,” but it is thought that she was not referring to the foundation (not) controlling XRP.

Do you think China will be the first major nation to bring about transformation through blockchain technology? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Window for Crypto Adoption in Asian Payment Market Shrinking

window of opportunity shrinks for crypto adoption

Some believe that the retail payments sector is so saturated in the US that the Asian market is the best bet for crypto penetration. However, Jason Choi, Head of Research at a crypto hedge fund, thinks the continent may not be such an easy ride.

A Big Wall to Climb

Choi took to Twitter to explain why he thinks the cryptocurrency industry may need to try harder in its attempt to gain traction.

Firstly, he considered China, by some considered the ‘Holy Grail’ of the retail payments sector.

Whilst the mobile payments market is undoubtedly massive, it is already dominated by local giants, WeChat and AliPay. A full 85% of retail payments in china are performed through mobile phones, with 90% of this accounted for by AliPay and WeChat.

Also, both companies are licensed by the Chinese Central Bank, which is itself creating a digital Yuan. Any market threat from a non-sanctioned cryptocurrency is likely to come up against governmental resistance.

Is South East Asia the Answer for Crypto?

So perhaps a more fractured, less capitally controlled market like South-East Asia provides a greater opportunity? But several large players are already making inroads in this region. One of the biggest is Grab, perhaps better known as the region’s Uber, but also making waves in the payment processing scene.

In particular, Grab is investing $250 million into an alternative credit scoring scheme, targeting the 450 million unbanked in the region. The unbanked are generally seen as one of crypto’s most compelling use-cases in the retail sector.

However, in South-East Asia, cash is still king, with 70% of retail transactions using this payment method. Convincing these consumers to part with their fiat and use crypto whilst taking on board the importance of private keys, is a big ask.

A Window Of Opportunity

Choi believes that there is a window of opportunity for companies to chip away at the Asian payments markets, but that it will be a hard sell. Ultimately, he suggests, heavyweight-backed ‘cryptocurrencies’ such as Libra will likely take control of that market share, and “that window shrinks every day.”

If that window is the time before Libra launches then perhaps it isn’t necessarily shrinking every day. The level of hostility towards it from some authorities may see the launch pushed ever-further back.

Do you think crypto payments have a shot in Asia? Add your thoughts below!

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Where’s Max Keiser? 4 Weeks and No Twitter Activity

Max Keiser Missing in Action after 1 month off twitter

Vocal Bitcoin champion, permabull and early adopter, Max Keiser, has been uncharacteristically quiet on Twitter as of late. The self-proclaimed ‘tweet poet’ appears to have lost his muse, as we haven’t heard a peep out of him in over a month.

From Deluge To Drought

Max Keiser’s Twitter feed fell silent on September 23, and is to date, yet to resurface. There was no indication that an extended break was inbound in any of the 48 tweets and retweets posted by the account that day. To say Keiser is prolific on the platform is an understatement, which makes the subsequent silence all the more puzzling.

Has Max Keiser literally run out of things to say? Or did something else happen which stole his Twitter mojo?

Certainly the timing of the disappearance coincided with bitcoins recent drop in price from the $10k level back to around $8k. Did Keiser wake up to a 20% drop in Bitcoin price and lose his faith? Or at least see no positive way to spin the crash to his 228,000 followers?

He’s Still Hosting The Keiser Report

Max-fans needn’t be too concerned. He has still been hosting regular episodes of his ‘Keiser Report’ on RT, and the Keiser Report Twitter account has been tweeting and retweeting as usual.

However, the October 22 edition of the Keiser Report did begin with a bizarre rambling message from the man himself:

Occasionally you need to reset. Everything needs to be reset. We’re waiting for a global reset… We need an intellectual reset. We just need to reset.

True words, and we here at Bitcoinist hope Max Keiser resets and returns to Twitter afresh.

Can Bitcoinist Work Its Magic Again?

We have quite a bit of previous success when it comes to luring crypto-personalities out of radio silence.

Last month we published an article on Tron tweet-volumes crashing following the Buffett-lunch fiasco, only for the communications director to emerge and affirm it was still on.

And the very same week we noted that BitMex and Arthur Hayes were still absent from social media. Just days later, both Arthur and BitMex feeds flickered back into life.

Can we work the same magic with Max Keiser? Well, whilst we certainly miss his tweets, we wouldn’t want him to rush back until he feels fully reset and able to.

We’ll still be here when he does.

Where do you think Max Keiser has gone? Add your thoughts below!

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Time is Running Out For 4Chan Wizard’s $16K Bitcoin Prediction

Bitcoin $16K Prediction running out of time

With only a week of October left, bitcoin price has just suffered a flash crash down to the $7400s. So what does this mean for the 4Chan ‘Wizard’ prediction, of $16,000 this month? Is it time to just give up the ghost, or does bitcoin have more autumnal tricks up its sleeve? And why on earth would anyone pay attention to an anonymous 4Chan user anyway?

The ‘That Ship Has Sailed’ Brigade

Prominent trader and analyst, Josh Rager, certainly doesn’t expect the prediction to come true now. “Don’t worry, he meant $6,000 $BTC in October, not $16,000,” he tweeted, followed up with, “Still on target.”

To be fair, since the rally in the second quarter of 2019, almost all of the bitcoin price action has been either sideways or downwards. So it is hard to see where the number one cryptocurrency will find enough upwards momentum to more than double in price in the next week.

But Don’t Rule Bitcoin Out Yet

However, a response from blockchain entrepreneur, Crypto King, suggests that we shouldn’t be so hasty to rule out bitcoin yet.

“October isn’t over…” he reminds us, before pointing out that the move from $8k to $20k during the 2017 bull run happened in just 2 weeks. “The next move… whenever it happens will be 2-3x and likely push btc to a new ATH.”

Certainly, if any asset can climb from a price of $7.4k to $16,000 in a week it is bitcoin. And with Institutional investors suddenly showing renewed interest in Bakkt’s physically delivered Bitcoin futures, maybe there’s some shred of hope.

So We’re Seriously Getting Investment Advice From A 4Chan ‘Wizard’ Now?

It seems a little strange that the cryptocurrency industry cares so much about an anonymous post on 4Chan giving bitcoin price predictions for the next 18 months.

Perhaps it has gained some credibility because the first two predictions came true. The original post was back in January, and correctly predicted a BTC price of $5,300 in April, and $9,200 in July. Both of these price points seemed highly unlikely at the time, with crypto-winter still in full swing.

But the $16k prediction for October was really just a stepping stone to $29k and $56k in February and July next year. So has wishful thinking clouded the crypto community’s collective judgement?

I mean, seriously… an anonymous ‘wizard’ on 4Chan? We may as well take our bitcoin advice from someone claiming to be a time-traveller from the future. Oh wait…

Are you hopeful that Bitcoin price will double over the next week? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

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Lost Bitcoin Could Become Recoverable, Blockstream CEO Confirms

Bitcoin could be recoverable says blockstream CEO

Blockstream CEO, Adam Back, says that the company is looking at implementing a method by which lost bitcoin will become recoverable. But before you stop trawling through the tip for that old hard drive you threw out, he wasn’t referring to those lost bitcoin.

Backup Bitcoin Keys

Talking during an interview at the Lighting Conference in Berlin, Back was talking about future plans for Blockstream’s Green Wallet. This was launched in March this year, and feted for its default 2-of-2 multi-sig security features. One key is kept on your device, and another on the company’s servers, protecting your funds if your wallet is lost or stolen.

However, this does not protect you if you lose your own key. Back compared the situation to that if your bitcoin funds were held on an exchange. If your login password was lost then it could likely be recovered through customer services with a passport or other identification.

This is not currently possible with Green Wallet, but Back suggested that Blockstream were considering adding the possibility of using additional authentication as a recovery method in this scenario. He said:

…we should be able to have user-control… bank-like two-factor authentication… and the ability to recover from backup failure.

Whether or not you’d want your bitcoin wallet private key backed up on a company server however, is a different matter.

Seamless Lightning Network Experience

Back also spoke about the latest innovations coming to Lighting Network, including features like Splice-In and Splice-Out. These will blur the distinction between which coins are on layer one and which are on layer two, simplifying the user experience for LN.

For instance, using Splice-Out, a Lightning user can send a payment to a non-Lightning user as easily as staying off-chain. Funds are automatically transferred between layers without the user having to consider it. Similarly, Splice-In will allow the seamless transfer bitcoin from a non-Lighting user to a Lightning user.

While this functionality was not available in the first version of Lightning Network, it is coming to the second, said Back.

Do you think storing crypto keys on a backup company server is a safe idea? Add your thoughts below!

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Sunday Digest: Bitcoin Price And The Week’s Top Stories

Bitcoin Sunday Digest

If you feel like your personal freedoms are being eroded by [insert your government here] becoming increasingly undemocratic in the name of ‘the public good’, then thank [insert your choice of deity here] that you don’t live in Eritrea… unless you do live in Eritrea. Either way, you can improve your monetary sovereignty at least, by investing in and holding Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Price

The start of the week saw bitcoin price clinging on to $8400 with its fingernails, as some analysts predicted a swift return to $7700 lows.

Bitcoin’s failure to overcome resistance saw its ‘dominance’ rating fall by a percentage point, as altcoins took the opportunity to catch up.

In the current climate we are looking for any indicator to give us a clue when the price will pick up again, so why not network activity? Or perhaps we should pin our hopes on another ‘Halloween pump‘ to lift us out of the current consolidation period?

And then, naturally, we were hit by another drop. Not as low as the $7700 predicted, but back below $8000. And this time altcoins led the downwards charge, wiping out gains against bitcoin from earlier in the week.

But of course, none of this is anything to worry about. As anyone whose introduction to Bitcoin preceded the 2017 bull-run will tell you, 40% corrections happen regularly before a serious rally starts.

News In Brief

Litecoin founder, Charlie Lee, celebrated the altcoin’s 8th birthday by dismissing recent rumors of the Litecoin Foundation’s imminent bankruptcy.

Facebook’s Libra is facing the scrutiny of almost everyone these days. On Monday, it was the turn of a G7 taskforce to express its concerns.

In order to deflect all this attention, Libra decided it needed a financial industry insider to be seen managing the project. Someone like an ex-Federal Reserve boss, suggested project lead, David Marcus.

Grayscale won the first US approval for cryptocurrency-based security when the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) gave its digital large-cap fund the green light.

‘Satoshi’ entered the Oxford English Dictionary, with the definition: The smallest monetary unit in the Bitcoin digital payment system, equal to one hundred millionth of a bitcoin.

Binance announced that it would allow futures trading with up to 125x leverage, urging customers to use this with caution. Reactions from the crypto community suggested that nobody had a clue how to use 125x leverage with caution, so it looks like nobody will be able to take Binance up on the offer.

And Finally…

Despite being called out as a ‘Pumpkin Man’ earlier this week, (Dr) Craig S Wright isn’t the feature act of our final story for once.

That honor goes to Nouriel Roubini, commonly known as Dr. Doom, but also not a real doctor. At the CC forum in London, Doom (as his friends know him), debated both Roger Ver and Bobby Lee. Although the term ‘debated’ is debatable, as Roubini simply spouted his standard tired old tropes.

So gather round folks. It’s time for a debunking.

What do you make of this week’s bitcoin and crypto news? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

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Lump-Sum Bitcoin Purchase Gives 68 Percent Better ROI Than DCA

bitcoin btc investment strategy

For those without the time, technical knowledge, or courage, to trade daily bitcoin markets, there are two simple investment strategies. These being lump-sum purchase and dollar-cost averaging (DCA) whereby the purchase is spread over monthly installments.

Conventional wisdom might suggest that DCA should be the preferred route, smoothing out volatility in the daily bitcoin price. However, recent research seems to point to a lump-sum purchase giving better returns around 68% of the time.

But how accurate is that?

You Can’t Argue With The Data

Many people, myself included, will say that making regular monthly payments (DCA) is a great way to invest. All of the difficulty in deciding the perfect time to buy disappears, and the volatility of the market becomes irrelevant. As an added bonus, during bear markets, one is pretty much guaranteed to have bought the dip.

So what’s all this talk of lump-sum investing ‘beating’ dollar-cost averaging 68% of the time?

If we check the research it all seems to add up. Considering the historical data, a $10k lump-sum investment into BTC more often has better returns than the same $10k bitcoin investment split into 12 monthly payments starting on the same date.

But if we think about it, this makes complete sense. In a market whose general trend is upwards, then the earlier one buys in, the more profit can be made. The times that DCA comes out best correlates with the longer-term downturns after previous all-time highs.

But You Can Question The Method

So why does DCA have so many advocates, if this research suggests such a strategy will underperform the lump-sum method?

Well, for a number of reasons, but basically because the real world rarely works like that.

A person who has $10k to invest in bitcoin is not going to be making a decision between investing now or making 12 equal investments over the next year. In a rising market, it is better to be in as soon as possible, and in a falling market, it is better to hold fire.

The true benefit of dollar-cost averaging is that it is relatively easy to set aside a certain amount from a monthly salary to invest in BTC. Much easier than stumbling across a spare $10k at any rate.

In reality, the hypothetical $10k to be invested has likely built up over time. For the purposes of our argument, let’s say it has taken a year for our investor to collect that capital.

So rather than comparing between a lump-sum bitcoin investment and DCA starting on the same date, we should really be comparing dollar-cost averaging with a lump-sum investment made a year later.

If we do this then dollar-cost averaging almost always ‘beats’ the returns of the lump-sum investment. The only exception is when the lump sum purchase falls on a local bottom following a prolonged bear market.

So if you find yourself with $10k on your hands then it is more likely that a lump-sum bitcoin purchase will see you better off. But if you find yourself able to make a regular monthly investment then you certainly aren’t missing out on this ‘superior’ lump-sum strategy.

The main message would seem to be ‘buy bitcoin‘.

What do you think is the best bitcoin investment strategy? Let us know in the comments below! 

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SEC Telegram Rejection: Simply Down To The Howey Test?

United States SEC Telegram Ruling

Following the SEC clampdown on Telegram’s Gram-token issuing to early investors, many have accused it of inconsistency. But some commentators have suggested that actually the SEC is being very consistent, and simply applying the Howey test as always.

SEC Heavy Handed Or Fair Enough?

Simply put, the Howey test says that a security fulfils four criteria. A cryptocurrency is deemed a security, if and only if: a person (1) invests money, in (2) a common enterprise, with (3) an expectation of profits, (4) through the efforts of others.

Whether an 85 year-old law relating to a citrus farm is suitable for judging cryptocurrencies is a different matter entirely. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) decision would seem to be directly based on the Howey test.

Criteria 1 and 2 are self evident. When venture capitalists invest money they expect a profit. So the matter then becomes down to whether this is a common enterprise based on the efforts of others.

The SEC ruling repeatedly states the fact that Telegram and the Durov’s control and manage everything. This would indeed suggest that this ‘common enterprise’ is driven through the managerial efforts of others.

So How Can Future Efforts Avoid The Same Fate?

According to Electric Capital co-founder, Avichal Garg, there are three main issues to avoid:

A/ Don’t have the company and foundation controlled by the same people
B/ Don’t use funds to finance an existing company
C/ Don’t have only company employees committing code

These could be addressed through greater integration of third party development on the chain, and building utility at launch rather than future utility. Garg suggests that projects should avoid promising investors a return, and perhaps avoiding conversations with exchanges altogether.

However, if this sounds like potentially positive news, Coinmetrics co-founder, Nic Carter, thinks it is anything but. He tweeted:

Many will read this thread and think “this bodes well for my favorite VC backed coin” but I’d say it reads like the opposite.

Carter cited a lack of public market standard disclosure across the industry, and questioned the supposed ‘utility’ of any coin other than BTC and ETH.

Do you think the United States SEC are consistent in their crypto rulings? Add your thoughts below!

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Facebook’s Libra Under New Fire From G7 Taskforce

Facebook Libra Under Fire From G7 Taskforce

Facebook’s proposed Libra ‘cryptocurrency’ has run into further resistance, this time from a G7 taskforce. The group issued a report stating that ‘global stablecoins’, such as Libra, should not begin operation until proven safe and secure.

Libra Is A Risk To The Global Financial System

Whilst not singling out Libra specifically, the report says that ‘global stablecoins’ with the potential to ‘scale rapidly’ raise a host of potential problems. These include issues for policymakers trying to set interest rates. Until such problems are addressed then the report recommends approval for such projects should be withheld.

The G7 believe that no stablecoin project should begin operation until the legal, regulatory and oversight challenges and risks are adequately addressed

With reference to Libra, the report has concerns that Facebook could stifle competition, and that a loss of confidence in the currency could lead to financial instability.

Backers Must Prevent Money Laundering

Any backers of such a ‘global stablecoins’ must be legally sound, protect consumers, and work to prevent the currency being used for money laundering or terrorism.

Even if backers address all such concerns, this is no guarantee that a stablecoin will gain regulatory approval, said the report.

Several early sign-ups to the Libra Association, have dropped out over fears of regulatory uncertainty. Payment processing giants Mastercard and Visa withdrew their support, whilst Stripe, PayPal and eBay have also pulled out.

US Senators have been sending letters to Libra backers purporting to urge caution when dealing with the project. However, the letters actually contained thinly veiled threats, that regulatory authorities will cast a closer eye on the non-Libra parts of any businesses involved.

Libra Woes Not Limited To Regulatory Resistance

Away from the regulatory scrutiny that Facebook and Libra are facing, things are still going far from smoothy.

Delaware company, Finco Services has sued Facebook, Calibra, and a logo designer over the similarity between the Calibra logo and one that it uses for its ‘Current’ mobile banking app.

The designer originally came up with a swirly tilde logo for the ‘Current’ app back in 2016, and it seems just ‘recycled’ the logo as part of the Libra branding.

Do you think Facebook’s Libra currency can be trusted? Add your thoughts below!

Images via Shutterstock

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Sunday Digest: Bitcoin Price Consolidation, And The SEC Spoils The Party

sunday bitcoin digest

Japan was hit by Typhoon Hagibis this weekend, causing devastation and affecting both the Japanese Grand Prix and Rugby World Cup. So what has been causing devastation and affecting bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets for the past week?

Bitcoin Price: Consolidation Station

So it seems we are back in a consolidation phase, albeit around the lower underlying price point of $8k.

Monday saw a dip down to $7,800, prompting some to herald the long-awaited return of an alt season that some think will never come.

Bitcoin price bounced back up to $8200 on Tuesday, but a whale move of 13,180 BTC on Wednesday sparked fears of another dump.

That dump never materialized, with the price actually pushing higher towards $8600. Although, perhaps a “terminal shakeout”, is what the market really needed to spur another bull-run, suggested one analyst.

Fundstrat’s Tom Lee felt that the next breakout was more reliant on a positive move from the S&P500, however.

Whatever will spur the next breakout, didn’t come this week, as price slipped gradually back to the $8300 level.

Bitcoin Network: Evolution Vs Revolution

The Bitcoin network isn’t perfect (there, I said it). If it was then there would have been no need for the flood of ‘improved’ altcoin clones which we see today. However, there are some interesting updates in the pipeline, including the Schnorr and Taproot soft-fork.

This aims to improve scalability and fungibility, amongst several other updates. So is this going to deal with all of the legacy ‘issues’ with bitcoin scalability and spur a new wave of fans getting on board?

Not according to BitMEX, which doesn’t see network improvements or second-layer solutions like Lightning Network as a magic button with immediate effects. Instead, it says, Bitcoin may slowly improve over the years, rather than gain the sudden technological jump that users want.

Meanwhile, Ethereum’s upcoming upgrade to ETH2.0 has been labeled a “scam” by critics over claims of scalability. But then, by now we all realize that in the crypto-world, haters gonna hate harder.

One DEX Opens, Another One Closes

On Monday, John McAfee launched his Twitter-teased KYC-free decentralized exchange (DEX), McAfeedex. Initially only allowing listings of Ethereum-based coins, it did have the benefit of those listings being completely fee-free.

Then on Tuesday, Aphelion closed down its DEX platform making the native APH token worthless. It is not believed that this was due to the launch of McAfeedex, rather the relative lack of interest in DEX solutions currently.

News In Brief

Binance quietly added WeChat and Alipay onramps to its P2P trading solution for the Chinese market. This move was so quiet however, the WeChat and Alipay weren’t aware of it, and nixed the whole thing as soon as they found out.

Bakkt futures products have been gaining momentum after a slow start, while Grayscale is trying to tempt high-flyers with zero premium on GBTC.

Ripple announced an updated release schedule regarding the 55 billion XRP it holds in escrow. According to the new list, Ripple will be flooding the market with its personal stash for the next 18 years.

Meanwhile, Ripple CEO, Brad Garlinghouse threw shade at Facebook’s Libra, claiming it would not launch in the next three years. At the same time, he made a flawed analogy between XRP and oil, in an attempt to defend against accusations that Ripple sold XRP as an unregistered security.

In more bad news for Libra, Visa, Mastercard, and Stripe followed PayPal out of the Libra Association, following strong warnings from US Senators.

The ‘widow’ of QuadrigaCX CEO, Gerald Cotten, will allegedly handover assets of the exchange still in her possession, along with her husband’s entire estate, and a vast majority of her personal assets, to liquidators for the compensation of the exchange’s customers.

UNICEF is accepting funds in Ether and BTC, and in a surprising move, will not convert these funds into fiat, but distribute and use them in original form.

Ether was ruled to be a commodity by the CFTC, paving the way for ETH derivatives markets.

And Finally…

The SEC was due to give Bitwise Investments a decision on its application for approval for a Bitcoin-ETF by today. On Tuesday, Managing Director, Matt Hougan, said the company was optimistic about approval being given.

Hougan didn’t have to wait until today to find out, as the SEC gave its final decision before the final deadline. Unfortunately, it was bad news for anyone hoping to finally see a regulated Bitcoin-ETF.

The SEC also managed to put the kibosh on Telegram’s planned $1.7 billion planned ICO, at least for the time-being.

What do you make of this week’s bitcoin and crypto news? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Image via Shutterstock

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Bitcoin’s ‘Never Look Back’ Price Promises Steady Long-Term Gains

Bitcoin Never Look Back Indicator

Amongst the wide range of charts, models and tools to map and predict bitcoin price moves is one barely-noticed metric. But Timothy Peterson, of Cane Island Alternative Advisors, has just published an article championing Bitcoin’s ‘never look back’ price.

Bitcoin Passes A Point Of No Return

The concept of the ‘never look back’ (NLB) price is simple. For each given date of Bitcoin’s existence, plot the lowest price between that point and today.

So for instance, taking 19 July 2010 as a start date, the lowest recorded price since then has been $0.05, occurring on 25 July 2010. All dates from 19-25 July 2010 would be recorded as having an NLB price of $0.05, dates after 25 July would register as having a higher NLB price.

Clearly, this chart can only go in one direction, as by definition, the price ‘never looks back’ from an NLB price. However, the interesting thing is how uniform this chart is over the ten years of Bitcoin’s existence. In the following diagram, price is plotted on a logarithmic scale, and time is plotted as a square root. (This means that 10 on the horizontal scale actually refers to day 100, 20 to day 400, and 70 to day 4900 or 18 Dec 2023)

A Strong Trend But Not A Prediction

So this chart essentially flattens out any bullish action or artificially inflated bubbles of price, leaving us with an underlying lowest level price over time. It is similar to charting the yearly low price (instead of yearly highs), but doesn’t get reset each year so can’t go back down.

In many ways it is charting the increasing numbers of HODLers of last resort, those who will not sell bitcoin at any price. These include buy-and-hold investors, accumulators, and those who intend to transact in bitcoin over the longer-term. As Bitcoin adopters, this group provides a floor value to BTC price.

Of course, this is not a model per se, and cannot be used to make any kind of prediction as to the future price of bitcoin. NLB price cannot be extrapolated in advice, after all.

Any drop in bitcoin price will alter the historic chart; how far back depending on the level of the drop.

If the price drops below a former NLB price from five years ago, then the chart will be redrawn with a flat section for the last five years, and will not show such a uniform and strong trend.

But if growth in users, hash rate, and network strength continues to be strong, then this may continue to propel the NLB price ever higher with time.

What do you make of this new Bitcoin indicator? Add your thoughts below!

Images via Shutterstock, NLB chart by Cane Island Alternative Advisors

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Binance Adds WeChat/Alipay On-ramps and P2P Bitcoin Trading In China

changpeng zhao cz binance

Binance yesterday announced the Chinese launch of its P2P trading service, with the slug-line, ‘anything that makes it easier to get crypto’. One thing it didn’t announce, but head honcho, CZ, later confirmed on Twitter, was the addition of fiat on-ramps via WeChat and Alipay. Easier to get crypto, indeed.

Binance Focuses on China Market

The launch of peer-to-peer (P2P) trading was dealt with in typical Binance fashion, with a tweet from CZ. “Last night, Binance, launches P2P trading, starting with China,” it read.

Most of CT probably can’t use it yet, but 1.4 billion people can. We will expand the service to other regions soon.

The tweet linked to a blog post, explaining that P2P trading functionality was available against the Yuan (CNY), for BTC, ETH, and USDT. This was initially rolling out to Android users, with an iOS and web interface integration coming soon.

One More Thing…

The other development making it easier to get crypto (through Binance) was not announced at all. Instead it was chanced upon by Binance user, and BitDeer CEO, Haiyi Lu.

“Is Binance now accepting fiat on-ramp with Alipay and WeChat pay?” she tweeted. “Exciting news… would love for someone to confirm.”

Lu added a screen shot of an Android app with tabs for Bank Card, WeChat, and Alipay options for Buying BTC.

She didn’t wait long for a response, from CZ himself, saying simply, “Yes.”

Bitcoin Trading Tailored For Chinese Market

The Chinese government officially banned cryptocurrency exchanges from operating in the country back in 2017. However a senior lawyer this year suggested that occasional P2P trading is legal. It is perhaps no surprise then that China would be the first (or most pressing) region for Binance to launch this service.

WeChat and AliPay are amongst the biggest payment processors in the country, so introducing these as on-ramps is a major deal. Interestingly, both WeChat and Alipay have previously suggested that they will not allow cryptocurrency purchase through their platforms. There is also, of course, the threat of any purchases being monitored by the government.

Understanding the reasoning for the Chinese launch of P2P, one Twitter user suggested India as a potential market to expand into next.

CZ responded with a cryptic: “careful what you wish for.”

Watch this space.

Do you think Binance’s new progress in China is bullish for crypto? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Images via Shutterstock

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Sunday Digest: Bitcoin Price And Other Cryptocurrency Headlines

sunday bitcoin news

This week has seen further protests in Hong Kong, as residents feel their democracy is being eroded. Of course, we can show our own unhappiness with the current global financial system, simply by buying bitcoin. And not a tear-gas canister in sight.

Bitcoin Price: The Week’s Moves

Following last week’s bitcoin price drop to $8k, some analysts were predicting a further fall as low as $6500, before we would see the next rally. Fortunately, we didn’t have to go that low, hitting support at $7800 before recovering towards $8.5k.

The rally didn’t quite have the momentum to break through the resistance of the 50-week moving average (MA), which could indicate the next major bull run.

When that could start is anybody’s guess. Stock-to-Flow proponent, Plan₿, claimed that we have officially just entered it, based on his fractal dimension indicator. If that’s true then we may well hit $16k by the end of the month. That was the target given by the 4Chan ‘wizard’ prediction, as we were reminded this week.

One bitcoin bear turned bull suggested that the next major bull run will see bitcoin reach its true potential.

But whatever is going to happen, we weren’t about to find out just yet. In the second half of the week, BTC price trickled down from almost $8.5k to around the $8k mark.

What Happened To The Institutions?

For months now, we’ve been told that institutional interest will drive the next bull run on price. Bakkt finally launched its much-touted ‘physically-delivered’ bitcoin futures product this month, so what happened?

Well, research from Binance suggested that the Bakkt launch could actually be to blame for bitcoin’s poor performance in September. New research claimed that institutional interest was at a low for the year, again following the launch of Bakkt.

Furthermore, the premium on the price of bitcoin through the Grayscale Investments GBTC vehicle fell to a seven -month low.

Fundstrat’s Tom Lee opined that the bitcoin market is still too small for institutional investors yet.

Things Still Not Going Libra’s Way

Visa, Mastercard, and other partners in Facebook’s Libra project were reportedly getting cold feet, ahead of signing the official charter. And US Congress has said it wants to grill Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, over his intentions for Libra.

Meanwhile, Apple scotched any speculation that it would Facebook into launching its own cryptocurrency. CEO, Tim Cook, said that he feels, “Money must remain in the hands of States.”

News In Brief

A Russian nuclear engineer was fined the equivalent of $7000 after being caught illegally mining bitcoin on the top-secret facility’s supercomputers.

The Bitcoin network experienced the slowest block in five years this week. The 119-minute block dwarfed the usual 10-minute timescale but was followed by another block just a minute later.

Silk Road creator, Ross Ulbricht started his seventh year in prison this week, amidst calls for leniency from supporters and family members.

The PayFair project was caught up in rumors of an exit scam. Although, in the end, it turned out that the cold wallet had been hacked and the website closed to prevent further attacks.

Bitcoin exchange, Coinbase Pro, angered customers by hiking fees up to 233% for low-volume users.

And Finally…

Bitcoin SV investor, Calvin Ayre, gave away a bit too much info about buddy, Craig Wright’s evidence in his upcoming libel case against Peter McCormack. Amongst a ‘mountain of evidence’, Ayre had seen handwritten copies of the bitcoin whitepaper, complete with coffee stains and rusty staples.

Well, that’s certainly convinced me that Wright must now be Satoshi… although moving one of Satoshi’s bitcoin or signing something with his private key should have been the easier option.

What do you make of this week’s bitcoin and crypto news? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Images via Bitcoinist Media Library


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Craig Wright Relying On ‘Coffee Stains’ And ‘Rusty Staples’ In McCormack Case

Craig Wright relies on poor evidence in lawsuit case

Serial forger and Satoshi Nakamoto wannabe, Craig Wright, has discovered a new fakery technique, as wingman Calvin Ayre inadvertently revealed. Referring to the ‘mountain of evidence’ being prepared in Wright’s libel case against Peter McCormack, Ayre claims to have seen ‘historical documents’ such as handwritten versions of the Bitcoin white paper, complete with ‘coffee stains’ and ‘rusty staples’.

Nothing Says ‘Authentic’ Like A Rusty Staple

Ayre had been asked about the date of the impending court hearing between Wright and McCormack on Twitter. “not following it as  am a bit busy,” he started to respond, and should have finished right there, were his ego to have allowed him.

Sadly for Ayre, he just couldn’t resist crowing about it a bit, claiming he had seen some of the boxes of historical documents comprising a ‘mountain of evidence’ Wright’s legal team were supposedly putting together.

These documents included “old versions of the white paper in Craigs handwriting and printed and with his notes and coffee on them and rusty staples”.

Yes, Craig. The reason that people have called out your forgeries in the past was all down to them being printed on pristine white A4. Nothing to do with the sometimes literal impossibility that they could be genuine. Copying out the white paper in your own handwriting should do the trick. But best add some coffee stains and make the staples rusty to add to the effect.

Maybe you could come up with a similar ploy to improve your plagiarism skills too?

Craig Wright Has Run Out of Ideas

Of course, no amount of coffee stains and rusty staples is going to convince a court of law that a handwritten Bitcoin white paper is old. Wright’s methods seem more suited to the pages of a Famous Five, or Hardy Boys mystery.

But quite why Wright should feel the need for a ‘mountain of evidence’, is unclear. His libel case is based on McCormack’s repeatedly stating that Wright is not Satoshi, and thus harming his reputation. Actually, McCormack willingly stepped into the firing line to protect community member Hodlonaut, who Wright and Ayre were trying to Dox.

Simply moving some of those early bitcoin or signing a message with Satoshi’s private keys would be proof enough. The fact that Wright is going to such lengths to provide ‘evidence’, actually just further cements the fact that he cannot give any definitive proof.

McCormack’s defence tacks a far more simple tack. Namely that Wright’s reputation is already so bad that it would be nigh on impossible to harm it further.

And not a coffee stain or rusty staple in sight.

What do you think about Craig Wright’s latest ‘evidence’ for being Satoshi Nakamoto? Add your thoughts below!

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