On November 14, the leading adult video sharing site on the internet, Pornhub, revealed that payment processor Paypal has blocked the company’s live performer payouts. In a blog post written on Thursday, Pornhub recommended alternative payments like writing a check or using the digital currency verge.
Paypal Blocks Pornhub’s Live Performer Payouts — Crypto Advocates Suggest Accepting More Digital Currencies
The adult entertainment web portal Pornhub is having issues with the payment processor Paypal. Pornhub has revealed Paypal has blocked model payouts for live performers who leverage the site’s platform. The company announced the issues using Twitter and a blog post that describes what payment methods are offered for live models. “Our currently available payment methods are Paxum, check, verge cryptocurrency and direct deposit,” explains Pornhub’s post. The adult site also explains in the notice that in order to accept verge (XVG), models need to obtain an XVG accepting wallet. On Twitter Pornhub wrote:
Urgent: Paypal has stopped all Pornhub model payouts. If you had PayPal as your payout method please change to direct deposit/SEPA, or payment by check in your settings.
After the Twitter announcement and blog post, the price of XVG saw a small rise in value but the cryptocurrency is down 2.5% today and 9.4% for the week. In response to Pornhub’s Twitter post, many crypto community members used the opportunity to ask the company to accept more digital currencies like BCH, BTC, and ETH. One BCH supporter wrote: “Bitcoin Cash is there to help you and your customers.” “All models should contact Brenna Sparks to help them accept crypto payments,” another person tweeted.
For years now many cryptocurrency advocates have proposed that the adult industry combines forces with the crypto industry. Last spring Pornhub started accepting XVG but also told the public it would also accept ZEC and TRX. Since adding verge to the payment support list, reports detailed last year that only 1% of purchases are made using XVG and the other alternatives (ZEC, TRX) are not yet supported.
Financial Incumbents Have Been Blocking the Adult Industry for Years — Censorship-Resistant Money Is Needed
Paypal and other major credit card companies have been blocking sex workers and applications that help them get paid for years now. In 2014, the porn star Teal Conrad was banned from Paypal immediately after a slew of other adult industry stars were also barred from using financial institutions like Chase. A few users on Twitter mentioned that Pornhub should have fought harder against SESTA/FOSTA, a U.S. Senate and House bill that became law on April 11, 2018. “Gee, if only Pornhub used their massive budget to lobby against SESTA/FOSTA and fight for credit card companies to stop putting pressure on apps to ban sex workers maybe this wouldn’t have happened,” a user replied to Pornhub’s Paypal blockade tweet on Thursday.
Digital currency advocates have been slowly penetrating the adult industry to a degree and a few porn stars have promoted crypto on various occasions as well. According to a market research report created by the adult film studio Vogov, around 470 adult video sites have exposure to digital currencies. In the overall scheme of the massively lucrative porn industry, that doesn’t even scratch the surface. As more pressure from financial incumbents rises against the adult industry, the friction may push other leading firms and performers toward censorship-resistant cryptocurrencies.
What do you think about Paypal blocking Pornhub’s live performer payouts? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Pornhub, and Twitter.
Software engineer Tobias Ruck has revealed a project he’s been working on that allows a smart card to produce valid BCH signatures. Ruck tweeted about his experiment to the crypto community and Bitcoin Cash proponents showed their excitement about the future of offline payments.
For quite some time the developer Tobias Ruck has been experimenting and developing concepts that help bolster the BCH ecosystem. News.Bitcoin.com reported on Ruck last year when the programmer demonstrated how an onchain game of chess is possible. After the opcode OP_Checkdatasig was implemented to the BCH chain, Ruck designed a chess game with the new feature. This spring, as the Simple Ledger Protocol matured, Ruck unveiled an onchain SLP token auction console. More recently, Ruck published a video about a new transaction version for the BCH chain called Nimbus. According to Ruck’s demonstration, the transaction version could unleash sophisticated smart contract potential on the BCH network. Moreover, it’s possible a cryptocurrency stablecoin like Dai could be created on the BCH network. Throughout the video, Ruck stresses several times that the Nimbus concept required a rule-set protocol change.
During the second week of October, Ruck showed the community he was experimenting with protocols that facilitate offline transactions. That week the programmer published another demo that showcased a bitcoin cash wallet tool called be.cash. Essentially, the concept provides individuals with the ability to send and sign a transaction without internet service. Then on November 11, the programmer tweeted that he developed “a smart card that produces valid Bitcoin Cash signatures.”
“Who would love to pay with a card — to a phone? Tap took less than a second. Imagine trying to set up shop accepting cards and all you need to do is install an app on your phone,” Ruck stated. The software engineer emphasized that his concept was “still very much unpolished. I still have to make the app build and send the transactions, but once finished — it‘s going to be huge — When scaled up, smart cards could literally be $1 each,” he added.
HOLY SATOSHI! 😱😱 I did it! A smart card that produces valid #BitcoinCash signatures. Who would love to pay with a card—to a phone?? Tap took less than a second!👟👏
Imagine trying to set up shop accepting cards and all you need to do is install an app on your phone. 💪 pic.twitter.com/ielKlcPvDA
The Quest for Instantaneous, Offline, and Frictionless Transactions
Ruck’s announcement was celebrated on Twitter, gathering a lot of comments and over 400 likes. On November 11, the front page of the Reddit forum r/btc was also scattered with threads about the smart card that could produce valid BCH signatures. “Use case extends far past payments — How about transparent access records? To doors, to accounts, to events, to anything,” blockchain developer Chris Troutner wrote in response to Ruck’s tweet. “Pay attention to the community that values utility the most,” Bitcoin ABC developer Amaury Sechet tweeted.
Cointext CTO and founder Vin Armani stressed on Twitter that all of the great concepts being produced these days are due to great innovation tethered to the features at the protocol level. “The latest and greatest innovations in BCH are all possible because new capabilities have been added into the protocol, before we developers needed them,” Armani said while re-tweeting Ruck’s smart card demo. “That’s a signal of good decision-making.” Armani added:
This is a brand new way of doing transactions. Something totally novel. For technical details, please check out Tobias Ruck’s further demos/documentation at be.cash.
BCH developers working on the protocol level have been working relentlessly to bolster the Bitcoin Cash roadmap. Third-party application programmers have also been working with the BCH blockchain and Simple Ledger Protocol day and night creating new and innovative ideas. While some of the concepts never materialize, the concepts can still be left on the shelf for another software engineer to try. For many BCH proponents, zero-confirmation transactions and offline transactions have been a holy grail of sorts. The quest continues because users want payments to be as fast as handing someone cash or the few seconds it takes to swipe a credit card. Ruck’s latest smart card concept may help further this goal.
What do you think about the smart card concept that produces valid BCH signatures? Do you think Ruck’s idea is innovative? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Indiana Jones, Fair Use, Wiki Commons, and Twitter.
During the last few years, cryptocurrency enthusiasts have explored blogging and content publishing websites that are powered by digital currencies. Recently, two new publishing websites that utilize cryptocurrencies have been gathering traction. The crypto powered blogging platform Publish 0x pays users to read content and blog using 11 different digital assets. The website Read.cash is a Bitcoin Cash-centric platform that lets people write articles with videos and images in order to earn BCH.
Read.cash: A Bitcoin Cash-Powered Blogging Platform
Blogging sites are very popular and many believe content publishing and cryptocurrencies go hand in hand. There have been platforms like Yours, Steemit, Mamby, Sola, and Honestcash but so far among the myriad of attempts, none of the publishing portals have gained the momentum captured by incumbent blogging sites.
This week news.Bitcoin.com looked at two relatively new content publishing portals that allow users to be rewarded in digital currencies by participating. The first is Read.cash, a blogging platform that was revealed a few weeks ago and has quickly become a favorite among BCH proponents. The project’s creator notes that Read.cash was just recently launched and there are still a few features coming in the future according to the platform’s roadmap.
“If you are a writer or creator of any kind – write an article about something interesting, add images and video — Anyone who upvotes your post will send you bitcoin cash to your online wallet and you can use it to buy stuff,” the Read.cash website FAQ explains. The message adds:
If you are a reader, you can support the authors you like by sending them money via the upvote button. 90% goes to the author, 10% goes to read.cash to support the development and promotion of the platform.
Signing up for Read.cash is easy and after registering, a bitcoin cash wallet is created in your browser. The creators of the project “prefer to stay anonymous for now” and private keys are kept in the user’s browser only. “The upvote payments are done peer-to-peer on Bitcoin Cash blockchain,” the blogging site’s creators detail. Alongside this, newcomers to the website can peruse through the list of guides that explain how people can format posts with images and videos. Looking at the blogging site’s main feed shows that BCH fans are using the platform regularly with posts covering a lot of different subjects.
Publish 0x: A Crypto-Agnostic Publishing Platform Open to Select Authors
Another blogging website that rewards users in BCH and 10 other digital currencies is the platform Publish 0x. Essentially the publishing application lets people earn crypto for creating, reading and watching content. Currently, the “earn by blogging” aspect of Publish 0x is still in beta and to become a publisher users will need to gain an invite.
Publish 0x supports a variety of different digital assets like BTC, BCH, BNB, BAT, and LTC. According to the Publish 0x team, the platform paid out $14,500 in digital currencies in October and within that pool of funds, 32 BCH was dispersed. According to the user FAQ, when tipping, both the reader and author earn crypto and tips are free for both types of users as well. The creators stress on the website that “Publish0x is not trying to become a social network.” Instead, the focus is aimed at producing quality content and Publish0x “is a publishing platform open to select approved authors.”
“Other ‘crypto blogging’ platforms are powered by their own token only,” the Publish0x website FAQ emphasizes. “[These platforms] claim to be decentralized when really the balance of power lies with the founders and the biggest holders of their own token. We will be crypto agnostic.”
Just like digital currencies, in time publishing platforms that allow users to be rewarded will change the way blogging sites work. Blogs and content publishing platforms bring people together and for readers and writers, it alleviates some of the stresses tied to real life. Instead of centralized institutions like Facebook or Medium profiting from user content, crypto-powered blogs and social media empower the community. Publish0x and Read.cash are two different platforms that provide people with the ability to earn crypto for providing quality content. If a user’s content is valuable, digital currency-powered blogs can provide them with the unique opportunity to directly monetize content.
What do you think about the Read.cash and Publish0x blogging platforms? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer, solicitation or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, websites, software, services, or companies mentioned. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Read.cash, and Publish0x.
In late 2008, an anonymous person named Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the Bitcoin white paper on Halloween. While Nakamoto is clearly the most famous anonymous crypto moniker, in the early days there were many other mysterious individuals scattered throughout the blockchain environment.
Ten years ago a person or group of people who called themselves Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the most revolutionary technology of our time. No one knows who Nakamoto is and the hunt for Bitcoin’s mysterious creator has encompassed the lives of many. There’s also been a whole slew of individuals who claim to be Nakamoto, but have failed to prove themselves to the greater crypto community. Despite being the most well known anonymous figure within the cryptocurrency circuit, there are many other individuals who have hidden under the cloak of anonymity while contributing to the blockchain ecosystem. The following is an in-depth look at some of the mystery bitcoiners who have become well known for a variety of reasons within the crypto space. A few of these anonymous characters disappeared like Satoshi and some of them are still in the community today.
James A. Donald
James A. Donald was an anonymous Canadian cypherpunk who was the first person to comment on and critique Satoshi’s white paper and theories. Donald argued with Satoshi about scaling on more than one occasion and detailed that he believed Bitcoin needed a layer of account. “We will need a layer of account money on top of the bitcoins, supporting transactions of a hundred-thousandth the size of the smallest coin, and to support anonymity, Chaumian money on top of the account money,” Donald wrote.
On November 17, 2008, Nakamoto sent Donald the Bitcoin source code for his review. “I sent you the main files (available by request at the moment, full release soon),” Nakamoto stated at the time. There have been numerous theories that claim Donald and Nakamoto are essentially the same people and the creator was merely talking to himself during the emails. However, most of the James A. Donald theories that tie him to being Nakamoto have been debunked and thrown out the window. James A. Donald has not made spoken to the Bitcoin community in years.
The owner of r/bitcoin, bitcointalk.org, and the en.bitcoin.it/ (Wiki) page, Theymos is a well known character in the crypto space. Theymos has been involved with Bitcoin since the very early days and in recent years he’s been accused of mass censorship. The censorship accusations derived from the scaling debate and there’s lots of evidence that suggests Theymos and other r/bitcoin moderators repeatedly blocked all discussions that were for increasing the block size.
No one knows how Theymos accumulated so much power with all the bitcoin websites under his thumb. Prior to 2011, there were four r/bitcoin moderators and the owner u/Atlaslgo (now deleted), was wholeheartedly against the censorship of free speech. On July 19, 2011, the Bitcoin community at the time got very upset that Atlaslgo had planned to sell r/bitcoin and he was convinced to give it to the bitcointalk.org owner Theymos. The anonymous r/bitcoin owner Theymos still operates the same Bitcoin-centric web portals to this very day.
The infamous Artforz appeared as a pseudonym on bitcointalk.org between July 2010-2012. Laszlo Hanyecz and Artforz were considered the first two people to leverage GPU miners when mining bitcoin. In July 2010, Artforz showed the world his ‘Artfarm’ and at the time the miner said he generated 1,700 BTC in six days. “I had 24 (Radeon) 5970s up until about late summer ’11,” Artforz told the Bitcoin community on February 11, 2012.
Between the summer of 2010 and the last time the community saw Artforz in 2012, he was accused of commanding most of the BTC hashrate during those years. For instance, on October 3, 2010, Theymos explained that the developer’s Artfarm could be processing 20-30% of the hashrate. However, on August 25, 2011, Artforz told the community another story and said he only captured roughly 1% of the network’s processing power. Artforz wrote the community for the last time that February in 2012, and no one’s heard from him since.
Another anonymous person with an interesting cryptocurrency history is the software developer, Sunny King, creator of Peercoin. King is known as the “grandfather” of the consensus algorithm proof-of-stake (PoS) because Peercoin was the first hybrid proof-of-work (PoW) and PoS system. The unknown blockchain engineer not only created Peercoin but he also developed the Primecoin project, which uses a PoW mechanism while it searches for prime numbers at the same time.
King’s Peercoin PoS concept has inspired many other blockchain projects that use the PoS consensus algorithm. The Peercoin creator disappeared for quite some time but has recently returned with another blockchain project called Vee.tech.
After Peercoin was produced people attempting to harness PoS became very prominent. In early 2014, the anonymous developer called Rat4 designed a ‘PoS version 2,’ which was the first to combine staking with a multi-pool. Rat4 and Blackcoin kicked off the idea and many other PoS coins followed suit. According to the Blackcoin Github repository, Rat4’s Blackcoin codebase has been forked more times than most coins today. After Blackcoin there are now hundreds of PoS coins based on two major types of consensus: BFT PoS and chain-based PoS. The BFT method uses validators that are randomly assigned while chain-based uses an algorithm that pseudo-randomly selects a validator during a pre-selected time slot.
For a number of years, the owner of Coinmarketcap.com, Brandon Chez, kept an extremely low profile until he was doxxed by the Wall Street Journal on January 23, 2018. Since the site was created Coinmarketcap.com swiftly became a top digital currency website but no one really knew who was behind the web portal. This was until Chez decided to delist the exchange rates of South Korean crypto trading platforms on January 7, 2018. Chez recently sat down for a fireside chat with the anonymous Sunny King during The Capital conference. Behind a curtain, the two silhouetted figures discussed Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus, bitcoin, and quantum computing.
An individual named Cobra is the co-owner of the web portal bitcoin.org and a very controversial figure in the space. To this day, Cobra can be seen on Reddit forums and has a Twitter account as well. His commentary over the last year or so has been called “bi-polar” because he has complimented BCH on various occasions and other times snuffed the network. “Increased my holdings of Bitcoin Cash today,” Cobra explained to his Twitter followers.
Blockstream wants to take over Bitcoin just like nChain wanted to take over Bitcoin Cash. Beware of corporations trying to embed themselves in communities by pandering to us.
At one time, Cobra asked the community and fellow bitcoin.org contributors to change certain statements Satoshi Nakamoto made in the Bitcoin white paper. Another time the anonymous individual suggested an immediate change to BTC’s PoW algorithm as a solution to growing mining pools. Cobra is still tweeting conundrums to this very day and remains a well known anon within the crypto industry.
There are a few other anonymous members of the crypto community that have affected the environment in either a positive or negative way. However, there is never an identity to blame or even congratulate in real life as many of these individuals, like Satoshi Nakamoto, have either disappeared or continue to remain unknown.
What do you think about the anonymous and mysterious people involved with the digital currency environment? Why do you think these individuals become anons? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Wiki Commons, Fair Use, The Capital, metzdowd.com, and Pixabay.
Venezuela has been suffering from rapid inflation as the purchasing power of the sovereign bolivar has become near worthless. Over the last few weeks, Venezuelans have been dealing with blackouts throughout major cities, making credit card readers useless. Additionally, citizens are dependent on remittances from overseas and last month the country became ‘dollarized’ as more than 54% of all sales in the country were processed in U.S. dollars.
For years now the Latin American country of Venezuela has been dealing with one of the worst economic and political crises in modern history. A corrupt government and failed central planning have destroyed the Venezuelan economy, causing food and medicine shortages, nationwide blackouts, and millions of Venezuelans have been left in poverty. According to citizens, remittances stemming from friends and relatives internationally have been a lifeline for the majority of residents.
Statistics show that since 2016, the overall inflation rate has increased by 53,798,500% and the sovereign bolivar has hardly any purchasing power today. So instead of using the bolivar, Venezuelans are resorting to other payment avenues like barter and trade with precious metals, the USD, and a number of individuals are using cryptocurrencies as well. The USD has become so popular in Venezuela it overtook the bolivar in sales last month.
Econoalitica, a Caracas-based research firm, revealed in October that more than 54% of all sales in Venezuela were processed in USD. Asdrubal Oliveros, director of Ecoanalitica, also explained that Venezuela’s second-largest city saw “86% of all transactions” measured in USD last month. Oliveros stressed that residents of the country are surviving from funds being sent to them from families who have migrated elsewhere. There’s now a divide of people who have “access to hard currency, and those without,” Oliveros stated.
“Venezuela lives in an economy dominated by dollar transactions,” the Ecoanalitica director said. “This excludes those who only have access to bolivars, whose ability to buy things is severely restricted.” With a significant dependency on the USD, Venezuela has become ‘dollarized,’ joining many other dollarized nation-states like Ecuador, East Timor, El Salvador, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Turks and Caicos, British Virgin Islands, and Zimbabwe. Dollarization is a macroeconomic term that describes how the USD substitutes the country’s native tender when it becomes useless as a medium of exchange.
Venezuelans Find Refuge in Alternative Payments
As an alternative to barter and trade and the use of precious metals, Venezuelans have also discovered cryptocurrencies. News.bitcoin.com recently reported on the Bitcoin Cash House in Barquisimeto, Venezuela run by Roberto Garcia. The local BCH hub educates Venezuelans about the benefits of cryptocurrencies and job opportunities tethered to the industry.
The nonprofit Eatbch Venezuela (@eatBCH_VE) continues to show the BCH community how it is feeding Venezuelans in need using a peer-to-peer electronic cash system. “Long time since we posted pics of these locations due to tech difficulties, but we’re still helping those in need,” Eatbch Venezuela wrote on November 7. In September, news.Bitcoin.com also reported on the team of committed researchers and activists called the Ryver Bitcoin Cash Group surveying Venezuelans regularly. In their weekly studies, Ryver Bitcoin Cash Group community manager Sofia Corona noted that most Venezuelans do not trust the bolivar so the group gives them educational resources about the benefits of bitcoin cash. Lastly, this week BCH fans celebrated the fact that there are roughly 360 bitcoin cash-accepting merchants in Venezuela today according to data derived from map.Bitcoin.com. Similarly to places like North Queensland, Australia, and Slovenia, BCH is accepted by more merchants in Venezuela than BTC-accepting retailers.
"Banks are an illusion of safety and protection, that are really there to monitor and oppress people for the State"
No one is certain if Venezuela’s economy will see the bustling growth it once saw decades ago before the reign of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela. The oil-rich nation does have proven oil reserves, but production is worse than three decades ago. To make matters worse, estimates reveal that the inflation rate in Venezuela may surpass 10,000,000% this year. President Maduro’s socialist regime also introduced the petro, a cryptocurrency allegedly backed by oil and gold reserves. Residents say the average citizen doesn’t use the petro at all and only crooked government officials utilize it to bypass economic sanctions. Maduro’s regime also whimsically raised the value of the petro twice, just like he raised the minimum wage rate 26 times. Despite Maduro’s efforts, Venezuelan citizens are seeking refuge in alternative payment systems like the USD and digital assets.
What do you think about the situation in Venezuela? Do you think cryptocurrencies like bitcoin cash (BCH) can help people? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Venezuela.bitcoin.com is also making strides in Caracas, Maracaibo, and throughout the rest of the Latin American country by bolstering Bitcoin Cash merchant adoption in Venezuela. Did you also know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? Our Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now.
The great bitcoin reward halvings are coming and many newcomers have not experienced a halving event unless they joined the crypto community prior to 2016. A few speculators believe bitcoin miners and whales are hoarding coins right now until after the adjustment so prices will be driven up. Moreover, for the first time, crypto proponents will observe how both BTC and BCH deal with the reward reduction as both networks are mined by some of the same pools.
When Satoshi released the Bitcoin protocol, one of the rules that came with the program was the fact that the block reward gets cut in half every four years (every 210,000 blocks) depending on hashrate speed. The last time digital currency fans saw a reward halving was on July 9, 2016, at block 419,975 when the BTC block reward was cut in half from 25 BTC to 12.5 BTC. At the time there were 15.7 million BTC mined into existence and roughly 1.4 exahash per second (EH/s) processed blocks on the chain. A little over a year later, the heightened scaling debate led to a hard fork on August 1, 2017, when the chain split into two factions. More than two years have passed and a slew of mining pools processing the consensus hashing algorithm SHA256 now mine on both networks.
At press time, there is 18,041,637 BTC mined into circulation and the next halving should occur in 184 days. Currently, the hashrate processing the BTC chain is around 94.48 EH/s and at this speed, the halving will occur on May 14, 2020. There are 26,668 blocks left to mine on the BTC chain before the subsidy reduction and miners will have obtained 333,350 BTC processing blocks up until this point. Miners processing the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network are using between 2.75-4 EH/s over the course of the last week. There’s been 18,107,613 BCH mined into existence so far and 608,598 blocks recorded to-date. Data shows that the BCH chain will experience a reward halving a month earlier than BTC on April 8, 2020. At the time when the reward halves, the BCH block reward will drop from 12.5 BCH to 6.25 BCH.
Multiple Factors Will Affect the Reward Halvings
Ten days ago, Bitcoin.com published a video with professional miners from around the world who explained what they think will happen during the halving. The film included Hyperblock’s CEO Sean Walsh, Genesis Mining CEO Marco Streng, F2Pool’s Global Director Thomas Heller, and quite a few mining heavyweights. The mining industry executives mentioned topics like BTC’s inflation rate dropping lower than USD and EUR for the first time ever after the reward halving. They also discussed how the last halving was ‘priced in’ and whether or not that same trend will happen again.
“The halving is a brutal wipe-out event,” Marco Streng stressed in the film. “It knocks out immediately the miners who are not efficient enough and shows no mercy.” Statistics show that BTC’s inflation rate is at 3.85% at the time of writing, while the inflation rate for BCH is similar at 3.74%.
There are a few metrics that also show miners and whales are likely hoarding coins before the next reward reduction. Mining data stemming from both BTC and BCH chains show that there’s been a lot more divergence between freshly generated coins and the first time they are spent onchain. Speculators believe miners will hoard coins to drive up the price so they can maintain the same revenues after the halving.
The onchain market intelligence company Glassnode has shown that BTC whales are accumulating lots of coins. On October 11, Glassnode tweeted that the number of whales (BTC addresses with 1,000 BTC or more) had reached an all-time high. All of these factors are taken into consideration when discussing the theoretical events tied to the next halvings.
The truth is no one knows exactly what will happen during the BCH and BTC reward reductions. Right now miners from both networks are chugging along processing blocks so transactions can be confirmed. There are six different pools that mine both chains including Viabtc, Antpool, Btc.com, Btc.top, Bitcoin.com, and Poolin. When both halvings occur, a lot of other metrics will affect the networks including the current price during the subsidy reduction, the difficulty on both chains, and energy costs. Some people believe that after the next halving home or hobby mining might become nonexistent and only situated pools with significant hashpower will survive.
What do you think will happen to the BCH and BTC chains after the 2020 halving? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
This year the public has seen a lot of the expansive monetary policy taking place with 37 central banks participating in monetary easing. Unfortunately, most people don’t understand the methods central banks like the Federal Reserve use to increase the money supply and never take the time to understand the process. The following is an in-depth look at how the Federal Reserve or any central bank “prints money” by adding credit to banks’ deposits, lowering the fed funds rate target, and using large-scale open market operations to purchase securities and Treasuries.
Continuing the Circle of Debt: Managing the Fed Funds Rate to Spur More Lending
This year, the Fed, the European Central Bank (ECB), the Bank of Japan (BoJ), People’s Bank of China (PBoC) and many other central monetary institutions are all heavily involved in large-scale monetary easing policy. Whenever these easing practices happen, people like to say that the Fed has “fired up the printing presses” and many people assume the central bank prints money in a literal sense. The Fed, however, doesn’t have a printing press that mints fresh hundred dollar bills on a whim as that process is done by the Treasury Department. The fact is the majority of global citizens don’t use physical cash for expenditure and fiat currency is mostly accounted for using an electronic ledger system.
The central bank does and can increase the money supply, but it is done in an electronic way by using a system of credit with smaller financial institutions. When inflation makes purchasing power weaker, more funds are needed and the available supply of money (liquidity) drops lower. The Fed is in charge of managing the nation’s liquidity when the network of smaller banks below it claim that reserves are running low. These complaints make the Fed initiate expansive monetary policy in order to spur borrowing, investing, and overall growth.
Understanding that these newly created funds never trickle down to the average citizens and they simply enrich the banking industry helps one to grasp how manipulated the monetary system is today. One of the first tactics the Federal Reserve uses to help stimulate the economy is managing the Fed Funds Rate. When the Fed wants to create more liquidity, the central bank will lower the amount of funds banks are required to hold in reserve each night. This interest rate is what banks are allowed to charge to other financial institutions in order to pass the Fed’s overnight rate. It’s a bit telling because when smaller banks beg for the Fed rate to be lowered, they are simply stating their fractional supply is not enough to remain solvent.
If a bank is short on liquidity it can borrow Fed approved funding from another bank and the Fed Funds Rate is basically the interest rate used. However, a central bank’s interest rate also guides lending throughout the country because it is used as a benchmark for loans, mortgages, and credit card debt. Average citizens don’t see many benefits when the rate is slashed unless they are a borrower. When the Fed lowers the target for the Fed Funds Rate, it essentially adds credit to banks’ deposits which makes them want to lend more. When consumers can’t repay debts, the circle continues and credit is still given to the banks in order to spur consumerism and to allocate even more debt.
Expansionary Monetary Policy or Creating Credit From Thin Air
Another method used by the Fed to help control the economy is by leveraging expansionary monetary policy known as quantitative easing (QE). When the Fed uses open market operations to purchase large-scale assets from banks, people call this act “printing money,” because it is creating funds from thin air but electronically using credit. Ordinary people do not see the fresh funds and are again greeted with predatory lending practices instead. When the Fed is involved with overnight repos and open market operations, it purchases Treasury notes and other securities from a select group of member banks. The Fed creates credit from literally nothing and exchanges the credit for the Treasuries and other assets. This, in turn, gives the smaller institutions more funds to lend and typically these banks lower their lending rates. The fresh capital is hoarded by the banks in reserves while they sell credit cards with interest, autos, homes, and school loans to anyone willing to bite. Since the inception of the Fed in 1913, research that cites the Fed’s so-called ‘trickle-down economics’ of bailing out the banks indicates the process has never improved the economic standing of the lower and middle classes.
Moreover, when the central banks buy assets like Treasuries and securities at large-scale from illiquid member banks, it places false confidence in a failing financial institution and many other struggling banks below it. In the book “The Case Against the Fed,” written by the economist Murray Rothbard, the novel explains how non-existent reserve leeching grows.
“Suppose a central bank buys an asset from a bank — For example, the central bank buys a building, owned by the Jonesville Bank for $1,000,000,” Rothbard writes. “The building, appraised at $1,000,000, is transferred from the asset column of the Jonesville Bank to the asset column of the Central Bank. How does the Central Bank pay for the building? Simple: by writing out a check on itself for $1,000,000. Where did it get the money to write out the check?” The Austrian economist adds:
It created the money out of thin air, i.e., by creating a fake warehouse receipt for $1,000,000 in cash which it does not possess. The Jonesville Bank deposits the check at the Central Bank, and the Jonesville Bank’s deposit account at the Central Bank goes up by $1,000,000. The Jonesville Bank’s total reserves have increased by $1,000,000, upon which it and other banks will be able, in a short period of time, to multiply their own warehouse receipts to non-existent reserves manyfold, and thereby to increase the money supply of the country manyfold.
Counter Economics and Eradicating the Central Banks’ Counterfeiting Game
Rothbard notes in his well-known essay that if the government falls prey to the temptation of printing, a great deal of new money inflation is invoked and society doesn’t trust the purchasing power of legal tender. Everyday citizens can’t do much of anything to stop the manipulated monetary system but they can participate in counter economics to avoid central planning. Average Joes can use digital currencies, precious metals, and other means of barter and trade in order to escape the fiat-Ponzi.
Individuals and organizations removing themselves from the failing monetary order created by bureaucrats and bankers will deal with the fallout in an easier fashion. Because 37 central banks have decided to manipulate the global economy, citizens who are not aware of the fraud must deal with destructive booms and busts, and rising inflation that derived directly from the banks themselves. The only realistic way to stop the world’s economic problems and that is by eradicating the central banks’ plans altogether.
“There is only one way to eliminate chronic inflation, as well as the booms and busts brought by that system of inflationary credit: and that is to eliminate the counterfeiting that constitutes and creates that inflation,” Rothbard concedes at the end of his book. “And the only way to do that is to abolish legalized counterfeiting: that is, to abolish the Federal Reserve system.”
What do you think about how the Fed and other central banks create money out of thin air? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
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The Danish financial institution Danske Bank has been embroiled in a massive money-laundering scandal associated with an Estonian branch that allegedly laundered $223 billion in an eight-year period. According to documents uncovered this week stemming from 2012, Danske Bank’s Estonian branch let a select group of clients from Russia convert their money into gold bullion in order to help hide funds.
Danske Bank’s Estonian Branch Laundered Funds With Gold Bullion
Danske Bank has been involved in a money-laundering conspiracy for quite some time as a branch from Estonia has been accused of funneling billions of funds to offshore clients. The bank, headquartered in Copenhagen, is the largest financial institution in Denmark and the company’s retail banks cover 5 million customers. Investigators detail that between 2007 through 2015 the Estonian Danske Bank branch sent $223 billion suspicious payments.
The large-scale money laundering scandal continues to show the public that financial incumbents use all types of methods to hide their activities. This week’s report disclosed that Denmark’s biggest lender let certain customers, mostly from Russia, hide their wealth using gold bars. The bank’s Estonian branch let the clients “convert their money into gold bars and coins, according to the documents, which date back to the middle of 2012,” the journalists Irina Reznik, Ott Ummelas, and Frances Schwartzkopff wrote.
The amount of gold the Estonian Danske Bank branch managed to transfer is unknown, but internal documents say that “local private banking clients” used the service alongside other selected customers. The research notes that if the customer bought 250 grams of gold or more, they could obtain the gold without certificates. Moreover, if a customer from the now-defunct Estonian branch said they would keep the precious metal in “long term storage,” they didn’t have to comply with any AML guidelines. Investigative journalists emphasized that some of the information they had seen showed gold promoting documents “signed by Howard Wilkinson.” Wilkinson, a former head of trading for Danske Bank in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania is well known for being the whistleblower who first revealed the $200 billion dollar scandal to the public. Depending on quantity, Danske’s Estonian branch used two different gold dealers to handle orders. The investigative report written by Reznik, Ummelas, and Schwartzkopff states:
One partner handled orders that exceeded 300,000 euros, equivalent to 6 kilograms at the time, and bought the gold from the Austrian mint; the other was used for smaller orders, according to the presentation, which didn’t name the suppliers. Danske charged a fee of 0.5% on larger orders, while smaller orders had a commission of as much as 4%.
With Trillions Laundered, Jail Time Is Avoided if Bankers Pay a Petty Fine
The Danske Bank money laundering scandal has been called the “largest scandal ever in Europe” as laundered funds from Estonia flowed from Russia, Latvia, Cyprus, U.K., China, Switzerland, and Turkey. The Estonian Financial Supervision Authority detailed that the bank managed funds for Vladimir Putin, his cousin Igor Putin, and the Russian security service (FSB) as well. Then on September 25, 2019, Aivar Rehe, a former executive of the Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015, allegedly committed suicide. Danske Bank shares also fell by half in 2018 and speculators believe the stock’s downturn was due to the scandal. Despite laundering $200 billion, the Danish financial institution paid only 1.5 billion kroner ($225 million) to select charities.
The Danske Bank scandal shows that while governments and tax agencies are cracking down on the measly amounts of money digital currency users may be laundering, the most well known banks in the world are also the biggest money launderers. The world’s leading banks help launder more than $2 trillion a year and get fined a tiny fraction of what they got away with. Bankers are not being jailed and banks and politicians are allowed to invade normal people’s everyday financial activities.
Financial incumbents are the ones using unique tactics like hiding funds with gold, mirror trading, shell companies, smurfing, and legitimate money mixing techniques. The revelations deriving from the Danske Bank scandal show the world’s justice system is very corrupt and manipulated to the core. This is because while politicians are laser-focused on banning cash and claiming cryptocurrency’s main form of use is money laundering, the banking cartel and bureaucracy steal and hide trillions every year.
What do you think about Danske Bank selling gold to clientele in order to launder funds? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
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The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has revealed the agency is cracking down on “dozens” of cryptocurrency users evading taxes. The IRS has partnered with tax agencies from four other countries in order to make sure tax enforcement strategies are being applied across the map.
Tax Agencies From 5 Countries Are Hunting Dozens of Tax Evaders Using Digital Currencies
According to the IRS, the tax agency is putting a significant amount of effort into fighting tax evasion that stems from cryptocurrency use. Speaking on a phone call with the press, a senior agent in the IRS’s Criminal Investigations office based in L.A., Ryan Korner, says when digital currencies became popularized, the tax agency had issues keeping up with alleged tax evaders. However, the IRS has gained “expertise” when it comes to individuals “moving the money.” “We have tools in place that we didn’t have six months or a year ago,” Korner told reporters on Friday. The revelation follows the IRS announcement at the end of July which explained that 10,000 American residents who have owned cryptocurrencies would receive warning letters from the U.S. tax entity. Then in October, the IRS unveiled a new tax form that requires filers to answer whether or not they have used a digital currency during the year. Some 150 million Americans file tax returns with the 1040 tax form that poses the virtual currency question.
This week the IRS disclosed they had a meeting with four other nation states so they can partner together to fight cross-border tax evasion stemming from digital currency users. The five-country group is called the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement or J5. The J5 includes the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) and Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the Dutch Fiscale Inlichtingen- en Opsporingsdienst (FIOD), the British HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), and the American Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). The group of J5 investigators told the press this week that cyber-related activities tied to crimes like data breaches and ransomware are being used to commit tax evasion as well.
“Tax fraud is not a new crime, but the sophistication with which criminals commit tax fraud has significantly increased through cyber-related activities in recent years,” the J5 task force said in a statement. “Data breaches, intrusions, takeovers, and compromises are the new tools that criminals use to commit tax crimes.”
A Wave of Tax Audits
According to the latest report, after sending 10,000 letters to American taxpayers, the IRS now has plans to start a new wave of tax audits and criminal investigations. The tax agency warns that the effort is quite serious and people avoiding taxes via cryptocurrencies may be subject to tax evasion charges and penalties on the gains tied to virtual investments. “That data doesn’t go and sit — We use that data,” Korner stressed. The American tax agency recently issued its first digital currency tax guidance since 2014 and the guidelines contain controversial tax liabilities created by cryptocurrency forks. The tax liability only applies if the forked asset was used by the owner and the person spends or moves the coins. “If your cryptocurrency went through a hard fork, but you did not receive any new cryptocurrency, whether through an airdrop (a distribution of cryptocurrency to multiple taxpayers’ distributed ledger addresses) or some other kind of transfer, you don’t have taxable income,” the IRS cryptocurrency guidance letter reads.
The U.K. also followed the IRS’s lead by issuing digital currency guidance for businesses on November 1. Individual UK taxpayers who have used cryptocurrency in the past saw fresh guidelines delivered at the end of 2018. The reports issued by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) explain how businesses and individuals residing in the UK should file their tax obligations. The J5 task force cracking down on “dozens” of cryptocurrency users evading taxes is part of a globalized effort the organization started in June 2018.
“We will collaborate internationally to reduce the growing threat to tax administrations posed by cryptocurrencies and cybercrime and to make the most of data and technology,” the J5 task force emphasized to the public last year.
What do you think about the IRS joining five nations to crack Bitcoin tax evasion? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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On November 15, shortly after 12 p.m., Bitcoin Cash (BCH) will execute an upgrade of the network’s consensus rules. After the upgrade is locked in, the next block will enforce minimal pushdata in script and the opcodes OP_Checkmultisig and OP_Checkmultisigverify will be upgraded to accept Schnorr signatures.
Next Friday, Bitcoin Cash proponents will be watching the BCH chain upgrade the current consensus ruleset in order to add two new features. Developers have been discussing the upgrade for months now and have explained in great detail at developer meetings how the changes apply to the BCH roadmap. Since August 1, 2017, BCH developers have produced a significant number of protocol developments that are unique to BCH. For instance, BCH engineers have increased the block size to 32MB, allowing for a lot more throughput than a 1MB block.
In September 2018, BCH surpassed BTC’s daily transaction count by processing millions of transactions in a single day. Bitcoin Cash programmers have re-enabled the old Satoshi opcodes, which can allow for a variety of decision-based transactions, compilers, and other functions. The added opcodes allow for the implementation of OP_Checkdatasig which can be used to calculate the hash within a transaction in order to validate signatures in an automated way. Bitcoin Cash developers also increased the network’s default Data-Carrier-Size to 220 Bytes.
BCH engineers did not stop there and at block 582680, the blockchain upgraded by adding the basic foundations of the Schnorr signature protocol. The upgrade prior to the Schnorr feature saw the implementation of Canonical Transaction Ordering otherwise known as CTOR. With CTOR the BCH chain can essentially work with blocks as a set, as opposed to list ordering as the process is done in a canonical manner. According to Coin Dance statistics, BCH developers have added 20 different components to the protocol, there’s another 20 under development, 15 features being discussed and two new properties pending activation. The two added components being implemented to the BCH blockchain consist of a finalized malleability vector (enforcing minimal pushdata in script) and Schnorr signature support for both OP_Checkmultisig and OP_Checkmultisigverify.
Less than two weeks until the Bitcoin Cash network upgrade!
The first change will curb malleability vectors on the network by applying the Minimaldata rule. “This removes the final BIP 62 malleability vector, and means that most of the transactions on the Bitcoin Cash network (including all P2PKH transactions) will now be non-malleable,” the November 15 upgrade documentation explains. While bitcoin transactions are signed, signatures don’t encompass all the data hashed and it’s possible for nodes to pervert the transaction by invalidating the hash.
There are various forms of malleability vectors in scriptSig and signatures, and in 2014 BIP62 was introduced in order to deal with the problems. Over the last few years, many types of solutions have been attempted in order to confront third-party malleability vectors. After the network upgrade next Friday, a majority of bitcoin cash transactions will not be third-party malleable and the enforced Minimaldata rule should also strengthen Simplified Payment Verification (SPV) clients.
The second added feature coming to the BCH chain is support for OP_Checkmultisig (Verify) in order to complement the first iteration of Schnorr signatures. “This upgrade extends that support to OP_Checkmultisig and after this upgrade, all signature checking operations will support Schnorr signatures,” the upgrade documentation reads.
The new feature will allow for more complex mechanics to multi-signature transactions that will benefit from the Schnorr mechanism. “Schnorr aggregated signatures (with OP_Checksig) are one way to do multi-signatures, but they have different technical properties than the familiar Bitcoin multisig, and thus are far from being a drop-in replacement for it,” the November 15 specification notes. The summary adds:
Besides that, it is also desirable that any existing coin can be spent using Schnorr signatures, and there are numerous OP_Checkmultisig-based wallets and coins in existence that we want to be able to take advantage of Schnorr signatures.
Upgrading Nodes and Where to Watch
Bitcoin Cash fans are excited about the next upgrade and network participants have been steadily preparing for the changes. Ordinary users won’t have to do anything before the network changes take effect. Miners and node operators, however, are encouraged to download and run the latest version of a BCH client that supports the November 15 ruleset changes.
Since the last week of October, a great number of central banks have been slashing interest rates, joining the massive synchronization of monetary easing worldwide. This year more than two dozen banks have used easing tactics and in the last two weeks alone central banks from Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Brazil, Indonesia, and Georgia have joined the rate slashing party.
The World’s Central Banks Join Hands to Invoke the Longest Easing Cycle in a Decade
Massive monetary easing continues worldwide but yet central banks are still in panic mode. A colossal amount of synchronization and the longest easing cycle in a decade is upon us as central banks everywhere are attempting to fix the global economy. At the time of writing, 37 developed central banks are participating in some form of stimulus. Whether it’s slashing interest rates, participating in overnight repos, or printing massive amounts of fiat, all the central banks are in on the game. Some of the big players like the U.S. Federal Reserve want the mainstream media to lie and say that what’s happening is not really another form of quantitative easing (QE). However, what central banks are doing right now is expanding monetary easing policies and taking part in large-scale open market operations. The most accurate definition of these processes would be calling the current schemes QE but central banks are not being honest.
When news.Bitcoin.com started reporting on the large number of developed central banks involved in easing tactics there were roughly 19 of them. Then the number was raised a few weeks later to nearly two dozen central banks bolstering different forms of stimulus. Now there are 37 central banks worldwide increasing the global money supply and a slew of them have joined the easing club in the last two weeks. For example, on October 30, the Costa Rican central bank cut key policy rates to 3.35% and cited a lack of economic growth. The same week Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Kuwait cut benchmark interest rates as well. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) also reduced its base rate on overnight windows by 25 basis points on October 30. The same day the U.S. Federal Reserve cut rates again for the third time this year.
In what seemed like a rate cut party, Brazil joined the Fed and slashed benchmark interest rates to 5%. Brazil also said inflationary problems might invoke them to continue further easing mechanisms in the near future. Roughly seven days prior, both Chile and Georgia changed interest rates on October 23. Chile reduced rates from 2% to 1.75% while Georgia’s central bank raised refinancing rates to 8.5% from 7.5%. Georgian central planners messed with the rates the month prior twice because of rising annual inflation percentages. Further, even though the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) cut the one-year loan prime rate (LPR) by five basis points on September 20, the economy in China still looks bleak.
China Sees Bank Runs, Skipped Bond Redemption, and Restructuring
For instance, many smaller financial institutions in China are struggling and there have been at least two recent runs on rural lenders. Rumors stemming from social media that a few small banks might fail sparked the bank runs. Then for some unknown reason, Guangdong Nanyue Bank skipped its local tier-two bond redemption. There are more than 3,000 small banks in China that are contending with a lack of liquidity and bad loans. Many spectators believe the Chinese government will resort to “mergers and restructuring.” Inner Mongolia-based Baoshang Bank Co. was already taken over by the communist government because of faulty practices and credit risks.
There’s a lot of interesting happenings within the global economy right now and on top of the central planners trying to band-aid the situation, there are uprisings everywhere. Massive protests have been taking place in Argentina, Venezuela, Indonesia, Netherlands, France, India, Russia, Hong Kong, Chile, Lebanon, Peru, Haiti, Egypt, Syria, and many more countries across the globe. The demonstrations and people taking to the streets stem from the wealth disparity plaguing global citizens. A place where the bureaucrats and the banking cartel eat bread and drink wine while the peasants are left with crumbs.
What do you think about the cascade of central banks unveiling rate cuts and monetary easing methods? Do you think the central banks know what they are doing when it comes to monetary policy? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
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Cryptocurrency and bitcoin proponents have been patiently waiting to see if crypto winter is returning as the recent price decline has shaken investors. Digital assets have been meandering aimlessly over the last week and in order to gain some perspective, it’s always good to study the last decade of previous bear market trends.
Crypto Prices Slide Again, Making Traders Question Whether Crypto Winter Is Really Over
After BTC and other digital currencies touched all-time highs in 2017, the following months ushered in ‘crypto winter.’ It was a cold period of time where crypto investors watched their favorite cryptocurrencies lose 70-95% in value. Since then, prices have headed northbound and many people started to assume that the bearish crypto winter may be coming to an end. However, after BTC jumped from the $3k range to almost $14k in the spring, the digital currency has dropped to the $7k zone and is now hovering between $8,800-9,150. Overall, most traders would consider the overall upswing bullish as BTC was $6,350 on November 8 last year and today the price is $8,942 per coin. But many crypto winters in the past and bearish cycles have seen slight upswings before plummeting back down and continuing an even longer bear market trend. The recent decline in crypto values has caused some digital currency investors to panic and current prices have made them wonder if more trouble lies ahead.
The first long bear market that BTC fans witnessed was between June to November in 2011 that spanned roughly 162 days. The digital currency’s value had spiked in the summer of 2011 to a high of $31.50, but subsequently dropped over the course of the next few months to a low of $2.01 per BTC, losing 93%. At this time, things started looking positive for BTC investors similar to the run-up in 2019. BTC was hovering around $7.08 per coin on January 11, 2012, gaining more than 250%. But thanks to all the exchange hacks in 2012 like Linode and Bitcoinica and the regulatory issues with the platform Trade Hill, BTC’s price dipped into a bear market trend for roughly 185 days, losing 40%. In July 2012 the price per BTC was $4.22, but again traders started seeing bullish trends transpire and the value jumped 216% to a high of $13.35 per coin in August.
Just like the current 2019 bear raid, crypto traders saw BTC prices slide 37% to a low of $8.40 during the first week of December 2012. The duration of the rout lasted 111 days and was allegedly initiated by the second Bitcoinica hacks and the lawsuits surrounding the events. However, the following January to November 29, 2013 saw BTC values jump considerably again touching a peak price of $1,166. The first recorded price on Coinmarketcap.com’s historical price index shows BTC was $135 in April 2013. However, the party ended in December 2013 and the onset of the first extremely long crypto winter started eating away at the bullish prices. The bear market stretched for 410 days encompassing 2014 in its entirety. Moreover, other digital currencies that saw higher prices also followed BTC’s dive as most cryptos that year lost more than 80%. After the $1,166 high, BTC dropped to a low of $197 per coin during the first week of January 2015. From that period in time, anyone could have purchased BTC at prices between $197 to $300 up until October 28, 2015.
BTC prices starting from Halloween to mid-June 2016 were between $300 to $600 and the coin started inching its way closer to the 2013 all-time high (ATH) in January 2017. After that price surpassed the 2013 ATH, BTC and many other cryptocurrencies saw a climactic run up from that point forward. On the exchange Bitstamp, BTC touched its highest position ever at roughly $19,650 per coin. The bear market that followed lasted much longer than the 2013-2015 downtrend of 410 days. Coincidently, using that same timeframe from December 2017 to the first week of February 2019 saw BTC prices reduced to $3,484 per coin that week. The bear market stretch continued, making the crypto winter following 2017 the longest ever. Between February through May 2019, prices hovered around $3,500 to $6,000 and the run-up since then looks like a second breath of fresh air.
The latest downtrend has dampened enthusiasm throughout the crypto community after BTC values were hovering around $10k, but are now below the $9k region as prices sink lower. The last few months have seen digital currencies traverse upwards in a bullish manner, but prices could easily follow the same dynamics that transpired years ago. The bear markets in the past did see some positive optimism after BTC’s value plummeted, however, some of the run-ups didn’t last very long. Digital currencies had a much better year in 2019 but as the end of the year approaches, people are still uncertain about how crypto markets will trend over the next month and a half into 2020.
Where do you see cryptocurrency and bitcoin markets heading from here? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: Price articles and market updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”
One of the biggest privacy issues in today’s society revolves around the use of overreaching know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) laws. Despite the fact that many cryptocurrencies were designed to avoid these invasive practices, KYC and AML guidelines bolstered by political parasites and their followers have perverted the original crypto-anarchist ideologies espoused by the cypherpunks.
When people talk about scams in the cryptocurrency industry they usually look at a certain project or the initial coin offerings (ICO) that raised billions in 2017 and 2018. However, the biggest scam in the blockchain ecosystem is how some members of the community and bureaucrats have pushed their statist ideals into the crypto industry. KYC/AML practices have increased a great deal and influencers want politicians to bless and define digital currencies like BTC. The financial regulations known as know-your-customer and anti-money laundering laws require crypto-based businesses to verify the identity of their clientele and also make sure customers are paying taxes by flagging unusual behavior. Even though these practices are immoral, unethical and cause significant friction, bureaucrats and law enforcement use these methods to track and monitor every financial transaction they can observe.
Probably the biggest qualm with KYC/AML regulations is how businesses and large corporations track and store data that hackers can exploit. Thousands of companies hoard vast amounts of important information about a person’s identity, residence, social security numbers, and credit information on centralized servers. These servers are breached by hackers and opportunists on a regular basis and because of severe leaks, people’s private information can be sold on the black market. Data stemming from the Risk Based Security researchers’ 2019 mid-year data breach report shows that 4.1 billion records were compromised in the first six months. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were built to avoid invasive KYC/AML practices and if these regulations did not exist, collateral damage like massive breaches would be dramatically reduced. However, there are many services invading the crypto industry right now and rough-shodding KYC/AML standards into our everyday practices.
Politicians Have Ushered in Digital Currency Compliance Standards
On November 4, the New York Times reported on how “Little-known companies are amassing your data.” In the report, columnist Kashmir Hill got access to a secret consumer score which disclosed things like “all the messages I’d ever sent to hosts on Airbnb; years of Yelp delivery orders; a log of every time I’d opened the Coinbase app on my iPhone.” The 400 pages of data derived from a company named Sift and the data collected on the journalist’s everyday affairs are quite shocking.
“Sift knew, for example, that I’d used my iPhone to order chicken tikka masala, vegetable samosas, and garlic naan on a Saturday night in April three years ago,” Hill wrote. “It knew I used my Apple laptop to sign into Coinbase in January 2017 to change my password. Sift knew about a nightmare Thanksgiving I had in California’s wine country, as captured in my messages to the Airbnb host of a rental called ‘Cloud 9.’”
There are also accidents like crypto exchange Bitmex slipping up and doxxing nearly every customer’s registered email. The trading platform’s problems didn’t end there because, after the leak, hackers sold the leaked info via Telegram channels. The Bitmex Hack Group on Telegram welcomes visitors with a message that says “Thank you Arthur Hayes.” Data breaches have disrupted the crypto industry since the early days and KYC/AML info only makes it worse for end-users.
‘Arise, You Have Nothing to Lose But Your Barbed Wire Fences’
When Bitcoin was first unleashed by Satoshi Nakamoto, the cypherpunks at the time cherished the fact that it could be used as a medium of exchange outside the existing regulatory frameworks. Cryptocurrencies were embraced by people holding strong anarchist and libertarian beliefs because the assets can mitigate government regulation and essentially remove any coercion and violence that stems from the state. In fact, many cypherpunks believe that digital currencies are a tool meant to bolster free markets and self-governance.
“Just as the technology of printing altered and reduced the power of medieval guilds and the social power structure, so too will cryptologic methods fundamentally alter the nature of corporations and of government interference in economic transactions,” the cypherpunk Timothy C. May wrote in 1988.
Cryptocurrency users can still transact with digital currencies in an extremely private manner by utilizing tools like Tor and VPNs. They can get to know and understand the privacy-centric operating system Tails and PGP email encryption. There are encrypted messaging applications like Signal, Viber, Dust, Threema, Wickr, and Cyphr. Decentralized trading platforms like local.Bitcoin.com, Localethereum.com, Bisq, Barterdex, Radarrelay, Kyberswap, and Uniswap. Other tools can be used like Openbazaar, Haven Privacy, and installing Whonix. Bitcoin cash (BCH) users can shuffle their UTXOs using the decentralized mixing platform Cashshuffle.
The fact of the matter is that there are still plenty of people who hold the cypherpunk ideals of the past and hope to separate money from the state in the same manner the church was removed. There’s an abundance of tools that can keep people off the KYC/AML radar and these invasive acts can be avoided. There’s been a bunch of fraudulent digital currency projects over the last decade that prey on ignorant investors but the biggest scammers in the entire crypto industry are those who embrace the existing status quo and have helped usher the surveillance state (KYC/AML) into the cryptocurrency industry.
What do you think about the relationship between cryptocurrencies and freedom? Let us know your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
Op-ed Disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.
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During our last market outlook, cryptocurrency prices had found new foundations after the massive rally on Friday, October 25. Since then digital currency prices have been meandering roughly in the same positions after coins like BTC failed to break upper resistance on various occasions.
Crypto Prices Hold Foundational Support But Fail to Break Upper Resistance
At the time of publication, the market capitalization of all 3,000+ digital assets is hovering around $260 billion on Thursday, November 7. Currently, the top 15 coins with the largest market caps are down a few percentages between 1-5%. BTC is currently trading for $9,240 per coin and the market has an overall valuation of $166 billion today. The digital asset is down 1.44% in the last 24 hours but it’s up +0.16% for the week.
There’s around $22.7 billion in global trades today with BTC and 76% of those trades are paired against tether (USDT). ETH is swapping for $187 per coin and is down 1.74% today but ETH is up 2.3% over the last seven days. ETH has a market valuation of around $20.3 billion and roughly $9.1 billion in trade volume worldwide. XRP has lost more than 3% on Thursday and 1.11% for the week as each coin is trading for $0.29. Lastly, the stablecoin tether (USDT) is holding the fifth-largest market cap today and is capturing roughly two-thirds of all trades within the cryptoconomy.
The fourth-largest market valuation is held by bitcoin cash (BCH) on November 7 and each BCH is swapping for $291 per coin. BCH is down 3.3% today but is up around 2.7% over the course of the last seven days. There’s about $2.28 billion in global BCH swaps and the cryptocurrency has a market cap of around $5.28 billion. Yesterday digital currency analyst John Isige noted that BCH prices re-entered the $300 range and after conquering that price point “bitcoin cash has changed focus to $400.”
“In the meantime, [BCH] is trading at $304 after a 4% gain on the day. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) breaching 70 to show that the bullish action’s momentum is at its peak,” Isige wrote on November 6. “The Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) also puts emphasis on the bullish action.” The following day on November 7 shows 62% of the BCH trades are being swapped with tether (USDT). This is followed by BTC (16.8%), USD (13.8%), ETH (3%), and KRW (2.6%).
Over the last two weeks, there’s been a lot of fear uncertainty and doubt (FUD) surrounding the topic of whales. First, there was a research study that was widely debunked concerning one single BTC whale allegedly manipulating the market in 2017. Then many others have been watching giant whale wallets and onchain movements that showcase massive BTC transactions. The latest bitcoin whale discussion is centered around the Twitter account @whale_alert which has noticed a dormant BTC address housing 80,000 BTC.
“That address alone — if that is actually a whale who’s been holding their coins for so long without doing anything with them — if they decide, ‘Okay, let’s go sell them,’ it would crush the market completely,” Whale Alert explained in a recent interview. “But it’s really hard to say anything about the status of that address: Are those keys lost? Is that person even still alive? … It’s just waiting to see if anything happens with those addresses,” the Twitter account added. Meanwhile according to data stemming from the crypto analysis site Coin Metrics, the Bitcoin Rich List (BTC holders with 1,000 or more) has grown by 30% in the last year.
China Embracing Blockchain Could Be Bearish or Bullish
As news.Bitcoin.com’s Lubomir Tassev reported on November 6, the new edition of China’s Industrial Structure Adjustment Guidance Catalog has removed bitcoin mining from the unwanted industries list. Since the General Secretary of the Communist Party, Xi Jinping, lauded blockchain in a recent speech, digital currency markets have seen a massive boom and many people believe the new outlook from China is optimistic. There has been a huge shift from Chinese residents transitioning from the over-the-counter marketplace Localbitcoins to Paxful after localbitcoins.com published strict KYC/AML policies.
Moreover, Chinese traders are using other avenues like Localethereum and local.Bitcoin.com as well. However, various pundits believe that China will build a digital currency that will hurt public cryptos like bitcoin in the future. Gold bug and economist Peter Schiff believes a gold-backed digital currency stemming from China will be “bearish for bitcoin.” Schiff tweeted his opinion on November 1 saying:
According to Max Keiser, I’m an idiot because I think gold is better money than bitcoin. He also claims China is about to launch a cryptocurrency backed by gold. This is bullish for gold and bearish for bitcoin. A crypto backed by gold is much better than one backed by nothing.
‘BTC Is Not a Great Medium of Exchange’ Says Facebook’s Crypto Boss
On November 6, the head of Facebook’s cryptocurrency subsidiary Calibra, David Marcus, told participants at the New York Times Dealbook Conference that BTC is an investment and not a currency.
“I don’t think of bitcoin as a currency — It’s actually not a great medium of exchange because of its volatility — I see it as digital gold.” Moreover, Marcus highlighted that BTC basically conformed to the traditional status quo investment environment because it’s not considered a medium of exchange. Marcus said a key reason that Bitcoin has not been regulated out of existence is because it is not perceived to be a medium of exchange. “It’s an investment class that’s decorrelated from the rest of the market — Why feel threatened by that?”
Will Bullish Markets Continue or Are We Seeing a Fake-Out?
Overall cryptocurrency fans and observers are watching market movements, but things have been quiet lately as far as big price movements are concerned. Some people believe crypto markets will break through the upper resistance and continue the bullish trend that started on October 25.
I am being asked about a Head Fake on the six hour $btcusd chart. The setup up is near perfect all that is needed is completion, a hard down bar. https://t.co/6GmgDiy3yz I'll be talking about these in Milan for Swissquote this Friday. @Swissquote_it
Others believe the current jump could be a fake-out, and after a few attempts, BTC’s market value could see the $7-8K price ranges again. Digital currency markets are seemingly at a pivotal position once again as traders hope and pray they played their positions correctly.
Where do you see the cryptocurrency markets heading from here? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: Price articles and market updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.” Cryptocurrency prices referenced in this article were recorded at 9:15 a.m. EST.
Images via Shutterstock, Trading View, Bitcoin.com Markets, Getty, Coinlib.io, Wiki Commons, bitcoinblockhalf.com, and Pixabay.
Bitcoin Cash development has been growing wildly over the last year between third party services and infrastructure. Since the inception of BCH, there’s been a number of full node clients that not only distribute important binary data but offer a variety of different features as well. One such project is the Bitcoin Cash validator and database created by Tom Zander called Flowee the Hub, a BCH client that aims to be a multi-service node that offers a myriad of functionality.
When Satoshi Nakamoto published the Bitcoin codebase in 2009 he wrote the protocol using the programming language C++, but Bitcoin itself can conform to any language and any full node implementation that follows the consensus rules. Bitcoin Cash has 1,525 public nodes running BCH and there are five different BCH full nodes, according to Coin Dance statistics. At the moment there’s Bitcoin ABC, BCHD, Bitcoin Unlimited, Bitcoin Verde, and Flowee the Hub. The project Flowee is a BCH validator and database created by blockchain developer Tom Zander.
The full node client validates BCH transactions so users and organizations can verify the data as factual. The software can forward transactions and provide a record of incoming transactions as well, giving the Flowee user real-time data. Beyond the full node operations, Flowee also offers foundational support for applications. Essentially Flowee’s ‘Hub’ is a full suite of application program interfaces (APIs) or a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building with Bitcoin Cash.
When Zander introduced the platform to the BCH community he explained how he created Flowee in order to produce an infinitely scalable client that can “talk to the blockchain in an easy to understand API.” “No fussing with other people’s software or unreliable third parties,” the platform’s website explains. “Flowee lets you process or create Bitcoin Cash payments within your own applications.” The developer known as ‘Imaginary Username’ described Flowee in a very succinct way when the project was first established. The software engineer stated:
For the people needing a TL;DR: Tom Zander is looking to build a “full-service” BCH node that integrates various useful functions at a more basic level (that make explorer et. al. easier to deploy and run), has native multithreading to get over the block/tx validation problem, has memory-mapped blocks to reduce RAM usage (so gigabyte blocks can be deployed painlessly) and can be easily managed. Imagine having the Bitpay infrastructure under one roof, on a GPL license.
Bitcoin Cash Can Scale
Flowee has four different paths: the hub, an indexer, a transaction ‘vulcano,’ and a point-of-sale system called the Flowee Cashier that’s under construction. Essentially, the indexer allows people to obtain indexes from the BCH chain in a fast manner. “Indexer is a stand-alone service you can deploy on one (or more) machines and they create an index of the most important details of the transactions database that the hub stores,” the indexer documentation details. “This allows you to ‘follow the money,’ as it were. Any department that wants to do any sort of client followup towards payments will want to have access to an indexer.” The transaction vulcano (txVulcano) is a test tool designed to “create massive amounts of transactions.” According to the documentation, the transaction vulcano’s main focus is to mine blocks and use the block reward to create more transactions with more inputs. The vulcano process continues in a repetitive cycle in order to process extremely large blocks.
In March, the Flowee developer revealed that the project was “stress tested and used to create big blocks for a week.” Zander added:
1.2 million transactions in 400MB processed in 45 seconds.
Flowee the Hub is open source and the code can be found on Gitlab and reference documentation is available on docs/hub. Just recently Flowee published the 2019-09 release, which offers APIs and features support for the November 15 upgrade. The latest Flowee version specifications can be reviewed here and people are urged to upgrade the software as soon as possible before the upgrade. Zander noted on November 6 that installing the latest Flowee release was a breeze. “I installed Flowee the Hub on a simple server last night and the initial block sync took only 2 hours,” the developer tweeted. “Processing the entire 11-year block history — I think this is a good prove that Bitcoin Cash can scale already very well, thanks.”
Flowee is a BCH implementation that has been out for quite some time and the software aims to bolster scaling while also offering a suite of services. While Bitcoin ABC and Bitcoin Unlimited are the dominant nodes, other BCH clients offer people a choice while providing different sets of features as well. For example, BCHD is a full node BCH implementation written in Go (golang) that provides an advanced API, adjustable blocksize cap, BIP 157/158, BIP 68, and other features. Bitcoin Verde is a full node client that was built from the ground up and offers a block explorer and library. Multiple clients like Flowee and other BCH implementations can provide developers creating BCH apps and other types of platforms the tools they need to create robust products and services while speeding up their workflow. If you are interested in what Flowee has to offer, check out the project’s getting started page.
What do you think about the Bitcoin Cash platform Flowee the Hub? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
In 2017, Kim Dotcom, the founder of the now-defunct file hosting service Megaupload, revealed a similar service called K.im that planned to give anyone the ability to upload files, documents, code, videos, and music files and get paid in crypto for their work. Since then, Dotcom’s team disclosed there would be an exchange sale for Kimcoin token on the digital asset exchange Bitfinex. However, Bitfinex and the K.im platform team say that “regulatory uncertainty” has caused them to postpone the sale.
The token sale for the K.im platform is being postponed according to a blog post from the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex. K.im is a project that was created by the notorious Kim Dotcom, the New Zealand native who once operated the popular file-sharing site Megaupload. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) seized the website and charged Dotcom with copyright infringement. Since then, Dotcom has been a popular socialite on Twitter and is well known for his appreciation for cryptocurrencies like BTC.
For instance, on October 31, the 11th anniversary of the Bitcoin whitepaper, Dotcom tweeted that “crypto is all about freedom.” Over the last few years, the former Megaupload boss has been working on a project called K.im, a platform designed so users can upload content and be rewarded with small fractions of bitcoin micropayments. News.Bitcoin.com was invited to privately demo the application in August 2017 but the K.im project hasn’t been officially released and people can only demo the app.
Dotcom’s team also used the fundraising platform bnktothefuture.com and raised $1,061,696 from 330 investors. The project’s elevator pitch explained that Dotcom’s blockchain platform would aim to provide better privacy and leverage the BTC chain to glue the foundation together. Additionally, the K.im platform and Bitcache would use other blockchain solutions like storj and maidsafe. In September 2019, the project’s whitepaper disclosed that the K.im project would use a native token called Kimcoin to facilitate access to the content held on the network. The whitepaper revealed that Kimcoin was not going to be mined but minted using the Liquid network, a federated sidechain developed by Blockstream. The file-sharing platform would allow users to utilize BTC payments but Kimcoin was said to have more of an advantage because it’s less cumbersome. Kimcoin would also have other perks and a rewards program.
Bitfinex and the K.im Team Mutually Agree Not to Hold Token Sale at This Time
Kimcoins were supposed to be sold on Bitfinex on October 22 and the coin would eventually be listed on the exchange in Q3 2020. However, on November 5, Bitfinex told potential investors that the token sale would be delayed because of regulatory concerns. “Since we announced the debut of Kimcoin on the Bitfinex Token Sale platform, the regulatory environment has rapidly evolved,” the exchange wrote. “The risks associated with raising funds for the K.im token sale have become clear, and we must put our community’s best interest first and foremost.” The news follows the recent SEC fines given to projects like EOS and Siacoin. The project Igobit and its founder was charged by the DoJ on November 6 for “participation in an investment scheme tied to a purported digital coin offering.” The Kimcoin token sale organizers may have decided to cancel after the domino effect of ICO-based criminal charges and court settlements in recent weeks.
“After careful evaluation, we regret to announce that Bitfinex Token Sales and the K.im team have mutually agreed not to hold the token sale at this time,” Bitfinex disclosed. “K.im will defer any decision on whether to create tokens on, or undertake a token issue in relation to the K.im platform until it is fully functional,” Bitfinex added:
In the meantime, the K.im platform project itself will continue and it is likely that an equity-based offer will be made some time in the near future to qualifying investors who wish to become involved at this stage of the project.
Dotcom’s platform has been in the making for a very long time and has seen quite a few hurdles along the way. For three years, people have been waiting to see the project unfold but now have to wait even longer because of the regulatory opacity. The project’s roadmap shows that with the token sale being pushed off, it may delay other projected accomplishments like Liquid network integration slated for Q1 2020, K.im application services and prototyping, and the official Kimcoin launch that was supposed to happen in Q3 2020.
What do you think about Kim Dotcom’s K.im token sale delay? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, software, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Independent, Wiki Commons, Fair Use, the K.im platform, and white paper, and Pixabay.
Just recently the web portal Bitcoinbch.com reported that the number of bitcoin cash (BCH) Australian retail transactions throughout the month of September outshined every other digital currency by a wide margin. After the study, the researchers analyzed transactions for the month of October and once again BCH overshadowed the competitors when it comes to retail spending.
Bitcoin Cash supporters take pride in merchant adoption and the great utility behind a peer-to-peer electronic cash system. Throughout the world, there are a number of countries that have seen widespread BCH adoption like Japan and Slovenia. Another country that sees a significant amount of BCH usage is Australia, and a good number of merchants stem from the North Queensland region. Across the entire country there’s a total of 197 BCH accepting merchants in Australia according to map.Bitcoin.com’s merchant page. Bitcoinbch.com’s last report, covering the month of September, had shown that BCH accounted for more than 92% of the total amount of cryptocurrency expenditure in the country between two payment processors Travelbybit (TBB) and Hula (Hockings Underwriting Logistics App).
The numbers have been tallied again, but this time covering the month of October and BCH outpaced the competition by a landslide. “Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is by far the most useful cryptocurrency with Australian retailers — Bitcoin Cash [has trounced] all other cryptocurrencies combined with a staggering $19,450 (90.74%) of the total October cryptocurrency retail spend,” the study explains. “The data indicates a collapse in retail sales for most of the minor coins: LN shrank from $1,224 in September to $941 in October, BNB shrank from $913 to $457 and BTC from $744 to just $251.” Further, the number of BCH retail transactions in October combined was roughly 264 transactions or about 75% in Australia. Lightning Network (LN) saw about 50 transactions (14.2%) combined with BTC’s 16 onchain transactions making a total of 18.8%.
The Travelbybit point-of-sale (PoS) processor also saw a decline in market share as well, dropping from September’s $3,737 to only $2,041 in October. “[The underwriting firm] Hula is in effect amplifying BCH circulation by reducing the time it takes to put coins back into the community,” the report details. “In contrast, the Travelbybit PoS has the double disadvantage of both instantly extracting supported coins from the community and lowering the density of adoption with their policy of hosting multiple coins.” The report adds:
Australian retail data is indicating that, in order to compete with the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) juggernaut, other cryptocurrencies are best to go it alone – they are advised to win over merchants directly to their coin and avoid multi-coin PoS systems altogether.
The study concludes that retail cryptocurrency usage in Australia is primarily bitcoin cash transactions and utility is bolstered when the system is focused on a single cryptocurrency. The effects are amplified with circulation and regions like Bitcoin Cash City showcase how network effects spread.
The researchers further stress that BCH is “firmly entrenched in Australia and will be virtually impossible to dislodge.” The name of the game is for BCH to ultimately disrupt the market share of fiat systems and foster billions of users in the future. “Upcoming improvements targeting compliance, along with major projects, will likely allow further BCH penetration into the Australian economy,” the end of the Bitcoinbch.com report underscored.
What do you think about bitcoin cash transactions used in retail outshining BTC transactions spent in Australia? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
On November 5, Cryptophyl.com, the SLP-centric trading platform, announced a commercial partnership with the bicycle company Toba Electric Bikes using SLP technology. Toba sells electric bikes for bitcoin cash and the company’s SLP token will be used for customer rewards. Moreover, Cryptophyl plans to list the token called ‘toba’ on the exchange for trading on November 15.
Cryptophyl and Toba Electric Bikes Partner to Bolster SLP Technology
A collaboration between Cryptophyl.com and Toba Electric Bikes has invoked the first SLP token that’s redeemable for physical goods. On Tuesday, the two companies announced the commercial partnership which aims to bolster both BCH and SLP technology. Toba Electric Bikes is a two-year-old company that has helped strengthen the electric bike industry in Europe and was once known as 50 Cycles.
The team has sold more than 30,000 electric bikes and Toba is now designing its own bike called the model BH TOBA-T that’s set to release next year. The TOBA token created on top of the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network using SLP will be rewarded to customers cycling on Toba-sold bicycles. Toba is exclusively accepting digital assets such as BCH, BTC, and toba (TOBA). The company says that toba users will get a 10% discount on Toba products and bicycles using the token.
“Toba is using cutting-edge technology to deliver long term value to users,” the founder and CEO of Cryptophyl Semyon Germanovich explained. “We’re delighted to be the exchange of choice for listing their token and to be working with another UK-based company with an innovative business model, made possible by the Simple Ledger Protocol.”
Applied Tokenization and Accelerated Adoption
Germanovich further detailed that toba will be listed on the exchange with other SLP tokens such as spice, honestcoin, and drop. According to Toba Electric Bikes, the toba token will be spendable with the company on December 16. The reason for the wait is so the token can gain a one-month period of market price discovery. Additionally, Cryptophyl disclosed $35,000 worth of toba tokens will be airdropped to drop holders
“Cryptophyl is the most exciting exchange to launch this year because it is dedicated to the trading of Simple Ledger Protocol Tokens (SLP),” Scott Snaith, founder and CEO at Toba Electric Bikes, said during the announcement. Snaith added:
Cryptocurrency is entering a new phase of adoption with SLP. Cryptophyl is becoming a real contender in the world of applied tokenization, accelerating adoption over the coming years.
2019 has seen the SLP token infrastructure grow quite mature and many tokens now have utility and have seen price discovery. Tokens like USDH, spice, merits, flex, and ACD coin now have real-world value. With new SLP tokens created every day and a few gathering traction, it shows the nascent token economy built on top of Bitcoin Cash is just getting started.
What do you think about the Toba Electric Bike token created using the Simple Ledger Protocol? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Cryptophyl, Toba Electric Bike, and Simpleledger.info.
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There’s been a resurgence of blockchain discussion this year, especially after China’s President Xi Jinping lauded blockchain and told Chinese citizens the country needs to accelerate distributed ledger technology development. Despite the lack of producing anything worthwhile, for some odd reason mainstream pundits believe government-endorsed blockchains will destroy legacy cryptocurrencies.
‘The Future of Digital Money Being Shaped by National Governments’ Is a Lie
It sure seems like 2015 again, as the mainstream media continues to promote blockchain technology that’s backed by large corporations and governments. Well before digital currency projects like Facebook’s Libra and Telegram’s Gram have even launched, corporate media outlets claim these projects will annihilate assets like BTC and ETH. It seems people who believe this absurdity think that just because a blockchain project is backed by Facebook, has a development team and produced a whitepaper it will be better than a network that’s been running for more than a decade. Commentators and columnists include Bloomberg’s Lionel Laurent who recently wrote that “the future of digital money is being shaped increasingly by national governments.” However, this is not even close to being a reality as a great majority of governments and central banks still don’t understand the technology to this day.
There are a few governments and central banks that have said publicly that they plan to experiment with a digital currency that represents legal tender. But there’s really only one nation-state so far that has completed this mission and Venezuela’s petro is more like an awful joke. Despite what Sunacrip (the Venezuelan entity in charge of cryptos) says, the petro is not accepted widely across the country.
“Nobody uses the petro and only people close with government use it to skip out on U.S. sanctions,” a student from Bogata, Colombia told news.Bitcoin.com in September. “Sunacrip is really only for miners — they have installed crypto point-of-sale (POS) systems around some stores, but the POS only accepts bitcoin, litecoin, and BNB, so if you have petros, you need to exchange that.” The Venezuelan petro is no better than the Onecoin scam, but promoted by a socialist government.
Projects Like China’s Digital Yuan, Libra, R3, and Hyperledger Have Produced Nothing
Mainstream media has made it seem like state-issued currencies that are not even here yet will dominate legacy cryptos almost immediately. Bloomberg’s Lionel Laurent assumes that vaporware (a heavily advertised concept that has yet to work) like a digital yuan and Google’s quantum computer are threats to existing cryptocurrencies. Again both concepts have not been seen in the real world and it’s akin to saying a newborn baby could pummel a 10-year-old in a boxing match.
The slew of blockchain ideas from governments, major banks, and corporations such as R3 and Hyperledger have not produced any real-world value. These projects don’t stand on enough credibility to deserve mass mainstream headlines but they are promoted by the old guard regularly. They want people to believe that nothingness, vaporware, and whitepaper promises will surpass legacy digital currencies that exist in the wild today.
Blockchain projects promoted by banks, corporations, and politicians are snake oil. They do not cure the financial ailments global citizens are dealing with because they are meant to manipulate the public even more. For hundreds of years, the same bankers and the same families have controlled the world’s finances and resources. The reason cryptocurrencies matured a great deal faster than most financial concepts is because they remove the need to depend on the state and central banks. There is no blockchain project produced by a corporation or the old guard that even comes close to being a speck on the current cryptoconomy’s radar. These blockchains really resemble the antiquated databases used today with a few fancy bells and whistles like proof-of-stake, timestamps, and hashing.
The question remains: When will media pundits give up on lauding vaporware and things that don’t even exist yet? Central banks and governments want you to believe the FUD is so bad that only central planners can succeed. Right now, at least for the time being, the propaganda they spread couldn’t be further from the truth.
What do you think about the resurgence of hyped up blockchain discussions and concepts? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
OP-ed Disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Peter VanValkenburgh @valkenburgh, Wiki Commons, Fair Use, and Pixabay.
In early September, the high-profile court case Kleiman v. Wright looked as though it was coming to an end as the two parties reached a non-binding settlement. Then on October 30, without much notice, Wright explained that he couldn’t finance the settlement and the agreement was broken. Now the trial will start again and the Kleiman estate will depose Wright’s former chief financial officer, James Wilson on November 8.
Wright Breaks the Non-Binding Settlement as the Billion Dollar Bitcoin Lawsuit Continues
Australian native Craig Wright, the man who claims to be Bitcoin’s inventor, will be seeing more court proceedings in the near future as the notorious Kleiman v. Wright case is back on. Craig Wright is being sued by Ira Kleiman, the brother of the now-deceased David Kleiman, for allegedly interfering with David’s bitcoin assets and intellectual property after he died. Last September, news.Bitcoin.com reported on how the two parties were seemingly headed toward a settlement as both legal teams came to a non-binding settlement. This happened after the judge ruled the Kleimans were to be awarded 50% of Wright’s alleged BTC holdings and 50% of his blockchain intellectual property (IP). However, the Kleiman estate has filed a new court document which details that “Craig could no longer finance the settlement and was “breaking” the non-binding settlement agreement.” So Roche Freedman LLP wrote in the filing that after a lot of “lost time” the team will be “shifting back into preparing for trial.”
Following the broken settlement, the law firm explained it was in contact with James Wilson, the chief financial officer (CFO) of Craig’s companies in 2012-2013. This period of time is when Dave Kleiman was still alive and Wright alleged that he sold Dave interest in his businesses in exchange for BTC. Although Wright’s legal team, Rivero Mestre LLP, came back five hours after the Kleiman estate requested permission to depose Wilson and informed the plaintiffs they would not consent to the deposition on November 8. Wright’s council said the team would need to consent to a video deposition at a later date.
“Due to the unexpected failure of settlement negotiations, and the soon approaching discovery cutoff, the parties are short on time,” Roche Freedman’s filing notes. “Mr. Wilson’s presence in the United States next week obviates the need for the parties to go through the legal, logistical, and expensive steps of securing a deposition in Australia. And while Craig won’t have been afforded a full 14-days notice, he has received 7-days notice.” The Kleiman estate’s court filing adds:
Importantly the fact that Craig doesn’t have 14-days notice of this deposition is a product of his own conduct. He asked the parties to pause the litigation process and concentrate on amicably resolving this dispute, only to pull his consent with no advance notice, without good cause, and at a time when it simply wasn’t possible to give him the full 14-days notice.
James Wilson and Cryptoloc Technology
According to the Twitter handle ‘Seeking Satoshi,’ James Wilson is a former business associate of Wright’s and co-patent holder. “So the court in Florida would like to have a chat with Jamie Wilson, one time CFO for one of Craig’s dodgy companies and co-patent holder for Cryptoloc. But what does the court want from Jamie?” Seeking Satoshi asked on Twitter. “Do they think Jamie can shed some light on Craig’s financial dealings with Dave? Or do they suspect that Dave was involved in the development of Jamie’s ‘Cryptoloc’ and may be owed some money for his hand in the IP behind it?” The researcher continued:
I doubt the court will uncover much from speaking with Jamie and I don’t think any IP, bitcoin or money will be found that belongs to Dave. At some point, the court will realise there is no Tulip trust and no bitcoin and that Craig has led everyone on a goose chase.
Wilson is also mentioned in a blog post called “From the Bygone Days of Yore — Part 1,” written by Wright in June. Wright stated at the time that he had video link meetings with “Jamie Wilson, Robert Urquhart, and Dave Kleiman” with lawyers present in 2012. Roche Freedman’s motion requests that the court allows them to depose Wilson on November 8 with the defense team present via video-link. According to the court documents, a trial is scheduled to start on March 30, 2020, depending on the proceedings.
What do you think about the Kleiman v. Wright lawsuit involving billions of dollars worth of bitcoin? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Twitter, Wiki Commons, Fair Use, and Pixabay.
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According to the CEO of the Maker Foundation, Rune Christensen, Multi-Collateral Dai (MCD) will launch on November 18. On October 28, Maker’s stability fee was reduced by a ‘whale’ with roughly 94% of the voting power.
Maker’s Multi-Collateral Dai Will Launch November 18
Decentralized finance project Makerdao is responsible for creating the cryptocurrency-backed stablecoin called dai. Initially, the project used ETH as a form of collateral in order to issue dai but the project revealed that in the future a variety of other digital assets could be used. Announced at the Devcon 5 conference in Osaka, MCD will bring new features like the dai savings rate(DSR) and a collateralized debt position (CDP) will be known as a “vault.” Collateral types first evaluated include coins like augur (REP), digixdao (DGD), golem (GNT), omisego (OMG), ether (ETH), and 0x (ZRX). This means that there will be two types of coins produced by the community: single collateral dai (what dai is today) will be called ‘sai,’ while MCD created coins will be called dai.
In March, news.Bitcoin.com took an in-depth look at the Ethereum-based Makerdao and dai stablecoin. The report explained that a CDP now known as a vault required 150% of the loan amount in dai that’s paid for with ETH. Moreover, there’s a stability fee (interest rate) that accrues during the life of dai loans. Since the project’s launch, the coin has maintained a fairly stable existence despite a few hiccups along the way. In mid-April, the Makerdao community voted multiple times to raise the stability fee because dai tokens were struggling to hold the $1 peg. The issues upset dai borrowers when the stability fee skyrocketed from 0.5% to 19.5%. The interest rate increases had also made dai’s price jump above the $1 peg and many exchanges saw dai sold for more than $1.05 per coin.
On October 28, Daniel Onggunhao, a software engineer at Binance, revealed that the dai stability fee was reduced to 5.5%. “A single whale (with 97% of voting power) made the decision — Went from 2,489 votes a few hours ago, to 44,539 votes,” Onggunhao tweeted. “I say this normatively, as neither good nor bad. In a perfect world, it’d be great if we had a distributed voter pool for a move this big.” Onggunhao added:
The pragmatic reality is that as an early stage, hard-to-understand technology, decision making tends to naturally centralize.
A number of cryptocurrency community members discussed the whale vote after Onggunhao’s tweet. Binance founder Changpeng Zhao (CZ) was quick to quip: “Welcome to ‘decentralization,’ where anything is possible, and not under anyone’s control, even some re-centralization.” Not everyone thought the ‘re-centralization’ concept was a good idea for Makerdao’s claimed ‘decentralized’ governance system. “Stake-based systems [Proof-of-Stake (PoS)] centralise much faster than alternatives because there’s no maintenance cost, and in the early stages, bulk stake acquisition is always going to be easier than buying hardware in any real quantity,” Monero’s Riccardo Spagni replied during the conversation.
One person disagreed with Onggunhao’s initial tweet and said that he didn’t think there was a “single ‘whale’ with 97% voting power.” “There could be a voter that represents 97% of this particular vote — This is still an issue, but it’s about governance not control.” Onggunhao agreed and further stressed:
That’s true, I apologize for dashing off the tweet. I also made an error in the amount (94.7% instead of 97%).
Collateralized Multi-Coin Options and a Fee Reduction Will Likely Add More Growth to the Makerdao System
The Makerdao project has been a favorite among the cryptocurrency community because the stablecoin dais are backed by digital currency and a decentralized autonomous organization. The stablecoin is not without its critics, and the Maker protocol is still a very young network. However, with added coins stemming from the MCD launch and Maker’s stability fee reduction, it’s likely the dai ecosystem will grow much larger. At present, roughly 2.2% of all the ETH in existence is locked into the Maker system.
What do you think about the Makerdao project’s latest MCD announcement and the recent vote to drop the stability fee? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Makerdao, Dai, Medium, Daniel Onggunhao, and Pixabay.
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In mid-September, the foreign exchange company CME Group announced the launch of options on its bitcoin futures contracts in Q1 2020, pending regulatory review. CME Group executive Tim McCourt said there was “increasing client demand” for the firm’s bitcoin derivatives and now the company has published specifications for the options products.
The global markets company CME Group has provided clients with the ability to hedge or trade benchmark options on futures across nearly every asset class. The firm has an average daily volume of $4.3 million this year and aims to offer options on bitcoin futures so investors can have a variety of different methods to trade the asset. When CME announced the launch of bitcoin options, McCourt detailed that the new product will provide “clients with additional flexibility to trade and hedge their bitcoin price risk.” This week, following Bakkt’s recent volume surges, CME published the preliminary contract specifications for the options. Price values will be based on the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR) which is determined by a variety of major crypto exchanges.
The contract unit will consist of one bitcoin futures contract, which is approximately five BTC quoted in USD. There’s a minimum price fluctuation and the listing cycle will mirror the firm’s bitcoin futures exposure. CME’s bitcoin options on futures will be traded between Sunday through Friday on Globex and Clearport. The company notes that the BTC options product is subject to revision and review by financial regulators. “We’re working to launch options on those futures,” McCourt said to crypto analyst Benjamin Pirus in a recent interview. “The option on the bitcoin future will give the holder of that option, either a put or a call, the right — but not necessarily the obligation, to either purchase or sell the underlying futures contracts at maturity.” McCourt further stressed:
It’s very similar to the way other options in the marketplace work. The difference here is the underlying, or the deliverable, of the options contract, is a CME Group bitcoin future.
Is Bitcoin Being ‘Tamed’ Like a Traditional Investment?
Bakkt’s physically-delivered bitcoin futures product has been getting a lot of fanfare lately after the exchange topped a few new records and CEO Kelly Loeffler announced Bakkt will be offering options on bitcoin futures as well. Despite the all-time highs at the Bakkt warehouse, CME Group’s BTC derivatives have seen much more volume. CME’s Globex saw 7,242 bitcoin futures contracts on October 28 and 3,284 in open interest. The following days on Globex through November 1, contracts were between 2,200 and 3,687. November’s CME bitcoin futures contracts today stand at 2,641 contracts and December positions are starting to pile up as well.
The crypto derivatives markets and products have matured a great deal since they launched and it’s been a touch less than two years since CME launched its BTC-based futures. At the time, the company’s chairman emeritus Leo Melamed told Reuters in an interview that adding BTC futures was a “very important step for bitcoin’s history.” Melamed added that he believed institutional investors would be very interested in the new asset class. “We will regulate, make bitcoin not wild, nor wilder. We’ll tame it into a regular type instrument of trade with rules.” Since then a slew of different companies have offered bitcoin-based derivatives products and futures are coming to other cryptocurrencies like ETH and BCH as well. Reports detail that BCH futures are expected to debut on a CFTC-regulated exchange in Q1 2020.
What do you think about CME’s bitcoin options specifications? How do you feel about the overall growth of crypto-based derivatives? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
A firm called Vault12 launched its new passkey security solution for cryptocurrency assets. Vault12 is an application that allows people to enlist their trusted friends and family members to help safeguard their assets. According to the project’s creators, the new application leverages the cryptographic algorithm Shamir’s Secret Sharing which allows keys to be split in a distributed fashion.
Distributing Digital Asset Seeds Using Vault12 and Shamir’s Secret Sharing
Vault12 believes there’s a dire need to safeguard crypto assets as the onset of blockchain-powered innovation continues to grow exponentially. Since the birth of Bitcoin and a slew of other digital currencies, various applications and devices like hardware wallets have been created to protect cryptos. Vault12’s new product allows individuals to take advantage of trusted family members and friends who are willing to help them secure digital currencies. Moreover, guardians are rewarded with ethereum (ETH) to protect the assets as well, giving the trusted network of friends incentive to be a safe keeper. The project officially launched at the San Francisco Blockchain Week and the company is backed by investors like Naval Ravikant, True Ventures, Data Collective, and Winklevoss Capital.
The Vault12 white paper explains when it comes to precious digital assets, there is an “unprecedented threat level” looming for people in need of a strong security solution. “To protect these assets, we need a new cryptographic security platform – one that does not leave security centralized in a single place, with a single person, on a single device or in a single organization,” the research paper details. In order to bolster the security of digital currencies even more, the firm created a decentralized storage system for digital assets via a hierarchical Shamir’s Secret Sharing (SSS) system. The SSS infrastructure is a well known algorithm in cryptography designed by the cryptographer and mathematician Adi Shamir. Essentially the secret (passkey) is shared in the distributed Vault12 system between 3-5 trusted contacts giving each participant its own unique part.
Vault12 Hopes to Fill the Gap Between the Digital Currency Economy and Unresolved Security Challenges
Vault12 allows any owner to set up a vault with friends and family. Custodians can always be recruited from the owner’s personal network at any time. But high-net-worth individuals who need added security can opt for a professional custodian service (PCS). However, the registration for this service requires far more effort and additional safeguards like verifying the owners’ identity with a government-issued ID. “One of the unresolved challenges for the mass adoption of cryptocurrency and the blockchain economy is the continued challenge and burden associated with securing crypto assets,” said Max Skibinksy, cofounder and CEO of Vault12. Skibinksy further added:
Previously, to keep our digital money safe, we had to keep our extremely valuable cryptographic backups on pieces of paper and store them in traditional banks. It was ironic. We built Vault12 to be an innovative, convenient solution that replaced this cumbersome process.
Setting up the Vault12 application is a fairly simple process, but you need to decide on 3-5 trusted individuals to help secure your assets. That part of the process may take longer, but setting up the vault after this decision is made doesn’t take too long. The app works for Android and iOS devices and when opened, it immediately asks you if you want to set up a vault and then asks permission to access your phone’s contacts. The company claims the information is not held on the company’s server and you can skip this part and manually add each contact individually as well. After deciding on sharing your contacts with the application, the platform asks you for your name so you can be identified by your guardians helping you protect your vault.
The platform then requires you to choose the number of guardians between 3-5 contacts and the more custodians you use, the more secure the vault will be. Once you save the security level (number of guardians), you cannot change it unless you start a whole new vault. If you opted to manually add contacts, you can send them an invitation or scan their device if they already have Vault12 installed. To add digital assets to the vault you simply upload a picture of the seed phrase or use a file containing the seed. The application will inform you of how many people are guarding the seed held within the Vault12 system.
Overall the Vault12 method is an interesting, novel method of safekeeping digital assets but people may have a hard time with a few requirements such as sharing their name, phone number, and contacts. People also may not trust the upload part where the user is required to upload a file or an image that contains a seed phrase protecting digital assets. However, the project’s key elements are open source and Vault12 users can take a look at the ZAX relay network infrastructure and the distribution of how the shards work. “In the future, other elements of the platform will be released as open-source libraries,” Vault12’s website notes.
What do you think about the Vault12 digital currency storage system? Would you use an application like this or are there concepts about the security approach that you don’t like? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Disclaimer:Walkthrough editorials are intended for informational purposes only. There are multiple security risks and methods that are ultimately made by the decisions of the user. There are various steps mentioned in reviews and guides and some of them are optional. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses, mistakes, skipped steps or security measures not taken, as the ultimate decision-making process to do any of these things is solely the reader’s responsibility. This editorial is not a recommendation or endorsement by Bitcoin.com or the author of any products, applications, software, services, or companies mentioned in this article.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Vault12, and Pixabay.
As digital currencies transform the world, concepts like Bitcoin continue to percolate into academic courses and higher education worldwide. The French Ministry of National Education’s recently published economics and social sciences resource guide for teachers discusses cryptographic money like Bitcoin.
A Bitcoin Resource Guide for Economics and Social Sciences Teachers in France
Economics and social sciences teachers from France may opt to teach students about cryptocurrencies in the near future. The French Ministry of National Education has issued a resource guide that touches on a wide variety of economic subjects. The eight-page guide discusses Bitcoin with a pedagogical activity card that teaches the different functions of money. The “educational activity two” lessons are comprised of classifying particular examples of money functions specifically with a cryptocurrency. The purpose is for educators to give the example of Bitcoin in order to show students the relationship between traditional money systems and trust as well as other properties. The Ministry of Education also provides resources and proposed activities which include four videos hosted by Dessine-Moi l’éco.
The videos are called “Do you have to trust your currency?”, “Can Bitcoin replace the euro?”, “Is Bitcoin a currency like any other?” and “Is Bitcoin the currency of the future?” The teachers’ resource guide of proposed activities explains that instructors can have students list the functions of currency and show how they apply to Bitcoin. Further, students can separate the euro and cryptocurrencies from a trust point of view. Prior to the Bitcoin section, the resource guide also discusses how central banks mobilize the instruments of monetary policy. According to the Ministry of Education, central banks “create sufficient money to support global demand, but also ensure the preservation of the purchasing power of the currency.” The activity card for French educators says that central banks such as the ECB and Federal Reserve must “react” if there is a risk of accelerated inflation.
Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Education in High Schools and Universities Continues to Grow
The four videos about cryptocurrencies and bitcoin on the Dessine-Moi l’éco website are a few years old as they were published in 2017. Despite the age, they are very informative and the transcript from the video “Is Bitcoin a currency like any other?” explains that Bitcoin is “a virtual currency that circulates on the internet.” The video also notes that cryptocurrencies allow people to measure the value of goods and services in a digital sense and the network transactions serve as a medium of exchange. The film further says that the cryptocurrency can be stored for future use, but also emphasizes that users should “be aware that the euro and bitcoins have different characteristics.” “The euro is a legal tender, this means that it is recognized by the public authorities and that everyone in the Eurozone is obliged to accept to be paid in euros,” the video’s transcript reads. “Even if more and more e-commerce sites and even some physical shops accept the Bitcoin as a means of payment, nothing obliges a merchant to accept them and no one guarantees that they will be accepted in the future,” the video hosted on Dessine-Moi l’éco adds.
Academic institutionsaround the world have embraced spreading blockchain and digital currency knowledge for years now. For instance, the University of Luxembourg provides crypto security courses, Columbia University and IBM offer a slew of educational resources, and the University of Tokyo offers a blockchain innovation course as well. Coinbase recently published findings that disclosed more than 40% of the top universities around the world offer a course in cryptocurrency or blockchain. The study also found that 25% of the students surveyed were interested in taking a course on cryptographic technology. A high school in Brisbane, Australia had a lot of interest in Bitcoin so it prompted Brisbane students to create a cryptocurrency information night. Students at Union Catholic High School in Scotch Plains, New Jersey were also curious about digital currencies and the school’s Business and Personal Finance class added a cryptocurrencies course during the second semester in 2018. Last year, news.Bitcoin.com reported on a Dutch high school exam that featured Bitcoin-themed questions. The French Ministry of Education teaching educators how to address current cryptocurrency trends indicates that academic institutions take the technology very seriously.
What do you think about the French Ministry of Education’s teacher resource guide that discusses Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies compared to the euro? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, French Ministry of Education, Dessine-Moi l’éco, and Pixabay.
On October 31, 2008, on the eve of Halloween, Satoshi Nakamoto published the Bitcoin whitepaper. Since then the revolutionary design of the network has changed the lives of many and has transformed how we look at money today.
11 years ago today, at 2:10 p.m. Eastern Standard, Satoshi Nakamoto published the Bitcoin whitepaper to the Cryptography Mailing List. The service used was a pipermail message service hosted on metzdowd.com run by a group of cypherpunks. The mailing list message title was called “Bitcoin P2P e-cash paper” and Nakamoto explained that he had been “working on a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party.” The anonymous creator also revealed that the paper was hosted on the website bitcoin.org.
Nakamoto emphasized in his email that the main property of the protocol was that “double-spending is prevented with a peer-to-peer network.” He highlighted that there was no mint or trusted third parties and “participants can be anonymous” if they choose to be. The first email detailed that “new coins are made from Hashcash style proof-of-work and the proof-of-work for new coin generation also powers the network to prevent double-spending.”
The Bitcoin whitepaper announcement wasn’t a huge deal at the time and really only a small number of people witnessed the message and replied. So three days later on November 3, 2008, he decided to write the mailing list again pitching the newly published paper. The Bitcoin inventor mentioned some of the same things that were said in the previous message published on Halloween. A few people had replied to Satoshi at the time and one individual seemed to like the idea, but he didn’t think Bitcoin could scale. Nakamoto dismissed the scaling issue casually and said: “Long before the network gets anywhere near as large as that, it would be safe for users to use Simplified Payment Verification (section 8) to check for double spending, which only requires having the chain of block headers, or about 12KB per day. Only people trying to create new coins would need to run network nodes.” Nakamoto continued:
At first, most users would run network nodes, but as the network grows beyond a certain point, it would be left more and more to specialists with server farms of specialized hardware. A server farm would only need to have one node on the network and the rest of the LAN connects with that one node.
‘P2P Networks Seem to Be Holding Their Own’
Nakamoto also mentioned concepts like Moore’s Law and told the person that it would take several years for the network to grow extremely massive and “by then, sending 2 HD movies over the internet would probably not seem like a big deal.” The same day, Nakamoto replied again in regard to a few attack theories that could be associated with dishonest nodes. Again being the master of his craft, Nakamoto quickly replied and explained that if a “bad guy does overpower the network” the miner would have to outpace the system and it would be much like “bouncing a check.” “To exploit it, he would have to buy something from a merchant, wait till it ships, then overpower the network and try to take his money back. I don’t think he could make as much money trying to pull a carding scheme like that as he could by generating bitcoins,” Nakamoto stressed.
More than a decade later, the Bitcoin network and the cryptocurrency ecosystem have grown massive. There are more than 3,000 digital currencies listed on market capitalization websites and there’s roughly a quarter of a trillion dollars in digital currency value being held by people worldwide. Satoshi Nakamoto’s paper and the network that went online the following January created a system of wealth that transcends borders, governments, and corporate control. Nakamoto highlighted two days after his third email that Bitcoin was merely an efficient tool and it wasn’t the cure-all against the monopolistic system of force that still exists in society today.
“You will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography,” Nakamoto remarked on November 6. “But we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years. Governments are good at cutting off the heads of centrally controlled networks like Napster, but pure P2P networks like Gnutella and Tor seem to be holding their own.”
So far his forecast has been true and Bitcoin has ushered in a new form of money and a taste of true laissez-faire. People have been able to use bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies to bypass state laws, sanctions, capital controls, and help people who need funds without restrictions. Since the birth of cryptographic currency, many other ideas have stemmed from the technological innovation and people are focused on building platforms like decentralized exchanges and concepts that utilize zero-knowledge proofs. The 11th anniversary of the Bitcoin whitepaper reminds people how powerful Nakamoto’s invention still is to this day and how it continues to transform the world of finance as we know it.
What do you think about Satoshi Nakamoto publishing the Bitcoin white paper 11 years ago today? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, the Bitcoin white paper, the Cryptography Mailing List, and Pixabay.
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According to reports, bitcoin mining manufacturer Bitmain Technologies confidentially filed for a U.S.-based initial public offering (IPO) with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The news follows the alleged removal of cofounder and executive director Micree Zhan and the recent announcement of a facility in Texas with the capacity to house 300MW of hashpower.
Bitmain Secretly Files for U.S. Initial Public Offering
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) currently has two mining manufacturers to approve for IPO status in the country. According to Tencent News, the IPO is sponsored by the financial giant Deutsche Bank and it was filed at roughly the same time Canaan Creative filed for its IPO earlier this week. Canaan the makers of Avalon mining rigs and chips filed for a $400 million IPO on Nasdaq but the Bitmain valuation is currently unknown. Tencent’s (sycaijing.com) translated editorial details that Bitmain has hired China-based executive Zheng Hua who once worked with Nasdaq, so there’s a chance the company’s filing is similar to Canaan’s filing as far as listing status.
The news follows Bitmain’s recent push in Rockdale, Texas where the firm is building a bitcoin mine with up to 300 megawatts (MW) of hashpower. So far the facility houses 25MW and another 25MW will come online soon according to Bitmain. Last year, the company also filed an IPO prospectus in Hong Kong in order to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE). However, in March 2019 the Chinese mining giant let the application lapse and did not file another IPO prospectus in the country. Canaan also filed an IPO in Hong Kong and let the application slide as well. Confidential or ‘secret’ IPO filings are not uncommon in the U.S. as the SEC approved such filings in June 2017.
Additionally, Bitmain has released and shipped a wide variety of next-generation bitcoin core (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) miners this year. Despite the FUD last year, the company has managed to produce at least 10 new machines including a special edition S9 Antminer. According to Asicminervalue.com, while filtering SHA256 miners specifically, the company’s S17 series rigs are the top two bitcoin miners today just above Innosilicon’s T3. The S17 series Antminers produce a whopping 50+ terahash per second (TH/s) and the firm’s machines coming in December will generate 70+TH/s according to specifications. Machines have been delivered even though there have been rumors of a 7nm shortage at the semiconductor foundries since the last two Samsung and iPhone launches.
The IPO filing news also developed after the recent headlines that said Micree Ketuan Zhan, the cofounder of Bitmain, was ousted. Leaked reports disclosed that Bitmain cofounder Jihan Wu disagreed with Zhan in regard to the artificial intelligence (AI) chip production which is allegedly floundering. Wu has reportedly taken over the head leadership position at the company and Zhan’s dismissal was “effective immediately” and includes “all roles” at the firm.
“Bitmain’s co-founder, chairman, legal representative, and executive director Jihan Wu has decided to dismiss all roles of Ketuan Zhan, effective immediately,” a circulating email disclosed. “Any Bitmain staff shall no longer take any direction from Zhan, or participate in any meeting organized by Zhan. Bitmain may, based on the situation, consider terminating employment contracts of those who violate this note.” Since the Bitmain management shake-up, the price of bitcoin cash (BCH) rose by double digits on October 29.
What do you think about Bitmain confidentially filing for a U.S.-based initial public offering (IPO) with the Securities and Exchange Commission? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Bitmain, Fair Use, Wiki Commons, and Pixabay.
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The London-based exchange Cryptophyl is a trading platform focused on the Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) and bitcoin cash (BCH) ecosystem. On October 29, the exchange announced the launch of the first fiat on-ramp to obtain well-known SLP tokens.
Cryptophyl.com has revealed the public can now purchase SLP tokens using fiat via credit cards, debit cards, and Apple Pay. The Cryptophyl team is collaborating with the payment processor Moonpay in order to facilitate the fiat on-ramp. The SLP token ecosystem has grown quite mature this year and thousands of tokens have been created using the BCH network. Data reveals there’s been 5,400 SLP tokens minted since the inception of the protocol and a slew of tokens have been listed on exchanges. Cryptophyl launched in August and initially offered spice (SPICE) trading with bitcoin cash but the trading platform now has honestcoin (USDH) and the Cryptophyl developed drop (DROP) token. Cryptophyl’s native exchange token drop leverages the ability to utilize onchain dividends by paying holders airdropped tokens directly to their wallets.
Now the Cryptophyl team has partnered with Moonpay to provide credit and debit card support to Cryptophyl’s exchange platform. Cryptophyl’s initial fiat payments launch will provide users access to spice and the stablecoin USDH. In the near future, credit and debit card payments can be used to obtain bitcoin cash and drop as well. “We are proud to partner with Cryptophyl to support instant purchases of SLP tokens,” said Ivan Soto-Wright, cofounder and CEO at Moonpay. “Reducing the barriers to entry is critical for mainstream adoption.” Moonpay users will have a connection to the SLP universe as well “expanding the reach of SLP to all users of Moonpay integrated products,” Cryptophyl’s announcement highlighted.
Making Bitcoin Cash Token Trading More Accessible
According to the Cryptophyl team, honestcoin (USDH) and spice (SPICE) are the most popular tokens on the trading platform. Moonpay and Cryptophyl’s fiat on-ramp will charge a fee of 3.99% per transaction. “It’s great to see the addition of credit card support to Cryptophyl,” Semyon Germanovich, Cryptophyl’s founder, detailed during the announcement. “We’re constantly working hard to make token trading more accessible. We’re excited to connect Moonpay’s existing userbase with some of the most popular SLP tokens out there.” Germanovich added:
This is a big moment for SLP tokens, and we’re thrilled to see SLP mature over time, and be a part of this journey. This is the beginning of many great things to come for Bitcoin Cash and the wider cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Since Cryptophyl’s inception, the trading platform has been focused on the token technology tethered to the BCH network. The exchange aims to continue expanding the list of SLP pairs on the trading engine. “This mission is achieved through the discovery, due diligence and subsequent listing of quality tokens that demonstrate real-world utility,” Cryptophyl’s announcement notes. “Moving forward, both companies have committed to work together to add all new Cryptophyl listed tokens to Moonpay.”
What do you think about Cryptophyl revealing its fiat on-ramp to the SLP token ecosystem? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, USDH, SPICE, Pixabay, Moonpay, and Cryptophyl.com.
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The global economy seems to be heading toward a financial crisis fueled by central planners that could devastate markets worldwide. This year onlookers are witnessing the largest synchronization of central banks printing massive amounts of fiat or participating in other forms of stimulus. The central banks’ easing policy hasn’t been this colossal in nearly two decades as the M1 money supply has touched an all-time high.
Expect More Easing as Central Banks Continue Fighting the Fires They Started
The central banks continue to print enormous amounts of fiat, slash rates, and do what they can to curb the devastating consequences of poor central planning. In 2019, the number of developed central banks bolstering easing policies makes it seem like a large-scale concerted effort. For instance, almost two dozen central banks are playing the roulette table by manipulating the global economy in a number of ways. Initially, when the gloomy economic forecasts started becoming a serious topic, the banks simply began cutting interest rates. A slew of institutions from regions like Japan had already been reducing interest rates and introducing negative rates as well.
The Federal Reserve is derelict in its duties if it doesn’t lower the Rate and even, ideally, stimulate. Take a look around the World at our competitors. Germany and others are actually GETTING PAID to borrow money. Fed was way too fast to raise, and way too slow to cut!
The Federal Reserve cut rates for the first time this summer since the economic crisis of 2008 and cut them again in September. Despite the influx of $60 billion a month plus overnight repos, U.S. President Donald Trump still thinks the Fed could do better. All of the banks are citing rising inflation and lack of liquidity while at the same time acting surprised by the deep economic slump. For instance, on October 24, Ukraine’s central bank cut rates by 100 basis points. The Ukrainian monetary policy committee concluded that “inflationary pressures” have been too much and agreed to the easing.
The following day on October 25, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) executed a bilateral currency swap agreement. The ECB and PBoC have been participating in a variety of easing processes this year and explained the bilateral currency swap aims to strengthen forex and capital markets. The deal is the second three-year extension and the first deal was drafted in 2013. After the initiation of massive synchronized easing efforts worldwide, JP Morgan strategists have written a research note telling investors that they should expect even more monetary easing policies in the future. “The evolution of the macro outlook, the risk of spillover from the corporate to the household sector or from manufacturing into services warrant some caution, especially in the context of the lingering risks from trade war and Brexit, with the U.S. Presidential election later in the year,” JP Morgan’s analyst said.
While the Era of Central Banking Crumbles, Liberty and Free Market Solutions Will Reign
Sven Henrich, the founder of Northmantrader.com, a blog about macroeconomics and technical analysis, detailed this week that the M1 money supply has touched an all-time high and the Federal Reserve “keeps cranking.” “We can all speculate on the who’s and how’s, but one can note that M1 money supply magically suddenly gets kicked into high gear expansion once stocks get into trouble … The expansion since 2009 vs the historic run rate has been breathtaking,” Henrich said. “Perhaps this is the biggest underreported and undiscussed issue out there. I can’t pretend to fully understand it but I’m curious to hear why money supply has increased 4 fold since 2000 and was virtually flat for years during 2004-2008 and only since 2009 has been on this rip higher.” Henrich further stressed:
Yet they say there are not enough dollars around for overnight funding and that’s why they’re doing repos?
On October 28, at the Litecoin Summit in Las Vegas, retired U.S. statesman Ron Paul told the crowd that the era of central banking is crumbling and free market solutions like precious metals and cryptocurrencies offered a path toward liberty. “Liberty is the answer to so many of our problems — Liberty is not divisive, the government can not come in and work it out,” Paul explained. “People have to come together and work together.” The former presidential candidate added:
The American empire is on its last leg — It’s going to be rough.
With all the banks working together to fix what they have started, many economists believe they still will fail. Since the 16th century, central banks have increased the quantity of money in order to tackle the rising price of goods and services. The money supply increase has ultimately reduced the common person’s purchasing power using legal tender issued by the central banks. In 1958, Ludwig Von Mises’ lecture “Economic Policy: Thoughts for Today and Tomorrow” revealed how bureaucrats wholeheartedly believe “that bankers had some secret knowledge enabling them to produce wealth out of nothing.”
Instead, politicians and central bankers have caused rapid inflation, divided global citizens with class warfare, and continue to fund the military-industrial complex with no end in sight. In Ron Paul’s book “End the Fed,” the former senator’s words will be forever etched into the minds of young people striving for more liberty. “It is no coincidence that the century of total war coincided with the century of central banking,” Paul wrote at the time. So far, Paul and many other economists have been right about the central bank’s fraudulent acts, but no one truly knows if they can keep the long con going for much longer.
What do you think about the large scale easing efforts being promoted by central banks these days? Do you think they are just digging a bigger hole? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Twitter, Sven Henrich, Fred, Fair Use, and Pixabay.
Following the all-time record of 1,179 contracts on October 25, Mike Blandina, Bakkt’s chief product officer, revealed the firm is launching another strategy after announcing its December options launch. Bakkt is releasing a consumer application so retail investors can “unlock the value of digital assets” via consumer payments.
Bakkt Announces a Crypto Consumer App After Its Futures Volume Broke Records
Bakkt’s physically-settled bitcoin futures contracts have been steadily gaining interest as the market has seen a few new records since launching. On October 11, Bakkt revealed it had conducted its first block trade while also seeing a 796% jump in futures trade volume in a one intra-day trading session. A little more than a week later, Bakkt contracts reached another milestone with 640 BTC swapped on October 23.
Both times, the rise in futures interest on Bakkt followed the enormous price drops BTC felt in the last few weeks. Then, after BTC and the rest of the cryptoconomy jumped 20% higher or more the following day, Bakkt again broke records. This time Bakkt volumes saw 1,179 contracts on October 25 and volumes that followed have been much stronger. After Bakkt’s new record, Mike Blandina, Bakkt’s chief product officer, told the public about a new consumer application the firm is releasing in 2020.
“We’ll be launching a consumer app to make it easy for consumers to discover and unlock the value of digital assets, as well as ways in which they can transact or track them. Merchants gain access to a broader set of customers with expanded spending power,” Blandina’s blog post announcement details.
Bakkt’s New App Focuses on Four Key Areas: Infrastructure, Accessibility, Trust, and Ultimate Control for the User
Blandina said that Bakkt wants to strengthen four key areas within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Frictionless digital asset infrastructure, marketplace accessibility, a trustworthy brand, and a noncustodial solution “with the concept of a consumer-driven platform that offers the ultimate control over their digital assets.”
∙ Today's volume so far: 376 BTC ∙ Last traded price: $9,487.50 ∙ Trading day progress: 39% ∙ If this continues, 100% would equal to: 965 BTC
Derivatives markets in the crypto space are not the only part of the industry Bakkt wants to tackle, and by 2020 the company hopes to launch the new cryptocurrency-centric consumer app. “Over the last year, we’ve assembled a strong team of payments engineers and are nearing completion of our core payments and compliance platform,” Blandina stressed. Bakkt’s chief product officer added:
We’re now focused on the development of the consumer app and merchant portal, as well as testing with our first launch partner, Starbucks, which we expect in the first half of next year.
The news follows Fidelity Investment’s recent announcement when reporters from the Financial Times (FT) disclosed that “Fidelity has rolled out its cryptocurrency custody business.” The firm’s cryptocurrency unit was revealed in 2018 and according to FT: “[Fidelity Digital Asset Services (FDAS)] is now engaged in a full rollout of its custody and trading services for digital assets.” Bakkt executive Blandina underlined that the “core tenet” of Bakkt’s strategy was similar by “unlocking the value of digital assets” through consumer payments. Blandina concluded by explaining interested parties can sign up now for early access to the Bakkt consumer application.
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Image credits: Shutterstock, Bakkt, Wiki Commons, Fair Use, and Pixabay.
In roughly 17 days, the Bitcoin Cash network will upgrade by adding two new features to the protocol. Meanwhile, prior to the forthcoming changes, a large percentage of the BCH hashrate is being processed by unknown miners. Crypto proponents have been very focused on the hashrate and BCH pool distribution as speculators believe a few stealth miners have been gaming the difficulty adjustment algorithm (DAA).
Every six months the BCH chain upgrades in order to continue scaling the network. On November 15, the BCH network will see two new features added that aim to bolster the Bitcoin Cash roadmap. Engineers have disclosed that the upgrade will finalize the BIP62 malleability vector by enforcing Minimaldata in script and it will also implement Schnorr support for OP_Checkmultisig. While node operators upgrade their full nodes and participants prepare for the upcoming changes, there’s been some oddities taking place with the BCH hashrate. On October 25, observers noticed unknown miners had captured a lot of blocks in a two-day span. One particular block had a three-hour gap and speculators started assuming that large BTC or BSV miners had been gaming the difficulty adjustment algorithm (DAA). One theory says that large pools have been jumping back and forth from one network to another, moving large percentages of hashpower periodically. The assumption is that some nefarious pools have been trying to push ideological BCH miners out of the equation.
However, some individuals believe the three-hour gap was perfectly normal as the 14% change in difficulty at that point in time was quite massive. One person wrote a blog post explaining why they thought the BCH attack theories have been significantly hyped. “There is nothing in the current data that even remotely resembles a 50% attack — The hashrate rose barely by 10%,” the author wrote. “The 3-hour gap was most likely caused by a large (around 10% of the total hashrate) miner leaving the network — In the period after that we had 149 blocks in 22 hours, which works out to 6.7 per hour with a target of 6,” the blog post highlighted. The individual added:
This is pretty normal, a change in the difficulty of this magnitude is bound to cause oscillations of over and under adjustments. As I’m writing this, the hashrate is rising again by about 10%, this can easily be explained by people switching on their miners in response to those events.
The Halvening Effect
In fact, looking at the data site Fork.lol shows there wasn’t that much variance over the last week, despite the significant difficulty change which caused the lengthy three-hour interval. The BCH hashrate has been between 2-3 exahash per second (EH/s) and BTC’s hashrate has been between 80-105 EH/s. The daily BCH hashrate by mining pool has been increasing slightly since the first week of October. It is also between 1-4% more profitable to mine on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain at the time of writing.
Coin Dance statistics also show that the unknown miners have captured 49% over the course of seven days and 44% for today’s hashrate distribution data. There are those that believe the stealth miners could be about 2-4 pools because there are different coinbase addresses used for blocks found by unknown miners. Others have speculated that the miners are proponents of BCH and are merely stockpiling coins before the halvening. “I think they might be stacking BCH before the halvening,” a user on the Reddit forum r/btc opined.
“I think this is a sign of the approaching halvening — We will likely see more miners experimenting and playing with their otherwise useless BTC hashpower by pointing it at BCH,” redditor ‘Bitmeister’ remarked. “Succinctly, any shift in hashpower from BTC to BCH will look like this initially, whether the motivation is good or evil.”
At press time, there have been no oddities associated with the intervals of time in between blocks found on the BCH chain. Despite a large amount of hashrate being consumed by stealth miners and the price changes making BCH more profitable at times, the stories seem blown out of proportion. The influx of unknown miners has been taking place since mid-2018 and these pools can be seen on both networks. A touch above 20% of the BTC hashrate is also processed by stealth miners. With the upgrade advancing, people could be on edge and trolls are quick to cause fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) whenever there’s an opportunity.
What do you think about the recent discussions in regard to BCH mining pools, unknown miners and the DAA? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.