Interview: Lyn Ulbricht (Ross’ mother) on Bitcoin and criminal justice

In its early days, Bitcoin was an interesting invention and people were trying to convene to find its usefulness in trading pictures or buying pizza. However, it wasn’t until Ross Ulbricht created Silk Road that people actually saw the true value of Satoshi Nakamoto’s invention: a decentralized, trustless and uncensorable currency is the perfect fit for a free anonymous market which allows users to engage in trade without the intervention of a governmental regulator.

If the Silk Road was a libertarian pipe dream which got taken down by the FBI and led to the arrest of its founderss, Bitcoin has managed to thrive thanks to its newly-acquired reputation as uncontrolled sound money which enables financial sovereignty. But on the 10th anniversary of Satoshi Nakamoto’s “Bitcoin: A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System“, it’s good to think about the first people who helped Bitcoin rise to popularity and demonstrate its unprecedented qualities. Regardless if you sympathize with Ross Ulbricht and align with his ideological beliefs, you can’t deny his influence and importance in the history of the world’s biggest and most important cryptocurrency.

For this reason, we’ve decided to contact the Free Ross initiative and have a conversation with Lyn Ulbricht, the mother of Ross and the main advocate behind his attempt to receive clemency from the President of the United States of America. To some, Ross is the reason they have become millionaires and have started successful careers in crypto: Litecoin creator Charlie Lee has declared that he found out about Bitcoin after reading an article about Silk Road, while the likes of Roger Ver and Erik Voorhees have showed their open political and financial support to the Silk Road architect.

Ross Ulbricht was ahead of his time in his decision to adopt Bitcoin as the only mean of payment – and if today Wall Street executives begin to acknowledge the value of Bitcoin and contemplate on opening trading desks, in 2011 the situation was not as optimistic and prospective for money-making.

For the Bitcoin Whitepaper’s tenth anniversary, you’re invited to read an insightful interview which is meant to take you back to different times when BTC was still a new and promising technology. You also get to learn about the consequences and martyrdom of being ahead of your time by adopting a mean of payment which the governments frown upon.

Just keep in mind that the views expressed only belong to the author and do not reflect the opinions of Crypto Insider, its writing contributors, and its sponsors. Transcription credits go to Vlad, Blakely, and Nathan. Cover image courtesy of Ulbricht family.

 

Vlad: Hello and welcome to the Crypto Insider interview. I’m Vlad and today’s a very special occasion because, on the 10th anniversary of Bitcoin, we get to talk to none other than the mother of Ross Ulbricht, Mrs. Lyn Ulbricht. Did I say that right?

Lyn Ulbricht: Correct!

Vlad: It’s good to have you hear and you have no idea influential is in this industry and how many millionaires exist today because of him.

Lyn Ulbricht: Well, maybe they’ll help me get him out, and many have, but um, I’m gonna continue to need financial support so I hope some of those people will step up because I have a lot of lawyers right now.

Vlad: I remember the first time I heard about the case, I was in Paris, I think in 2014, and I was reading the Rolling Stone coverage which presented Ross as some sort “Billy the kid” of our times.

Lyn Ulbricht: Yeah, that was a horrible interview.

Vlad: Yeah, I remember, but I didn’t know better either because —

Lyn Ulbricht: I didn’t know better either, I just talked to a guy, it was a mistake.

Vlad: So he’s portrayed as a villain, and that’s all I could get at the time, it wasn’t like I had all these resources and right now. Before recording I checked the website, the FreeRoss.org website, and you have this series of documentaries which are called Railroaded.

Lyn Ulbricht: Railroaded – that’s right, the targeting and caging of Ross Ulbricht, yeah.

Vlad: I’ve watched the first couple of them and they were very informative and they reveal a lot about the U.S. judiciary system.

Lyn Ulbricht: Uh huh – and also it’s important for people to realize that it’s completely based on the record, we’re not saying any opinion or what we think, this is all just strictly taken from the public record, and we did it because we realized that we didn’t even know everything, nevermind people reading the media which was so limited. So we started putting it together and it became kind of a narrative really, and then someone said “hey, do an audio component,” and we were very lucky to have a volunteer supporter who’s a professional narrate it, and then we just added pictures to go along with the narration to make kind of a little video. And it’s quite, I think, very riveting, and it does reveal a lot, and again, it’s all on the record. It is not us saying “oh, we think this happened” or some theory, that may still not be true, but it is based on the government’s record, and the official record, and all kinds, of you know, everything that’s out there as the record.

Vlad: But, why do you think there’s still this image of Ross being the guy who tried to hire some hitman to attack some person?

Lyn Ulbricht: Yeah, and by the way, that particular person has come out and said they don’t think it was Ross, and he’s come out very much a supporter of Ross — that’s Curtis Green. I think it’s because the government does this, I’ve been told by criminal justice attorneys that, uh, I mean defense attorneys, that this is very, very common that they take unproven allegations and smear people with it, and that’s what they did with Ross, and, of course, the media loves sensationalism, it’s much more exciting to talk about, you know, as you say, he’s “Billy the Kid” who arranged murder, blah blah blah, instead of what really it was, which was Ross was an idealist. He was very passionate about free markets, and um, privacy, and the monetary potential of freedom through Bitcoin, and that is why he came up with the idea of this marketplace, not because he’s some kind of kingpin thug, I mean, everybody who knows Ross knows it’s absurd. There’s a hundred letters on our website by people who do know Ross — read those and see if you think he’s really, you know, did this. But the media, look I’ve got to the point after all this, I believe very little immediately where I read in the mainstream media, I’m just like, “well, maybe that’s true, but probably not.” Honestly, and that’s sad, but that’s what I’ve come to after this whole thing.

Vlad: Right now I’m 26 years old, just as old as Ross was when he started Silk Road.

Lyn Ulbricht: Yeah — right

Vlad: And I think this age is special for a lot of people because we realize that we’re all alone in this world. We have finished university and we have completed our studies, and we have to either pursue our dreams, and see how we can fulfill what we have been thinking about over the years, or we just, we get even and sell out to a big corporation and take a regular job. Saying that this is it, I’m going to have a normal life, I’m going to give up on my dreams, and I think he was part of the inspiration why I decided to get into journalism and this space. Because I have a degree in political science, I guess I could work for the government, I could do some administrative jobs, but at the same time, I find much more freedom and liberty, not because I would have anything to hide, but because I feel like Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies give to the world a degree of freedom and transparency which teaches governments to treat us better.

Lyn Ulbricht: Mmm-hmm, yeah, I’ll tell Ross that you inspired that, that he inspired that in you, that’s great!

Vlad: He also inspired, and I read about it, the creator of Litecoin, Charlie Lee, who has said that he didn’t know about Bitcoin before reading a news article about Silk Road, and I think it was also Erik Voorhees —

Lyn Ulbricht: Mmm-hmm Yeah —

Vlad: who is an advocate of the cause —

Lyn Ulbricht: Yeah, he is, and Charlie and Eric, and Roger Ver, and others in the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency space have promoted the petition we have, and it’s really important. I would really urge everyone to please, sign this petition at FreeRoss.org/petition or just FreeRoss.org and there’s a big banner — asking the President to commute Ross’s sentence. This sentence is barbaric, double-life, plus 40 years for all non-violent charges for a first-time offender is evil and a huge abuse of government power that really needs to be changed and, so, please, you know, follow Eric and Roger, and Charlie Lee and others who have come out and said, the whole Libertarian Party has said, Ross needs clemency. Many in the cryptocurrency space, in fact, I’m doing a video project, and I’ve taken quite a few interviews and I’ve been at a couple of conferences of people, and maybe you would like to make one, Vlad, just a little one, why you signed the petition, why you support Ross, why he shouldn’t be in prison, what you want to say, and then at the end “Free Ross,” and I want to get about 300 people in the crypto space doing this, to show along with the petition, to show the President, “hey, you would have the support of the cryptocurrency community who would be very grateful if you would free Ross.”

Vlad: I don’t know if my statement would make a difference because I’m not a U.S. citizen so —

Lyn Ulbricht: No, well you don’t have to be a U.S. citizen to sign the petition, I consider it a worldwide grassroots effort, and I think it does matter what other people in other countries think about what we’re doing over here. So yeah, don’t be left out because of that.

Vlad: I also think that the USA is setting precedent for the rest of the world

Lyn Ulbricht: That’s correct

Vlad: They were the first one who indicted and prosecuted such crimes, and I guess the European Union and other countries will just take the example and say, “you know, somebody opened a website on the dark web, we’re going to do the same because we have an example what they did.” I don’t see my government being any better with regard –

Lyn Ulbricht: Where are you from?

Vlad: I’m from Romania

Lyn Ulbricht: Oh, OK, yeah, I mean, yes, the United States, somebody said “when the United States catches a cold, the rest of the world sneezes” kind of thing. Yeah, it matters to you, even if you’re not an American, what the criminal justice system in this country does. So yeah, please don’t let that stop you from signing the petition or being part of this video project that I’m doing.

Vlad: I happen to know a case where the brother of one of my former high school classmates was murdered in public, and the murderer got only 15 years in prison.

Lyn Ulbricht: That happens here too, they release violent people all the time, and to have someone like Ross, I mean even the guards and the staff at the prison are like “why is he in here? What’s he doing in here?”, and actually his “security score” qualifies him for a low-security prison, which is a whole lot different than where he is right now which is a maximum prison with violent people, dangerous gangs, and he’s only there because he’s a life sentence, otherwise, he wouldn’t be in that prison, and this is so wrong and in fact recently he — six weeks ago, he refused to participate in an assault on another inmate so he had to put himself into protective custody because that made him a target because he was defying that and he’s in basically a metal box now for six weeks. Pretty rough. And Ross isn’t violent, that’s why the murder for hire allegation is so out of character and bizarre, and not believable.

Vlad: but do you think the case was actually against bitcoin? In many ways it was the first of its kind, we had never seen anything like it before. I don’t want to speak about something I don’t know much about but it might have been cyber crime on his part.

Lyn Ulbricht: I definitely think – I have come to the conclusion that I do think the whole reason they came down so hard on Ross was bitcoin. The person that instigated the whole thing was Senator Chuck Schumer, an influential member of the finance, banking industries and connected to wall street. He was the one that said we needed to take down the Silk Road and get the person running it. It came out this past March with Snowden’s release of documents that the NSA was tracking Bitcoin users a few months before Ross’ arrest. They are supposed to be tracking terrorists and people like that. They were very worried about Bitcoin, and I think that is why they came down so hard on Ross. The other defendant that stood on our case that was actually convicted of selling a lot of drugs, the biggest sentence was 10 years. Meanwhile Ross gets double life? I think you are very right, it really wasn’t about drugs. It was about cryptocurrency that they had no control over, they were like wait – this can not be, we have got to get rid of this.

Vlad: I think that is the price for being way ahead of their time. It was the same with Galileo when he was sentenced to house arrest for his research. Just because he was ahead of his time and maybe reached some sort of discovery that was revolutionary but not accepted by the establishment. Right now Wallstreet is very involved in Bitcoin. They are trying to provide ETFs and those sorts of services. Trying to provide services for regular people to buy Bitcoin. It is like a corporate cryptocurrency.

Lyn Ulbricht: Yeah it has come a long way but meanwhile one of the early pioneers, Ross has been called the second most important figure in Bitcoin history next to Satoshi. Because it was the first proof of concept for Bitcoin. The Silk Road was the first place Bitcoin actually had a real-world use. To have him sitting in prison for the rest of his life when this is going on you know having been painted as some kind of drug kingpin when what he really is a technological pioneer and visionary idealist who… Look he was 26 years old and he doesn’t need to be in prison for the rest of his life for having made the Silk Road. It hasn’t been on the Internet in five years. It is very punitive sentence, it is a cruel sentence and he’s not the only person that is in our system with horrible sentencing. He has a friend in there named Tony, who is serving a life sentence because an informant said he “sold marijuana” 13 years ago. The person was in Colorado where it is legal in the State of Colorado. It is egregious, it is horrible and it can not stand. Ross needs to be out, he has a lot to contribute and he is not a threat to anyone. There is no reason to have him in prison at the taxpayers expense. By the way a life sentence is 2 million dollars per inmate.

Vlad: I actually agree because in the early days of Bitcoin there would just speculate on the usage of it. They would say I think, we can use Bitcoin to buy this. A guy named Lazlo had actually bought pizzas with his bitcoin. Then came along Silk Road and they proved that they can create a free market that was not bound to regulation of the states. Simply be free and anonymous, I mean Bitcoin is not completely anonymous. It can be tracked if you have the right information. It wasn’t just Ross, because the Dread Pirate Roberts was accessed from many places. There were many people behind the account.

Lyn Ulbricht: Ross got all the blame and held responsible for everything that was done by DPR. When Ross was in jail the DPR logged in to the Silk Road forum. That is definitive proof that there was more than one person operating that. There were a lot of DPR’s,  Curtis said there were a lot of DPRs “I acted as DPR”. The corrupt agents that were all over the site and had the ability to change anything on the site, they had the ability to command DPR’s account and other accounts. Who knows who did or said what. This was all tried to be brought up in court and the judge kept shutting it down. If you have watched Railroaded, just listen. It has almost 400 footnotes. If you really want to dig. Then you go “why is he in prison?” this should not be allowed. This is wrong.

Vlad: In the first episode of Rail Roaded, there are many mentions of Mark Karpeles of MT. Gox, being presented as a guy that could have been involved in Silk Road but there is no proof about it and he was never arrested even though he basically bankrupted and shut down Mt. Gox. He ran away with people’s’ money.

Lyn Ulbricht: I am not, and certainly not Ross accusing anything without proof of anything, just simply communicating what is in the record and reiterating what the lead investigator believed. It is true Mark Karpeles was not arrested for that. It did come out at trial, I was sitting right there even though he said “forget you heard it”. His lawyers set up a meeting with investigators from Maryland and offered to give them names of DPR if they backed off Mark C because they were after him. Shortly thereafter Ross was arrested. I am not saying he gave him Ross’ name, I am not saying that, I am just giving you a sequence of events.

Vlad: Do you think this administration is different than the Obama one?

Lyn Ulbricht: I think it is very different in a lot of ways. I have some hope because Trump has said he wants to pardon 3,000 people. He is interested in people that have been treated unfairly by the system. He has already started pardoning people, giving clemency like Alex Johnson – it was a commutation of her sentence. It was not a pardon but it was basically the same thing. I am hopeful, if he wants to do this. If he can see that Ross is not the person he has been painted to be. This is terrible, for us and for the people in there. It is wrong to give a double life sentence plus 40 years to a first time offender who is non-violent. This didn’t used to happen before the drug war. This judge is particularly known for harsh sentencing. Ross was this judge’s 5th life sentence of the year. This is not typical, but there are a lot of sentences that are way too long.

Vlad: What is the procedure to get another hearing from a different judge?

Lyn Ulbricht: Well, beside asking for commutation, you can file a habeas petition by next year. This is basically listing why Ross didn’t get a fair trial. Luckily that original judge has retired, I can’t imagine her giving Ross another trial. If we can get another judge that can see this, then it is possible to get Ross another trial. Those are hard to get but we are trying, that is one of the lawyers that I need help paying, and I have several.

Vlad: I think we have discussed some specific portions of this case, but what if… let’s say that somebody got into the cryptocurrency space last month and they have no idea of the Silk Road situation and who Ross is. But how would you present the case in about a few sentences?

Lyn Ulbricht: Well, I would say that Ross is the person who had the idea to have a free market that protected privacy and used cryptocurrency Bitcoin because he saw the potential for monetary freedom through cryptocurrency. Many things were allowed on the site, it was was pretty much up to people who were on the site to decide. So drugs was allowed, but there were many legal things by the way. And I was told that parents with children who had life-threatening seizures were able to get CBD, and that was helping them so much. And then when the site went down, they couldn’t get it. But also, things like art, books, clothing, and jewelry and all kinds of things… electronics and on and on, were sold. But also drugs were sold, mostly personal use amounts of cannabis, that was 70% of the drugs that were sold, never having been mentioned in the trial.

And it is up to people what they wanted to do in terms of drugs. So that was very illegal, but it was not considered to be making victims because it was about making choices, nobody was forced. But things related to pedophilia, or weapons, or violence, or stolen property… things that did harm people and made them victims were not allowed. So this was up there, and it would become the first proof of concept for Bitcoin because it was the only thing that was used to exchange things. And it took off! So as far as Bitcoin is concerned, and as we discussed, I think it was why the government was so alarmed about the site and also just the fact that it was the internet, the dark web and everything. It’s a new thing.

They put Ross in prison for the rest of his life for coming up with this idea and putting it online. So please sign the petition if you don’t think that’s right, please go to FreeRoss.org and sign the petition. We’re trying to get him out, he’s got a lot to contribute, he’s a smart guy, he’s a visionary, he’s a good person, and he doesn’t deserve or need to be in prison for the rest of his life. And you can learn a lot more from FreeRoss.org. It’s a very dense website, you can also learn by reading or listening to “Railroaded – The Caging and Targeting of Ross Ulbricht”.

And we all need to be concerned, because a lot of things in this case affect our personal protections as Americans, but also as we discussed, has a Ripple effect around the world. It’s important for people to be aware because we’re really, I believe, on the verge of a tipping point in history and it can go either way. And we want it to go towards freedom, not government surveillance and control. We have to make some decisions and get involved, like you were saying you did.

Vlad: I should mention that I got involved as an individual and as a private person, and my views in this interview do not necessarily reflect those of the company that I work for. So Crypto Insider does not necessarily in this cause. I should put this disclaimer somewhere. But also, can you tell me about several people who visited Ross and got involved and they’re famous in the Bitcoin community?

Lyn Ulbricht: Well, Roger Ver’s been tremendously supportive financially from way long ago. He’s himself spent time in prison, he is very much against the drug war and he’s very much for freedom. So he’s really stepped up. Erik Voorhees visited Ross in prison, they got along great, Erik’s been supportive financially as well, but also in other ways.

As far as people known in the Bitcoin space who actually visited Ross… that’s not easy, you go through a whole thing and I’m not exactly sure if there’s somebody else. And Roger hasn’t actually met Ross. But a lot of people, as we discussed earlier, have supported him.

Vlad: Were there others who donated money but didn’t visit?

Lyn Ulbricht: Yes there have, but a lot of them are anonymous because it’s through cryptocurrency. So I don’t really necessarily know who they are.

Vlad: But do you think if Ross was set free tomorrow, he would still be interested in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies?

Lyn Ulbricht: Oh yeah, he’s interested now. We send him charts and information, he’s keeping up with it. It’s frustrating, because he can’t get on the internet, but he’s very very interested in.

Vlad: Did he ever something about cryptocurrencies which makes him feel excited?

Lyn Ulbricht: Well, just the fact that he has seen it grow the way it has, he is very excited about it. He has actually seen it take off from 50 cents or whatever it was when he got into it, and it increased 300 thousand times! He thinks it’s great, so for him it’s frustrating because he can’t be part of it in the same way, but he keeps up with it. People send him stuff, he’s written about it for Bitcoin Magazine and Coindesk, they’re both gonna publish things from him for the anniversary. He’s trying to stay in touch, but it’s hard when you can’t get on the internet or e-mail or anything.

Vlad: I remember in that Rolling Stone interview, which we can both agree that was terrible. But one part which inspired me at the time and made me feel exactly the same was when they mentioned that he was just walking around the university campus doing research papers and trying to get involved in his field of study. And at some point he became disillusioned with what he was studying. I’m not sure, was it medicine or chemistry?

Lyn Ulbricht: He was studying physics, he was a physics student, an undergrad. And he was actually working on solar energy projects there, and then when he went to graduate school he would study material science which uses physics, as well as other fields. So he’s a scientist, he’s never been a computer programmer, he was never trained in it, doesn’t know much about it except some things he’s taught himself. But he was a scientist, and was studying to become on.

Vlad: But I guess his “breaking bad” moment, if we can call it that, resonates with a lot of people who are in academia. Right now I’m doing my PhD and I work on my research papers which I have to write, and think to myself “You know, this is pointless. Nobody’s ever going to care”, we got to this point where you can either be revolutionary but nobody’s going to care about what you write and they’re not going to read it. It’s like a system of self-flattery and what we like to call circle jerk.

Lyn Ulbricht: Well yeah, so you got disillusioned.

Vlad: Yeah, and I got into Bitcoin because it has this potential to maybe tame the governments. We reached a degree of intrusion in our privacy which in many ways is irreversible without cryptographic inventions.

Lyn Ulbricht: Right, that’s the thing. And that’s what Ross was super concerned about, the privacy issue. And of course, without privacy you’re not free. You can’t have a free life if you have a surveillance state. It’s just not freedom, privacy and freedom go hand in hand.

Vlad: And I suppose the judge who was in charge of the case was not able to comprehend all the dimensions of this. I mean, you said that she retired, so I guess she was older than Ross.

Lyn Ulbricht: Oh she was older than Ross, she was 54 or something.

Vlad: So maybe it was hard for her to comprehend how the internet works and why we should have privacy even in the online space.

Lyn Ulbricht: Well, she was also recommended by Chuck Schumer, who was behind the whole case. So you have to wonder how much that influenced her. Because it wasn’t so much that she didn’t understand, I think he might have made up her mind. This is my personal opinion, it looked to me like she already made up her mind way before she finally sentenced Ross to double life. You know, it’s double life when she could give him 20 years mandatory minimum without some kind of agenda, in my personal opinion.

Vlad: It reminds of that Bob Dylan song, “Hurricane”, in a way.

Lyn Ulbricht: I don’t know it, or maybe I do if you start singing it.

Vlad: It’s about a boxer who was arrested wrongly has to serve ten years in prison for nothing, just because he was black and at the time people were racists. He was about to become the world champion because he was a really good boxer, but he never got the chance because he happened the wrong person at the wrong time. Just there when a crime happened.

Lyn Ulbricht: Yeah, that happens to a lot of people when they just happen to be in the wrong place, it’s a conspiracy. There are so many stories, you start going to prison and it’s just so heartbreaking because of the stories you hear. And then you see the kids who are coming to see their fathers and they are so happy, and then they leave sobbing. It just destroys families, it’s really serious stuff, and it’s wrong. I mean, it’s way worse than it used to be before the 1980s. The country has gotten much more draconian in its criminal justice system, but people are still doing drugs, right? They can’t even keep drugs out of prison, but they are doubling down on that drug war. So it’s difficult for people and their families, because you’re doing time too like they are.

Vlad: What was your initial reaction when you heard about the whole situation?

Lyn Ulbricht: Oh, I was shocked! Totally shocked, it was really hard to believe because Ross wasn’t particularly… he never really did drugs in any kind of way that would create a problem with law or anything like that. I know him to be this sweet, peaceful person, and then I hear all this stuff all of a sudden. And ever since then my life has changed, it was five years ago. And it’s been a hard road, it’s been really a steep climb. But the more I learn about how things are going in our country, the more I see it as a greater cause as well. We’re losing our freedom, so I think we really need to wake up.

Vlad: I really appreciate your involvement and your advocacy in this direction.

Lyn Ulbricht: Thanks, I appreciate yours too. Thanks for having me on!

Vlad: Okay, so this interview will get published as soon as possible, and I’m going to write a complete transcript so you also have the text if it serves you. You can post anything on the Free Ross website.

Lyn Ulbricht: Well thank you, I’ll definitely push it out. Just send me the link and I’ll put it out there.

Vlad: You’re free to do whatever you want with it. And this was a great pleasure and honor, I had no idea I was able to get this at first, I just wrote a tweet and then you sent a message to Blakely and he told me “You know, we got this message from the Free Ross Twitter account”, and my reaction was “Yay!”.

Lyn Ulbricht: Good, yeah! I’m really not that hard to get. But really, I wanna help spread the word, and I appreciate people who are doing that.

 

The post Interview: Lyn Ulbricht (Ross’ mother) on Bitcoin and criminal justice appeared first on Crypto Insider.

Bitcoin Turns Ten: Today And What’s Next?

Today, on October 31st, 2018 — a date that many decentralists have been clamoring for — Bitcoin, the world’s first internet-connected autonomous network, has officially reached the youthful age of 10. While Bitcoin has been lauded as a resounding success in recent years, initially, as covered in this series’ previous edition, “Bitcoin Turns 10: A Blast To The Past,” Satoshi had trouble jump starting his brainchild.

However, as Bitcoin began to garner support from the fringes of the internet in 2010, it became apparent that the concept of decentralized technologies was sticking, and across the world at that. And since then, this industry has only been on a perpetual uptrend, as blockchain technologies, the Bitcoin Network included, have continued to see adoption, maturation, and development at an unbridled rate.

2018’s Bitcoin Bear Market Is A Time To “BUIDL,” Not “HODL” 

BTC made its first step into 2018 near the peak of its largest bubble to-date, nearing $20,000 on the back of widespread speculative interest from retail and institutional investors across the globe.

While BTC began a strong correctional phase in early-January, facilitating a (temporary) monumental surge in the market dominance of altcoins, many claimed that the world’s first crypto asset was still poised to be on the up-and-up, with a handful of industry commentators doubling down on their sky-high predictions.

Fundstrat Global Advisor’s Tom Lee, for one, claimed that BTC was slated to reach and surpass $25,000 by 2018’s end, referencing a number of quantitative factors to back his forecast.

Lee wasn’t alone in his cries for BTC to “moon,” with Tim Draper, the Bitcoin Foundation’s Bobby Lee, and a number of other well-respected cryptocurrency fanatics all claiming that BTC will surpass its $19,500 all-time high in due time.

As it stands, however, the foremost cryptocurrency is way off the mark, with BTC currently finding itself range-bound under $7,000, but above the $6,000 price level, indicating that “speculmania” has subsided, for now anyway.

Still, as pointed out by diehard pundits, while crypto asset values have tanked, now isn’t the time to shy away from crypto. In fact, some optimists have issued call-to-arms, enticing their fans and followers to further their involvement in the nascent cryptosphere, even if prices may be off-putting for even the most seasoned investors. Just two weeks ago, Binance’s Changpeng Zhao took to Twitter to write:

“Blockchain/crypto is not going away. Then take a 5-10 year horizon, and think about where we will be. BUIDL/HODL to that!”

In context, what Zhao seems to be touching on is the fact that prices don’t accurately reflect the development of the underlying infrastructure and base-layer applications that will support BTC over the long-haul. Litecoin’s Charlie Lee has also tangoed with this form of sentiment in the past, claiming:

“[Now,] with prices currently depressed, it’s a good time for people to sit down and have their head down and actually working to get stuff done.”

In the past few months alone, in terms of technological developments, Bitcoin has seen a rapidly growing Lightning Network, an uptick in adoption for Segwit-enabled addresses, and Blockstream’s recent release of the Liquid Network, which aims to accelerate BTC transactions and to introduce a digital asset issuance system on Bitcoin’s blockchain. While these three technological improvements are inherently unique, at their core, the Lightning Network, Liquid Network, and Segwit protocols have only been activated to better the user experience.

Although Bitcoin’s technological advancements are already something to be touted, this ecosystem’s institutional sub-sector has arguably seen a larger growth cycle.

In the past year, America’s foremost institutions, JP Morgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs have all expressed interest in eventually offering Bitcoin-centric investment vehicles, solutions or platforms, which may bring crypto assets and blockchain technologies to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of wide-eyed investors.

Just recently, marking one of the biggest institutional forays into crypto to-date, Boston-based Fidelity Investments established the fittingly-named Fidelity Digital Asset Services (FDAS), a new entity solely focused on offering products that pertain to digital assets, like BTC and Ether. FDAS, which is headed by Tom Jessop, is aiming to offer top-notch cryptocurrency custody and trade execution for Fidelity’ 13,000 institutional clients.

TD Ameritrade has also entered the cryptocurrency realm, announcing in early-October that it had invested an undisclosed sum into ErisX, an up and coming crypto-focused platform that has already been backed by DRW, Virtu Financial, and CBOE Global Markets. Eventually, if regulators give ErisX a stamp of approval, the platform intends to unveil spot trading and physically-delivered futures support for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin.

Last but not least, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) joined hands with Microsoft, Starbucks, Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital, and a dozen other forward-thinking corporations to launch Bakkt, which intends to introduce a physically-backed BTC futures contract by December 12th, which is still pending approval from the U.S. Commodities Trade Futures Commission (CFTC). Following its futures launch, Bakkt intends to broaden its horizons by establishing a “scalable on-ramp for institutional, merchant and consumer participation in digital assets by promoting greater efficiency, security, and utility.”

It would be remiss to note that the aforementioned developments are just the tip of the “positive crypto news iceberg.” So make no mistake, despite the dismal performance of BTC in recent months, this industry is far from dead in the water.

“Institutions Are An Interim Step” — Global Bitcoin Adoption Next

While the arrival of institutions is currently welcomed and encouraged, it is important to note that Bitcoin’s raison d’être was to disassociate the global financial ecosystem with centralized intermediaries, as made apparent by the anti-establishment message that Satoshi embedded in Bitcoin’s Genesis Block. Speaking with CNBC Africa’s Ran NeuNer, who hosts the network’s “Crypto Trader” show, American venture capitalist Tim Draper touched on this theme.

Keeping with the narrative that Bitcoin, along with many other crypto assets aren’t (or shouldn’t be) inherently linked to centralized/traditionalistic institutions, San Francisco-based Draper noted:

“[Bitcoin] is free and open and honest. It’s an honest currency and so people are going to want to use it in that way. I think that these [institutional platforms] are interim steps or bridges towards a world where we are watching borders dissolve and the world opening up.”

Let his words sink in for a second… While it would be wrong to automatically discount an institution’s foray into crypto, as it stands, many speculators and optimists in this industry have clung to institutional news like their lives, or investments, in this case, were dependent on it. But like what was aforementioned, Satoshi Nakamoto’s concept for Bitcoin was born out of a strong aversion to centralized systems, and everything (and everyone) that they still stand for today.

So eventually, consumers will need to find a way to disassociate themselves with the powers that be. To be frank, the road to global disinter-mediation isn’t going to be easy, but, it is far from impossible.

Many fail to recall that a majority of Bitcoin’s first decade of growth was solely catalyzed by retail investors and the immense power that consumers hold, so who’s to say that it won’t happen again… right?

And in spite the cries that Bitcoin’s dominance is on the verge of plummeting to relative obscurity, it is clear that the “OG” cryptocurrency still holds value today, even in a market where buzzwords, like “smart contracts”, “transactions per second”, “immutability”, are thrown around like salt on McDonald’s fries. Speaking on Cheddar’s “The Crypto Craze” show, Stephen Pair, CEO of BitPay, expressed his sentiment that Bitcoin is here to stay, noting:

 “Bitcoin is still our #1 blockchain [here at BitPay]… [Even] with all the innovation going around alternative blockchains, we remain bullish on Bitcoin, as it is the most stable and most well-understood system that people can use.”

In short, while Bitcoin’s long-term fate has yet to be fully defined, the crypto asset and its supportive ecosystem isn’t going anywhere, and in fact, may eventually grow to replace traditionalistic systems, which are already on their way out.

Happy Birthday, Bitcoin!

Previously: Bitcoin Turns Ten: A Blast To The Past

Featured Image from Shutterstock

The post Bitcoin Turns Ten: Today And What’s Next? appeared first on NewsBTC.

Equity Token Trading Platform Launches Decentralized Open API Exchange

BaseCore

Ethereum-based decentralized exchange uses IPFS protocol to launch security token platform for the next generation. 


To remove bottlenecks associated with traditional investing in IPOs, BaseCore has launched the BaseCore token – a stablecoin backed by the portfolios of high-valued private IT startups to keep volatility at bay.

With blockchain technology at its core, the BaseCore token is designed for micro-investors interested in private IT companies, with the real potential to reach unicorn status. According to BaseCore, investors won’t become shareholders since the potential profit will be made available from the capitalization and growth rates of non-public IT startups.

The token structure has two components, the “core” and “base.”  The “core” investment component is characterized by the underlying token price, which won’t depend solely on the price set by BaseCore, but also by the asset costs in the portfolios of IT companies like AirBnb, Palantir, and Zenreach. The established “base” redemption price is independent of cryptocurrency market fluctuations. Designed to be a decentralized security token exchange, at the heart of the BaseCore project lies Excalibur, the platform’s proprietary exchange protocol.

An Ethereum-based exchange platform powered by IPFS protocol

Existing cryptocurrency exchanges are not 100 percent decentralized. In fact, the majority of exchanges are flawed in both security and availability. Platforms like EtherDelta lack UX design elements, which makes them tough to understand and navigate. To combat such problems, BaseCore’s Excalibur exchange combines an adaptive design with intuitive UX concepts, in a single-page application powered by the most modern and secure IPFS protocol for improved product decentralization.

Designed by Protocol Labs, IPFS (interplanetary file system) is a peer-to-peer (P2P) hypermedia protocol that makes the web safer, faster, and more open. The Excalibur Exchange is currently in closed alpha testing, available on the Koran Network.

Following the launch of the exchange, investors will be able to make their own security tokens on the BaseCore platform after they’ve successfully passed AML/KYC procedures. Additional features include, trading ERC20-compliant security tokens, engaging in margin trading, performing crowd sales, investing with fiat money, and creating security token pools.

A stable coin backed by an investment contract

Today’s cryptocurrency market is highly volatile due to a lack of institutional capital and regulatory oversight. Although the industry is an international phenomenon, limited regulation enables market manipulation, triggering hype and speculation. In 2017, most utility tokens have been ruled as securities by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.  According to the SEC commissioner, Robert Jackson, the ICO market is “an unregulated securities market.” When it comes to ICOs, many investors still can’t tell the difference between an opportunity and a scam.

With the rising trend of security token offerings (STOs), crypto assets are maturing. Unlike utility tokens issued by ICOs, security tokens are backed by an investment contract, providing profit potential, dividends, and passive income. Crunchbase highlights that by the end of 2018, 23 startups will surpass $1o billion in capitalization. “Unicorn” startups – ruled by IT companies valued at over $1 billion – don’t allow micro-investors to get a share of the big pie. Many are not permitted to acquire shares either because they don’t qualify or because they can’t afford to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars. According to the company, with the BaseCore token, investors are free to invest in the shares of private IT companies, regardless of their budget and easily control their portfolios.

In terms of plans for the future, the team at BaseCore is working on updating Excalibur with new features. The roadmap includes a user-friendly dashboard with detailed information on balance, the ability to use a hash for making private exchanges, and the ability to develop an inner stable coin using fiat deposits. In the future, they also plan to develop a native desktop and mobile app to streamline access.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

[Disclaimer: This is a guest article. Bitcoinist is not responsible for the accuracy of the contents within, and is not responsible for any financial decisions made by readers.]

The post Equity Token Trading Platform Launches Decentralized Open API Exchange appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Atlas Protocol Partners with Contentos to Explore the Commercial Value of On-Chain Video Interactive Advertising

This is a paid-for submitted press release. CCN does not endorse, nor is responsible for any material included below and isn’t responsible for any damages or losses connected with any products or services mentioned in the press release. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned

The post Atlas Protocol Partners with Contentos to Explore the Commercial Value of On-Chain Video Interactive Advertising appeared first on CCN

Circle’s Stablecoin Draws Most Early Demand

USDC, the stablecoin supported by a consortium that includes Circle Internet Financial Ltd. and Coinbase Inc. has seen more demand than any other recently launched dollar-backed cryptocurrency, including the Gemini Dollar, with a total of $127.4 million of the coin issued since its September debut.

USDC Is Grabbing Massive Amounts of Investment Attention

Stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) could be on its way to becoming the most popular dollar-backed digital currency to date, as recent figures have shown its incredible popularity among investors on the rise, leaving behind some of the more known stablecoin names such as the Gemini dollar.

According to an Oct. 30 Bloomberg report, more than $127.4 million of USD Coin has been issued since launching September 2018. Citing information from the crypto data tracker Etherscan, Bloomberg also said that the Paxos Standard, introduced the same month as the USD Coin, has garnered $108 million in funds, while Gemini Dollar received nearly $13 million.

Coinbase Announces Immediate Support for Circle’s USD Stablecoin
Related: Coinbase Announces Immediate Support for Circle’s USD Stablecoin

The tokens which are pegged to a fiat standard, typically the US dollar, are not thought to be challenged with the same volatility as other cryptocurrency prices – the very reason they’ve been gaining traction in 2018. Increased instability of kingpin cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether has turned many large investors to stablecoins.

However, USDC isn’t the only stablecoin looking to fulfill this newly created demand. There are currently more than 50 stablecoins to date, with more reportedly in the works. With Bitcoin down by more than 50 percent for the year, some traders are parking funds in stable coins, which are being advertised as maintaining parity to the fiat currency they are pegged to while awaiting the next bull run.

The Consortium Backed Stablecoin Unique on the Market

Aaron Brown, a business author, and investor who writes for Bloomberg Opinion said that the USD Coin is the most native to the crypto world, with the least connections to traditional finance. He also added that what makes it different from other coins is that they depend on the business success of the issuers, while USDC can survive on its own.

This is due to the fact that USDC isn’t tied to just one company – it’s backed by a consortium called Centre. The consortium will serve as a platform for users to make deposits from traditional bank accounts, convert fiat currency into tokens issued by members to facilitate transactions and provide the ability to shift back to the greenback.

With the original stablecoin, Tether, having its value frequently deviating from its $1 peg, thus it seems there might be a huge market opening for USDC to fill.

Learn more about stablecoins:

The post Circle’s Stablecoin Draws Most Early Demand appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Jamie Dimon: I ‘Don’t Give a Sh*t’ about Bitcoin

Much like an old house that comes to be inhabited by the spirit, who, though no longer living, nevertheless has unfinished business on earth, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon is haunted. However, unlike the protagonists in the films that will inevitably trend on Netflix this evening, Dimon’s spectre is primarily technological, not paranormal, for the investment

The post Jamie Dimon: I ‘Don’t Give a Sh*t’ about Bitcoin appeared first on CCN

Bitcoin Whitepaper – 10 Years Since Satoshi’s Vision Was Brought to Life

As Bitcoin celebrates the 10th anniversary of its whitepaper, Cointelegraph explores the various influences that breathed life into cryptocurrency.

The evolution of key industries have been historically driven by groundbreaking technological innovations that leave an indelible mark on society.

The printing press led to the scientific revolution, the discovery of electricity brought light to the world, radio waves changed the way information was delivered to the masses, and the internet completely overhauled the way we communicate and interact with information.

In the same vein, over the short space of a decade, Bitcoin has had a similarly disruptive and innovative effect on the financial world and the technology underpinning cryptocurrency has gone on to influence a number of sectors in the global economy.

October 31 marks the 10 year anniversary of the release of Bitcoin’s whitepaper, which described the way in which the Bitcoin protocol would work.

Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System was published on a cryptography mailing list in November 2008 following the initial publication of the work. It was written by Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous creator of Bitcoin whose identity could be that of a single person or a group of people.

The whitepaper proposed a system that replaces the need for central authorities like banks and financial institutions to facilitate transactions:

“What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party.”

With that being said, the Bitcoin protocol could not have been developed without the foundations laid by previous electronic systems that pioneered decentralized, peer to peer networks using cryptography.

One need look no further than the reference list in the Bitcoin whitepaper to identify the main influences that led to the development of the protocol.

Influences of Bitcoin’s protocol

Wei Dai’s b-money, Dr. Adam Back’s Hashcash, and Dr. Ralph Merkle’s work on cryptographic hashing have long been credited for having vital influences on the Bitcoin protocol.

It must be noted that these three influencers are just part of an extensive body of work on cryptography, timestamping, and consensus protocols that influenced the way in which the Bitcoin protocol works.

Bitcoin Whitepaper

Timestamps

Arvind Narayanan, an associate professor of computer science at Princeton, and Jeremy Clark, authored an insightful summary of the various works that influenced Satoshi’s Bitcoin whitepaper.

First and foremost, as Bitcoin primarily acts as an electronic ledger, and transactions are recorded chronologically in blocks using digital timestamps. The work of Stuart Haber and Scott Stornetta on digital timestamps, "How to time-stamp a digital document," published in 1991 is directly referenced in the Bitcoin whitepaper.

Haber, Stornetta, and Dave Bayer’s paper "Improving the efficiency and reliability of digital time-stamping” was published two years later and is also listed by Satoshi as a reference. Both bodies of work are mainly focused on creating timestamps for electronic documents using cryptographic hashes.

Satoshi made use of the data structure from Haber and Stornetta’s original work so that Bitcoin’s timestamp server takes the hash of a block of transactions and timestamps it before it is broadcast to the network.

The timestamp is crucial, because it provides proof that the data existed before the hash can be created. Every block’s timestamp includes the previous timestamp in its hash, in order to form a temporally linear chain of blocks.

B-money

Wei Dai’s b-money described a protocol that would allow participants to transact and enforce contracts in an electronic system in an untraceable way.

B-money’s first protocol proposed that participants of the system maintain a database of account balances, which keep track of the ownership of money. Transactions would be initiated and completed by a broadcast message to all participants, which would update the respective account balances of those involved in a specific transaction.

The second protocol proposes a certain subset of all participants being responsible for updating the account balances of participants.

In its simplest form, the broadcasting of transactions and updating of account balances by users of the network, could be seen as a precursor to the nodes of Bitcoin’s protocol which keep a record of the constantly growing blockchain.

Bitcoin Whitepaper

Hashcash

Hashcash has had a far more marked impact on Bitcoin’s protocol, in that it has formed the basis for the cryptocurrency’s proof-of-work algorithm.

Renowned cryptographer Dr. Adam Back, who now resides in Malta, invented Hashcash in 1997. The proof-of-work algorithm is primarily used as a tool to prevent email spam and denial-of-service attacks. The algorithm requires a selected amount of work to be computed before a hash stamp is created, and that proof can then be quickly verified by the receiver of information.

Put simply, a sender needs to complete a certain amount of computational work before it can send any sort of message across a network. When it comes to preventing email spam and denial-of-service attacks, this works exponentially as the sender would have to complete an enormous amount of computational work in order to send a multitude of messages in order to flood the resources of the intended recipient.

In the Bitcoin whitepaper, Satoshi directly refers to Back’s Hashcash system as a reference to the Bitcoin proof-of-work algorithm.

“To implement a distributed timestamp server on a peer-to-peer basis, we will need to use a proof-of-work system similar to Adam Back's Hashcash, rather than newspaper or Usenet posts.”

Whether or not it was directly intended, the proof-of-work system created by Nakamoto established a mining economy that is highly competitive. The reward for solving the proof-of-work algorithm and unlocking a new block is a certain amount of newly minted BTC.

Not only does the proof-of-work create an incentivized system to keep the network running, it also protects the network against attackers.

If a group of attackers wanted to successfully change or reverse previous transactions in the Bitcoin blockchain, they would have to re-do the proof-of-work of that specific block, and then all the blocks in the chain after that. Even with today’s hardware, this feat is theoretically impossible, unless the attackers control enough computational power to override the honest nodes in the network.

Merkle trees

Another vital part of Bitcoin’s protocol was directly influenced by the work of Dr. Ralph Merkle, who is credited with co-inventing public key cryptography.

Merkle signatures and trees were invented and named after Merkle as well. Merkle trees are pictographic trees which contain leafs, and are labelled with hash signatures that contain data of transactions.

In its simplest form, Merkle trees are used to organize and verify stored data which has been transferred on a network.

As the diagram below shows, the Merkle root is a hash of all the hashes of transactions in a specific block in the blockchain. This Merkle root is included in the block header, which allows nodes to verify that any given transaction has been accepted by the network by downloading a block header and a Merkle tree.

Simply put, the Merkle root provides a single hash that verifies the integrity of all transactions under it. This also means that a single transaction within that merkle tree can also be verified by the network, given that the merkle root contains the data of that specific hash as well.

Merkle tree

Satoshi’s genius - amalgamating crucial components

With so many critical influences playing different roles in the creation of the Bitcoin whitepaper, it is difficult to identify the most crucial component of the protocol.

The crux of Satoshi’s brilliance is being able to use these different methodologies and technologies to create a working electronic payment system.

Cointelegraph reached out to a number of respected figures within the cryptocurrency and blockchain community to get a sense of how the Bitcoin whitepaper shaped the space as we know it today.

Cypherpunk and software engineer, Jameson Lopp, recalls his first encounter with Satoshi’s whitepaper which spoke to him on a practical level.

“It was about 6 years ago. I kept hearing Bitcoin come up in various tech news sites and figured maybe there was a reason it hadn't died off. Once I read the whitepaper I realized that it actually solved a fundamental computer science problem and it was then that the project caught my attention.”

Lopp is also of the opinion that no single preliminary project can be credited for having the most influence in the workings of the Bitcoin protocol. It is the coming together of these different methodologies that make Bitcoin work:

“There's no single piece of the puzzle that I think is more important than the others. Nakamoto's genius was not any of the individual components of Bitcoin, but rather the intricate way in which they fit together to breathe life into the system.”

Emin Gün Sirer, associate professor of Computer Sciences at Cornell University, has fond memories of his first experience of the Bitcoin whitepaper:

“I read the whitepaper in around 2010 or so. It's like your first kiss, you don't ever forget. The clarity of vision, and the aggressiveness of the dream of replacing the dollar, stuck with me.”

Much like others’ assertion, Gün Sirer believes that Satoshi’s ability to coalesce these different influences into a properly working electronic cash system is what sets the Bitcoin whitepaper apart from previous projects:

“Those are just citations. They did play a role in the definition of the protocol, but the core contribution lies in the consensus protocol based on following the longest/hardest chain, which was where Satoshi's unique contribution shone through.”

While Bitcoin’s whitepaper can be seen as the preeminent blueprint for existing cryptocurrencies today, its most influential predecessors have looked to improve on certain shortcomings that have affected Bitcoin.

When asked if Bitcoin's whitepaper is the most comprehensive, “fool-proof” methodology for a blockchain payment system, Gün Sirer objected. As the professor explains, projects like Ethereum look to provide technical innovations to Satoshi’s original work:

“Absolutely not. Satoshi has been outclassed in every direction. Ethereum took the vision further to build smart contracts.”

Vinny Lingham, blockchain entrepreneur and industry advisor, also offered Cointelegraph some insightful comments on the legacy of Bitcoin.

Lingham, who founded Bitcoin-based digital gift card platform Gyft, said he was initially skeptical of the cryptocurrency in its infancy and struggled to see it becoming a global currency.

That seemingly changed when he realized that Bitcoin could solve problems they were having with the company, relating to fraud and chargeback problems.

“The initial rise and fall of Bitcoin immediately reminded me of how the internet had ‘died’ in 2000. By using our infrastructure at Gyft, we were able to allow Bitcoin users to spend their Bitcoin at over 50,000 physical locations, using gift cards. No other way to put it, but the results were spectacular, and Gyft eventually sold to First Data for over $50 million. This exit changed my life, and I really believe that I owe it all to Bitcoin.”  

Reflecting on the various projects and technologies that shaped the Bitcoin whitepaper, Lingham echoed the sentiments of Lopp and Gün Sirer, who credited Satoshi for creating a fully working digital money system:

“Satoshi Nakamoto’s innovation was that it fixed all the broken thinking with all the projects that came before it, where they were unable to solve the problem of creating digital money. The previous work that was done was incremental thinking at best and flawed, independently. Satoshi brought it all together in a single stroke of brilliance. Ironically though, the mindset that went into the prior projects, seems to be creeping back into Bitcoin, for better or worse, now that Satoshi is gone.”

What do the next 10 years hold for Bitcoin?

As we celebrate a decade since the inception of Bitcoin in Satoshi Nakamoto’s whitepaper, there is a lot to be cognisant of. As the history of Bitcoin shows us, it certainly hasn’t been plain sailing and the challenges that faced cryptocurrency have also shaped what it has become today.

The original protocol, as set out in Nakamoto’s whitepaper, has remained largely the same, but it is the technological advances that have occured around Bitcoin that are likely to shape what it becomes in the next ten years.

As Lopp tells Cointelegraph, the next decade should see Bitcoin become even more accessible and user-friendly – as developers and software engineers create different applications that improve the way we use Bitcoin and interact with the blockchain:

“I expect that the fundamental aspects of the protocol will remain the same, but that implementations will look far different as they evolve and the system will continue to become more complex technically. But I also expect that the user experience will become less complex as we are able to abstract away more of the aspects of Bitcoin that have a high learning curve. Much like as internet based technology has improved over the years, mainstream Bitcoin users will understand very little of how the underlying protocols operate – they will simply follow the guidance of the applications they run on their machines.”

Gün Sirer offers a similar view, suggesting that the next decade will see a period of innovation that will overhaul systems we’re currently using today:

“In another 10 years, Bitcoin will still be around close to its current form, but it will be a side show. The actual systems that people will use to transact value and to execute contracts will bear no resemblance to today's systems.”

Lingham produced a more measured outlook for the future of Bitcoin. Seemingly disconcerted with a focus on ideological opinions over technological solutions, he hopes that the community can look for ways to make Bitcoin attainable in the years to come.

“It’s clear that decentralization is part of the future, but how decentralized is the more significant question. It’s clear that ideology has become more important than the technology when it comes to Bitcoin, and I’m skeptical on the outcomes, but happy to be proven wrong.”

As for the financial stability and future market outlook for the cryptocurrency, things are starting to look up. As Cointelegraph reported in the beginning of October 2018, Bitcoin price volatility hit its lowest rate in 17 months.

Casting market speculation aside, Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin whitepaper paved the way for cryptocurrencies to challenge conventional financial systems and banks. For this reason, its 10th birthday is a special one, and there is no doubt that Bitcoin will forever be hailed as the original cryptocurrency.

The Daily: Nexo to Pay Interest on Stablecoins, Startups Launch Bank Services

The Daily: Nexo to Pay Interest on Stablecoins, Crypto Startups Launch Services for Banks

In this edition of The Daily, we cover Nexo’s recent decision to pay interest on stablecoin holdings, as well as a project by two Swiss cryptocurrency companies to offer exchange and custodial solutions for financial institutions that handle digital assets. We also look at Bitfinex’s newly updated app for “on-the-go” traders. 

Also read: Security Startup Raises $30M, Crypto Used to Fight Plastic Pollution

Nexo Announces 6.5 Percent
Interest Rate on Stablecoin Holdings

Nexo, a cryptocurrency loans service, said this week that it’s going to offer interest payments on several leading stablecoins. When stored on the platform, trueusd (TUSD), gemini dollar (GUSD), paxos standard (PAX), Circle’s usdcoin (USDC), and Maker’s dai (DAI) will generate a 6.5 percent interest rate for those holding the currencies.

According to an announcement on Twitter, Nexo will also guarantee a one-to-one conversion to U.S. dollars on any major stablecoin for all liquidity providers. The company claims this is a unique service on the market.

The Daily: Nexo to Pay Interest on Stablecoins, Startups Launch Services for Banks

After recently adding bitcoin cash (BCH), litecoin (LTC) and ripple (XRP), the cryptocurrency lending platform now supports seven digital currencies, including bitcoin core (BTC), ethereum (ETH) and binance coin (BNB), as well as its own token, Nexo. It accepts the coins as collateral for instant cryptocurrency-backed loans.

The APR for the loans is set at 16 percent, but a preferential rate will be applied when the native token is used as collateral. The platform will distribute 30 percent of its profits to Nexo holders, as part of the company’s first dividend payment in December.

Metaco and SCX Offer Exchange
and Custodial Services to Banks

The Daily: Nexo to Pay Interest on Stablecoins, Startups Launch Services for BanksTwo fintech companies in Switzerland have teamed up to launch new exchange and custodial services for digital assets. Metaco, a provider of secure blockchain infrastructure, and trading platform Swiss Crypto Exchange (SCX) plan to offer their solutions to banks and other regulated custodians.

The new system developed by SCX is designed to directly connect banks in order to eliminate risks associated with the storage of assets on cryptocurrency exchanges. Silo, Metaco’s custodial infrastructure solution, is integrated with SCX and is expected to enable secure and reliable cryptocurrency trading. The two companies claim there is no central point of failure with its new system.

While SCX is still a centralized marketplace, it will now work with decentralized custody providers. The cryptocurrency exchange will provide liquidity and technology to new ecosystems built by banks. The traditional financial institutions will be responsible for maintaining their custodial activities through Silo. Metaco’s cryptocurrency storage solution, which was announced in January of this year, has been developed in cooperation with data security agency Guardtime.

Bitfinex Releases Updated Mobile Trading App

Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex has launched its updated mobile application, which supports the latest features of the iOS and Android operating systems. In terms of functionality, the developers have tried to provide users with an experience that’s similar to the one they expect from the platform’s main website. The app now offers two landing pages, for trading and funding, respectively. Users can customize their favorites, orders, pairs and trading history, as well as the widgets on each page.

The Daily: Nexo to Pay Interest on Stablecoins, Startups Launch Services for Banks

The Hong Kong-based trading platform said in a blog post that the updated software supports both vertical and horizontal layouts, as well as iPhone X and other smartphones with notches running across the top of their screens. “On-the-go” traders can run the app on multiple devices and their settings will be preserved. Bitfinex promises a more tablet-friendly experience and has said that users can now unlock the app with a fingerprint and face scan.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Nexo, Bitfinex.


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None of us would be here without Satoshi Nakamoto’s “Bitcoin: A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System”

Exactly ten years ago and under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto, an obscure individual from the cypherpunk e-mail list introduced to the world an unusual digital money proposal which he titled “Bitcoin: A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System” (better known today as “The Bitcoin Whitepaper“).

By combining David Chaum’s ideal of an anonymous payment system, Adam Back’s Proof of Work consensus algorithm, Wei Dai’s cryptographic b-money concept, and Nick Szabo’s Bit Gold, Satoshi created  a system which both economists and computer scientists can analyze in a state of utmost awe.

Bitcoin created a functional system of electronic cash (or gold, depending on who you ask) which is completely decentralized and solves the Byzantine Generals problem (also known as the double spending problem) by using “the blockchain”.

Ten years later, the same digital coins that people used to mine for fun and trade by the thousands in exchange for pictures and pizza are worth the price of a new car and even stir the interest of Wall Street firms. Bitcoin has come a long way, and it has steadily solidified its position as the deflationist sound money which people buy for both value storage and speculative trading purposes.

Today we no longer speak of “the Bitcoin business” – we refer to it as “the blockchain industry”, a conglomerate consisting of thousands of firms which spend large amounts of money in the development and promotion of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies it spawned. We no longer have just a bunch of computer nerds  led by Satoshi Nakamoto, exchanging messages on Bitcointalk.org.  The space is now fulll of large conferences where ideas get shared and increasingly wealthier investors see the value of money that can’t be censored.

Thanks to this process, we are seeing an unprecedented popularization of the Austrian school economics, and we are witnessing libertarians and anarcho-capitalists embrace this form of currency for both ideological and practical purposes. Business-oriented folks use Satoshi’s technology in order to replicate other economic processes such as central banking or start-up funding, while companies contemplate the use of blockchain technology to not only store their private information, but to reinvent their entire industries.

We can clearly distinguish between Bitcoin maximalists, conservative bitcoinists who appreciate some other innovations in the field, idealistic ICO starters who try to get away from the restrictions of the traditional financial system through the use of cryptos, and traders whose only deity is the U.S. dollar. Yet none of them would be around and have something in common if Satoshi never published his 9-page groundbreaking paper.

If anything, October 31st is a moment for unity and appreciation, when old-school bitcoinists and XRP standardists should be able to get together and celebrate without arguing about the elements that differentiate their core beliefs. Big blockers and second layer advocates can simply share a drink and make a toast in Satoshi Nakamoto’s health. Likewise, bankers seeking to open BTC trading desks and crypto whales can get along for once, leaving aside the differences between them, and celebrate the creation of Bitcoin.

Once again, none of us would be here without Satoshi Nakamoto and Bitcoin – and this includes the entire Crypto Insider staff, which would probably be making use of their university degrees for something much less exciting. So let’s celebrate this tenth anniversary with an armistice, and try not to argue as much as we usually do.

 

Crypto Insider has reached Satoshi Nakamoto for comment. At press time, he hasn’t responded.

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XRP Makes a 24% Monthly Decline, Among the Biggest in October

Ripple’s XRP was among the best performing cryptocurrencies in September. But the bullish sentiment hasn’t sustained well this month. The XRP-to-USD pair has recorded a 24 percent monthly loss as October heads to a close, falling from 0.5831-fiat to 0.4400-fiat. The coin got sold off to the tune of over $7 billion, despite being surrounded with strong

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Bitcoin At 10 Years Old: Industry Celebrates A Decade Of Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin is ten years old, and for one day only, the cryptocurrency industry is coming together to celebrate the “life-changing” event that gave the largest cryptocurrency to the world in 2010.


Ten Years Of Financial Freedom

The original Bitcoin whitepaper that started the cryptocurrency revolution turns ten today.

Bitcoin Whitepaper

It is rare to observe a lack of infighting in cryptocurrency – especially on social media – but Bitcoin’s tenth anniversary appears to have received unanimous positive reactions.

From analysts to traders to educators, businesses and exchanges, everyone involved in Bitcoin was (understandably) grateful for the largest cryptocurrency’s enduring fortunes against all odds.

“10 years ago a bunch of nerds came together and memed a global currency into existence,” Coin Center Neeraj K. Agrawal summarized in a popular tweet shared by names including Andreas Antonopoulos.

Bitcoin Doesn’t Care

Bitcoin’s humble, more ‘niche’ beginnings are often forgotten in the days of mass trading and prices which continue to hover in the thousands of dollars not tens of cents.

Bitcoin still has a majority cult following, but it is nothing like the cult of its first months and years.

“Back then, the technology was simply a concept, a potential vehicle for technological innovation and inspiration. Ten years later, we have a robust global community forging the path ahead, carrying the technology forward,” List co-founder Max Kordek continued in emailed comments.

(The) Blockchain industry has propelled Satoshi’s initial vision to new heights.

In 2018, Bitcoin is receiving attention from the world’s governments and financial elites. Some wish to interact with and acknowledge its status as an entity beyond centralized control; others seek to restrict or criminalize its use.

Regardless of differing treatment by nation states, however, the industry remains more confident than ever that the coming decade will see Bitcoin attain the prestige of traditional assets.

“Bitcoin has shown resilience over the past decade, and has managed to ride the wave of volatility,” Iqbal V. Gandham, UK managing director of fiat-crypto crossover trading platform eToro forecast.

“Looking ahead to its second decade, the price should fall in line with other assets, as its utility increases and it becomes the norm for transfers and payments.”

What do you think about Bitcoin’s first ten years? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter

The post Bitcoin At 10 Years Old: Industry Celebrates A Decade Of Cryptocurrency appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Crypto Market Update: Bitcoin (BTC) Under Pressure, Monero (XMR) & MIOTA Price Analysis

Cryptocurrency Price Analysis

From today’s high at $203,657,788,396 the evaluation of the cryptocurrency market capitalization has decreased to $202,702,519,769 at its lowest point today.

  • Market Cap: $203,096,345,080
  • 24h Vol: $10,543,044,075
  • BTC Dominance: 54.15%

Cryptocurrency Price Analysis

As the market slumps further down to the levels of most recent low around a $202B mark and has now recovered slightly, the prices of the major cryptocurrencies are showing mixed colors today with a small average percentage of change in the last 24 hours. Only Dentacoin is up by 18% which shows the irrationality of these markets and the improper evaluation models.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin’s market dominance is slightly up by 0.15% from yesterday which is as I always say inversely correlated with the market cap evaluation because in the time of uncertainty investors sell off their altcoins for Bitcoin in order to quickly close their crypto positions if a threat of the market capitalization depreciation imposes itself.

Bitcoin Price BTC/USD

The price of Bitcoin has fallen by 0.87% from yesterday’s high at $6380 to the current levels at $6326.

Looking at the hourly chart we can see that the yesterday’s high was an interaction with the bearish pennant’s resistance line and from there the price went on to break out from the triangle on the downside and made a lower low to $6315 and spiked further to $6303 but has now recovered slightly and is at the levels of the prior range support which now serves as resistance from which currently by the looks of it the price is getting rejected. I believe that now as the price gets rejected we are likely going to see price create a lower low again, heading down to the descending triangle’s resistance line.

Market sentiment 

Bitcoin is in the sell zone as indicated by the hourly chart technical indicators.

Pivot points

S3 6145.5
S2 6343.4
S1 6421.8
P 6541.3
R1 6619.7
R2 6739.2
R3 6937.1

Monero Price XMR/USD

From yesterday’s open at $102 the price of Monero has increased by 2.44%. Currently, the price is trading at $104.58 which is 3.31% recovery from the recent low on October 29. when the price was $101.336.

On the hourly chart, you can see my optimistic projection with an Elliott Wave correction count being WXYXZ. If this is the scenario the price is expected to create one more low from there it will continue the prior uptrend and potentially create higher highs from the one of the prior minor WXY correction at $128.

If this current correction however ended on the Y wave, we are then seeing another WXY in the opposite direction reaching the levels of where the second X wave is at $111. This scenario is pessimistic because in that case, the correction ended on the upside which means that the following trend diction is down.

In both cases, the short-term picture stays the same and is represented by the red brush layout. I am expecting more upside to approximately mid range from the second wave X after which the price to go below the minor horizontal support level which was also the support from the descending triangle previously broken.

Market sentiment  

Monero’s hourly chart technical indicators are signaling a buy.

Pivot points 

S3 90.857
S2 98.977
S1 101.843
P 107.097
R1 109.963
R2 115.217
R3 123.337

IOTA Price IOTA/USD

In the last couple of day’s the price of IOTA hasn’t changed much as it has been hovering around the levels of around $0.454

Looking at the hourly chart we can see that the price has interacted with the descending structure’s support level and has formed a cluster in a down leg. It is highly likely that the price will breakout from this descending structure from the downside but we might see an interaction with the resistance levels again around $0.4741-0471before the selling momentum pushes the price further below.

Market sentiment

MIOTA is in the sell zone.

Pivot points

S3 0.4136
S2 0.4511
S1 0.4653
P 0.4886
R1 0.5028
R2 0.5261
R3 0.5636

Conclusion

Now as the market is overruled with uncertainty the prices are likely going to experience sideways movement in the upcoming period before another drop will occur.

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Big Four Auditor EY Launches Zero-Knowledge System for Private Transactions on Ethereum

Ernst and Young has launched the prototype of a system that enables secure and private transactions to take place on the Ethereum public blockchain.

“Big Four” auditor Ernst and Young has launched the prototype of a system that enables secure and private transactions to take place on the Ethereum (ETH) public network, according to a press release Oct. 30.

The system, dubbed EY Ops Chain Public Edition (PE), uses zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) technology, an alternative algorithm for authenticating distributed ledger entries, in which transacting parties provide proof of validity, but all other information remains encrypted, including their identities.

The prototype is aimed at enterprises that wish to keep their transaction records private without having to resort to a permissioned, private network. Paul Brody, EY’s Global Innovation Leader, Blockchain, has outlined that:

“With zero-knowledge proofs, organizations can transact on the same network as their competition in complete privacy and without giving up the security of the public Ethereum blockchain."

The press release underscores that the $20 billion+ market cap Ethereum network offers enterprises a level of liquidity that “dwarfs” that of any existing permissioned blockchain, as well as removing the need for building an in-house private blockchain from scratch.

EY says it aims to “spur” enterprise blockchain adoption by supporting “both payment tokens and unique product and services tokens that are similar to the Ethereum ERC-20 and ERC-721 token standards.” Its offering extends to a prototype for a Private Transaction Monitor that captures transaction history for subsequent review.

Both EY Ops Chain PE and the EY Blockchain Private Transaction Monitor have reportedly been developed by EY blockchain labs in London and Paris and are still “with patents pending.” They are slated to be ready for full-scale product launch by 2019, the press release states.

Ethereum’s developers have long been working to support zero-knowledge proofs on the network, with Vitalik Buterin revealing in fall 2017 that a network upgrade had successfully verified a zero-knowledge “snark” proof on the Ropsten testnet.

Earlier this month, Dutch multinational banking and financial services corporation ING announced the release of its own more generalized open source blockchain tool, dubbed Zero-Knowledge Set Membership (ZKSM), which also aims to enable the validation of data on a blockchain with increased privacy.

Also this month, Ernst and Young released a stark report that analyzed data for the top initial coin offerings (ICOs) that raised capital in 2017, concluding they had “done little to inspire confidence” one year on.

Coinbase Exec Denies Plans for IPO ‘Any Time Soon,’ Reveals Plans to Add up to 300 Coins

Coinbase thinks that around 300 out of the total number of cryptocurrencies in existence currently are “worth” offering.

Major U.S. cryptocurrency exchange and wallet provider Coinbase will not perform an initial public offering (IPO) “any time soon,” the company’s President and COO Asiff Hirji told Bloomberg today, Oct. 31.

Speaking to Bloomberg TV, Hirji, who himself was the first to hint about the potential for an IPO in 2017, said that while the company would go public “at some point,” it was “not even close to the top” of its list of priorities. He confirmed to reporters today:

“There’s not going to be an IPO any time soon; we have so much to do.”

Last week, CNBC host Ran Neuner reignited rumors Coinbase would officially confirm its IPO plans after claiming his Crypto Trader show would be exclusively divulging the details Oct. 26.

This did not come to pass, however, Hirji instead saying executives wanted to “diversify revenue streams” across its various platforms in the coming years.

Coinbase was valued at $8 billion this week after completing a new funding round that raised $300 million.

Going forward, Hirji continued, Coinbase would seek to circumvent complex U.S. regulations on cryptocurrency tokens by offering non-residents more assets to trade.

“We offer seven [cryptocurrencies], so you should expect us to go from seven to that total number we think is worth it [200 - 300] over the next year or so,” he said, adding:

“Some things will be offered in the U.S., but more things will probably be offered outside the U.S.”

The move copies fellow exchange Bittrex, which announced the segregation of its U.S. and international client base this week via a separate platform registered in Malta.

‘Digital iD’: Australia Post Provides Quick KYC for Bitcoin Exchange Users

An unlikely story of partnership between old and new is unfolding in Australia as Australia Post, the country’s 209-year-old “snail mail” delivery service is using digital identification technology to enable cryptocurrency exchanges to carry out KYC checks in a matter of minutes, thereby vastly simplifying the process of purchasing crypto in Australia. Using Australia Post’s

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