The Daily: Goldman Sachs Invests in Wallet, Institutional Traders Borrow $553M

The Daily: Goldman Sachs Invests in Wallet, Institutional Traders Borrow $553M

In today’s edition of The Daily we cover stories about the latest investment in the cryptocurrency space by Goldman Sachs, the amount institutional traders borrowed in the last six months from just one OTC desk, research on state-sponsored hackers, and a new security tool from Coinbase.

Also Read: Security Giant G4S Offers Protected Offline Cryptocurrency Storage

Goldman Sachs Invests in Bitgo

The Daily: Goldman Sachs Invests in Wallet, Institutional Traders Borrow $553MBitgo, the cryptocurrency security and custody company, announced on Thursday the second close of its Series B funding round, bringing the total raised in this round to $57.5 million. The new investors who joined in the round are Goldman Sachs’ Principal Strategic Investments group and Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital Ventures. The funding is earmarked to supporting Bitgo’s wallet development.

“This strategic investment from Goldman Sachs and Galaxy Digital Ventures validates both our market opportunity and unique position,” said Bitgo CEO Mike Belshe. “No one is better positioned than Bitgo to serve institutional investors who want to trade cryptocurrencies and digital assets. That’s why we’re focused on figuring out what it takes to secure a trillion dollars. The market’s not there yet but our job is to be ready first.”

“Greater institutional participation in the digital asset markets requires secure and regulated custody solutions,” commented Rana Yared, a Managing Director of Goldman Sachs’ Principal Strategic Investments group. “We view our investment in Bitgo as an exciting opportunity to contribute to the evolution of this critical market infrastructure.”

Institutional Traders Borrowed $553M Since March

Genesis Global Trading is a registered broker-dealer with an over-the-counter (OTC) digital currency trading desk. The firm has revealed a meaningful increase in the number of market participants wanting to borrow or lend digital cryptocurrencies since the launch of its institutional lending business on March 1, 2018.

The Daily: Goldman Sachs Invests in Wallet, Institutional Traders Borrow $553M

The company reports that more than half a billion dollars passed through its lending desk since launch. This volume was across 11 assets and involved 60 institutional counterparties around the world. Additionally, its loan book stands at $130 million in active loans outstanding, which Genesis says has steadily grown over the year despite the bear market. Its clients include hedge funds, trading firms and companies that use cryptocurrencies as working capital.

North Korean Hackers to Target Crypto Miners Next?

The Daily: Goldman Sachs Invests in Wallet, Institutional Traders Borrow $553MGroup-IB, a company that specializes in preventing cyber attacks, recently introduced its 2018 cybercrime trends report which includes some interesting analysis on state-sponsored hackers and the cryptocurrency ecosystem. For starters, approximately 56% of all money siphoned off from ICO projects was stolen through phishing attacks.

And between 2017 and 2018, a total of 14 cryptocurrency exchanges have been robbed, suffering a total loss of $882 million. At least five of these attacks have been linked to North Korean hackers from the Lazarus state-sponsored group, with a combined loot of $571 million. Their victims were mainly located in South Korea. In addition to exchanges, the security researchers predict that major cryptocurrency miners may become the next target of state-sponsored hacking groups.

Coinbase Introduces Salus

Coinbase has introduced a recently developed programming tool called Salus. The software comprises a docker container that decides which security scanners to run, coordinates their configuration, and compiles the output into a single report. The company has made Salus open source on Github for other companies and teams to use.

Explaining the decision, Coinbase stated: “All software companies leverage open source software, and common languages and frameworks often have security scanners which can tremendously improve security. Tools like these help us to ship faster, and we are tremendously grateful for these open source efforts. It was in this spirit that Coinbase started its open source fund, a token of gratitude for this type of community-oriented work.”

What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

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World’s Biggest Banks Helped Clients Steal $63 Billion in Taxes in Europe

World's Biggest Banks Help Clients Steal $63 Billion in Taxes in Europe

Europe’s top banks allegedly helped wealthy clients across the continent steal 55 billion euros ($63 billion) from multiple governments by making tax reclaims to which they were not entitled, an investigation has revealed. The theft centred around a complex scheme of trading stocks that also involved hedge funds and large international commercial law firms.

Also read: $50 Million Bitcoin Mining Farm Opens in Armenia

Undercover Journalists Uncover ‘the Biggest Tax Swindle in the History of Europe.’

The undercover probe by 37 journalists from 12 countries shows that about a dozen European countries are affected by the tax scandal, but Belgium, Denmark and Germany were hardest hit. France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland have also seen some damage.

World’s Biggest Banks Help Clients Steal $63 Billion in Taxes in Europe

Dubbed the Cumex Files, the investigation reviewed 180,000 secret documents from banks, stock traders and law firms over a period of more than a year. Interviews with anonymous sources and whistleblowers provided extra detail. “They [the secret documents] demonstrated the extent to which banks and investors could reimburse taxes on stock deals that they did not have,” the Files said.

“These windy financial constructs are called cum-cum (cum means ‘dividend’). A domestic bank helps a foreign investor to get a tax refund that they are not entitled to. The profit is shared between the participants.”

A variant of the scheme, called ‘cum-ex’ (without dividend), would see traders refunded twice or, in severe cases, several times, by the state for taxes buyers or sellers of stock would have paid only once. Share ownership is often difficult to point out because of the complex structure of the schemes, which constitute a form of tax evasion or avoidance.

Both cum-cum and cum-ex went on for decades unnoticed due to different regulations within European Union member countries.

World’s Biggest Banks Help Clients Steal $63 Billion in Taxes in Europe

Mixed forms have emerged, the report says, “and new, even more aggressive mutations for which there are no names yet.” The investigative journalists claim that they have uncovered “the biggest tax swindle in the history of Europe.”

“It was a trade that was initially discovered by chance,” a separate video of the Cumex Files detailed. “Yet a group of masterminds turned it into an industrialized cottage industry, from Dubai to London, New York to Dublin taking billions of euros out of the pockets of European tax payers,” it said.

Banks in Up to Their Necks

The investigations revealed how some of the world’s biggest banks have been instrumental in aiding the tax fraud. UBS, BNP Paribas, Barclays, JPMorgan, Meryll Lynch, Banco Santander, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Swedish bank SEB have all been implicated.

They allegedly helped tax evaders drill a hole of around $2 billion in Danish state coffers. A tip-off from Danish authorities helped Sweden prevent more than 10 fraud attempts totaling 380 million kroner ($46 million), according to Swedish news agency Di. But that was not before local bank SEB allegedly received 70 million Swedish kroner ($7.8 million) for helping to conceal one billion Swedish kroner ($111 million) from the German treasury.

World’s Biggest Banks Help Clients Steal $63 Billion in Taxes in Europe

In Germany, where authorities halted cum-ex trading in 2012, the potential tax losses from cum-cum deals between 2001 and 2016 is anything upwards of 49.2 billion euros ($56.6 billion), according to a 2017 report.

Perpetrators told the investigating team that “it is legal to be reimbursed for taxes that were never paid.” However, governments “assume a tax abuse of design, if business is purely tax-motivated,” the Cumex Files explained.

“The deals are solely for the purpose of collecting taxpayers’ money. Otherwise, there is no value behind the trade,” said the investigators, adding that the schemes started to pick up around 2007 during the global financial crisis, “a time when the state will save the banks from collapse, again with taxpayers’ money.”

European lawmakers have called for an official investigation into the cases. “Tax theft is a crime against society. Europe cannot and must not tolerate this!” MPs in the European parliament said in an online statement.

What do you think about the Cumex Files findings? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com

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Bitcoinfiles.com Developers Launch Censorship-Resistant File Storage System

Bitcoinfiles.com Developers Launch Censorship-Resistant File Storage System

On Friday, Oct. 19, the developers of Bitcoinfiles.com launched the first official version of the product. Now anyone from around the globe can tether a file (5kb or less) to the BCH chain, ensuring its resistance to censorship.

Also Read: Bitcoin Ownership: Your Private Keys to Financial Sovereignty

File Storage Tethered to the Bitcoin Cash Blockchain

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) developers James Cramer, Attila Aros and ‘Hapticpilot’ have announced the launch of a working product called Bitcoinfiles.com, a platform that allows people to upload and download files tied to the BCH blockchain. Currently, the files allowed have to be small and the service only allows 5kb or less per upload. The programmers have added a $0.25 fee in order to process a BCH file upload. Downloading a file doesn’t cost anything and you can share the file’s URL with anyone you like.

Bitcoinfiles.com Developers Launch Censorship-Resistant File Storage System

Uploading and Downloading Timothy May’s Timeless Manifesto

Bitcoinfiles.com Developers Launch Censorship-Resistant File Storage System Experimenting with Bitcoinfiles.com is fairly intuitive if you are able to operate a BCH wallet and are familiar with uploading files to hosting sites. Basically, users simply press the upload button and can browse their operating system for files under 5kb. In order to test the platform, news.Bitcoin.com copy and pasted the entire text from Timothy May’s Crypto Anarchist Manifesto text into a rich text file (rtf) which ended up being roughly 4kb in size.

After pressing the upload button and choosing a file, the user has to accept a disclaimer which basically states that Bitcoinfiles.com is not responsible for illicit behavior. After accepting the disclaimer, you can pay for the file upload ($0.25 + network fee) either by using the Money Button or using a QR code and the text from a traditional address.

Bitcoinfiles.com Developers Launch Censorship-Resistant File Storage System

After whipping out the trusty Bitcoin.com Wallet, the QR was scanned without error and I paid the fee. Almost instantly after the invoice was paid the platform showed me it was uploading my file. The upload took less than a minute and the Bitcoin Files application dispersed a BCH blockchain URL at the end. Users can also view uploads on the website’s file explorer powered by Bitdb 2.0. The manifesto was there, showing a timestamp of approximately 16:59 UTC and the file’s hash as well. After the upload was complete, I then pressed the download file button on the website to choose from all the uploaded files on the network. Using the URL from the previous manifesto rtf file upload, the platform downloaded the file very quickly, with no charge for downloads.

Bitcoinfiles.com Developers Launch Censorship-Resistant File Storage System

Files That Endure the Test of Time

The implications of a project like Bitcoinfiles.com could be massive as the platform can allow anyone to create an uncensorable file that’s forever tied to the BCH chain. The protocol does not require any registering or identification and files could be uploaded by anonymous whistleblowers, journalists, and anyone else who wants to save files in an immutable fashion. However, some may think a concept like this could be problematic if people were to upload illegal or taboo material and malicious data. The project is open source and the protocol could be integrated elsewhere. so it’s possible files could be uploaded and extracted without depending on the Bitcoinfiles.com platform as well.

What do you think about Bitcoinfiles.com? Let us know what you think about this project in the comments section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Bitcoinfiles.com, and Jamie Redman.


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Bitcoin Intentions: Are We Aiming to Replace the Status Quo or Become Them?

Bitcoin Intentions: Are We Aiming to Replace the Status Quo or Become Them?

When the idea of a working digital currency like bitcoin was introduced, many of its early adopters disliked the current bureaucratic system, with a cartel of bankers pulling the world’s monetary strings. Over time, however, something weird has happened and the idea of permissionless innovation perverted into people literally asking nation states for permission, begging for ETFs, and creating a settlement layer for the ‘new 1%.’

Also Read: Bitcoin Ownership: Your Private Keys to Financial Sovereignty

Bitcoin Changed Everything — But Some People Want to Pervert the Original Goals

Over the last two decades, there’s been a growing faction of anarchists, libertarians, and freedom fighters aiming to change the world. They have become fed up with the sociopaths leading the world into never-ending conflicts and are tired of the central banks printing massive amounts of fiat, devaluing currencies, and causing hyperinflation.

Bitcoin Intentions: Are We Aiming to Replace the Status Quo or Become Them?

Then, after the 2008 economic crisis, a technological innovation called Bitcoin was born, allowing users a medium of exchange that couldn’t be censored. For the first time ever, a software-derived currency gained value, even though it wasn’t backed by a single individual, corporation or nation-state.

Bitcoin Intentions: Are We Aiming to Replace the Status Quo or Become Them?
Many people believe cryptocurrencies are meant to end the nation state’s and central bank’s rule over money.

Back in the early days, on Bitcointalk.org and developer IRC channels, Satoshi and other developers discussed many ideas that revolved around removing central authorities. On Feb. 11, 2009, Satoshi posted to the Foundation for Peer to Peer Alternatives (P2P Foundation) introducing his software to the world. Within that specific post, the software’s creator explained that most commerce now relies on third parties and financial institutions that ultimately can’t be trusted.

“Banks must be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with barely a fraction in reserve,” Satoshi explained. “We have to trust them with our privacy, trust them not to let identity thieves drain our accounts.”

From this point on, not only did Satoshi’s idea changed the entire way people had thought about money, but the entire concept of trusting a third party was turned upside down for those who listened. During Bitcoin’s infancy, there were no discussions of exchange-traded funds (ETF) backed by corporate entities like Cboe and Vaneck. Network fees were a penny or less for the network’s first few years and at that time anyone could send micro-transactions across the globe. But since then, BTC fees have fluctuated wildly, effectively censoring people in developing nations, from time to time, who can’t afford higher fees. This makes the network undesirable for remittances.

Bitcoin Intentions: Are We Aiming to Replace the Status Quo or Become Them?
How can BTC be censorship resistant if network fees censor more than half of the world?

Long ago, no one cared about Wall Street deals from Bakkt and institutional money flocking towards bitcoin. Satoshi talked about privacy, Tor and I2P integration back then — not shaking hands with the devil. Most people talked about using bitcoin to remove central authorities in banking, content publishing, music, tipping, domain services using .bit, and literally anywhere they could think of on the open web.

Taboo Talks of Darknets, Avoiding Taxes, and Even Remittances Has Been Replaced With the Need for Status Quo Acceptance

For a while now, these ideas have since been silenced by loud discussions of futures markets, politicians accepting bitcoin, and Wall Street thieves swapping BTC paper notes. Talking about things like darknet markets and the Silk Road is deemed ‘too taboo’ for the masses hoping and praying for elected officials to define bitcoin as ‘money.’

The malaise started in 2015 when blockchain hype jumped into light speed and more people began begging the state for cryptocurrency acceptance. Can you believe people ask permission from bureaucrats to use a permissionless currency? Instead of donating funds to Wikileaks, Antiwar, and other activists on the front lines, people now clap feverishly when they hear Goldman Sachs is contemplating a trading desk.

Bitcoin Intentions: Are We Aiming to Replace the Status Quo or Become Them?
My interview with Cody Wilson back in 2015.

We have not yet realized that institutional money does not equate to mass adoption. For some odd reason, many people believe that once big money players jump in on bitcoin, the demand will skyrocket. They grow excited any time a financial incumbent enters the ‘blockchain space’, thinking that this lead to a significant network effect. These individuals seem to forget how small the financial elite is within this world, and they are forgetting or ignoring the massive amounts of people who could use a hard currency without a third party. One would think that mass adoption begins with the people who need it the most — the unbanked. Some people will recall that at one time the remittance industry was regarded as a prime sector for bitcoin to dominate, but nowadays cross-border payments are a distant memory.

Bitcoin Intentions: Are We Aiming to Replace the Status Quo or Become Them?
Anarchist Amir Taaki has been very vocal against the current thought leaders and dogmatic followers.

There are certain thought leaders who are pushing a new agenda for Bitcoin technology. Many of these clowns disingenuously imply that the unbanked will be able to use bitcoin despite its high fees. Developers using sophistry act like meritocracy has elevated them to their positions. In fact, they’ve created a disgusting technocracy applauded by those prone to confirmation bias and circular logic.

Bitcoin Intentions: Are We Aiming to Replace the Status Quo or Become Them?
In the Bitcoin space ‘thought leaders’ have grown in number. 

Thankfully, they don’t seem to have anticipated the blowback they’ve instigated. The cult of Bitcoin personalities is slowly losing power but it will take time to dissipate. Over the past year, after 2017’s absurd comments about high fees being good for settlement, these individuals have started to promote using fiat over bitcoin.

People should start looking at the early days of Bitcoin again. They should re-read old forum posts and discussions concerning how it was once the goal to remove the world’s money from the state and central banks. Back then people followed a philosophy that aimed for consistent freedom, but the get-rich mentality and permission-seeking mindset has proven pernicious.

As John Lennon once said, it’s easy to become the status quo when you are entrenched in trying to replace them. Bitcoin deserves better.

What do you think about the original philosophy of the early adopters and cypherpunks being replaced by visions of joining the status quo? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.

OP-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support views, opinions or conclusions drawn in this post. 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.


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter, Banksy, and Pixabay. 


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Wendy McElroy: Crypto Anarchism and Civil Society – The Technology is the Revolution

Crypto Anarchism and Civil Society - The Technology is the Revolution

The Satoshi Revolution: A Revolution of Rising Expectations
Section 5: Saving the World Through Anarchism
Chapter 11, Part 3
Crypto Anarchism and Civil Society. The Technology is the Revolution.
by Wendy McElroy

Not only is democracy mystical nonsense, it is also immoral. If one man has no right to impose his wishes on another, then ten million men have no right to impose their wishes on the one, since the initiation of force is wrong (and the assent of even the most overwhelming majority can never make it morally permissible). Opinions—even majority opinions—neither create truth nor alter facts. A lynch mob is democracy in action.

–Morris Tannehill, The Market for Liberty

The simplicity of anarchism is stunning: live and let live. Do not use force against those who also pursue their own lives.

Most people are anarchists in how they conduct daily life with family, associates, and strangers. Whether or not law enforcement is present, most people behave peacefully, and being violent never occurs to them. It is not a police presence that makes people wake their children for breakfast or greet their neighbors on the sidewalk. Legislation does not persuade them not to murder strangers. Civil society does. It manifests the natural harmony of interests between human beings as they interact and separate to pursue their own self-interests.

Violence is the greatest obstacle to the functioning of civil society, especially violence in the form of a state. Just as society consists of individuals cooperating to achieve their own goals, the state consists of individuals who use force for the same purpose; they want wealth and status without earning it. That’s the key difference between the two forms of social organization. With cooperation, both sides benefit from an exchange, or else it does not occur. With violence, one side benefits at the expense of the other; it is might versus the right of people to enjoy their own bodies and property.

In order to continue the flow of unearned benefits, a state must continue to use force or the threat thereof. A successful state does two things: it institutionalizes violence; and it mimics civil society by monopolizing valuable services that would otherwise exist commercially and competitively, such as the adjudication of disputes. The monopoly itself is an act of violence against competitors and so-called customers. The two maneuvers allow the state to embed and to legitimize its power. Individual consent is gradually replaced by state coercion, and the principles of civil society are slowly eroded.

Individuals are vulnerable to the institutionalized and well-organized violence of the state. This is a paradox. The state exists only because individuals produce wealth that it confiscates and regulates. How does the impotent state retain its control over the power of individuals? Why don’t people say “no”?

Part of the answer is the centralization of state violence that intimidates people into the mockery of ongoing cooperation that is called obedience. State violence is centralized into institutions that coordinate the control of society; that is, they control individual exchanges and whatever benefits result. By contrast, individuals are decentralized; most people go about their own business and sleep in their own beds at night. They band together in larger homogeneous groups only when there is an advantage to doing so, such as producing goods or enjoying community. Banding together—centralizing–against state violence means that the violence has become egregious enough for people to disrupt their own lives and risk injury in order to oppose it.

Modern technology is more than a game changer in this dynamic; it is a game reversal. Cryptocurrency epitomizes this. The state centralizes control of wealth through institutions, such as central banking, and a monopoly on the services they provide. Crypto decentralizes the locus of power down to the level of individuals; it gives them back control over their own exchanges. Remember: civil society is the cumulative exchanges of the individuals within it; the state is the cumulative use of force to control those exchanges. Technology returns individuals to the conditions of civil society without a need to relinquish its benefits or to fear violence from the state.


Decentralizing The Revolution

Civil society is empowered and state violence is rendered impotent by three revolutionary steps, each of which occurs due to a radical decentralization of power.

Encryption returns privacy to the individual. Strong cryptography is the antithesis of the massive data collection that states rush to establish. Centralized data allows the state to regulate every activity within a society; gradually, society and the state merge into one unit called the total state. But individuals who control their own data can control their own lives.

The impact of this decentralization is much more than economic. It does more than deprive the state of taxes and other forms of revenue. The technology is a political revolution in and of itself. Consider one example. Modern technology—from encryption to the blockchain to 3-D printers—obsoletes the geographical borders that define a state; namely, a state is the organization that claims a monopoly or jurisdiction of force over a given territory. Its jurisdiction is defended through harsh border policies and tariffs, as well as through military force, if necessary or opportune. But what happens when individuals can leap continents at will to conduct the daily business of exchanging information and wealth? What happens when they do so without permission and privately, simply by pressing a button? Borders become meaningless. How long before states follow suit?

The founding crypto anarchist, Timothy May, considered the boundary-breaking feature important enough to be the opening paragraph of his pivotal 1994 work “Crypto Anarchy and Virtual Communities.” May wrote, “The combination of strong, unbreakable public key cryptography and virtual network communities in cyberspace will produce interesting and profound changes in the nature of economic and social systems. Crypto anarchy is the cyberspatial realization of anarcho-capitalism, transcending national boundaries and freeing individuals to make the economic arrangements they wish to make consensually.”

Technology sidesteps trusted third parties. The state exerts control through monopoly institutions with which individuals must comply if they want to participate in what remains of civil society. The central banking system is an example. In partnership, the state and the banks create money and monetary policies that are enforced by draconian laws; some nations punish counterfeiting with death. The money monopoly offers the state more than economic benefits, such as taxation and inflation. The data collected by banks is a mainstay of social control in two ways. The information and detailed records of every financial transaction are shared with the state, which uses it for social control. Those who eschew the banking system, along with those who are denied access by the system itself, are shut out of important aspects of civil society and from “services” offered by the state; they become secondary citizens. This, too, is social control.

Again, peer-to-peer technology is a game changer here. It sidesteps the trusted third party problem by providing banking services without an intermediary. Individuals become self-bankers, who exchange wealth through their own wallets and an autonomous network. If sophisticated monetary exchanges are desired, then a self-banker can hold an amount in a decentralized and reputable exchange for as long as the transaction requires. Privacy is maintained, and control of specified wealth is temporarily relinquished in exchange for a benefit. This is as close as crypto comes to needing a trusted third party. And, ideally, the decentralized exchange is worthy of trust, in the same manner as a private lawyer who facilitates a contract.

Bypassing unwanted intermediaries was the intent behind the blockchain. Satoshi Nakamoto announced this feature in the first lines of his 2008 White Paper, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” Satoshi wrote, “A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution. Digital signatures provide part of the solution, but the main benefits are lost if a trusted third party is still required…”

Freedom no longer requires consensus or groundswell support. This is a comparatively unacknowledged aspect of crypto’s revolutionary impact: the decentralization of revolution down to the individual level. In traditional revolutions, masses of people take to the street after being convinced of the need to rebel. A crypto revolution does not require the centralization of political awareness or resistance within crowds of people who become powerful enough to confront the state. Decentralized individuals can free themselves, one by one, even if they remain a small minority. The more individuals who choose digital exchanges and decentralizing technology, the greater the impact on society will be.

But crypto will never appeal to everyone. Nor should it. The diversity of human beings is too vital and productive to be reined in. The beauty of a radically decentralized revolution is that it succeeds on an individual level; it has no need for consensus rebellion in the streets or collective action at the ballot boxes. Just as crypto anarchy sidesteps trusted third parties, it also bypasses the traditional means by which individuals can achieve freedom.

Everyone can be a self-banker. Everyone can be a self-revolution.


A Mystery Is Solved

The vision of crypto anarchism makes sense of what must be a mystery to many observers: Why did the creators of crypto, the blockchain, and associated technology release their inventions for free? Why was highly-valuable technology thrown to the wind and dispersed like seeds? It was not because crypto anarchists didn’t realize the technology’s potential. Quite the opposite. They saw it clearly.

Crypto anarchists believe that enabling others to control their own lives is an unalloyed “good.” Each person’s peaceful freedom benefits that of everyone else. It creates the community and world in which the crypto anarchists wish to live. The crypto revolutionaries released the technology in the same manner and for the same reason that people teach others how to read. Literacy enriches both individuals and society as a whole. It is not possible for a cynic to explain why the the incredibly valuable phenom of crypto was given away for free. It is a trivial task for idealists.


The State’s Main Chance 

Violence. Violence is how the state maintains itself; it is also the main hope to defeat the threat of crypto freedom. To do so, the state needs to convince people that crypto is the violent factor. Then, the state must convince people that it is what stands between them and “anarchy,” in every bad sense of that word.

There is a grain of truth to the statist claim. All societies contain violence because it is an aspect of human nature. With crypto, the violence is overwhelmingly expressed through fraud and theft. “How can the damage of violence be reined in and rectified?” is always last question asked of peaceful anarchism. And, then, discussion is closed down. It is now time to consider how law enforcement and a court system could be provided by the free market.

[To be continued next week.]

Reprints of this article should credit bitcoin.com and include a link back to the original links to all previous chapters


Wendy McElroy has agreed to ”live-publish” her new book The Satoshi Revolution exclusively with Bitcoin.com. Every Saturday you’ll find another installment in a series of posts planned to conclude after about 18 months. Altogether they’ll make up her new book ”The Satoshi Revolution”. Read it here first.

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Bitcoin Cash Merchant Directory Marco Coino Surpasses 500 Listings

Over the last year bitcoin cash adoption has been thriving and in certain regions, BCH merchants are spreading like wildfire. Thanks to a slew of cryptocurrency payment processors and people pressing for adoption there are thousands of BCH accepting merchants these days. One application called Marco Coino helps bitcoiners find BCH brick-and-mortar retailers on a global map and the platform now hosts over 500 known merchants.

Also read: New Qart Wallet Gives Bitcoin Cash QR Codes a Personal Touch

Finding Brick-and-Mortar Bitcoin Cash Merchants With Marco Coino

Bitcoin Cash Merchant Directory Marco Coino Surpasses 500 ListingsGetting merchants to accept bitcoin cash (BCH) and spreading global adoption is a big deal to a lot of digital asset proponents. For a while now, many retailers have been turned on to BCH because of enthusiasts spreading adoption, low fees, fast settlement and there’s also been a variety of payment processors helping progress the cause. With all the BCH accepting merchants popping up, one application called Marco Coino provides people with the means to find nearby merchants that accept bitcoin cash. The platform has been around for a few months now and has been steadily gaining more listings nearly every day. At the time of publication, there are 504 BCH accepting merchants located on the Marco Coino global map.

Bitcoin Cash Merchant Directory Marco Coino Surpasses 500 Listings
Marco Coino can be viewed in both ‘map’ and ‘satellite’ settings.

The Marco Coino application is available for mobile phones using Android and iOS and the platform has a desktop version as well. The desktop version explains the project is focused on “helping Bitcoin Cash become the global, instant, practically free payment network for everyday use by everyone around the world.” The Marco Coino map of the world can be viewed in ‘map’ or ‘satellite’ mode, but in order for the platform to use the user’s specific location, the owner has to approve the permissions using the operating system’s location services.

Bitcoin Cash Merchant Directory Marco Coino Surpasses 500 Listings
Users can submit a merchant to be added to the Marco Coino listings.

Bitcoin Cash Adoption Shines in Slovenia, Columbia, North Queensland, and Japan

Right now there are strong concentrations of merchants in the US, Europe, South America, Africa, and many countries in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. Looking closer at the global map, people can see there are even more concentrated areas in places like Japan, North Queensland, Columbia, the east and west coasts of the United States, and a ton of merchants in Slovenia. In addition to the merchant map, Marco Coino users can also submit a specific retailer to be listed on the platform so users can easily find the location. The platform also has linking abilities where links can be tied to locations and places in Marco Coino.

Bitcoin Cash Merchant Directory Marco Coino Surpasses 500 Listings
Some of the most concentrated areas of BCH merchants worldwide include Japan, North Queensland, Columbia, and Slovenia.

The Marco Coino bitcoin cash merchant directory is very helpful when searching for physical locations that accept BCH for goods and services. The application’s list of merchants is regularly updated and users can literally see new merchants popping up in great number. The creator of Marco Coino, Brendon Duncan, explained to news.Bitcoin.com that most of the recent growth has stemmed from Slovenia and Colombia.

What do you think about the Marco Coino bitcoin cash merchant directory? Let us know your thoughts about this subject in the comments section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Marco Coino, Jamie Redman, and Pixabay.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com

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10 Days That Shook the World of Bitcoin

10 Days That Shocked the World of Bitcoin

When Bitcoin’s history is written, the following events will command a chapter apiece. Bitcoin is a creeping revolution that does not lend itself to listicles, and thus any such attempt is destined to fall short. What follows, therefore, is a potted history of a transformative technology whose greatest moments have yet to come. In chronological order, these are the days that shook Bitcoin to its core.

Also read: Cypherpunk Essentials: A Beginner’s Guide to Crypto Privacy

Satoshi’s Final Bow, December 12, 2010

10 Days That Shook the World of BitcoinOne of the most significant days in Bitcoin happened before most people had even heard of it. Dec. 12, 2010 didn’t startle the community at the time, but the date would go down as the most pivotal since the mining of the genesis block. That’s the day when Satoshi Nakamoto composed his final Bitcointalk post and then quietly checked out, never to be publicly heard of again.

One day prior, he’d objected to Wikileaks using bitcoin to circumvent its Visa blockade, writing: “It would have been nice to get this attention in any other context. Wikileaks has kicked the hornet’s nest, and the swarm is headed towards us.” We will likely never know why Satoshi left, other than the vague message he dictated to Mike Hearn in his final email on Apr. 23, 2011: “I’ve moved on to other things.”

Silk Road Bust, October 2, 2013

It’s hard to convey just how big of a role Silk Road played in mainstreaming Bitcoin, and how indebted we are to a mild-mannered pacifist now serving life without parole for the crime of being a tech visionary. (Okay, and for creating a market where you could buy every illegal drug under the sun.)  Oct. 2, 2013, is the day Ross Ulbricht’s ingenious creation fell, when an FBI bust saw the 29-year-old wrestled to the ground in a San Francisco library as he was logged in to the server.

10 Days That Shook the World of Bitcoin

The familiar Silk Road login screen gave way to the FBI’s smug seizure notice and bitcoin shed 25 percent of its value, falling to $109 in the aftermath. BTC has since recovered 60 times over, but for those who supported Silk Road and its swashbuckling captain Dread Pirate Roberts, things have never been the same since.

Bitcoin Hits $1,000, November 27, 2013

There are many all-time highs that might warrant inclusion in this list – BTC hitting $100, just seven months earlier, being one:

That day felt epic, but $1,000 was entering the realm of fantasy. Bitcoiners hadn’t dreamed the milestone might be reached so soon. It was only later that Mt Gox’s role in inflating BTC with the aid of its Willy trading bot came to light. This knowledge has done nothing, however, to dampen the memories of $1,000 bitcoin sticking two fingers up at the establishment.

Bitcoinity.org was where everyone checked the price of BTC in the age before Blockfolio, widgets and push notifications. When bitcoin hit $1,000, the site moved the decimal point three places to the left because the USD price was taking up too much screen space.

The Death of Mt Gox, February 24, 2014

10 Days That Shook the World of BitcoinDespite five years having passed since Bitcoin’s Titanic event, and restitution finally made, the sinking of Mt Gox is still a sore point for early adopters who lost funds in the insolvent exchange. It had been evident for weeks that something was wrong with Gox, but its spectacular collapse still induced shock and anger followed by lingering acrimony. The demise of Mt Gox plunged bitcoin into a downward spiral it took years to recover from.

Craig Wright Is Satoshi Nakamoto, May 2, 2016

10 Days That Shook the World of Bitcoin
Wright, on the day he revealed himself to be Satoshi Nakamoto

Many people have identified or been doxxed as Satoshi Nakamoto, but only two incidents gained global attention. Newsweek’s false dox of Dorian Nakamoto in March 2014 was noteworthy, but it pales in significance to the day Craig Wright stepped forward to claim the mantle, after Wired had first suggested the connection a few months earlier.

Gavin Andresen verified the digital signature, mainstream media swooped and Craig Wright basked in the adulation. Then the narrative began to fall apart. The evidence linking Wright to Satoshi was quickly debunked, turning Wright into a pariah dubbed “Faketoshi.” While a dwindling band of followers still believes Wright may have been involved in Bitcoin’s creation, few grant his claim to be Satoshi himself any credence.

The DAO, June 17, 2016

Like the Silk Road bust, The DAO technically wasn’t about Bitcoin. And yet the collapse of Ethereum’s flagship project, following the theft of $50 million in ether from its smart contract, reverberated throughout the entire industry, prompting Vitalik Buterin to assemble an online crisis meeting with exchange bosses in a bid to limit the fallout. “OK can you guys stop trading,” he implored and a meme was born. Ethereum eventually recovered, but not before a chain rollback and a hard fork. Bitcoin maximalism gained some new supporters that day, many of whom have remained wary of ETH ever since.

The Fall of BTC-e, July 25, 2017

10 Days That Shook the World of BitcoinWhen Alexander Vinnik was arrested in Greece in July of 2017 at the behest of the U.S. Justice Department, the market didn’t even blink. By then, the Russian’s shady exchange had long ceased to be relevant, but its importance in the history of cryptocurrency remains significant.

BTC-e was where traders cut their teeth. It was a no-KYC, no-questions-asked outpost, the last wild west town of its kind. It was where the original pump and dumps were orchestrated, led by pseudonymous kids with names like Fontas manipulating shitcoins with names like peercoin, long before shitcoin was even a word. It’s also where a vast chunk of Mt Gox’s stolen bitcoins were allegedly laundered. BTC-e was a den of iniquity and it had to go, but that doesn’t mean its legendary trollbox won’t be missed by those who frequented it at its peak.

The Birth of Bitcoin Cash, August 1, 2017

10 Days That Shook the World of BitcoinThe events surrounding Segwit’s lock-in, on July 21, 2017, and Bitcoin’s hard fork, less than a fortnight later, were momentous for all kinds of reasons. It had been unclear, in the run-up, whether enough miners would signal support for Segwit, but in the end the proposal comfortably passed. The sense of uncertainty was palpable, exacerbated by apocalyptic warnings, in the build-up, of fatal chain splits and market meltdown. In the end, Bitcoin became two, Segwit activated, and while the factions remain as polarized as ever, both parties got something out of the deal at least: Segwit for small blockers and Bitcoin Cash for the big.

The Cashening, December 19, 2017

10 Days That Shook the World of BitcoinFor a few crazy hours last December, it looked as if Bitcoin Cash might actually cause one of the greatest upsets in the history of cryptocurrency and become the dominant Bitcoin chain by market cap. In the end, the trading frenzy, fueled by zero-fee South Korean exchanges, Coinbase botching its BCH listing announcement, and a good deal of FOMO, The Cashening lost steam around the time the price of BCH reached 0.25 BTC. A lot of cryptocurrency was won and lost on the internet that day, as the bitcoin brigades put ideological differences aside and traded like their lives depended on it.

$20,000 BTC, December 17, 2017

The weighted average for bitcoin’s all-time high officially stands at $20,089 according to Onchainfx, though on some exchanges the cryptocurrency stopped just shy of the 20k mark before backing down. Through November and December of 2017, every day was filled with giddiness, over-exuberance, ridiculous headlines and all the other signs that, in hindsight, pointed towards a market that was way overbought. It was a fun time though, for coiners, nocoiners and bemused onlookers alike. We may never see such a frenzy again … until the next bull run that is. 10 Days That Shook the World of Bitcoin

Bitcoin Core Fees Hit Record High, December 22, 2017

One of the reasons why Bitcoin hard-forked in the summer of 2017 was due to disagreement over increasing the block size. Blockstream and its cadre of Core developers favored a maximum of 2MB blocks, despite the fact that the network was overloaded and fees were getting ridiculous. While Bitcoin Cash provided a solution for those who favored larger blocks, Bitcoin Core doggedly stuck to its path, culminating in average fees hitting $55 on Dec. 22, and a median high of $34.10 a day later.

What other historic days in Bitcoin’s history deserved to have made this list? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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New Qart Wallet Gives Bitcoin Cash QR Codes a Personal Touch

New Qart Wallet Gives Bitcoin Cash QR Codes a Personal Touch

There’s a new bitcoin cash wallet under construction called Qart, a light client that provides the ability to create human-recognizable QR codes using any image. The wallet is currently available for Android devices in its beta phase, but users can experiment with the application before the official launch.

Also read: Report: Emerging Markets See Sharp Growth in Cashless Transactions

Qart Personalizes QR Codes for Bitcoin Cash

New Qart Wallet Gives Bitcoin Cash QR Codes a Personal TouchKim Jinyrul is a developer from South Korea who recently published the beta version of a new bitcoin cash (BCH) wallet that offers the ability to modify address QR codes. Jinyrul thinks that QR code technology used in traditional cryptocurrency wallets needs to change so they become more recognizable and personal to the owner. Qart wallet was created to offer this feature to bitcoin cash users and the platform’s addresses can be tied to a customized QR code with a picture of anything the user desires. In a recent interview with the blogger Jared Schlar, the Qart wallet developer explained that the idea was conceived so people can recognize which wallet is theirs by identifying the pictures attached to them.

“As you know, a person can not see any information by just looking at a QR code. I thought it would be more interesting and meaningful to share QR if it could show the personality of the owner,” Jinyrul detailed in his interview with Schlar.

New Qart Wallet Gives Bitcoin Cash QR Codes a Personal Touch
The main account and settings section on Qart wallet.

Experimenting With Qart’s Beta Software

New Qart Wallet Gives Bitcoin Cash QR Codes a Personal TouchAfter reading about the Qart wallet, news.Bitcoin.com decided to test the BCH client and made a few custom and recognizable QR codes. The wallet is currently available on the Google Play store for Android mobile devices and tablets, but the Google store warns the app is “unreleased.” This means the platform is still in its beta phase, but can still be downloaded and tested. After opening the platform, the user must agree to a disclaimer. The statement explains the wallet needs to be backed up as it is a non-custodial client and also details the app is still in its nascent stages.

The wallet then creates a BCH wallet, which takes about 30 seconds, and the user is granted access to the first account. Like many other wallets out there, the Qart client syncs with the Bitcoin Cash chain in order to identify transactions. This process took about eight minutes to complete and subsequently less time after the first connection. The Qart wallet is very simple looking and akin to other BCH wallets like the Handcash and Cashpay platforms.

After backing up the seed phrase and observing the main account, there is a little editor pencil on the top right-hand side of the screen. This pencil tab allows you to create a custom QR code for any address on the wallet and many different addresses can be generated. At first, the wallet supplies the address with a generic bitcoin cash QR code, which can also be tethered to the wallet’s addresses. If the user wants to upload a custom image, they simply press the editor pencil and upload a fresh picture. The Qart wallet needs permission to access device files and the camera in order to execute this process.

New Qart Wallet Gives Bitcoin Cash QR Codes a Personal Touch
Experimenting with Qart’s beta wallet and creating a few customized QR codes.

BCH Developers Are Using Handles and Recognizable QR Codes to Entice the Masses

Pictures can be cropped and the amount of QR code pixels can be chosen as well for a variety of different looks. After saving the custom QR codes, the user can share them online through the wallet or save the image for another use case. After making a few Banksy-esque QR codes, the images were tested with the Bitcoin.com Wallet and the codes scanned without error.

There’s been a lot of innovation in this regard, with BCH wallets using unique ways to make the software more friendly to mainstream users. Many of these concepts are using handles or names tied to a wallet’s protocol instead of using long alphanumeric addresses. Human recognizable QR codes definitely add a personal touch and provide a unique way of identifying BCH addresses.

What do you think about the Qart wallet? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse this product/service. This application is in beta and not the official launch. Review editorials are intended for informational purposes only.  Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com or the author 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 content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images via Qart wallet, Banksy art, and Jamie Redman.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com

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Bitconnect Faces Consolidated Class Action Complaint

Bitconnect Faces Consolidated Class Action Complaint

More than a dozen lawsuits targeting Bitconnect have been merged into a single case, following the submission of an Amended Consolidated Class Action Complaint on Thursday. The newly combined complaint has been filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Also Read: Venezuela Authorizes 6 Exchanges to Sell National Cryptocurrency Petro

Amendment Combines
All Lawsuits Into a Single Case

Bitconnect Faces Consolidated Class Action ComplaintThe consolidated complaint comprises a class action suit that has been filed on behalf of a range of entities and individuals. All parties in the suit claim to have suffered financially after transferring fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies to Bitconnect to invest in BCC tokens, as well as the Bitconnect Investment Programs.

According to attorney David Silver of law firm Silver Miller, which has been named the “Class Counsel” of the case, the consolidated complaint combines all of the lawsuits that have been filed against Bitconnect into one suit. Miller said that the new consolidated lawsuit also names Bitconnect owners and promoters that were not previously targeted in the initial legal complaints.

“As more information has become available, we have learned about more individuals involved in the rampant fraud associated with Bitconnect,” Silver explained. “The Amended Consolidated Class Action Complaint highlights those actors who participated in the creation of Bitconnect and the promoters of Bitconnect. The amount of fraud, and the amount of investment loss in such a short period of time is staggering. We hope to move the lawsuit along as fast as possible and hold as many people accountable both in the United States and abroad.”

Plaintiffs Accuse Youtube of Negligence

Bitconnect Faces Consolidated Class Action ComplaintThe amended lawsuit claims the Bitconnect Lending Program and the Bitconnect Staking Program were “fraudulent Ponzi/pyramid schemes.” It also accuses the company of using “multilevel affiliate markets” to promote its investment programs.

“Several of the promoter defendants had partnerships with Youtube pursuant to which the Bitconnect Defendants disseminated fraudulent and harmful content to unsuspecting victims across the globe,” the law firm stated in the amended filing. “Youtube was negligent in failing to warn those victims of the harmful content, for which Youtube compensated their creators and publishers.”

In addition, the legal team claimed that the company “cloaked” its promotional materials in “technological sophistication and jargon” to run a deceptively “simple” fraudulent operation. “Victims would invest in the Bitconnect Investment Programs after they were driven to Bitconnect as a result of profitable partnerships the promoter defendants had with Youtube,” it said. “Bitconnect would then pay existing investors with new money from new investors, who were in turn expected and incentivized to get more new investors to produce more new money for Bitconnect.”

The plaintiffs seek to recover all of the funds they claim to have lost. In a statement, Miller said such an outcome would be “ideal.”

Do you agree that Youtube was negligent in compensating Bitconnect promoters and failing to warn prospective investors of their “harmful content?” Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


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US Marshals Service Announces Auction of 660 BTC

US Marshals Service Announces Upcoming Auction of 660 BTC

The United States Marshals Service (USMS) has announced an auction of 660 BTC that is scheduled to take place on Nov. 4. Under the auction rules, interested participants must formally identify themselves to the USMS and submit deposits of $200,000.

Also Read: Trump Tariffs to Impact Chinese Mining Hardware Manufacturers

USMS to Auction Forfeited BTC in Seven ‘Blocks’

US Marshals Service Announces Upcoming Auction of 660 BTCThe auction is scheduled to take place across two “series” and seven “blocks.” The “Series A” portion is set to comprise six individual auctions of 100 BTC each, while the “Series B” round will involve a single auction for the remaining 60 BTC. The bitcoins were confiscated from undisclosed parties in various federal criminal, civil and administrative cases, with many of them forfeited to the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Bidder registration will open at 8:00 a.m. EDT on Oct. 22 and is scheduled to close at noon EDT on Oct. 31. Bidders will not be permitted to view competing bids and will not be able to change the value of their bids after submission.

Deposits to Be Returned to Ineligible Bidders

US Marshals Service Announces Upcoming Auction of 660 BTCThe USMS is scheduled to notify all prospective bidders of their eligibility to participate in the auction process by no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT on Nov. 1. Applicants who are deemed to be ineligible to participate in the auction will have their deposits returned to them. The deposits of participants whose bids are not selected as winning bids will also be returned.

In addition, the USMS states that “bids that are contingent on financing terms of any kind will not be considered.” In addition, it requires that “all bids must be made in U.S. dollars.”

Winning Bidders Expected to
Pay BTC Transfer Fees

US Marshals Service Announces Upcoming Auction of 660 BTCThe USMS will retain the deposits of the winning bidders and credit them toward their purchases. Winning bidders who fail to finalize their transactions will forfeit their deposits, as long as the USMS is not at fault.

The USMS also notes that “any transfer fees associated with the transfer of the bitcoins will be paid by the buyer.” However, buyers will be given the chance to choose the fees that are charged in the transfers.

The USMS will start to return deposits to auction participants as soon as the bitcoin transactions are finalized. It adds that it aims to process all returns within five business days. However, it acknowledges that return times could take slightly longer depending on how many people participate in the seven auction blocks.

What is your response to the United States Marshals Service’s upcoming BTC auction? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Wikipedia


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

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Infamous Hacker George Hotz Calls Bitcoin Cash the ‘Real Bitcoin’

Infamous Hacker George Hotz Calls Bitcoin Cash the "Real Bitcoin"

Well-known American hacker George Hotz, also known as Geohot, has been talking extensively about cryptocurrencies lately, and more specifically about bitcoin cash. On Wednesday, Oct. 17, Hotz published a cryptocurrency programming video using bitcoin cash and showed people how to send a BCH transaction from scratch using the Python programming language.

Also read: BCH Devcon Streamlines Bitcoin Innovation in San Francisco

Geohot Hacks With Bitcoin Cash

Infamous Hacker George Hotz Calls Bitcoin Cash the “Real Bitcoin”
George Hotz aka ‘Geohot.’

Popular entrepreneur and hacker George Hotz, aka Geohot, has a reputation for being the first person to unlock the Iphone and jailbreak the iOS software back in 2007. The programmer is also known for his relationship with Elon Musk, which he claims Musk offered him millions to create a better autonomous vehicle system than the current Tesla Mobileye solution. Recently, he attended the BCH Devcon in San Francisco and was interviewed by BCH Youtuber Hayden Otto. Following the event, on Wednesday, Hotz showed people how to generate a BCH private key from scratch using Python.

While most of the five-hour video shows Hotz coding and explaining what he was doing, the programmer emphasized how he would not be talking much about cryptocurrency politics.

“I know we’re doing crypto things today but we’re not going to talk about the politics of crypto — Because politics is for losers,” Hotz explained to the viewers. Before getting started, he also explained how he learned a few things at the BCH Devcon the prior week. “Transaction fees are super low on bitcoin cash,” the hacker detailed before starting the key generation process.

Hotz continued:

[I’m] Using bitcoin cash because it’s the real bitcoin.

Infamous Hacker George Hotz Calls Bitcoin Cash the “Real Bitcoin”

“Lightning Network Too Complicated in a ‘Won’t Work’ Kind of Way”

During his interview at the BCH Devcon, Hotz also talked about the Lightning Network and the Ethereum network’s dapp projects. The programmer said he likes cryptocurrency technology and reads Ethereum code for pleasure. However, Hotz detailed that the Ethereum network is a “bug bounty” because he believes smart contracts open the doors to malicious hackers getting paid without breaking laws.

Hotz further stated that he was irritated with paying high network fees on the BTC network last year. As far as the Lightning Network is concerned, he explained the system is too complicated in a fashion that probably “won’t work.” Bitcoin Cash proponents on forums and social media enjoyed learning Hotz’s opinion about the Bitcoin scaling debate and his informative Python lesson using the protocol’s code.

What do you think of George Hotz (Geohot) and his opinion about the Bitcoin Cash protocol and the Lightning Network? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Images via Pixabay and Youtube.


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The Daily: Peak Blockchain and Stablecoin Drama

The Daily: Peak Blockchain and Stablecoin Skirmishes

Differentiating truth from fiction isn’t always easy, especially in the realm of blockchain. We’ve got distributed ledger stories both real and fanciful in this edition of The Daily, as well as hardware wallet news, an update on bitcoin futures, and the obligatory smattering of stablecoin drama.

Also read: Blockchain Surveillance Firm Partners With Cryptocurrency Exchange Binance

Blockchain.com Announces Airdrops

The Daily: Peak Blockchain and Stablecoin SkirmishesBitcoin wallet and blockchain analysis service Blockchain.com has decided to host airdrops. The platform, whose 29 million wallets make it the industry’s largest bitcoin wallet provider, unveiled its airdrop program on Oct. 17.

“We think that airdrops, when executed properly, have the potential to meaningfully drive decentralization and supercharge network effects,” they explained. “That’s why we’re thrilled to share a set of guiding principles that will inform Blockchain Airdrops.”

The service promises to be good news for token creators, who can tap into Blockchain.com’s network of ready-made cryptocurrency users. It remains to be seen, however, whether wallet owners will take kindly to being showered with largely worthless tokens. Just as the Coinbase-owned Earn.com allows emerging ICOs to get seen by influencers, Blockchain.com will place ICO tokens in the hands of core users.

“Since Blockchain users self-custody,” the company explains, “they have immediate control, ownership and use of their newly-airdropped crypto. They can participate directly in the network without going through a cumbersome intermediary.”

The Onion Does Blockchain

From one blockchain to another, and satirical publication The Onion has published a short guide to the technology. From the site that brought us such gems as “Man Who Thought He’d Lost All Hope Loses Last Additional Bit Of Hope He Didn’t Even Know He Still Had,” we learn that blockchain “Provides a more efficient way for you to lose all your money at once.” Other choice responses from The Onion’s Q&A include the following:

The Daily: Peak Blockchain and Stablecoin Skirmishes

Bitcoin Futures Volume Soars

Moving back into the realm of real news, CME has revealed that bitcoin futures volume rose 41 percent in the third quarter of this year. This trend attests to the growing interest in bitcoin from traditional financial markets.

Coolwallet S Adds ERC20 Token Support

Coolwallet S, which we’ve previously reviewed, is a fly credit card-sized hardware wallet for storing BCH, BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies. The distinctive wafer-thin wallet, manufactured by Taiwan’s Coolbitx, has just added support for ethereum tokens. Users can now add any ERC20 token to the wallet and manage it via the accompanying iOS or Android app. Due to its portability, the wallet has proven popular with cryptocurrency holders who desire access to their digital assets while on the go.

Stablecoin Spat Breaks Out

And finally, The Daily’s news roundup wouldn’t be complete without some sort of stablecoin drama to report. Tether, whose Twitter account sees activity approximately once a month, broke its silence to take aim at Cameron Winklevoss, owner of Gemini exchange’s rival GUSD stablecoin. A war of words over Tether’s inability to publish a full audit of its USDT dollar-pegged token has erupted, with Bitfinex/Tether defender Whalepool asserting that no fiat-backed stablecoins are fully audited.

“Thank you for continuing the long-standing tradition in crypto where the default position is to go out half-cocked w/out any expertise or knowledge in an area and pretend to know what you are talking about,” Winklevoss retorted.

“While [other stablecoins] might not be able to get a full blown audit,” chipped in The Block’s Larry Cermak, the likes of Gemini, Paxos, and Truesd “are hiring real auditing firms. Now remind me what auditing firm is doing audits for Tether please. I forgot.”

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits as featured in The Daily? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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African Cryptocurrency Exchanges Forced to Step up Security

African Digital Currency Exchanges Step up Security to Safeguard Investor Funds

Cryptocurrency exchanges in some of Africa’s biggest bitcoin markets have been forced to rethink their security to thwart persistent attacks from hackers, a trend that has troubled trading platforms all around the world.

Also read: Cointext Launches Bitcoin Cash SMS Wallet in Argentina and Turkey

The Worst Yet to Come for African Exchanges

African Digital Currency Exchanges Step up Security to Safeguard Investor FundsExchanges in the African continent have been relatively unscathed, suffering scant losses amidst the $930 million that’s been stolen from global exchanges so far this year, according to data by U.S. cyber security firm Ciphertrace.

The most notable assault on investor funds in the continent of 1.2 billion people happened around March in South Africa. It wasn’t a cyber attack on an exchange, but rather a scam. Fraudsters at BTC Global, a supposed cryptocurrency investment firm, made off with about one billion rand ($80 million) after 28,000 South Africans succumbed to the false promise of incredibly high, quick returns on their investment, police said.

As thefts have stoked exchanges worldwide, some African platforms have woken up to the need to strengthen their security to safeguard investor funds. This is particularly crucial in a continent where cryptocurrency markets are populated by people who trade with a certain degree of ignorance in many cases, lured by the promise of quick riches. Incidents of fraud or stolen money can smear a market struggling to build confidence in the absence of regulatory oversight.

“We have noticed a number of attempts to breach our system but we have managed to maintain our defenses and we keep on learning,” Suleiman Murunga, chief executive officer at Ugandan exchange Coinpesa, told news.Bitcoin.com.

African Digital Currency Exchanges Step up Security to Safeguard Investor Funds
Suleiman Murunga

“We (now) use suspicious activity monitoring tools to track user behavior in order to spot bad actors,” he said, adding that the company, one of the biggest in the East African country, also uses two-factor authentication.

Murunga stated that only a small portion of investor funds held on the exchange are kept in a hot wallet, of the kind targeted by hackers. The bulk of the funds are held offline, in cold storage.

Don’t Blame the Trading Platform – Blame the User

When breaches occur, exchanges are not always to blame. Sometimes investors simply aren’t careful. There have been instances where attackers gained access to individual accounts on the Zimbabwean exchange Golix before its forced shutdown in May, taking advantage of email password vulnerabilities to facilitate transactions.

Although no money was stolen, the 23 affected users noticed some changes to their accounts such as the conversion of their cryptocurrencies and the acquisition of additional coins through U.S. dollar balances they held in their accounts. This is according to Golix, which now has a presence in seven African countries. Back then, the exchange didn’t ask investors for 2FA upon signing up.

In Nigeria, Africa’s biggest bitcoin market, where trades reached $260 million on just one exchange this year, the threat of cyber attacks is real. In 2016, the Ibadan-based Naira4dollar firm didn’t receive the $15,000 worth of BTC it had bought to replenish its wallets after an attacker hacked into the trading platform’s system.

African Digital Currency Exchanges Step up Security to Safeguard Investor Funds
Lagos, Nigeria

Investors in Nigeria and Ghana also fell victim to a $50 million hack of the Blockchain.info wallet, allegedly by Ukrainian hacker group Coinhoarder earlier this year. In the streets of Lagos, scammers take on false identities, infiltrating exchanges and various social media platforms promising outrageously high returns.

David Ayala, chief executive officer of Nairaex, which has more than 100,000 customers on its books, said all digital coins on the Nigerian exchange are stored “securely offline with Bitgo industry standards of multi-sig wallet.”

“Our platform is developed using best practices from the financial sector to maintain users’ security. We have maintained a secured network architecture since launch and we run scheduled tests and checks on the system for reliability,” he detailed, in emailed responses.

Is a Foolproof Security System Possible?

Often, hackers and scammers are a step ahead of their targeted victims, increasing the risk of persistent attacks. But will African exchanges ever implement foolproof security systems, or something approaching that ideal? William Chui, a Zimbabwean cryptocurrency enthusiast and former VP at Golix, proposed “A ‘walk-in’ model, where users [enter a physical premises] to buy [cryptocurrency] and are served while they wait.” It’s a model that’s proven popular in other countries such as South Korea.

He conceded, however, “This is not scalable nor feasible with the internet and will prove to be too slow. I doubt we can get a foolproof, secure system, but the [aim] will be to minimize losses as much as possible.”

Chui recommends that exchanges “invest in a technical development department that will continually penetrate the website, and offer bounties for external developers to do the same … Store a larger percentage of clients’ funds in cold wallets.”

African Digital Currency Exchanges Step up Security to Safeguard Investor Funds

Pesamill Africa in Kenya has gone as far as adopting Australian cryptocurrency industry regulations as part of efforts to align with global best practice. “We have built an exchange that fosters both peer-to-peer and centralized transactions in a safe and secure manner,” Brian Ngugi, Pesamill chief executive, told news.Bitcoin.com.

Whatever the case, African exchanges are at a stage in their development that holds a lot of promise for the growth of cryptocurrency use on the continent. Regulators will eventually step in, as is happening elsewhere worldwide. This will occur, not only to regulate and claim tax, but to make the cryptocurrency space stronger and sustainable.

What do you think about the level of security at African digital currency exchanges? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Blockchain Surveillance Firm Partners With Cryptocurrency Exchange Binance

Blockchain Surveillance Firm Partners With Cryptocurrency Exchange Binance

On Oct. 17, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, Binance, announced a partnership with blockchain surveillance company Chainalysis. According to the exchange, Chainalysis has implemented a compliance solution that meets regulatory guidelines worldwide.

Also read: Bizarro World: Federated Sidechain Technology Promoted Over Nakamoto Consensus

Binance Is Using Chainalysis for Compliance   

According to a press release published on Oct. 17, Binance and Chainalysis have joined forces to create a compliance solution for trading operations. The collaboration will further ensure that Binance exchanges comply with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) laws. The co-founder of Chainalysis, Jonathan Levin, explained during the announcement that all cryptocurrency businesses face the challenge of “earning the trust of regulators, financial institutions and users.”

“We expect many to follow Binance’s lead to build world-class AML compliance programs to satisfy regulators globally and build trust with major financial institutions,” Levin detailed. “Chainalysis’ compliance software, Chainalysis KYT (Know Your Transaction), is the only real-time transaction monitoring solution for cryptocurrencies.”

Blockchain Surveillance Firm Partners With Cryptocurrency Exchange Binance

To Some, Regulatory Compliance and Permissionless Innovation Mix Like Oil and Water

Levin says that the Chainalysis software uses methods like proprietary algorithms and pattern recognition that can raise alerts when suspicious transactions happen. Binance will be able to leverage the KYT software and other services Chainalysis offers. Wei Zhou, CFO at Binance, says the collaboration helps the exchange build a “foundational compliance program.”

“Our vision is to provide the infrastructure for a blockchain ecosystem and increase the freedom of money globally, while adhering to regulatory mandates in the countries we serve,” Zhou stated.

Blockchain Surveillance Firm Partners With Cryptocurrency Exchange Binance

Overall, both companies believe the compliance solution will enhance the cryptocurrency environment. Moreover, Chainalysis thinks exchanges working with them will make it easier for cryptocurrency firms to open bank accounts and establish relationships with legacy financial providers. However, on forums and social media, many digital asset proponents voiced their displeasure at the announcement. Most cryptocurrency users wholeheartedly believe in privacy, and are concerned by a growing trend for blockchain surveillance.

What do you think about Binance teaming up with the blockchain surveillance firm Chainalysis? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Binance and Chainalysis


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Majority of Crypto Assets Are Highly Centralized, Research Finds

Majority of Crypto Assets Are Actually Centralized, New Research Finds

One of the central pillars of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general is that the system is decentralized, ensuring no single point of failure for adversaries to attack. However, new research has found the majority of assets in the ecosystem today to be highly centralized.

Also Read: Crypto Hedge Fund Launches Retail Public Offering in Japan

Taxonomy Report Reveals a Concentration of Crypto Power

Cryptocompare, the cryptocurrency market data aggregator, has published a Cryptoasset Taxonomy Report. The nearly 80-page document is designed to provide investors, regulators and the industry with an independent classification of coins and tokens to help differentiate from a long list of ever-growing options.

The report is based on an analysis of over 200 crypto assets, using more than 30 attributes and covering a range of economic, legal and technological features. Researchers analyzed these assets from a variety of perspectives including regulatory classifications, access and governance, market cap and volume data, level of decentralization, and distribution and supply concentration.

Charles Hayter, CEO of Cryptocompare, said: “Daily, retail and institutional investment communities express an appetite to invest and develop investment products and instruments based on crypto assets. Key to this is the demand for a single, independent and trustworthy taxonomy offering transparency, consistency and confidence.”

Majority of Crypto Assets Are Actually Centralized, New Research Finds

Just 16% of Cryptocurrencies Are Really Decentralized

In the section on centralization and counter-party, the report identifies how regulators might approach their decision as to whether an asset is centralized and thus possibly deemed a security. A fundamental point the researchers found is that decentralized and open source projects may not rely on a central issuer. Using this distinction, the taxonomy has explored the extent to which crypto assets are de facto decentralized.

The results of this analysis are quite disappointing for cryptocurrency proponents. Just 16% of crypto assets were found to be truly decentralized, with 55% categorized as centralized and the rest as semi-decentralized. Even just looking at payment tokens, defined as assets intended to provide a means of payment or value exchange which do not confer any claims upon the issuer, just 37% were found to be decentralized.

Majority of Crypto Assets Are Actually Centralized, New Research Finds

Do you think decentralization matters with cryptocurrencies, and if so, to what extent? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Cryptocompare.


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Cypherpunk Essentials: A Beginner’s Guide to Crypto Privacy

The following op-ed on crypto privacy was written by Reuben Yap. He is the Chief Operations Officer of Zcoin. A corporate lawyer for ten years, specializing in institutional frameworks, Reuben founded one of SE Asia’s top VPN companies, bolehvpn.net. He graduated with a LLB from the University of Nottingham.

One of blockchain’s most notable and valued features is its transparency. In the original Bitcoin whitepaper, Satoshi Nakamoto described bitcoin as an ‘electronic coin’ with a ‘chain of digital signatures’, the history of ownership documented permanently and publicly. This idea of globally accessible financial records is a bold move away from the traditional banking system. This is precisely why privacy is an essential topic within the crypto ecosystem. 

Also read: Bitfinex Introduces Top Secret Banking System

Privacy and The Cypherpunks

In the Cypherpunk Manifesto of 1993, Eric Hughes writes that “we cannot expect governments, corporations, or other large, faceless organizations to grant us privacy … we must defend our own privacy if we expect to have any.” Built upon the philosophies of generations before them, the self-named cypherpunks were a group of activists advocating for cryptography and technologies that enhanced our privacy, which they believed was ‘necessary for an open society in the electronic age.” The movement was sustained by a regular mailing list that discussed ideas and policies relating to privacy, government monitoring, control of information and anonymity.

In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto reignited this cypherpunk movement, giving a nod to the technology which emerged from the 90s cypherpunk era, such as Hashcash and b-money. The Bitcoin whitepaper itself notes that online privacy can be maintained by breaking the flow of information through anonymous public keys (cryptography). Satoshi’s Bitcoin was intended to be a “censorship-resistant” currency. The development of Bitcoin has indeed helped organizations like Wikileaks when governments cut them off from fiat-based donations. Notably, Wikileaks cypherpunk founder Julian Assange is still living in asylum in London’s Ecuadorian Embassy, awaiting charges by the U.S. government for publishing classified government documents.

While Bitcoin’s pseudo-anonymity was Satoshi’s solution for the individual’s right to financial privacy, the transparency of its blockchain is now proving to be a potentially dangerous flaw. As the flow of bitcoin to and from wallet addresses can be viewed by anyone, those with malicious motivations and the technical skill can uncover — and threaten — your real-world identity.

Bitcoin’s Privacy Flaw

Studies show that bitcoin transactions can be linked to individuals. Personal information can be interpreted and collected from blockchain data, exposing identities with potentially grave consequences. Researchers from Qatar University and the Hamad Bin Khalifa University found that “bitcoin addresses can be exploited to deanonymize users” and that an “address should always be assumed compromised.”

Cypherpunk Essentials: A Beginners Guide to Crypto Privacy

Additional studies conducted by ETH Zurich University and NEC Laboratories in Germany show that 40 percent of bitcoin users could be revealed in a simulated experiment where the digital currency was used to support daily transactions of university users.

More extreme consequences of this privacy flaw are emerging. Kidnappings and robberies targeting crypto users are becoming more commonplace in countries like Russia and Ukraine. The creator of the Prism cryptocurrency was beaten and robbed of his laptop which had 300 BTC stored on it. He was then forced to drink a pill with vodka that hospitalized him, so he wouldn’t be able to seek help from police straight away.

There is a vital need for the blockchain ecosystem to develop multiple anonymity solutions for cryptocurrency so that we can protect individual privacy and security. Without Tor or Dandelion protocols, for example, a person’s IP address can be linked to their wallet addresses. Privacy coins and their protocols work to address these flaws.

Breaking the Privacy Coin Stigma

Unfortunately, privacy coins have often been associated with illicit and illegal activity. Bitcoin itself was propelled into the media due to its associated use on the infamous Silk Road website and darknet, and claims that cryptocurrencies enable money laundering are rampant, albeit heavily exaggerated.

Some governments have even decided to ban privacy coins. In June, the Japanese Financial Security Agency (FSA) outlawed any cryptocurrencies that provide anonymity to users in an attempt to eliminate bad actors operating within the space. The ramifications could be far-reaching, as this decision may only end up pushing these kinds of cryptocurrencies into underground, unregulated territory, beyond the reach of the law or financial intermediaries.

While governments cannot effectively control or monitor any kind of peer-to-peer digital currency, they can still build suitable laws and regulations around them. In a regulated system, cryptocurrency exchanges and brokers must implement thorough Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) practices, which in theory should deter criminal activity, as it does in the traditional financial system.

And just as we expect our financial histories and interactions to be kept private in traditional banking, the same should apply with cryptocurrency. The right to financial privacy should naturally extend itself to the blockchain, regardless of its potential to facilitate money laundering or illicit behavior.

Cryptocurrency has the potential to bring much-needed change to the world. Now we need anonymization mechanisms to ensure that our financial activity does not erode our privacy or endanger us.

Privacy Is a Basic Civil Right

We are all entitled to full financial privacy. This privacy bolsters our civil rights; the freedom to transact as we wish – without fear of exposure, consequence or persecution – and allows us to express full autonomy. The things we buy, the people we transact with, or where we choose to donate money is personal to us, yet can often be used to discriminate against us.

Cypherpunk Essentials: A Beginners Guide to Crypto Privacy

Buying a particular medicine, such as contraceptive pills, can be a dangerous affair for some women who come from backgrounds or cultures which forbid them. Those living with chronic illness, such as HIV, require lifelong medication. This information can be used to discriminate against people; as studies reveal, a person’s HIV status can lead to loss of their job or source of income if discovered.

As transactions on a blockchain are publicly visible and permanent, these could turn into a tool for surveillance and control, especially with authoritarian governments. In an era with increasing digital payments, as seen with the rise of Alipay and Wechat Pay in China, an individual’s purchase history can be used to categorize them. This is used as an ongoing rollout of China’s social credit system, where even buying diapers can give you a higher social score. To compound things, a low social score can have wide-ranging ramifications, from eligibility to loans, being barred from traveling to stigmatization.

Governments Can Seize Bank Accounts and Freeze Funds

Governments have the power to freeze and drain bank accounts without consent, or even seize cryptocurrencies if there is a connection to illicit activity. This is not a problem we face with physical cash, where whoever receives it doesn’t have to care where it is from and how it is used because of its fungibility. But even governments considered ‘benign’ have been known to exploit their power to seize money.

In the United Kingdom, banks were ordered to freeze the accounts of suspected illegal immigrants “hiding” in the country, making a “hostile environment” to force them out of the country.  In 2013, the Cyprus government withdrew up to 10 percent of every citizens bank accounts to help with their austerity measures. Over the past decade, the US Drug Enforcement Administration has seized more than $4 billion from citizens due to suspicions of criminal activity. Of these seizures, 81 percent were never formally charged. These are all examples of financial control.

Law enforcement agencies, governments and banks all hold unchecked power over our finances. Financial privacy enables citizens to resist this kind of oppression. We can make cryptocurrency fungible by preventing its traceability and enhancing its privacy. This will protect our civil rights, making it harder for authorities of any kind to seize our money.

Greater Ownership of Financial Data

Privacy also enables us to have greater control over our personal financial data. We live in a system where disclosing this financial information is often mandatory, for example when paying taxes, applying for loans, or even when buying things online. There are various actors such as charities or political candidates who seek out this financial data, commercializing it as a tool to often manipulate us, while marketing companies target demographics based on income.

Cypherpunk Essentials: A Beginners Guide to Crypto Privacy

The exposure of this financial information, however, can lead to much more devastating consequences, such as identity theft and financial fraud. In the first half of 2016 alone, identity theft accounted for 64 percent of all data breaches. Statistics provided by Kaspersky Lab also show that 52 percent of internet users  never fully recover their money stolen by cyber-criminals.

Many centralized cryptocurrency exchanges link your real identity to your crypto wallet address, with this sensitive information vulnerable to hacks. If malicious actors were to obtain this information, all your cryptocurrency transactions would be exposed and likely this information could be used in some undesirable way. There are even companies, like Chainalysis and Elliptic, which specifically aim to link identities to wallet addresses. While these teams claim to be targeting money laundering and cyber-criminals, all collected information is stored on a singular, centralized database.

As cryptocurrency begins to enter the mainstream, we need to secure our financial data to ensure our personal information does not fall into the wrong hands. Similarly, businesses may want to keep their suppliers, customers or partners private, for example to hide these details from competitors. Greater privacy on the blockchain eliminates this risk.

Shaping a New Economy

Everyone is entitled to financial privacy and protection of their personal data. We can restructure a new global economy that is founded on financial freedom and security. Cryptocurrencies that offer anonymization mechanisms will ensure everyone is granted these rights, while also defending against malicious actors.

The result is an economic system that will value both privacy and transparency. Our digital lives will be secured, while the blockchain will continue to hold us accountable.

Do you think Bitcoin’s privacy is flawed? Should having a fully private cryptocurrency be imperative? 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


OP-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support views, opinions or conclusions drawn in this post. 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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The Daily: A Dirty War on Bitcoin

Today’s installment of The Daily is all about dirty tricks. The sort of tricks designed to convince the world that Bitcoin is bad. Spending bitcoin, mining it, or allowing the Chinese to mine it ahead of the U.S. — all bad, according to American Express, the White House (allegedly) and a handful of other haters. Needless to say, we’ll set the record straight on all counts.

Also read: How Bitcoin Mining Can Help Nuclear Reactors

American Express Fuels Anti-Bitcoin FUD

American Express’ decision to promote a tweet emphasizing the energy consumption of Proof-of-Work cryptocurrencies has been met with astonishment, with r/Bitcoin describing the act as “anti-crypto propaganda.” As one Redditor quipped: “Ah we’ve moved into the ‘then they fight you’ with shitty marketing phase.” Mining is the most widely misunderstood component of Bitcoin, and one which the media and corporations consistently get wrong, be it through ignorance or ulterior motives.

The Daily: The Dirty War on Bitcoin

As news.Bitcoin.com recently noted, “You’ll often hear from mainstream media and uninformed economists that bitcoin burns more energy than a whole country. And while that accusation is far from the truth, as we’ve explained before, you’ll be surprised to hear something you are not being told — it’s way better to burn excess energy than waste it.” Readers can reach their own conclusions as to why American Express might be interested in playing up Bitcoin’s energy consumption, but it’s safe to say that environmental concerns have nothing to do with it.

No, the White House Doesn’t Care
About Bitcoin Mining

The Daily: The Dirty War on BitcoinHow much thought does the White House give to bitcoin mining? “Not a lot,” would be most people’s response, but then most people don’t work for Ripple. A clickbait piece in Forbes yesterday (Oct. 16) titled “China’s Bitcoin Dominance Is Worrying Trump’s White House — And Pushing It Toward Ripple” provoked derision in most quarters of the cryptocurrency space. Few, outside of XRP acolytes, took the article seriously, but there was one notable exception — Nouriel Roubini.

The fervent bitcoin-hater shared the Forbes article, asserting that the White House was “waking up” to the risks of Chinese mining pools, and credited his U.S. Senate testimony with highlighting the “national security risks” of enabling China to control 80 percent of bitcoin mining. As previously noted by news.Bitcoin.com, the location of cryptocurrency mining has no bearing on the network’s security, and Bitmain’s dominance is unlikely to feature in President Trump’s daily briefings. Nor, for that matter, is the mining-free alternative offered by Ripple’s native cryptocurrency, no matter how desperately its marketing team tries to insinuate such. Preston Byrne, predictably, was having none of it:

The Daily: The Dirty War on Bitcoin

The Case for Post-Bitcoin Maximalism

You’ve heard of Bitcoin maximalism. Now say hello to post-Bitcoin maximalism, the next level of wokeness. While thought pieces generally aren’t the preserve of The Daily, which is more news-oriented, Ferdous Bhai’s treatise on post-bitcoin maximalism warrants a mention. The widely shared post, published on Oct. 15, takes aim at those who wish to define what Bitcoin is and how it should be used. By way of example, the post includes Giacomo Zucco’s much-maligned slide that professes to share four universal truths about Bitcoin.

The Daily: The Dirty War on Bitcoin

Dismissing these notions, and others expressed by maximalists, Bhai writes: “One of the major reasons I believe we haven’t seen a war on Bitcoin is the existence of altcoins. Altcoins are insurance against state-level attacks on Bitcoin … From a game theory perspective, state-wide attacks on Bitcoin is a dumb idea, as long as the threat of one or more altcoins to replace Bitcoin’s role exists … Bitcoin is not the end-goal; it’s a means to our goal of censorship-resistant, permissionless, denationalized money that we can opt in and out voluntarily, not by coercion, social engineering or threats of violence.”

As Bitcoin grows stronger, attacks against it from governments, from legacy payment providers, and from concern trolls will only increase. It’s a dirty war.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits as featured in The Daily? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter, and Medium.


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This Firm Wants Legacy Financial Players Trading Cryptocurrencies

This Firm Wants Legacy Financial Players Trading Cryptocurrencies

Over the last few months, there’s been a lot of talk about institutional money coming into the digital asset economy. On Tuesday, the institutional-grade cryptocurrency trading platform Caspian announced the end of its beta stage. Caspian claims 15 institutions are utilizing the trading platform and the firm expects to onboard 50 clients by the year’s end.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

Caspian’s Multi-Exchange Trading Platform Comes out of Beta

This Firm Wants Legacy Financial Players Trading CryptocurrenciesOn Oct. 16, Caspian has revealed the company’s flagship trading platform is out of its beta phase and over a dozen institutional investors are using the service. Caspian has been making partnerships in order to become an all-in-one platform with access to multiple exchanges. Back in May, the firm teamed up with the Seychelles-based trading platform the Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange (Bitmex), and last September the company partnered with Coinbase. According to Caspian’s creators, the company’s mission is to bring comprehensive trading tools to the “players in the legacy financial system.”

“[Institutional investors] need resources similar to those they use for managing traditional assets — systems that manage portfolios, orders and risk management,” explained Richard Mannell, director of the firm Techemy Capital. “It’s going to be fascinating to see what happens to the crypto market when institutional investors move in in the hundreds, which I think is about to happen.”

This Firm Wants Legacy Financial Players Trading Cryptocurrencies
Caspian uses an Order and Execution Management System (OEMS) which connects to all 25 exchanges, allowing a variety of management choices for cryptographic assets.

Enterprise Custody and Trading Go Hand in Hand

Caspian says it now provides over 25 exchanges via a single interface which include well-known platforms such as Binance, Poloniex, Bittrex, Bitstamp, Fisco, CME Group, Itbit and more. During the latest onboarding process, Caspian says the clientele using the system are companies such as Travis Kling’s Ikigai Asset Management, Lykke, Id Theory, and Bletchley Park.

The news follows the very large financial firm Fidelity Investments launching an institutional-grade cryptocurrency management platform. Fidelity explains the company will provide “enterprise-quality custody and trade execution services for digital assets.” Caspian’s chief operations officer, David Wills, says Fidelity’s custodial services will complement the company’s product offering.      

“At Caspian, we believe institutional investors need two things – an institutional-level custodial solution that Fidelity will bring, and secondly, intuitive and user-friendly software platforms, like Caspian for the management of these assets,” Wills noted after the announcement.

What do you think about Caspian’s institutional-grade cryptocurrency trading platform? Do you think such investors need a trading desk like Caspian’s? Let us know your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Caspian logo, and Pixabay.


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Bitcoin Unlimited Adds ABC Client Upgrade Features for November’s Hard Fork

Bitcoin Unlimited Adds ABC Client Upgrade Features for November's Hard Fork

The Bitcoin Unlimited development team have published the full node clients’ Bitcoin Cash edition version 1.5.0, which includes an implementation of all the November 15 upgrade features from Bitcoin ABC. According to the development team, support for the Bitcoin SV team’s ruleset is “pending” and Bitcoin Unlimited’s lead programmer, Andrew Stone, has explained he would like to see miners voting on ABC and SV changes using the BIP135 bits standard.

Also read: BCH Devcon Streamlines Bitcoin Innovation in San Francisco

Bitcoin Unlimited Latest Version Adds Bitcoin ABC’s Ruleset Changes

The Nov. 15 Bitcoin Cash network hard fork is approaching quickly and on Sunday the Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) programmers published BU version 1.5.0. The latest BU client is fully compatible with the BCH chain and previous hard fork consensus changes that took place in the past. BU’s 1.5.0 comes with some notable changes in contrast to the previous client release. Team developer Andrea Suisani (Sickpig) detailed that the BU software includes canonical transaction ordering (CTOR), the opcode OP_Checkdatasigverify (CDSV), an enforced “clean stack” rule, a “push only” rule for script-sig, a 100-byte minimum transaction size and more.

Bitcoin Unlimited Adds ABC Client Upgrade Features for November's Hard Fork

This version means the BU implementation will be fully compatible with Bitcoin ABC’s ruleset changes, and on Twitter the developers have explained that SV support is “pending.” On the Reddit forum r/btc, BU’s lead developer Andrew Stone explained he hopes miners use the voting system the team collaborated on with the Bitcoin XT developers.   

“What I would really like to see is miners start voting based on the BIP135 bits that we defined together with Bitcoin XT — Miners that support the Nov. 15 hard fork could start voting for the SV features they support,” Stone stated on the forum. “Miners that don’t support the hard fork (even if that miner will follow the hash power majority come Nov. 15) should start using BIP135 to vote for the features it supports. A vote for a feature is basically saying ‘I like the feature, but I want a different activation mechanism.’”

BIP135 Voting, Grace Periods, and Bitcoin SV

Stone further detailed that if there is a significant amount of votes showing a majority consensus then they should stop the November fork or start BIP135 activation. The engineer continues by explaining that people don’t have to run BU to vote on these features as miners can set the BIP135 bits in their block version fields using mining pool software. Following these statements, a BCH community member asked the programmer if the BIP135 system enabled the features automatically.

“BIP135 voting does enable the features automatically, but after a 3-month 75% or greater “yes” and a 3-month “grace” (time to implement the feature) period — So plenty of time,” Stone replied.

Bitcoin Unlimited Adds ABC Client Upgrade Features for November's Hard Fork

Bitcoin Cash enthusiasts seemed pleased with BU’s new release on social media channels and forums. As the upgrade date gets closer, the Bitcoin SV team of developers have launched their latest full node client 0.1.0 release. In contrast to previous releases, the new code includes all three consensus changes which include re-enabled opcodes, more opcodes per script, and the 128MB block size increase. With Bitcoin SV dropping the newest version, BU may add the SV additions to the full node implementation, but as Stone stated, either way miners can now favor certain proposals using BIP135. 

Right now it’s hard to tell what will happen, as most of the community seems to be split on both sets of consensus changes and they are supporting the side they think will be best suited for the BCH network. News.Bitcoin.com spoke with the BU team developer Andrea Suisani and asked him if miners could choose to vote for all of the upgrade features proposed by both ABC and SV, or a mixture of each camp’s Nov. 15 features. Suisani explained miners could vote on all of the features proposed and even a mix. “This is the actual point of BIP135,” the programmer added. Now the pressing question remains: What will the BCH mining pools support come Nov. 15?  

What do you think about Bitcoin Unlimited’s latest version that includes Bitcoin ABC’s ruleset changes? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Images via Shutterstock, and Bitcoin Unlimited and Bitcoin SV.  


At news.Bitcoin.com all comments containing links are automatically held up for moderation in the Disqus system. That means an editor has to take a look at the comment to approve it. This is due to the many, repetitive, spam and scam links people post under our articles. We do not censor any comment content based on politics or personal opinions. So, please be patient. Your comment will be published. 

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Bitfinex Introduces Top Secret Banking System

Bitfinex Introduces Top Secret Banking System

Bitfinex has restored the ability of customers to make fiat currency deposits. Details of its new deposit system remain shrouded in secrecy, however, with the exchange going to extraordinary lengths to conceal the identity of the bank(s) in question. Its “distributed” system, designed to circumvent censorship, has brought the critics out in full force.

Also read: The Daily: Tether Regains Ground, Coinbase Does Dublin

Convoluted Fiat Deposit Process

The Daily: Bitfinex Building Decentralized Exchange, Bitpanda Adding ZcashAfter being forced to suspend fiat currency deposits last week, when HSBC terminated its proxy banking relationship, Bitfinex assured customers that an alternative would soon be in place. And the exchange, the world’s second largest by trading volume, has been as good as its word, confirming its new banking relationship earlier today (Oct. 16). However, the opaque nature of the statement, and the odd language it was couched in, have raised more questions than they have answered.

“Today we are introducing a new, improved and increasingly resilient fiat depositing system for sending fiat currencies to Bitfinex,” began the blog post. “This new process will once again allow KYC-verified users from around the world to initiate deposits across USD, GBP, JPY and EUR.”

The exchange then proceeded to describe a complex process by which customers must deposit a minimum of $10,000 of fiat currency from now on. This involves creating a deposit request to signal interest, waiting up to 48 hours for Bitfinex to approve it, sending money to the bank account, and then waiting six to 10 days for the funds to clear. Coinbase, by way of comparison, takes an average of three to five days to clear bank transfers.

Customers Sworn to Secrecy

Bitfinex Introduces Top Secret Banking SystemBitfinex’s statement ends on a defiant note, with the exchange asserting: “We believe this system to be significantly more durable in the face of sustained attacks by our competition and their supporters. Ongoing campaigns against us will only result in our company becoming stronger and better.”

While Bitfinex undoubtedly has its share of haters who would like to see the platform toppled, most traders simply seek clarity. The inability of the exchange’s operators to publish a full audit of Tether, exacerbated by its own nebulous banking arrangements, has not helped matters. Still mindful of what happened to Mt. Gox, the crypto community would like reassurance that funds are safe.

There may be serious negative effects with this information becoming public.

The Block has revealed that Tether has obtained a new Caribbean bank, after recently severing ties with Nobles. It’s now believed to have shacked up with the Bahamas-based Deltec Bank. However, it is unclear whether the same bank will also handle Bitfinex’s customer deposits.

Anyone attempting to initiate the new fiat deposit process on the exchange is greeted by a disclaimer that warns in almost apocalyptic terms: “Divulging this info could damage not just yourself and Bitfinex but the entire digital token ecosystem … you are cautioned that there may be serious negative effects with this information becoming public.”

Bitfinex Introduces Top Secret Banking System

The status of Bitfinex/Tether is becoming a new battleground in the cryptocurrency community, with lines drawn and both tribes seemingly incapable of backing down. On the one hand, there are those who are certain of impropriety of some kind and are waiting to be vindicated when the house of cards topples. On the other hand, there are the defenders of Bitfinex, who are weary of fighting what they deem to be endless FUD. Today’s statement has done nothing to resolve the impasse.

What are your thoughts on Bitfinex’s latest banking arrangements? Let us know in the comments section below.


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