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Bitcoin Cash Innovation Accelerates With Cashscript High-Level Language

August 25, 2019 |

Bitcoin Cash Innovation Accelerates With the High-Level Language Cashscript

Software developers Rosco Kalis and Gabriel Cardona have been steadily working on Cashscript, a high-level programming language for Bitcoin Cash. When the language is tied to certain opcodes, specific schemes can be built that allow for autonomous and decision-based transactions. While testing Cashscript’s capabilities, the two engineers recently deployed an oracle, forfeits, an onchain wager, and a recurring payments contract.

Also read: Send Token Payouts With Ease Using Bitcoin.com’s SLP Dividend Calculator

BCH Developers Are Innovating With Cashscript

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) development is in full swing and over the last six months the tempo has really started to pick up. Things like the Simple Ledger Protocol, Schnorr signatures, opcodes, Cashshuffle, the programming language Spedn, and token dividend payments have galvanized the network’s versatility. Another project that’s seeing steady development is Cashscript, a high-level language for BCH created by the software developer Rosco Kalis.

News.Bitcoin.com reported on Cashscript in May, when Kalis discussed the number of innovative concepts that can stem from using Cashscript. The main focus for Cashscript developers is to make it easier for other engineers to plug a Cashscript contract into any web application. “For this workflow as well as the syntax of the language we took a lot of inspiration from Ethereum’s Solidity language and Web3.js / Truffle libraries,” Kalis told our newsdesk at the time.

Bitcoin Cash Innovation Accelerates With Cashscript High-Level Language

Since then, Kalis and other developers like Gabriel Cardona, the creator of Bitbox, have been eagerly showing the BCH community what Cashscript is capable of doing. “Cashscript is a paradigm shift in expressiveness for BCH contracts,” Cardona explained this week while highlighting a bunch of experiments. For instance, Cardona showed the BCH community on Twitter how the Mecenas contract was replicated in Cashscript. Mecenas was a contract developed by Karol Trzeszczkowski that allows for recurring BCH payments. After redesigning the covenant-based smart contract solution in Cashscript, the developer asserted that “Large contracts like this is where Cashscript really shines.” On August 24, Cardona also tweeted that last year in Milan at the Satoshi’s Vision Conference, BCH engineer Awemany revealed a solution to the zero-confirmation problem by using a concept called “Zero-Confirmation Forfeits.” So the developer decided to replicate the zero-confirmation forfeit idea using the Cashscript language.

Bitcoin Cash Innovation Accelerates With Cashscript High-Level Language
Are you a developer looking to build on Bitcoin Cash? Head over to our Bitcoin Developer page where you can get Bitcoin Cash developer guides and start using the Bitbox, SLP, Cashscript, and Badger Wallet SDKs.

BCH Supports Hodling Better Than BTC

While showing the ported Cashscript examples on Twitter, Cardona also tipped his hat to developers who helped initiate these ideas like Tendo Pein, Karol Trzeszczkowski, Rosco Kalis, Emil Oldenburg, Chris Pacia, and Tobias Ruck. The next day on August 25, Cardona showed the public a wager contract from Emil Oldenburgs’s onchain bet example from “Taking OP_Checkdatasig out for a test drive.” The new wager contract was written in Cashscript, which executes an onchain bet between two parties and can only be settled by block height and price signed by an oracle. “Noncustodial financial services are about to change everything,” Cardona exclaimed. In another example, Kalis and Cardona produced an oracle using Cashscript and OP_Checkdatasig. The contract forces holding onto the asset until a certain price target has been reached. The “Hodl-Vault” contract specifications state:

A minimum block is provided to ensure that oracle price entries from before this block are disregarded: When the BCH price was $ 1,000 in the past, an oracle entry with the old block number and price can not be used. Instead, a message with a block number and price from after the minBlock needs to be passed. This contract serves as a simple example of OP_Checkdatasig-based contracts.

After the contract was created, Spedn creator Tendo Pein tweeted: “BCH supports hodling better than BTC.” “Anything BTC can do, BCH can do better,” Cardona replied. On the Reddit forum r/btc, BCH supporters welcomed the innovation stemming from the Cashscript language. Cashscript can allow for many types of autonomous and decision-based transactions like oracles, zero-conf forfeits, digital good purchases via PGP signature, Pay to ID, cold wallet timeout, enforced multi-signature signing order, stablecoins, covenants, secure multi-party computation, blind escrows and spending constraints. “[It’s] going to be exciting to see what people can come up with using these new features,” one BCH supporter said after reading about the innovations Cashscript could prime in the future.

Oracles and Decision-Based Transactions Without the Need for a Custodian’s Decision

One of the biggest conversations stemming from the r/btc post about Cashscript was the use of oracles. Many cryptocurrency enthusiasts and blockchain developers believe that the BCH blockchain could provide verifiable multi-sourced facts, so people can use a trustless oracle for better decisions. Oracles are neutral by design and can allow the BCH chain to verify enough valid data to prove something is true or false, which then would essentially trigger decision-based transactions based on the outcome.

Since ancient times, humans have used oracles to make hard decisions, execute bets and wagers, and provide validated reports. The opcode OP_Checkdatasig has brought the idea of blockchain oracle concepts using the BCH chain to the forefront. The opcode can check the validation of certain signatures, and return two different outcomes in an autonomous fashion. This means BCH-powered oracles can provide a definitive outcome for things like sporting events, election results, and prediction markets. But it would do so in a way that removes the need for a third party or custodian’s decision.

Developers have already proven these types of decision-based transactions can work without changing the current BCH rule set. People have built onchain wagers, oracles, digital currency inheritance schemes and even a game of onchain chess. It’s still very early, but Cashscript is maturing fast and BCH developers can utilize the language right now to execute these types of decision-based transactions into their workflow. As Cardona highlighted earlier this week, noncustodial financial services will decimate the current way we deal with money. Innovations like OP_Checkdatasig, Cashscript, Spedn, and Schnorr help to realize this goal.

What do you think about the Cashscript language and developers creating unique types of decision-based transactions with Cashscript and OP_Checkdatasig? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Jamie Redman, Github, Cashscript, and Twitter.


Are you a Bitcoin developer? You can create your own Bitcoin Cash app with the Bitbox and Badger Wallet SDKs, get started with BCH tokens through the SLP SDK, and build your knowledge base with our Bitcoin Cash developer guides.

The post Bitcoin Cash Innovation Accelerates With Cashscript High-Level Language appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Immortality, Cryogenics and UBI: How The Crypto Rich Influence Science

August 25, 2019 |

Immortality, Cryogenics and UBI - How The Crypto Rich Influence Science

The rise of cryptocurrency is changing the philanthropic world by causing the redistribution of wealth from old money to visionary innovators and early tech adopters. The new crypto rich invest their donations by supporting scientific research in groundbreaking fields that may one day enable humanity to cure aging, reverse death and completely change the relationship between work and income.

Also Read: How Does a Country Do an ICO? They Call It QE

The Cryptorati Want to Defeat Aging

Examining the record of donations made by the crypto rich reveals a pattern of support for goals that others may feel belong in the pages of science fiction novels. Having benefited greatly from recognizing the potential of peer to peer electronic cash earlier than the masses, it is no surprise that they have great optimism in the power of technology to radically change our lives for the better.

One of the main benefactors of this type of donation focus is the SENS Research Foundation located in Mountain View, California. The non-profit SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence) defines its goal as working to develop, promote, and ensure widespread access to therapies that cure and prevent the diseases and disabilities of aging. Unlike the traditional medical approach of only treating or managing old age problems as they kick in, this approach focuses on comprehensively repairing the damage that builds up in our bodies over time, thus mitigating the aging process as much as possible.

Immortality, Cryogenics and UBI: How The Crypto Rich Influence Science

In the early 2000s, Michael Novogratz donated to the research organization and the Pineapple Fund gave SENS $ 2 million in BTC last year. Moreover, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin also donated $ 2.4 million to SENS in 2018 and another $ 350,000 in January 2019. The regenerative medical therapy organization also raised another $ 4.1 million in cryptocurrencies last year in addition to the Pineapple Fund donation.

The chief science officer of SENS, British biogerontologist Aubrey de Grey, talked about the relationship between his venture and crypto proponents last year and detailed that many have donated to the research organization. “I’m not in this to do science for the sake of doing science,” de Grey explained. “I’m in it for the ultimate goal.” He further revealed that a few anonymous donors have given SENS $ 1 million each and other cryptocurrency personalities are also long-term donors of the foundation.

The Cryogenics Connection

Another main benefactor of donations made by crypto personalities is the Alcor Life Extension Foundation. This nonprofit based in Scottsdale, Arizona, advocates for, researches, and performs cryonics. This entails the freezing of the whole human corpse or just the brain in liquid nitrogen after legal death, with hopes of resurrecting the individual when the requisite technology is developed in the future.

According to reports, a number of crypto rich have anonymously donated to Alcor’s cryonics research. The top connection between the field and cryptocurrency is that Alcor might be preserving the body of a man some believe to be Satoshi Nakamoto himself. Hal Finney is the computer scientist who received the very first bitcoin transaction and helped get the network up and running during its first year. On Aug. 28, 2014, Finney’s body was taken to an Alcor facility soon after his death and underwent the cryogenic process. In May 2018 the foundation announced that cryptocurrency enthusiast Brad Armstrong gave it a $ 5 million research contribution, being held in the name of the “Hal Finney Cryonics Research Fund”.

Immortality, Cryogenics and UBI: How The Crypto Rich Influence Science

Another connection between cryptocurrency and cryogenics is that computer scientist Ralph Merkle, known for creating cryptographic hashing, the Merkle tree and other inventions, is also a researcher and advocate of cryonics. He reportedly knows a few crypto people who have donated to cryonics and also helped raise funds for Alcor.

Universal Basic Income and MDMA

A more economic research topic, but one that could have drastic implications for human society no less than curing aging or cheating death, is Universal Basic Income. UBI is one of the hottest economic debate topics of the last couple of years, talked about as a possible solution to technological unemployment, preventing humans from falling behind once robots take over all the jobs. The idea has even gained support from various politicians around the world recently such as U.S. democratic candidate Andrew Yang.

Basically the UBI plan is to provide everyone with a stipend so that they can live their lives without worrying about making enough money from work just to survive. This raises several questions as it goes against how many believe the world should function and it will also be an unprecedented experiment in the human condition. The Pineapple Fund made a $ 5 million donation to the organization Give Directly in 2017 to sponsor cash transfers to people living in extreme poverty in Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda where it is possible to test the UBI concept before it’s implemented in more expensive regions of the world. The Pineapple Fund has also donated more than $ 1 million to aid in the research of using MDMA as a treatment for PTSD.

Crypto rich and well-known community personalities have of course donated to other causes than the above mentioned scientific research projects. To list a few examples, Justin Sun gave $ 3 million to the Binance Charity Foundation, $ 250,000 to the ALS association and over $ 4.5 to Glide which aims to alleviate poverty. John McAfee donated a 27-foot boat worth $ 1.1 million to the Belize Coast Guard. The CEO of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, even signed the Giving Pledge, the drive started by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates for rich people to give away the majority of their wealth instead of leaving it to their heirs.

What do you think about the fields of scientific research the crypto rich donate to? 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 Bitcoin.com Markets, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post Immortality, Cryogenics and UBI: How The Crypto Rich Influence Science appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Bitcoin History Part 16: The First Mt. Gox Hack

August 25, 2019 |

Bitcoin History Part 16: The First Mt. Gox Hack

No one remembers the first Mt. Gox hack. It was a small sum, even by 2011’s standards, and the exchange reimbursed all users. The incident was to prove significant, however, for it set in motion a string of attacks on other bitcoin platforms that began the very next day. By the time the dust had settled six weeks later, four separate thefts had occurred, culminating in the loss of more than 178,000 bitcoins.

Also read: Bitcoin History Part 15: Silk Road Is Born

The First Bitcoin Exchange Hack

Summer 2011 was a heady time for the internet. Twitter was still good, deplatforming had yet to become a thing, and free speech was taken for granted. Back then, you could say what you liked, how you liked, to whoever you liked, and if that person didn’t like it, they could turn off their computer and go for a long walk in the sunshine, which solved the problem. Anyone with any sense wasn’t walking anywhere in mid-2011, however, because everything that mattered was happening on the internet, and it was riveting.

Bitcoin History Part 16: The First Mt. Gox Hack

For purveyors of the illicit, the insurrectionary, and the innovative, June 2011 might just go down as the most exciting month on the internet yet. It began with Gawker blowing Silk Road wide open on June 1, and would culminate, on June 25, with hacker group Lulzsec releasing its last data dump, comprising millions of passwords and sensitive data from scores of corporations. Sandwiched in between all this chaos were two noteworthy bitcoin hacks that weren’t of Lulzsec’s doing. The first, on June 19, was the first exchange hack in Bitcoin history, with the second occurring a day later as a direct result of this incursion.

Mt. Gox Gets Goxxed

Before Mt. Gox became so synonymous with failure as to spawn a verb describing the act of getting rekt, it was a successful exchange that was at the heart of everything that was happening in Bitcoin. It was to suffer its first hack, however, a little over a year into its life as a bitcoin exchange, and just three months after Mark Karpeles had taken over its operations. The incident occurred as a result of this ownership change, which entitled the former owner to a share of revenue, and with the administrator access to audit their earnings.

Bitcoin History Part 16: The First Mt. Gox Hack

On June 19, someone hacked into the admin account and generated vast amounts of BTC on the Gox orderbook. Doing so drove the price of BTC from dollars all the way down to a cent. The hackers then bought the cheap BTC with their own accounts and withdrew their cheaply gotten gains. They weren’t the only ones to profit from the BTC flash sale going on, with other Mt. Gox users making the most of the opportunity.

‘I’m Kevin, Here’s My Side’

In an account of how they capitalized on the mishap, Bitcointalk user “toasty” wrote on June 20, 2011: “I’m Kevin and I’m the guy who bought 259,684 BTC for under $ 3,000 yesterday. I really wanted to keep this as quiet as possible, but I don’t feel I can anymore. Here’s my side of what happened.” He went on:

“I was watching, like many of you, a gigantic sell order burning through the bids. Mt Gox doesn’t execute trades very quickly, so we were watching this huge order slowly eat up every buy order on the books. The price started at around $ 17.50, and within minutes was below $ 10. At this point, I realized this wasn’t merely a large seller willing to accept some losses. This was someone attempting to crash the market by selling a huge percentage of the market’s total bitcoins at once.”

Despite the exchange “running slower than molasses at the time,” toasty eventually “got a buy order in, offering to buy as many bitcoins as I could for $ 0.0101. The site stopped responding completely for a while, probably from so many people hitting refresh to see what was going on. When I got back in, I saw in my account:

06/19/11 17:51 Bought BTC 259684.77 for 0.0101

“I had just purchased over 250,000 bitcoins for $ 2613. At the trading price immediately before this large sell order happened, that number would have been worth nearly $ 5 million. After I regained my breath, I tried to figure out what to do.”

Two Strikes in Two Days

Despite withdrawal limits that were meant to be in place, both toasty and the real hacker managed to withdraw significant quantities of coins – toasty alone made off with 643 BTC. There followed an intense debate on the Bitcointalk forum about who was to blame for the theft, and whether toasty was entitled to his bargain bitcoins. The value of the 2,643 BTC Gox lost in the hack was valued at $ 47,000 at the time, and the exchange made full restitution to users who lost funds in the incident. It was powerless, though, to prevent a second hack which occurred within 24 hours of the breach.

On June 20, 2011, as toasty was confessing to his opportunistic trade and pondering what to do with his riches, the Bitcoin community was rocked by a second strike. Users of wallet service Mybitcoin.com reported that their accounts had been breached and their BTC stolen. It quickly became clear that the Mt. Gox database had been accessed during the hack, and that identical passwords and usernames on Mybitcoin had been plundered.

The pseudonymous operator of Mybitcoin acknowledged: “We’ve concluded that around 1% of the users on the leaked Mtgox password file had their Bitcoins stolen on MyBitcoin.” In total, 4,019 BTC worth $ 72,000 were stolen, with Mybitcoin covering their losses.

Bitcoin History Part 16: The First Mt. Gox Hack

The Summer of Lulz

June 2011 was a dramatic month, as the world began awakening to Bitcoin, set to a montage of Lulzsec hacks complete with heavy trolling of the three-letter agencies that were on their tail. The action didn’t let up either, for the next month there was more drama in these intersecting worlds (Lulzsec accepted donations in BTC, and were as enamored with bitcoin as many bitcoiners were with them). On July 18, the Anonymous-affiliated group exited retirement to hack the website of British newspaper The Sun, planting a fake story that owner Rupert Murdoch had died after ingesting palladium.

On July 26, Polish exchange Bitomat lost its wallet file containing 17,000 BTC. Three days later, Mybitcoin, the wallet service that had been breached along with Mt. Gox in June, exit scammed with 154,406 BTC, only half of which were ever recovered. To cover its 17,000 BTC losses, meanwhile, Bitomat was put up for sale, and in August 2011 a buyer was found: Mark Karpeles. The Mt. Gox CEO agreed to cover its debt, and welcomed Bitomat’s users to his Tokyo-based exchange. The deed was performed partly to restore faith in the still fragile Bitcoin ecosystem. Subsequent bitcoin hacks involving Mt. Gox would prove larger and harder for its CEO to absorb, but all that was still years away.

Bitcoin History is a multipart series from news.Bitcoin.com charting pivotal moments in the evolution of the world’s first cryptocurrency. Read part 15 here.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Did you know you can verify any unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction with our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool? Simply complete a Bitcoin address search to view it on the blockchain. Plus, visit our Bitcoin Charts to see what’s happening in the industry.

The post Bitcoin History Part 16: The First Mt. Gox Hack appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Send Token Payouts With Ease Using Bitcoin.com’s SLP Dividend Calculator

August 25, 2019 |

On August 23, Bitcoin.com released a new application called the SLP Dividend Calculator. The new platform allows users to build a transaction to make dividend payments to any Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) token holder.

Also read: How to Create Non-Fungible Assets and Collectible Tokens With Bitcoin Cash

Testing the New SLP Dividend Calculator From Bitcoin.com

Over the last year, SLP tokens have been extremely popular among BCH proponents, and so far supporters have made thousands of unique coins on the BCH chain. As time has progressed, the SLP ecosystem has matured a great deal and there are many third-party solutions supporting the token infrastructure. This week, Bitcoin.com added a new platform to our Tools.Bitcoin.com portal called the SLP Dividend Calculator. The application provides users with the ability to make grouped dividend payments to specific SLP token holders. For instance, if you distributed fractions of an SLP token to a group of three people, then you could enter the token’s ID and send funds to all three holders at a specific point in time. With the ability to pay BCH dividend payments to SLP token holders, the new tool opens the door to all kinds of real-world use cases.

Send Token Payouts With Ease Using Bitcoin.com's SLP Dividend Calculator
To use the new Bitcoin.com SLP Dividend Calculator simply add an SLP Token ID, the desired dividend payment in BCH, and when you want the payment to be sent. After you are happy with the customization, press “Build Tx” to start the process.

After the new tool was released, I decided to test the service in order to highlight just how easy it is to use the new Bitcoin.com SLP Dividend Calculator. I tested the app with my cousin, Andrew Brow, because back in June I sent him some custom SLP tokens called “Andy Coin (ABC)” just to show him how simple it is to create tokens. At the time I created 21 million ABC coins and sent 10 million to my cousin’s Badger wallet. Last night I opened up the SLP Dividend Calculator and pasted the token’s unique ID number into the first window.

Then I decided to pay $ 1 to the Andy Coin token holders, which means it will be split in half between both of us, because we are both ABC token holders. The SLP Dividend Calculator can pay a lot more than just two addresses, but for this test two was enough. After making sure the SLP token ID and the number of funds I wanted to send were correct, I decided to make the funds available at the last confirmed block height. You can also choose to broadcast it as is in the latest mempool state or you can choose a custom block height as well.

Send Token Payouts With Ease Using Bitcoin.com's SLP Dividend Calculator
After the dividend transaction is built the tool will display all the specifications tied to the payment alongside a QR BCH invoice that uses a unique Pay.Bitcoin.com URI. You can use the Bitcoin.com Wallet to pay the invoice or you can use any wallet that supports Bitcoin Payment Protocol for payments.

The service gives you two choices after the customization is complete: you can either press the button “Start over” or “Build the transaction.” After I chose to build the transaction, the application showed me exactly what would happen after I paid the unique payment invoice. The SLP balances were scanned at block height 597121 and I sent a dividend payment of 0.003176 BCH, which would be paid to the token holders of the Andy Coin token ID number. The platform also told me that two addresses would receive a BCH dividend payment after I paid the QR invoice code through Pay.Bitcoin.com. Any wallet that supports invoices, like the Bitcoin.com Wallet, can pay the invoice by copying the URI scheme or scanning the QR code. I used the Electron Cash wallet to pay the invoice, because I had some available funds in the wallet and I wanted to see exactly how the transaction was built and executed from the client perspective.

Send Token Payouts With Ease Using Bitcoin.com's SLP Dividend Calculator
The Pay.Bitcoin.com invoice can be paid using a wallet that supports invoice payment features like the Bitcoin.com Wallet and Electron Cash.

Opening the Door to a Decentralized Stock Market, Trust Payments and Bearer Bonds

After paying the invoice, the transaction broadcasted and my cousin Andrew and I were both sent $ 0.50 in BCH each. The transactions confirmed in the following block and the entire test can be seen on Bitcoin.com’s Block Explorer or Simpleledger.info as well. The tool could be used for a variety of interesting dividend payment ideas. For instance, Bitcoin.com’s executive chairman, Roger Ver, recently sent BCH dividend payments to Cashgames.Bitcoin.com Dividend Test Token (CGT) holders for being Cashgames.Bitcoin.com patrons.

Send Token Payouts With Ease Using Bitcoin.com's SLP Dividend Calculator
After pasting the URI code into the Electron Cash wallet you can then choose to execute the dividend payment.

A person with four children could create four separate non-fungible (NFT1) tokens with the kids’ names attached to them and call them Trust Tokens. After a specific block height, the Trust Tokens can be sent a BCH dividend payment in order to leave an inheritance to the children. Or a business could have people invest in the company by initiating an initial coin offering (ICO) and token holders could reap the profits in the form of dividend payments over time.

Send Token Payouts With Ease Using Bitcoin.com's SLP Dividend Calculator
The Electron Cash wallet shows you the specific details of the dividend transaction.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to the variety of concepts that can derive from people using the Bitcoin.com SLP Dividend Calculator. Since the application was launched, a bunch of BCH supporters have tested the platform to send funds to certain token holders. “Fantastic,” one BCH enthusiast wrote on the Reddit forum r/btc. “[This] gives us decentralized stock market… dead easy to use.”

Send Token Payouts With Ease Using Bitcoin.com's SLP Dividend Calculator
This my transaction sending a dollar’s worth of BCH to my cousin’s address and my address.

“Holy crap the new SLP dividend tool is awesome. Just played around with it and sent all holders of the MIS token their share of .01 BCH just to test it out,” another BCH user said on Twitter. “This is magic internet money for reals.” If you have created SLP tokens you can try sending a dividend payment to token holders by using the SLP Dividend Calculator. The process takes less than two minutes to complete and you don’t need to be a tech wiz to use the new tool. Check out the platform at Tools.Bitcoin.com and send your first BCH dividend payment today.

What do you think about the new SLP Dividend Calculator? Let us know what you think about this new tool and concept in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Electron Cash, SLP Dividend Calculator, Pixabay, Bitcoin.com’s Block Explorer and Wiki Commons.


Do you need to track down a Bitcoin transaction? With our Block Explorer tool, you can search by transaction ID, address, or block hash to find specific details. You can also search for SLP token transactions on the Bitcoin.com Block Explorer as well.

The post Send Token Payouts With Ease Using Bitcoin.com’s SLP Dividend Calculator appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Initiative to Curtail Negative Interest Rates Gains Traction in Germany

August 24, 2019 |

Ban on Negative Rates Initiative Gains Traction in Germany

Negative interest rates, a common occurrence in Europe these days, are unpleasant for both banks and clients. And financial institutions have been increasingly transferring the bulk of the burden on to their customers. Some political factions in Germany, however, aren’t happy with the trend and are pushing for adequate protection for the ordinary small saver, who is often their voter too.

Also read: Major Swedish Bank Orders Negative Interest Rate on Euro Deposits

Bavarian Leader Wants Berlin to Outlaw Punitive Interest

Germany needs to ban banks from passing negative rates to retail clients and it has to do so with a law. That’s according to Markus Söder, the prime minister of Bavaria, the largest and richest German state, and leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU). The local official with national prominence recently opened a front against subzero rates announcing an initiative in the Bundesrat, the upper house of the federal parliament, to exempt deposits of up to €100,000 from the punitive interest.

Initiative to Curtail Negative Interest Rates Gains Traction in Germany
Markus Söder

According to Söder, negative interest rates do not correspond to the financial culture in the country. German savers are already losing billions due to the low interest rates of the European Central Bank (ECB), he recently told Bild. The German politician thinks a change of course is necessary in terms of interest rate policy at European level. Berlin should make it clear to Christine Lagarde, nominated to become the next ECB president, that negative rates are not a sensible way forward, Söder stressed.

The head of the Bavarian executive power thinks it’s absurd when even banks that have ‘savings’ in their name have to resort to imposing negative interest rates which thus make saving unattractive. “We need a legal ban in Germany that prevents these negative rates from being passed on to small savers,” the official insisted. Unlike small depositors, wealthier savers have started looking for and some have already found alternative investment opportunities. He further commented:

Banks would have to balance their costs differently. Saving must be rewarded and not punished.

Push Against Subzero Rates Gathers Support

The initiative for a ban on punitive interest rates has already garnered political backing on national level. Söder’s proposal was welcomed by Wolfgang Steiger, secretary general of the Economic Council of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). While CSU is based only in Bavaria, its larger counterpart, the CDU, is present in all other 15 states of the Bundesrepublik. The two conservative sister parties form a common parliamentary group in the Bundestag called the Unionsfraktion.

With these interest rates, Steiger noted recently, German savers pay for the rescue of the euro. Prime Minister Söder rightly demands a shift in the European monetary policy, he stressed, calling his colleague’s efforts important. CDU’s high-ranking representative elaborated that in a functioning competitive order, private property must be protected from arbitrary interference and stated:

Zero and negative interest rates are nothing but expropriation. It is therefore high time for the ECB to reduce its so-called unconventional monetary policy, stop the creeping financing of sovereign debt, and allow interest rates that reward savers and not punish them.

Speaking to the German press, Wolfgang Steiger bluntly warned that the pensions of millions of people are literarally sinking. This, in his view, undermines basic trust in politics while also inflicting permanent damage to the cohesion of society.

Söder’s effort received support from another corner of the political spectrum. The idea sounds good according to Olaf Scholz, Germany’s finance minister and vice chancellor in Angela Merkel’s coalition government. Scholz, who is a representative of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), indicated he is willing to check if small savers can be protected from penalty interest by law. “Negative interest rates are a real burden for private savers,” a spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of Finance told the Bild. That’s why the ministry is now examining closely whether it’s legally possible to prevent them.

Initiative to Curtail Negative Interest Rates Gains Traction in Germany
Federal Ministry of Finance

Scholz expects interest rates to remain very low in the next few years. Last week, he was quoted by Reuters saying that companies should seize the opportunity for near-zero borrowing costs to boost private sector investment. He pointed to the United States, where businesses and entrepreneurs are much more willing to put money into new projects. “My wish is that we also achieve such a cultural change here,” Scholz emphasized and added: “Don’t do it my way. I simply put it in my savings account.”

The German finance minister also noted that central banks are currently pursuing a loose monetary policy. The ECB has already signaled it’s planning more measures to stimulate the euro zone economy in order to avoid recession, including a new rate cut to an all-time low of -0.50% in September and restoring quantitative easing efforts in October by purchasing assets worth €15 billion ($ 16.6 billion).

Some Doubt a Ban on Negative Rates Is Going to Work

A move to ban negative interest rates in Germany is likely to face some challenges. Financial institutions in the Eurozone are now forced to pay a subzero, -0.40% penalty on their deposits with the European Central Bank (ECB). And they are obliged to keep mandatory reserves there. Under these unfavorable conditions, 115 banks are already partially passing on the punitive rates to their private and business clients, an analysis conducted by the German financial portal Biallo shows. Preventing them from doing so with legal means may involve dealing with certain constitutional issues and hence take time to accomplish.

Initiative to Curtail Negative Interest Rates Gains Traction in Germany
European Central Bank

Doubts have been expressed by representatives of legal and financial circles in the Federal Republic as well. According to Daniela Bergdolt from the German Bar Association, the country’s legislature has the power to introduce such restrictions, but a law banning negative rates for small savers would still be difficult to implement because of obligations to provide equal treatment to all depositors. A prohibition would also breach the autonomy of the financial institutions through government intervention in their business.

Others think a ban on subzero rates would be unlawful and push banks into an even deeper earnings crisis. Some have already rejected Söder’s initiative. According to the German Savings Bank Association, statutory prohibitions won’t help in any way. The lenders would pass on the negative interest, which they themselves have to pay to the ECB, regardless of the imposed restrictions. That could be done through higher account management fees, for example. Besides, a German law would not change the risky monetary policy of the European Central Bank in any way.

Danske Bank Investigated for Overcharging Clients

European banks, however, owe customers fair treatment after all, as a recent case in Denmark shows. The country’s financial regulator has prepared a draft report for the police about Danske Bank’s practice of overcharging some of its clients. The Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) revealed earlier this summer it was investigating the major Danish bank for continuing to sell its Flexinvest Fri investment product despite expectations for poor performance which remained hidden from customers, according to Reuters and the local daily Jyllands Posten. The institution knew the return after fees would be less than the 0% rate on the deposit accounts.

Initiative to Curtail Negative Interest Rates Gains Traction in Germany

Following these revelations, Jesper Nielsen, Danske’s interim CEO at the time and head of its domestic bank, was fired. And in June, the credit institution promised to compensate investors with 400 million Danish kroner (almost $ 60 million). Details came out while the bank’s management was trying hard to restore public trust after its name was involved in a huge money laundering scandal in Europe. In damage control mode, the bank recently announced it’s not planning to impose negative rates on personal savings accounts or introduce additional fees for its wealthy depositors.

If you don’t want to be punished with negative interest rates and excessive bank fees, cryptocurrencies offer an attractive alternative. You can save in decentralized digital assets using the services of platforms like Cred which, in partnership with Bitcoin.com, provides you with up to 10% interest on your BCH and BTC holdings.

Do you expect Germany to adopt a law banning subzero interest rates on savings? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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The White House Just Blamed Bitcoin for America’s Opiate Crisis

August 24, 2019 |

The White House Just Blamed Bitcoin for America's Opiate Crisis

The opioid epidemic is the new devil Bitcoin is being blamed for inflaming, to be added to the already long list of heinous crimes crypto is supposedly responsible for, like terrorism, money laundering, and trafficking. While it’s painfully clear that the U.S. dollar is a much more common tool for these unethical and illicit activities, that doesn’t stop the powers that be from continuing their propagandistic assault on financial freedom — ignoring their own central role in creating these massive problems, by pumping up the artificial monopolies that peddle them, and outlawing less dangerous and non-addictive solutions.

Also Read: Doing What You Want With Your Money Is a Fundamental Right

It’s That Evil Internet Money to Blame

In new advisories issued by Whitehouse.gov entitled: “White House Announces Actions to Crack Down on Trafficking of Fentanyl and Synthetic Opioids and Better Position Private Sector to Protect the Homeland,” the U.S. government has named a new enemy in America’s deadly opioid crisis: Bitcoin. Among culprit cryptos named as aiding in trafficking of Fentanyl are BTC, BCH, ETH, and XMR. For those in the know, this is a little more than darkly ironic, as the U.S. government’s systematic U.S. dollar finance of big pharmaceutical companies, and combined violent prohibition of safe alternatives like cannabis, dwarf any paltry contribution crypto might be making.

The White House Just Blamed Bitcoin for America's Opiate Crisis

America’s Opioid Crisis

Opioids — being basically heroin in a pill — are highly addictive. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) itself, Fentanyl is “80-100 times stronger than morphine.” With the wild financial success of oxycodone (commonly known by the trade name Oxycontin) and other opioids in the 90’s, big pharma began seeing big dollar signs. After an industry and government-wide push to address chronic pain, and a new Joint Commission initiative which now recognized pain as the “5th vital sign” (basically conditioning patients to take meds for any and every discomfort and nagging pain) opiate use exploded.

Prescriptions for opioid analgesics skyrocketed by 104%, from 43.8 million in 2000 to 89.2 million in 2010. In 2016, more than 289 million prescriptions were filled. According to a Surgeon General’s Report released the same year:

Over-prescription of powerful opioid pain relievers beginning in the 1990s led to a rapid escalation of use and misuse…This led to a resurgence of heroin use, as some users transitioned to using this cheaper street cousin of expensive prescription
opioids. As a result, the number of people dying from opioid overdoses soared—increasing nearly four-fold between 1999 and 2014.

Fentanyl and its analogues, the central theme of the recent White House advisories, are currently causing the most deaths where opioids are concerned. Chinese drug kingpins and crypto are being blamed, but the government conveniently ignores its own central role in the chemical devastation of tens of thousands of lives.

The White House Just Blamed Bitcoin for America's Opiate Crisis

In 2017, over 72,000 died of overdose, and most of these were opioid-related. While the numbers of prescriptions are finally leveling off, the U.S. government’s recent statements painting crypto as a key culprit are laughable, spurious, and telling. As U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and John Kennedy (R-LA) recently expressed in a letter to the DEA:

We have previously shared our deep concern that, between 1993 and 2015, DEA allowed aggregate production quotas for oxycodone to increase 39-fold, hydrocodone to increase 12-fold, hydromorphone to increase 23-fold, and fentanyl to increase 25-fold.

The senators go on to state that “the pharmaceutical industry flooded every corner of the country with 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills between 2006 and 2012—egregious volumes of painkiller production that was undertaken with DEA approval and awareness.”

The White House Just Blamed Bitcoin for America's Opiate Crisis

Taking Aim at Crypto

The “Money” section of the four-part advisory details how criminals use “convertible virtual currency” (CVC) to facilitate trafficking of illicit substances:

Foreign representatives will instruct the U.S.-based individual to send payments through CVC, such as bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, or monero.

The document goes on to state: “Additionally, U.S.-based individuals may find fentanyl dealers on Darknet markets and contact Darknet vendors located worldwide, including in the United States.” Advising financial institutions on methods for discovering and reporting business transaction red flags, things like use of Virtual Privacy Networks (VPN), inability to determine the source of funds, sending “low-dollar money transfers to an individual in China for no apparent legitimate purpose,” and association with a pharmaceutical company are listed.

Information “particularly helpful to law enforcement” is identified as crypto wallet addresses, account info, tx IDs, tx history, login/IP info, “mobile device information,” and “information obtained from analysis of the customer’s public, online profile and
communications.” The report also details, in a footnote:

Tumbling or mixing involves the use of mechanisms to break the connection between an address sending CVC and the addresses receiving
CVC.

While the crypto crowd is put under the hot lights of sloppy state scrutiny once again, now being blamed for Fentanyl abuse and Chinese drug lords — who simply fulfilled a demand for a ferociously successful black market the U.S. government itself created, anyway — level-headed, statistical assessment puts the propaganda straight to bed.

The White House Just Blamed Bitcoin for America's Opiate Crisis
The most dangerous thing about this plant, Cannabis, is that the government will try to destroy the lives of those who use it without their permission.

Math Doesn’t Lie, and Violence Isn’t Safety

As news.bitcoin.com reported last month, when it comes to the currency most overwhelmingly used to facilitate illicit transactions like Fentanyl trafficking, the USD remains the preferred money of criminals by leaps and bounds. This is irrelevant, though, according to many crypto enthusiasts and free market advocates, because any tool anywhere can be used unethically. This doesn’t make the tool bad, but the actor.

With only $ 72 billion (erring on the side of extreme caution) of the estimated $ 400 billion annual market volume for illegal drugs being bitcoin-related, the point is moot, even by statist standards. Still, those tragically affected by the opioid epidemic have a more pointed bone to pick.

When safe alternatives to highly addictive substances like Fentanyl are naturally, readily available, and dirt cheap, there can be only one reason the powers that be would seek to destroy families, incomes, and literal lives to stop people from possessing them: control. So while the gutters are strewn with mountains of cold corpses from an opiate cash cow, and innocent men and women are locked in cages for trying to save their lives, or the lives of their children with a plant, it’s hard to imagine any sane person believing the White House talking heads. They may feign concern and cry crocodile tears for the plague they willingly created, blaming a non-violent, decentralized money for the damage, but to believe that line of blather one would have to be very drugged up, indeed.

What are your thoughts on the White House advisory? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, fair use.


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Doing What You Want With Your Money Is a Fundamental Right

August 24, 2019 |

Doing What You Want With Your Money Is a Fundamental Right

Since the birth of Bitcoin, crusaders fighting for the separation of money and state discovered a new payment tool that bypasses the nation state’s control over the monetary system. For over ten years now, lots of people have been using digital currencies to hide from prying eyes of governments in order to free themselves from a system that contributes to insanity.

Also read: How to Create Non-Fungible Assets and Collectible Tokens With Bitcoin Cash

The Separation of Church and State Has Proved Humans Can Remove the Monetary System From State Control

It can take years, decades, and even centuries for humans to realize certain concepts used within society are immoral. Things like genocide, chattel slavery, and religious persecution have all been deemed unethical. Over the last century, throughout a great majority of countries worldwide, the separation of church and state has become the norm. The concept of the separation of church and state started during the Saint Augustine of Hippo era (between 354 – 430 AD). Augustine discussed the subject in the book called “The City of God,” in Chapter 17, and defined the proper roles of religion and country. All the way up until medieval times, most leaders of nations states were kings and were appointed by the church to rule because of an idea called divine right. Things really started heating up in the Western Hemisphere, when citizens from England wanted to escape the church’s state-dominated rule by fleeing to the colonies located in the U.S.

Doing What You Want With Your Money Is a Fundamental Right
John Locke was one of the first to introduce the “enlightenment era” which involved individual sovereign rights and the separation of church and state.

During this period (the 1600s–1720) the political philosopher John Locke established the “enlightenment era,” which initiated the idea of separating church and state as well as other individualist ideas. Other well known philosophers like Montesquieu and Pierre Bayle also argued for separation of the two entities. Locke’s writings about the social contract and sovereign rights declared that nation states do not have the authority over an individual’s conscience and therefore forcing them to follow a certain religion is immoral. Locke’s views became a primer for the American revolution and his literature helped form the U.S. Constitution. The third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, wrote many articles on the free exercise clause and he was quoted for coining the phrase “building a wall of separation between church and state.”

“I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state,” Jefferson wrote in 1802.

Doing What You Want With Your Money Is a Fundamental Right
Many economists and scholars worldwide believe the state’s interference with money is the main reason the current monetary system is a failure.

Cryptocurrencies Are Priming a New Enlightenment Era

Well before Satoshi Nakamoto unleashed the Bitcoin network, individuals have been pushing for the separation of money and state. Austrian economists and libertarian philosophers believe that money deserves to be privatized and removed from the surveillance of the nation states. There are a great number of reasons why money needs to be depoliticized, and most of the citizens from nearly every country are aware that something is wrong.

This is why the inflation rate in Venezuela is one of the worst cases of hyperinflation in modern history, at 10 million percent. It’s why huge Occupy Wall Street protests were staged worldwide in 2012 after the 2008 recession, and why the French recently protested in Paris. Governments and the central banks, controlled by a small group of people, have created a system so manipulated that 1% of the world’s population controls most of the wealth, land, and commodities. The collusive arrangement between the bureaucrats and banks is allowed because the citizens are told these entities work for the common good of man. However, the central banks and politicians are the ones who have funded decades of war, financial sanctions against peaceful people, pollution, and the growing police and surveillance state.

Doing What You Want With Your Money Is a Fundamental Right
Because bankers are extremely close with the political oligarchy, no banker has been jailed for severe and systematic financial crimes. But bureaucrats have no issues with arresting thousands of peaceful people for using marijuana or spending their money privately.

Over the years there have been multiple methods of bypassing the state’s dominant control over money, but some people have been threatened and even caged for trying to use a new money system. For instance, Bernard von NotHaus was arrested in 2007 for creating the Liberty Dollar, a private currency that was issued in minted metal rounds. The U.S. government then warned the public that the people could not issue metal coins that resembled the coins of the United States or of foreign countries.

Doing What You Want With Your Money Is a Fundamental Right
Bernard von NotHaus is well known for creating the Liberty Dollar and being arrested for creating a private currency that competed with the U.S. dollar. Liberty Dollars were also represented by paper notes as well.

During this same time frame, the cypherpunks were busy discussing and producing different forms of electronic currencies to be used on the internet. The following year, after von NotHaus was arrested, the global economy imploded and bureaucrats rushed to bail out the banks. While things seemed extremely dismal, on January 3rd, 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto unleashed a new payment tool that could help bolster monetary freedom and separate money from the claws of the state. The software’s genesis block is a testament to this goal as the embedded metadata reads:

The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.

Global Citizens Have Realized the Monetary System Is Unethical, But as With the Church, Governments Will Encroach Until They Are Removed From the Process

Satoshi never commented on why he chose to add this message, but the headline stems from the January 3rd, 2009 edition of The Times. The newspaper detailed how British politicians told citizens that they would bail out the banks in order to stimulate the economy. Despite the protests in major cities across the U.S. and U.K., the biggest central banks bailed out the financial institutions with taxpayers’ money. More than ten years later after a bunch of quantitative easing (QE) and manipulating interest rates, the world’s bureaucrats and central planners have failed again. Economists are worried that there’s an impending recession on the way in 2019, and some expect it to be worse than the 2008 crisis. Thankfully, Nakamoto’s vision and subsequent technology have spurred another avenue for peaceful individuals and organizations to escape the threats of monetary control.

Doing What You Want With Your Money Is a Fundamental Right
One optimistic thing about the creation of Bitcoin is that ever since it was introduced, people are not being thrown in a cage, like Bernard von NotHaus for creating their own currency. There are now 2,000+ cryptocurrencies competing and anyone can participate.

Cryptocurrencies are another opportunity to participate in the counter economy just like using methods of barter and trade, and the use of alternative currencies not controlled by nation states. Since the separation of church and state has become the norm, digital currency proponents think that money and payment tools are also tethered tightly to the conceptions of identity and self. This means no one should tell you how to spend your money, no one should be able to monitor your use of funds, and no one should throw you in a cage because you want to keep your financial transactions private. Humans should be able to do whatever they want with their money and cryptocurrencies allow for them to do this in a permissionless manner. In 2019, residents of planet earth should at least understand by now that the separation of money and state should be a fundamental right in the same way spirituality should be chosen or not chosen freely by a sovereign individual.

Doing What You Want With Your Money Is a Fundamental Right
Using cryptocurrencies like bitcoin cash (BCH) can help people avoid the state and remove themselves from the manipulated monetary system. Did you know you can purchase bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin core (BTC), ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC), and other coins using Buy.bitcoin.com? Head over to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can easily buy cryptocurrencies in minutes.

The problem is the nation states and the banking cartel understand that if you remove money from the state’s control, then their power becomes extremely weak. Without being able to steal from the population, governments wouldn’t last very long and the market would quickly realize that they would rather pay for competitive goods and services, instead of supporting failing monopolies. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies give humans a tool that promotes the idea of being independent and free from the subjection of political power over money and monetary choices.

Using cryptocurrencies and alternative payment tools to bypass the state is a fundamental right and people should continue to fight to remove the monetary system from the state’s control. Money needs to be protected from government encroachment so free-markets can flourish. Some people may never use digital currencies to circumvent the state, but over the last ten years, there’s a growing number of people using these tools for that very reason. Someday, if all goes well, humans may see true free market concepts bolstered by cryptocurrency solutions that will galvanize a network of free and voluntary exchange.

What do you think about the separation of money and state being bolstered by cryptocurrency solutions? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Op-ed Disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Bastiat Institute, and Mises.org.


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Bitcoin News

Cryptocurrency Domains Have Become Hot Property

August 23, 2019 |

Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain technology have become mainstream terms and are now featured in most dictionaries. Crypto-related terms have a lot of value when they are tethered to a web domain, and these days digital currency domains are prime real estate, with some selling for up to seven figures.

Also read: How to Create Non-Fungible Assets and Collectible Tokens With Bitcoin Cash

Crypto Domains Are Being Snatched Up, Squatted and Sold for Profit

Cryptocurrencies have been around for 10 years now and the entire ecosystem is worth more than $ 250 billion. The many tentacles of the crypto industry have grown thanks to third-party platforms, competing blockchain projects, exchanges and brokerage services, wallets, and payment processors. Each of these projects and businesses has a unique web domain and some of the top bitcoin and blockchain websites are now worth hundreds of thousands of dollars – and even millions in a few cases.

Cryptocurrency Domains Have Become Hot Property
Websites that sell domains can also calculate the rough estimate of what a cryptocurrency domain name might be worth. The prices shown are based on data such as weekly and monthly traffic. A website owner may not sell you the domain for this price either as it may be worth much more in their eyes.

Desirable crypto domains include Blockchain.com, Bitcoin.com, Ethereum.com, Crypto.com, Btc.com, and Bitcoin.org. A rough estimate of how much one of these sites is worth can be seen by referencing a domain value calculator. However, that doesn’t mean the owner will be willing to part with the domain at that price; these tools only give a ballpark figure based on traffic scores and ratings from Alexa and Google. For example, the owner of Ethereum.com has left a message for the website’s visitors.

“Ethereum.com was registered on March 11, 2011. It has no relation to the blockchain technology, which later adopted the same name,” the website explains. “Ethereum.com is for sale for $ 10,000,000 USD.”

Cryptocurrency Domains Have Become Hot Property
Bitcoin-related domain names can be expensive and will cost a lot more than a generic domain.

Apparently, the person who registered the Ethereum.com domain just happened upon an internet gold mine, but there are many individuals and businesses who register a domain with the intention of selling it later for a profit. Ever since web domains have been tradable, ‘domain squatting’ has been prevalent. This involves a person buying up a bunch of website names that are tied to a specific product or industry and then waiting for a more profitable time to sell them. In the crypto industry, domain squatters are prevalent and individuals and businesses of all sizes have to deal with the pressure of people snatching up the best domain names early. Because of the rising popularity of digital assets, especially after the bull run in 2017, crypto and blockchain-related websites are selling or have been sold for top dollar.

Cryptocurrency Domains Have Become Hot Property
On Twitter, domain squatters can be seen hoarding droves of website names that they are willing to sell for a profit.

Observers Witnessed the Crypto Domain Price Peak in 2017

In 2009, the website Eth.com sold for just under $ 20K to a company which held it until 2013 when the subsequent owner used a Whois history privacy protection plan. Then in October 2017, the site was sold for $ 2 million and the website is now dedicated to ethereum mining. A few months beforehand, in April, the website Cryptobank.com was sold to Craig Ellis, the cofounder of Triangl, but the site is still undeveloped. Allegedly in 2018, Binance purchased the domain Cryptoworld.com from Mike Mann, the founder of Domainmarket.com, for $ 195,000. At the time, Mann told the world that he purchased the domain for only $ 11 back in 2011. In 2017, Globalcoin.com sold to someone from Shanghai, China for $ 35,516 and in January 2018, Cryptotrading.com was sold to William Thomas for $ 35,000.

Cryptocurrency Domains Have Become Hot Property
Lots of cryptocurrency domain names that have been sold over the years. Prices reached a peak in 2017.

There’s a large list of cryptocurrency-related domains for sale today for thousands of dollars on various marketplaces. This includes Bitcointransfer.co ($ 12,000), Coinsbio.com ($ 1,000), 360crypto.com ($ 30,000), Block-chain.com.de ($ 20,000), Btcwallet.club ($ 10,000), and Tokenpay.es ($ 12,000). On Twitter there are also many individuals selling cryptocurrency domains and these days it’s hard not to stumble upon some shilling their domains. One person on Twitter explains the domain name Coinistical.com is a “fantastic brandable domain that’s for sale now.” Another person writes: “The domain name Bitcazino.com is for sale A fun take on the words ‘bitcoin’ and ‘casino.’” The account @Dotonlydomains, a business that sells dotcom website names only, is also selling the domain Realcryptocurrency.com.

Cryptocurrency Domains Have Become Hot Property
It’s hard not to stumble upon people selling domain names on social media in 2019.

Cryptocurrency-Related Website Sales Are on the Rise Again

Searching through the depths of social media and digital currency forums shows that the crypto domain real estate market is in high tempo. Search results from Namebio suggest a lot of websites associated with crypto names have been sold over the last few months. Cryptocpa.com sold for $ 12,000, Owncoin.com ($ 2,050), Cryptofocus.com ($ 1,155), Bitcoin.red ($ 4,860), Bituniverse.com ($ 3,156) and Coinpig.com ($ 1,225).

Cryptocurrency Domains Have Become Hot Property
As of August 18, 2019, the average selling price for a crypto-related website was $ 1,057.

Just the other day, Runsonripple.com sold for $ 10,000, Bitsec.com was purchased for $ 4,550, and Cryptoman.com was sold by Namejet for $ 1,350. The average selling price for a digital currency styled domain name was around $ 1,057 on August 18. Between September and November 2017, domain names involving crypto could range between $ 2,000 to $ 4,000 and on October 22 average prices touched a high of $ 75,000. The most active website brokerage service which has sold the largest number of digital currency domains today is Go Daddy.

Cryptocurrency Domains Have Become Hot Property
Vendors discussing crypto domains on a website marketplace forum in April.

With the popularity of digital currencies growing, the domain names attached to this industry will follow the same path. Squatters are gambling as well because they don’t know if that specific name will be a good internet brand and one that will entice a future buyer. On the forum Namepros.com, a marketplace where people buy and trade popular domain names, one user explained that digital currency domains are following market prices.

“The overall momentum in the crypto market has changed from bearish to bullish and we can expect to see higher highs in crypto prices in the near and distant future,” the top member Judgemind detailed this April. “This switch in the market is great for domain investors, more new startups will emerge in the crypto space and blockchain technology will continue to evolve. Keywords to focus on for investment in .com, .org, .io include Bit, Btc, Bitcoin, Crypto, Coin, Chain, Block, Blockchain, Faucet, Token, and Airdrop.”

What do you think about the demand for cryptocurrency domains? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned companies, domains, domain vendors, and websites associated with this article. 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, domain products and website vendors mentioned in this article. This editorial review is for informational purposes only.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Go Daddy, Twitter, Namebio, and Pixabay.


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The Push to Kill Cash – Australia’s Proposed Ban Shows It’s Not Conspiracy Theory

August 23, 2019 |

The Push to Kill Paper Money - Australia's Proposed Ban Shows It's Not 'Conspiracy Theory'

The supposed coordination of governments and tech companies to create a one-world, cashless society is often viewed as little more than fodder for silly Youtube conspiracy videos. After all, cash is still king in daily life, even in extremely high-tech, innovative societies like Japan. Upon closer examination, though, current realities like Australia’s proposed cash transaction ban for 2020, the continuing removal of higher denomination bills from several world economies, and the creation of centralized, state cryptocurrencies by governments worldwide cannot be ignored. These trends signal a global push to kill paper money in the name of safety, security, and financial inclusion.

Also Read: Major Swedish Bank Orders Negative Interest Rate on Euro Deposits

You Can Pay, But It Better Be Our Way

Australia’s “Black Economy Taskforce” wants to put people accepting over 10,000 AUD (~$ 6,750) in cash in the slammer for up to two years, or fine them up to 25,000 (~$ 16,890), in an ostensible bid to fight black market economies. The Currency (Restrictions on the Use of Cash) Bill 2019 states:

Transactions equal to, or in excess of this amount would need to be made using the electronic payment system or by cheque. The Black Economy Taskforce recommended this action to tackle tax evasion and other criminal activities.

The Push to Kill Cash – Australia's Proposed Ban Shows It's Not Conspiracy Theory
Long lines of people wait to exchange their obsolete rupee notes in India.

Note the similarity here with talking points of other governments. India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, when announcing the devastating surprise removal of 86% of the country’s circulating paper cash in 2016, proclaimed:

Black money and corruption are the biggest obstacles in eradicating poverty.

Not surprisingly, Modi’s shock move put the dominantly cash-based society in a panic, forcing people to take their now worthless 1,000 and 500 rupee notes to banks within 50 days of the announcement, to exchange them for smaller denominations. Now The Royal Bank of India is moving to ban all cryptocurrencies but one, the state-approved, digital rupee.

The Push to Kill Cash – Australia's Proposed Ban Shows It's Not Conspiracy Theory
500-dollar federal reserve notes were officially discontinued in 1969.

The removal of large cash bills is a worldwide, ongoing reality, with the European Central Bank (ECB) stopping production of the 500 euro note earlier this year. The note, dubbed by the media as “the Bin Laden,” was said to be used disproportionately in financing terrorism. The U.S. used to have banknotes worth $ 500 and higher as well, some which were known as gold certificates, entitling the bearer to physical gold upon redemption. As fractional reserve banking took over, however, and national debt increased, these systems were progressively abandoned. The trend continues today in the form of Negative Interest Rate Policy (NIRP), and the resultant push for digitization of money.

The Push to Kill Cash – Australia's Proposed Ban Shows It's Not Conspiracy Theory

Stop Holding Cash and Take Our Debt

“If everyone is holding cash, negative interest rates become useless.” These are the words of former People’s Bank of China (PBOC) governor Zhou Xiaochuan after the Chinese government had just completed a trial run of their new national cryptocurrency back in 2017. Now the country’s sovereign digital currency is “almost ready.” Zhou has also officially stated:

At the current stage, the central bank’s major goal of issuing digital currency is to replace the physical cash.

Earlier in the same interview, he maintained that “The cost for cash transaction will gradually increase in the later stage. For instance, banks do not charge any fee for counting a large amount of coins now, but in the future they may charge their clients for such services.” Zhou’s remarks about negative interest rates are arguably the biggest giveaway as to what is going on here. If people are holding cash outside of banks, reckless, Keynesian NIRP policies won’t have the desired effect of coercing spending in the populace.

New Zealand Reserve Bank governor Adrian Orr agrees with Zhou:

Let’s tax cash holdings, simple as that: we’re back to monetary policy as usual; people are disincentivised to be holding large lumps of physical cash; they are having to think harder about putting money to work.

The Push to Kill Cash – Australia's Proposed Ban Shows It's Not Conspiracy Theory

Big Tech: We’ll Create the Digital Money, Thank You

While draconian government monetary policy is alarming, the lack of support for actual financial sovereignty in the crypto and tech space is indicative of another problem. Government’s designs on eliminating paper money and fighting permissionless, decentralized crypto exchange — both moves to control money supply and populations of individuals — are obvious, and to be expected. But even big tech companies and exchanges like Facebook and Binance are jumping on the propaganda bandwagon, dragging many well-meaning enthusiasts into the fight against financial freedom (even if unintentionally) right along with them.

“We believe that we all have a responsibility to help advance financial inclusion, support ethical actors, and continuously uphold the integrity of the ecosystem.” – Libra whitepaper

“This is why we believe in and are committed to a collaborative process with regulators, central banks, and lawmakers…” – Facebook’s David Marcus

“Binance is looking to create new alliances and partnerships with governments, corporations, technology companies, and other cryptocurrency companies and projects involved in the larger blockchain ecosystem, to empower developed and developing countries to spur new currencies.” – Binance’s ‘Venus’ announcement

The common theme here is eager compliance with Keynesian value destroyers. And these examples are illustrative of the true financial epidemic.

The Push to Kill Cash – Australia's Proposed Ban Shows It's Not Conspiracy Theory

Forced ‘Perfection’

Digital currencies really are extremely convenient. Everybody in the world really should have a chance at financial inclusion. Holding wads of paper cash and coins really can be a bother, as well as a safety hazard, where crime is concerned. In Finland, passengers on state railways won’t be able to purchase tickets with cash for long-distance trips, starting in September. Much easier than messing with the paper stuff. ATMs are becoming less common worldwide, even in countries like China, the U.S., and cash-obsessed Japan. Settlements and payments can be made effortlessly, though, with just a quick scan or entering a PIN, so it’s no big deal.

But this is not a perfect world. Governments are corrupt. Artificial monopolies and seas of red tape exist, keeping the life-threateningly impoverished and entrepreneurial from accessing crypto and banking services via strict KYC and AML policy, and by mandating, like Modi in India, that their hard-earned and hard-saved money is worthless. People already have the opportunity for extreme financial inclusion. A $ 40 smartphone and an internet connection enables anyone, anywhere in the world, to make or receive money with Bitcoin. In the name of regulation, safety, and financial inclusion, however, the state makes the situation more chaotic, less safe, and extremely exclusive where real human need is concerned.

The Push to Kill Cash – Australia's Proposed Ban Shows It's Not Conspiracy Theory

Some of us crazy people still like paper cash, and prefer to pay that way. Some annoying, behind-the-times luddites still put money in their mattresses, where global financial policy turns more and more toward negative rates, continued inflation, and devaluation of money sitting in banks. Some entrepreneurs and tech-savvy fans of crypto simply think it’s nobody else’s damn business, preferring paper wallets, coin shuffling, and VPNs, in a world where everyone but those in power are presumed guilty until proven innocent. Some of us “conspiracy nuts” just like crypto for crypto, and paper cash is still closer to that clean and private model than any slimy, centralized digital state currency could ever hope to be.

Do you think there is a global push to end cash? Let us know in the comments section below.

OP-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, fair use.


Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.

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The New Bitcoin Banks Are Here

August 23, 2019 |

The New Bitcoin Banks Are Here

A new age of banking is imminent. Legacy models will be forced to follow suit or become obsolete in the eyes of value holders worldwide, as new bitcoin and crypto services take over, seeking to implement blockchain systems with an eye on convenience and financial inclusion. Announcements of stablecoins and exchange services from giants Binance, Coinbase, and others, signal the age of the ‘Bitcoin Bank’ is just beginning. Whether this shift brings about the immense positive change it promises, or simply becomes a new centrally regulated banking system with competing digital monies, the transition is nevertheless underway.

Also Read: The World Bank’s Blockchain Bond Is Just a Fancy Way of Selling Debt

Overview of Trends

On a global scale, a few basic trends are emerging rapidly where crypto exchanges and banking are concerned. The proliferation of crypto/fiat on and off-ramps, ever wider arrays of crypto financial services, and development of competing stablecoins are being witnessed more than ever. Major players seek to secure market capitalization in the context of security-oriented, compliance-based crypto competition which fosters financial inclusion.

The New Bitcoin Banks Are Here

Binance Announces New Stablecoin Project

On Monday, Binance announced “plans to initiate an open blockchain project, Venus, an initiative to develop localized stablecoins and digital assets pegged to fiat currencies across the globe.” The $ 1 billion+ daily trading volume behemoth is supporting over 150 cryptocurrencies and already actively involved in stablecoin development “including a BTC-pegged stablecoin (BTCB) and the Binance BGBP Stable Coin (BGBP) pegged to the British Pound.”

The Chinese version of the announcement stressed the need to embrace change, and for groups like itself and Libra to be developed in an “orderly manner” under regulatory guidelines. The announcement goes on to suggest three specific courses of action including government establishing the strategic position of blockchain and stablecoin enterprise in the financial sector, establishing regulatory sandbox mechanisms, and the allowance of private enterprise creation of stablecoins and cross-border payment settlement systems.

Coinbase Acquires Xapo

Another giant in the industry serving as a significant crypto on-ramp since 2012, is Coinbase, whose custody business has recently acquired crypto asset storage group Xapo’s Institutional Custody Business. In an announcement on August 16, Coinbase detailed: “Through the acquisition of Xapo’s institutional businesses, we’re now proud to act not only as the gateway for millions of people to cryptocurrency, but also as the world’s largest and most trusted steward of digital assets.”

The New Bitcoin Banks Are Here
Coinbase Assets Under Custody (AUC) growth chart. Source: https://blog.coinbase.com

Coinbase currently provides crypto services supporting 42 countries worldwide, with over 20 million customers globally. The group’s main service is facilitating the buying and selling of bitcoin via bank account, credit and debit card. Like Binance, Coinbase has its own stablecoin, USD coin (USDC). The overarching selling point of all of stablecoins across the industry is strikingly similar: a focus on convenience and reliability. As Coinbase claims, emphasizing financial inclusion:

Unlike regular US dollars, USD Coin doesn’t require a bank account. It doesn’t require that you live in a particular geography. And you can send USD Coin around the world at an extremely low cost in just a few minutes. This opens a lot of possibilities.

Huobi Global

Headquartered in Singapore, the Chinese exchange Huobi was forced to adapt via unorthodox means due to encroaching Chinese regulatory restraints in 2017. The exchange is currently doing a daily volume of over $ 1.1 billion and serves as an active hub for crypto and fiat trading, with leveraged spot trading, fiat withdrawals, and the HUSD stablecoin being key selling points. Multisig cold wallets with “24/7 security monitoring” and a “Dedicated 20,000 BTC Security Reserve Fund,” enable users to store funds. Like Binance and Coinbase, Huobi is exemplary of crypto exchanges now moving out of mere trading to offering what are basically crypto banking services to their users.

The New Bitcoin Banks Are Here
After a $ 534 million NEM hack in January, 2018, Tokyo finance giant Monex acquired the exchange, soon after announcing submission of an application to join the Libra Association, as well.

Coincheck and Bitcoin Suisse

Allowing users to earn interest via crypto lending, payment of utility bills, and business payment services, Japan’s Coincheck was acquired by mainstream Tokyo brokerage firm Monex Group in April, 2018, for $ 33.6 million. In the wake of a $ 534 million NEM heist in January, 2018, and ensuing regulatory overhaul, the exchange has once again become profitable, according to Monex. Monex Managing Director and Chairman Oki Matsumoto recently created even more of a stir when he announced that Monex had applied to join the Libra Association, expressing emphatic interest in the project. The Libra announcement solidified the growing impressions of many that a global synergy toward bitcoin banking is indeed developing more rapidly than ever across the industry.

Other major players include groups like Bitcoin Suisse, founded in 2013 and marketed by the company as “Switzerland’s oldest, regulated, professional company for crypto-financial services.” Bitcoin Suisse offers trading and brokerage, storage, collateralized lending, staking, and the Cryptofranc (XCHF) stablecoin. As an amusing aside, a recent publicity stunt brought the group even more attention, finding them conducting the “highest bitcoin trade ever publicly recorded” on the wind-whipped, snowy summit of Breithorn, Switzerland, at 4,164 meters above sea level.

The New Bitcoin Banks Are Here
Exchange.bitcoin.com will launch on Sept. 2, 2019.

Bitcoin.com

Bitcoin.com’s upcoming exchange (to launch September 2) viewed in combination with the already available non-KYC, P2P local.bitcoin.com trading platform are aiming for mass onboarding of crypto users seeking banking-type services through Exchange.bitcoin.com, while simultaneously providing a clear route for private, permissionless exchange of crypto via the P2P platform.

The exchange is set to offer features such as crypto/fiat on and off-ramps, security via “2FA, IP whitelisting, cold storage,” dozens of trading pairs against BCH, and an SLP token exchange. Bitcoin.com is conscious of financial inclusion as well, including financial sovereignty as the critical element of transaction. As the developer site states:

Money is critical to the Human Condition. Bitcoin Cash and Blockchain technology enable financial sovereignty in a way which is unique in history…As a developer you can make it [Bitcoin Cash] available to all people, whatever their age, gender, nationality or financial status.

A New Era in Banking

As the trend toward a new generation of Bitcoin Banks continues to evolve, market demand is likely to force legacy institutions to adapt or die, and inspire renewed focus industry-wide on convenience and transparency. As evidenced by cases like 87-year-old private bank Maerki Bauman in Switzerland, which has seen revived interest after hinting at crypto offerings, the new paradigm is one which is digital asset-friendly.

With major crypto service providers and exchanges taking unique roles in their offerings to the market, currency competition among stablecoins is – at least to some degree – now being encouraged. It will no doubt be evident in years to come which Bitcoin Banks are serious about financial inclusion and bringing about a true revolution in the banking industry, and the unfolding promises to be an exciting spectacle.

What are your thoughts on the new Bitcoin Banks? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, fair use.


Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.

The post The New Bitcoin Banks Are Here appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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