Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

| August 23, 2019

Scroll to top

Top

news.bitcoin.com Archives - Page 2 of 568 -

RBI Defends Its Power Over Crypto in Indian Supreme Court

August 20, 2019 |

RBI Defends Its Power Over Crypto in Indian Supreme Court

The Indian supreme court heard the case against the crypto banking restriction by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in detail Tuesday. After many arguments challenging the RBI’s power over crypto were presented, the counsel for the central bank began making the case against cryptocurrency.

Also read: RBI’s Power Over Crypto Challenged at Length in Indian Supreme Court

Today’s Hearing

The Supreme Court of India resumed hearing the crypto case extensively on Aug. 20, after hearing it in-depth twice over the past two weeks. Advocate Ashim Sood, counsel for the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), continued his arguments against the banking restriction by the central bank, Indian news and analysis platform Crypto Kanoon reported from the courtroom.

Sood brought up the crypto law passed in the U.S. state of Wyoming, the guidelines adopted by the state of New York, and the Howey test used by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to determine whether a token sale is a security offering, Crypto Kanoon detailed. Sood went on to discuss the crypto regulatory approaches taken by the G20 countries, as well as the guidance issued by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to combat the illicit use of crypto assets.

RBI Defends Its Power Over Crypto in Indian Supreme Court

The counsel proceeded to point out that the central bank’s claim that the effect of cryptocurrency on the Indian economy is negligible is not based on any study the RBI has conducted. Several past judgments were read out to the court before the counsel concluded his arguments.

Senior Advocate Nakul Dewan then began arguing on behalf of exchanges, starting with a brief history of cryptocurrency, Crypto Kanoon conveyed. Dewan proceeded to talk about RBI’s concerns, types of cryptocurrencies, and the advantages of blockchain technology in the banking and financial sectors. He also read out some parts of the interministerial committee (IMC) report. The IMC was constituted on Nov. 2, 2017, to study all aspects of cryptocurrencies and provide recommendations.

The hearing continued after a lunch break with many more arguments against the ban, Crypto Kanoon further reported. The counsel asserted that the RBI should put crypto under a framework to ensure compliance instead of banning, noting that the central bank had recognized that the crypto industry needs to be monitored to avoid tax evasion, AML risks, and a shift to the dark web. He further argued that the money deposited in a bank belongs to the depositors, not the RBI or the bank which is only a custodian of the deposited money.

RBI Defends Its Power Over Crypto in Indian Supreme Court

The court then heard from Senior Advocate Shyam Diwan who argued on behalf of the RBI. Noting that cryptocurrency is a means of payment, he claims that it has a direct impact on the country’s monetary and payment systems, particularly if more people continue to use it for this purpose. Further, its use for cross-border transactions is also a problem for the central bank, Crypto Kanoon conveyed. The RBI counsel read the budget speech by former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and cited various hacking incidents worldwide including one at Indian exchange Coinsecure. Before the court adjourned, Diwan argued that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are Ponzi schemes, noting their price bubbles and the large consumption of electricity used in mining. The hearing will resume tomorrow.

Two Previous Hearings

Prior to Tuesday’s hearing, the Indian supreme court partially heard the crypto case on Aug. 8 and Aug. 14. On both days, Sood argued against the banking ban by the central bank, which issued a circular in April last year banning financial institutions from providing services to crypto businesses. The ban went into effect 90 days later, forcing a number of crypto businesses to shut down due to the lack of banking support.

Sood challenged the RBI’s power to exert such a ban, arguing that the aforementioned circular is not valid under statutes such as the RBI Act and the Banking Regulation Act. “RBI cannot step out of its powers as set out in [the] Banking Regulation Act. Therefore, its action against private businesses in the form of a circular is illegal,” the counsel was quoted by The Economic Times as saying.

RBI Defends Its Power Over Crypto in Indian Supreme Court

After giving several reasons to invalidate the RBI ban, Sood began educating the judge on the basics of cryptocurrency and how major countries, including the G20 nations, regulate crypto assets. The hearing adjourned on Aug. 14 after the regulatory framework for cryptocurrency adopted by the state of New York was discussed.

Indian Crypto Regulation to Be Examined in January

As for the writ petitions concerning India’s crypto regulation, the supreme court is set to hear them at the end of January. On Aug. 8, the Indian government asked the court to postpone hearing these petitions until it has introduced a bill on cryptocurrency, which may be during the next parliament session in November and December. The court agreed and moved the hearing to the end of January 2020.

The Indian government is currently deliberating on a cryptocurrency bill submitted by the aforementioned IMC. The committee was headed by former Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) Subhash Chandra Garg, who was recently removed from his DEA position and appointed to the Power Ministry. He subsequently applied for voluntary retirement.

RBI Defends Its Power Over Crypto in Indian Supreme Court

A week before Garg’s removal, the IMC report containing a draft crypto bill was made public. The bill entitled Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currency seeks to ban all cryptocurrencies except state-issued ones.

Following the public release of the IMC report, an increasing number of crypto industry participants have voiced their concerns regarding how flawed the report and bill are, calling for lawmakers to re-examine the IMC recommendations. The Indian crypto community, along with large trade associations such as the IAMAI and the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), have repeatedly said that banning is not a solution.

What do you think of the Indian supreme court hearing today? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and The Financial Express.


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 RBI Defends Its Power Over Crypto in Indian Supreme Court appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

‘Amazon of Japan’ Rakuten Launches Crypto Exchange Service

August 20, 2019 |

'Amazon of Japan' Rakuten Launches Crypto Exchange Service, Others Following Suit

Rakuten, the “Amazon of Japan,” announced the launch of its new crypto exchange platform Monday, August 19, offering spot trading of crypto assets via a dedicated smartphone app. The e-commerce giant has been crypto-friendly for a while now, experimenting and investing in crypto payment systems since at least 2014, but with the launch of the wallet exchange service, Rakuten Bank users are now able to buy, sell, and exchange BTC, BCH, and ETH, as well as utilize fiat off-ramps to personal bank accounts. Other formidable forces in e-commerce are working hard to jump on board the crypto train as well.

Also Read: Another Self-Proclaimed Satoshi Fails to Sway Crypto Community

Optimism for Crypto

“Rakuten” means “optimism” in Japanese, and with all the effort the e-commerce leader has been pouring into blockchain and crypto development over the past years, that positive moniker makes sense. With a market cap of $ 14.5 billion, over 17,000 employees worldwide, and $ 10 billion in sales as of May, Japan’s internet commerce behemoth is ubiquitous in the land of the rising sun, and elsewhere.

In a press release from Tokyo yesterday, Rakuten Wallet Inc., a subsidiary of Rakuten Group, announced the start of its long-awaited crypto trading app and exchange service:

Through the smartphone app, customers can make transactions for crypto asset trading accounts, such as depositing/withdrawing Japanese yen and depositing/withdrawing crypto assets, 24 hours a day, 365 days a yearThree types of crypto assets can be traded: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

The app features a multisig-based “cold wallet” for user funds, and “There are no fees for opening or managing an account, purchasing or selling crypto assets, or depositing money,” according to the press release. While the company uses the term “cold” in describing the wallet, it is important to note that the actual meaning here is simply offline storage, and as such security is not solely in the hands of the account holder.

'Amazon of Japan' Rakuten Launches Crypto Exchange Service

Application Process: Convenience In, Privacy Out

For those applying for a Rakuten Wallet account, the process is pretty straightforward. “Customers who already have a bank account with Rakuten Bank will be able to easily open a Rakuten Wallet account simply by entering the required information on the online application form,” the press release confirms.

However, privacy-minded crypto users may find the application off-putting. Japan is arguably the world leader in crypto regulation and adoption, with rigorous KYC and AML protocols implemented industry-wide thanks to Japan’s FSA (Financial Services Agency). The veritable dating game-style personal quiz prior to signing up is reflective of this reality.

Applicants must answer several questions even after opening a Rakuten Bank account including private details relating to one’s job, purpose for opening the account, and income. They must also state how many years they have been active in the crypto space. This is in stark contrast to private, P2P exchanges like local.bitcoin.com, where the only thing needed is an email address.

'Amazon of Japan' Rakuten Launches Crypto Exchange Service

Rakuten’s Push Echoed by Amazon, Others

Establishing the Rakuten Blockchain Lab in 2016 after an earlier investment in Bitnet, a wallet/payments software firm in 2014, Rakuten is no stranger to crypto. In terms of the breakneck speed proliferation of Japanese regulations and crypto adoption, 2014 seems like light years ago to most. The Tokyo-based company is not alone, though, with other movers and shakers in the industry having also been putting in the time and research, and now seem to be making plans to jump on board with similar projects.

An official patent document from May reveals that Amazon is researching Merkle Tree solutions to proof-of-work challenges for unknown applications. Though Amazon does not directly accept crypto payments like Rakuten’s American site does, via the integration of the Bitnet portal, similar developments may soon be in the works for America’s retail juggernaut. Already the Amazon Coin digital currency is a reality.

'Amazon of Japan' Rakuten Launches Crypto Exchange Service

Rakuten’s CEO, Hiroshi Mikitani, announced in early 2018 that the company was working on its own crypto token, “Rakuten Coin” to be integrated with the extremely popular Rakuten points system in Japan. Currently these points can be exchanged for bitcoin via the Japanese site.

Amazon has further created a stir in the media in past years by buying up crypto-related domain names such as amazoncryptocurrency.com, amazoncryptocurrencies.com, and amazonethereum.com. While this could be simple brand protection, based on the company’s recent research and investments, real speculation does seem warranted. Especially considering that other companies on similarly herculean tiers of mega financial success like Walmart, Facebook, and Google are all investigating and experimenting with blockchain and crypto as well.

Japan Still Skeptical of Exchanges

Though the Rakuten announcement is big news for crypto enthusiasts in Japan, some remain skeptical. With massive losses of funds at Mt. Gox, Coincheck, and most recently Bitpoint, customer confidence in Japan-based exchange services has suffered. Even lesser known issues relating to regulatory changes have left a sour taste in the mouth of many. Tokyo-based exchange Bitflyer, for example, froze user accounts in 2018 with no clear notification, citing “general maintenance” and the need to comply with official regulatory audits. Some users had crypto frozen on the exchange for weeks, with little to no assistance from customer service.

'Amazon of Japan' Rakuten Launches Crypto Exchange Service

Rakuten’s Positive Push

Japan’s troubles of the past notwithstanding, Rakuten Wallet is pushing forward, with its Android app already available and an iOS implementation expected sometime in September. The service is set to be available 24-7, 365 days a year, except for maintenance periods. Fees only apply for withdrawals of Japanese yen and crypto assets. According to the press release “The app also features many useful functions that allow customers to effectively manage their crypto assets, such as confirmation of assets deposited in Rakuten Wallet, the purchase and sale of crypto assets, and real-time chart rate confirmation.”

The optimistic foray into crypto is perhaps to be expected from the group that is already an online mall, credit card company, Japan’s largest online bank, and owns an actual baseball team. With Rakuten riding the crypto wave in the East, and spreading integration worldwide, it can’t be too long until other giants follow suit.

What are your thoughts on Rakuten’s announcement? 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 ‘Amazon of Japan’ Rakuten Launches Crypto Exchange Service appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

PR: Plan Flash – Decentralized Data Processing

August 20, 2019 |

PR: Plan Flash - Decentralized Data Processing

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

Data processing is indispensable everywhere and all the time in modern life. The daily services we use every day, such as face recognition, voice assistant, text recognition, automatic recommendation, automatic data analysis and so on, all have a large number of data processing requirements and service support.

In fact, data processing services are currently one of the fastest growing and most profitable sectors in the ICT industry. In its first forecast of the “whole cloud” opportunity, International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that worldwide whole industry’s revenues will reach $ 554 billion in 2021, which represents more than double those of 2016. For the full 2018 year, AWS brought in $ 25.7 billion revenue to Amazon with a 47% jump on the 2017 year.

Huge Gap between the demand and the supply in near future
Exploding data and the demand for further processing brings severe challenges for the industry. Predicted by Cisco, that the “usable” data produced in 2021 (nearly 90% of the predicted data generated by 2021 will be ephemeral in nature and will be neither saved nor stored) is larger in size compared to the forecasted data center traffic generated per year by a factor of four. Meanwhile, there is a growing demand for computing power from industries and scientific communities to run large applications and process huge volumes of data.

A new form of decentralized cloud that can enable blockchain computing would be needed. We also need to rebuild the business model for lowing the cost of infrastructure usage and meet the enormously increasing demand of data processing. This gap could be filled with blockchain-based decentralized solutions.

Rethinking Decentralized Approaches
Many projects brings their decentralized solutions based on blockchain like iExec, Plan Flash, DADI and Difinity, etc.. Commonly they use a mix of peer-to-peer ad hoc networking, local cloud computing, grid computing, fog computing, distributed data storage and other more sophisticated solutions. However, these decentralized solutions still present many challenges:

1. Making the infrastructure scalable, considering the current scalability limitations of blockchain infrastructures.
2. Ensuring the right incentivization plan is in place for resource providers by guaranteeing fair income distribution.
3. Verifying the computation is done in a proper manner, to avoid potential malicious attacks. Some projects use reputational management techniques, though these techniques need to offer the right balance between weight of reputations and market entry cost.
4. Dealing with diversified hardware, like individual computers, pads, laptops or different servers in various maintenances, as well as the unknown environments that may affect the performance of these computing resources.
5. Dealing with unprecedented collaboration, coordination, and connectivity for each piece, like an individual computer, in the system, and throughout the system as a whole.
All these challenges above haven’t been completely conquered today. The services are not cheap in consider of their real performance. On the contrary, with a practical manner, Plan Flash brings a new combination of data processors and blockchain, to meet the real demand and requirements of data processing around the globe.

What’s Plan Flash?
PLAN FLASH is a powerful distributed global system for general-purpose and selected-purpose data computing and processing. It aims to create a global decentralized marketplace of data processing capability: highly accessible, fault tolerant, secure and cheaper than centralized competition.
Plan Flash also enable individual owners of computing resources to stable income from renting it out. To enable visionary small investors to rent processors and earn lucrative profits with great potential.
In long run Plan Flash is going to create a global blockchain-based distributed data-processing infrastructure for the world’s intelligent age. To support decentralized applications and various data processing procedures in the future.

Supporting Link
https://planflash.org/

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. 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 content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

The post PR: Plan Flash – Decentralized Data Processing appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

How to Bequeath Your Digital Assets to Your Descendants

August 20, 2019 |

How to Bequeath Your Digital Assets to Your Descendants

Depending on your belief system, death is either the endgame or the next level. Whatever lies on the other side, your bitcoins are no good there. Just as we entered this world with nothing, we are destined to leave it with nothing. All those years spent stacking sats needn’t be in vain, however. New and improved tools have made it easier to bequeath your crypto to your next of kin.

Also read: As US Expands Subprime Mortgage Program, Is a New Crisis Looming?

Digital Inheritance Demands Modern Solutions

According to John Milton, “Death is the golden key that opens the palace of eternity.” That may be, but that key won’t unlock your crypto wallet when you’re gone. It’s a task that calls for a private key – a 256-bit number that enables your coins to be spent. You could just hand a copy of this key to your next of kin, or leave it in a safe deposit box with strict instructions for the executor of your estate, but to do so would be to place your trust in the goodwill and competence of others. Safe deposit boxes aren’t safe at all, while family can’t necessarily be relied on to resist touching your tokens until the appointed time.

How to Bequeath Your Digital Assets to Your Descendants

The solution, for a growing number of cryptocurrency users, has been to utilize purpose-built digital inheritance software that promises to automate the process on your behalf. TrustVerse is a protocol for handling digital assets, including the management and ownership of digital identities. Pluto is its legacy planning service for cryptocurrency owners. After selecting an inheritance design that dictates the conditions under which the assets can be bequeathed, a smart contract is set up to administer the process. Should the owner pass away suddenly, the inheritor can submit a certificate of death to gain access to the assets locked into Pluto’s smart contract. There are also provisions to cover multiple beneficiaries, who must reach consensus before funds can be unlocked.

Other Ways to Bequeath Your Crypto

The crypto space is surprisingly light on other turnkey digital inheritance solutions. Safe Haven appears close to finally shipping its product. It allows you to add a verified legal entity to your inheritance plan, but there is also the option to enable a fully automated solution that uses smart contracts to trigger a so-called dead man’s switch after a certain period of time.

Similar technology is utilized in Last Will, a BCH inheritance solution that news.Bitcoin.com covered in April. It too contains a dead man’s switch with a six-month trigger that will make the coins available to the inheritor unless the owner refreshes the Last Will agreement. It’s not a foolproof solution by any means, but it’s an effective way of preparing for the unexpected. If you’re planning a solo trek to the North Pole, locking your coins into Last Will might make sense. It also benefits from being a fully non-custodial solution, whose code can be inspected on Github. The value of a decentralized inheritance solution is significant: one project that sought to tackle this challenge, Digipulse, died before anyone could use it.

How to Bequeath Your Digital Assets to Your Descendants

Italian startup Crypto360 has devised a secure off-chain back-up service for wallet seeds and private keys that’s specifically designed for digital inheritance. Its website doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, however, and bitcoiners may conclude that they would be better off stashing a hardware wallet in a safe place and leaving instructions to its whereabouts in a sealed will.

Crypto and Inheritance Tax

Where there’s death, there’s taxes, and crypto assets are no exception. In both the U.K. and the U.S., cryptocurrency is treated as property, which means inheritance tax is technically due on any digital currencies your descendants receive.

Koinly founder Robin Singh told news.Bitcoin.com: “Crypto is basically property, so the inheritance tax applies but the tax-free limit for it is so high that very few people are ever going to be hit by it. It’s been dubbed the ‘Paris Hilton tax’ for a reason.” The tax software specialist is referring to America’s inheritance tax which is only due on estates worth more than $ 5.4 million. As a result, only 0.2% of U.S. estates are estimated to be liable for the tax. Unless you’ve been building up bitcoin since 2011, you’re probably excused.

How to Bequeath Your Digital Assets to Your Descendants

Take Care of Your Crypto and Your Crypto Will Care of You and Yours

Bitcoin is self-sovereign money. It demands that its owner takes action to preserve it, without the safety net of state-built protections in the event of loss through theft or carelessness. As a result, most cryptocurrency owners are already proactive when it comes to safeguarding their assets. Caring for the things you hold dear extends this obligation to finding a way to pass them on to your nearest and dearest when the time comes.

Planning for the worst while hoping for the best means ensuring there’s a way for your heirs to inherit your digital assets without being forced to guess passwords, piece together recovery phrases, or track down 2FA codes. Making your crypto secure enough to survive this life, while making it easily transferable once you pass on to the next life is harder than it sounds. Get it right, though, and you can relax in the knowledge that your coin-accumulating efforts won’t be in vain – whatever the future may hold.

How to Bequeath Your Digital Assets to Your Descendants
Hal Finney

As Hal Finney wrote, a little over a year before his death in 2014:

Discussions about inheriting your bitcoins are of more than academic interest. My bitcoins are stored in our safe deposit box, and my son and daughter are tech savvy. I think they’re safe enough. I’m comfortable with my legacy.

What do you think is the most effective method for handling digital inheritance? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


How could our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool help you? Use the handy Bitcoin address search bar to track down transactions on both the BCH and BTC blockchain and, for even more industry insights, visit our in-depth Bitcoin Charts.

The post How to Bequeath Your Digital Assets to Your Descendants appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

As US Expands Subprime Mortgage Program, Is a New Crisis Looming?

August 19, 2019 |

US Expands Subprime Mortgage Program, Is a New Crisis Looming?

The Federal Housing Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, has recently adopted new guidelines widening the scope of condo purchases eligible for lower down payment loans insured by the government. While that could lead to more members of certain social groups buying a first home, critics fear a new subprime mortgage crisis could be in the making, given the current state of the residential property market.

Also read: Passing the Burden of Negative Rates to Bank Clients Opens Door for Cryptocurrencies

Another Trump Card Pulled Out

Upcoming elections have a strong influence over politicians which makes ‘end justifies the means’ decisions irresistible. President Trump’s second term is at stake in 2020 and that has already led to increased pressure from the White House on the Fed to further lower interest rates. With almost no inflation, the United States is “needlessly being forced to pay a MUCH higher interest rate than other countries only because of a very misguided Federal Reserve,” the president tweeted last month.

The Fed did cut the benchmark interest rate recently by a quarter percentage point to 2.25%, despite its insistence on being independent from the executive power in Washington. That was the first downward revision in more than a decade. Those who think the dollar is overpriced in a looming trade war hurting American exports and that the U.S. government is paying a high price for its debt have welcomed the rate cut. Others are not so sure about the long-term consequences.

As US Expands Subprime Mortgage Program, Is a New Crisis Looming?

Another pre-election trump card that could garner more votes for the president and improve his image in certain communities came from the latest decision by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to make it easier for first-time homebuyers to receive a loan for a new home. On Wednesday, the agency announced its updated rules for the types of mortgages it will insure. The new guidelines expand the scope of condo purchases eligible for lower down payments than banks would normally accept.

Until now, only around 6.5% of the 150,000 condominium developments in the U.S. were eligible for FHA-backed mortgages, but under the new rules the administration will start backing loans for individual units and will be more flexible to adapt to the changing market. According to FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery, quoted by the Los Angeles Times, the changes will indeed make it easier for first-time buyers, retirees and minorities to become homeowners.

FHA Loans for Low Income Borrowers

The loans are issued by an FHA-approved lender and insured by the administration. They are targeted at low and moderate income citizens, require lower minimum down payments and are available even for those with credit scores as low as 500. With FHA-backed mortgages, applicants that qualify for the program can borrow up to 96.5% of the value of the property they want to purchase. That means that the down payment can be as low as 3.5%, unlike conventional loans where it’s typically 20% or more. The down payment can not only come from personal savings but also as a gift from a family member or as a financial grant.

As US Expands Subprime Mortgage Program, Is a New Crisis Looming?

However, these easier to get loans come with some additional charges. Borrowers have to pay an upfront mortgage insurance premium, 1.75% of the base loan amount, and an annual mortgage insurance premium, which varies between 0.45% and 1.05% depending on the amount and the length of the mortgage as well as the loan-to-value ratio. The funds from the premium payments are deposited into an escrow account controlled by the Treasury and used to cover mortgage payments in case a borrower defaults on their loan.

Due to stricter regulations introduced after the 2008 financial crisis, which was sparked by a crash in the U.S. subprime mortgage market, FHA mortgages decreased significantly in the past decade, from almost 73,000 in 2010 to a little over 16,000 in 2018, as reported by the Associated Press. With the recently introduced rules, the number of FHA-insured loans for condos is expected to increase to 60,000 annually. According to an analysis conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development last year, the wider availability of mortgages could also increase construction by 7,000 units.

Unclear Consequences for the Market

The end results of the FHA’s new policy are far from certain. It remains unclear how the new rules are going to affect home ownership rates in the United States, where real estate prices have increased faster than incomes in the past few years. The number of new homes for sale is also lower than the average in previous periods. Supply remains limited, with developers focusing their efforts on the luxury housing segment.

At first glance, the measure is going to benefit not only first-time homebuyers in general, but also retirees looking for a smaller home, seniors seeking a reverse mortgage and members of some minorities. The program has historically helped African American and Hispanic buyers to make their first condo purchase.

As US Expands Subprime Mortgage Program, Is a New Crisis Looming?

But the Trump administration has also admitted to denying government-backed loans to certain groups. For example, young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children are not eligible for FHA loans. The revelation came out in June after earlier this year the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson denied that people with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status are being turned down.

The government in Washington is also reducing the share of home equity mortgage borrowers can access and withdraw through cash-out refinancing. The FHA plans to limit the loan amounts to a maximum of 80% of the value of the property from 85% previously. This type of refinance has spread in recent years, reaching over 60% of the FHA’s refinance activity last year. Their popularity has grown along with rising home values and mortgage rates.

More Americans have started using the cash-out loans to finance home improvements and that includes retirees who have opted to keep their home instead of moving to a smaller one. But the trend has also alarmed the Federal Housing Administration whose representatives fear it is increasing the risks for their mortgage program. Foreclosure starts on FHA loans hit a two-year high in January, Marketwatch reported. And in the first half of the year, scheduled foreclosure auctions increased by 3%.

Fears of a New Subprime Mortgage Crisis

The FHA’s new guidelines, which loosen the post-crisis regulations and widen the scope of condominium purchases eligible for low down payment loans, have the potential to revive the entry-level condo market. But their adoption could also expose the U.S. government to more loan defaults if developers fail to respond with increased supply, if the housing market slows down further and if prices fall. In a negative scenario like that, conditions will be in place for a new subprime mortgage crisis.

This is what actually triggered the 2008 financial meltdown. The crisis in the U.S. subprime mortgage market began the year prior. Home prices declined significantly and the housing bubble, inflated by banks competing to hand out as many mortgages as they could, burst. That eventually led to a massive banking crisis the following year with the collapse of major financial institutions like the investment giant Lehman Brothers.

As US Expands Subprime Mortgage Program, Is a New Crisis Looming?

A little over a decade after the global financial crisis, the signs of a new pending crash are mounting. There have been several bank failures in different parts of the world, including the U.S., and big financial institutions have started laying off bankers. Trade wars with China and Europe are looming and the pressure from governments for further interest rate cuts has increased, indicating their fears of an upcoming recession.

On this backdrop, decentralized cryptocurrencies are once again becoming an attractive investment opportunity for people who are new to the digital asset space. If you are looking for an easy and secure way to acquire bitcoin cash (BCH) and other major cryptocurrencies, you can do so at Buy.Bitcoin.com. And thanks to a new partnership with Cred, you can also save digital coins and earn interest on your crypto holdings.

Do you think more FHA-backed loans could trigger a new subprime mortgage crisis? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Do you need a reliable bitcoin mobile wallet to send, receive, and store your coins? Download one for free from us and then head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can quickly buy bitcoin with a credit card.

The post As US Expands Subprime Mortgage Program, Is a New Crisis Looming? appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Win BCH with Bitcoin.com’s Cash Games Stars Leaderboard

August 19, 2019 |

Win BCH with Bitcoin.com's Cash Games Stars Leaderboard

There’s a new promotion happening for Bitcoin.com Cash Games, with new winners each week, and first place taking home $ 200 in bitcoin cash. It can be said that crypto and gaming are made for each other, thanks to low fees, easy access, and privacy. Now things just got even better, with the new Cash Games Stars promotion, allowing 10 players of some of the most popular games at cashgames.bitcoin.com to win $ 1,000 in prizes every week.

Also Read: Pre-Register for Bitcoin.com’s New Crypto Exchange to Win Bitcoin Cash Prizes

Become a Cash Games Star and Win Prizes

The Cash Games Stars promotion, which launched August 19, is a leaderboard exclusively for the popular Slots, Roulette, Keno and Satoshi Circle Cash Games. New winners each week will have a chance to flex their skills and take home a weekly prize pool of $ 1,000 in BCH, with the top 10 receiving a prize. First prize is $ 200, and all prizes are paid in bitcoin cash.

Win BCH with Bitcoin.com's Cash Games Stars Leaderboard

With a reputation for fun and provably fair gaming, Cash Games is a leader in the field since 2016, and now gives players a way to win even more, with an exciting leaderboard that resets weekly, every Sunday at 23:59 (GMT). Winners simply provide an email address and are then able to receive their prize. The BCH/USD rate will be determined according to the date of the distribution of the prize pool. Jackpots do not count toward the leaderboard.

Win BCH with Bitcoin.com's Cash Games Stars Leaderboard
The leaderboard is waiting for you.

The Cash Games Stars Leaderboard Is Waiting for You

“The reason that we can guarantee provably fair gaming is that your web browser supplies a random number that we must incorporate into the random number generator in a provably consistent way,” notes cashgames.bitcoin.com. Now, with winners able to win even more for their efforts, there’s an additional reason to check it out. Visit the Cash Games Stars promo page for complete details, and best of luck in becoming the next Cash Games Star.

Are you excited to be the next Cash Games Star? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Are you feeling lucky? Visit our official Bitcoin casino where you can play BCH slots, BCH poker, and many more BCH games. Every game has a progressive Bitcoin Cash jackpot to be won!

The post Win BCH with Bitcoin.com’s Cash Games Stars Leaderboard appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Another Self-Proclaimed Satoshi Fails to Sway Crypto Community

August 19, 2019 |

Another person has attempted to claim the title of Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. According to a blog post published on August 18, this new person aims to expose his “real-life identity” through a series of written memoirs. The final ‘reveal’ will allegedly give the public the true answers to the decade long mystery. Despite the attempt so far, the cryptocurrency community is not buying the story and the huge effort stemming from the website, Satoshi Nakamoto Renaissance Holdings, has been quite feeble. Some community members are not pleased with some elements of the story either.

Also read: Bitcoiners Brace for More Performance Art and Another ‘Satoshi Reveal’

Another Person Hopes to Convince the World He’s Satoshi With a Few Blog Posts

The latest person to claim to be Satoshi had published a slew of press releases explaining that he would be publishing a series of posts leading to the ultimate reveal. News.Bitcoin.com reported on the story when the press release came out and explained how most people assumed it was a marketing tactic to get people’s eyes on something else. It still might be a marketing effort or ruse of some sort, but the person truly attempts to claim the Satoshi Nakamoto monicker. In addition to the declaration, the person wrote a 3,300-word blog post about the origins of Bitcoin and his pseudonym. The post says it was written “as told to Ivy McLemore,” the PR team behind the so-called ‘reveal.’ It was also edited a few times since it was published at 4 p.m. EDT, when the word “cyberpunk” was changed to the word “cypherpunk” on two occasions. The blog edit was a pretty foolish mistake as the two words have different meanings.

Another Self-Proclaimed Satoshi Fails to Sway Crypto Community
The post was published at 4 p.m. EDT on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019. It was also edited multiple times and the original can be seen on Archive.org.

The so-called creator of Bitcoin said he’s always been a believer in freedom and that’s why he began the blockchain journey. In the post, he explained that Hal Finney was his “closet ally and mentor” and the technology was not designed overnight. “Bitcoin was created through circumstantial requirements, but its current exposure cannot be attributed to design,” he noted. The author then veered off into a tone that’s similar to the Australian Craig Wright’s recent blog posts. The new Satoshi claimant said that the creation of Bitcoin led him to hide so he couldn’t be tied to something deemed illegal by governments. “At its conception, Bitcoin was worth mere cents,” the author remarked. “Later, when its usage was hijacked for illicit means, I made decisions and set off a chain of events to create distance between my creation and myself.” In order to further highlight the alleged misappropriation of the technology he invented, he added:

Today, when Bitcoin is understood by the advances of technology, but at the same time is being hijacked by greed, I feel I have a duty to work hard and make my creation better and take its vision to the next level.

Another Self-Proclaimed Satoshi Fails to Sway Crypto Community
The series of blog posts that aim to expose the self-proclaimed Satoshi’s “real-life identity.”

After discussing the origin of how everything transpired, the blog post explained how the author came up with the name “Bitcoin.” The name stemmed from a Pakastani bank called “BCCI,” a financial institution shut down in 1991 by the Bank of England for money laundering. His father worked for United Bank Limited and he got a unique perspective of the banking system. The financial crisis of 2008 was the “final push for Bitcoin to be created” and he was also dealing with difficulties obtaining a bank account.

“I didn’t like the way banks controlled and utilised other people’s money and I wanted to at least try to change this. I felt like a failure and was humiliated by the banks so I made it my mission to invent something that would enable a common layperson to access money without involving the big banks,” the memoirs detail. The term Bitcoin came from the BCCI name, as so: “Bank of CredIT and COmmerce INternational.” The author also stated:

I wanted to empower the poor person, empower the little man, and create something that was accessible as the people’s money – the people’s bank with no boundaries, no nationalities, and no discrimination – where nothing was controlled by the government and where no one dictated and destroyed people for the sake of misplaced politics.

Another Self-Proclaimed Satoshi Fails to Sway Crypto Community

Using Hal Finney’s Good Name and the New Vision

The last part of the blog post is one reason why people didn’t appreciate this so-called reveal because it involves the now deceased Hal Finney. Using Finney’s good name to promote a marketing ploy would be vile and disgusting to say the least. Before explaining the alleged relationship with Finney, the so-called inventor clarified how Chaldean numerology was used to create his moniker and he emphasized that numerology was a way to encrypt many of the decisions he made during the development of Bitcoin.

As far as Hal Finney was concerned, the author gives a lot of credit to the renowned cryptographer and the man who received the first bitcoin transaction. He considered Finney his “closest ally” and referred to him as the “Steve Wozniak” of Bitcoin, which means Finney did a lot of the leg work. “I always looked at how it would be successful commercially with a vision to change the financial world while he looked at the technical aspects,” the writer expounded.

Another Self-Proclaimed Satoshi Fails to Sway Crypto Community

Of course, a good portion of the crypto community thinks the entire story is a farce and they believe this is just another “Faketoshi” trying to steal some thunder. The website BCCI’s domain credentials and the company registration show two people behind the business – Bilal Khalid, and Munir Aslam Malik. Both names are very common in Pakistan and the blog post notes that Satoshi flew to Pakistan regularly from the UK. The blog announcement also says he changed his legal name in the UK, soon after the technology was up and running. There’s not much information on these two individuals online, minus a few connections to BCCI and a few other domains. There are other websites that are connected to the BCCI name which include tdwnpro.com, 5ato5hi.com, insidecaf.com, and onlinemarketing.net. The domain “5ato5hi” shows a lot more information about this debacle as the website’s home page says “Satoshi Nakamoto: A Round Peg in a Square Hole.”

Another Self-Proclaimed Satoshi Fails to Sway Crypto Community
The website 5ato5hi.com.

The website’s “about” section shows the business is awfully fascinated with the word “blockchain” and clearly shows the creator of the website thinks blockchain will disrupt “42 business verticals.” There’s the “Blockchain Operating System” which claims to be a distributed ledger framework that will become the “default operating system (OS)” for personal, business, and enterprise users. The associated websites and the ‘revealing’ story are all very tacky as all of the published material has been riddled with grammatical errors, misspellings, and using the word “cyberpunk” and changing it to “cypherpunk” after the internet called out the mistake. So far, many crypto proponents assume that the man who will step forward will be Bilal Khalid. “Hey Ivy McLemore, just so you’re aware, Bilal Khalid is not Satoshi Nakamoto. Have fun promoting his ‘reveal’ whilst your name gets dragged through the mud,” Monero’s Riccardo Spagni tweeted after the reveal post published.

Another Self-Proclaimed Satoshi Fails to Sway Crypto Community
The website 5ato5hi.com.

No One Believes the New Satoshi But People Love Fictional Satoshi Stories

Of course, the latest ‘reveal’ got attention as people do love the fan fiction behind Satoshi Nakamoto stories. It’s safe to say that a lot of observers will visit the URL to read the next blog post installments which plan to publish on Monday and Tuesday at 4 p.m. EDT. The next post will continue to cover his strong belief in Chaldean numerology. But the second installment will also “reveal all facts” related to his alleged 980,000 bitcoins. People will have to wait until the third published post to find out his “real-life identity” and decide whether or not his claims are legitimate.

Another Self-Proclaimed Satoshi Fails to Sway Crypto Community

So far, just like the pushback Craig Wright has seen, no one considers this new ‘reveal’ valid. Bitcoiners think the website, Satoshi Nakamoto Renaissance Holdings, is simply a tasteless marketing ploy. A lot of people also think the author’s writing is not at all similar to Satoshi’s old posts on Bitcointalk.org, and the self-proclaimed Satoshi over accentuates a U.K.-based undertone and says the word “whilst” quite a bit. However, the website has been getting a lot of traffic. The site’s server was down multiple times yesterday due to a traffic overload after the un-edited version of the blog post published.

What do you think about the so-called Satoshi reveal? Do you think it’s just another marketing ruse? 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, and websites associated with this story. 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. This editorial review is for informational purposes only.


Image credits: Shutterstock, the Satoshi Nakamoto Renaissance Holdings website, 5ato5hi.com, and Twitter.


Did you know you could win big with Bitcoin gambling? Choose from a range of BCH games including BCH poker, BCH slots, and many more. All games are provably fair—good luck.

The post Another Self-Proclaimed Satoshi Fails to Sway Crypto Community appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Fiat Lite vs. Freedom Maximalist: The Two Types of Bitcoiner

August 19, 2019 |

Fiat Lite vs. Freedom Maximalist - Regulations Highlight Two Types of Bitcoiners

As regulation continues growing exponentially for cryptocurrencies worldwide, a chasm is yawning ever deeper between supporters. On the one hand, many yearn for massive adoption and clear regulations so they can get on with their trading, and get on with their lives – not to mention the lucrative value gains attendant to such ubiquity. This notwithstanding, there remains a sizeable camp of hardheaded purists, who believe that sacrificing the whole foundational principle of bitcoin – permissionless, P2P transaction without intermediaries – is crypto-suicide, and should be avoided at all costs.

Also Read: The Most Important Aspect of Bitcoin Is the Separation of Money and State

‘Fiat Lite’

The so-called Bitcoin revolution, as touted by so many keyboard warriors on social media, sounds great. Overthrowing the violent fiat monopoly on money for the greater good of humankind is indeed a noble pursuit. Ages of forced financial servitude and debt-slavery via taxes, corruption, and unsound policy could be snuffed out peacefully, with a new era of financial freedom coming into clear view. The regulatory and governmental bodies that fought the emergent technology will finally acquiesce, yielding power back to the people as wealth creation and innovation are spurred, and everyone lives happily ever after. Except that, well, nothing works like that.

Fiat Lite vs. Freedom Maximalist: The Two Types of Bitcoiner
The critical debate has even made it to MSM, with crypto influencers disagreeing on the value of mass regulation.

With heavily armed agencies like the IRS, DHS, and others warning holders of crypto that their business is always state business, and massive news media outlets like the New York Times on a propaganda stampede to convince Americans that crypto is synonymous with terror, being a “bitcoin revolutionary” becomes much less appealing. Even MSM outlets like CNBC are hosting panelists divided on the best course of action.

Typing revolutionary shit on a keyboard is one thing – actually standing up for one’s convictions is another. As such, many of these Twitter Che Guevaras have taken a new tack: bringing about the revolution via mainstream regulation and centralized exchange. Creating a new ‘fiat lite,’ in other words, that is convenient, centralized, and less private than paper money. This would be akin to having one’s enemy privately inspect one’s own weapon before battle, according to some.

Fiat Lite vs. Freedom Maximalist: The Two Types of Bitcoiner
A national bank building in Australia has been wished a strange happy 102nd birthday with the message “Bitcoin will win.”

Freedom for All

The other crowd – the hardheaded “freedom for all” or “freedom maximalist” crowd – sees things much differently. An illustration of this vision would be the recently vandalized 102-year-old national bank facade in Australia, tagged by a man who spray painted sloppily “Bitcoin will win” over the face of the building. While most principled bitcoiners don’t advocate vandalism, the picture is painted well. Central banks and bitcoin simply do not mix – just like oil and water. They can work together on a voluntary basis, sure. But once the situation is forced by law as commonly understood (a monopoly on violence), the commonality ends in an abrupt, sheer drop.

As American economist and social theorist Thomas Sowell has written:

The very same people who say that government has no right to interfere with sexual activity between consenting adults believe that the government has every right to interfere with economic activity between consenting adults.

There is no way to justify a lack of consent in economic interaction between non-violent parties, just as there is no way to justify it in other areas, like human sexuality, and yet this non-consensual coercion is the basis for the entire modern monetary system.

Fiat Lite vs. Freedom Maximalist: The Two Types of Bitcoiner
Accounts on Twitter are encouraging others to report non-payment of taxes to the IRS for rewards. Some have already received them. With crypto holders now being a prime target, even one’s neighbors might have an eye out for some extra cash.

The Propaganda Machine

Fueling the growing divide between the two camps are propagandistic assaults on free trade, from prominent media outlets like the New York Times and Bloomberg, to the U.S. Federal Government itself. Other governments are doing the same, but for the purposes of this exploration, the U.S. state serves well as an example.

With titles like “Terrorists Turn to Bitcoin for Funding, and They’re Learning Fast” and “Bitcoin and Gold Are Monuments to Irrationality” repeating over and over, and the government itself calling Bitcoin a “thin air” asset conducive to crime, it’s not hard to see the message. Funny that this “thin air” is still being hunted down rabidly by agencies like the IRS for payments, though.

The New York Times article quotes former CIA analyst Yaya Fanusie as saying:

This is going to be a part of the terrorist financing mix, and it is something that people should pay attention to.

Interestingly Fanusie was just appointed to the heavily criticized and legally embattled membership of the New York State Digital Currency Task Force last month. And never mind that, overwhelmingly, it is fiat money used to engage in money laundering, drug/sex/weapons trafficking, and violence. This reality does not fit the government insider narrative, though, so it is often ignored.

Fiat Lite vs. Freedom Maximalist: The Two Types of Bitcoiner

It’s no surprise that with this brainwashing campaign in full-force, many on Twitter are frothing at the mouth to report acquaintances to violent groups like the IRS in order to earn a monetary reward. Typing “IRS report reward” in the Twitter search bar produces results numerous and slimy enough to turn even the stomachs of average, non-libertarian types. It’s a homegrown gestapo coming up in full force.

Is There a Middle Ground?

As far as a spectrum for crypto freedom and regulation goes, there is only a middle ground in the debate practically. Morally, there is none. Mathematically, there is none. The state will continue to leverage fear-based regulations made possible by threats, and this will in effect inhibit a certain amount and certain types of crypto usage. At press time, for example, many in the crypto space are currently speculating that recent drops in the price of BTC are due to IRS tax letter response deadlines approaching. Violence always changes practical reality.

All this said, the Bitcoin protocol is still just math. It allows for and enables permissionless, P2P transaction of money. Thus, the real divide can be seen much more clearly. The question is not a debate between pro-regulation and pro-freedom camps, but a debate between those who would willingly leverage violent force on non-violent human beings, and those who would not. The pro-regulation keyboard warriors aren’t likely brave enough to carry out the violence themselves, but are more than happy to see the state bring it to bear, or to vote for it.

Fiat Lite vs. Freedom Maximalist: The Two Types of Bitcoiner

The Necessity of Freedom

To those who would live freely and transact freely regardless, the road is uncertain. One thing is not, however: most principled hodlers and spenders wouldn’t be caught dead in a limp-spined, milksop revolution promoting a fiat lite, no matter how “extreme” peaceful human interaction might seem to the warped estimations of those promoting an unethical, illegitimate, and anti-human status quo via centralized policy. Where each independent market actor will venture, however, remains to be seen.

Which camp, if any, are you in? 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.

The post Fiat Lite vs. Freedom Maximalist: The Two Types of Bitcoiner appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

The Most Important Aspect of Bitcoin Is the Separation of Money and State

August 19, 2019 |

Many cryptocurrency supporters believe the technology allows for the separation of money and state in a manner that’s never been seen before. Governments inflict two forms of robbery against nonviolent citizens by forcing them to pay taxes while also stealing from them silently through inflation. Now there’s a wide array of digital currencies competing in different ways to help remove the parasitic behavior perpetrated by the oligarchy.

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

The Monetary System Designed by Oligarchs Penalizes the People

Most everyone lives under government rule and they are compelled to pay taxes and use the legal tender by order of their rulers. In most countries, everyone who has a job must contribute a portion of their earnings to the government. For instance, a portion of payroll taxes in the U.S. goes toward safety net concepts like Medicare and Social Security. 70% of an American’s income tax goes toward national defense, health care security programs, interest on the national debt, education, energy, and agriculture. A quarter of the funds go directly to the military and the average American family paid $ 12,000 in income tax in 2018. There are roughly 80 million households which means the U.S. government pulls in close to a trillion dollars annually from income taxes alone. That’s not counting state-funded lottery, road tolls, sales tax, capital gains, building taxes, business tariffs, property levies, and more.

The Most Important Aspect of Bitcoin Is the Separation of Money and State
The state has been pillaging and stealing from the general public for centuries.

Despite the fact that most of the safety nets and health care systems are in shambles, roads are filled with potholes, bridges are failing, and the education system is failing, the only thing that continues to grow is the U.S. is the military. Oddly enough, people still believe these fools know what they are doing. Not only has the national defense budget grown absurd in America, but the evolution of for-profit-prisons and the expansion of the police state has amplified significantly. Since 1776 the U.S. has been at war 226 out of 243 years or 93% of the country’s lifetime and American citizens have paid for every last minute. Governments have also created a monetary system meant to enrich the representatives and their close friends. Meanwhile, the money system is manipulated and inflated so badly year after year, the nation’s citizens are forced to accept more taxes. The fraudulent monetary system pressures them into believing they need more benefits.

The Most Important Aspect of Bitcoin Is the Separation of Money and State
Many are tired of paying for endless wars. With alternative currencies like bitcoin, people don’t have to contribute.

Cryptocurrency Solutions Are Tools for Increasing Freedom

There are many countries with different rules of law, taxation, and methods of managing the fiat currency governments produce and most of them are very similar. Meaning when someone says “If you don’t like it here, why don’t you just leave?” that really only gives them the choice to be ruled under another oppressive system. So if leaving isn’t so easy, there must be a way to circumvent the system where governments have control of our money but we must pay off their debts. The U.S. was founded by principles against taxation but the biggest foundation was the separation of church and state. For centuries humans have been forced to participate in the monetary system controlled by politicians and the world’s elite. But in 2009, the year the Bitcoin network went online, the monetary game changed and people now have the tools in cryptocurrency to disregard the rule of central money management.

The Most Important Aspect of Bitcoin Is the Separation of Money and State
“We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years. Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks like Napster, but pure P2P networks like Gnutella and Tor seem to be holding their own,” – Satoshi Nakamoto.

In the summer of 2015, Shapeshift CEO Erik Voorhees explained how we all learned 100 years ago about the separation of church and state. Voorhees detailed that at the time humans realized the practice was immoral and he believes that with the state currently having control over money the system today is just as rotten to the core. “[The state] could tell you what to worship and how, when and why — Somehow, society realized perhaps that was unethical – that we shouldn’t permit control of something so personal and important to your life to be controlled by the state,” Voorhees told a crowd in Dallas that year. The Shapeshift executive added:

Money is absolutely as fundamental to our lives as religion, and for many people, it is far more fundamental to their lives as religion. It affects how your life unfolds. The choices that you make about money dictate the ramifications of your life and those around you. And so, to have an institution like money so controlled by a central entity — by a monopoly — is absurd. It is immoral. We should get rid of it.”

The Most Important Aspect of Bitcoin Is the Separation of Money and State
“The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that’s required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust. 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. We have to trust them with our privacy, trust them not to let identity thieves drain our accounts,” – Satoshi Nakamoto.

Bitcoin and a slew of other cryptocurrencies offer people a monetary system where there is no intermediary to trust, no middleman, and no state or corporate entity stopping you from transacting on a decentralized network. Instead of using fiat money which is predicated by force and violence, individuals and organizations can voluntarily choose to use a system that is transparent, permissionless, censorship-resistant, reliable, fast and empowering. Bitcoin maximalists will tell you that BTC is simply the only way to bypass the state’s manipulated monetary system, but right now there’s a wide variety of digital assets that can help achieve that.

Alternative means of circumventing the state like using precious metals can be difficult because the government has deep hands in these markets. Cryptocurrencies offer a high rate of portability and a way to hide money from agents trying to steal someone’s hard-earned wealth. With a cryptocurrency like bitcoin cash (BCH) for example, it’s possible to send funds across any border permissionlessly. An individual cannot hide a million dollars’ worth of gold, but can easily hide a small piece of steel with mnemonic phrase words etched into it and take things even further by memorizing the seed phrase. Agents cannot steal from your brain.

The Most Important Aspect of Bitcoin Is the Separation of Money and State
Edward Snowden’s tweet on the subject back in 2016.

Like Many Ideas Before It, There’s Still a Chance That Bitcoin Could Fall Short of a Revolution

Cryptocurrencies are clearly tools that can be used to circumvent the state and these digital instruments could bring forth a new era of free markets. Despite the crypto enthusiasts who embrace the state daily and are literally begging for the institutionalization of Bitcoin, there are still thousands of individuals who participate in the crypto industry to promote the separation of money and state indefinitely. These people believe cryptocurrencies can empower the general population and not a group of oligarchs sitting on the hill. Libertarians and agorist philosophers who love cryptocurrencies don’t care about Bitcoin ETFs, Bakkt, and acceptance from congressional leaders. They care about separating the monetary system from the violent monopoly that steals from society every single day. In the summer of 2015, the founder of Defense Distributed, Cody Wilson, highlighted why cryptocurrencies like bitcoin could fall short of a revolution and fall victim to the same system we have today.

“Without a big expression of intentionality to what is considered not the polite things to do with Bitcoin — specifically money laundering, specifically private access to your coin, holding your own keys — without projects that express these principles, you have nothing of what you want with a revolution,” Wilson emphasized. “This leaves me to proclaim that most people involved with Bitcoin were not serious about that in the first place.”

The Most Important Aspect of Bitcoin Is the Separation of Money and State

Today ManyCryptocurrencies Offer a Road That Leads to Greater Freedom

There are now multiple avenues available for cryptocurrency users to circumvent the state’s control over money. Despite all the arguments and infighting within the cryptocurrency community, these roads toward freedom of choice are still wide open. If you find the idea of separation of money and state appealing but are relatively new to cryptocurrencies, it is well worth taking the time to read more into the subject to learn how you can wield these tools against the nation state for your advantage. If you’d like to participate in the counter-economy, you can also purchase digital currencies from trusted platforms as well as in-person using noncustodial, peer-to-peer marketplaces.

What do you think about how cryptocurrencies have opened the path toward separating money from the state? 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, Twitter, Voluntary Exchange FB Page, Bitcoin Not Bombs, and Jamie Redman.


You can now purchase Bitcoin without visiting a cryptocurrency exchange. Buy BTC and BCH directly from our trusted seller and, if you need a Bitcoin wallet to securely store it, you can download one from us here.

The post The Most Important Aspect of Bitcoin Is the Separation of Money and State appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Bitcoin History Part 15: Silk Road Is Born

August 18, 2019 |

Plea Bargain Shows Silk Road 2 Admin Will Likely See No Prison Time

Silk Road launched in February 2011 as the darknet’s first bitcoin-based marketplace. Within four months, it would be the darknet’s most notorious site whose reputation extended all the way to the U.S. Senate. The origins of the drugs marketplace can be traced back further, however, to a philosophical thread on the Bitcointalk forum. It was only later that the significance of this thread would be fully appreciated.

Also read: Bitcoin History Part 14: The 1,000 BTC Poker Game

‘A Heroin Store’

“As a Libertarian, the thing I love most about the Bitcoin project is the chance that it could be truly disruptive,” wrote early Bitcointalk user ‘teppy.’ It was June 2010, and Bitcoin was still very much in its infancy, with its potential use cases still being figured out. “I think that drug prohibition is one of the most socially harmful things that the US has ever done, and so I would like to do a thought experiment about how a heroin store might operate, accepting Bitcoins, and ending drug prohibition in the process,” continued teppy, before outlining his idea for how such a venture would operate.

The proposal was cautiously welcomed, with some users highlighting the hazards (“US government has endless resources and nothing to stop them from doing things they’re not supposed to … I think if it’s high profile enough you would still get busted somehow, something you didn’t think of”) and others elaborating on how it might work.

Bitcoin History Part 15: Silk Road Is Born

Although the thread was provocatively titled “A Heroin Store,” one user suggested a marijuana store would be preferable because “the risk of getting caught is much more calculable. Your clients are much trustworthier, and your competitioners are not as dangerous.”

A Framework for Silk Road

Although they couldn’t have known, the participants in the thread were brainstorming what would become Silk Road. From the use of Tor to the way packages could be shipped, it was all laid out. It is unclear if the discussion directly inspired Dread Pirate Roberts, or merely crystallized an idea he already had forming, but within two months of the thread appearing, he had begun work on Silk Road. On Jan. 29, 2011, user “altoid” posted a since-deleted response in the heroin store thread that read:

What an awesome thread! You guys have a ton of great ideas. Has anyone seen Silk Road yet? It’s kind of like an anonymous amazon.com. I don’t think they have heroin on there, but they are selling other stuff. They basically use bitcoin and tor to broker anonymous transactions. It’s at http://tydgccykixpbu6uz.onion. Those not familiar with Tor can go to silkroad420.wordpress.com for instructions on how to access the .onion site. Let me know what you guys think.

“So here we go, first Bitcoin drug store,” replied one user. “We’re going into deep water faster than i thought then. I wonder how long will it take for govs to start investigating Bitcoin.” Five months would prove to be the answer, after a Gawker article blew it wide open. Adrian Chen’s article would go on to accrue 3 million reads and spark a DEA investigation into Silk Road.

Bitcoin History Part 15: Silk Road Is Born

Lost Innocence

In early 2011, however, the world at large knew nothing about Silk Road, which was still the preserve of a few libertarians and free-thinkers on an obscure forum dedicated to magical internet money. On March 1, 2011, new user “silkroad” started a thread to promote the anonymous marketplace. The site had only been running for three weeks but “I am very pleased with the results,” they remarked. “There are several sellers and buyers finding mutually agreeable prices, and as of today, 28 transactions have been made!”

In time, those numbers would swell to thousands a day, with the site eventually racking up 1.2 million transactions. The community spirit that characterized the Bitcointalk forum in those early days was readily apparent, as users filled the thread with suggestions on how Silk Road could be improved.

Meanwhile, in the original heroin store thread, one user wrote a prediction on March 24, 2011 that would prove prescient: “Everything … is easily traceable. Using normal mail, there is 99,9% probability you will be caught sooner or later. Actually, anything physical (leaving physical traces) or involving third person is easily traceable, because you only need to find weak link in the chain to find the seller. People are usually the weakest links.” He finished:

I hope silkroad realizes this, because if he doesn’t … sooner or later he will be caught.

Bitcoin History is a multipart series from news.Bitcoin.com charting pivotal moments in the evolution of the world’s first cryptocurrency. Read part 14 here.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


You can now easily buy bitcoin with a credit card. Visit our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can buy BCH and BTC securely, and keep your coins secure by storing them in our free bitcoin mobile wallet.

The post Bitcoin History Part 15: Silk Road Is Born appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News