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The Weekly: Musk Bots Blocked, US Crypto Candidate, a Herd of Institutional Investors

July 29, 2018 |

The Weekly: Musk Bots Blocked, US Crypto Candidate, a Herd of Institutional Investors

In this week’s daily editions of Bitcoin in Brief, we reported about Twitter blocking ETH scambots mimicking Elon Musk, a US presidential candidate who accepts crypto donations, the expected arrival of a ‘herd of institutional investors’ and much more. The most commented-on article during the week covered the latest development of the ongoing legal battle in the Ross Ulbricht case.

Also Read: The Iranian Government Is Preparing to Launch Its Own Cryptocurrency

TCAP Explores Market

The Weekly: Musk Bots Blocked, US Crypto Candidate, a Herd of Institutional InvestorsOn Monday, we reported on another indication that mega banks are looking to enter the crypto dealing market. TP Icap plc (LSE:TCAP), one of the largest connectors between banks’ traders in the financial, energy and commodities markets, has set up a ‘working group’ to explore how it should approach cryptocurrencies. The crypto working group includes some of TP Icap’s most senior executives. Additional stories included: Hashflare stoping its SHA-256 cloud mining contracts, encrypted email service Tutanota integrating cryptocurrency support and Huobi launching a new service for companies that wish to offer a white label exchange of their own.

A ‘Herd of Institutional Investors’

The main story on Tuesday was that Michael Novogratz expects more financial institutions to be coming into the crypto space soon. A “herd of institutional investors” is headed towards cryptocurrencies, the prominent hedge fund manager said in a speech at Blockchain Week Korea. Other headlines included an upcoming crypto-custody service meant to answer increasing demand from high-net-worth and institutional clients in Hong Kong, and a study which reveals that about 30% of Brazilians are interested to invest funds in cryptocurrencies in the near future.

Crypto Crime Blotter

The Weekly: Musk Bots Blocked, US Crypto Candidate, a Herd of Institutional InvestorsIn Bitcoin in Brief on Wednesday, we covered a number of stories related to crime from around the cryptosphere. These included an exchange operator that plead guilty to securities fraud for trying to hide that hackers stole approximately 6,000 bitcoins from his venue, a scammer that was fined over $ 1.9 million for bitcoin and binary options fraud, London City police academy adding a cryptocurrency course for teaching cops on anti-money laundering related purposes, and a new type of bitcoin-demanding ransomware attack against porn viewers in Israel.

Skrill Launches Crypto Trading

On Thursday, we reported that Skrill, the online payments service formerly known as Moneybookers, has enabled its wallet users to instantly buy and sell cryptocurrencies, including BTC, BCH, ETH and LTC, using more than 40 supported fiat options. The new service is available in over 30 countries and the company plans to roll it out to additional markets and extend the service to its mobile app and Paysafe’s Neteller digital wallet in the next few months. In other news: The White Company, a concierge and luxury marketplace, surpassed $ 100 million in cryptocurrency sales and transactions; Bitmex, an exchange offering cryptocurrency trading with very high leverage, reported more than 1 million BTC traded on the platform in the 24-hours period closing July 24; and AMD suffered a decline in GPU mining related sales in Q2, 2018.

Musk Bots Blocked

The Weekly: Musk Bots Blocked, US Crypto Candidate, a Herd of Institutional InvestorsThe big news on Friday was that Twitter is now finally automatically locking any unverified account that changes its display name to Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and Spacex. This only came after Musk recently pointed out the impressive skills of the scammers who are designing bots to mimic high profile people like himself and flood the social network with fake ETH giveaways. In other news, an “anonymized” currency that can fluctuate wildly does not deserve to be considered as a medium of exchange, according to Mastercard President and CEO, Ajay Banga, who called cryptocurrency “junk.”

US Crypto Candidate

On Saturday, we reported that Democrat Andrew Yang’s campaign has begun accepting crypto donation for the 2020 US presidential election. The announcement released by his team to “our crypto donors” reads: “We currently accept Bitcoin and anything on the ERC20 standard.” It also comes with instructions on how to donate cryptocurrency and notes that the maximum for individual donations is set at the fiat equivalent of $ 2,500. We also reported that Kickico experienced a security breach, with 70,000,000 KICK stolen – equal to $ 7.7 million. According to an announcement from the company, Kickico restored full control over the its smart contract and will return all stolen Kickcoins to their holders.

No Murder-for-Hire Indictment in Silk Road Case

The most commented-on article during the week covered the latest development of the ongoing legal battle in the Ross Ulbricht case. The Maryland district US Attorney filed a motion to dismiss a 2013 three-count indictment against the online marketplace Silk Road operator which included murder-for-hire allegations. Join the discussion.

The Weekly: Musk Bots Blocked, US Crypto Candidate, a Herd of Institutional Investors

This Week in Bitcoin Podcast

Catch the rest of this week’s news in the This Week in Bitcoin podcast with host Matt Aaron.

What other stories in the Bitcoin world caught your attention this week? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The post The Weekly: Musk Bots Blocked, US Crypto Candidate, a Herd of Institutional Investors appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Deep Web Roundup: BCH Adoption Increases and Dread Rises

July 29, 2018 |

Deep Web Roundup: BCH Adoption Increases and Dread Rises

The specter of the deep web looms large over everything bitcoin does. You won’t hear it mentioned by VCs funding blockchain startups, or by options exchanges applying for bitcoin ETFs, but the darknet is the reason we’re all here. A periodic glance into the latest from the deep web provides an insight into the underbelly where bitcoin first bloomed, and where a significant proportion of cryptocurrency purchases still occur.

Also read: Giant Bitcoin Merchant Bank Posts Losses Over $ 130 Million

From Reddit to Dreaddit

Ever since Reddit’s r/darkmarkets was shut down, has been the main source of news for purveyors of the darknet. The site has been behaving erratically of late, with European visitors getting an error message when attempting to visit the site. Whether this is the result of a temporary glitch or some sort of GDPR-instigated perma-ban, which has caused other US-based sites to exclude Europeans, is unknown. For all the good work Deepdotweb does in covering darknet activity, it is unhealthy to rely on a single, centralized source of news. All it would take is for authorities to covertly infiltrate the website and they could start controlling the news cycle and funnelling users to honeypot darknet marketplaces.

Thankfully, there’s now an alternative source of news pertaining to the deep web’s major marketplaces. Dread, which resides at dreadditevildot.onion, is Reddit’s r/darknetmarkets reborn, and this time accessible only via Tor. As members of the forum would agree, discussing their business over the deep web, where IPs cannot easily be traced, is in the best interests of everyone. Dread features several boards, with d/darknetmarkets its most popular, with over 13,000 subscribers.

Deep Web Roundup: BCH Adoption Increases and Dread Rises

75% of Dream Vendors Take Bitcoin Cash

Acceptance of bitcoin cash has grown significantly among vendors on Dream, the deep web’s largest and longest-running marketplace. BCH was added around six months ago when BTC fees were high, sparking protest from buyers and sellers who have been priced out of making sub-$ 100 purchases on the darknet. While BTC fees have since abated, bitcoin cash adoption has continued to rise. Dream Market now records 102,000 listings from vendors who accept BCH, versus 126,000 for BTC.

Deep Web Roundup: Dream Adds Monero and Bitcoin Tumbler “Chip Mixer” LaunchesThe DDoS attacks that crippled many deep web markets for much of last year have yet to resurface. Dream boasts the second best uptime, at 98.19%, with only Olympus Market, at 99.81%, exceeding it. Worst in the list, as maintained by Deepdotweb, are Rapture with 92.22% and Point with 91.87%. While crypto users squabble, grandstand and shitpost on the clearnet, on the darknet, it’s business as usual, the same as it’s always been since the earliest days of Silk Road: a thriving ecosystem of underground markets where (almost) anything can be bought and sold anonymously.

Do you visit the deep web, and if so, which sources do you rely on for information about darknet marketplace? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Dread.

Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Deep Web Roundup: BCH Adoption Increases and Dread Rises appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Russian Shipwreck and ‘Treasure’ Linked to Crypto Exchange

July 29, 2018 |

Russian Shipwreck and 'Treasure' Linked to Crypto Exchange

A South Korean firm claimed to have found the wreck of a Russian warship sunk in 1905 with $ 130 billion worth of gold on board. The cruiser and its treasure are linked to a crypto exchange and token which the firm reportedly promised to distribute to anyone signing up with the exchange. As the country’s financial watchdog investigates the company’s claims, the firm has changed its story.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Russian Warship Found with Reports of Gold on Board

A Russian warship that sank 113 years ago, the Dmitrii Donskoi, was reportedly found off the coast of a South Korean island last week. A Korean firm, Shinil Group, claims to be the one who found the wreck. Reuters described:

Shinil Marine said last week it had discovered the wreck of the Dmitrii Donskoi, a Russian armored cruiser sunk in 1905 after fighting Japanese warships off South Korea’s Ulleung Island, and that a staggering 150 trillion won ($ 130 billion) of gold was on board.

Russian Shipwreck and 'Treasure' Linked to Crypto Exchange
The Dmitrii Donskoi.

As soon as the news of the gold coins being found broke, South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) began investigating “whether the company’s claims were part of any share price manipulation or other unlawful trade,” the publication elaborated. In addition, FSS Governor Yoon Suk-heun said that the agency is investigating related “cryptocurrency issues.”

However, Shinil Group has now backtracked on its claims. The news outlet reported CEO Choe Yong-seok admitting during a news conference in Seoul on Thursday that the company “has not verified the existence of any gold.” He was quoted saying, “The [unverified] reports said the Donskoi held 200 tonnes of gold but that would only be 10 trillion won [~$ 9 billion] at current value … We apologize to the public for the irresponsible citation.”

Korean Government Investigates Crypto Issues

With the group’s original discovery announcement of the Dmitrii Donskoi, local media reported a crypto exchange and token associated with the ship. According to Dtoday, Shinil Group said it will use the gold coins found on board, once salvaged, to back a new cryptocurrency they will launch called Shinil Gold Coin. The exchange’s website contains the name and picture of the Dmitrii Donskoi. Reuters detailed:

A website under Shinil Group’s name links the find to a ‘Donskoi International’ cryptocurrency exchange that says it will hand out its virtual currency to anyone who signed up with the exchange.

According to the exchange’s roadmap, the coin and its wallet have already been developed. The token is expected to be listed on 10 exchanges, “including Shinil Group’s Donskoi international exchange and domestic/overseas global exchanges from September to October 2018,” its website claims.

Russian Shipwreck and 'Treasure' Linked to Crypto Exchange

However, Reuters reported Thursday that “Shinil Marine denied any connection with the cryptocurrency it said was run by a different company with the same name, and said it had changed its name. A phone number on the cryptocurrency exchange’s website led to the company until last week.”

What do you think of the discovery of this Russian ship and its link to a crypto exchange? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Dtoday, and Shinil Group.

Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Russian Shipwreck and ‘Treasure’ Linked to Crypto Exchange appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Rare: Bitcoin Mining Company Cleared of Wrongdoing by Regulator

July 29, 2018 |

Rare: Bitcoin Mining Company Cleared of Wrongdoing by Regulator

The Securities Commissioner of South Carolina dismissed its previous order of nearly half a year ago against Genesis Mining. It’s rare, and some say this is a first for the state, as the Commissioner hasn’t previously withdrawn such an order. The company plans to resume services in the United States as a result. The case also might mark a turning point in such for firms beginning to fight back against regulators.

Also read: Ross Ulbricht Murder-for-Hire Indictment to Be Dismissed

South Carolina Securities Regulator Dismisses Previous Cease and Desist Order Against Genesis Mining

“We are happy to announce that the South Carolina securities division has dismissed Genesis Mining from its March 9, 2018, cease and desist,” wrote Shah Hafizi, chief compliance officer for Genesis Mining in reference to a cease and desist order being lifted by the state of South Carolina. “One of our company‘s principles is transparency. After all, it is a core value of blockchain technologies. Over the past five months, we’ve worked closely with South Carolina officials to educate them and provide a practitioner’s perspective on mining, blockchain networks and the decentralized nature of the technologies we support.”

Actually, two crypto related firms were gifted an order of dismissal this week from the Securities Commissioner of South Carolina. Both Genesis Mining and Ship Chain were issued cease and desist order withdrawal notices.

Rare: Bitcoin Mining Company Cleared of Wrongdoing by Regulator

Ship Chain was accused of peddling securities disguised as tokens. Ship Chain pushed back, arguing such was not the case and how they were totally unaware residents of the state could even purchase their token, SHIP. In what appears to be a final decision in the case, Commissioner Meyers wrote the agency “after receiving information regarding matters detailed in the Administrative Order to Cease and Desist issued […] upon due consideration of such information, finds good cause has been shown to vacate the [order],” leaving Ship Chain off the hook.

Genesis Mining, on the other hand, was named a respondent in an unrelated case, also thought to be selling unregistered securities but with cloud mining contracts. It too had its order dismissed; however, co-respondent Swiss Gold, thought to be the mining company’s broker at the time, is still under order.

Rare: Bitcoin Mining Company Cleared of Wrongdoing by Regulator

Genesis Conciliatory, Vows to Work with Regulators

Mr. Hafizi, Genesis COO, “By working together with regulators, we can ensure that investors are protected, and innovation is not stifled. We believe for the industry to reach its true potential, companies and regulators need to collaborate. We strongly encourage blockchain companies, regardless of where they are in the world, to proactively engage with local regulators at all levels.”

Registration, when it comes to business activity in any state, is a particularly touchy subject. Combine that fact with relatively exotic industry as cloud mining companies, and jumping to conclusions is an obvious result by regulators. 

Rare: Bitcoin Mining Company Cleared of Wrongdoing by RegulatorSouth Carolinians purchased hard drive power over blocks of time. To regulators, this appeared to be a form of investment contract, a security. As a result, the state Commission barred both Genesis and Swiss Gold from doing business in its boundaries. Swiss Gold remains under that restraint as of press time.  

The Icelandic company, Genesis Mining, has been in the ecosystem for five years, and is one of the biggest cloud mining companies in the space. 

Can companies recover after being cleared from an indictment? Let us know in the comments section below. 

Images via Pixabay, State of South Carolina.

Be sure to check out the podcast, Blockchain 2025; latest episode here

The post Rare: Bitcoin Mining Company Cleared of Wrongdoing by Regulator appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Bitflyer Cracks Down on Market Manipulation – Coincheck Eyes August Relaunch

July 29, 2018 |

Bitflyer Cracks Down on Crypto Market Manipulation, Coincheck to Reopen in August

Japan’s largest crypto exchange, Bitflyer, may freeze accounts caught manipulating prices. Meanwhile, GMO Internet has released quarterly earnings for its crypto exchange subsidiary, currently looking to borrow some BTC from customers. In addition, Coincheck plans to reopen next month after it was hacked earlier this year.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Bitflyer Cracks Down on Market Manipulation

Bitflyer Cracks Down on Crypto Market Manipulation, Coincheck to Reopen in AugustBitflyer, Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, still does not accept new account signups. The exchange made this decision voluntarily after receiving a business improvement order from the country’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA). Bitflyer announced Thursday:

In accordance with our Terms of Use, we may freeze accounts observed to have intentionally performed market manipulation or other forms of maliciously setting market prices. We will continue to do our best to build a sound trading environment.

The business improvement order Bitflyer received contains 10 “measures to ensure Bitflyer Cracks Down on Crypto Market Manipulation, Coincheck to Reopen in Augustappropriate and reliable business operation,” the FSA detailed. Five other exchanges received an improvement order at the same time. However, unlike Bitflyer’s, theirs contain fewer than ten items and do not include a “drastic review of the management system.”

Bitflyer has been delaying deposits and withdrawals as it tries to comply with the FSA’s order. Then, on July 23, the exchange submitted its improvement plan to the agency.

GMO Coin Wants to Borrow BTC Now

Bitflyer Cracks Down on Crypto Market Manipulation, Coincheck to Reopen in AugustJapanese internet giant GMO Group released its quarterly earnings on Thursday. The company recorded operating income for its crypto business in the second quarter after making a loss in the first due to sharp drops in crypto prices, GMO explained, adding:

In the virtual currency business, the number of account openings grew steadily due to aggressive promotion activities … Operating revenue in this segment was 1,612 million yen [~US$ 14.5 million], operating loss was 258 million yen [~$ 2.3 million].

Meanwhile, GMO Coin, the crypto exchange unit of GMO Internet, is currently accepting applications from customers wanting to loan the company their BTC. Customers can apply between July 24 and August 6. The minimum GMO will borrow is 10 BTC and the maximum is 200 BTC. The exchange first announced the launch of this program in May.

Coincheck to Reopen in August

Bitflyer Cracks Down on Crypto Market Manipulation, Coincheck to Reopen in AugustSince its hack in January, Coincheck has suspended new account registrations. Monex Group’s president, Oki Matsumoto, said Friday that he expects to relaunch Coincheck in August, local media reported.

The group acquired Coincheck in April after it was hacked in January. According to Monex Group’s financial results from April to June, Coincheck made a pre-tax loss of 259 million yen (~$ 2.33 million).

Matsumoto elaborated:

I would like to restart full Coincheck service in August … The management system of Coincheck has greatly improved with the entrance of Monex Group.

Meanwhile, Monex is also trying to enter the crypto market through its US subsidiary, Tradestation Group.

What do you think of Bitflyer’s crackdown, GMO Coin’s performance and BTC loan program, and Coincheck’s relaunch? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitflyer, Coincheck, and GMO Coin.

Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Bitflyer Cracks Down on Market Manipulation – Coincheck Eyes August Relaunch appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Libertarian Hotspot the Free Keene Project Bolsters More Crypto-Adoption

July 29, 2018 |

Libertarian Hotspot the Free Keene Project Bolsters More Crypto-Adoption

The Free Keene Project, a growing community of libertarians and cryptocurrency proponents, has announced the region now has a dentist, Indian restaurant, hair salon, and vape shop that accept cryptocurrencies.

Also Read: Markets Update: Crypto-Prices See Some Recovery After the Dip

The Free Keene Project Manages to Persuade a Slew of Mom-n-Pop Shops to Accept Cryptocurrencies

New Hampshire is widely known as the ‘free state’ for its lack of taxation, and the growing number of libertarians moving there to make the region live up to its motto ‘live free or die.’ Furthermore, areas like Keene are well known for being very cryptocurrency friendly with a multitude of merchants, bitcoin radio ads, and BTMs. More recently the Free Keene Project’s blog revealed the group has been pushing digital asset adoption like crazy, and this week the website announced they have managed to get a slew of mom-n-pop businesses to accept BTC and Dash.

“Longtime readers here know that Keene and Portsmouth New Hampshire are two hotspots in the world of cryptocurrency,” explains the Free Keene Project. “Though real-life crypto usage is not all about delicious handmade pizza, BBQ, Indian food, burgers, or alcoholic beverages that you can buy with crypto in downtown Keene, it’s also about products and services.”

Libertarian Hotspot the Free Keene Project Bolsters More Crypto-Adoption
The Free Keen Project says, “Keene defeats major cities in per-capita businesses accepting crypto.”

Vape Shop & Dental Work

The libertarian group explains the region’s new vape shop, Lineage Vapors, is accepting BTC and Dash for any of the store’s products. Additionally, the Curry Indian Restaurant which serves Pakistani and Indian cuisine seven-days-a-week will be accepting the two cryptocurrencies as well. The blog post also notes that the digital currencies will also help the Indian restaurant’s owners send remittances to their family members without using a third-party institution.

Libertarian Hotspot the Free Keene Project Bolsters More Crypto-Adoption
Dr. Drower accepts BTC and Dash for dental services.

The free state crew of libertarians further detail that people can use digital currencies for dental services and the resident office of Dr. Drower Dentistry will be accepting cryptocurrency-paying patients. “For digital coin to become useful in everyday life people need to be able to use it as currency, for something besides speculative investing.”

Automotive Work, Pizza, and a New Hairstyle

Libertarian Hotspot the Free Keene Project Bolsters More Crypto-AdoptionThe free state continues to help push the ideas of liberty across the land and many of the residents believe cryptocurrencies will be one of the tools that can help circumvent the state. The Free Keene Project also details that many of the businesses work with a Portsmouth-founded merchant point-of-sale crypto processor called The area also has a bunch of other merchants like Little Zoe’s Pizza that accepts digital assets for pies and people in need of car repair can use cryptos at Wilder Automotive.

Additionally, the Free Keene Project says that Main Street’s Moda Suo, a hair salon that accepted BTC in the past using merchant services through Coinbase, is now dropping them and switching to Anypay’s point-of-sale system. Moda Suo’s owner Nicholas Sansone will now accept BTC and Dash payments for services.

What do you think about the Free Keene Project getting so many merchants to accept cryptocurrencies? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.

Images via Pixabay, and the Free Keene Project blog.

Want to create your own secure cold storage paper wallet? Check our tools section.

The post Libertarian Hotspot the Free Keene Project Bolsters More Crypto-Adoption appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

The Story of How Bitcoin Was Compromised

July 28, 2018 |

Cryptocurrency is to money what the internet is to information. It is a powerful and potent technology, with the power to transform the world. It is an evolutionary tool in the sense that it is already propelling humanity forward. Crypto will help human beings abolish banks, governments, and other organizations with single points of failure. Nonetheless, visionaries, entrepreneurs, and iconoclasts cannot let the utility of this tool cause them to let their guard down. They cannot let themselves be swept away in the hype, because cryptocurrencies are not invulnerable. In a way, Bitcoin, the initial cryptocurrency, was damaged in a hacking maneuver against it, demonstrating that these tools are not impervious to attack.

Also Read: Poor Communication Undermines the Bitcoin Ecosystem

The Infiltration and Subversion of Bitcoin

It is true the technology that allows bitcoin to function—the blockchain—is antifragile and resilient, but it still has an Achilles tendon. There is at least one attack vector that can harm bitcoin. Matter of fact, when someone creates an allegedly unassailable technology, it practically invites people to launch attacks against it.

However, the weakness attackers exploited was not based in code or mathematics. Instead, the attackers targeted a more vulnerable aspect of the technology: the community.

The Story of How Bitcoin was Compromised
The Bitcoin whitepaper

The attackers infiltrated the community and compromised bitcoin to alter the cryptocurrency’s original purpose. They changed bitcoin from a threatening, extremely efficient, peer-to-peer cash system, into a less frightening, slower and more cumbersome cryptocurrency. It is now called “Bitcoin Core” or “Segwit Coin,” rather than Satoshi Nakamoto’s amazing invention, “Bitcoin.”

The attack happened almost imperceptibly, somewhat slowly, dragged out over the course of time. The attack was so successful that many people do not feel bitcoin was attacked at all. This is because the psychology of the community has warped in the process.

The Scaling Debate

It all started with a debate on how to scale bitcoin. A fiery discussion on how to bring bitcoin to the masses erupted between 2014 and 2015.

The scaling debate took place primarily on Reddit and, because these sites are where the community has regularly convened to discuss matters within the ecosystem. Shortly after the debates started, individuals appeared to rally to the side of the Core development team, as well as the Blockstream company, who promoted the notion that bitcoin cannot scale by increasing the block size.

Verge Cryptocurrency Falls Prey to a 51% AttackThe Core spokespeople said bitcoin can never reach the throughput transaction level that the Visa and Mastercard networks achieve by scaling on-chain. In order for bitcoin to reach this level of growth, second layer solutions would need to be deployed. This would occur by the addition of a protocol referred to as Segwit. It would solve the transaction malleability problem, and allow for the clean addition of second layer protocols, they said.

Core supporters vehemently argued against any and all block size increases. They said it is not a solution that allows for exponential growth. It would also cause more mining centralization in bitcoin, leading to the possibility of a 51% attack.

For anyone paying attention, these arguments would have sounded odd, because bitcoin was intended to scale on-chain. It is true there was a block size limit of 1MB, but this hard limit was only implemented to prevent network spam. The hard limit was meant to be increased as the network expanded.

The fear of centralization is also misguided. Bitcoin can scale on-chain without much centralization, because technology grows at an exponential rate. This is expressed in both Moore’s Law and The Law of Accelerating Returns as demonstrated by Ray Kurzweil. In this sense, technology would keep pace with bitcoin growth to curb the possibility of increasing centralization.

Censorship Campaign

From the vantage point of an outsider, it would have certainly looked like the Core supporters were winning the debate and gaining more traction. All across popular forums where the bitcoin commentary raged, there seemed to be no defense of on-chain scaling.

In fact, the forums would have looked like an echo chamber to most people. However, in reality, Core supporters did not have consensus. There were a lot of people singing the praises of Satoshi by pleading for an on-chain scaling solution. They wanted to expand the blocksize to meet market demand. They were even willing to compromise whereas Core supporters were not.

The Story of How Bitcoin was Compromised

The reason it looked like Core supporters were winning is because they had began censoring posts they disagreed with. As soon as people created a post about on-chain scaling, moderators deleted those posts. They made claims that scaling on-chain wasn’t the goal of bitcoin, and those wanting to scale on-chain were essentially talking about another coin or “fork.” Moderators and Core supporters got it into their head that scaling bitcoin on-chain was somehow antithetical to bitcoin.

They used this excuse to delete posts containing arguments for on-chain scaling. The leader behind this agenda was Theymos. He was known for moderating the r/bitcoin subreddit. John Blocke wrote an in-depth article on Medium about Theymos and this censorship campaign. He also cited a ton of evidence, including screenshots. He said:

Since the limit was introduced in 2010, there have been countless discussions on the necessity as well as the methods that would be used to increase this limit, and Bitcoin’s transaction processing capabilities with it. Those attempts have repeatedly been blocked by a small group of developers, and in recent years discussion of increasing the limit has been censored from some of Bitcoin’s largest discussion forums, all of which are moderated by the same individual, who posts using the handle Theymos. What is forbidden includes any discussion of code changes that propose increasing the limitation.

A Hegemony of Developers and Bitcoin Crash of 2017

Gavin Andresen Drops A New Concept On Github for Bitcoin CashIt should now be clear how bitcoin was compromised. A group of developers and Segwit devotees gained the trust of the community in order to divert the path of bitcoin. These developers and their followers used censorship to obscure the truth about the scaling debate. During this timeframe, many of the original developers were expunged from the project. This includes Mike Hearn and Gavin Andresen, who Satoshi himself appointed to keep bitcoin on track prior to leaving the project.

The insurgent developers did not share Satoshi’s vision. They did not believe that bitcoin could or should scale so that everyone can use it as cash. They believed bitcoin should be a store of value or commodity. They even suggested that high fees and slow confirmation times are a good thing for bitcoin. These developers were either economically ignorant or purposely maneuvering to destroy bitcoin.

Their ideas about harming bitcoin came to fruition. During the winter of 2017, bitcoin reached its highest price level, nearing the $ 20,000 mark. However, during this time bitcoin fees also skyrocketed. They reached an average of $ 28 dollars per transaction while confirmation times slowed to a snail’s pace. At the beginning of January, the damage was felt across the ecosystem as the price collapsed and the whole cryptocurrency market felt the reverberations. In March, CNBC wrote that bitcoin retraced 70% of its value since the start of the crash.

It is true that bitcoin’s price has collapsed as much or more in the past, but this particular collapse has been partly blamed on the “scaling debate” and high fees that plagued bitcoin.

Truth and Divisiveness

It is not known whether the Core team, including Blockstream, purposely undermined bitcoin. Still, well known people like Jeff Berwick have suggested Blockstream was compromised, because they were bought out by AXA Insurance. Berwick goes on to say the head of AXA is the same person who heads the Bilderberg group. According to Berwick, it appears that central bankers bought out Bitcoin in order to destroy it or hamstring it.

In a Dollar Vigilante article Berwick said, “Blockstream is the biggest funder of Bitcoin Core and employs many of the developers. Who owns Blockstream? Well, one of the main shareholders is insurance giant AXA. CEO and Chairman of both the Bilderberg Group and AXA are the same person, Henri de Castries. Yes, essentially, the person most in control of bitcoin development is the Chairman of Bilderberg; the place that I have gone for the last three years to expose from the outside! And, even one time, briefly, from the inside. If the globalists wanted to destroy bitcoin, they would do exactly what they are doing with Blockstream.”

Others have stayed more conservative, saying if governments or other entities wanted to harm bitcoin, they would likely do it by causing major divisiveness within the community. They would slowly build a community of distrust, and cause a break in mutual understanding throughout the ecosystem. This would allow for bitcoin to be made vulnerable and thus diverted from its course.

Whether it was diverted on purpose or by coincidence is still up for debate. The point is that cryptocurrencies can be harmed if they are not protected and nurtured. If the community lets their guard down for a moment, it’s possible to damage cryptocurrencies either by negligence or infiltration. Being mathematically stable and secure is not enough. The communities behind these protocols need to be strong, united, and open to communication. If not, they will leave glaring weaknesses in the network. They will allow the network to fall victim to nefarious actors.

The Salvation of Bitcoin

Satoshi Nakamoto’s Confidant Gavin Andresen Throws Support Behind Bitcoin CashOn the bright side, not all is lost. Even though the first iteration of bitcoin was practically co-opted, it was born again in the form of bitcoin cash. The community redeemed itself with upgrading the bitcoin protocol by implementing a hard fork and creating bitcoin cash.

Bitcoin cash has kept the promise and vision of Satoshi Nakamoto alive. It leverages on-chain scaling to grow the network and incentivize adoption. At this point, bitcoin cash has instantiated itself as the salvation of bitcoin. It is the true bitcoin that intends on freeing humanity from the clutches of centralized bankers and governments.

However, the community must remain vigilant. What happened to Bitcoin Core should be a lesson to all. If a community falls prey to predatory communication tactics and censorship campaigns, they may lose their cryptocurrency to an attack.

They should maintain a healthy community and pay attention to the course of the technology. If they lose sight and vision, their dream will turn to ash. It will get steamrolled. It will be forgotten and placed in the dustbin of history. Everyone must always remember technology is not automatically impregnable. It needs a strong foundation of good people.

Do you believe Bitcoin was hijacked?

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Report: 3 Million Brits Invested in Crypto via Exchanges, Few Sought Advice

July 28, 2018 |

Report: 3 Million Brits Invested in Crypto via Exchanges, Few Sought Advice

According to a new study, about 3 million British investors have put money into crypto through online trading platforms and only 5 percent of them have been advised by professionals. The survey also found that 2.5 million Brits have casually invested in cryptocurrency without fully understanding it.

Also read: Crowd Psychology Driving BTC Prices, Finance Experts Say

2.5 Million Holders Do Not Understand Crypto Investment

Report: 3 Million Brits Invested in Crypto via Exchanges, Few Sought AdviceMillions of Britons have so far invested in cryptocurrencies, although very few of them have sought professional advice, despite the fact that many do not quite understand digital asset investment. The findings came out in a report released by the London-based investment house IW Capital and were quoted in the British press.

According to the research, almost 3 million people in the UK have invested in cryptocurrency using an “e-trading platform” but only 5 percent have consulted a financial advisor before doing so, the online edition of The Daily Express reported. The authors also found that 2.5 million British residents have casually invested in cryptocurrency without fully understanding the investment.

The report further details that a total of 38 percent of those surveyed, a nationally representative sample of 2,007 respondents, admitted they did not understand cryptocurrency and about a third believed it was a bubble set to burst. No data has been provided by the publication about the level of knowledge and awareness among the rest of the polled.

Deficit of Crypto Knowledge and Information

IW Capital notes that there is a lack of knowledge at the heart of cryptocurrency investment. “The data reveals that, fundamentally, Brits do not have enough information or knowledge on the topic of cryptocurrency. In fact, many have no knowledge about the subject whatsoever,” the researchers wrote. The firm’s Chief Executive Officer, Luke Davis, also commented:

It is shocking, but not surprising, to see so much confusion around the topic of cryptocurrency. I do not believe this is a reflection of UK investors’ risk profile, as a positive appetite for alternative finance remains, but to see that investments have been made without proper financial advice and a lack of facts and education is very concerning.

It has been reported as well that 7 percent of the participants in the survey believe cryptocurrency is more valuable than traditional stocks and shares investments. At the same time, the study claims only 5 percent of those who have invested in crypto have made any financial gains.

Report: 3 Million Brits Invested in Crypto via Exchanges, Few Sought Advice

The release of the data from the British study coincides with the recent upward trend that has added about 40 percent to the market capitalization of bitcoin (BCT) from this year’s lows of below $ 6,000 per coin to the current levels above $ 8,000 USD. Another report published this week suggests that crypto prices are largely driven by a phenomenon known as “crowd psychology”.

Do you think the knowledge and awareness of cryptocurrencies will increase with the growing number of investors? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

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Pantera Capital Reports Lifetime Return of More Than 10,000%

July 28, 2018 |

Pantera Capital Reports Lifetime Return of More Than 10,000%

Major cryptocurrency investment firm, Pantera Capital, has reported a lifetime return of more than 10,000% on its fund. The company has announced the impressive return in celebration of its five-year anniversary.

Also Read: Markets Update: Crypto-Prices See Some Recovery After the Dip

Pantera Reports Fund has Generated 10,000% Return Over 5 Years

Pantera Capital Reports Lifetime Return of More Than 10,000%It has been reported that Pantera Capital has generated a more than 10,000% lifetime return since launching in 2013. Pantera has invested in a number of leading cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technology companies, with its portfolio including Bitstamp, Polychain Capital, Korbit, 0x, and Zcash.

In an email sent to media, co-chief investment officer and chief executive officer, Dan Morehead, and co-chief investment officer, Joey Krug, have claimed that “the Fund’s lifetime return is 10,136.15% net of fees and expenses.”

Pantera Shares Emails From 2013

Pantera Capital Reports Lifetime Return of More Than 10,000%In the email, the chief investment officers included two additional emails dated from 2013, stating: “We wanted to share the original logic – as it is equally compelling today.”

The first email, composed when the price of BTC was just $ 104 USD, predicts that bitcoin will one day trade for $ 5,000, arguing that “bitcoin dominates cash, electronic fiat money, gold, bearer bonds, large stone discs, etc. It can do all of the things that each of those can. It’s the first global currency since gold. It’s the first borderless payment system ever.”

The second email, composed when BTC was trading for $ 253, likened investing in bitcoin to purchasing Microsoft shares early into the company’s existence. “In my opinion, it’s like deciding whether to buy Microsoft back in the day at $ 0.20 a share. It was hard to do when the stock was just at $ 0.10. In the fullness of time…clearly a great trade. I believe bitcoin right now is just like that. The world’s first global currency since gold and the world’s only borderless payments system (frictionless to boot) at a market cap of $ 3bn? Now that Silk Road is gone, a new wave of sophisticated investors are entering.”

Last month, Pantera announced that “The first Venture Fund III closing will be June 30th.” Mr. Morehead and Mr. Krug indicated that they will be traveling “over the next months to discuss VEnture Fund III and the blockchain disruption.”

What is your response to Pantera’s purported 10,000% return on the lifetime of its fund? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Pantera Capital

Want a comprehensive list of the top 500 cryptocurrencies and see their prices and overall market valuation? Check out Satoshi Pulse for all that hot market action!

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Remittance Firm Transfergo Launches Cryptocurrency Trading

July 28, 2018 |

Remittance Firm Transfergo Launches Cryptocurrency Trading

In a recent interview, Daumantas Dvilinskas, the founder and chief executive officer of Transfergo, a U.K.-based remittance firm that processes 1 million transactions each year on average, discussed the company’s decision to launch a cryptocurrency trading facility.

Also Read: Bitcoin Mining News: Brookstone to Build Wind Farm in Morocco, Québec Increases Rates

Transfergo Launches Cryptocurrency Trading Facility

Remittance Firm Transfergo Launches Cryptocurrency TradingWhen asked of the company’s decision to take on the “risk” associated with cryptocurrencies given Transfergo’s “dominant” position within the remittance industry, Mr. Dvilinskas stated:“The reason why we launched crypto today, to the world, is that our clients wanted it.”

“Over the last five years we have built a very vibrant customer group of more than 600,000 people who use us for their remittances, to send money to their families back home, Mr. Dvilinskas continued. “When we asked them, ‘hey, would you like to do crypto with us?’ they said ‘yes’, because currently, the market is highly underserved for a transparent, fair, and convenient solution for our current clients.”

The Transfergo CEO stated that for now, the company is looking into providing support for Bitcoin Core (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ripple (XRP), and Litecoin (LTC)

Cryptocurrencies are “Here to Stay”

Remittance Firm Transfergo Launches Cryptocurrency TradingWith regards to Transfergo’s cryptocurrency trading product, Mr. Dvilinskas stated: “The remittance product and the crypto product are separate […] We still have our remittance product, [and] the crypto product is pretty much an ability to buy and sell crypto in a very convenient way. Today, they will not be sending crypto to their friends and families, they will just be buying and selling them for themselves.”

Mr. Dvilinskas stated that the majority of the demand for the company to launch cryptocurrency was coming from European countries wishing to send, and emerging markets wishing to receive virtual currencies.

When asked of his outlook for virtual currencies, Mr. Dvilinskas stated: “We have a very long-term perspective on crypto, and we have seen crypto go through multiple waves. […] We want to be able to provide our customers with a very easy and consumer-friendly way to get access to [cryptocurrencies]. […] “As a platform [cryptocurrencies] are here to stay.”

What is your response to Transfergo’s decision to enter the cryptocurrency industry? Join the discussion in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, TransferGo

Want a comprehensive list of the top 500 cryptocurrencies and see their prices and overall market valuation? Check out Satoshi Pulse for all that hot market action!

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