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Can Clues to Bitcoin’s Earliest Mysteries Be Found in a Cryopreserved Brain?

October 9, 2018 |

Can Clues to Bitcoin's Earliest Mysteries Be Found in This Cryopreserved Brain?

There has been some speculation over the years about whether the late software developer, Hal Finney, was actually Satoshi Nakamoto. Some people wonder if he had any connection to the 700,000 bitcoins mined back in the earliest days of the protocol. Finney was an Extropian, or a person who believes in the philosophy of futurism and life extension. In fact, the developer arranged to have himself cryopreserved in the hope that someday scientists might figure out a way to revive his brain and answer some of the questions surrounding Bitcoin’s early days.

Also Read: Bitcoin Personalities: ArtForz and the GPU Arms Race

Finney the Frozen Crypto-Genius

Back when the Bitcoin software was first launched, Finney — a well-known PGP Corp. developer and computer scientist — received the very first bitcoin transaction. He also helped Satoshi get the network up and running during Bitcoin’s first year. The programmer worked with the creator and other software developers up until he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Some people believe Finney may have been the creator of Bitcoin himself, by simply pretending to be Satoshi on the side.

For instance, back in 2014, Andy Greenberg, a well-known tech journalist for Wired, wrote a story on why he believed Finney may have been Nakamoto, or was at least a person with significant ties to the inventor of Bitcoin. Other people believe in the “Satoshi Nakamoto group theory,” as they claim that the extensive knowledge Finney had about the some of the earliest coins that were mined suggests that Satoshi was actually more than one individual. But more interestingly, in the future there is a chance scientists could discover bitcoin keys in Finney’s cryopreserved “brain wallet.”

The Solidification of Body and Mind

Finney and his wife Fran embraced the tenets of futurism and were known to follow the beliefs of Extropians. The philosophy of Extropy is an ideology that some people follow because they are confident society will continuously improve through advances in science and technology. Some individuals who follow this philosophy imagine that humans may eventually attain immortality by reviving their brains after death. According to Greenberg, Finney and his spouse both signed up to cryopreserve themselves long before he passed away.

Can Clues to Bitcoin's Earliest Mysteries Be Found in This Cryopreserved Brain?
Finney and his wife both signed up to cryopreserve themselves years before his death.

On Aug. 28, 2014, not long after Finney passed away, his body was brought to the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, a well-known cryonics facility. His bodily fluids were drained and filled with a substance called M-22. The cryoprotectant mixture leads to a glasslike solidification process that has been used to preserve embryos, sperm and blastocysts for years.

According to Greenberg, Finney’s body was cooled to -320 F (-195.6 C) and then stored in an aluminum vat full of liquid nitrogen. After they completed the cryoprotective perfusion process, the Alcor Foundation stated that Finney would be kept in “long-term storage, where he (would be) cared for until the day when repair and revival may be possible.” Finney was Alcor’s 128th patient and his cryogenic process was paid for “through a combination of life insurance and bitcoins donated by admirers,” the firm has said.

Finney was the 128th person to be cryopreserved at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation. The company says that its services typically cost about $ 155,000.

 Unlocking the ‘Brain Wallet’

Finney chose to preserve his mind because he believed that reviving a brain was merely a long-term engineering problem that simply had yet to be solved, just like fixing code. With cryogenics, there is the possibility that the crypto-genius could come back decades from now and reveal some of the secrets of the Bitcoin network’s nascent code. Finney’s brain could hold clues about the fortune of Satoshi and the earliest bitcoins that were mined. Futurists and believers in the philosophy of cryopreservation may be considered faith-based zealots, but cryogenics relies on the fact that technology gets better over time.

Can Clues to Bitcoin's Earliest Mysteries Be Found in This Cryopreserved Brain?
Cryogenics has become more popular over the years, as some people believe the prospect of immortality could become possible in the future due to technological advances.

Through the scientific process of cryopreservation, future generations may be able to unlock Finney’s “brain wallet.” The Alcor Foundation and cryogenic scientists say that long-term memories are encoded in the brain and can endure a great deal of “physical and chemical changes” over time. The cryonics facility has said that the team uses a well-known biological research process that has indicated that memories may be retained following the process of cryopreservation. Alcor’s research also suggests that the facility’s biological experiments have indicated a type of odorant imprinting, which is a form of long-term memory in the human brain.

Bitcoin enthusiasts have long joked about the cryopreservation of Finney and the possibility that frozen bitcoin keys have been locked in a solidified state in his brain. But in truth, we simply don’t know if Finney’s choice to utilize cryonics after his death will ever unlock any of the most enduring mysteries of Bitcoin. It is safe to say, however, that the hunt for the enigmatic Satoshi has contributed to a number of unfathomable theories.

What do you think about Hal Finney and his decision to use cryogenics to preserve his mind? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Pixabay, Shutterstock, and Makespace.


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The post Can Clues to Bitcoin’s Earliest Mysteries Be Found in a Cryopreserved Brain? appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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The Daily: Fake Volume, Tether Troubles, Bitcoin’s “Inevitable” Mass Adoption

October 1, 2018 |

The Daily: Fake Volume, Tether Troubles, Bitcoin’s “Inevitable” Mass Adoption

Rumors, allegations, and assertions can all be found in today’s news roundup. Specifically, we have rumors of impending trouble with Tether, allegations of another Chinese exchange conjuring up fake volume, and assertions that Bitcoin and blockchain’s mass adoption is “inevitable”. We’ll reveal who made that bold claim, as well as substantiating the others, in this episode of The Daily.

Also read: A Guide to Building Your Own Crypto Mining Rig

Magical Chinese Trading Volume

The Daily: Fake Volume, Tether Troubles, Bitcoin’s “Inevitable” Mass Adoption
CER alleges several Chinese exchanges to be producing magical trading volume

Like a dog worrying a bone, Crypto Exchange Ranks (CER) has been toiling away at uncovering fake trading volume for months. Much of the suspicious activity it’s unearthed during the course of its meticulous and granular investigation has originated in the East. Its latest target is ZB.com, a Chinese exchange that appears in Coinmarketcap’s top five by reported volume, placing it above the likes of Bithumb and Bitfinex. CER is having none of that, and has torn ZB.com’s claim to shreds in its usual dogged manner.

“While analyzing ZB.com, we found definite patterns of unnatural and obviously artificial trade volume performance on 10 out of the top-20 most-traded exchange’s pairs,” reports CER. “Furthermore, we discovered that 4 dash pairs volume on this exchange totaled more than $ 288m, accounting for 24.58% of the exchange’s total 24h volume and for 80.56% of all dash traded on all exchanges. All of this directly points to the fact that trade volume manipulations are taking place on ZB.com.” The full report is pretty damning.

Maltese Prime Minister: Global Bitcoin and Blockchain Adoption “Inevitable”

Maltese PM Joseph Muscat is known for his pro-crypto stance, having welcomed major players from the burgeoning cryptoconomy to his island state with open arms. In a recent address to the United Nations General Assembly, the Prime Minister preached ebulliently, espousing his belief that Bitcoin and blockchain will inevitably enjoy mass adoption. “I passionately believe [the] technology revolutionizes and improves systems,” said Muscat. “This is why in Malta, we have launched ourselves as the blockchain island…the first jurisdiction worldwide to regulate this new technology that previously existed in a legal vacuum. Blockchain makes cryptocurrencies [the] inevitable future of money.”

Tether’s Bank in Trouble?

The Daily: Fake Volume, Tether Troubles, Bitcoin’s “Inevitable” Mass AdoptionNoble, the Puerto Rico-based bank whose most famous crypto customer is Tether, could be in trouble. It has been reported that the bank has cash flow problems and, if it can’t find a backer, may be forced to wind up operations. Where this would leave Tether, and the customer assets it presumably has stored in the bank is unclear. The story, while unverified, comes from Modern Consensus, a site which broke the story of the Circle-Poloniex takeover weeks before anyone else, and thus has some credibility.

Modern Consensus also reports a figure at a “major trading crypto desk” as claiming that an entity has been trying to offload “tens of millions of tethers” but failed to find a buyer. While publicly all signs point to Tether losing its grip on the stablecoin market, it remains top dog in terms of trading. Despite several exchanges announcing that they are phasing out the controversial stablecoin, volume has remained steady at over $ 3 billion a day, 30x more than its closest competitor, Trueusd.

The Daily: Fake Volume, Tether Troubles, Bitcoin’s “Inevitable” Mass Adoption
Solid: the new web decentralization project from Tim Berners-Lee

The Web’s Creator Wants to Decentralize It

If decentralization is a meme, it’s one that’s spread so far and wide that even the web’s creator is jumping on the bandwagon. On Saturday, Tim Berners-Lee revealed Inrupt, a project he has been developing in stealth for the past nine months. It aims to remove power from the web monopolies by returning data to its owners and allowing them to assign it to platforms on a permissioned basis only. Solid is the name of the platform Berners-Lee is developing in which each user’s data is contained in a “pod”. He said defiantly: “We are not talking to Facebook and Google about whether or not to introduce a complete change where all their business models are completely upended overnight. We are not asking their permission.”

“It’s time to reset the balance of power on the web and reignite its true potential,” proclaims Inrupt.

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


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Inrupt.


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The post The Daily: Fake Volume, Tether Troubles, Bitcoin’s “Inevitable” Mass Adoption appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Bitcoins For Secured Loans – Indian Industry Still Doubtful

September 25, 2018 |

Bitcoins For Secured Loans – Indian Industry, Still Doubtful

Secured loans in the digital lending space are witnessing a lot of innovations. But thinking of cryptocurrencies as collateral forms for these loans is still a big question, one full of regulatory and practical concerns.

Also read: Japanese Corporation Begins Offering Loans Secured by Cryptocurrency

Loans Secured Against Bitcoins

If there is anything that has undergone a change, thanks to digital players in the BFSI space in India, it is – everything. Just pick lending and you can see how big data, social media weight, machine learning, etc. have made KYC (Know Your Customer) and credit-checks different. Add to that the use of APIs (Application Program Interfaces) and virtual elements for fast disbursement, and one can see why speed and ease are making digital loans stand apart.

Bitcoins For Secured Loans – Indian Industry Still Doubtful

So why not use cryptocurrency instead of gold or property to cushion a secured loan? Truly ‘digitize’ a loan? News.Bitcoin.com surveyed players in the industry, and there responses can be categorized as skeptical.

Abhi Upadhyay, a professional in the mobile lending space, dismisses the hope. “Traditional financial institutions like banks are never going to come close to accept cryptocurrency as security.”

But this ‘traditional’ legacy is exactly where and why challengers have started to win. Digital lenders have compellingly questioned deep-rooted processes and red tape in the lending industry in India by experimenting a lot, such as with the use of social media instead of old-school documentation for KYC and credibility checks. So why not bitcoin?

Regulation, Regulation, Regulation

Manav Jeet, Founder and CEO of Rubique, a prominent fintech player in the digital space, says the use of cryptocurrency as a collateral in the case of secured loans is a long shot. The biggest difference is the amount of regulation India posits in comparison to other regions. “We are the best regulated markets, and even in terms of awareness only a tiny portion of Indian population is using cryptocurrency. It will take a lot of time for us to get to the stage where we can imagine this form being used in secured loans,” Manav Jeet insisted.

Bitcoins For Secured Loans – Indian Industry, Still Doubtful

For Piyush Kabra, VP, Finance at Lendingkart, warns the practical problems around encashing bitcoins and registration, again thanks to regulatory reasons, would be factorsas to why cryptocurrency will not work against a loan – not yet, at least.

The use of cryptocurrency in secured loans is a possibility if you ask Saurabh Shankar, head of marketing at Paysense, another digital lending disruptor in India, with data science behind its intent of serving mall-ticket loan segments as well. But he explains how collateral works. “It is an additional security measure for us when we lend to a customer. Any other form of collateral can be used as security for sure, so why not bitcoin? But the current regulatory environment is not exactly an incentive to consider such options. This may also need additional work. Crypto-to-crypto lending may not be too tricky but crypto-to-fiat would be a whole new space to reckon.”

Crypto and Loans – Not Mixing Yet

India is a changing market, but one that is still under-served when it comes to instant, flexible, and small loans for the middle class. Estimates show how digitized customer journeys chop the cost of processing to about 33% of the original cost. Plus, servicing costs is almost 1/10th that of physical channels when we look at digital channels. That’s not impossible to achieve when a player banks on technology to break the loan chain and to disaggregate lumps of delays that weigh down a usual lending process. Using behavioral analytics, cash flows, social media signals, and peer reports instead of legacy underwriting processes or income-tax returns – this is what many smart digital lenders started doing early on.

We are staring at a global fintech software and services sector of $ 45 billion by 2020 (from what NASSCOM reckons). Interestingly, India has exhibited the second highest fintech adoption rate (59% while the global average is 33%) as per the EY Fintech adoption index.

Bitcoins For Secured Loans – Indian Industry, Still Doubtful

Globally, players like Biterest, Coinloan and Abic have started offering such loans that are secured against bitcoin. There we can see advantages like variety, speed, automation and no limits. It matters when there is no need of liquidation of an asset to get money out of it (the reason people use fixed deposits in secured loans). Then, there is the side of significant appreciation of value over time (which can be higher than loan interest). Also, concerns around forked cryptocurrencies have been addressed by many such players. After all, fungibility, preservation potential, and liquidity are true tests when it comes to how people think of money.

Yet, talk of cryptocurrency’s use in the BFSI space is full of hesitation and confusion, even for disruptors. Responses from other players like Innoviti and Capital Float could not be elicited. But as Saurabh pins it, conceptually the idea is not bad but the practical side here revolves around regulations and actual ease.

What do you think about the idea of bitcoins for secured loans? Let us know in the comment section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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The post Bitcoins For Secured Loans – Indian Industry Still Doubtful appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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The Daily: Rethinking Bitcoin’s Market Cap, ICOs Printing Money

September 24, 2018 |

The Daily: Rethinking Bitcoin’s Market Cap, ICOs Printing Money

Welcome to a new week crammed with new ways of thinking about Bitcoin and its fellow cryptocurrencies. To kick things off, today’s edition of The Daily details three big-hitting topics: Is it time to find a more accurate metric than market cap for measuring cryptocurrencies? Why are venture capital funds so enamored with stablecoins right now? And what’s the deal with ICOs covertly minting tokens to inflate their own supply?

Also read: Longhash Launches Bitcoin Tracker to Find ‘Dirty Money’

A16z Crypto Snaps Up 6% of MKR

Stablecoins are all the rage right now, especially if you’re a venture capital firm seeking an up-and-coming crypto project to back. A16z Crypto has just acquired 6% of the MKR token supply for $ 15 million, which will give it a stake in the DAI stablecoin issued by Makerdao from both a financial and a governance perspective. The dedicated crypto fund created by Andreessen Horowitz will lend its support to the Makerdao foundation for the next three years, and provide expertise on adoption and regulatory matters.

The Daily: Rethinking Bitcoin’s Market Cap, ICOs Printing Money

“As a first mover and innovator in stablecoins, Makerdao represents a very compelling opportunity in the crypto space,” said A16z Crypto’s general partner Katie Haun. “Makerdao’s technology, ecosystem and talent have put theory into action to deliver a decentralized stablecoin that we believe will help drive the future of the crypto economy.” Ms Haun’s role in leading the Silk Road prosecution, while with the US Department of Justice, has stuck in the craw of some bitcoiners, who believe the conviction of Ross Ulbricht to be excessive and unjust. Since entering the crypto space full-time, however, the Andreessen Horowitz and A16z Crypto partner has become an advocate for the cryptocurrencies first pioneered on early BTC-friendly sites like Silk Road.

Nic Carter: Replace Market Cap With “Realized Cap”

At the Baltic Honeybadger conference in Latvia this week, a number of well-known figures from the Bitcoin world have delivered keynote addresses, among them Castle Island Ventures’ Nic Carter. In “Bitcoin as a novel economic institution” he advocates for changing the way we calculate the market capitalization of cryptocurrencies. It’s long been acknowledged that multiplying the number of coins minted by their market price is a crude reckoner, but in the absence of a more accurate but simple metric, it’s stuck. This has led to such anomalies, as Nic Carter points out, as Bitcoin Private having a $ 2 billion market cap upon launch, despite the fact that the vast majority of coins were never claimed by BTC and ZCL holders.

The Daily: Rethinking Bitcoin’s Market Cap, ICOs Printing Money
BTCP’s market cap shown in blue, with its realized cap in grey.

The alternative model Nic Carter proposes, “realized cap” is more accurate, but may struggle to gain widespread adoption due to being more complex. It involves calculating the aggregate value of UTXOs priced on their value when they last moved i.e. if a whale-sized wallet of 10,000 BTC hasn’t seen any activity since 2011, those BTC are valued at the price they were at the time, rather than using 2018 valuations. The net result of all this would mean BTC’s market cap being cut from $ 110 billion to around $ 88 billion. While Nic Carter’s model is unlikely to replace standard market cap any time soon, the existence of new systems for valuing crypto networks can only be a good thing, and “realized cap” may yet earn its place on cryptocurrency tracker sites.

The Daily: Rethinking Bitcoin’s Market Cap, ICOs Printing Money
As this chart by Antoine Le Calvez shows, many bitcoins haven’t moved in years.

Edenchain Enrages Investors After Covertly Increasing Its Supply

The Daily: Rethinking Bitcoin’s Market Cap, ICOs Printing MoneyAs evidence of market cap manipulation, consider the case of Edenchain, one of the few oversubscribed token sales to have emerged this quarter, which has run into controversy. The project had already been dogged with problems over allegations of major investors, including Ian Balina, receiving preferential discounts and engaging in pooling, a practice which is generally frowned upon.

It has now been revealed that Edenchain has covertly increased its circulating supply by 150 million tokens – an increase of around 40% – after completing its crowdsale. The tokens were released because the project succeeded in raising more funds from “strategic investors”. Edenchain has now published a post detailing its revised circulating supply. Its unfortunate choice of a whale as the accompanying featured image has further bolstered the suspicion that crypto whales are being favored over ordinary retail investors who got in early but have since been squeezed out.

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


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Nic Carter, Antoine Le Calvez.


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

The post The Daily: Rethinking Bitcoin’s Market Cap, ICOs Printing Money appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Art Exhibition in France to Celebrate Bitcoin’s Tenth Birthday

September 19, 2018 |

Art Exhibition in France to Celebrate Bitcoin's Tenth Birthday

A group of artists hailing from across the globe will congregate in France to showcase an exhibition celebrating the upcoming tenth anniversary of Bitcoin. The art will be available for purchase using several different cryptocurrencies.

Also Read: 8 Surprising Findings from New York’s Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative

International Artists Congregate in France to Celebrate Upcoming Tenth Anniversary of Bitcoin

Art Exhibition in France to Celebrate Bitcoin's Tenth BirthdayArt(r)evolution, an exhibition celebrating Bitcoin’s upcoming double-figure birthday, will see “international artists from various horizons [exhibiting] their works around the theme of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies” in Paris, France.

According to the exhibition’s website, “The exhibition will show the potential of cryptocurrencies through symbolism and practice,” and “will illustrate the genesis of this digital revolution.”

The exhibition is open to the public and will take place from the 28th of September until the 5th of October.

BTC to Be Hidden in Certain Artworks

The works exhibited will be available for purchase using BTC, ETH, XMR, or LTC. The exhibition’s website states that “[BTC] will be hidden in some works and certificates of authenticity registered in the [BTC] blockchain will also be issued to buyers.”

Art Exhibition in France to Celebrate Bitcoin's Tenth BirthdayThe exhibition’s organizer, French artist Pascal Boyart, stated: “We had the idea to organize an exhibition in Paris to show possible use cases of cryptocurrencies and connect the international crypto-friendly artists.”

Brian O’Hagen, marketing manager of exhibition sponsor Coinhouse, added: “France, through Paris, is well positioned to become the capital of this new artistic movement between art and crypto. Crypto Art redefines the way an artist can engage his audience. The advent of cryptocurrencies is not just a monetary revolution, it’s also a cultural revolution.”

Exhibition to Explore Decentralization and the Art Industry

Art Exhibition in France to Celebrate Bitcoin's Tenth BirthdayAccording to the exhibition’s website, it seeks to provide “a unique opportunity to decode the potential upheavals that cryptocurrency and blockchain can cause in the world of art.” The themes explored include whether “selling works without intermediaries [is] now possible” and if cryptocurrencies comprise a vehicle for “freeing yourself from the art market and banking system.”

The artists featured at the exhibition will include Pascal Boyart, Andy Bauch, Coin Artist, Josephine Bellini, Nanu Berks, Bern Mark, Yosh, Saint Phalle Yom, Choq, Youl, and Ilies Issiakhem.

Do you think that cryptocurrencies will significantly disrupt the art industry? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


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Bitcoin’s Hopeful Numbers: 70% Familiar in the United States

September 7, 2018 |

Bitcoin’s Hopeful Numbers: 70% Familiar in the United States

This week Yougov Omnibus released a host of encouraging new survey data, new numbers, and among their findings “48% of millennials would be interested in using cryptocurrency primarily…A vast majority (79%) of Americans are familiar with at least one kind of cryptocurrency.”

Also read: Square’s Big Week: Crypto Patent, Shares Leap, and Lightning Plug

Some Encouraging Bitcoin & Crypto Numbers

Amid sagging crypto market prices, it’s heartening for enthusiasts to receive survey data like that recently released by Yougov Omnibus. Their findings concluded, “By far, the most well-known cryptocurrency among Americans is Bitcoin, with 71% of people saying they’ve heard of it. The next best-known is Ether/Ethereum, with 13% saying they have heard of it. Overall, men are more likely than women to have heard of almost every kind of cryptocurrency. About three in ten (27%) women say they have not heard of any cryptocurrency, compared to only 16% of men who chose the same answer.”

Bitcoin’s Hopeful Numbers: 70% Familiar in the United States

Yougov is a London-based internet market research firm. For nearly two decades, it has mostly been known for its UK political acumen, but of late has taken on a more international scope. It largely employs online methodology, involving surveying users based on demography. It can draw from as many as 5 million people across the globe, with nearly ⅕ of those from the UK alone. Since not everyone uses the internet, even in 2018, the company is sometimes criticized for a lack of boots on the ground, as it were. Though for cryptocurrency it does seem to be a tight way to gather attitudes. Poll analysis specialists Fivethirtyeight graded Yougov a “B”, having called nearly 90% of political races without bias. Since 2007 they’ve gobbled up US research firms in Palo Alto, CA, Princeton, NJ, Connecticut, and Portland.

The less than enthusiastic deeper dive within the present crypto survey shows that even though Americans have heard of bitcoin, “87% have had no interaction with it, meaning they haven’t bought, sold, or mined it. About half (49%) in this group say ‘I’m glad I didn’t buy Bitcoin earlier, and I don’t plan to buy it,’ while 15% say ‘I wish I had bought Bitcoin earlier, but I feel like it’s too late now.’ About one in five (21%) people between 35 and 54 chose this response, while only 11% of people 55 and up did,” Yougov detailed.

Half Empty, Half Full

On a slightly more positive note, “more than one-third (36%) of people think that cryptocurrencies will become widely accepted as a means of transaction for legal purchases within the next 10 years. Millennials (44%) are the most likely of any age group to say cryptocurrency will be widely accepted. About one-third (34%) of Gen X’ers and 29% of baby boomers agreed,” which could bode very well for both the immediate and longer term future.  

Bitcoin’s Hopeful Numbers: 70% Familiar in the United States

There is still a stigma when it comes to cryptcurrencies, a battle enthusiasts have been waging against since decentralized money’s founding nearly a decade ago. “One quarter (25%) say they think cryptocurrencies are used more for illegal purchases rather than legal ones,” Yougov stresses.”Only 17% think they’re used more for legal purchases, and 19% think cryptocurrencies are equally used for legal and illegal purchases. Hispanic Americans are particularly likely to believe that cryptocurrencies are mostly used for legal purchases.”

On a cup half empty, cup half full tone, the survey reveals, “Of the people who believe that cryptocurrencies will become widely accepted, over one-third (36%) say they would be interested in converting to primarily using a cryptocurrency rather than the US dollar. However, a majority (57%) say they would not be interested in converting away from the US dollar. Millennials are almost equally split between being interested (48%) and not interested (50%).”

ls the future bright for cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Yougov.


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The post Bitcoin’s Hopeful Numbers: 70% Familiar in the United States appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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How About Walmart Chocolate Bitcoins? 6 for a Dollar

September 4, 2018 |

Walmart Would Sell You Chocolate Bitcoins, 6 for 1$

Supermarket chain Walmart is selling candy bitcoins, at least according to a photo posted in crypto forums. A dollar will get you half a dozen in a bag under the “Everyday Low Price” banner. “The modern currency in chocolate!” hits store shelves in the U.S. while the retail giant files another blockchain-related patent, this time for a delivery system with drones and robots programmed to use distributed ledger technology.  

Also read: Russians Design а ‘Beautiful’ Mining Rig

Chocolate Bitcoins in Walmart Stores

Like many other serious businesses nowadays, we’ve heard from Walmart some ambitious plans for blockchain implementation. Cryptocurrency, however, is a whole other story for many of these corporations, and the U.S.-based retail behemoth is no exception. The “technology behind it” is what most of them are fascinated with. The digital, decentralized money is not on the agenda, for now.

Well, it’s sweet to see bitcoin, which has been the subject of so much hype and attention in the past year, finding its way to store shelves. Not in the pricing of goods, not as a payment option in this case, not yet, but as the new item in the cornucopia of products. Bitcoin is now reportedly entering Walmart stores in America in the form of candy. Sweet, indeed.

How About Chocolate Bitcoins? 6 for a Dollar

The chocolate bitcoins are delivered by the Frankford Candy & Chocolate Company, the Pennsylvania-based candy manufacturer. A photograph posted in the r/cryptocurrency forum on Reddit shows Bitcoin branded boxes of chocolate coins under the well-known “Everyday Low Price” advertisement. And for most of this year’s bear market, the slogan sounded spot on for the real bitcoin as well.

How About Chocolate Bitcoins? 6 for a DollarThe Frankford Bitcoins are packaged in mesh bags containing 1.48 Oz of milk chocolate wrapped in tinfoil, according to Walmart’s website. Six of those should cost you as little as $ 1 USD. That’s an exchange rate the crypto community hasn’t seen in a while (God forbid), despite this year’s steep slump in the price of BTC, the coin with the largest market cap, from its December all-time highs of almost $ 20,000 to below 6,000 this summer. Unfortunately, as it sometimes happens with products in high demand or of strong appeal, the chocolate coins are currently unavailable for shipping or pickup. Let’s hope it’s just a temporary shortage.

Walmart Files Another Blockchain Patent

The candy bitcoins appeared just as the retail chain applied for another patent related to the implementation of the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies. The documents filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) detail a blockchain-based, automated system for delivery of goods and services to customers. It’s supposed to use drones and robots which can autonomously authenticate each other. The “Systems, Devices and Methods for In-Field Authenticating of Autonomous Robots” patent describes a process of authentication using data stored on a distributed ledger.

How About Chocolate Bitcoins? 6 for a DollarIn the last couple of years, Walmart has filed several patents pertaining to different applications of the blockchain technology. Its efforts are mainly aimed at maintaining the company’s positions against strong competitors from the e-commerce sector, but not only. In 2016, Walmart announced an initiative to improve food safety by utilizing blockchain tech to provide better food tracking and consumer safety. The project was launched in collaboration with IBM and Tsinghua University. In June of this year, the retailer won a patent for a system to house medical records on a blockchain.

Walmart Inc. is one of the largest companies with almost 12,000 stores in 28 countries around the globe. With over 2.3 million employees, it’s also the biggest private employer in the world. The multinational retail corporation operates a chain of hypermarkets, department and grocery stores, and is arguably the largest company by revenue.

Do you think products like the chocolate bitcoins can increase the interest in cryptocurrencies? Tell us in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, TheKayleMain (Reddit), Walmart.


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10 Songs That Show Bitcoin’s Influence on Pop Culture

September 3, 2018 |

10 Songs That Show Bitcoin’s Influence on Pop Culture

Eminem surprised rap fans this week by dropping his new album ‘Kamikaze’. For cryptocurrency enthusiasts there was an extra point of interest in the new album, since one of the tracks, “Not Alike”, namechecks Bitcoin. If awareness is the first step in driving adoption then Bitcoin can do a lot worse than a shout out on the real Slim Shady’s latest opus. He’s by no means the first artist to reference Bitcoin though as the following playlist shows.

Also read: New Satoshi Challenger Tells All — But Is He Legit?

Pop Stars and Cryptocurrency Make Strange Bedfellows

Kim Kardashian Receives Her First Bitcoin
Kim Kardashian

Pop stars and cryptocurrency have had a mixed relationship. While A-listers like Kanye, Kim Kardashian, and Katy Perry have all made mention of Bitcoin, others have dabbled with more dubious cryptos; think of the DJ Khaled-backed Centra, whose founders faced the full force of the SEC. Meanwhile, Akon plans to build a whole city in Senegal which only accepts his own crypto – Akoin. While the business acumen of popular musicians is often dubious, popular culture is a great driver of awareness. The following tracks all mention cryptocurrency, some overtly and others in passing. They provide a snapshot of pop culture and demonstrate the strides that Bitcoin has made in infiltrating mainstream society.

Eminem – Not Alike

Following the poor reception of his last LP, “Revival”, Eminem is back, mad as hell and at his lyrical best. The reference to bitcoin in “Not Alike” is clear but metaphorical, especially when you consider that track collaborator Royce Da 59, who drops the line, is often referred to as Nickel Nine.

‘Member everybody used to bite Nickel

Now everybody doin’ bitcoin

Remy – Bitcoin Billionaire

Possibly one of the funniest songs ever released about cryptocurrency, “Bitcoin Billionaire” by Reason TV sums it all up with the immortal lines:

A money like my last girl

Completely virtual

In the end Remy’s billionaire ends up broke after a solar flare kills his bitcoin savings. It’s happened to us all.

Coindaddy – Alt Season

Unlike many of the artists on this list, Coindaddy (aka Arya Bahmanyar) actually makes a regular living from cryptocurrency. Coindaddy is therefore the real deal when it comes to cryptocurrency. When it comes to music however, that status is more debatable.

Imma go and short some bitcoin

Every day and every night

Cos it’s a bearish market

And there ain’t nothin in sight

Ytcracker – Bitcoin Baron

Ytracker brings us the most electronic track on this list with some free-flowing rhymes and a great beat. This one is a tune.

I’m a bitcoin baron, I’m scaring the status quo

Got that crypto dough in that dat file to blow

And the algorithm gon’ get em until prism

Send us all to prison and that’s a nerdy living

The Bitcoin Dip – We Miss You

The Bitcoin Dip’s “We Miss You” is a cover of Puff Daddy’s “I’ll Be Missing You” which is a cover of The Police’s “I’ll Be Watching You”. Got that? It’s a musical number which has been forked almost as many times as bitcoin itself.

Lil Windex – Bitcoin Ca$ h

Possibly the most popular rapper named after a cleaning product, Lil Windex is a Canadian wordsmith particularly infatuated with Bitcoin Cash.

Cryptocurrency Girls – The Moon and Cryptocurrency and Me

Trust Japan to take things one step beyond. The Cryptocurrency Girls are an 8-strong girl group where each member takes on the persona of a particular cryptocurrency. It’s very Japanese.

Laura Saggers – 10,000 Bitcoins

A Bitcoin song that wants to be Regina Spektor but sounds more like Chas n’ Dave, “10,00 Bitcoins” by Laura Saggers isn’t the strongest of efforts, but earns inclusion as an antidote to all the testosterone-charged tracks on this playlist.

Mayday & Murs – Bitcoin Beezy

“I got 50 bitcoin worth about a hundred grand,” sings Mayday & Murs. If they had the presence of mind to hodl, those 50 BTC are now worth a cool $ 360,000.

Ricegum – Bitcoin

Youtube star Ricegum has also thrown his hat into the Bitcoin ring. You may not have heard of Ricegum, but the star has over 10 million subscribers, so he’s doing something right. The less said about the song the better.

On this evidence, Bitcoin songs are unlikely to be topping the charts anytime soon. Still, fans of the cryptocurrency can take solace from the fact that on the only chart that matters – the Top 100 by Market Cap – Bitcoin’s been number one for nine years straight.

What other songs can you think of that reference Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.


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The post 10 Songs That Show Bitcoin’s Influence on Pop Culture appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Storing a Lot of Bitcoins in One Wallet Is a Bad Idea

August 30, 2018 |

Keeping a Lot of Bitcoins in One Wallet Is a Bad Idea

Interest has piqued in a bitcoin wallet that’s lain dormant for four years. This week’s movement of the funds it contains, worth close to $ 850 million, has sparked intense debate over whose address it might be. Regardless of which whale holds the rights to it, the wallet’s very existence demonstrates the drawbacks of holding a lot of bitcoins in one address.

Also read: Payment Platform Bitpay Adds Bitcoin Cash Settlement Services

Mt Gox, Silk Road, and the Mystery of the Whale-Sized Wallet

Gawping at the fortunes of the super rich is a universal pastime with a storied past. In centuries gone by, the poor would watch in envy as the rich rattled past on their horse-drawn carriages clad in the finest scarlet robes. Today, the rich retain much of their fortune in digital form, and the closest we get to inspecting it is on a blockchain explorer. In many other respects though, little has changed. Observers have been transfixed, over the past 72 hours, by the movement of funds from a wallet containing 111,000 BTC and an identical number of BCH.

Storing a Lot of Bitcoins in One Wallet Is a Bad IdeaA lot of the attention has focused on the identity of the wallet’s owner, whose funds have been attributed to Silk Road or Mt Gox – the usual suspects in other words. Craig Wright also claimed ownership of the wallet in a lawsuit, though like many of his claims, this one has been granted no credence. The open nature of blockchains is an inherent part of their design; rich or poor, whale or minnow, everyone’s transactions are equally transparent in a block explorer. While democratic, this system does have its downsides, such as when wishing to move a large amount of bitcoin without attracting scrutiny.

Don’t Keep All Your Bitcoins in One Basket

Keeping a Lot of Bitcoins in One Wallet Is a Bad IdeaThe attention that the 111,000 BTC/BCH wallet has gathered highlights some of the pitfalls to keeping large quantities of coins in a single address. For one thing, the cost of failure is insanely high. Lose the private key and you’ve lost your fortune. From a risk management perspective then, it would seem sensible to break a large wallet down into smaller parts. From a privacy perspective, it also makes sense to move smaller quantities of coins at one time rather than attract attention by shifting six-figure amounts of bitcoin in one go.

Aside from pondering the mystery of the wallet’s owner, observers have been rapt in case a tranche of those coins is sent to an exchange wallet. In the past, EOS sending large quantities of ETH to Bitfinex, for example, has been enough to spark panic among holders fearing a major dump. Whales have probably got better things to do with their time than send hundreds of millions of dollars of bitcoin to an exchange wallet just to spook traders. It is a quirk of bitcoin’s design, however, that such an event is even possible. As of today, 83 wallets have received just under 1,000 BTC apiece as the wallet’s owner distributes their estate. This may be the last time their wealth is analyzed so openly by so many.

Who do you think the whale-sized wallet belongs to? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Researcher: Stop Worrying About Bitcoin’s Environmental Impact

August 21, 2018 |

Researcher: Stop Worrying About Environmental Impact of Mining’s Energy Intensity

A common mainstream media trope is that Bitcoin mining will soon use so much electrical power it could lead to an environmental catastrophe. We’ve often provided examples of how this is a false narrative, and now an independent energy researcher is saying the same. She points to miners migrating to locations with abundant renewable energy and highlights that the banking system is far more wasteful.

Also Read: The Daily: Crypto Self-Regulatory Organization, 100 BTC Whistleblower Reward

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Researcher: Stop Worrying About Environmental Impact of Mining’s Energy IntensityDr. Katrina M. Kelly-Pitou PhD holds dual roles at the University of Pittsburgh as a Research Associate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and as Manager of Strategy and Business Development for the Center for Energy. On Monday her article titled “Stop worrying about how much energy bitcoin uses” appeared on The Conversation, a not-for-profit outlet for content sourced from academics and researchers. In it she takes to task the notion that mining is inherently energy wasteful and thus dangerous to the environment.

Regarding the oft-cited estimation that mining used 30 terrawatt hours in 2017 – as much as Ireland – she explains: “This is a lot, but not exorbitant. Banking consumes an estimated 100 terrawatts of power annually. If bitcoin technology were to mature by more than 100 times its current market size, it would still equal only 2 percent of all energy consumption.” She believes this maturing process is inevitable, as happened with previous energy-intensive new technologies such as data centers and computers, saying: “Over time, all of these have become more efficient, a natural progression of any technology: Saving energy equates to saving costs.”

Ask How, Not How Much

Researcher: Stop Worrying About Environmental Impact of Mining’s Energy IntensityThe researcher states that electricity usage can increase while still maintaining a minimal impact on the environment, and suggests that the source of power is what’s important. “Not all types of energy generation are equal in their impact on the environment, nor does the world uniformly rely on the same types of generation across states and markets,” she explains, adding that, “perhaps people should quit criticizing bitcoin for its energy intensity and start criticizing states and nations for still providing new industries with dirty power supplies instead.”

Specifically, she points to miners migrating out of coal-dependent China, and into areas with cheap renewable sources such as hydroelectric power in Oregon and geothermal-rich Iceland. For another example, we reported earlier this year about a Japanese electricity company that uses excess solar power for mining.

Do you think mainstream media estimates of Bitcoin’s environmental impact have been overstated? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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