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Developer Gabriel Cardona was personally recruited to fast track development of Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Open source, full featured development kit, Bitbox, his creation, has taken the community by storm, and it is now part of the Bitcoin.com developer universe. Money, Mr. Cardona likes to say, is critical to the human condition. And BCH and its blockchain are enabling financial sovereignty in a way which, he believes, is unique in history.
Also read: Report: 15,000 Twitter Crypto Scam Giveaway Bots
Developer Gabriel Cardona Seeks a Path to Change the World Through Bitcoin Cash
This week, developer Gabriel Cardona was guest for a full hour on the Vin Armani Show. At about the one hour and eight minute mark, Mr. Cardona began to lay out reasoning behind the burst of innovation in development on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain.
With hotshot initial coin offerings ringing-in billions, venture capitalists pouring money into project after project, and nearly all crypto talk dominated by speculative price analysis, idealism is hardly ever mentioned. There is almost a sense of innocence lost, having given way to strange corporate realism. When idealism is employed, derision and condescension aren’t too far behind nowadays. Mr. Cardona, however, champions bitcoin cash as “the soundest money the world has ever known. As a developer you can make it available to all people, whatever their age, gender, nationality or financial status,” he explained to Vin Armani, founder of Coin Text, the text messaging way to send BCH without an internet connection.
Mr. Cardona describes himself, 37, as a decidedly different person professionally, “a whole different frequency” only ten years ago. He spent most of his twenties vagabonding, playing music, traveling. Becoming a father around this time sobered him to clearer thoughts about a career going forward. A chance community college course led to his first project, then another, and another. For whatever reason, the web has always resonated with him. The ubiquity, the chance to be impactful on a large scale, appealed to Mr. Cardona professionally.
That professional path eventually led him to code for Walmart, Target, Taco Bell, and to Triple A — all web development projects. Somewhere along the line, 2012 ish, he discovered bitcoin and Gavin Andresen’s Faucet, where Mr. Cardona received five bitcoin. This kept him interested as he went about his regular career. In fact, he’d put the idea aside for years while keeping an ear and eye to key hacker news outlets. When talk about a fork in mid 2017 was heating up, Mr. Cardona described the inevitable as not optimum, certainly, but ultimately the right path when two factions just cannot agree.
From there he deduced one of the chains would eventually have an innovation explosion. When he was able to access bitcoin cash (BCH) coins, and he started to use them, it suddenly grabbed him completely: this is bitcoin, the tech that made a great many wonderful people fall in love. Still, he wasn’t yet convinced enough to enter the space in any permanent way. In fact, he took to the burgeoning 3D printer industry. Upon looking more deeply into smart contracts, he encountered Ethereum’s Truffle Suite. He describes this as a revelation.
It was shocking. Nothing like a good framework, a suite of abstractions, allowing developers to work ten times faster existed for Bitcoin. There wasn’t anything like it in the BCH space. With that realization, he coincidentally took some time off to try and “have the vision.” It’s this kind of talk that makes Mr. Cardona so compelling. Devs are not known for their ability to communicate vulnerabilities, to be, well, human. Mr. Cardona has that in spades.
That in-touch-ness no doubt sets him apart. He’s humble enough to know he needs mentors, guides, to help check himself along the way. Enter Pete Flint, 44, a British entrepreneur now based in San Francisco at the venture capital firm, NFX, where he is a managing partner. Mr. Fint is perhaps best known for having been founder and CEO of Trulia, which he eventually sold for something like a billion dollars. Mr. Cardona worked there for a spell, and the two hit it off. On his break to “have the vision,” he met up again with Mr. Flint.
That was half a year ago. Mr. Cardona credits Mr. Flint with urging him to move from hardware to software, and onto to BCH solutions. That very night Mr. Cardona began working on a library that morphed into framework, and has now become the solution platform, Bitbox. An immediate success, having been downloaded tens of thousands of times in a very short period, Bitbox got the attention of nearly everyone in The Know. Two months ago he joined Bitcoin.com to put Bitbox into full-on practice. For the un-technical, Bitbox assumes many functions every dev needs, thus speeding up a project’s process, allowing innovation to come at much faster paces. The implications for its power are simply mind-blowing. As Vin Armani commented during the interview, had something like Bitbox been available as little as three years ago for Bitcoin, everything would’ve changed. That it’s now an intimate part of BCH means the future of money is on a Cardona path.
Is the pace of innovation on the BCH chain surprising? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images via Pixabay, Vin Armani.
The post Bitcoin’s Return to Innovation: Changing the World Through Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash appeared first on Bitcoin News.
The governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has made several statements about cryptocurrencies that attest to insufficient knowledge of the matter. The central bank, which recently banned financial institutions from working with crypto companies, now wants to study and embrace the blockchain technology that “encompasses all the cryptocurrencies.”
CB Governor Wants to Know Where Bitcoins Come From
RBZ, the central bank of troubled Zimbabwe, has initiated studies to investigate the blockchain technology and its possible applications. The major financial institution of the inflation-ridden African country considers blockchain a “new developing global innovation” and is willing to embrace it, according to its governor, John Mangudya.
On Wednesday, Mr. Mangudya told guests attending the Alpha Media Holdings Banks and Banking breakfast meeting in Harare that RBZ is moving in that direction, just like many other central banks around the world. “In fact, it is true that for the rest of the world, if you go to countries like United States, China, United Kingdom, and South Africa, it [blockchain] is the issue that is being discussed by the central banks, including the likes of the International Monetary Fund,” he explained.
Like many of his colleagues, John Mangudya made it clear that he is not referring to the digital money underpinned by the blockchain technology. “I did not say cryptocurrencies because it is lower than blockchain. Blockchain encompasses all the cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and we are saying we are putting in motion studies, ways and means of investigating that blockchain technology,” he elaborated, noting the need for a cautious approach but also stressing that RBZ should not be “left out” on these developments.
“What we are against as I have always said is to do things which are not regulated because we need to know where these bitcoins are being mined and do want to hunt them. So while we want to embrace things, we need to know where they are coming from. If you embrace mobile banking platforms we know that there is a trust account,” the governor said, quoted by News Day. Mangudya tried to further reason RBZ’s position on cryptocurrencies, demonstrating deficit of basic knowledge of the matter he seems unwilling to understand: “If you are investing in virtual money, we want to know where it is being mined. In fact, cryptocurrencies are just like mobile money because you need a wallet where you deposit the cryptocurrency, but the issue is what is their source and how do they do it?”
Zimbabwe’s Crypto Troubles
John Mangudya’s comments represent another example of how cryptocurrencies fall victim of arbitrary measures imposed by policy makers and regulators that are not quite qualified. The decisions of the central bank in Harare have had serious implications for Zimbabwe’s nascent crypto sector which was offering a way out of some of the country’s financial woes.
In early May, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe issued a circular to commercial banks, instructing them to close all accounts of crypto firms within a two-month period and banning crypto trade. With another directive, released on May 17, the central bank ordered the country’s first and leading crypto exchange, Golix, to cease all operations immediately. On the 21st, Golix referred to the High Court requesting the lifting of the ban. The exchange was only granted interim relief, despite previous reports of the ban’s reversal.
The lifting of the restrictions on crypto trading by Justice Alphas Chitakunye did not help Golix a lot, as RBZ’s order for banks and financial institutions to quit dealing with crypto companies remained in place. That pushed the company operating the trading platform, Bitfinance, to look around for other markets. In June, reports came out that Golix is entering three other African countries in an attempt to stay afloat in the aftermath of the crypto ban in Zimbabwe.
Do you agree that central bankers and policy makers should try to learn more about cryptocurrencies before banning them? Share your toughs on the subject in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Wikipedia.
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The following opinion piece on Segregated Witness was written by Jonald Fyookball
In 2017, Dr. Peter Rizun noted that Segregated Witness (Segwit) changes the very definition of a Bitcoin as per the whitepaper: “We define an electronic coin as a chain of digital signatures.” In this article, I would like to expand on that topic and add a key observation: breaking the chain of digital signatures is actually removing an integrity check in the Bitcoin ledger. Bitcoin is a distributed ledger system — a form of database. When it comes to databases in general, there are many different kinds of data integrity. One type, user-defined integrity, refers to a set of rules for a specific application (in this case, Bitcoin).
In Bitcoin, one of the most important types of data are the digital signatures that prove a coin was transferred properly. The fact that signatures cannot be forged is one reason that your coins in storage are safe, even if the network were to undergo a 51% attack.
By defining a coin as a chain of digital signatures (and by implementing Bitcoin to require the signature to be part of the transaction which then gets hashed into the input of the next transaction), Bitcoin establishes an important data integrity check.
To a user, the threat is always that of coins vanishing or being stolen. Bitcoin’s security model ensures that for a coin to move, a corresponding signature has to be produced, and it has to be included in a transaction and published on the blockchain.
Since producing a fake signature is assumed to be hard, no one can steal your coins unless they got a hold of your private keys. When a theft does occur, you can go look at the signature on the blockchain to verify that this is what happened.
This is true for all (non-Segwit) coins and transactions in Bitcoin; thus the integrity check is weaved into the fabric of the blockchain, ensuring the security model for all transactions.
How Segwit Removes the Integrity Check
How does the above description change under Segwit? To begin, I’ll quote Dr. Rizun: “In a Bitcoin, the signatures are an integral part of the chain. Carol can only verify the complete chain of ownership if all the signatures exist because if even a single signature is missing, the chain breaks down…there’s no way to follow it through. A Segwit coin is different because the signatures are all outside of the chain. If even none of the signatures exist, or maybe none of the signatures were even real to begin with, Carol can still validate the chain of custody. I’m using the word custody instead of the chain of ownership, because Segwit really only shows custody.”
So in Segwit, we still have the signature, but it is NOT required to be directly included in the input of the transaction. In fact, it’s explicitly excluded for the purposes of eliminating malleability. Instead, the signature (“witness data”) is placed elsewhere in its own special section. We still have the data, but what we DON’T have is the data integrity check since it’s not necessary to have the complete transaction (including the signatures) the next time the coin is spent.
How the Security Model Changes Under Segwit
Segwit requires the witness data to be published and committed to the block via a witness root hash. In simple terms, each block must contain a hash value representing the set of signatures for its Segwit transactions. In both the Segwit and the non-Segwit case, miners are responsible to make sure the signatures are correct before accepting a block. However, with Segwit, the signatures do not directly provide a linkage from one transaction to the next, which is why they are said to be “outside the chain of transactions”.
Segwit supporters justify this structure by pointing out that the consensus rules dictate that miners validate all the signatures, and breaking that model requires a 51% attack. While that may be true, the security model has undeniably changed. The interwoven integrity check has been discarded and replaced with a complete reliance on miners, rather than having both types of security. This is akin to wearing a belt AND suspenders for years to make sure your pants never fall down, then one day taking off the belt and proclaiming “I’m still wearing suspenders, what could go wrong?”
How the Threat Model Changes Under Segwit
If we revisit the threat model from the user perspective, what happens in Segwit if your coins go missing? I again give credit to Peter for asking the right question: “Can you prove a theft took place?”
In Bitcoin, the signature HAS to be on the chain, and you can look it up on any explorer. Today with Segwit, you can also see the Witness data on an explorer, but what if you didn’t see it?
A user could point to empty witness data on an explorer as evidence, but what if the website made some excuse for its absence and the chain continued anyway? To what lengths does the user have to go to, to convince himself and others of the problem? Philosophically speaking, it’s impossible to prove the non-existence of something. Now granted, realistically, it’s certainly possible that any disappearance of witness data will be a public anomaly that’s just as bad as a miner pretending an invalid signature is valid. Still, the model has changed.
What Are the Real Security Issues?
First, consider the scenario of a miner that fails to publish all the witness data due to a software bug or hardware problem. It might be possible for other miners to accept the block but not all the witness data gets published. If this were ever to happen even once, it would decrease the impact of missing signatures in the future.
Second, what if there someday really is a 51% attack? What if, for whatever reason, 51% of the miners decide to keep building on a block that doesn’t necessarily have all the signatures? In the traditional Bitcoin security model, there have never been any instances of an invalid signature being accepted because the anomaly would be provable.
What if political pressure is applied to mining pools to steal some funds without a signature? After a certain number of blocks, would other miners capitulate or would the chain split? You could argue that the same thing could happen without Segwit (an invalid signature is accepted as valid), but it seems less likely that this chain would continue.
Although I am not pro-Segwit, I want to be as objective and fair as possible and not overstate the problem. In practice, so far, there haven’t been any problems with Segwit that I’m aware of. The signatures are still there, even though the integrity check might not be. No database design is perfect. There are always trade-offs and some may consider Segwit to be an acceptable trade-off, perhaps arguing that Bitcoin has enough redundancy with a large number of archival nodes so that missing witness data is never a problem.
Miners still provide good security, and the threats outlined here might never come to pass.
Contradictions in the Core Roadmap
Segregated Witness is a product of the Bitcoin Core development team and is strongly supported by their followers. Aside from everything written so far, I find there are some “interesting” contradictions in the way they think about things.
I’ll wrap this article up by giving you two of them:
- “Validation”. This is a group that heavily emphasizes the importance of running a full node and “validating everything yourself”. They discourage the SPV security model, and one of the Core developers (Luke Jr) has even said on multiple occasions that if you’re not running a full node, you’re not using Bitcoin. Other BTC supporters rarely if ever contest these statements. Yet these same people are perfectly ok with tossing out the window the basic assurance that comes from validating each transaction’s signature as a required linkage in the chain. That makes no sense to me.
- The Role of Miners. This is also a group that loves developers and (non-mining) “full node” operators, but are mistrustful of miners. They have even said that miners don’t get to enforce consensus; that they are only there to “ensure transaction ordering”. Isn’t it funny how they now support a security model that depends on the miners more than ever?
What do you think about Segwit removing critical data from bitcoin transactions? Let us know in the comments below.
Disclaimer: This OP/ED was written by Jonald Fyookball. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Bitcoin.com.
Images via Shutterstock, Dr. Peter Rizun’s slideshow, and Pixabay.
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The post Segregated Witness Removes One of Bitcoin’s Data Integrity Checks appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Tether, one of the most-traded cryptocurrencies, shows a pattern of being spent on bitcoin at pivotal moments, helping to drive the world’s first digital asset to a record price in December, according to research by a University of Texas professor known for flagging suspicious activity in the VIX…
In polite pockets of society, acceptable and positive crypto talk revolves around its amazing tech and what the future might hold. At least one bitcoiner has tossed aside such niceties, and examined the world’s most popular cryptocurrency as a potential offshore tax avoidance haven. Depending on the study, as much as $ 20 trillion is hidden away from government tax farmers. However, loopholes are closing as lawmakers discover them, perhaps creating just the use case bitcoin needs to thrive in the near future.
Can Bitcoin Get a Slice of the $ 20 Trillion Tax Avoidance Market?
Treasure Islands author Nicholas Shaxson explained what he imagines to be a queer phenomenon. “Governments were short of revenue and seeking new sources; there was huge public anger at bailouts and banking is at the center of the offshore system; and there were rising concerns about inequality when offshore is an inequality machine,” he told The Christian Science Monitor.
Not quite a decade ago, the US in particular used terrorism as a pretext to force notorious Swiss bank accounts to release information on tens of thousands of American customers. Soon after, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development urged global standards in this regard. From there, the G20 picked up the cause, and by last year implemented a system of instant accountability between nations and their respective tax authorities.
John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network put it succinctly, “‘Bit by bit, international standards are being created. This is all being extended in the direction’ of secretive jurisdictions such as Switzerland. But activists and journalists investigating fraud, kleptocracy, embezzlement and other financial crimes ‘hit a brick wall when we can’t establish the ownership of a company.’”
“Bitcoin throws a wrench into the traditional monetary system,” sometime bitcoin maximalist @dantwany posted on Medium recently. His assertion is how “parallels exist between traditional tax havens used by the wealthy and Bitcoin,” in an effort to get a “better idea if it will be seen in the future as more of an alternative to the financial system altogether, or play a part in offshore banking services.”
Bitcoin Isn’t Just for the Rich
Tax havens are typically thought to be financial playgrounds of the uber rich. @dantwany details how now “Bitcoin may open the playing field for ordinary citizens who normally could not afford this luxury.” Indeed, “the fact that ordinary citizens are not effectively barred from entry into Bitcoin like in offshore banking makes it likely the potential market may be much larger than current estimates,” though he admits there is scant evidence this is actually happening.
For his purposes, offshore “tax havens have the following four attributes: 1) No or low effective tax rates. 2) No need to generate substantial economic activity in the location to gain tax benefits. 3) Lack of mandated transparency with regards to customer details and other lenient laws that govern financial dealings. 4) A lack of exchange of information.”
He notes how mainstream havens have become, including legacy institutions using oasis/shelter systems. He cites approvingly Jim Omartian in his Panama Papers article, “Do Banks Aid and Abet Asset Concealment,” suggesting for “investors residing in countries with weak property rights, using an offshore entity may prevent government expropriation. Investors buying property or acquiring a firm may want to conceal their identity from the counterpart for an edge in negotiations.”
Bitcoin can be sought for a variety of reasons in the above case: secrecy, of course, and lack of confidence in the integrity of domestic banking institutions. And just as the US bullied its way into Swiss financial arrangements, Americans began closing their accounts in a rush, proving capital will go where it’s treated the best. The Panama Papers affair seems to reveal an economic truism, “when one tax evasion method becomes difficult, it is simply supplanted by another alternative. As data collection improves and more leaks like the Panama Papers continue, there will be no alternative but to turn to encryption and decentralized networks like Bitcoin for true privacy,” @dantwany boldly asserted.
Crackdowns Might Push More Bitcoin Adoption Through Decentralized Exchanges
This year just might see crackdowns push more people toward bitcoin, especially as legal schemes such as the Automatic Exchange of Information take hold. European Union countries in 2018 will exchange customers’ financial information as a matter of course. All over the world, governments are beginning to see what could be around the corner for tax havens. Crypto miners are regularly hectored from Venezuela to Argentina in an effort to slow the phenomenon, to varying degrees of success. Russia is busy passing crypto tracking laws. China famously went after exchanges, only to force trade underground with more peer-to-peer services such as Localbitcoins filling the vacuum.
With an eye toward skepticism, @dantwany writes how it does seem “doubtful that Bitcoin can capture all the money currently in tax havens.” However, those who are stuck in countries where private property rights in particular are less than secure, there “is certainly a case where Bitcoin can find a use and it seems likely that it will tap into this market, if it is not already doing so. In the near future, it may become very possible to use Bitcoin on decentralized exchanges to buy a wide variety of tokenized securities and assets. Using this method, the buyer will be in complete control of the assets they are trading in an anonymous manner.”
He’s also keen to watch where autocrats go, where they put their ill-gotten gains, suggesting as “public backlash, leaks, and political turmoil increase, it seems very likely that even the autocrats themselves may have to turn to alternatives like Bitcoin to conceal and keep their wealth, at the very least as a hedge. It seems inevitable and a matter of when, not if that a percentage of the wealth held in tax havens begins to flow into Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency economy.”
Is crypto the future of tax shelters and havens? Let us know in the comments.
Images via the Pixabay, Twitter.
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It’s a story straight out of cinematic lines: whale cryptocurrency investor rakes in mounds of money, and reaching a “satiety point” decides to give a healthy portion of it to worthy charities. And add to that the spectre of remaining anonymous, the ecosystem, beset by dreams of easy fortunes and Lambos and glory, was given a real-world object lesson in five short months. Health care, water potability, education, digital rights advocates, among many others, all felt the power and generosity of crypto. This week, Pineapple Fund announced its final donation.
Pineapple Fund Issues its Final Donation
In a subreddit post this week, Pineapple Fund’s anonymous benefactor wrote, “It’s been five months, and having just made my last PF donation to the Internet Archive, I figure it might be a good time to say farewell.” Pine, as the anonymous poster goes by, continued by thanking the broader community for offering worthy organization suggestions, and also thanked “the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency community, for turning a Sourceforge project into a $ 0.5T industry.”
The fund burst upon the crypto community mid-December of last year, right at the height of bitcoin core’s (BTC) price spike. “The anonymous donor says he saw the promise of bitcoin long before it broke the single-digit price range. The donor explains the ‘shattering returns’ of bitcoin over the years has given him more money than he can spend,” these pages documented at the time.
Donations ranged between $ 50,000 to $ 5,000,000. Around since the mid 1980s, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) researches and educates about “the medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana.” It was one of the organizations deemed worthy of a $ 5mil gift from the fund.
Give Directly, a group facilitating the ability to send money directly to the extreme poor, also landed among $ 5mil donations. It claims to distribute 88 percent of each dollar to those in need. Roughly $ 1,000 is sent to well vetted recipients who often use what is the equivalent in about a year’s wages for essential housing materials.
A Strong Legacy
The final recipient of $ 5mil was the Open Medicine Foundation (OMF). Its goal is to both fund and initiate collaborative and groundbreaking research into chronic complex diseases, focusing upon the End ME/CFS Project, designed to find biomarkers and effective treatments for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
“I kind of miss the old times when bitcoin was a small community,” Pine wrote, “and you could count the number of ‘altcoins’ with one hand. Finding someone else who even knows about bitcoin was incredibly rare, and exchanges were semi-automated or running on PHP.”
Community response was effusive with praise such as, “Thank you for doing what so many wish they would do in your position but yet fail to when they get there. Really proud of you and appreciative of your generosity,” one commenter wrote. Still another insisted, “This kind of generosity will indirectly impact so many peoples’ lives for the better. Thank you!”
Other commenters held onto the idea of Pine returning at some point should the market tick back up again, and prices moon. “Thanks for following along with this experiment. I’m going to say goodbye now, but maybe there’s room for dessert in a few years,” Pine teased. “If you’re ever blessed with crypto fortune, consider supporting what you aspire our world to be. :)” Of course, others are currently involved in charitable, real-world work, such as Eat BCH. The group doesn’t enjoy the financing of a whale, and yet it provides food relief for countries such as Venezuela, which has suffered greatly in a giant economic downturn.
Is charity an important way to promote crypto? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Pineapple Fund.
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The post Bitcoin’s Anonymous $ 55 Million Pineapple Fund Gives Final Donation appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Cai Wensheng, the founder of Meitu Inc., a Chinese technology company that makes smartphones and selfie apps, has announced that his bitcoin holdings have reached a personal milestone of 10,000 BTC. Mr. Wensheng also discussed his investments in alternative cryptocurrencies, and compared the present state of the cryptocurrency sector to that of the internet of the early 2000s.
Meitu Founder Accumulates Approximately 10,000 in 2018
In a recent interview with entrepreneur Wang Feng, Mr. Wensheng revealed that his goal of owning 10,000 BTC had been achieved following extensive accumulation during the bear trend of 2018. “When I clearly saw the future of blockchain and bitcoin, I set a goal for myself – owning 10,000 bitcoins, and now the goal has been achieved,” he said.
Mr. Wensheng claimed that “Back in this January I only had several bitcoins, just to follow the trend.” Mr. Wensheng states that he then “realized that blockchain and bitcoin are the future,” leading to the entrepreneur to “set the goal of accumulating 10,000 bitcoins.”
Despite being enticed by the meteoric gains made by the bitcoin markets in 2017, Mr. Wensheng patiently waited for the markets to retrace. “Last December saw the great spike and I didn’t buy any bitcoin at that time. Later when the price corrected to normal in January, I began the career by buying in bitcoins at low cost,” he recounted.
Mindset Critical to Successful Investment
Mr. Wensheng stated that in his view, “the big difference between investment and speculation is the mindset. Suppose you buy in a stock share or a cryptocurrency but the price keeps falling after that, if you are an investor, you will be delighted at the stumble for it means good time to buy more in; on the contrary, if you keep complaining of the slowdown, no offense but I think you are actually a speculator.”
Despite his assertions surrounding the requisite psychology for successful trading, Mr. Wensheng emphasizes the need for new investors to exercise due diligence and caution when entering the markets. “Of course, before you get started, thorough research and analysis is a must,” he said.
Cai Wensheng Compares Cryptocurrency Markets to Early 2000’s Tech Boom
In the interview, Mr. Wensheng described the current state of the cryptocurrency markets to the boom and bust-prone internet sector of the early 2000’s, stating “It is the similar case with Internet in 2000, startups die away in batches when the Internet bubble burst back then, few made it. While if you bet the right one, the returns are beyond your imagination.”
Mr. Wensheng states that he has “invested in a dozen of blockchain projects,” including “Theta, Ontology, Cortex, Arcblock, Zipper, Yeecall, Dxchain, [and] Charter.”
So far, Mr. Wensheng claims that “some” of his cryptocurrency investments have yielded “fairly high returns and some are still losing money” – describing the markets’ performance as “reasonable […] as blockchain is still in its early phase and practical applications are lacking, in this way, it needs more support and patience. In the long run, it’s promising and time will tell.”
Do you agree with the comparison between the cryptocurrency markets and the tech boom of the early 2000’s? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Meitu Inc.
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India’s cryptocurrency exchange Coinsecure has announced that it cannot repay customers their stolen bitcoins at this time. The exchange claims that while investigations are underway, permissions are needed from the authorities to start the claims process which it has not yet received.
Indian exchange Coinsecure has updated users regarding the disbursement of funds due to stolen bitcoins. The exchange previously confirmed that 438.31859715 BTC were stolen on April 8, worth approximately Rs 20 crore or US$ 3,067,220.
The exchange revealed on April 21 that it had started working on the claims process. “We are hoping that by the following weekend [April 28-29], we should get started and you should be able to submit your claims withdrawals requests.” However, that deadline has passed and the exchange is now saying “there has been a delay on that front,” elaborating:
When investigations are underway, we don’t have much of a say and do need permission from the authorities to start the compensation process, which we are yet to receive.
“There will be new contracts rolled out to all our users who held a balance on Coinsecure (INR and bitcoin),” the exchange added.
Working With Authorities
Coinsecure has been cooperating with the authorities to recover its lost BTC. The exchange suspects its Chief Security Office, Dr. Amitabh Saxena, was behind the theft. A complaint was filed with the Cyber Crime Cell of the Delhi Police on April 10. The authorities advised the exchange to “confiscate [the suspect’s] system for further investigation,” which it followed and collected Saxena’s laptop.
In a letter to the authorities, Coinsecure’s CEO Mohit Kalra wrote, “as the private keys are kept with Dr. Amitabh Saxena, we feel that he is making a false story to divert our attention and he might have a role to play in this entire incident.”
If all the stolen bitcoins are recovered, Coinsecure said that all customers’ bitcoin holdings will be repaid per balance on April 9. Otherwise, the exchange explained:
We will apply the lock in rates as of the 9th of April, 2018. 10% of the coin holding balance will be refunded in BTC and 90% will be returned in INR.
To help with the recovery of lost coins, the exchange has also appealed to the community for help and has put up a 10% bounty.
Even amid the turmoil surrounding Coinsecure, Venezuela announced last week that the Indian exchange has been certified to operate in Venezuela in hopes that it will list the country’s new currency, the Petro.
What do you think of Coinsecure needing permission from the authorities to repay customers? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coinsecure, and Cyber Crime Cell.
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When Fundstrat Global speaks, the crypto world listens. In recent months it has been a steady font of good news for the ecosystem, with five figure price calls to predicting a very bright future, a crypto future. Resident guru Thomas Lee more-or-less foretold the current after tax season spike in prices when many others were decidedly bearish on the asset class. The firm recently surveyed a small group of institutional investors, and they appear to see cryptocurrencies poised for a breakout year. To help such investors make informed choices in that regard, the company also created five new crypto indices.
Inflows of Big Money into Crypto
Fundstrat’s co-founder, Thomas Lee, tweeted how his company “hosted a small group of institutional investors” recently. It was a “mix of crypto and traditional macro [hedge funds] long-only.” It was a chance to informally survey basic sentiment about the market shortly after the end of tax season for the United States.
Of the nine questions, they included: if cryptos will rise during a recession (65% Yes), if bitcoin core had bottomed (82% Yes), bitcoin core’s year-end price (vast majority believed it will be between $ 10K and $ 30K); most believed regulators will provide clarity sometime this year; they do not believe Ethereum will be classified as a security; a great number seem to be moving away from “store of value” concerns, toward an actual currency; and 60% believe Goldman Sachs will be the first to introduce institutional crypto trades. The key “takeaway,” Mr. Lee insists, is how “institutions believe [bitcoin core] bottomed. We see this as a leading indicator for inflows of big money into Crypto.”
Indeed, Fundstrat’s Mr. Lee has been something of a fortune teller for the digital asset class. It was he, and almost he alone, who urged investors to perhaps buy the Crypto Winter dip, believing bitcoin core would bounce back after capital gains and relevant tax penalties were paid. As of this writing, he appears to be correct.
The future looks so bright for cryptocurrencies, Fundstrat also announced a set of new indices, five to be exact. “Commodity tokens,” wrote Mr. Lee, Sam Doctor, and Robert Sluymer, “in our view, are on-ramps for institutional inflows, given the expanding options for access (futures, etc.). And commodity tokens face less regulatory risk relative to other types of tokens at the moment.”
Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Core, Zcash, Monero, and Litecoin
Basing their choices on relative size, the five sectors comprising 75% of the sector’s cumulative market capitalization are Stablecoins, Privacy, Platforms, Exchanges, and Commodities (which take up nearly half of the index due to components Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Core, Zcash, Monero, and Litecoin).
The Privacy index has four components: BTCP, ZEC, XMR, and DASH, with Monero and Dash taking up the lion’s share. The Stablecoin index has two components: DAI, USTD, with Tether forming a whopping 99% of the sector. Ether, as most might expect, overwhelms the Platform index.
More recently, the firm held out seven coins as ones to watch: BCH, BTC, EOS, BYTOM, IOTA, XLM, and NEM.
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This week cryptocurrency miners had processed the 17 million coins across both Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Core (BTC) networks, marking a great milestone within the history of blockchain technology. Now there are only 4Mn BCH and BTC left to mine but it’s still a very long time away until the very last coins are mined.
80.9% of All Bitcoins Have Been Mined
According to blockchain data, today both BTC and BCH miners mined the 17 millionth coin per network, and there are only 4 million left to mine. Now individuals may say that only 4 million coins is not much of a supply since 17 million were mined in less than ten years, so they might expect the last coins to be mined shortly. However, that’s not the case for both networks as mining difficulty continues to increase on both chains, and every four years the mining block reward is cut in half. Right now both BTC and BCH networks produce 12.5 coins after every block found, and when the halving takes place the reward will only be 6.25 newly minted coins. The BTC chain is expected to halve its mining reward in roughly 763 days or May 29, 2020, depending on the hashrate. If the networks hashrate grows slower or faster the halving date could change.
BTC and BCH Halvings and the Last Coin Found Will Likely Be Different Time Frames
Further, the mining of the last coins won’t be found very quickly because of mining difficulty changes, which makes it harder for miners to find blocks over time. BTC’s ‘Difficulty’ is a metric used to measure the probability of finding the next block, and the BTC network automatically changes difficulty every 2016 blocks. The BCH chain adjusts difficulty every block to make sure previous 144 blocks take exactly one day. The BTC method of difficulty changes and things like the block reward halving every four years or less, will eventually lead to the last BTC being found on or around the year 2140. The BCH chain may have some different halving times, but as things are today the last BCH may be found around the same year. Although there may be some slight discrepancies on halving and the last coin found time frames between both networks.
For instance, the BCH chain had a different difficulty adjustment algorithm (DAA) when the chain first separated. Up until November of 2017, the BCH difficulty was a bit volatile; sometimes processing blocks extremely fast and sometimes super slow. This led to the BCH chain mining a touch more coins than BTC, and it has processed more blocks as well. At the time of publication, the BCH chain is 7568 blocks ahead of the BTC chain, and there are 94,000 more BCH in circulation than BTC. However, since the November bitcoin cash DAA hard fork, metrics have leveled out quite a bit and newly minted BCH are mined roughly at the same rate. Before the fork profitability led to miners bouncing back and forth between chains, but since the DAA change profitability has been consistently level as well. At the moment BCH miners are processing blocks at 13.96% of BTC’s difficulty. Several things could happen in the future where halving and difficulty times could become totally different between both networks.
Satoshi’s Vision Has Come a Long Way — Giving the World the Genius of Proof-of-Work and Digital Scarcity
Even though it’s going to take more than a century for all of the coins to be found, finding more than 80 percent of them is quite the feat. Over the last six months, both chains have seen a phenomenal increase in hashpower, and if this keeps up it will likely lead to much faster halvings and difficulty changes. Additionally, the 21 million cap created by Satoshi Nakamoto cements the power of digital scarcity, which theoretically will keep demand going strong for ages. The cryptocurrencies are divisible by eight decimals and this means that even though there are not enough ‘whole’ coins to go around for every individual on the planet, people will transact with smaller fractions over time. Unlike quantitative easing and the central banking system bailing out the banks by printing mass quantities of fiat — cryptocurrencies are and will always be scarce. 17 million coins found by a network of incentivized miners is a landmark occasion, and we should all celebrate this feat as it shows how far this technology has come in less than a decade.
What do you think about the fact that 80 percent of all BCH and BTC have been mined so far? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments below.
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