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When Bitcoin’s history is written, the following events will command a chapter apiece. Bitcoin is a creeping revolution that does not lend itself to listicles, and thus any such attempt is destined to fall short. What follows, therefore, is a potted history of a transformative technology whose greatest moments have yet to come. In chronological order, these are the days that shook Bitcoin to its core.
Satoshi’s Final Bow, December 12, 2010
One of the most significant days in Bitcoin happened before most people had even heard of it. Dec. 12, 2010 didn’t startle the community at the time, but the date would go down as the most pivotal since the mining of the genesis block. That’s the day when Satoshi Nakamoto composed his final Bitcointalk post and then quietly checked out, never to be publicly heard of again.
One day prior, he’d objected to Wikileaks using bitcoin to circumvent its Visa blockade, writing: “It would have been nice to get this attention in any other context. Wikileaks has kicked the hornet’s nest, and the swarm is headed towards us.” We will likely never know why Satoshi left, other than the vague message he dictated to Mike Hearn in his final email on Apr. 23, 2011: “I’ve moved on to other things.”
Silk Road Bust, October 2, 2013
It’s hard to convey just how big of a role Silk Road played in mainstreaming Bitcoin, and how indebted we are to a mild-mannered pacifist now serving life without parole for the crime of being a tech visionary. (Okay, and for creating a market where you could buy every illegal drug under the sun.) Oct. 2, 2013, is the day Ross Ulbricht’s ingenious creation fell, when an FBI bust saw the 29-year-old wrestled to the ground in a San Francisco library as he was logged in to the server.
The familiar Silk Road login screen gave way to the FBI’s smug seizure notice and bitcoin shed 25 percent of its value, falling to $ 109 in the aftermath. BTC has since recovered 60 times over, but for those who supported Silk Road and its swashbuckling captain Dread Pirate Roberts, things have never been the same since.
Bitcoin Hits $ 1,000, November 27, 2013
There are many all-time highs that might warrant inclusion in this list – BTC hitting $ 100, just seven months earlier, being one:
NEVAR FORGET. pic.twitter.com/bfaikQnGgW
— Bitcoin 101 (@Bitcoin101) April 1, 2013
That day felt epic, but $ 1,000 was entering the realm of fantasy. Bitcoiners hadn’t dreamed the milestone might be reached so soon. It was only later that Mt Gox’s role in inflating BTC with the aid of its Willy trading bot came to light. This knowledge has done nothing, however, to dampen the memories of $ 1,000 bitcoin sticking two fingers up at the establishment.
Bitcoinity.org was where everyone checked the price of BTC in the age before Blockfolio, widgets and push notifications. When bitcoin hit $ 1,000, the site moved the decimal point three places to the left because the USD price was taking up too much screen space.
The Death of Mt Gox, February 24, 2014
Despite five years having passed since Bitcoin’s Titanic event, and restitution finally made, the sinking of Mt Gox is still a sore point for early adopters who lost funds in the insolvent exchange. It had been evident for weeks that something was wrong with Gox, but its spectacular collapse still induced shock and anger followed by lingering acrimony. The demise of Mt Gox plunged bitcoin into a downward spiral it took years to recover from.
Craig Wright Is Satoshi Nakamoto, May 2, 2016
Many people have identified or been doxxed as Satoshi Nakamoto, but only two incidents gained global attention. Newsweek’s false dox of Dorian Nakamoto in March 2014 was noteworthy, but it pales in significance to the day Craig Wright stepped forward to claim the mantle, after Wired had first suggested the connection a few months earlier.
Gavin Andresen verified the digital signature, mainstream media swooped and Craig Wright basked in the adulation. Then the narrative began to fall apart. The evidence linking Wright to Satoshi was quickly debunked, turning Wright into a pariah dubbed “Faketoshi.” While a dwindling band of followers still believes Wright may have been involved in Bitcoin’s creation, few grant his claim to be Satoshi himself any credence.
The DAO, June 17, 2016
Like the Silk Road bust, The DAO technically wasn’t about Bitcoin. And yet the collapse of Ethereum’s flagship project, following the theft of $ 50 million in ether from its smart contract, reverberated throughout the entire industry, prompting Vitalik Buterin to assemble an online crisis meeting with exchange bosses in a bid to limit the fallout. “OK can you guys stop trading,” he implored and a meme was born. Ethereum eventually recovered, but not before a chain rollback and a hard fork. Bitcoin maximalism gained some new supporters that day, many of whom have remained wary of ETH ever since.
The Fall of BTC-e, July 25, 2017
When Alexander Vinnik was arrested in Greece in July of 2017 at the behest of the U.S. Justice Department, the market didn’t even blink. By then, the Russian’s shady exchange had long ceased to be relevant, but its importance in the history of cryptocurrency remains significant.
BTC-e was where traders cut their teeth. It was a no-KYC, no-questions-asked outpost, the last wild west town of its kind. It was where the original pump and dumps were orchestrated, led by pseudonymous kids with names like Fontas manipulating shitcoins with names like peercoin, long before shitcoin was even a word. It’s also where a vast chunk of Mt Gox’s stolen bitcoins were allegedly laundered. BTC-e was a den of iniquity and it had to go, but that doesn’t mean its legendary trollbox won’t be missed by those who frequented it at its peak.
The Birth of Bitcoin Cash, August 1, 2017
The events surrounding Segwit’s lock-in, on July 21, 2017, and Bitcoin’s hard fork, less than a fortnight later, were momentous for all kinds of reasons. It had been unclear, in the run-up, whether enough miners would signal support for Segwit, but in the end the proposal comfortably passed. The sense of uncertainty was palpable, exacerbated by apocalyptic warnings, in the build-up, of fatal chain splits and market meltdown. In the end, Bitcoin became two, Segwit activated, and while the factions remain as polarized as ever, both parties got something out of the deal at least: Segwit for small blockers and Bitcoin Cash for the big.
The Cashening, December 19, 2017
For a few crazy hours last December, it looked as if Bitcoin Cash might actually cause one of the greatest upsets in the history of cryptocurrency and become the dominant Bitcoin chain by market cap. In the end, the trading frenzy, fueled by zero-fee South Korean exchanges, Coinbase botching its BCH listing announcement, and a good deal of FOMO, The Cashening lost steam around the time the price of BCH reached 0.25 BTC. A lot of cryptocurrency was won and lost on the internet that day, as the bitcoin brigades put ideological differences aside and traded like their lives depended on it.
$ 20,000 BTC, December 17, 2017
The weighted average for bitcoin’s all-time high officially stands at $ 20,089 according to Onchainfx, though on some exchanges the cryptocurrency stopped just shy of the 20k mark before backing down. Through November and December of 2017, every day was filled with giddiness, over-exuberance, ridiculous headlines and all the other signs that, in hindsight, pointed towards a market that was way overbought. It was a fun time though, for coiners, nocoiners and bemused onlookers alike. We may never see such a frenzy again … until the next bull run that is.
Bitcoin Core Fees Hit Record High, December 22, 2017
One of the reasons why Bitcoin hard-forked in the summer of 2017 was due to disagreement over increasing the block size. Blockstream and its cadre of Core developers favored a maximum of 2MB blocks, despite the fact that the network was overloaded and fees were getting ridiculous. While Bitcoin Cash provided a solution for those who favored larger blocks, Bitcoin Core doggedly stuck to its path, culminating in average fees hitting $ 55 on Dec. 22, and a median high of $ 34.10 a day later.
What other historic days in Bitcoin’s history deserved to have made this list? Let us know in the comments section below.
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David Price put his postseason woes behind him, pitching the Boston Red Sox back into another World Series with a 4-1 victory over the defending champion Houston Astros on Thursday night.
Cam Battley is a top executive at one of Canada’s biggest marijuana companies, but he isn’t sticking around to savor the country’s historic pot legalization . He’s off to Germany on Friday and Australia next week—a sign of what a leader Canada has become in the global pot industry, and…
On Oct. 10, Blockstream revealed that the company’s new product, Liquid, generated its first block on Sept. 27 and noted that a lot of the crypto-economy’s “biggest players” participated. Since Blockstream announced the launch of its federated sidechain, the technology has been praised by some and dismissed by others.
The Liquid Launch Makes a Wave
After recently introducing Blockstream Satellite, a network that broadcasts the Bitcoin Core (BTC) blockchain from space, the firm’s long-awaited Liquid technology has been launched. The project has been under development for years and has been introduced to the public as “the world’s first production Bitcoin sidechain.” Since the initial announcement, many individuals within the cryptocurrency community have been debating the legitimacy of the technology on forums and social media.
L-BTC can only be unlocked on the Liquid #sidechain when #BTC is locked up on the #Bitcoin #blockchain. The 2-way peg between $ BTC and $ LBTC is enforced cryptographically by #LiquidNetwork federation members. pic.twitter.com/c57qisz48c
— Blockstream (@Blockstream) October 13, 2018
Liquid is a sidechain, which means it’s a separate blockchain that’s interoperable with the BTC network. The Liquid protocol is essentially a centralized system, but considered acceptable by some because it uses a method of consensus called ‘federated distribution.’ According to the whitepaper, the chain is supposed to facilitate large amounts of BTC transfers offchain in the form of L-BTC, Liquid’s native 2-way peg token. On Twitter, the tech researcher Lucas Nuzzi said people should not underestimate Blockstream’s Liquid sidechain launch and called it a “big deal.” However, in the same statement, Nuzzi explained that federated consensus “doesn’t sound appealing, but it’s a start.”
Trusting a Federation Over Nakamoto Consensus
Even though some truly believe Liquid is a “big deal,” there are many that think the project is no good and introduces security problems with the pegging itself being called into question. Former Bitcoin Foundation member and tech investor Olivier Janssens believes that crippling the BTC chain was Blockstream’s original intent and Liquid is the for-profit sidechain solution.
“How long will it take before Blockstream’s “Liquid Bitcoin” L-BTC user wallet is created?” Janssens asks on Twitter. “Near-instant confirmations, low and no fees — Nothing like the crippled Bitcoin mainchain that suffers high fees, big delays, etc — All of the above created and brought to you by Blockstream.”
Additionally, several people have compared Liquid to Stellar, Ripple, or the EOS network. In these types of systems, chain management can be considered ‘permissioned’ by things called payment ‘gateways’ and ‘block producers.’ Blockstream spokesperson Samson Mow responded to this claim by explaining that there is “no comparison between Liquid and Ripple or EOS.” Yet from what we know, Liquid claims to use a ‘trusted’ federation that utilizes multi-signature technology that is still subject to flaws. This means the product is susceptible to the federation being compromised because Liquid can never be a trustless model. Funds could be stolen in the Liquid system or, worse, inflation could be created with fractional reserve concepts appearing.
People who believe in Liquid assume they can trust a federation of 23 exchanges running the hardware and software. However, exchanges are extremely prone to hacks and being compromised from the inside. Bitfinex for example, one of Liquid’s partner exchanges, was hacked back in 2016 and they are considered a trusted exchange for some. At the time of the hack, the exchange had also been using multi-signature technology. Another Liquid partner exchange, Zaif, was recently breached this year and lost funds as well.
Repeating Past Mistakes
Another question raised is whether or not Liquid users will be subject to know-your-customer (KYC) laws or other privacy concerns. This is also due to the fact that the federation will consist of 23 exchanges from around the world with various regulations applied to them. Instead of dealing with a decentralized cryptocurrency like bitcoin, firms will be dealing with L-BTC which could be considered a security in some jurisdictions. For instance, the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s William Hinman recently said in his opinion decentralized projects are not considered securities, but centralized coins could be classified in that fashion. The implications of L-BTC being considered a security, KYC laws being applicable to exchange participants, and a new type of blockchain surveillance tool may be considered theoretical to some but very real to others.
Frances Coppola, Forbes senior markets contributor, has denounced Blockstream for introducing an “oddly familiar” solution to liquidity. Coppola scoffs at the fact that the company has chosen to use “insecure cryptocurrency exchanges are the ‘trusted functionaries’ in Liquid.”
Coppola continues by emphasizing:
Instead of holding all your funds in one corrupt and hack-prone exchange, a bunch of corrupt and hack-prone exchanges will link themselves together so that it is much easier to move your funds from one corrupt and hack-prone exchange to another. This also makes it more likely that if one goes down, so do the rest. Didn’t the authors learn anything from 2008?
The discussion surrounding Liquid has been a hot topic over the last few days and the project will likely continue to be scrutinized. Another type of sidechain called the Drivechain protocol has been a topical conversation as well. This sidechain project is a concept being developed by Paul Sztorc and the system involves merge mining. Sztorc has also criticized the Liquid network’s current launch and recently called the project a “multi-sig Mt Gox idea.”
To many, the federated sidechain idea seems like a step back from moving towards trustless models, and into the realm of traditional finance again. However, one could say a lot has changed since the days when Bitcoin adoption was pushed to disintermediate the banking system and nation states. Nowadays, it seems that speculation is super important to a lot of people, and individuals and groups are begging nation states for permission and praying for a regulated exchange-traded fund. So it really isn’t that surprising that Liquid fits the needs of the status quo and removes Nakamoto consensus from the picture.
The Bitcoin community seems to be stuck in a ‘Bizarro World’ where everything is the opposite of what it ought to be. People have trusted Nakamoto consensus for close to ten years, only for a group of individuals to deem the system fallible (the miners are evil theory) and vehemently claim a centralized pegged blockchain protocol is a better solution.
What do you think about the Liquid project? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
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Actor Will Friedle played Eric Matthews for seven seasons on ABC’s “Boy Meets World” and then quickly shifted to voice acting. At a recent New York Comic Con panel, the star opened up about how an anxiety disorder kept him from appearing on screen for many years, and how the popular show helped bring him to come back.
Bette Midler chose to make a point about women in a very provocative way … and people are PISSED about it. Bette tweeted Thursday — in the midst of protests in D.C. by women who strongly oppose the Supreme Court confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh…
In today’s edition of The Daily, we’re focusing on human interest stories. Tales involving people rather than products, as a reminder of the many ways in which cryptocurrency affects people’s lives, transforming them for the better. From Australia to China, Thursday’s roundup is as borderless as bitcoin itself.
Man Travels the World on 1 BTC
Never mind living on bitcoin for 21 days – one man has gone 344 days better than the Chinese women recently profiled and survived for a whole year. Armed with 1 BTC he purchased for $ 4,724 last August, the Redditor managed to take in 18 countries in 12 months. Trip highlights included meeting Vitalik Buterin in China, John McAfee in Singapore, and hitting up Amsterdam, where he confessed to having “Used a bit of my almost-running-out-BTC to taste true wormwood absinthe.”
The crypto fanatic captured some of his most memorable moments in a short video for posterity. The chief takeaway from his round the globe extravaganza? “Crypto will set us free.”
Bitcoin Beats Gold When Fleeing Your Homeland
Anecdotal stories have surfaced of Venezuelans having their gold confiscated at the airport. Government officials have reportedly been taking liberties and confiscating families’ life savings in some instances. While most of us will fortunately never face such a fate, the story illustrates one of the ways in which bitcoin beats physical assets such as gold or cash.
Nowallet is a new project that aims to help anyone who needs to leave home in a hurry and conceal their crypto. It promises to help users create a “plausibly deniable” bitcoin brainwallet, and was inspired by reports of incidents of bitcoin being seized physically at border crossings. Its developer explains:
You will only need to remember an email address and passphrase combination, rather than an entire 24 word mnemonic seed. People are typically more accustomed to remembering a normal set of login info, which will protect users from forgetting or misremembering part of their seed and losing coins forever.
Bitcoin Not Brickstring
Finally, crypto heads have been chuckling over a question posed on Australia’s version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” One of the multiple choice answers to the question “The technology that enables cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin to function is called what?” was “Brickstring”. “Bullish on brickstring” quipped crypto Twitter.
What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits as featured in The Daily? Let us know in the comments section below.
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The post The Daily: Around the World on 1 BTC and the Plausibly Deniable Brainwallet appeared first on Bitcoin News.