Hive Criticizes Norwegian Government Amid Concession Cuts to Miners

Hive Criticizes Norwegian Decision to Revoke Electricity Subsidies to Miners Hive has taken aim at the Norwegian government’s decision to revoke subsidies on power consumption that are available to energy-intensive industries operating in Norway. The legislative bill moving to revoke cryptocurrency miners’ access to the subsidy was passed in early December and is expected to take effect during March of this year. Hive states that it is “deeply disappointed and frustrated” by the proposed legislative changes, expressing its dissatisfaction with the government’s decision to take “unilateral” action without “discussion, consultation, or dialogue with the industry.” The company describes the bill as comprising a “significant impediment” to Norway’s capacity to attract long-term foreign investment in the country, warning that the bill will deter “all energy-intensive industries” that are considering “long-term capital investments” from establishing operations in Norway. Hive to Conduct Assessment of Damages to Kolos Data Center As a result of the legislative changes, Hive states it will conduct an assessment of the impact of the bill on the economics of its sole Norwegian asset, the ‘Kolos’ data center. On Dec. 20, 2018, Hive issued a letter to debt holders associated with the Kolos acquisition proposing changes to the loan agreement pertaining to the asset. The company is currently seeking a one year extension of the term of the approximately $2.4 million loan that financed the asset’s acquisition while the Hive determines the impact that the legislative changes will have on the value and future plansfor the Kolos data center. Hive expects to have completed its damage assessment prior to the end of the fiscal year on March 31, 2019. In November 2018, Norwegian parliamentary representative Lars Haltbrekken criticized the subsidies available to cryptocurrency miners, stating that Norway “cannot continue to provide tax incentives for the most dirty form of cryptographic output as bitcoin.”

  Wed, January 2, 2019 Read Full Article

Russians See Growing Number of Options to Buy Cryptocurrencies

Russians Not Losing Interest in Cryptocurrencies The last 12 months will be remembered in the crypto space as a period of bearish sentiment and shrinking capitalization. In 2018, leading coins such as BTC saw an 80 percent drop in their valuation compared to the all-time highs reached in the last weeks of 2017. However, according to Olga Prokhorova from the International Financial Center investment consultancy, the falling prices have not significantly decreased interest in cryptocurrencies, and Russia is no exception. In an interview with the Federal Press news outlet, Prokhorova quoted data from a recently published study by the University of Cambridge which revealed the number of identityverified users in the ecosystem has increased to over 35 million. The study also noted the increased transaction volumes on P2P exchanges such as Localbitcoins from countries that have experienced monetary crisis. Russia, which has been through financial turmoil in the past, was included in this group of nations lead by Venezuela which is currently in economic trouble. With the exception of a couple weeks during this past fall, weekly Localbitcoins volumes in Russian rubles have followed an upward trend since the spring of 2018, according to Coin Dance – from the year’s low of around 740 million rubles in mid-March (~$10.6 million) to well over 1.2 billion rubles (almost $18 million) in the last full week of December. Popular Ways to Buy Digital Coins in Russia Peer-to-peer exchanges are not the only option for Russians looking to acquire cryptocurrencies. There are a number of other platforms and the Russian online publication 1rre has recently summarized the tried-and-tested alternatives, starting with exchanges that are popular in the country such as Exmo, Bitfinex and Bitstamp.

Another leading global trading platform, Huobi, recently opened an office in Russia and launched a Russian-language website. Livecoin, Yobit, Hitbtc, C-cex, and Spectrocoin can also beadded to the list, according to previous publications. Crypto exchanges are arguably the safest way to buy digital coins, but users need to pass KYC procedures and pay fees. Another option is to use an online payments processor such as Webmoney, which recently offered its customers the possibility to purchase and exchange cryptocurrencies with fiat money. Verified subscribers can also cash out directly to their bank cards. The major disadvantage in this case is the exchange rate, the news outlet remarks. A number of online exchangers operating in the country have become a popular choice for many Russian crypto traders. Using their services, however, is still risky and requires some research in advance. A platform called Best Change helps Russians to do that. The website provides information about different options to trade cryptocurrencies with fiat money and claims all listed exchangers are verified. Cryptocurrency teller machines have been installed in over 20 Russian cities, from the capital Moscow, with at least eight ATMs, to Yakutsk in Siberia. While most of them offer only purchases of popular digital coins such as BCH, BTC, ETH and LTC, some of these devices support sales as well. A new Russian BATM tracker,, was launched recently, as reported in December. Information about their fees and transaction limits can be found on

  Wed, January 2, 2019 Read Full Article

Pump and Dumps Are the Final Indignity for Dying Coins

Pump and Dumps Are the Swansong of Dying Altcoins Holders of paragon (PRG) woke up to a pleasant surprise this morning: their coin was up 6,800% overnight. The project has effectively been dead for months, with the SEC ruling in November that Paragon must refund investors who participated in its token sale. News that the worthless token had mooned overnight was thus greeted with astonishment by PRG holders. At 7 a.m. EST on Jan. 1, paragon was trading for over $10, having been changing hands for just $0.30 the day before. Paragon reached a peak of $10 on Yobit on Jan. 1 before crashing back to near its former level. On closer inspection, however, it became clear that the Paragon project wasn’t enjoying a new lease on life. It had not been let off the hook by the SEC, nor had it announced a major partnership that had set the coin’s price rocketing. Rather, paragon had become the latest moribund coin to be subjected to a pump and dump. It had taken just $27,000 of trading volume on a single exchange, Yobit, to propel PRG to double-digit dollar prices, and then back down almost to where it began hours earlier.

  Wed, January 2, 2019 Read Full Article

Japan’s DMM Exiting Crypto Mining Business

Out of the Mining Business Japanese entertainment and e-commerce giant Inc. is reportedly exiting the cryptocurrency mining business, according to local media. Toyo Keizai publication reported on Dec. 30 that DMM made a decision to exit the crypto mining business since September. “Deteriorating profitability is the main cause,” the publication quoted the company as saying, elaborating: DMM founder Keishi Kameyama described on Dec. 31 that, going forward, “he will work hard on ‘[the] exchange [business] and blockchains,'” Nikkei reported. A subsidiary of the group, DMM Bitcoin, is one of the 16 regulated crypto exchanges in Japan. The company announced the establishment of its virtual currency division in September last year and began mining operations in Japan’s Kanazawa city in October. Multiple cryptocurrencies were mined “such as bitcoin, ethereum, [and] litecoin,” Toyo Keizai detailed.Launching with ambitious goals for its mining division, DMM announced at the time that it “will operate a mass-scale, made-in-Japan quality, mining farm whose operating size will be unmatched by any of the domestic operators.” It also planned to rank in the “top three of the world’s mining farm companies in terms of scale.” DMM also created a “research and development specialty lab” for crypto mining called DMM Mining Labo. Showroom Closing Along with the official launch of its mining farm, DMM announced in February a plan to open up a showroom for public access at its mining facility in Kanazawa. The company planned to operate 1,000 mining machines in the showroom of about 500 square meters in April. “We plan to start accepting from the middle of March tours for the general public,” DMM detailed at the time. However, Toyo Keizai reported that DMM had underestimated security concerns and quoted the company explaining: I would like users to experience the extraordinary mining site in their lives. From such thought DMM opened a part of

  Wed, January 2, 2019 Read Full Article

The Platform Tethers Names to Bitcoin Cash Addresses

Bitcoin Cash-Powered Human Readable Account Names You Can Share in Conversation Bitcoin Cash proponents can experiment with a new BCH-powered alias-address system called recently reported on Silverblood’s BCH name system called Cash-ID, which allows for human-readable account names tied to the keys of a BCH address. The protocol is open source and uses an OP_Return transaction when the name is broadcast and confirmed on the BCH network. Silverblood’s Cash Accounts code and specifications can be found on Gitlab if a user wants to review how naming the process works. “The Bitcoin address system based on hashing data creates complex and difficult to share identifiers,” explains Silverblood’s motivation behind creating Cash Accounts on Gitlab. “While these identifiers have proper checksums and misspellings are rare, they are still very cumbersome to transfer over the telephone, in a regular chat or similar — Many attempts have been made to obfuscate the addresses by transferring them as QR codes or NFC tags, but the need for a human-accessible format remains.”Experimenting With a Cash Accounts Name System Until January 3rd tested the Cash Accounts platform by registering a temporary name using the beta version. Everything is fairly straightforward as you simply type your alias and tether the name to a public BCH address. After that, the user presses a button that says “Create Register Transaction,” which then gives the registrant a protocol number, account name, and payment data. You can look up the OP_Return transaction’s hash on any Bitcoin Cash block explorer. Pressing the “Broadcast Register Transaction” will then broadcast the information to the Bitcoin Cash network so miners can include the transaction in a block. The registrant will have to wait for the transaction to confirm in order to “Lookup” the name they just created. The process only took about 2 minutes to register and then waiting a few more minutes for the name “Posternut #3451” to be registered in a block.

  Wed, January 2, 2019 Read Full Article

Abkhazia Temporarily Shuts Down 15 Mining Farms

8,950 kWt of Mining Hardware Unplugged Chernomorenergo, the state-owned company responsible for the electricity distribution in the breakaway republic, said it disconnected all mining farms it managed to locate. The utility announced on its Facebook page that the shut down facilities had a total power capacity of 8,950 kWt. Their consumption is equal to that of 1,800 households, or the administrative region around Abkhazia’s capital, Sukhumi. The move follows a decision by the government of the partially recognized entity in northwestern Georgia to temporarily halt cryptocurrency mining with locally produced electricity. The Abkhazian authorities explained the measure, which was approved at the end of last year, was necessary to guarantee the electricity supply for homes, social institutions and important production facilities. The country’s electric power system has been over stressed by rising consumption due to the low winter temperatures. Chernomorenergo said the miners have complied with the recently issued government decree to limit their consumption. In summer months, however, the bitcoin farms help utilize excess electrical energy produced by a large hydropower complex located on the de facto border and shared with Georgia.

  Tue, January 1, 2019 Read Full Article

Markets Update: Crypto Traders Enter the New Year With Uncertainty

2019’s Top Crypto Market Valuations 2018 is over and many cryptocurrency enthusiasts are hoping the bearish sentiment that lasted all year long is left behind as well. Trade volume has been light over the last two days, which is likely due to traders celebrating the holidays. It’s likely that heavier digital asset trading will resume at some point today and into the new year. At the moment, global trade volume for all 2000+ assets this Tuesday is around $12.8 billion. Bitcoin core (BTC) is trading for $3,743 and is down 1.5% on Jan.1. The last seven days show BTC is also down a small percentage and trade volume is around $4.2 billion.The second largest market capitalization held by ripple (XRP) is down 1% today and 5.9% for the week. One XRP is trading for $0.35 and ripple’s overall market valuation is $14.4 billion. Ethereum (ETH) had a decent runup last week as the cryptocurrency is still up 5% over the last seven days but is down 1.6% today. One ETH is trading for $135 and the total market capitalization is awfully close to ripple’s at $14 billion. The cryptocurrency eos (EOS) is having a better day than most. Even though the currency is down 0.63% today, it is up 2.7% for the week. At the time of publication, a single eos is swapping for $2.58 per coin.Bitcoin cash (BCH) markets are seeing some improvement on the first day of the year, but prices are down 0.64% over the last 24 hours. BCH is also still down over 4% for the week and trade volume is much lower than last week’s data with only $250 million today. One BCH is trading for $156 at the time of publication. The top five exchanges swapping the most BCH this Tuesday include Lbank, Binance, Huobi, Hitbtc, and Coinbase. A list of currency pair statistics shows that USDT is dominating BCH trades by 42.4% today. This is followed by BTC (19.6%), ETH (18%), USD (9.8%), and JPY (4.5%). The EUR and KRW both have about 1-3% of daily BCH trades today as well. Bitcoin cash is the seventh most traded currency just below litecoin (LTC) and above zcash (ZEC).BCH/USD Technical Indicators Looking at the BCH/USD daily and 4-hour charts on Bitstamp shows there have been some meaningful trend changes. As explained in our last markets update, the two longterm and short-term Simple Moving Averages (SMA 200,100) were about to cross hairs. Today the 100 SMA has climbed above the long-term 200 SMA indicating some possible upswings ahead.The Relative Strength Index (RSI) on the BCH/USD 4-H chart shows uncertainty at -46 while the Stochastic and MACd indicators show similar findings. Looking at order books ahead, we can see that bulls will meet resistance at the current vantage point and up until $190-225 per coin. On the back side, foundations have grown stronger and bears will see a few pit stops between $155-135 per coin.The Hope for 2019 Crypto Market Trend Reversal Overall, most traders know that the holiday lull may pick up soon as far as volume, but the bearish trends may not be over. Unfortunately, just like the myriad of nonsensical price

  Tue, January 1, 2019 Read Full Article

Phillip Frost Agrees to Settle Riot Blockchain Related Case for $5.5 Millio...

$5.5 Million Settlement The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged a group of 10 individuals and 10 associated entities back in September for fraudulent schemes that generated over $27 million from unlawful stock sales and “caused significant harm to retail investors who were left holding virtually worthless stock.” According to the SEC’s complaint, the group of “microcap fraudsters” was led by Barry Honig who was once the largest shareholder in Riot Blockchain, Inc. (NASDAQ:RIOT) and included John O’Rourke, its former CEO. From 2013 to 2018, the South Florida-based group manipulated the share price of the stock of three companies in pump-and-dump schemes, and Miami billionaire Phillip Frost allegedly participated in two of these. On Thursday, Frost and his company OPKO Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPK) announced they have agreed to a settlement with the SEC to resolve the action brought against them, subject to court approval. Without admitting or denying the SEC’s allegations, OPKO agreed to a $100,000 penalty. Frost agreed, also without admitting or denying the SEC’s allegations, to approximately $5.5 million in penalties, disgorgement, and prejudgment interest. He also agreed to a prohibition from trading in penny stocks, with certain exceptions. Frost will continue to serve as OPKO’s CEO and Chairman. “We have reached agreement with the SEC that will end a potentially expensive, contentious and time-consuming litigation and I am happy that we can focus on an exciting and productive 2019 for OPKO Health,” said Frost. Riot Blockchain Before October 2017, Riot was a biotechnology company known as Bioptix, Inc. that specialized in the development of veterinary diagnostic tools. On October 4, 2017 Bioptix announced it was changing its name to Riot Blockchain and shifting its business focus to investing in blockchain technologies.In February 2018 Riot was hit with a class action lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida. The complaint alleged that the company failed to disclose that it had changed its name to Riot Blockchain in order to generate investor enthusiasm and tie the company to the then recent rise in the price of cryptocurrencies. This was done despite Riot’s lack of a significant blockchain business in order to further an insider scheme that would allow controlling shareholder Barry Honig and his associates to sell their Riot securities at artificially inflated prices.

  Tue, January 1, 2019 Read Full Article

December Volume Report: Top Markets See Strongest Trade of H2 2018

USDT and Top Altcoin Markets See Volume Increase BTC saw a slight increase in volume during December, with $157.2 billion worth of trade taking place, up from $156.5 billion during November. As such, BTC posted its strongest volume since May. Tether (USDT) has continued to see a rise in month-overmonth volume, likely reflecting the increase in altcoin trading that has taken place in recent months. December saw $115.7 billion worth of USDT change hands, a roughly 8.5% increase over last month, and a 66% increase when compared with October’s volume. This past month comprised the strongest month of trade during the second half of 2018. $68.2 billion worth of Ethereum (ETH) was traded during December, up 16% month-overmonth, and 65.5% since October. ETH also posted the strongest volume for the second half of 2018. XRP Sees Drop-Off in Volume Eos (EOS) was the fourth-most traded cryptocurrency of the past month, posting a 30-day volume of $25.3 billion – the strongest since June. EOS saw a slight gain in month-overmonth trade activity, gaining 4.5% over November’s 24.2 billion. Ripple (XRP) was among the few leading altcoin markets to see a reduction in monthly trade activity during December, with nearly $17.3 billion worth of XRP changing hands. Despite volume dropping 21% month-over-month, December produced the secondstrongest 30-day volume for XRP pairings of the second half of 2018. Litecoin (LTC) has held its position as the sixth-ranked cryptocurrency by monthly volume, producing $13.2 billion worth of trade during December. LTC saw a slight gain over November’s $13 billion, making December the strongest month of trade for the latter half of the year.BCH and ETC See Recession in Monthly Volume Bitcoin Cash (BCH), which was the seventh-most traded cryptocurrency of the past month, posted its secondweakest monthly volume for 2018 during December with $9.87 billion in trade. 30-day volume fell by 38% when compared with November’s $13.6 billion, pushing BCH to its lowest rank by monthly volume for 2018. December saw Qtum (QTUM) rank eighth by 30-day volume, placing it in the top 10 for the first time since June. QTUM pairing generated approximately $4.4 billion worth of trade for the second consecutive month during December. Ethereum Classic (ETC) was the ninth-most traded cryptocurrency of December, comprising its weakest ranking since May.

ETC pairings produced roughly $4.23, down 20% from November’s $5.27 billion. Dash Holds Position in Top 10 Dash (DASH) closed the month as the 10th-ranked cryptocurrency by 30-day volume, placing in the top 10 for the entire second half of 2018. Dash produced $4.09 billion in trade during December, a 21% decline month-over-month. Zcash (ZEC) ascended two ranks by monthly volume, placing 11th with $3.78 billion worth of ZEC changing hands in the last 30 days. Despite moving up the rankings, total trade activity for ZEC pairings dropped by 7.5% Bitcoin SV (BSV) pairing produced $3.74 billion worth of trade during December, moving it from 14th to 12th by 30-day volume. BS saw a 14.5% increase in trade activity when compared with November’s $3.27 billion. NEO, XLM and TRX See Increase in Trade ActivityDecember saw Neo (NEO) comprise the 13th most-traded cryptocurrency following two consecutive months of ranking in the top 10. $3.73 billion worth of NEO changed hands this past month, a 33% drop from last month’s $5.57 billion. Stellar (XLM) saw a significant increase in trade activity during December, moving up one position to rank as the 14th-most traded cryptocurrency. $3.29 worth of XLM was traded during the last 30 days, the strongest month of trade for the second half of 2018 and a 20% increase over November’s $2.74 billion. Tron (TRX) pairings produced $2.97 billion in trade this past month, ranking it as the 15thmost traded cryptocurrency. TRX saw a roughly 23% gain in 30-day volume when compared with last month’s $2.42 billion. Stablecoins Increasingly Crowd Volume Leaderboard Pairings for Ck Usd (CKUSD), a stablecoin traded exclusively on Allcoin and Bcex, produced $2.81 billion in volume during December. CKUSD ranked as the 16th-most traded crypto asset for December, falling five places after posting a 37% reduction in the 30-day volume. Paxos standard token (PAX) ranked 17th by monthly volume during December, producing $2.03 billion in trade over the last 30 days. PAX posted an approximately 32% gain in trade activity month-over-month. Trueusd (TUSD) retained its position as the 18th-most traded crypto asset during December, with TUSD pairing generating $1.44 billion in trade. TUSD trade activity increased by roughly 45% when compared with November’s $995.5 million. BIT-Z token (BZ), an in-house token traded on Bit-Z exchange, ranked among most traded cryptocurrencies for the first time during December, placing 19th with a 30-day volume of $1.02 billion.

  Tue, January 1, 2019 Read Full Article

The Daily: Best Selling Authors Introduce Bitcoin to Followers

Tony Robbins Explains Bitcoin to His Followers Tony Robbins is a popular motivational speaker who published four best-selling self-help books. He recently sent out a link to an article on his website to his over three million followers on Twitter promising to explain, “What the heck is bitcoin, and how does it work?”. The article, which was written by Team Tony back when the price of BTC was at $9979, introduces cryptocurrency as a brand new concept. It uses simple language rather than insider jargon to make the somewhat complex subject accessible to a boarder audience. “Bitcoin is decentralized,” the article explains. “No single bank, government, company or individual owns the network or has control over it. This means that your accounts can never be frozen, a government cannot devalue the currency, it can be used in every country, and, more ominously, because of the anonymous nature of bitcoin, the technically savvy can avoid taxation and use bitcoin as payment for any kind of illegal good or service.”Jordan Peterson Goes Further Down the Rabbit HoleJordan B. Peterson is a clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Toronto whose last book sold around 2 million copies around the world during 2018. He recently became alarmed about the power Patreon has over many public figures on Youtube who depend on it for securing their livelihoods after the crowdfunding platform banned without warning a video creator with over 800,000 subscribers. Peterson, who has a following of over 1.7 million subscribers on Youtube himself, begun looking for an alternative to Patreonand for now simply added a BTC address for donations on his site. “Time magazine praises Bitcoin as a potential bastion of freedom,” Peterson twitted, linking to an article by a human rights activist that explains how cryptocurrency can help people retake control of their lives from oppressive governments. “Further down the rabbit hole,” Peterson later added. “Why are MC/Visa/PayPal/Patreon transforming themselves into censors? They have decided to fight ‘hate speech.’ But, the crucial question–the Achilles heel–remains: who defines hate? Answer: those to whom you would least want to grant such power.”

  Tue, January 1, 2019 Read Full Article

Report: Indian Government Updates Progress on Crypto Regulation

No Specific Timeline The Indian Ministry of Finance has reportedly answered some questions regarding cryptocurrencies asked by Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s bicameral parliament. A document circulating on social media details five questions as well as their answers by Shri Pon Radhakrishnan, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance. According to the document, the questions were to be answered on Dec. 28. One of the questions concerns the composition of the panel established to draft crypto regulations, its recommendations, and “the timeline for the expected release of the regulation,” the document reads. The minister explained that the government has constituted an inter-ministerial committee “under the chairmanship of Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, with representatives from concerned departments to study all aspects of cryptocurrencies and crypto-assets including bitcoin.” The committee includes representation from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Securities and Exchange Board of India, and the Central Board of Direct Taxes. The answer to this question reads: This document surfaced after the media reported on the panel recommending a ban on crypto transactions and another report claiming that there were recommendations to legalizecryptocurrencies with strong riders. Both cited anonymous sources.National Crypto and Licensing In response to the question of legality, the minister wrote, “The government has not recognised cryptocurrencies as legal tender. The issue of permitting trading in cryptocurrencies is currently under examination by an interministerial committee.” The government also denied keeping track of the value of cryptocurrencies traded by Indian nationals within the country. Regarding licensing or authorizing any entities or businesses to deal with bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, the minister confirmed: Lastly, the minister also revealed that the committee “is examining all issues, including the pros and cons of the introduction of an official digital currency in India.”

  Tue, January 1, 2019 Read Full Article

Rick Falkvinge: Imminent Financial Crisis Perfect Opportunity to Convert th...

“Storm Clouds Building” A global financial crisis is imminent – and we’re not prepared, experts have warned. The deputy head of the International Monetary Fund, David Lipton, said in December that he sees “storm clouds building” and fears “the work on crisis prevention is incomplete.” While Janet Yellen, the former chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, has said the loss of authority by banking regulators and a move toward deregulation are also warning signs of another economic disaster. A sustained trade war between the U.S. and China could damage the global economy, it has been warned, and the level of global debt has reached record levels. Combined with the risk of leveraged loans and a lack of tools available to deal with a future crisis, it would seem the warning signs are everywhere. But what would this mean for the crypto-world? Could a crash do the crypto-market any good – as has been seen in Venezuela – or could it see people trying to cash out as quickly by selling their digital assets at the highest possible price? Make Or Break Opportunity The founder of Sweden’s libertarian Pirate Party, Rick Falkvinge, told that not only is a future financial crisis on the horizon, it will be the “make or break” opportunity to convert the masses to using cryptocurrency. “It’s like watching a mountainside full of wet snow, you can’t tell what’s going to set off the avalanche but you know for sure the avalanche is coming,” he said of the current warning signs. “Since august 15, 1971 [the date of the Nixon shock] the bubble has been inflating. The situation is what we call metastable, it’s kind of like when we have one of the spinning tops. It stays stable for a little while but it can’t stay stable forever.” But Mr. Falkvinge, a proponent of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and an evangelist for digital rights, went on to say that the future crash will be the ultimate opportunity to convert the massesto cryptocurrency. And the crypto world would have to prove that digital currency is of use and a better option than fiat, Mr. Falkvinge added. “We will have to make the case,” he said. “We have to provide the value for it to be a better offering. At the end of the day it’s got to deliver. That’s the point I’m coming to full circle here. At the end of the day a crunch – credit crunch, stock market crunch, housing market crunch – is when we really have an excellent shot at introducing the world to crypto and using it to break free of this nickel-anddiming that’s so prevalent in existing markets.” He added: “We have to make the case. We have to provide the value for it to be a better offering. That’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and it’s not coming back. That’s the make or break.”

  Tue, January 1, 2019 Read Full Article

Embracing Utility in 2019: Unreliable Crypto Networks Will Lose to Hyperbit...

Yellow Vested Gilets Jaunes and Bitcoin 10 years ago Satoshi Nakamoto released a very profound technological innovation that gave global users the chance to embrace economic freedom, no matter where they resided in the world. For decades, traditional markets and the global economy have been manipulated by the world’s banking cartels, which continues to exacerbate growing debt and runaway inflation. The people hurting from these financial crimes are citizens living in countries suffering from hyperinflation like Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, and Turkey. Moreover, the nation state’s central banks and bureaucrats in every country have been conspirators to some of the worst financial crimes history has ever recorded. Cryptocurrencies are the perfect tools of freedom for certain groups, individuals, and global movements. In France, many citizens recently took to the streets in yellow vests (some of which read “Buy Bitcoin”) in order to protest the government and banking system. The yellow vest movement is a grassroots protest that began demonstrations on Nov. 17 because of obscene taxes, rising fuel prices, and higher costs of living. Paris is notorious for its revolutionary uprisings and the French Gilets Jaunes have scared elite members of the Republic once again. Emmanuel Macron’s tax freeze did not appease the people and the mounting frustration has remained. Instead of spurring arrests and burning cars, the yellow vest movement could use a less dangerous form of protest and actually hit the banks where it hurts. For instance, on December 9, the Bitcoin proponent and show host Max Keiser explained on Twitter that the protesters could induce a real French banking crisis by withdrawing funds and depositing them into bitcoin.

“My research indicates a 20 percent deposit withdrawal will trigger an unsustainable chain reaction resulting in a severe French bank crisis,” Keiser stated. “If every French person converted 20 percent of their bank deposits into bitcoin, French banks would collapse and a lot of bloodshed could be avoided.”‘Bitcoin Is the Real Occupy’ The French are not the only ones feeling the oppression of devalued currencies and failing economies that have been manipulated by the central banking cartel and the ‘elected’oligarchy. Seven years ago, a similar uprising in New York City’s Zuccotti Park got widespread attention, and these protestors dubbed themselves the Occupy Wall Street movement. Like the yellow vest movement, occupiers were pissed off about the financial inequalities and hoped the protests would enlighten people regarding social and economic injustices worldwide. Occupy was a big movement that managed to cover 951 cities across 82 countries worldwide. However, it also showed the world the massive power of the financial elite’s police state. The movement was quickly forgotten after tent cities were bulldozed and protesters pepper-sprayed on television. The massive amount of protestors could have actually demonstrated a deep financial blow to the 1 percent and the fascist bureaucrats. In fact, occupiers can still vacate Wall Streetwith a cryptocurrency that’s prepared for mass adoption. In December of 2017, the Wikileaks founder and author Julian Assange explained to his Twitter followers an alternative currency was the best way to circumvent the status quo. At the time Assange stated: Reliable Permissionless Settlement Cryptocurrencies need to grasp the attention of not only yellow vest types and occupiers, but also ordinary citizens living in countries that suffer from hyperinflation. In countries like Venezuela, accessibility is key for people who need a tool that shelters them from economic hardships. We all know there are many other countries in dire straits and billions of unbanked people throughout the globe. The problem as it stands is that when one of these large groups of protestors or a whole country of unbanked citizens flocks to a blockchain solution, if it is not ready to be reliable, it will not be sustainable. At the moment, there’s a wide variety of cryptocurrencies that provide a permissionless way to transact and offer some form of censorship-resistance for a small fee.

Whether maximalists like it or not, these networks exist by providing a voluntary exchange in a manner unlike the traditional fiat system. Now, some form of hyperbitcoinization could very well happen if the decentralized currency dominates fiat, like Daniel Krawisz described in 2014. But after 10 years, that day is not here and the free market has yet to decide what decentralized coin will win or rule them all. The cryptocurrency that will be likely chosen by free market participants will provide low transaction fees in contrast to the fees back in December 2017 on the BTC network. One lesson history always teaches is that reliability should never be taken for granted.If two thirds of the world cannot utilize the expensive fees on a blockchain network that provides permissionless settlement they will find another blockchain that will. After 10 years of spreading the gospel of bitcoin to the masses with an absolutely wretched UX, to think we will introduce another even less inviting UX like Lightning Network is absolutely absurd. The magnitude of the current network effect is already strong and it is not just with BTC. Ordinary people are learning about private keys and sending funds to alphanumeric addresses from a wide variety of blockchain systems in which the process is very much the same. Bitcoin cannot be the choice of the Sixth Republic of France, or for occupiers wanting to send a blow to the financial system if only certain users can afford the fees. Individuals will recognize an unfair system if it works like a Ponzi. If crypto tribalists think a person from Sierra Leone is going to use an unreliable network with sporadic fees that

  Tue, January 1, 2019 Read Full Article

Chatter Report: Troutner Proposes Stablecoin on BCH, Sztorc: Austrian Econo...

Building an Algorithmic Stablecoin on BCH Recently CEO Andreas Brekken took to crypto Twitter to wish everyone a happy new year. In his tweet, Brekken casually mentioned algorithmic stablecoins, an idea that senior developer Chris Troutner picked up on.Troutner queried Brekken for alternatives to the DAI, but the latter was not familiar with the field. Brekken then explained that he was optimistic about the technology, even though many academics and maximalists don’t believe algorithmic stablecoins are possible. In response, Troutner called for the BCH community to bring DAI’s algorithmic technology onto BCH. He suggested using the Wormhole JavaScript SDK at to create an ERC20 token on the BCH blockchain. Instead of ETH, BCH would serve as a collateral asset. Even lead developer of Bitcoin ABC Amaury Sechet jumped into the thread, as he was positive on the idea.Bitcoin More Similar to Visa Than Gold Recently, CTO of Cointext Vin Armani had a debate with his followers on what the catalyst for Bitcoin mass adoption would be. Armani argued that those who stand to gain financially from bitcoin usage are the ones most likely to increase Bitcoin adoption.Not everyone responded well to Armani’s theory, as commentator Painted Frog argued that Bitcoin is intrinsically valuable like gold. Since society didn’t need to be convinced to use gold in the past, Bitcoin like gold, will eventually be used everywhere. Armani responded by explaining that Bitcoin is more similar to Visa because both are systems and networks. On the other hand, gold is simply a shiny rock and an inert element.The Importance of Austrian Economics In Bitcoin Austrian economics has always been a huge part of the Bitcoin community, and the growing popularity of Bitcoin has sparked a revived interest in Austrian economics. Thiswas pointed out by the President of the Nakamoto Institute Michael Goldstein on social media. Some like cryptocurrency pundit Murad Mahmudov agreed with Goldstein and tweeted that cryptocurrency community members who understand Austrian economics have an edge over those who don’t.However, director of research at Tierion Paul Sztorc and bitcoin pundit Nic Carter both argued that the importance of Austrian economics is highly overstated in the cryptocurrency space. While Carter confessed that he had never read any books on Austrian economics, Sztorc explained that he was very familiar with the Austrian school of thought.Despite a thorough understanding of Austrian Economics, Sztorc insists that only a brief understanding of how the government prints away purchasing power, also known as inflation tax, is enough to understand Bitcoin.

  Mon, December 31, 2018 Read Full Article

Two Mining Companies Among Georgia’s Major Electricity Consumers

Bitcoin Miners Buy Electricity on Wholesale Market Georgia is among several jurisdictions in the post-Soviet space that have been attracting crypto miners with lax regulations and relatively low operating costs, including the price of electricity which is a major expense in the business of minting digital coins. Reports earlier this year have indicated that the country ranks second only to China in terms of mining profitability. According to Eurostat, in the first half of 2018 the average electricity price for Georgian households was just under €0.07 per kWh (~$0.08) and less than €0.05 per kWh (~$0.06) for non-household consumers. Two Georgian mining companies – Geo Service and BFDS – have now been included in a list of five largest consumers of electricity along with the metallurgical enterprise Georgian Manganese, the utility company Georgian Water and Power (GWP) and Kutaisi Investments. What’s more, the crypto businesses are leading the group mentioned in a report about Georgia’s projected electric power balance for 2019, Business Gruzia reported.According to government data, the two mining companies have used a total of 55.6 million kWh in the month of November. And for a period of seven months, Geo Service has consumed almost 108 million kWh, while BFDC Georgia, a company owned by the mining hardware manufacturer Bitfury, used another 339 million kWh. All the five companies operate energy-intensive facilities. And in Georgia, such enterprises purchase the electricity they need on a separate, wholesale market and directly from producers and importers. That allows them to bypass the distribution utilities which charge additional fees. According to Georgia Today, these intermediaries will raise the tariffs for other groups of consumers in January, after approval from the Georgian National Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission. Georgia to Consume Over 14 Billion kWh in 2019 According to the electric power balance report, the electricity consumption of the whole country during the next year is expected to reach 14.2 billion kWh. The large consumers which buy their electricity directly from the producers, and not from the utilities Telasi (2.9 billion kWh) and Energo Pro (6.59 billion kWh), will need a total of 2.7 billion kWh. The forecast published by the Sarke news agency shows that In 2019 Georgia’s own electricity generation capacities will produce up to 12.7 billion kWh, while the imported electricity will amount to 2.8 billion kWh. The country is heavily reliant on its hydroelectric power stations which will generate around 10.3 billion kWh, with thermal power stations projected to produce 2.3 billion kWh and the Kartli wind park – 86 million kWh.

  Mon, December 31, 2018 Read Full Article

The Daily: Arguing Over Augur, Regulated Stablecoins Attract Flak

Regulated Stablecoins Attract Ire Regulated stablecoins such as USDC, PAX, and GUSD have become increasingly popular through the latter half of 2018. These dollar-pegged coins, which are promoted as a more clearly audited take on tether (USDT), require corresponding fiat deposits for each token in circulation. One trader has ran into trouble, however, when trying to redeem his PAX tokens for fiat currency, with the story provoking mixed reactions from the crypto community. CCN first reported on the trader, who was asked a plethora of questions by Paxos, the issuer of the PAX stablecoin, when cashing out. While such companies are obliged to perform compliance checks, the scope and depth of the questions posed has taken many observers by surprise. Among other things, Paxos sought to determine the owners of the PAX that were being redeemed as well as information about the individual’s trading strategy. As crypto lawyer Stephen Palley pointed out, though, the fact that numerous transactions were set to cash out just under $10,000, in a bid to escape enhanced scrutiny, may have ironically been what triggered Paxos’ interest. Palley @stephendpalleyRegardless of the merits of Paxos’ investigation into the anonymous trader, the incident has strengthened the case for fully decentralized stablecoins such as dai, which is collateralized against other crypto assets rather than being backed by fiat deposits. Crowd Wisdom Not as Wise as First Predicted Augur’s crowdsourced prediction market has run into fresh controversy, this time over the veracity of one of its wagers. The decentralized marketplace, which launched to great fanfare earlier this year, utilizes so-called crowd power to enable bettors to reach consensus on the likelihood of a prediction coming to pass. Augur has just paid out on a wagerthat queried how many hurricanes would strike the U.S. this year.The market settled the outcome based on there being two hurricanes that made landfall on American soil, but there’s just one problem – the correct answer is three. While crowd consensus has been shown to be an accurate arbiter, the incorrect resolution of this particular prediction, which should have been set at three to accommodate Hurricane Olivia reaching Hawaii, shows that crowds, like the individuals who comprise them, are still fallible. With only 0.62 ETH resting on the outcome of the hurricane prediction, its errant resolution has at least caused little financial damage. A Wild Patreon Alternative Appears Following a year of constant censorship by dominant web platforms, beleaguered users have begun seeking out alternatives that aren’t so hasty to throw down the banhammer. In the last two days, we’ve reported on a brace of bitcoin-based Patreon alternatives that have appeared – Tallycoin and Now there’s a third. Librepatron, backed by BTC Pay server, enables anyone to set up a Patreon-like service with payments collected in BTC. “Most Patreon alternatives don’t implement the full Patreon feature set,” explained developer Jeff Vandrew. “This seeks to change that.”

  Mon, December 31, 2018 Read Full Article

Iran Labels Telegram’s Coin a Threat to National Security

‘Disruption to the National Economy’ Authorities in Iran would interpret any cooperation with Telegram on the issuing of their crypto as “an action against the national security” of the Islamic Republic. That’s according to a recent statement by Javad Javidnia, secretary of the country’s Criminal Content Definition Task Force. Javidnia emphasized that instances of providing such support “will be dealt with as a disruption to the national economy.” Quoted by the Fars news agency on Sunday and later by the English-language newspaper Tehran Times, the official also stated: Telegram has been developing its Telegram Open Network (TON) in order to provide its customers with a digital payments system. All Telegram users will get a TON wallet and the platform’s developers hope to make Gram the “world’s most adopted cryptocurrency.” The company planned an initial coin offering for its Gram token earlier this year but the ICO was canceled after Telegram reportedly raised $1.7 billion from private investors. The website confirms that and currently warns investors they have 31 days left before the refund windows is closed. The issued refunds now amount to over 97.7 percent of the raised total. Banning the MessengerThis past spring, the operator of the messaging service, a company founded by famous Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov, revealed that Telegram had over 200 million monthly active users around the world. The app has become extremely popular in the global crypto community as well as in jurisdictions with extensive internet censorship regimes. The messenger has been blocked already in the People’s Republic of China. Authorities in the Russian Federation have been trying to restrict access to its platform for months this year, after Telegram refused to hand over its encryption keys to the Federal Security Service (FSB).

Moscow’s attempts to prevent Russians from using Telegram have been largely unsuccessful. In fact, the number of its users in the country has grown to over 3.4 million since the Russian telecom watchdog Roskomnadzor started its offensive. Russianlanguage channels have also significantly increasedtheir membership. The instant messaging app with Russian roots gained much more popularity in Iran, where it is believed to have 50 million users, according to a BBC report. However, in April the Iranian judiciary banned Telegram “to protect national security.” The measure was imposed after mass anti-government protests in January over the deteriorating socio-economic conditions in the country. Officials claimed the rallies had been organized in Telegram chats. Iran and Cryptocurrencies The attitude of the Islamic Republic towards cryptocurrencies has changed over time, especially after the Trump administration pulled out of the nuclear deal and reintroduced U.S. sanctions, which among other restrictions limited Iran’s access to the dollar. That’s not to say that Tehran has become really positive about decentralized cryptos such as Bitcoin but, for instance, the country took steps to recognizemining as an industry and allow the imports of mining equipmentIran has also been working to issue a national cryptocurrency and according to recent reports, the organizations behind the project have already finalized its development. Just recently, a new bill aimed at curbing Iran’s efforts to create a sovereign coin and use it to circumvent sanctions was introduced in the Congress in Washington. The draft legislation bans U.S. citizens and companies from all transactions and dealings in Iranian digital currency and introduces new sanctions against foreign nationals and organizations supporting its development.

  Mon, December 31, 2018 Read Full Article

67 Crypto Companies Probed by UK Regulator

More Crypto Companies Under Investigation The U.K.’s FCA has released new information regarding its investigations into crypto businesses to The Telegraph in response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request. The publication reported on Saturday that the FCA revealed that “as of Nov. 12 it had opened inquiries into 67 firms involved in cryptocurrency businesses.” The Financial Times elaborated: Out of 67 inquiries, 49 have been closed. The FCA issued consumer alerts for 39 firms. “Alerts are issued by the regulator when it is concerned a company is operating without authorisation, and is a suspected scam,” the publication described. The other 10 inquiries were closed because the companies involved were either warned that they may need authorization to continue their activities or there was not enough evidence to proceed with the investigation. The regulator declined to name the companies under investigation. In May, the FCA investigated 24 crypto firms. In November, The Telegraph reported that the number of unauthorized crypto companies the regulator suspected of operating in the financial services industry jumped to 50, citing information from a different FOI request. In addition, the regulator has received seven whistle-blowing reports from employees of crypto businesses this year, whereas it did not receive any in the previous three years.

Regulating the UK Crypto Industry While cryptocurrency transactions are currently not regulated in the U.K., companies that sell regulated investments with cryptocurrencies as their underlying assets may need approval from the FCA. However, “it is currently unclear in some instances whether certain assets fall within the scope,” the news outlet noted. Following a report by the Treasury Committee published in September stating that “‘Wild West’ crypto-assets should be regulated,” the government earlier this month said that it is ready to give the FCA power to oversee the cryptocurrency industry. The authority will launch a consultation early next year to determine how the crypto market should be regulated. John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, explained that the government will discuss whether crypto assets that “have comparable features to specified investments but that fall outside the current perimeter” should be regulated, the news outlet quoted him as saying. Glen further detailed: Furthermore, the FCA said in October that it is considering banning the sale of crypto derivatives. In November, reported that the regulator indicated that a “comprehensive response” to the illicit adoption of crypto assets is being planned. Subject to the outcome of this

  Mon, December 31, 2018 Read Full Article

Bakkt Completes First Round of Funding With $182.5 Million

Bakkt Raises $182.5 MillionBakkt, the digital assets subsidiary of the parent of the New York Stock Exchange?, ?Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), has announced it’s completed a first round of funding. The investors include Boston Consulting Group, CMT Digital, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Goldfinch Partners, Alan Howard, Horizons Ventures, Intercontinental Exchange, Microsoft’s venture capital arm, M12, Pantera Capital, Payu, the fintech arm of Naspers, and Protocol Ventures.“I am pleased to confirm that we have completed our first round of funding of $182.5 million from 12 partners and investors who, like us, believe in the future of digital assets,” stated Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffle. “Our work today is centered on driving institutional access for digital assets, along with merchant and consumer uses, and we’re already expanding on this vision, collaborating with great companies like Starbucks in these efforts.”

Getting the Green Light in 2019 Back in October, Intercontinental Exchange announced that the Bakkt Bitcoin Daily Futures Contract would start trading on Dec. 12, 2018. This has not happened, and the date has been pushed back to Jan. 24, 2019. Today, ICE seems to have acknowledged this target date won’t be met again, as it announced it now “expects to provide an updated launch timeline in early 2019.” The Bakkt team has reportedly been working closely with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to get the needed approval.“At an industry level, regulatory approval for physically delivered and warehoused bitcoin will establish and amplify the voice of U.S. authorities as the digital asset market evolves globally. We have filed our applications and the timing for approval is now based on the regulatory review process,” explained Loeffler. “Clearing firms and customers have continued to join us as we work toward CFTC approval. We made great progress in December, and we’ll continue to onboard customers as we await the ‘green light.’”

  Mon, December 31, 2018 Read Full Article

Bitcoin History Part 7: The First Major Hack

No One Remembers the First Major Bitcoin Hack Certain hacks have gone down in Bitcoin history on account of their magnitude and notoriety. Exchanges such as Mt. Gox and Coincheck are synonymous today with the record-breaking sums stolen from them, which ran into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Others, such as Bitstamp and Bitfinex, have suffered their own well-document heists, the memories of which still burn bright. The first major hack in Bitcoin’s history, however, occurred long before Bitfinex was a thing, and indeed long before most people had even heard of Bitcoin. On June 13, 2011, Bitcointalk forum user “allinvain” posted a frantic message titled “I just got hacked.” In it, he wrote: “I am totally devastated today. I just woke up to see a very large chunk of my bitcoin balance gone.” He went on to explain: “The theft occurred right after someone broke into my slush’s pool account. In a moment of sheer stupidity I did not think that maybe my whole system was compromised. I merely thought that someone brute forced my slush’s pool password.” 25,000 BTC Gone in an Instant Blockchain records attest to the veracity of allinvain’s claim, with the majority of the stolen coins extracted in 50 BTC increments, showing that they had been minted as coinbase rewards. The 25K BTC stolen was worth $480,000 at the time, a small fortune for a miner, even by 2011’s standards. Today, that haul of coins would be worth $94 million. Monitoring the movement of the stolen coins in the wake of the hack proved difficult because the only block explorer available at the time kept crashing.It appears that the thief sent the stolen BTC over to Mt. Gox to try and cash out. Anticipating the slippage of 25,000 BTC being dumped in 2011’s illiquid market, allinvain wrote: “It would suck if bitcoin price tanked because of me. God, that would be double worse for me and for everyone else.

” Whoever allinvain’s hacker may have been, he was certainly prolific. “Same hacker got to my mtgox account, he converted the USD i had to bitcoins and transferred them to the same address,” complained another forum user. Many of the opsec suggestions that forum users submitted to allinvain still hold true today. “One thing that I would advise for anyone with a large amount of BTC  is to split it up across multiple wallets, the majority of them completely offline and stored in physically secure locations,” read one recommendation. History Repeats “I’m an idiot for keeping a wallet.dat file with so much money on my day to day machine – especially one running windows,” rued allinvain. “This story is going to happen over and over. I guarantee that,” predicted one forum user. They were right. While the sophistication of bitcoin wallets has increased over the years, so has that of the hackers intent on plundering them. Techniques such as social engineering and SIM swapping, which weren’t widely used attack vectors in Bitcoin’s early days, have now become the norm. Though allinvain would have had no way of knowing it at the time, for just $2,500, he could have rebought enough BTC to recoup his half a million dollar loss today, based on current prices. Victims of modern-day hacks can take solace from knowing that a simple buy and hold strategy has been empirically shown to restore the dollar value of even the most devastating of bitcoin hacks.

  Mon, December 31, 2018 Read Full Article