Tag Archives: Aeon

Cryptocurrency Predictions From Experts?

Ball


Expertise

Is anyone really — I mean really, really, really — an expert when it comes to cryptocurrency? Even the experts don’t agree what cryptocurrency means. Is it a tool? A convenient form of functional money — like a check with drawing rights. But rights to what?

This aside, what are the latest prognostications from experts? Try these:

  • Balaji Srinivasan, CEO of 21.co
  • Peter Smith, CEO of Blockchain
  • Kathleen Breitman, CEO of Tezos

Bitcoin, the Master

Like all “experts” in this relatively new field, the implication is that bitcoin and Ethereum have staying power is common-speak. A five to ten year future window of opportunity seems to be the consensus — even given the current problems associated with bitcoin. That belief — almost a religion — is nothing new. It is going to make these experts look like digital noobs, if on July 31, 2017 or even down the road a piece,  bitcoin forks anyway. By then I’m sure they will have edited their theories.

There can be only one — or something like that…

New cryptocurrencies will come along and become successful. Some currently unheard of technology could dominate the market. Again, this seems obvious. That’s why we have a thing called progress. Can we be less obtuse here and stop pandering to noob-ville.

Rich Man, Poor Man, Fraud Man?

People will become rich and poor as new cryptocurrencies enter this space. As a result of the people who lose money due to fraudulent enterprises, more regulation seems to be in the offing.

No kidding?

In fact, Ripple may be implying that markets are heavily regulated for a reason. This is yet another eyebrow raiser. Ripple went to the dark side early in the game and is no doubt leveraging its position against the “free” cryptocurrencies as they themselves struggle to become a meaningful player in the cryptosphere. One wonders if they will soon apply for monopolistic benefits. Perhaps become one with “Fedcoin,” in the United States of America.

The Cashless Prison

Cryptocurrency must not be private? Regulation will eventually take over.

The critical component required by governments is ultimately, a cashless system whereby — allegedly — everyone can be more secure. The problem is, one has no privacy in this scenario, no right to life, liberty and, in the end, no private property — even digital property. How can one be even remotely free if every personal transaction is cataloged by the state, controlled by bureaucrats and dictated by the political wind?

Benevolent Big Brothers

Speculation in cryptocurrencies will lessen as certain altcoins become more stable. That bitcoins are not just for drugs.

Right. Got it.

This bit of speculation is a bit disingenuous. In fact, it’s just a set up. Stated to entice the under-educated. The noobs. To hint again, that appropriate rules to unmask the users of cryptocurrencies will magically enable a virtual world-utilization of cryptocurrencies, especially when new “killer apps” come online. All will be well, so long as we obey.

Conversely, it can be argued that the instability of cryptocurrencies are in part, caused by the states themselves. Take China for example. That bastion of corruption on one hand implies that bitcoin miners will be heavily regulated and on the other, they are allowed to profit. Do you hear “payoff?”

Since China purportedly manages most of the bitcoin blockchain, is it any wonder that it bitcoin is inherently unstable? And we all see what happens when bitcoin catches a cold — almost all other relevant cryptocurrencies nosedive.

In support of the move away from state controlled cryptocurrency, things like Bytecoin, Monero and Aeon were born — and many others — in an ongoing attempt to remind the minders that well, all of the people have not rolled over and played dead — just yet.

The Silly Con

Silicon Valley will become a direct competitor to Wall Street. This seems straightforward. As computer technology advances, its underlying information infrastructure will continue lubricate the wheels of finance. All of the major trading floors, worldwide are already supported by the latest Fintech. But the assumption here is much deeper. That the technology itself will make Wall Street, for all practical purposes, passé.

Imagine that for a moment. Not that all the brokers and lawyers would be replaced by smart contracts, but that the wheels of finance themselves are replaced with cryptocurrency. Where paper money, fiat currency, the Federal Reserve, are at once, relics of a bygone age.

Do you take VISA?

Competition will force the old guard — say MasterCard and Visa — to step up. In other words, if bitcoin or any cryptocurrency, can one day compete with the current regulated entities then and only then, would the need arise for the old guard to “improve.” That or be ushered out.

The only problem is, bitcoin is currently too slow to compete with the current credit based entities, except where it comes to moving large amounts of money across borders cheaply. A point that is often ignored. They don’t want to remind anyone that there are inexpensive ways to do big business.

Micro-transactions are all the rage today — supposedly — but when it comes down to the “golden” tacks, if one can move 200,000,000 dollars in ten minutes or less, across 50 borders, without taxes or banking fees, well, who needs bitcoin “micro?” We have Iota for that anyway and they are cheaper — better at the small stuff. Maybe better at all the crypto stuff.

Quantum Query

One should remember that technology is advancing. Governments worldwide are working on systems — quantum computers — which, if true, can crack cryptocurrency addresses — take your funds — in about a minute. It might therefore behoove one, if cryptocurrency seems a lucrative investment, to study the next generation of altcoins which are resistant or even immune to the quantum “state” hackers. Maybe Iota, but there are others.

This being said, if governments cannot get what they want, if they cannot control the newest generations of non-state currencies, they would need to make them irrelevant by installing a better form of money, perhaps by privatizing the banking industry altogether or by controlling the internet, radio waves, WiFi etc. At last resort, Big Brother would require draconian laws, like those in North Korea, and the dismantling of technology altogether.

Absent a total crackdown against cryptocurrency, there are other more curious ways to thwart the ever growing popularity of the expanding cryptosphere: government sponsored hacks, thefts, 51% attacks and so on.

It is interesting of late, how many cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets, etc., are being hacked. The newest one today? Veritaseum, to the tune of eight million dollars.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Morgan Stanley…bitcoin…a poster child for speculation

It’s fashionable, right now, to bash Fintech — especially bitcoin. So get your blockchains while they are hot!

This is the latest on the banking/investment front. When bitcoin (BTC) loses value, the traditional financiers let it be known that it just will not work and, in all honesty, they might be right — in the long term. But so too will the US dollar devalue — probably sooner than we think — unless a rabbit is pulled from the proverbial hat, in the short term.

Bitcoin may be the reigning prima donna of the crypto market but Morgan Stanley is not impressed.

Source: Morgan Stanley thinks bitcoin is nothing more than a poster child for speculation – MarketWatch

In a nutshell, the Marketwatch article, by Reporter Sue Chang, at first tells us that bitcoin has soared by over 250% in the last year. “Great!” we say, but then she drops the bomb. She cites Morgan Stanley’s analysts and James Faucette in particular. Bitcoin is on a wild ride and it’s probably not a legitimate currency we learn. I guess that all depends upon how one defines legitimate, because nearly anything can be a currency — or as I have indicated in the past — “functional money.”

On the other hand and we need to face the music. There is, according to Faucette, virtually no merchant acceptance. Again, virtually is another one of those weasel words. And we are so surprised. Aren’t you surprised, dear reader?

Sure, I can’t buy a gallon of milk at the corner store with my BTC, but I can buy a TV or a chair or even bike, on Overstock.com. Microsoft, Virgin Galactic, Steam are other well known vendors and the list goes on. So are we really losing vendors? Yeah, probably. Okay then, why?

According to the article, bitcoin does not appeal to retailers — and that is one reason it is not so good. Let’s examine that objection. Why does bitcoin appeal to the country of Japan say, but not the local supermarket in New York City? Is it because we, as a nation are less technologically advanced? Probably not. Is it because the regulations in the United States, the tax laws, the trading laws, the money laundering laws — you name it. The short answer? It certainly puts the kibosh on the whole thing, does it not? Only the big players, such as Coinbase or Subway Sandwiches, with a bevy of lawyers and tax accounts, seem brave enough to wander into that quagmire. On the other hand, the small players and the hidden ones (not all criminals by the way) can also wade into that pond.

Hoarding was another objection. Sure, bitcoin has appreciated. People are holding it, but there is still a lot of BTC available. One can’t simply worry that there will only ever be approximately 21 million BTC’s in circulation. It would be like saying, if we put cash under our mattresses, hoarded large denomination fiat bills, we would somehow make it less usable. The thing is, there’s plenty of cash out there. Too much actually. In a manner, hoarding can serve to increase and stabilize bitcoin values.

The objection to bitcoin’s accelerating costs and slowing transactions time is a legitimate concern, however. We will know, probably within the next 30 to 60 days, if bitcoin will adopt new perimeters allowing for faster confirmations, but the applications — the coding — is still being hashed-out. And there are associated centralization of power risks as well. Only a few developers control the code, but don’t forget, anyone can copy (clone)  the code and “improve” it.

Surprisingly, the apparent objection that bitcoin’s own skyrocketing — I would say its volatility — worth, is somehow a minus, is ludicrous. Speculators are certainly present, but as I have submitted, the fact that regulators stand in bitcoin’s way, is the primary culprit. The Great American Regulatory Wall, against mass adoption — that it the goblin.

Government oversight is needed, they say. And that, my friends, is the big snow-job. It is not required at all. The real reason bitcoin cannot, in this environment, ever be allowed to function unhindered is that it threatens the dollar. It threatens all fiat currencies in existence. That is plain. When a digital currency, not printed into oblivion does that, no debt-based economy can abide it. Even Japan, mired in its eternal economic crises, probably hopes that cryptocurrencies can save their century.

Is bitcoin funny money? That’s another implied objection and it’s an ignorant one at best. If so, then the dollar is funny money. A reserve note that represents a slowly failing — bankrupt system. Most intelligent people know this already. We just have little choice. We are required, by law, to use this debt based system. Is it moral to force people to use a monetary system that has no real value? Even less of a perceived value than bitcoin? That’s a no brainer, right?

Morgan Stanley is the sixth largest bank in the United States. Banks take our fiat dollar deposits and create more fiat dollars — out of thin air. Now I’m not against honest banking services, where money is real — like gold and silver — and where fractional reserves are quaint memories, but to attempt stay the high road in a FED-made swamp? What magic is this? Answer? The emperor is naked.

And finally, we the people also know, us speculators and hoarders alike, that bitcoin could fail. The blockchain tech might fork. China might continue to build BTC mining farms and essentially own the network.  But, my Morgan Stanley late-comers, the Fintech field is just getting started. I’d keep an eye on the Fintech start-ups and the giant Cloud Servers owned not by the banking system, if I were you.

I’d hate to know what they think about Monero or Aeon. Kind of reminds me when the car replaced the horse. Many objected back then. It was certainly a learning curve.

Thanks for reading. Let me know if I bored the hell out of you.

 


Image: Wikimedia

Bytecoin: The DStrange Con?

Money Drain

Money Drain

If you need to boost your customer base, sell more goods — more crypto — what do you do? Hire a “PR” guy, right? Or pretend to hire one. I mean, on the internet one can create any number of what are called “sock puppet” accounts. Additional emails and user names for various social networking websites to make it appear as if many people are behind the scenes — hiding in the deep dark web — working hard to make things happen.

A bit of Bytecoin history that might be fiction is in order to help us understand the Bytecoin outlook. A short re-hash. In any event, in makes for a good story. The personalities in this space are colorful, but think of cardboard cutouts. Think of characters in a book — a book of fiction. Think about keeping your money while you are at it. Even if the Chinese own Bitcoin, maybe you’d better just wait and see.

I have often wondered what it is that has brought me here to the Bytecoin.org doorstep. It’s the mystery of course. The not knowing. It bothers me. And maybe that’s the lure or the pull, if you will. Is it a marketing method? No, I doubt that. I doubt that all of the mystery surrounding Bytecoin is meant to make us feel protected — secure in our monies. Our crypto. No matter how great the code may be, there are simply too many red flags to ignore.

The mystery is what it is. A lack of information which has led to multiple inquires going back since at least 2012. Now ask yourself what kind of people do not want you to obtain information about them? Are they the crypto-saviors or just the opposite? Scammers — criminals — or at the very least unethical developers bent on fast profits and a slow exit?

The point is, when some of us smell a rat or a bunch of them — even if they are living in a palace of fantastic code-cheese (that’s a slight reference to “Cheesus” — a mod on the Bytecoin Forum as well as BitcoinTalk) — well, we investigate. And I may have praised certain aspects of BCN in the past, but now is the season — once again — to hunt. To hunt and to make crypto-enthusiasts aware that scammers are alive and feasting — have been — for years in this Wild West environment. An environment where cheap cryptos entice the buyers, who only later discover that the shear number of BCN coins prevents any giant pumps. And that is just as well, since quick profits are just as easy to come by as quick losses.

Take DStrange. A character. A fiction? Yet another pseudonymous ghost. A Bytecoin promoter — who rarely promotes. You’ll find him listed under the Teto-Team at Bytecoin.org. He is a recent member, allegedly. Meaning he came after the rest of them. If you peruse the Bitcointalk forums you will find a trove of information which dovetails with the Bytecoin developers, going back to 2014. You will find argument after argument, accusations fly — and always the Bytecoin Team loses. DStrange loses. Rias loses. Cheesus loses. They are never able to explain why they — or Bytecoin — chose certain “dark” paths. Why Bytecoin essentially made the lion’s share of the coins for themselves, under optimal conditions.

Why is DStrange so curious, however? Because few people have ever had any contact with the Bytecoin Team. There’s a load of theories and maybe I will explore some in the future, but for now I’d like to focus on DStrange. Apparently, if you have questions, he might help. Maybe Cheesus will too. Praise the Lord! If he is still around.

We can see on the Bytecoin.org website — if true — that DStrange is a public relations guy with a major in Management / Psychology. He has a Master’s Degree in Management, from Erasmus University in Rotterdam — in Europe.  Rotterdam is in the Netherlands, for those who may not know. And all of this is “academic” as they say. Why? Again, DStrange is not likely David Miller — and he probably never attended Erasmus. Naturally, if I’m wrong, please — oh please — correct me. Show me the evidence and the error of my ways; and I will retract these accusatory words.

DStrange recently joined the team in a high action. Besides public relations DStrange develops further Bytecoin applications for business.

This is what Bytecoin.org offers us by way of a short bio — regarding DStrange. We can see that not only is DStrange a public relations guy, but he is also a developer of Bytecoin applications. Again, we must take this on faith. Oh, and ask politely for a single example of an application created by DStrange. Just one.

If we go back to the BitcoinTalk Forum to May 16, 2014, we can find an exchange between DStrange, who is also listed as David Miller, with an email address of Dstrange.m@gmail.com — and the Bytecoin Team. If you check the email address of DStrange on this verification service, you will see that DStrange’s Trust Score is 7.25. By comparison, my Trust Score for my email address (jgshorebird@gmail.com) on the same service, is only 5.5. Maybe it’s because this is not my primary email address.

DStrange’s trust score is much worse on BitcoinTalk, however. User fluffypony (Riccardo Spagni) of Monero fame, has even linked the user rethink-your-strategy’s post detailing the Bytecoin scam. (Warning: the writer is pissed.)

At any rate, DStrange is one of the few people who will actually answer the phone, so to speak. I’ve confirmed that at least he does respond on Reddit. His user name there is DStrangeM — again, if it’s not a sock puppet account.

At this point, if DStrange ever reads this blog, I’d like to ask him to tell me if he lives in the Netherlands (Holland?). It is interesting that ScamAdviser.com gives us a 2% chance that the Bytecoin.org website is in the Netherlands. Is that a result of DStrange’s influence? Or is Bytecoin hidden there?

Smooth (developer at Monero and AEON) — a well known and respected user on the BitcoinTalk Forum and many others — has leveled many allegations against DStrange and other Bytecoin Team members. And against the early code itself. One important factor was addressed on May 17, 2014, as DStrange and others were posting in support of Bytecoin.

Smooth posted:

The “optimizations” are fairly absurd. They are better described as de-un-optimizations. The straightforward implementation of the algorithm is the optimized one, not the other way around. You’d have to go out of your way to make it as slow as it was. Several highly qualified people have commented along these lines already (ignore me, I don’t know what I’m talking about).

If we look at the latest round of de-un-optimizations, most of the history of the bytecoin premine comes down to just 4-8 PCs. Or a somewhat larger number over a shorter period of time. Really, that’s all.

This one post by Smooth (above) is perhaps the most challenging for the Bytecoin team to explain. Why would they “de-un-optimize?” Logically, to grab the lion’s share of BCN early on. Is that a bad thing? I mean it was their baby, right? Now think about that for a moment. If they used the extra money to develop the coin, since the price has surged of late — probably just speculators — then they could have plowed some of it back into R&D, right? Has the money ended up in the Cayman Islands or Panama instead? We don’t know. Why? They don’t talk much and when they do — they do not ever appear to defend themselves from all of the accusations. They have, as Americans put it:

Refused to incriminate themselves in any public way.

And the history of a thing cannot be undone. It has been years, but no reliable information has surfaced about Bytecoin (BCN). It has, in no uncertain terms, staunchly refused to explain all of the inconsistencies related to the launch of Bytecoin — the premine, the apparent falsified White Papers, the assertion that the “blockchain” verifies the launch date — and the list goes on. Until that time, until Bytecoin can remove the stench from it’s hidden launch, I might continue to regurgitate these forgotten memories in an effort to dissuade or at the very least, to make users extremely cautious about BCN.

It’s high time Bytecoin Team. If you have any guts, show us the money.

 


Image: Flickr

Bytecoin Blackout?


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Earlier today it was reported that Bytecoin.org mysteriously went offline. (You can read about it on BitcoinTalk.org here.) As of this writing the site is still down. Here’s what you might get:

An error occurred.

Sorry, the page you are looking for is currently unavailable. Please try again later.

If you are the system administrator of this resource then you should check the error log for details.

Faithfully yours, nginx.

Now this does not necessarily mean that 300 million dollars in BCN will evaporate, but it might end up that way. Especially if news comes out that Bytecoin.org was a complete and utter scam from jump street. Many have warned about this very thing.

And please know that Bytecoin’s Forum is still up. See: https://bytecointalk.org/index.php to verify. However, this is not a very active forum.

Are we about to experience another Alphabay fiasco? It does not appear to be that way — exactly. Unless the Bytecoin Team has raked in enough cash and has decided to abandon ship — which is not sinking. Maybe they are quitting on a high note? If so, the value should fall very soon. Why? Who will tend the software? How will we know when there is a software update? Are they switching to a full wallet based system — a more decentralized approach? If so, then where will newcomers obtain the application software? The wallet? The blockchain?

You can check here to see if the site is up yet: Bytecoin.org

The timing of this outage — this blackout — is curious. It coincides with a massive pump on the order of four million dollars (US). Although, Poloniex has not yet opened BCN (Bytecoin) for deposits/withdrawals — allegedly they are waiting for a solution from Bytecoin. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the BCN trading at Poloniex is “off the chain.” What do they know that we don’t? Is this just another Polo-Pump?

If we back up a bit, some of us might recall that Bytecoin.org took their private forum offline recently and dumped a load of spam. This was shortly after I emailed them about the problem, but I do not know if they conducted the cleaning because of my email.

Strangely, just after my post yesterday about Pacific_Skyline, the main site went offline. Again, that’s probably just a coincidence, right? I mean, did I shame them? Maybe. I’ve been pretty tough on them lately about their odd writing — how it seems foreign-styled. Foreign in the sense that it’s not the American style of writing. Which is okay, but they might need to hire an editor to flesh out some of their extraneous verbiage. Long winded and flowery for sure. That is unusual, in my mind, for “math” types. Maybe it’s a French thing, since their website is allegedly based there. But I doubt it.

Now the Cryptonote.org website is still up. If you recall, Bytecoin is a Cryptonote coin. Run Scamadviser and you should find that this site is listed as “99%” and it “looks safe.” “Looks” is a weasel word. My cat “looks” safe, but he will eat your dog. Cryptonote.org might be located in the Netherlands, but it is hidden, according to the review. The site could just as easily be located in Panama or in the US. There has also been a lot of speculation that Cryptonote.org and Bytecoin.org are operated by the same crew. Should we then expect the CryptoNote.org site to shut down next? According to others, Bytecoin and CryptoNote parted ways some years ago and therefore Bytecoin.org going silent at this juncture, should not cause any troubles on CryptoNote.org.

Since many of the CryptoNote coins are related, I checked the following websites:

Aside from Pebblecoin and Quazarcoin, the above websites are easy to find and active. There are more CryptoNote coins, but they are essentially “dead” coins. In other words, many of the CryptoNote websites are alive and well. This makes me think that we are simply experiencing some kind of upgrade to the Bytecoin.org website. Again, if you will recall — at least for those of us who follow Bytecoin and the CryptoNote coins in general — we were advised about a forthcoming “colored coin” update by the Bytecoin Team about a month ago. We were not advised, however, that the website would blackout for a time. And, this new bit of news was a long time coming. About a year. And…it seemed repetitive. Are we being led by the nose? The long con?

There is no news on the CryptoNote.org website about Bytecoin.org’s current hiatus. There is no recent activity on Github, but I would not expect any if this is just a website upgrade. But I would expect this if the Teto-Team is upgrading BCN. You would think with all of the money flowing into BCN of late, that the TetoTeam can now focus on some serious development. Or maybe a seriously long vacation?

This of course brings up the 80 plus percent Bytecoin premine allegation. These days, with all of the ICO’s about, it does not strike us as odd, that any type of big premine is a big deal. It’s only about our acceptance of the coin — if it works as advertised. And it has always worked for me.

A recent piece on Reddit, if it can be believed, advised of an older exchange with the one of the previous Bytecoin Team members. What I got out of it was that there were about a 1000 or so early miners of BCN and the coin was really released in 2012, but the post did not go into the specifics — nothing about the fudged White Paper dates or the non-existence of a website back then.

If the Redditor in question stumbled upon a truth about Bytecoin, it would seem to imply several things. First, that over a thousand individuals have over 80% of the coins, which means it is not a small group of people and that is probably a good thing. Secondly, that the core Teto-Team may not know each other, personally. Now, take this as you may, but the most successful secret operatives work using the cell theory. They often do not know the organization they work for and only have one other contact — a vague one at that. In the new world of the internet, the developers of cryptocurrencies can work completely — or almost completely — anonymously. They do not need to identify their other team members at all.

Like I’ve mentioned before, this ability to work independently and anonymously, within the international financial environment, makes Bytecoin, if it survives its christening by fire, a force to be reckoned with. No other POW (Proof-of-Work) cryptocurrency on earth has ever accomplished such privacy and independence before; and had such success. (Please correct me if I am wrong.)

There has been much praise for the “coding” as well. Bytecoin is not a *bleep*coin, as it were. There have been recent issues with mining, however. This problem allowed someone or a group of them, to mine extra coins — beyond the perimeters set up in the code. It appears as if the Bytecoin Team has refused to undo these added coins and this stand has probably angered some. In the final analysis, however, when a cryptocurrency invalidates transactions after the fact, which would be required if a blockchain was rolled-back in order to reverse the creation of these extra coins, you end up with things like Ethereum Classic. Bytecoin avoided this rift. Full ahead, they said —  then they fixed the workings on the fly, as I understand it.

And please do not mention Monero. We know at least one player in that space. It is not unimaginable that other, less moral characters (our governments), know a lot more about the Monero developers. I’d say, in a world controlled by government money, that allowing one’s identity to leak out in this arena, is like to planning to go to prison in the future. Or, at the very least, sending a public invitation to the regulatory agencies the world over to plant electronic eavesdropping devices on your dog. (Hint: check their floppy ears.)

There is a side note here. Something that is causing a lot of concern on the internet. The Net Neutrality debate is raging. This could be one of the reasons that many websites have slowed over the past 48 hours. Of course those who support neutrality aren’t really supporting free and fair internet usage. They are supporting the institution of force. How so? If you are an internet company, under the idea of neutrality, you are required not to act in the interest of your own business. You may not charge other companies extra for use of your servers. You can’t offer special deals or market products of your choice by slowing down or limiting the access of competitors. You must allow every company connected to the internet — which really does not exist at all since it is simply computers connected to each other — free and unfettered access to your equipment. After all, under this alleged neutrality, the internet, which might use your equipment, your electrical power, your time — whether you agree to allow it or not — does not belong to you. It is some virtual thing, afloat in a sea of electricity — like the air we breathe. Nuts. It’s like Johnny Mnemonic all over again. “Information should be free!” Okay, but who will pay for it kids? Silence. Haven’t you heard? There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, Jethro. Okay, the above is over-simplified, but ain’t that the gist of it?

Now we wait. The thing is, customers hate waiting. In fact, we find other, better suppliers — ones who are up to the job. (There, I just had to get that last Bytecoin dig in.)

Get off of your duff Bytecoin — if you’re still live.

Are you under attack?

Seriously, I hope that Bytecoin.org is “under reconstruction” as some have speculated. If true and if the new site comes up with some great new tech, well then, we might be in for a wild rocket ride.

I know…a lot of “ifs.”

Curiously, a few hours after posting this, the Bytecoin.org website once again showed itself. ScamAdviser indicates that the site is currently “94%” safe. There has been no official word from the Teto-Team as to why the site disappeared for over a day.

 


Image Source: Flickr

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cryptocurrency Outlook

Coins

What is store for the cryptocurrency near-future? More ICO’s (Initial Coin Offerings) or a slow realization that public blockchains are risky?

In the realm of the digital, cryptography is definitely a contender for your money. Not unlike your retirement plans, savings accounts and the cash hoard under your mattress. You might also be surprised that cryptography is changing more than finance, however.

Cryptocurrency is creating its own financial vortex. An ever growing singularity threatening to unravel, not only the monetary systems in place today, but the social systems upon which they rely.

What would happen if the state money you have in your bank went the way of the Dodo Bird? Would you use gold, silver or a cryptocurrency to get you through the bad times? Perhaps a lesson is unfolding right before our eyes.

The average Venezuelan could tell you about bad times. Their economy continues to nose dive as their monetary system crashes. Social services, food, water, medicine? All hard to come by. And it is a result of policies that made their money evaporate. They simply “printed” too much and it — their entire social system — is dying as a result.

…cryptocurrency can be hidden much easier than silver coins.

Is bitcoin  propping up the average Venezuelan citizen today? Certainly, it is helping. Government agents cannot reach into the Bitcoin Bank and take your money. They can, however, force you to give up your passwords and make you transfer your funds to them. Unless you use a third party service. One in another country that refuses to release your funds.

In short, cryptocurrency can be hidden much easier than silver coins.

More specifically, it is in cryptocurrency that many of us place our hopes and dreams. But are our hopes misplaced? Is this new fin-tech space a mere blip in the larger scale of the Information Age?

If bitcoin cannot be “over-printed,” by design, what is it really? A steadily valuing asset, so long as we keep using and buying and trusting it? Trusting a digitized currency?

Many of us already know the risks involved with Bitcoin or any cryptocurrency. You can stand to gain, maintain, or lose your proverbial behind. Billions of dollars of real money have been made during this ongoing; and certainly speculative run up. Values continue to climb, then retreat, and most unfortunately, the system itself, especially the most popular cryptocurrency of all, bitcoin, is showing signs of strain.

We can make comparisons all day. The Dot.com bubble. Tulip Mania. Speculation. A craze. Decentralized money. Be your own bank. Smart contracts. The World computer(s) galore.

Every Tom, Dick and Harry has a new idea…

Every Tom, Dick and Harry has a new idea for a new cryptocurrency. Just as every new company has new stock. Whole countries are “testing” the waters, allowing the new non-state monies freer reign.

And choices are great. Eventually, however, the most efficient tech will surpass the rest. Just as large home computers gave way to tablets then smart phones, the fastest and most secure systems — the most trusted — will win.

Reliability is also key. You can fix it if it breaks, but you might lose your customer if it breaks for long. For example, I really liked Peercoin when it first came out. An unknown  developer (Sunny King) who sort of kept his or her distance. An energy efficient system. It seemed more decentralized, even if it was not private — meaning others could see my balances and purchases. All the same, when Peercoin broke — forked — I was ticked off. Never again did I invest. Well, maybe once or twice, but I steered clear of the software. Just traded it.

Central Control…

Central control is another concern. Central authorities like our various governments often step in to assert that money must be controlled. To protect us. Bitcoin itself was the antitheses to centralized control. Today, to state that Bitcoin is decentralized would be stretching it.

Large computational warehouses churn out Bitcoin’s life blood. Many are in China. The sheer amount of electricity used to continue this process is staggering. And China is by no means a free country, but are any countries truly free these days?

Power consumption. If we use the United States as an example it is estimated that Bitcoin miners worldwide use nearly the same amount of electricity as nearly 300,000 homes. An argument for Bitcoin’s value to be sure. Even so, this very fact makes the giant Chinese Mining warehouses targets.

Is Bitcoin money? Does it have a real value? Why does it continue to thrive? These are all great questions and many have chimed in — attempted to answer them. In truth, there is no simple answer.

So what happens next?

Will whole regions compete with their favored cryptocurrencies? Will the public blockchains rule or will private ones begin to take market share? Will governments give certain companies special rights to sell their wares, so long as they are complaint with all of the reporting requirements? Does this latter situation not break all the rules of cryptocurrency?

And the “next” is already occurring. The herd is moving in the fields, but the fields are fenced-in. Slowly, the acreage will be sectioned off. A divide and conquer strategy.

Will it be bad? Not initially. Not until the authorities begin to demand changes to the code to allow several things. Easier snooping and taxation. Eventually, not unlike Peercoin, the social engineers will ask the ultimate sacrifice: faster inflation. That will spell the end of it.

There are no places to hide. Yes, companies can hock their wares — sell their crypto-goods — with governmental permission. They can report all account holders and take names. They can play the game.

Many of us will use these trusted public blockchains. Many of us will unknowingly use the current banking systems, unaware that they will soon be using Ripple or maybe Stellar Lumens or some other well researched, official and “approved” system.

There are a few cryptocurrencies remaining that, as of yet, have refused to comply with authorities — completely. They also have better reputations that most. Monero and Aeon. Their developers remain, mostly, anonymous. A good and bad thing. As a result, there are fewer markets. Fewer places to purchase these relatively private cryptocurrencies. But they are far more secure and private than most other competitors.

It reminds me of Prohibition in the United States beginning in the 1920’s and even the current laws against drugs today. What happens when people are told that they cannot buy and use something they want? In the end the price goes way up. A sort of “valuation wave.”

Is this what is in store for Monero and Aeon?


Image: Flickr

 

 

 

Bitcoin, Litecoin, Monero, DASH or Aeon. | hubpages

The battle for supremacy. But be wary of the Pumps of Paradise. (Crypto-Commentary)

Source: Bitcoin, Litecoin, Monero, DASH or Aeon. | hubpages

Is Cryptocurrency Money?

If there is one question that is asked repeatedly, argued often and debated from academia to the finance houses, it is this:

“Is cryptocurrency real money?”

The true believers answer in the affirmative. They are adamant.

Crypto, as they call it or “Bitcoin,” to the uninitiated, is indeed money. Not the greatest money, not the most stable, not a very good store of value, but money nonetheless.

The critics, on the other hand, refute this idea. To them, cryptocurrency is not money.

The critics advise that secret electronic codes stored in a decentralized ledger, are simply what they are. This means that crypto is not money and not currency.

It is a failure waiting to happen — or so they say.

To other critics, cryptocurrency must be entrusted to the governments of the world. It must be centralized and placed into the hands of a trusted third party.

Of course, many understand the principles underlying cryptocurrencies and that centralization is not a majority opinion.

Perhaps, the problem is that the wrong question is being asked. Maybe the question should be worded differently.

Why ask if crypto is money? How about asking if it is currency instead?


The Internal Revenue Service today issued a notice providing answers to frequently asked questions…

Source: IRS: Bitcoin is not currency


It appears that, at least in the United States, Bitcoin is property — intangible property. Not currency. Okay…

How about Germany?

German authorities have finally categorised bitcoin, labelling it as a “financial instrument”.

Source: Germany officially recognises bitcoin as “private money” – CoinDesk

So in the United States, crypto is property, but in Germany it is “private money.” Now we are back where we started.

Different answers from different countries, with one similarity. Both Germany and America — and European nations in general, want to regulate cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin, the most popular of all crypto’s, is much easier to regulate than was thought. It has a visible blockchain — a way for anyone with a second rate cell phone to confirm the transactions of everyone else.

But back to nagging question. Let us make it easy on ourselves. Currency is money and vice versa. So Bitcoin and every other crypto is indeed, “private money.”

The next question is then one of quality.

Are crypto’s sound money or are they more like “checks” that vary in value?

True again. Crypto’s are drawn on/traded for fiat currencies and gold; and a million other things. And yet, this does not stabilize their value.

Add to this, the myriad of clearing houses (crypto-exchanges) and one can observe that a modicum of price stability is occurring. Albeit, very slowly and only temporarily.

Price stability is a critical, but value stability is the key, if a money-like crypto is desired. Gold, for example is fairly value stable. Only the respective and perceived revaluation of fiat currencies changes in relation to gold.

To have wide value fluctuations or be unable to save long term, crypto becomes a  questionable money. It may be rare, in a numerical sense, but it also perishable.

Certainly, Fintech will improve and thus require updated crypto’s…or some other invention will make money, as we understand it today, a quaint memory.

A memory to be collected by future historians. Ancient money technologies to be reviewed by bored economics professors in a hundred years.

But future historians will see the wider picture. They will know why innovators from the year 2016 and before, challenged the decaying financial systems of their world.

It was not an attempt, necessarily, to create perfect money. It was  — it is — an attempt, instead, to gain control of the monetary stagnation of the times.

From Bitcoin, many are now graduating to the CryptoNotes, however. Bytecoin, Monero and AEON are but a few.

In my next blog, I will tell you why many think that Bitcoin is on the “chopping block” and why privacy is fast becoming a necessity in Fintech.

 


Artwork by Mrnett1974 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons