Tag: finance

Will Caesar Assassinate Bitcoin and all Blockchains, This Time Around?

Dear Readers,

As the Ides of March approach, but this time Caesar lives?

In 44 BC Julius Caesar was assassinated. It was March 15th. Senators stabbed him to death next to a theater. Why? Because he dared to be king.

He had it coming.

Bitcoin, in the sphere of crypto, has been a dominant force since its inception. It was the first “successful” mover.

But it was never a bloody dictator. It never ordered you to buy it.

The ever-growing number of cryptocurrencies, vie for dominance. They want bitcoin dead. So does today’s Caesar. And you can name your own Caesar.

Certainly, the selection of contenders is vast. And there appear to be no experts about. Yes, there are those who code. The programmers. The computer wizards. The black hat hackers.

And there are the economists, bankers, government agencies, detractors and dictators.

Then the rest of us, holding onto our wallets, stocks and bonds, silver coins, collectibles, and homes. We are not the Caesars, however. We are the commoners – the Plebeians.

Maybe, as Plebeians, we’ve placed our crypto bets.

We know the score. We know that the dollar markets are volatile. The debasement of our currency ongoing. Inflation the result. Gold and silver prices, manipulated. The Catch-22 of the modern era. Until the “catch” breaks.

The only real market left – one with some measure of freedom – are the cryptocurrency markets. All others, to my knowledge, are regulated. Even my local flea market is regulated, somewhat.

In February of this year (2018) cryptocurrency bounced off a new low. I wondered then, if it was a reset of some sort. Now, over a month later, it appears to be doing it again. I fear another reset is looming. A much deeper one.

Some like to look to the past.

In 2013, bitcoin increased in value from a hundred dollars to over a $1000. It sparked the imagination of millions — do you doubt it? After three years, as a nerdy plaything, suddenly, it was here. But you ask – what exactly was here?

Then bitcoin sank in value. Giving back half. Yes, it could have been speculation. Mt. Gox. Whales. Take your pick.

In 2014, bitcoin seemed like it was dying. It lost over 60% of its value. Fluctuated. Maybe they were worth $300 buy years end. We wondered. Was it over?

Then 2015 came. Bitcoin gained at least 25% by years end. It was looking to match the latter part of 2013’s values. Could it once again hit $1000?

Many of us reinvested.

Then June of 2016 came. Bitcoin decided to go up. By years end, it was once again looking at the $1000 mark. People – investors took notice. Would it pop again?

What if?

That was the biggest question. What if this thing keeps on going? Where will it stop? Will the snake-oil salesman come out and paint the rosy pictures? They did. Millions each, they shouted.

In 2017 everything changed. The banner year – so far – for bitcoin. Exchanges, as bad as they were, slow, cumbersome — lit the fire. Bitcoin took off. Over 19 times in value. Almost holding at $20,000. But before the year was over…shaking.

And 2017 was like 2013 all over again. By years end, bitcoin was off almost 25% from its highs. The banner year was over. We felt deflated. Betrayed. We looked for scapegoats.

They were easy to find…

The financial world, which had been ignoring it, at least publicly, began kicking it steadily – and copying the technology. They were to blame. And the tax men. And the regulators. And China, Russia…and the endless bitcoin debates…and the bitcoin clones…and stiff competition from other altcoins…

Now 2018 arrived. From the highs of late 2017, bitcoin nosed over. No longer treading water, it sank. It halved and then some. Percentage-wise, 2018 – so far – has eaten bitcoin’s lunch.

If you hold (or hodl) you should be concerned. No other altcoin has yet to muscle in on BTC’s turf. There is no trusted replacement.

And this time, Caesar is sharping his sword.

If anyone can honestly say that bitcoin is not the touchstone of the cryptosphere, even as its “dominance” fades, beware.

Anyone can see the wag of that bitcoin’s tail. But he is a free dog. He survives in the wild. The Plebeians are his friends, but he has no master. Whether that dog lives, is the question. For Caesar hunts.

To those altcoins that joined them – you know who you are – you have not solved any problems. You have merely profited from the Plebeians and serve the Caesar. But Caesar is bankrupt, and you live in his kennel.

The joiners are like loyal dogs. They will serve any Caesar. Drink from any poison fountain, so long as it is sweet.

For now, I hope the joiners succeed, that I may profit from their folly. Then plow that money into the honest cryptos, if any still exist.

Caesar has sent his troops in. His tax collectors. His regulators. One by one. In plain sight. Brazenly. He knows not to attack the Plebeians directly. He attacks the places they frequent, instead. The watering holes, the bazaars, the money tables.

Right now, Caesar is cutting the supply lines. The flow of water — crypto. The great cisterns – exchanges – are being brought to heel.

Back to the kennels now, you Plebeians. No more dreams of roaming free.

Perhaps it’s time for the wolf. But even a good wolf needs his Spartacus.

 


Media Source: William Darby

Avoid the GNU Taler “Manifesto” Blockchain?


 

This is an open letter to those who slave at the coding machines, whilst Richard Stallman drinks the Kool aid. Get up from your machines. Awake from your fantasy.

Burn the manifesto. The Taxable Anonymous Libre Electronic Reserve Manifesto.

Avoid Taler, like a Bit-plague.


Dear GNU Taler and Family,

Idiots are made, not born. Until now? Leave your Communes. Lay down your laptops.

I urge you, if you have ever entertained, for a second, buying Taler. Snuff that thought from your mind. Eliminate the code from your systems, before it’s too late. Politicians lurk herein.

GNU Taler could replace things like SWIFT and even Ripple, if they ever get off the ground.

Without going into the details, suffice to say that Taler (Taxable Anonymous Libre Anonymous Reserves) does have promise. Not everyone wants to hide their money, just secure it. But can Taler deliver?

I hope not. I don’t live in a commune. I will not support any form of subservience, even in the name of “Social Responsibility,” which is another name for “Socialism,” which is another name for “slavery,” which is what “Taler” is to money. Control and servitude. Vile, are the merchants?

I’ve been watching Taler’s cheesy vids for a few years now. Odd, the German laced rhetors are. Like they stipulate, it’s just a cash substitute. Is it? A token of state money, which has already failed us. But, not really. You will need to buy Taler at the going rate, from what I can see. That is, whenever they can lift off, which I hope is NEVER.

In that sense, would it not be volatile?  Or are they simply going to designate the equivalent cash? How then, will the exchange rate be calculated? Will one U.S. dollar buy me one or ten Talers? And, given the new tax laws in the United States, would it not behoove Taler to indicate how much I paid for my Taler and how much I sold it for, to buy a soda? So, I can keep track of gains and losses – and required taxes? Or will Taler help me hide that? Like a good Communist? Like an Anarchist? Which is it?

If I want to spend my Taler in a foreign country, will the exchange rate be dictated? Or do I estimate what I think the item should cost, based upon the fiat cost of my Taler, in my country? Will Taler rise and fall in value, according to the amount purchased, globally? Will my Taler be inelastic, holding its original fiat value or elastic – dipping and spinning like a herd of crazy sheep? Who knows?

Their website – after all these years – seems absent the basic stuff needed for any serious investor to make a decision. (Don’t worry, I’ve emailed them for more.) How many ‘coins’ will they print? Just the 100,000,000? Who decided that? Why? How are the “T’s” associated with fiat cash? Will they offer them for sale on cryptocurrency exchanges, even if Taler is NOT a crypto? Will they offer hardware wallets? Cell phone apps? Or must we keep them on our very safe computers (PC’s)? Make back-ups?

Unlike Ripple XRP’s, however, you must deal in TaL or “T” or whatever their ticker symbol is today. With XRP’s or even Stellar Lumens (XLM), I can send you any currency and you can receive any currency, but we’re all visible. Capisce? That’s good and bad.

Taler, as I understand it, can be spent like cash – your identity is private – but the merchant must report the income. Big deal. You are still screwing the economy (Richard) – the evil shopkeepers. The shopkeepers are the economy! If it wasn’t for them we’d all be wearing Stallman tie-dyes, tilling the fields, and sipping monkey juice. Stand up and smell the ozone, buddy – before the Global Cooling starts.

Like Ripple, like Stellar, Taler is centralized, but even more so. Is that a bad thing – if it is secure? And, if it becomes successful, could not a large company or government simply buy them out – and use their system? Or simply copy it? I understand it is ‘open source.’

I feel like I’m watching the old “Moron Movies” where the guy takes his log for a walk and it pisses on a tree.

How about the “premine?” From what I can see here and elsewhere, Taler holds 49% of Taler. Fine. If the value appreciates and I can profit, I don’t care. I might even like to use the system to help keep my identity safe. Help me save money too. And I can bring my own rope too. Hang myself out by the shed, as the sun sets on my freedom and the merchants all quit. We’ll all hang together, is that it?

It seems that Taler is an underdog. It is sneaking in under the radar, with a political agenda. Possibly able to unseat the old guard, with code. A manifesto of money? Taste not, Dear Bankers, for the libation is death — figuratively speaking.

At the same time, the developers of Taler don’t seem to understand that governments (police) will, on occasion, require the identities of “spenders.” That fact alone will create a push-back mechanism they may not comprehend. Or, if they do, they already have plans in place to reveal the tax-evader citizens, the wannabe-terrorists. After all, privacy is only a human right, until you harm others or anger the wayward bureaucrat, right?

Let’s move on.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general, I argue, was created to combat a dying fiat monetary system. The world over. Taler says — capitulates — that there is a way to use the fiats of finance – cheaply.

Great message. Taler supports the cat-houses. It is NOT socially responsible. Or, put another way, it supports inflation, social slavery and has no guts — no shame.

Did you here that Richard? I say you have no cojones. Please program Ethereum Kitties. Do you, like Cardano ADA — really expect people to purchase Talers? Premined altcoins to make you rich?

I hope Taler, Ripple, Stellar all fail. In the meantime, I will profit from their success. Not unlike Schindler.

Correction: I hope to hell, I will never profit from Taler.

The old system must die. I await the new. But not the GNU way.

And a simple browse will uncover the plot. Check here. Richard Stallman, oh guru of gurus, supports the US Green Party. He, Richard of riches, is the “creator” of Taler. The Green Party is essentially a Neo-Marxist party. A slavery Party. The antithesis of a freedom-loving people.

Beware the hippies in the red tie-dyes.

Die Taler, die. A natural death.


Your Friend,

— JGS

Bytecoin: The Cryptopia Delist

Why did the Cryptopia cryptocurrency exchange choose to delist Bytecoin (BCN), even after it surged in recent weeks? Don’t let the above picture give you any ideas. I am not saying that Cryptopia has a large stash of BCN and they are making off with it — since they can’t find the rightful owners. After all, abandoned property means “finders keepers” in the crypto-world, right?

The official explanation is:

Delist Notice – BCN

Due to an on-going issue of deposits being sent to Cryptopia without payment id, resulting in long delays for users or loss of coins, BCN is being delisted. Please withdrawal your BCN before 20/09/17

Published by: DaRoll @ 8/20/2017 11:30:01 AM

Okay, but that doesn’t seem rational. Many other CryptoNote based coins use the same method of depositing. They require a payment “ID” in addition to an address.

Boolberry (another CryptoNote derivative) is also being delisted at Cryptopia.

But what about Monero (XMR)? Will they be next on the chopping block? If Bytecoin deposits were creating a problem, would not Monero deposits create similar issues? Are Monero users savvier or is it simply a more trusted coin? I don’t think so. Even the Cryptopia blog/forum has threads from people having similar problems.

According to Cryptopia’s own policy, coins can be relisted, after having been delisted,

…provided the issue that was the reason for delisting has been addressed and the network can be synced.

The policy also states that “coins may face delisting” for several reasons:

  • Sufficient nodes are not maintained to keep the network synced and moving
  • A coinswap
  • Any network issues or bugs that could result in loss of user funds
  • Statements made by a coin or coin community that could bring the reputation of Cryptoipa [sic] into disrepute.

And there is a primary reason cryptocurrency exchanges are in business: money. If they cannot earn enough money, they shut down. If Bytecoin is a problem coin, it becomes a money drain. Based upon the official Cryptopia forum statement (above) Bytecoin is problematic for them.

Could the Cryptopia folks design their systems to assist BCN customers? Maybe. But why should they, if other coins are more profitable, more in demand, long term, and easier to deal with?

Will Cryptopia anger the BCN customer base by their actions, like Poloniex did? We know, after some months, Poloniex finally relisted BCN. So, why then, did Cryptopia delist now?

Clearly, there is something, besides the payment “ID” issue that is bothering Cryptopia. That is my opinion, but I’d sure like to have a fly on the wall at Cryptopia, after the recent Poloniex debacle.

There are the “sour grapes” folks as well. From Reddit:

BYTEcoin being Delisted on Cryptopia (self.BytecoinBCN)

submitted 12 hours ago by RightwayNZ: As of now you can no longer buy and sell BCN on www.cryptopia.co.nz; Not sure why because they stock a lot [sic] of sh*tcoins and I wouldn’t classify BCN as a “Sh*t coin”

[–]JR_216 3 points 11 hours ago: Old news. Cryptopia is kind of a sh*tty exchange as well. The community didn’t seem to care much when this was announced a couple weeks ago.

[–]Franzferdinan51 2 points 11 hours ago: Sh*t dumb move on their part

[–]propagandapalace 1 point 9 hours ago: Cryptopia has more currency and crypto pairings than any other exchange I can think of, but low volume, crappy customer service, and “dumb decisions” like this one, are why most people steer clear of it… They will come to regret letting BCN go…

Not all is well at Cryptopia, it seems. Bitcointalk.org has had a fair share of complaints from folks indicating that responses from the staff at Cryptopia were taking over a month. This does not bode well from a rather small exchange (by comparison) in New Zealand. Perhaps the best way to rid themselves of this negative community press, was to delist and seek the easy-to-use coins. Too much business too fast.

Is this what prompted the delistings of late?

Our team is proud to announce that we have launched full support for Cryptopia on Coinigy. While Cryptopia’s charts were already available on the platform, users can now attach API keys to track portfolio balances and trade through Coinigy.

The above is from here. Information that, as of August 12, 2017, Cryptopia was getting a new pal from America. Three days later Boolberry is delisted. Eight days later the announcement that BCN was out.

What does Coinigy do? It allows trading by customers over multiple exchanges at once. Great idea, right? So, what is the drawback? What problems might a New Zealand exchange have with an American company?

For one, compliance. All American companies must comply with related regulations from multiple agencies requiring the identification of coin holders.  Bytecoin’s main purpose is privacy. It is probably impossible to trace Bytecoin deposits and transfers, unless the coin holders supply that information.

If this is correct and Cryptopia is trying to put on a better face, they might soon abandon any coin allowing the level of security and privacy Bytecoin affords. Meaning Monero might be next. Coinigy could then be relied upon to handle the phone calls, texts, emails and complaints? Is Cryptopia hiring a well polished front man? You know, so they can concentrate on their main business.

If we can extrapolate from here, the movement from public coins, like bitcoin, to private coins with anonymous developers, like Bytecoin and Monero, answerable to no one – the centralized exchanges might need to comply with the ever-increasing pressure from the authorities to know their customers. We live in a “terrorist world,” after all and everyone is a suspect.

One option, if the private and secure cryptocurrencies are shunted off to the less trustworthy decentralized exchanges or the “wild west” of crypto-land, would be the adoption, by some country with strict privacy laws, of a cryptocurrency freedom code.

Although, there have been several attempts to utilize a cryptocurrency as money (currency) in various countries, these monies are tracked and regulated. China, that bastion of freedom, is allegedly preparing to launch a national cryptocurrency. This is just one example, but suffice to say, governments want to track your money and with public cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, it’s not a problem.

If regulators push the secure and private cryptos (Bytecoin, Monero, Aeon, Nav Coin etc.) into the black markets, they may be surprised when their values begin to soar. Not only might they create a wealthy criminal class, but solidify a crypto-substrate that will undoubtedly be used against them. Such a class of people the world might be better off without, if only the regulators allow us the freedom to manage and create our own currencies with no interference or spying on the innocents.

But this is a dream from a future century.


Note: There is more information about the Cryptopia BCN delist in my blog titled “Poloniex v. Cryptopia.”

Bytecoin is still kicking…


Just a quickie, before you throw yourself under the bus…

Today, I received a response to one of my blogs about Bytecoin. It was a link to a video, an audio actually, of an interview with the mysterious Jenny Goldberg. Goldberg is the new Community Manager, if we can accept this — of Bytecoin.

(Hi, Jenny.)

The connection seemed to skip or warble at times and Jenny herself, to an American, had a strange accent. I’m no ‘world traveler’ and I could not place it.

I also checked Reddit and the video was also posted there.

As some of you may recall, I often blog about various coins, especially the more anonymous ones, because I think at some point, many in the cryptosphere will actually desire a more secure and less public coin. Meaning, a cryptocurrency that is usable by anyone but not visible to everyone all the time — like bitcoin.

It’s a move simply waiting to happen. The developers have been gearing up for it.

In the mean time, there will be a large number of people who will desire the services of an anonymous coin network now. They come in several flavors of dishonest, but the bulk I feel, will be derived from the honest. Those simply trying to find a way to move and/or store value (money) in a place where others, including governments, cannot get to it.

Think on that for a moment. Let me name a few places. China. Russia. North Korea. The United States of Taxes. Cuba. Greece. Cyprus. Venezuela. Planet Earth.

The thing is, I don’t want people to get screwed. That’s why this video I mentioned is important to hear. First, do a little homework. Learn about Bytecoin. Determine for yourself, if Monero is simply trying bash a good system. And I have spoken highly of Monero in the past. Now I’m more neutral.

Secondly, make your own educated decision. Is Bytecoin good to use? Can you send value over the internet in a secure fashion, with Bytecoin. The quick answer is yes, you can. The system does work, but be fast about it. Transfer and get out of it as fast as possible — if you must use it at all.

You want to retain as much value as possible, after all. Let someone else take the risk of “holding” any cryptocurrency. It’s like holding a greased pig on crack cocaine, while drinking a beer and talking to your wife about painting the downstairs — again. It is nearly stupid, for now. Even bitcoin holders might find themselves in a world of poop, if the market decides that crypto is “old hat.”

I’m not saying to stop making money. Go for it. Spin that dial and laugh. I am. For now. Just know that the next idea is just around that dark intersection — where the bus is coming.

And listen to regular people. Too many times we gravitate to the news fed to us. I even cite them in my posts. This magazine or that financial expert. Know that in this vein, the blood that runs herein is not necessarily blue. The value if these things is transitory as hell. And the last time I looked, Satan’s Pit of Boiling Mud (think Yellowstone National Park) is still looking for permanent tourists.

And for the record, I’m curious as hell about NAVCOIN these days.

Have a good day.

Jack Shorebird

 

 

 

 

Clif High: “Fact or Fiction?” You be the Judge…

Updated: November 7, 2017


Hello, Crypto Enthusiasts. Thanks for stopping by.

As usual, I’ve been scanning the net for the scoops. Watching the crypto-markets for the fizz and pop. And here’s the latest curiosity I’ve managed to dig up from the fin-tech ether.

Actually, I’ve been listening in to this chap for a while. Hey, I’m open minded, but skeptical.

And mind you, the people (person) I may cite herein may not have one of the cleanest resumes, but damned if he doesn’t get your spaz juices flowing.

I’ve interviewed thousands of people over my former law enforcement career and this guy just strikes me as Mr. Fiction.

The personality I speak of is Clif High. And he’s a bit of a — how can I say this nicely — an unusual chap? But I’m not one for killing the messenger. Actually, he is way past unusual and often his predictions are way off the mark.

And yet, he has a following.

When you listen to his interviews, few people seem to ask him the hard questions. And I often wonder how he would respond to them if they did try to pin him down.

That’s why I’ve been chomping at the bit. Kind of mulling this whole thing over for months. Trying to align my belief in a gold backed (silver backed) monetary system with the alleged future facts (and ideas) Clif High is constantly bringing to the table.

Clif’s detractors are all over the spectrum, but many are simply fuming. It’s okay, if Palm Readers can obtain occupational licenses, so can Clif.

Years of $600 an ounce silver predictions, that have never materialized. Will it? Could it? I think it could — if the US went back on the silver standard or if, as Clif indicates, newly discovered applications drive the prices.

But I can’t really do it justice and I do not work for Clif. Don’t know him from Adam, as it were. Yet, the guy is able to explain, in words and ideas — in a few seconds — in a way that resonates with the listener.

  • Bitcoin (cryptocurrency) may, within the next 10 to 20 years, undo thousands of years of stagnant and centralized money control
  • This new world of crpyto can serve as a shot-in-the-arm for economies, for wealth, technological development and so on

But his often oblique remarks to explain why this is, are rather wanting.

For example, why can bitcoin (or any particular cryptocurrency) succeed?

Here’s what Clif indicated:

  • The U.S. split from Great Britain when about 3% of the people wanted it (Where’s the evidence?)
  • Only about 1% or less of people, now want bitcoin or cryptocurrency (Arguable.)
  • If this margin reaches 10%, the governments of the world, which are always behind the times, will be unable to stop it. (Why?)

That, the iron is heating up and you may be able to make some serious cash, if you invest soon. That’s my crypto-take, but be careful of the pumpers.

These are very positive statements in a lot of ways, in my book. But based on zero facts, unless one considers a Webbot and ESP as factual. The Woo-Woo to be real.

Why does Clif seem to ignore the implications of the PBoC (People’s Bank of China)? They have been waffling for years, but recently they’ve turned over an accusatory leaf. Crypto is a financial threat, they say.

But the Chinese Government cannot be trusted. Can any government? Each new day brings a new policy. And yet Clif advises China will be the home of BTC by the 2020’s. (Boy, was he way off the mark here! At least for now.)

The suggestion here, and not only from me, is that Clif High or who ever he is wrong. Has been, repeatedly — regarding his predictions.

If you check Google Trends you will see that Clif’s popularity peaked in June of 2017. And the Canadians like him best of all, with the US a close second. I wonder if that was about the time Clif “decided” not to make his own videos?

So we listen.

  • Anti-gravity forklifts. They are coming.
  • Turkey will unleash a global financial meltdown, very soon. (Waiting on that.)
  • Major earthquakes were suppose to have diverted rivers in North America and precipitated nuclear meltdowns in August of 2017. (???)
  • Hollow-moon assertions. (Where’s the evidence?)

And we trust that just maybe Clif is onto something about crypto’s?

Maybe, if you buy his reports, you’ll make millions. Many have chimed in on that one. Made money, based upon Clif’s Webbot predictions, with cryptocurrencies.

Maybe his Webbot was garbled by bad data like he said, which is why he currently focuses on cryptocurrency and not a wider set of data, except economic stuff.

As far as I can see, his “predictions” have raised eyebrows for several years now. But are his prognostications simply too general? Like any psychic’s?

Certainly, Clif is more assertive than Nostradamus. He gives better dates anyway.

And his alleged Webbot? It’s not “open source.” We can’t have it inspected.

And yes, there are other experiments like the Webbot, predictive markets, and the wisdom of the crowd ideas. Estimations based upon predictions are akin to gambling, however. It is not like a life insurance actuarial table predicting deaths per thousand, based on past data. Even Google Trends are “trends” and not predictions.

Clif talks about silver prices skyrocketing — for a time — constantly. As I have mentioned. This is not something new. Given the devaluation of fiat currencies worldwide, this scenario is possible, but is it probable? Could anyone with the ability to read and understand basic economics, also make this observation?

Gold is just sort of okay, as far I can judge by Clif’s statements. However, he’s not too enthusiastic about it.

New tech that will create matter from energy is only a few years away, Clif implies. So why mine gold or silver in say, 15 years — anyway? If we will be able to manufacture gold and silver with relative ease, why invest in any metal? At least in the short term.

Potential limited nuclear wars are on the horizon. Really? Is anyone not worried that North Korea or some other rogue nation might push the button?

But by and large, the outlook is very positive, in Clif’s assessments? Really?

How can anyone be happy about earthquakes, nuclear bombs, market crashes and hollow-moons? One cannot.

Clif has apparently spoken about of Cloakcoin. You decide why.

Please — you be the judge. Give this guy a listen. Tell me that he does not, in some weird way, make you very positive about the future of our world and at the same time, make you feel that hell is about to be unleashed.

I think the reports are about $100.00 (US) each now. There are complaints about those too.

Here’s a recent talk. It’s long — a YouTube interview with Clif.

The Interview.

Here’s a rebuttal video. It’s a bit abrasive.

Rebuttal.

 

 

(Click here for more of Clif High’s “Theories”)


Note: I have come into possession a copy of the January 2017 ALTA report. I have reviewed it. If my copy is legit, other than several estimated dates when BTC would rise in value to certain target levels and it did, I don’t find any specific predictions that have come to pass. There are numerous future predictions that I will keep an eye on.


Related Books:

Will Bitcoin Miners Initiate “SegWit” Early?

 


 

Bitcoin is not like the Titanic. The Titanic was on her maiden voyage when she struck that iceberg. Bitcoin has been sailing for years. It has been through rough seas before.

Thus far, the bitcoin community has not panicked about the upcoming SegWit updates. But preparations are being made by a few. It is possible that many in the community are wholly unaware of the SegWit icebergs now visible in the distance.

The 24 hour bitcoin outlook is currently positive, as of press time. The one hour trade display continues to blare “red” warnings on and off. Losses of up to three percent have been reported in the top ten most traded coins. You can see a current list of gains/losses here.

“…bitcoin is 33% off of its recent highs…”

Few cryptocurrencies are gaining value, if one has a seven-day measuring stick. Currently, bitcoin is 33% off of its highs posted in June of this year. If this was a stock, losing $1000 dollars per share, many would have initiated a sell order by now. Hint: cryptocurrencies are not stocks or bonds.

Bitcoin is once again flirting with $2200, which could serve to lull investors into a false sense of security. Ethereum’s volume also eclipsed bitcoin over the past 24 hours. This is happening more often now and yet bitcoin still has double the market cap at present. Iota and Veritaseum have also posted amazing gains in the last 24 hours.

But don’t let the “blips” fool you. Keep an eye out for the value spikes — the pump and dumps. And watch out for the sales pitches from all manner of used car salesmen. Make informed decisions. The SegWit icebergs are real. Either bitcoin slips by unscathed or it won’t.

Japanese bitcoin trade may halt.

The Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association  may recommend that its member exchanges stop processing all bitcoin transactions for as long as a week, as a result of the perceived crisis of faith. (See this Altcoin Today article for more details.) The concerns revolve around the legal ramifications if they take no action. Translated? If they lose money and customers come calling. The Japanese government could also change its mind about allowing their citizens to continue using bitcoin. They’ve already had experience with MtGox.

“…GDAX…taking similar actions.”

We also know that GDAX, a cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, is taking similar actions. Surely, for similar reasons. If SegWit results in US citizens losing money, you can bet the lawyers will start to circle. But the regulatory agencies will probably step in first.

This worse case scenario is always good to examine. But there are many other less problematic scenarios.

A consensus appears to be building. Get your bitcoins to safety and away from the exchanges.

“…ViaBTC…creating a separate token…”

ViaBTC, one of the largest mining operations in the world, with roughly 5% of the network, is taking steps to help ensure customer bitcoin holdings by creating a separate token based on BitcoinABC.

In a MarketWatch article out today, experts indicate that bitcoin has not yet bottomed. Other business gurus have concluded the opposite. The situation is fluid for sure.

$2888 bitcoin price?

On the positive, but unusual side, Clif High of Half Past Human has reported a probable bitcoin price of about $2888 in several months. You can check out his latest video here — if you are so inclined. In no way am I suggesting that he is accurate, I just like to give you all angles and some comedic relief.

Finally, it is rather ludicrous that some do not understand why merchants are not flocking to bitcoin. If you’ve been reading my blogs — well — I’m sure you have an idea. Heck, if you’ve been reading the bitcoin news in general, you should be feeling queasy — if you own any bitcoin.

Here is another optimistic viewpoint concerning the lack of merchant adoption:

“That is a very troubling development, even though there doesn’t appear to be a clear logic behind it.”

The above quote is from a NewsBTC article dated today. Do they get it? Bitcoin is not yet an easily adoptable technology. Debates about its core functions and who controls it, are major concerns.

How many other cryptocurrency exchanges are making preparations behind the scenes? And, are miners preparing to nip this thing in the bud? It appears to be true.

“…miners…signalling for SegWit early.”

CoinDesk has reported that miners are signalling for SegWit early. Here is the Countdown Clock they are referencing.

I’ll continue to keep you posted.


Image: Flickr

 

 

 

 

 

Will Bitcoin Fork on July 21, 2017?

Burn

 

Bitcoin has been steadily devaluing. In fact, most of the major cryptocurrencies on earth are also losing steam. Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Steem, and even Dash are suffering. In some cases losses have exceeded 25% in less than a week.

Is it the end of an era or a readjustment period? A shakeout, if you will?

Many have debated why, as bitcoin dips, does it seem to initiate a larger scale downward trend throughout the cryptosphere. Each time bitcoin sneezes, crypto in general, catches a cold. Today — this week — bitcoin has the flu.

Some have pointed to alleged “Civil War” between the Bitcoin Core Team and the Bitcoin miners as the culprit. Primarily, the accusations are being leveled against the miners who control most of the network. The Chinese.

There is also some bickering within the Bitcore Core Team itself. But the idea that all of the planned changes — the proposed updates — to the code, will cause a rift is also on the debate table. A debate about a potential bitcoin fork — a split of its blockchain. Or perhaps users will use another blockchain. (I will get to that in a moment.)

Let’s face it, most bitcoin users, investors, watchers, writers — do not give a bleep about large conglomerates of miners who are churning out bitcoins and making a tidy profit. They are charging the community for the privilege of using a peer-to-peer system, allegedly designed to reduce the financial friction between willing parties. That is now history. The price of doing bitcoin business is becoming more expensive to the small consumer. Still, aside from the slow processing times, sending large amounts of bitcoin internationally, is cheaper than using the antiquated banking systems of today. In other words, bitcoin seems to be helping those with lots of bitcoin. Not a good sign.

Many of us do care that the Bitcoin Core Team is working to keep the code “bug-free” and that they are attempting to update the system. However, they are not dictators. They do not have the final say. The community must accept the updates. The users of the system are voluntary. If they do not accept the changes — if the miners feel cheated by the prospect of having their profits reduced — we could see a fork. And this could mean the destruction of the most successful private money that has ever existed — maybe.

Such a thing would not only evaporate the wealth housed within the blockchain, but potentially all of the investments tied to the bitcoin ecosystem — worldwide. From ATM’s in Vegas to the Mom and Pop Dress Shops in Morocco. All of that seed money, those start-ups, YouTube preachers — you name it. Adrift in the cosmos of bankruptcy. It would be painful for some.

Is there a silver lining to all of this?

Antpool, the largest bitcoin mining operation on earth, does not want the updates offered by Core — “SegWit.” Bitcoin Core is pushing ahead anyway. It is a Goliath versus Samson battle — all over again. Core holds the sling (the keys to the original code) but Antpool can simply copy the code. If the Antpool Goliath does this, will anyone trust him? Actually, the last I read — and info can be sketchy here — Antpool had a back-up plan. They started mining Bitcoin Unlimited a few months ago. (That’s another story, but suffice it to say it solves many of the problems associated with the current version of bitcoin.)

Philosophical battles aside, the concerns over whether bitcoin (or any cryptocurrency) must decide between the corporate world and somebody’s idea of traditional capital is a red herring. Any money ought to be neutral in that sense, if the developers/community so decide. And therein lies the problem. Any community of anything is going to debate, endlessly. Although, I am not speaking in support of Dash, their governance model does have advantages.

In any event, the fireworks begin in just a few days — July 21, 2017. If 80% of the bitcoin community adopts the updates — SegWit — all should be fine. On the other hand, if the community does not adopt the updates, it is likely that an alternative solution might be employed on August 1, 2017. That is the idea of a “soft fork” employing SegWit as user activated “choice.” By then, Antpool may be off the reservation — employing Bitcoin Unlimited. The tension is palpable.

Let’s add more fuel to that fire, shall we dear readers?

CNBC put out a panic article recently and it does have some rather prescient information. Namely, that the Bitcoin.org community has recommended that everyone — every user of bitcoin — take a “bank holiday” a few days before the proposed changes are to take place. Say on Friday, July 19, 2017 — you know — just to be on the safe side. Did you catch that? Turn off your bitcoin wallets. Now I’m as brave as the next guy, but don’t get between me and my cash. And yet, major players are notifying bitcoin users that they are doing just that. No deposits or withdrawals? No trading for a few days? Be prepared.

Do you know what happens during bank holidays? Panic. Users might find a substitute. Certainly trust will be eroded.

Hence, bitcoin is devaluing. People are cashing out. Waiting on the sidelines.

Now if you are confused, you should be. Hour by hour, bitcoin is still loosing ground. As of this writing, the price of one bitcoin just dropped below $2000, then popped up again. That is over a 30% value reduction in just over a month. Coming from just over $570 each last August (2016), which is amazing in itself, anyone holding the coin, if the blockchain forks, could be left holding thin air.

As some have put it, we are witnessing, once again, a sea of red. Let’s just hope that the entire thing does not go “bleeps up.”

You can check here for up to date valuations:

CryptoCurrency Market Capitalizations.

Thanks for reading. If you have any input, let me know in the comments section below.

(Oh, and thanks RK.)


Image: Flickr

 

Morgan Stanley: A Blockchain Poster Child Ripe 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

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