Cardano (ADA) is NOT Money, but that’s Okay — neither is Bitcoin…

Dear Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts,

I heard the air just go out of the room. How can I dare say such a thing? I mean, why? Why challenge the Gods of Crypto? Because I listen to them when they say really dumb things and I’m a bad little sheep. I crap on their stage and bleat. It’s okay, I’m just a little sheep. Not much to worry about.

After reviewing several recent videos put out by the more vocal cryptocurrency developers and evangelists I wanted to reiterate a few things about what these pro-cryptocurrency, blockchain promoting, initial coin offering gurus and family, might be obfuscating: reality. (There. I just let one go. Plop.)

And this goes for nearly all cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin, Litecoin, Sexcoin, Ether-bum and Frogpennies included.

What? There are no Frogpennies? You mean I was scammed? Again? Dammit man!

I’m no newbie to this financial vehicle. I’ve been around the bend. Lost and gained. And I’m still here. Still playing the game. Still bleating and trading — and winning — for now.

“Freaking gambler!”

Hey…relax.

So, this a reality check, from a fan of cryptocurrencies. (That’s me. Don’t forget that part.)

Is cryptocurrency anything other than a speculative vehicle?

I mean, look at where most of the money is going in cryptocurrency markets.  Most of the investment is going into bitcoin. Currently, bitcoin’s market capitalization is nearing $100,000,000,000.  Each BTC is now (almost) worth – $6000 each. It kind of wobbles there — for now.  Certainly, another milestone for cryptocurrency at large.

But is bitcoin worth anything at all? Go ahead. Torture yourself about energy, electricity and nodes. What type of value, other than a service value, does any cryptocurrency have?

Tick-tock.

How’s the mental argument going? Feeling twisted up yet? Okay, I’ll let you off the hook. It’s better for your blood pressure that way.

Wait a minute… The older guys and gals take this crap in stride. It’s just the younger ones who need to chillax. We’ve — us elders — been around the apple cart a few more times.

“Oh, but times have changed!”

No. They have not. Crooks are always crooks, not matter the century. Dummies are always dummies. Blonds are…  Never mind.

In the cryptocurrency world, there’s a lot of conjecture about the nature of money itself.  So, I’d like to explore that a bit. Remind the wandering souls who left their gamer chairs and headed over the crypto-couchs for beer and saki.

Hopefully, these wandering post-gamer types (Vitalik?) will sober-up before it’s too late — for the rest of us broke investors.

So, let’s get to it.

One of my favorite definitions of money was provided by Ayn Rand. If you don’t know her, consider yourself — sorry — uneducated. Okay, maybe that was harsh. But if you are in the Fintech world, you ought to be ashamed.

If you go to aynrandlexicon.com and look up the word “money,” you will find the seeds of what I’m about to go over, there.

The Lexicon pulls this definition from a piece that Rand did titled “Egalitarianism and Inflation,” from the book titled Philosophy: Who Needs It, page 127. (Go ahead, look it up. You can google it. I’m tired of giving out shortcuts like candy.)

So, let me compare cryptocurrency to money. I think that a lot of people are disregarding this very important definition — to their own detriment.

According to Rand, money is a tool.  A tool that can be used to exercise long range control over one’s life. A tool that can be used for saving. A tool that permits delayed consumption. And, a tool that buys time for future production.

Think on that a moment. Pick up a wrench. Caress it. Did you just fondle money? Well, kind of.

Is cryptocurrency a tool? Can you fondle a crypto? Would you want to?

Certainly, crypto is a type of tool or at least an application, but it requires something a money-tool does not. Cryptocurrency requires energy. Electrical energy. It also requires a computer, software, regular updates, dedicated developers and user cooperation. These are only a few of the cryptocurrency requirements.

In other words, crypto is a “user of tools.”

Can a cryptocurrency be used long range, however? The apparent answer is that it cannot be used beyond a few years, without improvements. So, in this respect cryptocurrency cannot be used to exercise control, in a long-range manner.

Crypto is a shorty sporty.

Can cryptocurrency be used for saving? And by saving, I mean saving something of value (a tool — remember) that one can come back to in a week, a month, a year or longer — and pick it up, dust it off and say, “Wow, it’s still good as new.”

The simple answer, again, is no. Attempting to save cryptocurrency beyond one week might be very risky. Yes, I’ve heard about bitcoin. Probably, before you.

In this respect, cryptocurrency cannot be used to delay any consumption for greater than perhaps a few days. It cannot buy time for the future. Gold, for example, buys one “time” in a sense that one can delay using it for years.

Let’s look at another aspect of money that Rand indicated was a definite requirement.

Money must be a material commodity that is imperishable. Not a banana or pork bellies. Not energy or “trust.” Not nodes or networks. Material…and a commodity. A tough and tumble thing that just holds the fort and takes no prisoners — not even during “World of Warcraft.” (That should probably be Witchcraft. It just fits better.)

Now, you might ask what (exactly) is “imperishable.” And it is clear cut –  it is something that cannot perish or if it does perish it would take some serious effort. Computers and networks and games — they all go “bye bye.” Time kills them.

Cryptocurrency shall perish from this earth — I mean — eventually. Maybe in a few years. Maybe after Fedcoin awakens and the apparatchiks get going. Make a few arrests. Tax people into the poor house. A bit of insurance policy suicide.

So crypto is perishable, but for now, it’s a great fruit. Sort of like one of those irradiated, dehydrated apple chips. It’ll last for a few years on your counter, but once the dog finds it, yum-yum.

If the power goes out in your area, can you spend, save, and borrow a bitcoin? If your country makes cryptocurrency illegal, will you still use it? If, a few years from now, a newer and much better cryptocurrency is invented, what will happen to your preferred cryptocurrency? It just rotted. Perished into the doggy mouth.

Rare. Money should also be rare. Something that is abundant, easy to produce, easy to copy, easy to “fork,” does not meet the definition of rare. Think copy-machine. Think clones. Think, fiat-money.

Artificially reduced numbers on a digital ledger does not meet the definition of money, but it could be a type of functional currency. Reduced numbers of cryptocurrency atomic units do meet the definition of “limited,” but digital information is not in and of itself, rare.

Unless you print this — the words you are now reading (and why you waste you time here, I’ll not ask) — are born of code. Pixels instructed to turn on and off, by a bit of computer code, fed through a electronic processor. Okay, it’s not the best code. Not a crypto-code, but you catch my drift, don’t you?

Codes are not rare. They can be secure, however.

Money must be homogeneous too. Standardized. Similar. A dollar bill looks the same and spends the same all over the U.S. and many other places. (Yes, I know dollars suck — but they spend.)

Multiple kinds of functional money, i.e. cryptocurrencies, are not standardized. Although, many cryptocurrency technologies are similar they are not, for all intents and purposes identical. There is no standard. (Maybe that’s good, actually.)

Money must be easily stored.

Generally, this might mean that money is compact, perhaps stack-able, able to be placed in one’s pocket, transportable and able to be secured.

Yes, I know gold is heavy and past presidents in the US have stolen it from the people — and that it’s really hard to steal crypto.

But you know what’s even harder to steal than crypto? My thoughts. Electronic (and chemical) codes I can relay to you via spoken or written words.

I have secret thoughts too. Try and take them. On second thought, don’t — you might get sick. I’ve seen some pretty messed up things in my life.

Is cryptocurrency easy to store? In some sense, saving information on your computer is quite easy. But is that true storage in the physical sense? And isn’t that what we’re after? The ability to place money in a safe, under your mattress or in a tin can in your backyard?

Are my thoughts money? I think I have nodes too. My neurons are decentralized in my brain for sure. Billions of nodes, just humming along.

Money should not be subject to wide fluctuations of value, according to Rand. This seems straightforward. Sort of like, “Duh!”

My thoughts fluctuate. Crypto pops up and runs to ground often. I wonder, can I trade my thoughts on an exchange?

If you place a government issued coin in your pocket, unless you live in Venezuela, it will probably maintain its value throughout the day, perhaps an entire year.

On the other hand, if you stored a bitcoin on your computer hard drive, next week it could be worth twice as much or half as much.  And this goes for most other cryptocurrencies as well.

Not so for my thoughts. They are worth zilch, until I use them to develop something — say a crypto. There, I just did. Did you feel it? Wanna buy some thought-crypto?

So, fiat currencies are terrible, but they generally hold their value over longer periods of time – a stable value — when compared to cryptos. Especially my thought-cryptos.

What else is important about money?

Well, if you can’t go to the market and spend it, there’s a problem. If you can’t buy a cup of coffee, a soda, or a car – anywhere you normally go – there’s a problem.

Oh, please don’t bring out that BTC ATM map. Just go to the store and let them stare at you like you are a “nerd.” (Hint: you are. But it’s okay. They meet on Wednesdays, I think. Make sure to bring your pencils.)

So, if a cryptocurrency is to become a functional money it must be in demand among those you trade with. Not only the Wednesday “Nerd” Group. Currently, cryptocurrency also fails in this respect.  Let me repeat that, currently. Today.

(Note: Nerds may conquer the universe. Just look at Bill Gates. He’s got his own crypto now. “Way to go Bill, you copycat. No, I know you did not copy Apple…”)

Let’s get back on track, before Billy gets made and shuts this blog down. Really, I apologize Billy. I know you love crypto too.

Using Rand’s definitions, it seems that the only true money is gold.

“Oh not that rock thing again. You’re so retro, dude!”

Straighten up. Get a job, before your dad kicks you out.

Gold has a tangible value, but, as Rand states it, gold is “…a token of wealth actually produced.” Moreover, the transaction itself becomes much safer, much simpler, because it is like bartering.

Let’s recycle.

“No, Mr. Retro. I need to get back to War of the Witchs II!”

Money is a tool.  Cryptocurrency is an application that uses a tool – a computer.

“So.”

Tools can be used over long periods of time. We do not know how long cryptocurrencies will last.

“You mean it’s like a new modified game?”

No. Listen.

“Why?”

One can save a money-tool. If one saves a cryptocurrency application, it may be outdated within the year.

“Yep, just like my computer games. I sort of get it now.”

If you delay using your cryptocurrency, you may lose all your money – all your value.

“Right. You can’t sell used games for squat after a few months!”

The money-tool ought to be imperishable. Cryptocurrency is perishable.

“Games are dead soon after release!”

Right and a cryptocurrency is not a material commodity.

“True. I download my games now.”

Cryptocurrency is not rare, only mathematically limited.

“You got me there, grandpa.”

Cryptocurrency is not homogeneous in the sense that it is standardized among the persons with which you trade. If cryptocurrency were standardized, this might increase its demand.

“Yeah, a lot of dudes can’t stand War of Witchcraft at all! No demand. Puds.”

Cryptocurrency requires a stable value – if it is to escape the bonds of speculation.

“Hey, I made a few bucks with mining Piggycoin a few years back!”

Aside from the fact that cryptocurrencies do not meet the ‘Randian’ definition of a sound money, this does not mean that its value will not increase.

“Like I said, the Piggy was good to me. But my mom got tired of the high power bills and the gizmos making all of that noise.”

Even if governments choose to define cryptocurrencies in different ways, those jurisdictions with the least amount of regulations appear to be reaping the benefits of increased Fintech investments, for now.

“I heard that. But I’m not leaving America for some European paradise.”

Cryptocurrency is also voluntary. Fiat currency is not.

“That’s the point, right?”

Cryptocurrency is also trustworthy, in many cases. Many people trust the math, but some are concerned about the developers who write the code.

“Dude, you are confusing the hell out me. First you say they suck, now you say they don’t?”

Is fiat currency trustworthy? It depends upon the country, the economy and the leadership.

“Oh, yeah. Bummer.”

One thing is certain, however, even with two arms tied behind its back, decentralized cryptocurrency has captured the imagination of the people.

I think that any blockchain adoption by governmental entities, will only serve to solidify the people’s belief in the private use of the blockchain technologies.

I’ve also included a YouTube video of mine, highlighting some of the above issues.

“Dude, can I go back to my games now?”

Sure.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jack Shorebird

P.S. I’m selling my thoughts for one BTC each. Guaranteed to be far more awesome than any cryptocurrency ever mined, minted, spat out, staked, gassed-in or farmed-out. There is a limited supply of my thoughts because one day I’ll be dead. (Shut up, I heard that.) Just leave a reply and we can work out the details. I’m not going to leave my BTC address. That’s just tacky as hell, don’t you think? Hurry, this is a limited time offer — maybe less that 30 years before it ends and my decentralized network will cease to function.

 

(Disclaimer: The above is the opinion of this writer. Any appearance to reality is merely a coincidence. If it bothers you, mine some ‘coin.)

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Cardano (ADA): “PoS”itive Outlook?

Updated October 5, 2017


Dear Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts,

Trust, trust, trust — or baloney?

In each other, we trust?

Trust, but verify…especially with cryptocurrency?

It seems that we have three developments occurring simultaneously, now — in the Fintech Crypto-World.

  1. Proof-of-Work (PoW) is moving to Proof-of-Stake (PoS).
  2. Public is moving to Private or “choice.”
  3. And governments are trying to regulate.

Did I tell you something you don’t know? I hope not.

PoW. It was the most trusted way to create and maintain a person-to-person (P2P) network. But what happened? Has the crypto-space evolved?

PoW has become labor intensive, energy hogging and increasingly centralized. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin etc. Ethereum is attempting to move to a PoS system or at least use some of its protocols. Really? Again, why?

Why was the PoS protocol developed in the first place? Peercoin, Blackcoin, Cloakcoin and others. Were there long term issues? Security disadvantages? They drew less power, were faster, but they were essentially a pre-mine. But they reward those who maintain balances – and help to secure the network, right? Reward with an ever growing supply of cryptos, unless that supply is fixed — which appears to be the plan for Cardano.

What were (are) the results of PoS? Marginal success. Can a new PoS protocol reverse that trend?

Peercoin, for example, had problems with their code early on. Their primary developer is anonymous. Cloakcoin has changed hands.

What was worse, these PoS coins were more vulnerable than PoW types – less secure. So, why is Ethereum attempting to move in that direction? Aside from the official reports, I mean?

Competition from Cardano?

We know Cardano was developed – at least in part – by a former Ethereum developer, turned Ethereum Classic developer/supporter. To, me, that smells of trust. That smells of new blood — underdog — PoS+ blood type.

But the underdog is only in name. Like Ripple, Cardano has removed the curtain to reveal that it too is willing, at some level, to cooperate with regulators. They are willing — and able — to compromise. If we look to Ripple, they are succeeding.

To roll back the blockchain, as Ethereum did, to stop one criminal – okay, one “advantage taker” – smacks of centralization. (See the DAO Incident.) At that juncture, no matter how benign a dictator, Ethereum lost its way. One cannot punish the whole, to catch one mistake.

So what stain does Cardano have? As a free market supporter, the stain is called compromise? Or is it realism. In other words, Cardano is not seemingly attempting to create a separate cryptocurrency and/or protocol, as much as it is attempting to “get along” with the regulators. It wants to identify you, at least on one level. KYC — know your customer. The smart contract-currency platform that might be too smart for its own good.

And, in my mind, Cardano, unlike Ripple, wants you to participate. Game changer?

Ethereum Classic is “righting” the wrong of Ethereum. Still, the system – the protocol – is slow. It devours resources. Energy for mining. Power hungry.

So, what is the solution?

A PoS Ethereum, with new math: Cardano?

Now, we must decide. Do we trust the PoS? The pre-mine with a large chunk of coins held back for the “company.” Do we trust corporations? They act in their own interests, right? They must make a profit to survive, certainly. How much is enough?

And they are willing to share profits if we support the system?

Many cryptocurrencies are headed by corporations today. Mining warehouses keep many coins alive – corporations regulated by their respective governments. Of course, letting governments create cryptocurrencies will be a cluster-fork, of enormous proportions. But it’s heading that way today, in many countries.

Bitcoin’s reality is that it is managed by people with differing points of view, but they must come to a consensus to move forward. Hence the slow-to-change mentality. Is it outliving its usefulness? Some will tell you it has.

It seems that the move to privacy coins, created by unknown players, is an accident waiting to happen.  We need – IMO – the human factor. The “part” in the virtual machine that is not virtual. To service the humans who use the crypto. Or do we?

Privacy coins obscure their process, as to be non-auditable (or having a choice to audit), in a way that gives many the willies. Not because we want cash-like privacy, but because we wonder who else is using the protocol and why.

So, what can we say. Cash has no feelings. It’s just cash. True. But if you have the protocol to trace the bad actor and you don’t? What does that make you? An accomplice?

The one weakness in that cash-privacy crypto, one which you might hold on your flash-drive, is the customer service angle. If the currency “forks” and you didn’t update in time, what then? Get on Reddit and start complaining? Really?

Where is the “Complaint Department?”

Grandma likes to call people, right? The old school likes warm voices, emails to real organizations, faces to names. The old school lives and saves, on trust. Is Cardano that trust? The new Savings and Loan of Fintech Crypto?

And isn’t that what it’s all about? If we strip away the layers of protocols, unload the software, and just listen – who do you trust to keep your money? I’m not talking about playing the crypto-markets, drifting from one coin to the other, riding the emotion-horse. I mean, the bare-bones of it.

It is not the machines we trust, yet. It’s the people.

Isn’t that what it boils down to?

The fact that governments want to regulate may not be the best reason to flee into the “dark” coins. They will chase any entity that threatens the fiat empire. The darkness only eggs them on.

Regulations change because of force. What is the force of millions of cryptocurrency wallets, worldwide? It is a wave. A tidal wave.

Put your ship in the deep water.

A cryptocurrency that is backed (or less regulated by whole countries), will place pressure upon the bankers of old – the money-changers of the past. Especially, when it is trusted by people everywhere.

How would the empires of old stop that?

Can they, ICANN?

I don’t know if Cardano is the answer, but maybe they are onto something.


 

Bytecoin: The Good News?

Dear Readers and Listeners:

Be careful of those dark cryptocurrency streets. You never know who is out there…

I’ve been tracking Bytecoin (BCN) for several years. Reported on it in other blogs and have had the good luck to contact some of the movers and shakers of late. Those who are developing new websites, businesses, videos, and news blogs. They are marching steadily forward with an eye to business adoption and commerce – and not just events and interviews, like we often see with other cryptocurrency “hype.”

That is not to say that Bytecoin can’t be hyped like any other coin, but clearly – people are beginning to creep toward adoption. With all the past negativity surrounding this coin, I am amazed. They predicted collapse of this currency has not yet happened.

And just to straighten your head out, I don’t currently own any Bytecoin. I have in the past, however, and am once again considering an investment.

Bytecoin is refusing to die. Not only is it refusing to die, the newest set of supporters are pushing out, worldwide – if the ads are true.

Perhaps, and this is conjecture, it is not that Bytecoin is a wonderful cryptocurrency. Perhaps, it is riding the success of Monero (XMR). It’s brethren. Or maybe Monero’s fame is making people more curious. Both coins are dark horses. Both are essentially private, but which one operates better? You be the judge.

So far, we know of at least two new names associated with Bytecoin’s reawakening: Jenny Goldberg and Pundit Pawan Sharma. There are others, we are told, but everything seems to be in the works for now.

Anonymity is the idea here, so I wouldn’t expect more names to be released soon. If we can accept that Goldberg (probably another pseudonym) is in contact with the original Bytecoin developers, she is probably keeping a low profile for obvious reason.

Goldberg could also be one of the originals or a new owner of the code. We just don’t know for certain. And uncertainty – and money – don’t mix well.

But…we live in an uncertain world now.

Is this why Bytecoin might work in a world where money itself is becoming more indeterminate each day? Where the value of our paper fiats is falling or like in India, cash is made valueless overnight by ruthless politicians? Where even the old standby, gold, cannot seem to rise to the occasion?

We often think of price manipulation when it comes to gold – and silver. Why, in the face of fiat currency devaluation, have the price of the rare earth metals not risen into the stratosphere? Is the answer as simple as: we do not use them as money – currently? If we did?

Certainly, this is all food for thought.

The teams associated with Bytecoin are – if we can believe it – from India (Delhi, I believe), Russia, South Korea, China, and Singapore. I’m not certain if Jenny Goldberg is from one of these countries. I take it that Community Managers exist in these areas.

One question is of course, how does one become a Community Manager? Does Goldberg appoint them?

Pundit Pawan Sharma is from India and his website(s) can be found on the internet. Bytecoin.org.in is one of the Indian sites. The domain age is recent, so it still has not attracted a lot of traffic. That might change. The website is professional.

It is my understanding that Sharma is one of the Indian Community Managers.

Regarding the resurgence of Bytecoin, the new Community Managers have requested and received changes to the Bytecoin Road-map, through Jenny Goldberg, according to my research.

It also appears that the new managers, however they are appointed, are more interested in use case scenarios. India and the reports of temple donations. Or are these only publicity stunts?

Maybe not.

What is different this time, however, is the connection of Bytecoin, with real people. Well, check that, the connection between Goldberg and the Bytecoin elders (allegedly) and the newest crop of commercial folks trying to give it a go – again.

Before, we had a list of personalities. The early Bytecoin crew, as it were. The Teto-Team. A team that kept quiet after writing some pretty high brow articles on Bytecoin.org. Guests also blogged for the Team.

But the blogs often carried a note of foreignness. Something distinctly not “English,” but close. They – the Bytecoin blogs – had a sort of choppy feel. In fact, they still do.

Might the Teto-Team be real people? They could just as easily be complete fiction. If that is the case, it would only be more fuel for the fire. A conflagration of trust.

It would be nice if they – the Teto-Team – could arrange a meet-up on the internet or appear at an event. Not necessarily a public one, but a verifiably recorded one. Real people in silhouettes answering the hard questions. Even Zcash has their “ceremonies” and judging by their continued success, publicity is working.

There are hints that this might soon happen. That the Teto-Team might pay us a visit?

I think I could even drum up some questions, just let me know. In fact, I ask that anyone who has a question for the Teto-Team or Bytecoin in general, leave them in the comments below, go to Reddit or even peruse BitcoinTalk.org.

What is important about this connection, however thin, to Monero, Aeon and the surviving CryptoNote cryptocurrencies? Bytecoin was allegedly the first mover, but became sidetracked.

There are many reasons for this. Alleged pre-mine scams. Fudged whitepaper dates. Creating more coins than allowed by the original software. But the coin has never died. It has refused. Why?

Is it just the loads of newbies (new investors) piling on? Are the Bytecoin dev’s simply skimming a few more bucks off the top as the ship sinks?

We are told this is not the case.

Regardless of all the negative, more positive seems to flow from Bytecoin now.

There are vendors coming online. Ben Tea is one. The site’s listed owner is Ira Sharma out of New Delhi, India. It’s less than a month old as of September 26, 2017. You can load up Scamadviser.com to get a read.

Here is a new site: Bytepay. Founded in August of 2017, according to the website. The site might be in Germany and/or the United Kingdom – according to Scamadviser.com. It is a payments solutions company and offers shopping cart plugins. The website features a video.

And All Things Luxury is new another site where you can spend your BCN. The domain age is over six years, but in this case, the owner is not listed. The website indicates a Canadian address and Scamadviser.com shows a US based website. Currently, one can pay with Bitcoin and Litecoin, but there does not seem to be a direct Bytecoin pay method.

Although Bytecoin lost Cryptopia’s business, it is picking up CoinSpot. They are in Melbourne, Australia, which is interesting because Cryptopia was in New Zealand. When you run Scamadviser.com you find that CoinSpot is a highly trusted website based in the US. Russell Wilson is listed as the owner.

The new BCN Wallet (web wallet) appears chancy at best. The site is less than two months old, appears to be located in the US, but the owner is unknown.

A mobile (cell phone) wallet is next, we are advised.

By September 28, 2017, Bytecoin will have a new website. I expect a surge in volume and prices when – and if – this happens. Forgive my skepticism, but Bytecoin slept for a time.

If Bithumb begins to trade Bytecoin, all bets are off.

There is also a YouTube Channel for Bytecoin now: Bytecoin BCN. It was from the comments on this channel that I came upon a hint about a Litecoin and Bytecoin cooperative venture. But I find nothing about this online. The commenter left no link or other way to verify his assertion and he has not responded to questions.

What is the solution to all of this? How can we preserve the privacy of the Bytecoin creators and come to understand the coin’s history?

There are so many variables here. Who is holding most of the Bytecoin? If 80% of the coin can be dumped on the market at one time, who will ensure the coin’s survival after that?

Think about that. If you could stash 50 million dollars, secretly, and live happily ever after, as the creator of Bytecoin, why would you continue to work?

And maybe that is the answer. If Jenny Goldberg has the keys to the code, then maybe she can ensure its survival.


Jack Shorebird

 

Bitcoin: Behind Enemy Lines

Is it possible…to invest in a cryptocurrency that is acceptable to governments, banks, investment houses and privacy seeking individuals? Not necessarily for the “purity” of the coin, but its potential to grow and thereby earn a profit for the average investor?

What I mean by “purity” is the desire by many for a cryptocurrency to be decentralized, subvert all government controls, be public (or private), and have nothing to do with banking. The farther the crypto is from what is seen by many as corporate corruption, the better.

But can we meet them halfway — and profit? Isn’t that the game plan? Or is this a “take-over-the-world plot?”

Let’s face it, decentralization and the acceptance of that philosophy are two different worlds. We should live in the real one, not the fantasy digital matrix.

So, what is the reality? Is it: “join them, then beat them?”

Let’s judge by the current lay of the land. There are enemies at the gates. One cannot ignore this fact.

No doubt many have read and continue to read about cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and clan. Good news and bad. Bubbles and troubles.

Here’s the recent news…

There are reports that China will essentially make all cryptocurrencies illegal by October of 2017. Large Cryptocurrency exchanges are reportedly reaching out to non-Chinese based businesses to circumvent these new capital controls. There is uncertainty in the crypto-markets as to how bitcoin will ride this out.

India may adopt a national cryptocurrency called ‘Lakshmi.’ The implication here is that the government there does not trust bitcoin. The tax authorities are concerned about money laundering, according to reports. This should also be a warning to Bytecoin users in India.

If you can’t beat them, copy the tech and take it over?

The European Commission is concerned about cybercrimes and cryptocurrencies. Regulation is sought. This implies, not a rejection of such currencies, but their tacit adoption or at least it’s a delaying tactic.

Russia – Leningrad Region – cryptocurrency ‘miners’ are being invited to the Leningrad region to create large industrial scale facilities. Cheap power is a selling point. The effort seems to have long legs, reaching to Moscow. Do you think they want a piece of the action?

On the downside, Bloomberg reports that Bitcoin might split again because the developers are in disagreement. Added risk for investors. More uncertainty.

John MacAfee announced that Pandora’s box has been opened. Government control over money is eroding. The reaction has been one of regulation in the US and in China, reportedly, Cryptocurrency executives have not been allowed to leave the country.

Ray Dalio, Hedge Fund Manager, has voiced his opinion: Bitcoin is a bubble.

Rainer Michael Preiss (Wealth Advisor) indicated that banks are likely afraid of bitcoin.

Is there a double-standard, however? As this article reports, the recent outspoken critics of bitcoin may in fact work for companies that actually invest in it.

Okay. So, what does all this mean?

Certainly, one cannot predict the future; however, behind the battle lines one can make some critical observations and ask the hard questions.

First, we must ask ourselves why are the most powerful financial houses on earth just now beginning to draw a line in the proverbial sand? Is it the pressure from the banking industry in general, as they watch the outflow of monies into crypto? Fear of losing profits?

Second, is it the threat to the social order via the potential bankruptcy of governments, by way of a dying banking empire? In other words, why do we need a banking empire at all if governments could essentially finance the economies of the world with a blockchain, directly? Surely, if this occurred, the governments would appoint large dominant information tech industries to head the effort. Can you think of a few?

Third, efforts are being made by the old guard (banks and investment houses) to both invest in cryptocurrencies and educate themselves in their use. These old guard types do not apparently like the fact that bitcoin is so public and many privacy-seeking individuals feel the same way.

Profit from their Greed?

Based upon these observations, we may be able to judge where the old guard might go. Where they might pour billions of dollars, making the rise of bitcoin appear as a blip on the screen of crypto.

If we could figure that out, determine where the vast sums of money sitting in retirement accounts and hedge funds might flow, could we then profit from them?

Or are we off the mark again? Will the banking industry utilize inhouse blockchains or will they contract out? My bet? They will contract out.

For some of us it will be difficult to let go of bitcoin. It has a cult-like following. Many will retain a few BTC’s even after a crash, on the outside chance of a resurgence. There is always a chance it can be fixed. After all, it has staying power.

So, what do privacy-seeking individuals and banks require when using money? Let’s just suppose for a moment, that the money is a cryptocurrency?

Well, individuals don’t want their account balances made public. They don’t necessarily want you to know where they spend and how much. So, let’s make privacy optional.

Banks are the same way. They wish to keep your balances between you and them – and regulatory agencies.

What’s the problem? Few if any cryptocurrencies are geared this way. They are most often, completely open to public inspection. Anyone, including criminals, could potentially find your money.

How about customer service? Name one cryptocurrency that you can call 24/7 and discuss a funds transfer or a lost deposit. If you have named one, congratulations.

Now, can you name a private/public blockchain with world class developers, a business plan, open source software, that is liked by the old guard and crypto-fans alike? An actual regulated and above-board company?

If you said Ripple, that’s not on the mark.

I want to profit from a crypto-coin that has few coins, relatively speaking, when compared to bitcoin, and good volume. Over 10 million dollars a day.

I would like a cryptocurrency that the old guard – remember them – is curious about.

I don’t want an ICO coin and I am not thrilled about pre-mines, but a shared tax to help support the coin would not put me off.

The newest and best tech is a must. A step ahead of bitcoin with the ability to add fast updates, if needed.

A staff of developers who are motivated by rewards, i.e., money, to continue to support the coin for as long as it remains successful.

Can you name this coin?

I think I might have a clue.

And it’s not Monero, Aeon or Bytecoin either.

Not NavCoin or Dash.

But it is listed in the top twenty here.

No, not NEM or Iota.


Please leave any comments below.

Note: this should not be considered investment advise.


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So, Where is Mr. Bytecoin?


There’s no meat on these bones, but fish as you please.

Recently, within the past few weeks, maybe a bit longer, Bytecoin.org has attempted or is attempting to make yet another comeback. Not unlike the comeback kid. And since I’m an avid crypto-junkie, having immersed myself in this sphere of innovation since Satoshi was wet behind the ears, I figured that a bit of advice is in order. If you feel Bytecoin is without sin, stop reading this blog now.

Why do I care? In my last life I caught bad guys. It’s in my nature I guess — to keep after them. And when some jerk wise-mouths me, like DStrangeM from Reddit did, well then, he has it coming.

In my last life I gathered the evidence, took the statements, pointed the gun, cuffed the perps, dragged them to jail, went to court and bled the blood. Not in that order of course, but it irks me, to say it nicely, when a bunch of alleged cryptocurrency developers — or those purporting to be thus — have the gall to cry foul when any regular citizen (me) asks for a smidgen of proof. They whine and moan. Why do you pee on my pump, they scream? It is always the same. Then again, in the back of my mind, that little voice asks, could they be innocent?

A new name has surfaced on the Bytecoin Reddit: Jenny Goldberg. No bio offered. She’s the “Community Manager” and BCN_official, we are advised, as of sixteen days ago. Her name does not appear on the Bytecoin.org website that I can find. (As indicated in the comments below — Goldberg’s name does appear on the Bytecoin.org Contact Page, just not under the Teto-Team page.)

Goldberg is on Reddit and I’m sure she’s on Telegram and Slack, but that does not verify that she has anything to with Bytecoin original Teto-Team — if said team ever really existed. It’s not even close to a confirmation, even if she will (or someone will) respond to emails sent to Contact@Bytecoin.org — which is the listed email for the Bytecoin.org webpage. Too easy to buy and sell email addresses these days — and websites.

Jenny offered this under the heading “BCN_Official”:

Dear BCN community,

My name is Jenny Goldberg and I’m the official BCN community manager

From this moment on, the official Bytecoin team will be making an effort to be more transparent to the community. We’ve been following all the activity in the community and we know you’ve been waiting for us to make a public statement. We see that there are lots of questions and we are now here to answer.

But firstly let me express my gratitude to all those enthusiasts who have made such valuable contributions to the development of BCN. We are so grateful for all the work put in by @Leogheo and BFB program team, @kinlakinla for the Bytecoin info page, @GaboCarranza and @sydney40 for Bytecointalk activity, @july for the Telegram channel, @boomworking for help with the design and @Camilo_Gil for your sincere appeal to our team. Thanks to the entire community for your trust and support even when you didn’t hear from us. Only with your support we were able to keep up our strength and continue working.

Just a few words about our history, Bytecoin is the first coin developed under the cryptonote protocol, but due to the fragmented nature of the community, BCN was forked a million times. You know that sometimes we were criticized for “slow development”, but the truth is that when the others were spending time on marketing, we were putting all our effort into enhancing the already existing cryptocurrency ecosystem.

In any case, we’re still here and we’re looking to grow. We would like to invite the best cryptographers, developers, bright minds and passionate hearts to join our BCN team to create absolutely new and exciting developments – get ready for the BCN of the new era. To ensure our success in this new era, we’ll need to support and trust each other and make our community even stronger.

Starting now, we are open for communication. Feel free to share your thoughts, bugs and features with us. Please send all feedback to contact@bytecoin.org and we’ll get back to you asap. We will do our best to bring the best ideas to life.

Let’s start a new chapter of Bytecoin together!

Source: Reddit

The only other Admin name on the Reddit for BytecoinBCN is our illustrious DStrangeM, who is a bit miffed at me today. (Hi, DStrangeM! I’m Danesjold on Reddit, by the way…) We are not even certain if DStrangeM is the DStrange, as is mentioned on the Bytecoin.org website. And does it matter anyway?

There are so many twists and turns.

From Bytecoin.org:

DStrange - Copy

Oh what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive.

And just who is DStrange or DStrangeM? Good question. But don’t worry, they/he/she — has your fiscal interests at heart. Are you certain?

The Bytecoin_BCN Twitter feed suddenly became active after nearly a year in slumber. How does that make you feel? There was an April 25, 2016 tweet then silence, until July 28, 2017. Announcements indicated that there was now a Telegram Group and a Slack Channel. The thing is, we really don’t know if these new groups have anything to do with the original developers of Bytecoin.

There is also the Bytecoin.org Twitter feed with tweets beginning on January 14, 2017. Why are there two feeds like this? Which one is official? Both? Neither? Half and half?

There is also the new Bytecoin Trading Community (Exchange). I found this out by accident. A Redditor advised me. (Thanks.) Anyway, according to Scamadviser, the site is 68 days old. It’s ownership is hidden, but what do we expect from a “secret” coin, right? For now the site’s reputation is pending. In other words, we will see.

A bad bit of news which continues to slow down any real progress, is the Poloniex issue. They are, for all intents and purposes, blocking BCN deposits and withdrawals. This has been going on for some time…over a month. (Longer according to Goldberg.) I’ve yet to hear a clear reason why, other than the recent mining issue, when extra BCN were created by a bad actor. Bytecoin did not rollback the blockchain to “unsteal” the coins. And I am uncertain now, if Bytecoin ever really fixed the flaw. I will need some expert, disinterested party to confirm this. (Not DStrangeM.)

What is my take on all of this, having spent decades bringing scum to justice? That these guys — that the people listed on Bytecoin.org as the Teto-Team do not exist. They never have. Prove me wrong. Come forward. Just one of you. I dare you.

I assert that the CryptoNote.org website is a farce. Has always been a front. But the code…is good. Now doesn’t that rankle your spuds? Again, if I am wrong, correct me. I will gladly print a retraction. I will be your biggest fan, if you can clear the “air.”

But I expect no answer. There are no men in the room. Only fluffy pony had the gumption. (Inside joke. If you don’t get it, get out of crypto, yesterday.)

So where is Mr. Bytecoin?

Answer: We must keep our identities secret, the governments are after us.

In those immortal words: “That dog don’t hunt.”

Have a spine.

In the end, which is where I hope all the noobs don’t take it, Bytecoin’s past is biting the heck out of their backside. Read a few more of my posts here. Surf the net and catch a few really stinky byte-fish, before you get caught, in what I believe will be yet another sucker’s rally.

Or chance it and prove me wrong.

But, unlike John McAfee, I will not consume my privates, if Bytecoin surges to the bitcoin spot or even gives Litecoin a run for the money.

Have a good day or night, as the case may be.

Jack Shorebird.

 


Note: This blog has been edited to reflect the comments through August 11, 2017.

 

 

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin July 19, 2017 — Roundup.


An unbiased and quick look at some big players…

The good news:

  • Litecoin is undergoing major updates to Litecoin Core 0.14.2
  • John Mack, a former CEO at Morgan Stanley venturing into crypto
  • The “dean” has advised that crypto is replacing gold

The bad news:

The “other” news:

  • A rare look inside some of China’s bitcoins “mines

The videos:

  • Jeff Bewick continues his upbeat and wacky video series about bitcoin
  • Andreas Antonopoulos explains the current state of bitcoin

Based upon the last 24 hours of news, the cryptosphere is decidedly negative, with concerns over bitcoin and Ethereum, mounting.


Image: Flickr

Bitcoin to $2,000,000 in Three Years?

 


How to make two million dollars in three years, by purchasing one bitcoin as soon as possible?

At that point you should only be required to pay long term capital gains taxes.

Why not 20 million — if the dollar devalues fast enough? In Venezuela, I estimate that bitcoins are are well over million Bolivares each. Let’s check that math.

The price of bitcoin this second, is about $2300 and dropping — again. This was expected. That is equivalent to 23,000 Venezuelan Bolivares (VEB) — at the official rate. Not bad you say, but wait, there’s less… The official rates are nonsense.

20 Million Boilvares per bitcoin?

The unofficial price you will pay for one bitcoin in Venezuela is about 19,555,000 VEB. Let’s just round that off. To buy a single bitcoin in that Socialist paradise will set you back about 20 million VEB. That’s a big stack of paper and the last I heard, the government there was having trouble obtaining enough paper to print money.

So already, in some countries, you are a rich. Not really. One US dollar is equivalent to about 8500 VEB — street value. (See here for realistic conversions rates.) So you would still have, realistically, about $2300 bucks US. That is if a Venezuelan could really afford to buy a single bitcoin. Bummer.

Maybe the Venezuelan dictator can ask the motorcycle gangs currently stealing sugar from moving trucks in broad daylight, Mad Max style, to swipe a few rolls of paper and pass it along to the printing office. You know, in order to print more money. Wait — bad idea — toilet paper is also at a premium there. Actually, I think they are fresh out — a year ago.

But talk about optimism. John McAfee tweeted that:

Bitcoin would reach $500,000 in value in three years.

…or he will eat his own privates on national TV. Sure he will.

But McAfee might stick to his 10 million dollar bet. Why? Because according to this piece, McAfee is betting on a bitcoin fork. Not bitcoin. Did you catch that? He’s betting on some new type of bitcoin.

I’d say McAfee is going to lose 10 mil and a part of his anatomy. Well, maybe the 10 mil, unless he’s insane. Come to think of it — not the insane part — I want to see that bet. Any evidence he actually made it? That anyone has excepted?

Whether it’s just a publicity stunt we might never know. McAfee does say some pretty relevant stuff though. Take his Google comments. He wants to take them out. Why? For very good reasons. The fact that Google tends to obtain too much information about us. Kind of a errant, business-like, “Big Brother.” One that shares information with Uncle Sam when politely asked.

Don’t worry, your smart phone, computer and talking toy robot are not really watching you…that much. They have no idea that you are a Crypto-Head. And I say this in all seriousness and sarcasm. (Did I mention that the FBI is now warning us about our children’s toy-spies?)

But back to the bitcoin news. Does McAfee have a point? Will he retain his privates? Let’s just take that first question, in general.

Will bitcoin continue to increase in value over the mid to long term — if it does fork?

McAfee — and this guy ain’t no dummy — says yes. In fact, McAfee puts his faith in Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu.

In case you are still confused about a fork or two, look over the graphic provided here. It’s a great way to understand the basic SegWit, SegWit2, and UASF issues is a visual way. Things are definitely confusing this time around. So let’s ditch the acronyms and get back to our $2,000,000 bitcoin. I’m salivating, aren’t you?

Back to Bitmain and Wu. McAfee says Wu is a sharp guy and that the market will follow him with his brand of “bictoin,” whatever flavor that happens to be. The old traditional bitcoin, the one that was developed by Satoshi Nakamoto and supposedly improved by the core teams over the years, will take a nose dive — back to 40 bucks each. At that point, would it even survive? Can you imagine the bag-holders?

But that’s not all. It’s why I brought up the Venezuelan comparisons. McAfee thinks that as a result of his research, this “new” bitcoin will reach prices north of one million dollars. Maybe more than two million each.

Jump Ship?

So how will we, as consumers, jump ship, if Wu forks bitcoin (original flavor)? I’m assuming, but please don’t hold me to this, that we would simply begin using his systems — his wallets —  with our old bitcoin. We’d sort of do a mini-fork.

I’m sure Wu will announce his fork plans and then us little people can then decide for ourselves, which way to go. With Big Daddy Wu or Old Bitcoin core. Maybe I’ll head over to Iota for spell anyway. I just like their style.

This brings up yet another question. Suppose we try Wu’s “New and Improved” Bitcoin (extra crispy flavor) and we don’t like it. Can we then switch our bitcoins back to original flavor? We’ll see.

In the meantime, keep your eyes on Crypto and maybe deal in Litecoin or Ethereum until this Wu thing settles down.

And one more thing — and this is where lowly little me differs with Master McAfee. I think he’s wrong. Why would anyone invest in Wu-Coin if the guy knowing exploited a flaw in bitcoin to speed up mining and make higher profits, at the expense of the community at large?

And one last thing. I hate McAfee’s Antivirus software. Always had trouble with it.

Until next my next post, have a Crypto day.


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

 

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