Cypherpunk Bitstream Hosts Talk Crypto-Anarchy, Dropgangs, and Importance of Real Life Connections

Cypherpunk Bitstream Hosts Talk Crypto-Anarchy, Dropgangs, and Importance of Real Life Connections

The Cypherpunk Bitstream podcast is a relatively new program that’s just released its fourth episode. The hosts, known as Frank Braun and The Real Smuggler, are so-called ‘privacy extremists’ and dyed-in-the-wool crypto-anarchists concerned with exposing cypherpunk ethos to a wider audience. Braun and Smuggler took time out recently to discuss their journeys to crypto-anarchy, the benefits of dropgangs for delivery of goods, and what crypto needs to succeed in bringing more economic freedom to more people. Also read: Iran, Hong Kong, India: Failed Protests Point to Need for Crypto-Anarchy ‘Second Realms’ Journey to Crypto-Anarchy While it may seem strange for a pair of privacy-extremist cypherpunks to record a podcast that will be shared with the internet at large, Braun and Smuggler have their reasons. After all, nobody pops out of the womb as a cypherpunk, per se, and without meaningful connections and material available to learn, the path to such knowledge would be much more darkly lit. Frank Braun and The Real Smuggler explained recently to news.Bitcoin.com their reasons for starting the Cypherpunk Bitstream podcast, as well as their individual journeys to becoming cypherpunks. News.Bitcoin.com (BC): What did the philosophical journey to cypherpunk/crypto-anarchist look like for you guys? Frank Braun (FB): My formal background is in computer science and in university I got interested in Libertarianism and Austrian economics. From there I went to Anarcho-capitalism and wondered how we could get to more freedom in our lifetimes, but I didn’t really connect it with computers at all. At the time I was interested in Seasteading, but didn’t really think I could contribute something meaningful there. Then I moved to Berlin and met Smuggler by accident, who introduced me to the concept of Cryptoanarchy, which totally clicked for me. The rest is history… Smuggler (SM): It’s been a long journey. Half of it less conscious than one would like to present it in hindsight. It all started with the fascination with computers and communication tech, throw in some inspiring sci-fi, and then of course reading all the techno-libertarian, anarcho-capitalist and crypto-anarchist texts I could get my hands on. Then add thousands of hours of conversation over mailing lists, invisible IRC, and in person to end up where I am now. Makes me wonder where that all…

Interview: Craig Wright Still ‘99.9999%’ Sure That He’ll Get Access to BTC Fortune

Interview: Craig Wright Still ‘99.9999%’ Sure That He’ll Get Access to BTC Fortune

Speaking with Cointelegraph’s video team on Jan. 20, Satoshi-claimant Craig Wright remained confident that he will get access to the Bitcoin fortune he famously claims to be locked up in the Tulip Trust.  Access to the Tulip Trust Regarding the controversial Tulip Trust, and his ultimate ability to access his reported bitcoin fortune, Wright told Cointelegraph:  “I’m 99.9999 and a few more 9s percent certain that I will be taking control of my BTC and whatever else.” Craig Wright is one of the more famous of the many people to claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous author (or authors) of Bitcoin’s 2008 whitepaper. Since February 2018, Wright has been locked in a court battle with the estate of David Kleiman, his deceased former partner. The case hinges on a fortune of a million Bitcoin — worth roughly $8 billion at press time.  The missing keys Whether or not Wright can even access this fortune is a major sticking point of this case. This was most recently evident in major price fluctuations for Wright-promoted Bitcoin SV, which dropped by 18% on Jan. 18 upon news that documents Wright filed with the court contained keys, but only public keys. The private keys, he maintains, are still in the hands of the trust.  Wright said that he formed the trust “back when Bitcoin was not worth anything at all” as a prescient move to secure his prospective assets. When asked why he himself is not one of the trustees, he said:  “Because I’m smart enough not to be. Because then people could force me to actually move coins. You can take things from trustees. If it was mine, people could have seized assets from me.” Current Bitcoin SV activity The convoluted script of the Kleiman v. Wright case has been followed by extreme turbulence in Bitcoin SV price. Wright was dismissive on the subject of the present market, calling it “basically a regurgitation of every stupid thing that’s happened.” Check back with Cointelegraph tomorrow to watch the full interview.

Bitcoin Price Tightens as Traders Eye the CME Gap and $8.2K Support

Bitcoin Price Tightens as Traders Eye the CME Gap and $8.2K Support

The price of Bitcoin (BTC) tumbled down from $9,200 to $8,450 yesterday. However, bulls are defending the $8,600 level with strength. The market needs to find a support area before the continuation of the bullish momentum is likely. Did the market find one already?  Crypto market daily performance. Source: Coin360 Bitcoin price finds resistance at $9,200 The price of Bitcoin rallied towards the $9,200 level through the past weeks, which makes it a 43% rally in just a month. However, the 0.618 – 0.65 Fibonacci level (the golden pocket ratio) provided resistance, and the price of Bitcoin dropped down yesterday.  BTC USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingView Similarly, the $9,200 level used to be strong support during the summer of 2019 and can, therefore, be classified as a major hurdle to take for Bitcoin. If this level breaks upwards, a healthy continuation of the bullish momentum is likely with targets of $10,000 and $11,000 on the table. BTC USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView The 4-hour timeframe is showing a significant rejection from the $9,200 level. This rejection was created through a weak breakout of the $9,000 level, which caused the RSI to make bearish divergences and to ‘trap’ traders in this direction. Usually, a breakout causes an influx of volume, unless the breakout is a fake-out. Additionally, the chart shows that the price is currently stabilizing around the high of January the 8th. This high is found at the $8,470 level. Weekend movements create CME gaps  BTC USD 4-hour CME chart. Source: TradingView Movements during the weekend create CME gaps, and CME gaps are likely to be filled soon after. Given that the dropdown occurred on Sunday, there’s a new gap created on the charts. This gap is defined between $8,765 and $8,865. Does this mean that the price is likely to move upwards? No, but the CME gaps are being used as a new indicator or narrative to trade.  Total market capitalization struggles to break $250 billion Total market capitalization crypto 1-day chart. Source: TradingView The total market capitalization chart shows a significant resistance at $250 billion. This resistance is compared with the $9,200 level as the total market capitalization used to have this level as support through the summer of 2019. From this perspective,…

How Is Bitcoin Cash Different From Bitcoin Core?

How Is Bitcoin Cash Different From Bitcoin Core?

The crypto space can be hard to break into for those unfamiliar with the jargon, lingo, and foundational knowledge taken for granted by the already initiated. Adding to this difficulty is the fact that there are several different cryptos which bear the name “Bitcoin.” Convoluted as this all may seem, the differences are pretty easy to understand. This article seeks to explain in simple terms the difference between two of the most popular cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Core (BTC). Also Read: An In-Depth Look at the Multi-Currency Cold Storage Card Ballet Bitcoin’s Genesis Just before the first version of Bitcoin launched in 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto described his creation in the Bitcoin whitepaper, or foundational document, as “A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash,” which “would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.” The ticker symbol for this currency was eventually set as BTC. Over the years, however, as disagreements among community members and developers about scaling grew, it became clear that differences were irreconcilable, and that a split in the bitcoin community via a fork in the protocol would occur. The Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork One group wished to increase the block size significantly to allow for faster processing of transactions, elimination of high transaction fees, and greater ease-of-use as cash for everyday spending and payments. The other group argued that such high fees were necessary and even desirable, and that extremely slow transaction speeds were a tradeoff for a more secure network. Arguments have been made in favor of both sides regarding the issue of security and centralization, as this Twitter thread demonstrates. On August 1, 2017, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) split from Bitcoin Core (BTC) via a hard fork, and the former now features 32MB blocks, whereas BTC has a theoretical capacity for a max “block weight” of 4MB via a controversial solution known as Segwit. Popular bitcoin core narratives have since evolved saying BTC is like “digital gold” that should not be spent, but only held and saved. This presents a clear problem where Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision was specifically for a “purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash.” Onchain Scaling vs. Second Layer Solutions Adding to the specialized language, buzzwords and…

Price Analysis Jan 20: BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, BSV, LTC, EOS, BNB, XLM, ADA

Price Analysis Jan 20: BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, BSV, LTC, EOS, BNB, XLM, ADA

The total market capitalization of the crypto space rallied from about $184 billion on Jan. 3 to a high of $250 billion on Jan. 19. That is a 35% gain within a short span of time. Usually, fast-paced rallies do not last long, hence, for the long-term health of the markets, it is better to have rallies with intermittent corrections. Bitcoin has been following the Stock-to-Flow model fairly accurately. The model’s creator, an analyst known as PlanB, believes that the price of Bitcoin is likely to average around $8,200 until the halving event in May of this year. Thereafter, the model projects the price to shoot up to about $100,000 within two years. While the target is extremely bullish, only time will tell whether Bitcoin reaches there or not. Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360 Australian micro-investment startup Raiz has received clearance from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, the country’s financial watchdog agency, to offer Bitcoin fund services to its users. The proposed Bitcoin retail fund is likely to launch in the first half of this year and it will have 5% exposure to Bitcoin directly, with the rest being invested in exchange traded funds. Though the crypto portion is small, we like the way, the regulators are gradually opening up to Bitcoin. The crypto markets have currently entered a corrective phase. Let’s look at the critical levels to watch on the downside that can provide support. BTC/USD The bulls scaled above the 200-day SMA at $9,036 on Jan. 19 but could not hold on to the gains. The price quickly turned down and Bitcoin (BTC) formed an outside day candlestick pattern, which suggests that bears are active at higher levels. BTC USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview The price can now dip to the 20-day EMA at $8,247, which is likely to act as a strong support. The upsloping 20-day EMA and the RSI in the positive territory suggest that bulls are in command. If the price bounces off sharply from the 20-day EMA, the bulls will again attempt to carry the BTC/USD pair above the 200-day SMA. If successful, a rally to $10,360.89 will be on the cards. Contrary to our assumption, if the bears sink the price below the 20-day EMA, a…

DigixDAO Votes to Liquidate $64M Treasury

DigixDAO Votes to Liquidate $64M Treasury

A project which conducted a 2016 initial coin offering (ICO) has voted to liquidate its $64 million treasury, returning funds to investors. Project Ragnarok, a measure to return ether to ICO investors from the Digix project’s treasury – which was held independently of the company in a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), DigixDAO – has passed with over 95 percent support. Only 52 votes were cast, according to the proposal on the Digix community site. With the passage, a contract will be executed, unstaking and giving back 0.19 ETH per DGD – Digix’s token which links physical gold bullion to representations on the ethereum network – near par with the current value of DGD, according to Messari. Digix conducted its ICO in 2016, raising some 466,648 ETH worth some $7 million at the time. DigixDAO currently holds 380,000 ETH according to two addresses on ethscanner. As CoinDesk reported this winter, Digix’s CEO Kai Cheng Chng offered to dissolve the DAO following community requests. “One recurring comment was for a mechanism for dissatisfied DGD token holders to make a clean break from DigixDAO,” he wrote in a Digix blog post. Digix itself does not plan on closing up shop given the results of the vote, however. Digix abstained from voting on the proposal as it was not in favor of liquidating the fund, according to the blog post. Disclosure Read More The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

South Korea Considers 20% Crypto Income Tax

South Korea Considers 20% Crypto Income Tax

The South Korean government is said to be considering imposing a 20 percent tax on income generated from cryptocurrency transactions. South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported Monday that officials from the Ministry of Economy and Finance’s income tax office had been reviewing a new proposal that could see the country adopt a clearer regime for how it taxes cryptocurrencies. An anonymous official speaking to Yonhap suggested South Korea is considering re-classifying returns made on cryptocurrencies as a type of “other income,” placing it in the same category as money earned from lotteries, rather than as a form of capital gains, as it is currently treated. Under existing South Korea legislation, a 20 percent rate is levied on 40 percent of total other income; the remaining 60 percent can be tax-deductible. Currently, virtual currencies can be taxed under different schedules, with rates of up to 42 percent under capital gains. South Korea’s Ministry of Economy and Finance has pushed for a new cryptocurrency tax regime for over a month now. A ministry spokesperson confirmed to The Korea Times in December that a “revised bill” for enhancing the government’s ability to tax cryptocurrencies would be drawn up in the first half of 2020. The official added that no plans had yet been finalized, suggesting the tax plan could be amended or even thrown out by the ministry. Although cryptocurrency taxation is still a very nascent field, the approach taken by the governments in many developed economies has been to treat returns made on cryptocurrencies as a form of capital gains – a tax that is levied on the difference when a sale price exceeds that of the purchase price. The U.S. internal revenue service (IRS), for example, issued guidance in October that reconfirmed the status of cryptocurrencies as a form of property, even when received as a form of income. Depending on a person’s income bracket, taxes liable can exceed 39 percent if the cryptocurrency is held for less than a year. In the U.K., cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are classified as commodities and holders can be liable to a 20 percent tax on disposals that altogether exceed £12,000 (~$15,600) in the tax year. But the move by South Korea would bring it closer into line with Japan,…

Developer Proposes Decentralized Bitcoin Hashrate Derivatives

Developer Proposes Decentralized Bitcoin Hashrate Derivatives

There’s a new concept called Powswap that lets people speculate on hashrate in order to hedge against price volatility. Powswap was developed by the software engineer Jeremy Rubin who believes hashrate derivatives products allow people to leverage new trading strategies. Also read: Regulatory Roundup: EU-Wide Crypto Regulations, New Rules in Europe, US, Asia Powswap Where Miners and Holders Can Speculate On Hashrate Software developer Jeremy Rubin recently announced the launch of a new project he developed called Powswap. It lets people speculate on hashrate to offer “mining derivatives with no trust required.” Essentially, in Rubin’s words, Powswap is a “smart contract/platform for trading Bitcoin hashrate derivatives” with “No middlemen. No oracles. No escrows. Nothing but Bitcoin.” The day Rubin announced the project he explained that it works on Bitcoin Core on mainnet and that no soft forks are required. He also noted that the basic protocol doesn’t require the participation of any other parties and claimed that Powswap is “real [decentralized finance] defi.” Rubin added: Hashrate derivatives let you trade new strategies: Miners can buy a hedge if they think the difficulty will go up putting them out of business. Miners can hedge if they think their mining operation might ‘blow up’ dropping hash rate and miners can level up new ops. Hodlers can buy insurance against hashrate drops. Hodlers can sell against a large hashrate change in order to generate passive interest and traders can do their thing in between the two to generate profits off of inefficiencies. Powswap has a website that explains the concept in greater detail. According to the site, the project is a noncustodial, trust-free hashrate derivatives platform. Powswap could help miners mitigate against unforeseen changes in the network’s difficulty. Additionally, holders can benefit and market makers can make profits by providing liquidity to the market. At the moment, Powswap’s website says the concept is in its nascent stages and people can sign up to become a Powswap alpha tester. An explanation of the Powswap concept and how it works.The project website explains how Rubin’s mining derivatives idea works by utilizing block delta contracts. Basically these contracts can detect changes in hashrate. Powswap also leverages a bulletin board that relays orders of available offers and takes a small commission for…

Maduro Opens International Crypto Casino

Maduro Opens International Crypto Casino

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has authorized the opening of an international casino at a luxury hotel in Caracas where bets must be placed in petros, the country’s national oil-backed digital currency. Several cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies can be exchanged into petros to wager in the casino. The proceeds are expected to be used for healthcare and education. Also read: Regulatory Roundup: EU-Wide Crypto Regulations, New Rules in Europe, US, Asia Casino for Gambling With Petros The president of Venezuela announced Friday that he has authorized the opening of a casino at the Humboldt Hotel in Caracas where bets must be placed in petros (PTR). The hotel, located on the peak of El Avila hill, was reopened in 2018. “I have authorized legal bets with petros,” he reportedly said during a joint radio and television broadcast. “For example, in the Hotel Humboldt, there will be an international casino and everyone who wants to bet will bet with petros, all those resources will enter the state for health and education.” Maduro elaborated: You can come to bet. There will be offers, special prices. You buy your petro tokens, you can buy them if you bring yuan, if you bring yen, dollars, euros or any other cryptocurrencies … buy your petros and make your licit bets allowed by the state as contemplated by national laws. Maduro announcing the opening of a casino at the Hotel Humboldt.Gamblers must acquire PTR to participate, Criptonoticias news outlet clarified, citing that the initiative aims to procure additional resources to boost Venezuela’s recessionary and hyperinflationary economy. While the Venezuelan president did not specify which cryptocurrencies are accepted, the government’s Petroapp allows users to buy PTR with BTC, LTC, and DASH. Promoting Petros The petro was officially launched in February 2018 by Maduro in an attempt to evade U.S. and European Union sanctions against some state officials and companies. However, many are calling the petro a scam and the U.S. has banned its use. Last week, he decreed that the sale of all fuel sold by the PDVSA, Venezuela’s state-owned oil and natural gas company, for planes operating international routes be made in petros from now on, AFP reported. Some buyers of Venezuelan crude oil have reportedly halted purchases after the country started demanding…

Adam Back on Satoshi Emails, Privacy Concerns and Bitcoin’s Early Days

Adam Back on Satoshi Emails, Privacy Concerns and Bitcoin’s Early Days

Eleven years after Bitcoin’s release, Cointelegraph caught up with Adam Back to discuss the early years of Bitcoin, his emails with Satoshi Nakamoto, privacy and much more.  The Blockstream CEO, who spoke to Cointelegraph at the Latin American crypto event LaBitconf in Uruguay, is a developer and cryptographer known for inventing Hashcash, a predecessor of the proof-of-work system used by Bitcoin.  Back also dismissed the idea that he is the father of Bitcoin and said he didn’t help Satoshi create the world’s first cryptocurrency, despite confirming he was probably the first person Satoshi talked to about Bitcoin when he sent an email to Back introducing his idea. Cypherpunks “There were many other things that paved the way for Bitcoin, like digital money experiments driven by cypherpunk ideals. In the 1990s, when the movement really started, I was in Europe, so I only attended one of these San Francisco Bay area in-person cypherpunk meetings. “However, the cypherpunks not only discussed e-cash but many other privacy-related topics. At that time, there was not only The Cryptography Mailing list — where Nakamoto first published — but many other lists where Nick Szabo, Wei Dai, Hal Finney and others frequently talked about e-cash. Some were physically in the Bay Area — I think Szabo, for example, may have attended the cypherpunks’ face-to-face meetings in the Bay Area along with Cypherpunks mailing list co-founders Eric Hughes, John Gimore and the late Timothy May. “Back in 1981, David Chaum had already created the foundation for anonymous communication, and in 1983, he launched blind signature schemes. Privacy, anonymity, individual freedom and digital control were hot topics for cypherpunks, along with math and programming.” E-cash “Digital money was also a hot topic, and it was discussed on the Cypherpunks list and other lists like Coderpunks, Cryptography and Bluesky.” Adam Back was one of the most active posters on the Cypherpunks list, with over 700 published posts. “There was a lot of debate about creating digital money. Besides Chaum’s most famous DigiCash, B-Money (developed by Wei) and Bit-Gold (developed by Szabo), there are many other obscure papers on the subject, and I sent Satoshi references to a couple of them related to proof-of-work in 2008. “At that time, in 1998, Wei and Szabo were…