PODCAST: Altcoins and Ancient History with Litecoin’s Charlie Lee

PODCAST: Altcoins and Ancient History with Litecoin’s Charlie Lee

Andreas M. Antonopoulos is a best-selling author, speaker, educator, and one of the world’s foremost bitcoin and open blockchain experts. He is known for delivering electric talks that combine economics, psychology, technology, and game theory with current events, personal anecdotes, and historical precedents effortlessly transliterating the complex issues of blockchain technology out of the abstract and into the real world.

Bitcoin Price Retests $7.3K as Analyst Eyes New Bullish Futures ‘Gap’

Bitcoin Price Retests $7.3K as Analyst Eyes New Bullish Futures ‘Gap’

Bitcoin (BTC) fell back towards support at the $7,250-$7,300 level on Dec. 1 after its latest sudden uptick began to fizzle overnight.  Cryptocurrency market daily overview. Source: Coin360 Futures gap incoming if lower levels stay Data from Coin360 showed the largest cryptocurrency shedding almost 30% of its gains from earlier in the week, dropping from local highs of $7,790 to around $7,300 at press time.  The downside equated to 24-hour losses of 6% for Bitcoin, which began showing signs it would test support strength at $7,000.  Previously, BTC/USD hit multi-month lows of $6,500 before rebounding almost $1,300 within a matter of days.  At press-time levels, the pair was trading at exactly the same level as last Sunday.  Bitcoin seven-day price chart. Source: Coin360 Now, analysts were looking for factors that could influence short-term momentum up or down. In particular, Cointelegraph contributor Michaël van de Poppe eyed a likely “gap” in Bitcoin futures markets.  As Cointelegraph reported, Bitcoin price tends to “fill” points in its price which fall between where one futures trading session ends and another begins.  After Sunday’s drop, a new gap will likely have opened up, van de Poppe said, as CME’s contracts finished Friday trading at $7,805. This would thus propel BTC/USD back towards $8,000. Last week, a gap at $7,200 was likewise swiftly filled.  “Good part of this drop; another CME gap is created to the upside,” van de Poppe commented in a fresh Twitter update.  Continuing, he added the potential for Bitcoin likely lay between $6,900 and $8,000: “I’d be interested to see whether we can break $7,400 up here. If we can, then we might be able to go to $8,000 after all. If not, I’m aiming at $6,900-7,000 for some longs.” Futures analysis delivered mixed results this week after CME’s monthly contracts settled on Friday. Data suggested that Bitcoin would likely gain following the payouts, but so far, an opposing price trajectory has characterized markets. Overall sentiment among futures traders nonetheless remains bullish, with competitor Bakkt seeing record daily volumes for its own monthly contracts last week.  Altcoins lose ground to BTC Altcoin markets meanwhile saw a disappointing 24 hours, with many major cryptocurrencies shedding around 5%.  Ether (ETH), the largest altcoin by market cap, fell 4.2% to…

What the HEX: A Look at Richard Heart’s Controversial New Crypto

What the HEX: A Look at Richard Heart’s Controversial New Crypto

HEX is a new financial tool and cryptocurrency launching on the Ethereum network via a Bitcoin UTXO snapshot on December 2. Critics are questioning HEX’s legitimacy, calling it a colossal cash grab and privacy compromise. Devout fans can’t wait to claim their tokens and start staking. So who’s right and who’s wrong? Richard Heart, the outspoken man behind HEX, sat down with Cointelegraph to talk about the upcoming launch and counter a few of the criticisms surrounding the project.  Heart explained that HEX is the world’s first high-interest blockchain certificate of deposit (CD), letting users stake their tokens in return for interest. Users can enjoy interest payments ranging from 3.69% if 99% of the total supply is staked, up to an improbable and enormous payout of 369% if only one percent of the total supply is staked — paid out in HEX tokens. It’s worth noting that the monetary value of such a payout depends entirely on the market value of HEX at the time of maturity. “It’s the world’s first blockchain CD that attacks the largest market in the banking ecosystem outside of savings accounts,” Heart said. Move Over, Big Banks? HEX is essentially a crypto version of the traditional fixed deposit. The client-side looks like the popular banking instrument: a user locks up funds, then receives their invested principal plus interest when the term matures.  “Banks use your money as a sort of collateral that’s just an excuse for them to borrow money from the government at extremely low rates,” Heart said. HEX Fixes This… Meanwhile, Bitcoin has some serious limitations, Heart explained. “What does Bitcoin do? It lets you enter a number on your screen which changes the number on someone else’s screen. It makes sure nobody does that twice by burning millions of dollars in electricity.”  Of course, the cost to secure a single such transaction is far from millions of dollars, but Heart has a soft spot for hyperbole. Heart said Bitcoin prices can spiral downward due to miner competition, causing difficulty to spike to all-time highs while the market price dwindles. Miners have to keep selling more of their newly minted coins, and thus continue to push the price further down. Heart neglected to mention Bitcoin’s difficulty adjustment system,…

The Jim Bell System Revisited

The Jim Bell System Revisited

Let me re-emphasize that I have neither the knowledge nor the will to implement this system. I certainly don’t like the State, but I would rather concentrate my energies on constructive rather than destructive solutions. That said, I still think governments everywhere are going to be staring down the barrel of an encrypted gun in the near future, and this article attempts to explain why, in response to numerous objections received since my last article. **This following article is an opinion piece written in 2002 by the libertarian author Robert Vroman. Vroman is well known for his editorial work writing for anti-state.com. ‘The Jim Bell System Revisited’ first published on anti-state.com on August 15, 2002, in response to “The Jim Bell System” debate. Check out Bob Murphy’s and Adam Young’s response to Vroman’s editorial. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any opinions, content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article.** I also want to point out some areas where I think Jim Bell is completely off base. First of all, his insistence that AP is somehow residing in a loophole of the American legal system that only he is aware of, is absurd, as rightly pointed out by many of his critics. I have no delusions that AP would somehow survive its “day in court” or that even if, due to some arcane technicality, AP is a legal enterprise that that would stop the State from pursuing it relentlessly. Furthermore, I am mystified by Bell’s fascination with confrontation and martyrdom (as exemplified by his personal life) and do not think AP will be started by the self-sacrificing, or that it’s even necessarily a good idea to have that mindset when designing the system. Bell also overestimates the enthusiasm that ordinary people will have for AP by a long shot. I still have reasons to believe there will sufficient customers, but they are not going to be primarily heartland regular Joes, who Bell envisions watching AP’s deadly progress with amusement. Bell also gives some slightly cockeyed responses to a number of objections to his invention. In fact really the main thing I take away from his writing is the system itself, not necessarily any of his justifications. My friend and business partner, Bob Murphy…

Film Reveals Never-Before-Seen Information About the Silk Road Case

Film Reveals Never-Before-Seen Information About the Silk Road Case

On November 26, a new Silk Road video was published that reveals underreported and never-before-seen information. The film called the “Silk Road Case: The Real, Untold Story” contains over 400 references to direct evidence from a wide range of sources. The organization Freeross.org published the video on Youtube and called it “the most comprehensive, researched narrative about Silk Road and Ross Ulbricht’s case.” Also read: The Silk Road Investigation: A ‘Pattern of Bad Behavior and Double Agents’ New Silk Road Documentary Discusses How Ross Ulbricht Handed the Reins Over to Another Individual Since the Silk Road marketplace was seized and Ross Ulbricht incarcerated, many facets of the case have remained a mystery to this day. The video published on Youtube on November 26 by the nonprofit organization Freeross.org tries to unravel some of the riddles behind the Silk Road investigation. “Silk Road Case: The Real, Untold Story” contains information that has never been publicly released before as well as underreported information from sources derived from various subjects, court filings, transcripts, trial exhibits, and affidavits. The Silk Road investigation was dubbed the ‘Schumer’s case’ after New York Senator Chuck Schumer read the infamous gawker.com article. Chuck Schumer (left) and gawker.com article photo (right).When Ross started the Silk Road, he called it a “free-market economic experiment” and he wholeheartedly believed “people should have the right to buy and sell whatever they wanted, so long as they weren’t hurting anyone else.” Just a few months after the market launch, the news outlet gawker.com published an article about the Silk Road, which went viral and eventually reached the ears of politicians and law enforcement. New York Senator Chuck Schumer called for immediate action against the Silk Road marketplace and at the time, it was called the ‘Schumer’s case.’ Ross Ulbricht’s laptop at a museum. Photo credit: Josephine WalshBecause Ross lacked the technical knowledge and programming abilities to run a marketplace as large as the Silk Road, he started asking friends for help. A close friend didn’t want anything to do with the market, so Ross turned to an anonymous individual. “A stranger provided the needed help and eventually took control of the site entirely,” the video’s narrator highlights. Moreover, the unknown Silk Road leader did an interview with the…

Canadian Regulator Green-Lights Bitcoin Fund IPO

Canadian Regulator Green-Lights Bitcoin Fund IPO

The Bitcoin Fund’s initial public offering (IPO) filing has been accepted by Canada’s Ontario Securities Commission. Despite previously rejecting it, the Canadian regulator finally accepted the fund’s IPO prospectus after a public hearing and a favorable ruling. Also read: Bitcoin ATMs Installed at 5 Major Malls in the US The Bitcoin Fund IPO Crypto-focused Canadian investment fund manager 3IQ Corp. announced on Thursday that it has filed a preliminary prospectus for the IPO of The Bitcoin Fund. More importantly, the prospectus dated Nov. 27 has been receipted by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) after previously rejecting it. The IPO will offer two classes of units at $10 each. The Bitcoin Fund is a closed-end investment fund established as a trust under Ontario’s laws, the company explained, adding that “the units will be an eligible qualified investment for registered investment accounts.” The fund’s investment objectives are to provide investors with long-term capital appreciation and exposure to bitcoin and its daily price movement in USD, the announcement details. Founded in 2012, 3IQ already manages two other private digital asset funds for accredited investors in Canada. It will act as The Bitcoin Fund’s investment and portfolio manager. The crypto-focused company has been working to bring a public bitcoin fund to market for Canadian retail investors since 2016. Success After a Long Battle 3IQ Corp. originally filed a preliminary prospectus for the IPO of The Bitcoin Fund with the OSC’s Investment Funds & Structures Projects branch (IFSP) in October last year. However, the staff raised a number of concerns after reviewing it, arguing that the fund was not in the public interest of Canadians. This resulted in the IFSP director rejecting the fund’s prospectus in February. The company then requested a hearing and a review of this decision. After a public hearing and several meetings, OSC Commissioner Lawrence P. Haber ruled that the staff’s concerns “do not warrant denying a receipt for The Bitcoin Fund’s prospectus.” The commissioner believes that it is not the role of securities regulators to approve or disapprove of the merits of the underlying investment being offered to the public — bitcoin in this case. Among other bullish statements, he said, “there is sufficient evidence of real volume and real trading in bitcoin on registered…

Blockchain, Power and Politics: How Decentralization Engenders Freedom

Blockchain, Power and Politics: How Decentralization Engenders Freedom

The 21st century world is connected, but not centered. These are both good things. Connections link people, cultures and ideas. Indeed, all the great advances in human history have been the result of social and economic networks. Without the trade routes of the Indian Ocean, the Islamic world would never have acquired the numerals of India that now form the foundation of our mathematics of science. Without the coffeehouses of 17th- and 18th-century Britain, the Enlightenment probably wouldn’t have materialized. Genius dies in isolation; connection is the engine that drives human progress. By contrast, the centralization of power is highly correlated with disaster and suffering. Some say that this is the iron law of oligarchy — i.e., as any institution, private or public, becomes larger and more complex, power will inevitably become concentrated in the hands of a small elite. It’s also inevitable that we’ll experience earthquakes and hurricanes, but this doesn’t stop us from trying to mitigate the damage of such natural disasters. The incentives of our traditional economies have made oligarchies a practical certainty. We are now at a technological crossroads, however, which will allow us to change these incentives, keeping power in the hands of the people. And blockchain could be a key component of this process. Blockchain should be anti-bloc. What does this mean? Simply put, that a truly decentralized blockchain will, by its very nature, resist the centralizing and homogenizing forces that tend to form into power blocs. We must not forget that blockchain is also a means to an idealistic end. When Satoshi Nakamoto mined the Bitcoin genesis block, he embedded a reference to an article in London’s newspaper The Times about the 2008 financial crash. The gesture was not subtle: Satoshi believed that centralized banks and central governments had failed their constituents. It’s increasingly difficult to distinguish between our “online” and “offline” lives, so it’s hardly a surprise that regimes that wish to control their citizens — or even transform their citizens into “subjects” — do so by controlling the internet. It’s a scandal that even a single country is unfree, but across the world, governments are growing more restrictive and more repressive. These regimes actively ban services, put up firewalls, gather data, monitor critics and mass-produce lies.…

Bitcoin Fails to Break $7.8K and Now Risks Reversing to New Lows

Bitcoin Fails to Break $7.8K and Now Risks Reversing to New Lows

Whereas Bitcoin (BTC) was hovering at $6,500 earlier this week, it has since rebounded to the resistance zone of $7,800 but failed to break it on the first attempt. Crypto market daily performance. Source: Coin360 As the short term trend is still upwards, should traders be cautious about the recent price action? Let’s take a look at the charts.  Bitcoin still inside the downwards channel The more notable timeframe — the daily in this case  — is still showing a downward trending channel since the top at the end of June 2019.  BTC USD daily chart. Source: TradingView This downwards trending channel is still active as the price bounced back from the “support” line and the 0.618-0.65 golden ratio Fibonacci level earlier this week.  The green zone around $6,500-6,800 can still be seen as a significant support level here, while the upwards red/yellow area is showing significant resistance. The resistance area is in the $8,000-8,200 zone, which is also around the trendline of the downwards channel. The total crypto market cap rejected at first resistance Total crypto market capitalization daily chart. Source: TradingView The total market capitalization of crypto is showing a similar view as BTC/USD at this point. The market cap held the green zone as support — which is crucial — but couldn’t break the first resistance.  The overall market cap chart often provides a more unobstructed view than Bitcoin regarding price movements and, in this case, is also showing some clear signals.  Total market capitalization chart. Source: TradingView In this regard, the price retraced to the earlier resistance in April of this year.  Currently, the price has tested whether that level can be confirmed support and did just that with a bounce from $175 to $207 billion. However, the first resistance at $207 billion was rejected, which suggests a potential retest of the purple area is in order.  If the purple area manages to hold, the total market capitalization is moving inside a vast falling wedge pattern, which is likely to break out in January 2020. First resistance rejected at smaller time frames BTC USD 4 hour chart. Source: TradingView The BTC price has seen a surge of $1,300 during the week from $6.5K. However, it was not able to break through…

459 Days Until BTC Hits Its Longest Streak Without a New All-Time High

459 Days Until BTC Hits Its Longest Streak Without a New All-Time High

Since bitcoin hit its all-time high (ATH) in December 2017, crypto enthusiasts have wondered if BTC will touch or surpass it again. After the ATH in November 2013 at $1,156 per BTC, it took 1,170 days to touch the next ATH at $19,891 per coin. To many observers, the downtime has been very long after the rough crypto winter of 2018, but so far it’s only been 711 days since the last price high. Also Read: Bakkt’s Bitcoin Futures Shatters Records Amid Spot Market Turmoil BTC Traders Patiently Wait for the Next Bull Run Digital currency and BTC prices rebounded after the fall in 2018 but not everyone is convinced the bearish sentiment is over. Optimism exists because on December 7 at approximately 8:05 EST, BTC prices dropped to a low of $3,306 per coin but since then BTC has regained at least half of the percentage losses. Positivity jumped back in the summer when BTC rose 320% from the December 2018 low to a high of $13,311 on June 27. But after that, expectations dropped when BTC prices slid to the $7K region during the last week of October. The dip made people wonder if the crypto winter was still alive and well. However, on October 24 BTC prices popped again from a low of $7,446 to a high of $10,021 on October 26. Since then BTC prices have been dragging low again and 27 days later the value dropped under $7K to a low of $6,400. BTC has gained 5-7% in the last seven days and most digital asset markets seem to be in a recovery phase after the drops in value. One way to figure out how much longer it will be until the next ATH is by measuring how long it’s been since the last BTC price high. Historical data shows that between November 30, 2013 when BTC surpassed $1,100 per coin it took 1,170 days to surpass the 2013 ATH on February 13, 2017. Various factors drove the price up in 2013 like Mt Gox bots, the Cyprus banking crisis, and Chinese demand. Similarly, feverish retail demand, excitement for regulated BTC futures, economic hardships in Greece and Venezuela, South Korean demand, and the initial coin offering (ICO) boom helped fortify…

Criminal Activity in Crypto: The Fact, the Fiction and the Context

Criminal Activity in Crypto: The Fact, the Fiction and the Context

It’s the clichéd rhetoric of choice for anyone seeking to discredit crypto. An ace in the hole for any argument against its proliferation. The go-to thesis for those who know very little about cryptocurrency but wish to appear otherwise.  The idea that cryptocurrencies are solely utilized within illicit activities has become both a tool for mass media to disparage the industry and, for many, a reason to steer well clear. But besides being a tired stereotype, it may also be true. That’s one of the prevailing problems with stereotypes: While many derive from truth, they often represent an oversimplified — and sometimes twisted — version of it. It is true, for instance, that cryptocurrencies are used to facilitate criminal activities.  However, it is also true that any form of value will be used for illegal purposes, whether through crypto or fiat. That being said, digital coins account for just a fraction of the crimes funded with cash — which is also an undeniably more popular means of exchange. Nevertheless, a lack of regulation and relative anonymity has granted cryptocurrencies infamy along with an air of immorality. In fact, several reports on cryptocurrency’s penchant for illegality have been published in the past two weeks alone.  XRP’s criminal undertow On Nov. 20, cryptocurrency forensics and analysis firm Elliptic published an analysis on XRP transactions. Within their findings, the firm disclosed that $400 million worth of XRP had been used for “illicit activity.” This represents just 0.2% of total transactions, something which Elliptic suggests makes the vast majority of activity “legitimate.” Still, $400 million is no insignificant number. This is especially true for XRP, which was designed with institutional and commercial financial systems in mind. Coincidentally, Elliptic’s reasoning behind exposing XRP’s clandestine transactions was to warn institutional clients before any potential entanglement. Dr. Tom Robinson, co-founder and chief scientist of Elliptic explained the position to Cointelegraph: “Any payments system, and especially open ones such as XRP, will be used for some level of illicit activity. What is critical is that this activity is identified, so that it can be mitigated.” Robinson is of the opinion that by shining a light on such illicit activity, the company is helping the regulated financial institutions to engage with crypto assets such as…