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Chatter Report: Vitalik Doesn’t Believe in Proof of Work, Chris Pacia Discusses Big Blocks

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In this latest roundup of crypto chatter from social media, Vitalik Buterin sparks debate by declaring that he doesn’t believe in proof of work. Also, developer Rhett Creighton is accused of foul play in the Bitcoin Private pre-mine scandal. Finally, Chris Pacia clarifies his stance on large block limitations.

Also read: A Look at Some of 2018’s Most Popular Cryptocurrency Traders

Vitalik Doesn’t Believe in Proof of Work

Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin turned a lot of heads recently when he tweeted to Bitcoin maximalist Giacomo Zucco that he doesn’t “believe in proof of work.”

Crypto Twitter erupted with responses. One commentator, Crypto Domains, pointed out the ridiculousness of Vitalik’s comment, comparing it to not believing “in oxygen.” Crypto Domains’ remark resonated widely, not least since Ethereum itself currently runs on a proof of work model.

Bitcoin Community Skeptical of Rhett Creighton

The Bitcoin Private team recently released an official statement explaining that they had no prior knowledge of the BTCP coins that were covertly created during the fork that birthed the project. Instead, they were mislead by developer airk42, they insist. Airk42 had started out innocently by accepting a bounty the team had placed. He then managed to became a BTCP developer and was promoted to contributor on Github. However, when airk42 merged his own code, he left out one crucial line and a bad actor exploited this bug, creating approximately 2 million additional coins.

Many in the cryptocurrency community were suspicious of the BTCP team and their official response. In a recent live stream by bitcoin trader Tone Vays, developer Jimmy Song pointed out that former BTCP developer Rhett Creighton left the project in a rather cryptic manner that foreshadowed the hack.

Likewise, Vays expressed skepticism at Creighton’s sincerity and quickly theorized that he may have secretly been airk42. Cryptocurrency trader Nick Core also agreed with Tone, explaining that scammers are prone to “leave projects before they are finished.”

Chris Pacia Clarifies Tweet on Blocksize Limitations

Bitcoin commentator u/satoshi_vision 1 recently called out Openbazaar developer Chris Pacia on the r/bitcoincashSV subreddit for Pacia’s comments that bitcoin software will start to break down when blocks reach about 22 MB in size. u/satoshi_vision 1 was criticizing Pacia, as Coingeek had mined a 64MB block at block height 557335.

We were told by Chris Pacia that 22MB blocks would not work, not we have blocks nearly 3x that size. from bitcoincashSV

Pacia was unable to defend himself on the subreddit, as he had been banned from participating on r/bitcoincashSV, despite never having commented on it before. Instead, Pacia took to Twitter to defend himself, explaining that his tweet wasn’t about the ability to mine a single large block.

Rather than large single blocks, Pacia was referring to the ability to mine many large blocks in tandem. He then went on to point out that the average blocksize over a one-hour period never went above 7 MB when BSV was mining 32 MB blocks.

What do you think of Vitalik’s thoughts on proof of work? Let us know in the comments below.


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Wine Retailer to Buy Majority Stake in Japanese Bitcoin Exchange for $30M

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Madison Holdings Group Ltd. has agreed to buy 67.2 percent of Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Bitocean for 1.68 billion yen ($15.12 million). Inclusive of fees, the wines and alcoholic beverages company will pay a total $30.12 million. According to local media reports, the deal is to be completed through a subsidiary, Madison Labs.

Also read: Cryptocurrency Exchanges Delist Dozens of Struggling Altcoins

Acquisition to Diversify Operations and Expand Income Sources

Wine Retailer to Buy Majority Stake in Japanese Bitcoin Exchange for $30M

Madison is an investment holding company popular for selling top-end French wines. The $546 million-valued company is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange’s Growth Enterprise Market (GEM), a junior segment of the bourse. The company also has interests in corporate finance activities, financial advisory services and asset management.

Bitocean is registered as a crypto exchange with Japan’s Financial Services Agency, but has not commenced trading yet. According to papers filed with GEM, sometime this month, Madison is buying the stake from “independent third parties,” in what management said was part of the company’s “diversification strategy.”

A report in the South China Morning Post (SCMP) also detailed plans by HDR Cadenza Management – a unit of HDR Global Trading, owners of crypto exchange Bitmex – to acquire a 51 percent stake in Madison Labs for $17.14 million. Both deals have yet to be closed. Raymond Ting Pang-wan, chairman of Madison, stated:

Our wine business is stable and profitable, but then it is small. It is hard to make wine trading into a very big business. This is why we have to diversify into financial technology and the cryptocurrency business – to achieve a better return for our shareholders. Virtual currencies and blockchain are getting more popular. Investing in the virtual currency sector will expand our income source.

Lured by Japan’s Robust Crypto Regulation

Pang-wan told SCMP that his company was not concerned about the current market slump, which has seen the price of bitcoin core (BTC) plummet by more than 80 percent from its December 2017 all-time-high of almost $20,000. “Bitcoin is cheap, which has created a good opportunity for us to enter the market. We are eyeing the long term, so we are not worried about short-term volatility,” he was quoted as saying.

Wine Retailer to Buy Majority Stake in Japanese Bitcoin Exchange for $30M

He said the decision to enter Japan, which controls about a fifth of the global cryptocurrency trading total, was motivated by the existence of a comprehensive regulatory framework in the Pacific island nation. “We wanted to invest in a platform that was under proper regulation,” said Pang-wan.

Japan is building one of the strongest regulatory frameworks for the cryptocurrency industry, ostensibly to prevent cases of theft of investor funds. The $530 million Coincheck hack in January marked a crucial turning point in crypto regulation in the country. Today, Japan has the Virtual Currency Exchange Association, a self-regulatory body, while exchanges applying for a license with the Financial Services Authority have to go through a rigorous verification process.

According to the SCMP report, Gary Cheung Wai-kwok, chairman of the Hong Kong Securities Association, said:  “This is a small investment for the company (Madison), so it will not take too big a risk. It makes sense for the company to diversify its business to achieve higher income.”

What do you think about Madison’s deals with Bitocean and Bitmex? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Markets Update: Crypto Prices Begin to Slump as the New Year Approaches

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Most cryptocurrencies took a hit on Christmas Day, losing between 5-10% after having a decent run of solid gains last week. Some traders had assumed digital asset markets would be rather dull during the holidays, but the correction was deep and fast. At the moment, the entire cryptocurrency economy is worth $126 billion as traders are curiously waiting for the next big move.

Also read: Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories

Crypto Markets Show It’s Too Soon to Call the Bottom

Cryptocurrency markets have consolidated a little after taking some deep losses during the early morning hours of Dec. 25. Global trade volume for the entire ecosystem of digital assets had dropped a few billion since last week’s price spikes, and bulls are starting to show signs of exhaustion. This Wednesday, the combined valuation of all 2,000+ cryptocurrencies in terms of 24-hour trade volume is roughly $17.4 billion. Bitcoin core (BTC) is trading for $3,792 at the time of publication and its markets are capturing $5.4 billion worth of today’s crypto trades. BTC is down 0.14% over the last 24 hours and down 1% for the week. The second largest market capitalization is commanded by ripple (XRP) which is trading for $0.36 per coin. Ripple markets are down 1.7% over the last day and are down 1.5% for the week.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Begin to Slump as the New Year Approaches
Top 10 cryptocurrencies on Dec. 26, 2018.

Ethereum (ETH) has had a much better run over the last few days, with ETH markets up 0.55% today and 21% during the course of the last seven days. ETH is trading for $127 per coin and has a total market capitalization of around $13.2 billion. Lastly, the fifth biggest market valuation is still held by eos (EOS), where each token is swapping for $2.52. EOS has a $2.2 billion market cap and is up 1.8% today but down 3.9% for the week.

Bitcoin Cash Market Action

Bitcoin cash (BCH) markets are still doing very well this week after last week’s phenomenal 140% gains. BCH is still up by 32% over the last seven days and markets are up 3.2% in the last 24 hours. At the moment, BCH is trading for $168 per coin and the market has an overall valuation of about $2.9 billion. Trade volume is about $100 million lighter than a few days ago as today’s global BCH trade volume is around $551 million.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Begin to Slump as the New Year Approaches
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) daily chart on Wednesday.

The top five exchanges swapping the most bitcoin cash are Lbank, Binance, Huobi, Coinbase, and Hitbtc. Lbank and Binance are capturing about ⅓ of today’s BCH trades. The top currency today paired against BCH is tether (USDT), with 47.3% of trades. This is followed by BTC (20.9%), ETH (16%), USD (7.4%), JPY (3.9%), and the KRW (1.9%). Bitcoin cash is the sixth most traded cryptocurrency on Wednesday above litecoin but below the volume of ripple.

BCH/USD Technical Indicators

Even though there was a sizeable dip the other day, a few indicators on the charts still look bullish. Looking at the four-hour BCH/USD chart on Bitstamp shows the two Simple Moving Averages will be crossing hairs very soon as the 100 SMA may rise above the longer term 200 SMA. For now, the path toward the least resistance is still the downside, but in the near term it looks like a trend change may appear.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Begin to Slump as the New Year Approaches
Bitstamp BCH/USD 4-hour on Dec. 26, 2018.

Right now the Relative Strength Index (RSI 4-H -44.96) is meandering in the middle, indicating more uncertainty. The Holidays may be inflicting a slight lull as the stochastic reports the same findings over a broad set of trading ranges. Looking at the order books shows bulls need to muster up more strength to penetrate the $200 region again and gain headway. On the backside, bears will see pit stops all the way until the $150 range and a few more speed bumps if it falls below that price zone.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Begin to Slump as the New Year Approaches
Bitstamp BCH/USD 4-hour window.

The Verdict: Uncertainty Remains Strong

This week has seen traders perusing ideas on Tradingview, some discussions between swing traders on Twitter, and Telegram trading channels showing people think the “bottom” has not yet been reached. The dip in trade volume was to be expected over the holidays between Christmas and New Year and analyzing crypto market trade volume may not be a great source of confirmation this week.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Begin to Slump as the New Year Approaches
Cryptocurrency & Fiat money flow over the last 24-hours on Dec. 26, 2018.

BTC/USD and ETH/USD shorts are still well above normal, but discernibly less than two weeks ago. If digital asset markets cannot hold above the 50-day exponential moving average (EMA) then traders may see even lower bottoms in the near future. Overall, uncertainty remains high for traders who won’t attempt to call the bottom. Their stance is prudent one given that price letdowns have been one of the few certainties throughout the entire year.

Where do you see the price of BCH, BTC and other coins heading from here? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”


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Bitcoin Obituaries Records 90 ‘Deaths’ in 2018

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According to the Bitcoin Obituaries webpage, the cryptocurrency ‘died’ 90 times in 2018. Since the inception of Satoshi’s great invention, almost a decade ago, economists and financial news publications have informed the public that bitcoin has passed away a grand total of 336 times.

Also read: Year in Review: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrency Stories

Dead Currencies Have ‘No Chance of Success’

Ever since the general public started hearing about cryptocurrencies, many financial bigwigs, well known pundits, Keynesian economists, and Wall Street executives have explained in great detail how Bitcoin has ‘died’. This has occurred on numerous occasions over the years. Mainstream media outlets have also stated time and again that Bitcoin was officially deceased. The Bitcoin Obituaries webpage hosted on the site 99 Bitcoins has around 336 recorded bitcoin ‘deaths’ over the years. 2018 has claimed 90 of those deaths during a spell when the crypto-economy was extremely bearish all year long.

Bitcoin Obituaries Records 90 'Deaths' in 2018

One would think that because cryptocurrency markets did so well in 2017 there would be fewer deaths declared than in 2018. However, the cryptocurrency bull run last year resulted in 125 obituaries for the digital asset. In 2018, most of the top cryptocurrencies lost more than 80 percent of their values since hitting all-time highs last year in December. The last death call of 2018 was a post written by Seeking Alpha author Anthony Garcia titled “Bitcoin: the decline is fundamental, unsolvable, and the end of BTC.” In the post Garcia states:

Bitcoin is literally worth nothing — Bitcoin has no chance of success because it’s worthless. It has nothing backing it but an illusion; no gold or silver or even a decree that it’s legal tender. It has no intrinsic value and no one needs it.

2017 and 2018 Had the Most Bitcoin Deaths per Year

Before that article, Santa Clara University Professor of Finance Atulya Sarin’s opinion piece on the financial publication Market Watch said that bitcoin is “close to becoming worthless.” Sarin explained in his 1,049-word document that the digital asset was the victim of the infamous “death spiral.” This past October the notorious Nouriel Roubini, otherwise known as Dr. Doom, sparked controversy when he said that “bitcoin represents the ‘mother of all bubbles.’” Roubini, a professor of economics at the New York University Stern School of Business, called digital currency advocates “crypto scoundrels.” The professor emphasized that the bubble is “clear” enough to see and “blockchain technology is nothing better than a glorified spreadsheet or database.”

Bitcoin Obituaries Records 90 'Deaths' in 2018
Nouriel Roubini’s post got crypto advocates all upset on Twitter in October.

It’s safe to say that as long as financial pundits like Jamie Dimon and Warren Buffet’s opinions are still catching headlines then Bitcoin will continue to die in 2019. To these bigwigs and many others, Bitcoin is a gimmick, and yet some of them like “blockchain technology” as long as it is centralized. One interesting phenomenon is the fact that even though bitcoin has grown immensely in value since 2010, it has died increasingly year after year. Bitcoin ‘died’ the most consecutive times throughout 2017 and 2018 with close to ¾ of the deaths during those years. Otherwise, 2015 was a distant third with 39 total bitcoin deaths. Bitcoin’s oldest published obituary according to 99 Bitcoins was written in 2010, which claimed the asset could never be a currency. When bitcoins were worth $0.23, the Underground Economist author stated at the time:

Either it will remain a novelty forever or it will transition from novelty status to dead faster than you can blink.

What do you think about bitcoin dying 90 times this year? Why do you think the cryptocurrency has had so many obituaries over the last two years? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


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Seven Cryptocurrency Trends to Look out for in 2019

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Another year is coming, filled with fresh optimism and newfound determination to make 2019 the year when cryptocurrencies take over. Having gotten their calls badly wrong for 2018, so-called experts will be hesitant to make bullish price predictions for 2019. That’s probably for the best since there are far more interesting things to focus on than price action. Here are seven trends that should dominate the cryptosphere over the next 12 months.

Also read: Bitcoin History Part 6: The First Bitcoin Exchange

2018 Didn’t Play Out the Way it Was Promised

Seven Cryptocurrency Trends to Look out for in 2019This time last year, all kinds of bold predictions were being issued for what 2018 would hold for the crypto space. In the event, the biggest trend of the year was one which few futurologists foresaw – stablecoins. 2018 will go down as the year the markets went south and ICOs died off, leaving a new wave of digital assets to shine – dollar-pegged stablecoins.

Love, hate or tolerate them, there’s no denying that stablecoins were a recurring motif this year. Whether they will continue to dominate in 2019 depends to a large extent on how conventional crypto assets perform. Should the current bear market persist, or bite deeper still, stablecoins will remain ubiquitous. If more favorable market conditions return, however, stablecoins will be forced to take a back seat, leaving the following trends to joust it out in 2019.

New Privacy Protocols Will Gain Traction

Seven Cryptocurrency Trends to Look out for in 2019With the Mimblewimble-powered Grin and Beam cranking into life, the stage is set for 2019 to be the most private year in crypto in a long time. The last few years of encroaching blockchain surveillance have stripped away a lot of the anonymity that cryptocurrency users once took for granted, but the fight back has begun. It’ll take more than a single privacy protocol to restore the imbalance of course, so it’s just as well there’s a host of privacy-minded tools set to come onstream.

Aside from the Mimblewimble coins, there’s the prospect of Bitcoin Core getting Schnorr signatures next year, which could open the door to privacy tech such as Coinjoin at some point. Before then, we’ll be seeing a lot of other pro-privacy platforms, apps and protocols gaining traction. Wasabi Wallet, a privacy-focused BTC wallet, will hoover up new users, while Ethereum may get its own take on confidential transactions courtesy of Aztec protocol. Stablecoins could get private too should Zkdai – zero-knowledge DAI transactions – become a thing. Pro-privacy projects like Dust and Loki should also make progress, while new projects such as Resistance, a privacy coin and accompanying DEX, are in the works.

STOs Will Replace ICOs

2018 was meant to be the year of security tokens until it wasn’t. That prediction can be rolled over to 2019, however, when it might just come true provided the technical and regulatory hurdles can be cleared by enough applicants. What’s beyond dispute is that 2018 killed the ICO, and no one is tipping the crowdfunded utility token model to rise again. The increased legal and compliance costs of holding an ICO, which now average around $1 million, have put paid to the vast majority of initial coin offerings.

Seven Cryptocurrency Trends to Look out for in 2019
The ICO market died off dramatically in 2018.

Amazix head analyst Jose Macedo believes the security token offering (STO) will become the standard model most crypto-based projects deploy. “While utility tokens are far from dead, what the industry has now realized is that few of these token economic models actually made sense in terms of long-term value capture,” he explains. “As a result, we’re seeing a lot of projects come to us looking for help in either launching their STOs or restructuring their ICOs as STOs,” adds Macedo. He continues:

We’re also seeing a lot more STO infrastructure be built out in terms of quality legal, token sale platforms, book-building firms, exchanges etc … As of right now, we have about $1B worth of STOs partnered with us looking to launch in 2019.

Seven Cryptocurrency Trends to Look out for in 2019While security token projects are poised to launch in proactive territories like Malta and Gibraltar, where regulatory frameworks have been drawn up, slower progress is expected in the U.S., where fundraising options are limited. There, the SEC will likely deem most ICOs to be issuing securities. American crypto-based projects are no closer to being granted Reg A+ approval to launch an STO, despite some, such as Gab, having filed the paperwork over a year ago.

Decentralized Credit Networks Will Take Off

Decentralized credit networks made huge strides this year in terms of infrastructure development. The tools necessary to facilitate collateralized loans, social credit and open finance have been fine-tuned and proven to work. 2019 will be when they scale up and start to serve the sort of users they were envisioned for – global citizens who’ve been excluded by the current financial system.

Seven Cryptocurrency Trends to Look out for in 2019Crypto debt markets and credit networks will be bolstered by the growth of projects like Dharma Protocol, GEO Protocol, Nexo, and Maker DAO. Maker’s system of multi-asset over-collateralization will be emulated, having proven its robustness through extreme market volatility this year. Multi-collateral dai will see a wide range of applications in 2019, as the number of users grows with the number of assets that can be collateralized. 2018 was all about ETH, but in 2019 Maker will accept BTC, ERC20s and other crypto and non-crypto assets.

Other Trends to Expect in 2019

It’s possible that 2019 could be the year when one or more dapps finally sees mass adoption, but don’t count on it. It may also prove to be the year when the first viral  blockchain game arrives. At the very least, crypto collectibles and virtual reality projects will attract fresh investment, with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) tethering them to public blockchains to facilitate the trading of digital assets. Once Decentraland’s virtual world launches in 2019, a meeting ground for all kinds of crypto games and projects will be established.

Seven Cryptocurrency Trends to Look out for in 2019The Bitcoin Cash community will continue to find new ways to spend and receive peer-to-peer cash, while the BTC brigade will have optimism that 2019 will finally be the year when the Lightning Network proves its suitability for something more than purchasing stickers. Custodial services for institutional investors will improve, bringing new money into the crypto space (but probably not propelling crypto assets to new highs). NYSE’s Bakkt will launch, bringing physical BTC futures contracts, and there’s an outside bet the SEC might approve a bitcoin ETF.

Stripped of much of the greed that characterized the dawn of 2018, and with 12 months of robust infrastructure work completed, 2019 is shaping up to be an exciting time for cryptocurrency users from all tribes, countries and continents.

What other trends do you expect to see in 2019? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Data Leaks and Deplatforming Drive Businesses Away From Web Giants

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Consumers and enterprises are exiting centralized web platforms amid growing concerns over unwarranted data sharing. Loss of privacy and data leakage are the primary drivers leading users away from web giants such as Google and Facebook. In some cases, disaffected users are seeking out decentralized alternatives that facilitate personal data ownership.

Also read: Feed 7 Different Species at the River Forest Farm’s ‘Bitcoin Cash Zoo’

Facebook and Google Keep Leaking Data

The opaque data sharing practices of internet oligarchs such as Google and Facebook, which wield huge power over billions of web users, have attracted significant attention throughout 2018. From the Cambridge Analytica scandal to the more recent revelations that Facebook shared users’ private messages with privileged partners, the disclosures have kept coming.

Minds.com, disillusioned by the current state of affairs, has vowed to boycott the web monopolies altogether. On Dec. 19, the company explained its stance, writing of Google, Facebook and other closed-source networks’ unfair practices, which include “excessive surveillance, data mining, algorithm manipulation, subjective bans, inconsistent enforcement of terms and even complete de-platforming.” It concluded:

In response, Minds is suspending our support of all Google and Facebook products until the above mentioned items are resolved.

The Quest for Decentralized, Censorship-Resistant Platforms

Platforms as multifaceted as Google are not easily replaced like for like. However, there are alternatives for users who desire more privacy, full sovereignty over their data and reassurance that they will not suddenly be suspended without warning for supposed infringements. In its blog post on Dec. 19, Minds.com wrote of privacy-focused alternatives such as Duckduckgo and Brave that are championing the flight towards less data-hungry platforms.

While the web’s largest companies have caught flak for their data handling practices and their propensity to ban users with little provocation, it’s not just Facebook and Google that have been guilty of this. Patreon, under pressure from payment processors, has been merrily deplatforming users, while online services such as Slack have been exiling users on the grounds of Iranian heritage under fear of U.S. sanctions. The spate of perma-bans, data leaks and privacy scandals has been a boon for decentralized platforms that are oriented around personal ownership of data.

New Data Storage Solutions Are Coming Online

Data Leaks and Deplatforming Drive Businesses Away From Web GiantsDoc.com is a cryptocurrency-powered service with a series of health apps that facilitate free medical and psychological consultations. It’s taken the distributed data storage route. “Because we handle extremely sensitive healthcare data,” explained CEO Charles Nader, “we knew that following the centralized model Google and Facebook have was not the best idea.” Nader spoke of using cryptographic protocols, including blockchain technology, to store data and ensure it is only accessed by authorized parties. “This way we give control back to our users,” he finished.

Other projects that have launched decentralized data storage frameworks this year include Essentia and Inrupt, the latter led by internet godfather Tim Berners-Lee. The project speaks of “decentralizing the power that’s currently centralized in the hands of a few” which it proposes to achieve through an open source protocol called Solid. For now, the vast majority of the web is hostage to the likes of Google and Facebook, and is too deeply embedded in their ecosystem to contemplate an escape. The tide is slowly turning, however, and with each new entity excluded from the web’s dominant platforms, the case for decentralized alternatives strengthens.

Do you think decentralized platforms will see mainstream adoption, or are they destined to remain the preserve of privacy purists? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Report Finds a Strong Relationship Between Crypto-Advocates and Life Extension

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Bitcoin historians will recollect that the early cryptocurrency pioneer Hal Finney was a person who believed in life extension and chose to be frozen in cryopreservation. Now a recent report shows that a good number of well-known blockchain advocates are also convinced that an ‘extropian-like’ technology may extend the lives of humans in the future.

Also read: China Now Ranks 34 Crypto Projects

Cryptocurrency Supporters and the ‘Ultimate Goal’

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts and believers in life extension go hand in hand these days, according to a report by Breaker columnist Julia Herbst. The chief science officer of SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence), Aubrey de Grey, talked with Herbst about the relationship between an extropian philosophy and blockchain technology proponents. Extropians are futurists who believe in the philosophy of life extension through improving technology. News.Bitcoin.com recently reported on how Hal Finney, the man who received the very first bitcoin transaction, was a devout extropian. The British biogerontologist de Grey explained in his interview that many other blockchain luminaries have donated to SENS research, which studies and develops regenerative medical therapies.

Report Finds a Strong Relationship Between Crypto-Advocates and Life Extension

In the early 2000s, Michael Novogratz donated to the organization and the Pineapple Fund gave SENS $2 million in BTC last year. Moreover, the inventor of the Ethereum network, Vitalik Buterin, donated $2.4 million to SENS. The regenerative medical therapies organization raised another $4.1 million in cryptocurrencies this year in addition to the Pineapple Fund donation. “I’m not in this to do science for the sake of doing science,” de Grey detailed in his interview with Herbs. “I’m in it for the ultimate goal,” the SENS founder adds. The biogerontologist further revealed that a few anonymous donors have given SENS $1 million per individual and other cryptocurrency personalities are also long-term donors.

Report Finds a Strong Relationship Between Crypto-Advocates and Life Extension

Deep Freeze

Report Finds a Strong Relationship Between Crypto-Advocates and Life Extension
World-renowned cryptographer Ralph Merkle at the Singularity Summit 2007.

According to the report, a few anonymous members of the digital currency industry have also donated to the Alcor Life Extension Foundation and its cryonics research. On Aug. 28, 2014, Hal Finney’s body was taken to Alcor and he was the company’s 128th patient. Hal paid for his cryogenic process “through a combination of life insurance and bitcoins donated by admirers,” explained Alcor at the time. In another instance of the strong relationship between crypto-advocates and the philosophy of life extension, the entrepreneur Brad Armstrong donated $5 million in cryptocurrencies this year to Alcor Research and dedicated the gift to Hal Finney’s memory.

Furthermore, the inventor of cryptographic hashing, Ralph Merkle, is also a big life extension and cryogenics believer. Merkle’s Wikipedia page calls him a “researcher and speaker of cryonics.” Herbst detailed that Merkle has known a few crypto-advocates who have donated to cryonics and explained he has also helped raise funds for Alcor. Another member of the Alcor Foundation is the cryptocurrency magnate Robin Hanson, who believes future generations will be able to unfreeze him after the cryogenic process. In fact, Hanson thinks it will be very easy in the future and stated; “[Future generations] won’t have to try really hard — If they have to try really hard, they probably won’t.”

What do you think about blockchain enthusiasts and their relationship with the philosophy of life extension? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


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China Now Ranks 34 Crypto Projects

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China’s Center for Information and Industry Development has released its latest crypto project ranking. The center evaluated one more crypto project this month, bringing the total number of ranked projects to 34. Bitcoin has been downgraded while the top two positions remain unchanged.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

December Update

China Now Ranks 34 Crypto ProjectsThe Center for Information and Industry Development (CCID), under China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, released its eighth crypto project ranking update on Thursday. Thirty-four crypto projects were evaluated this time, with Ontology as the newest addition.

EOS remains number one in the overall ranking, followed by Ethereum. Ontology debuted at number five. BTC dropped from the 13th position in the previous ranking to the 18th position, while BCH fell one place from the 29th spot to the 30th. Dwelling at the bottom is Decred, with NEM and Litecoin ranking just above it.

China Now Ranks 34 Crypto Projects

New Addition: Ontology

China Now Ranks 34 Crypto ProjectsOntology describes itself as a distributed trust collaboration platform. Its “blockchain framework supports public blockchain systems and is able to customize different public blockchains for different applications,” according to its website. The center specifically evaluated Ont ID, Ontology’s protocol for a “complete distributed identity framework supporting identity verification and authentication for people, assets, objects, and affairs.” According to the CCID:

Its [Ontology’s] main network was launched in June 2018. In this assessment, Ontology has outstanding performance in basic technology and application, with a composite index of 112.6, ranking fourth in the [overall] list.

Rankings Across 3 Categories

The 34 projects were evaluated overall as well as in three separate categories: basic technology, applicability and innovation.

China Now Ranks 34 Crypto ProjectsIn the basic technology category, EOS, Bitshares, Steem, Gxchain, and Ontology top the list this month. NULS has improved rapidly in this category, the CCID revealed. “According to the evaluation model, the basic technology [category] mainly examines the technical realization level of public chains, including functionality, performance, security and decentralization.”

In terms of applicability, the top five projects are Ethereum, NEO, Ontology, Nebulas, and Qtum. “The new Ontology replaced Dash in the top five,” the center wrote. “The applicability [category] mainly evaluates the comprehensive level of public chain support for practical applications, including node deployment, wallet application, development support and application implementation.” As for the innovation category, the top five positions are occupied by BTC, EOS, Ethereum, Komodo, and Cardano.

What do you think of this crypto project ranking? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Bill to Curb Iranian National Crypto Filed in US Congress

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Draft legislation designed to hamper Iran’s efforts to create a sovereign cryptocurrency has been introduced in the U.S. Congress. The Blocking Iran Illicit Finance Act bans U.S. citizens and companies from all transactions and dealings in Iranian digital currency. The bill also introduces sanctions against foreign nationals and organizations that support the development of the crypto.  

Also read: Russian Developers to Help Iran Build Its Crypto-Economy

US to Ban Transactions With Iranian Digital Coins

The draft law, filed in the House of Representatives this week, is sponsored by a group of members led by Wisconsin Republican Mike Gallagher. The main focus of the act is to strengthen existing U.S. sanctions regarding a number of activities and impose new restrictions with respect to Iranian financial institutions and organizations providing services to Iranian banks. The authors of the bill have also proposed measures designed to prevent Iran from issuing its own digital coin to circumvent economic sanctions imposed by Washington.

Bill to Curb Iranian National Crypto Filed in US CongressThe draft law bans transactions and other dealings in any digital token or coin that can be identified as “Iranian digital currency.” It introduces penalties against U.S. citizens and corporate entities as well as foreign nationals and companies providing financial, material or technological support for the development of the Iranian crypto. Individuals and companies that conduct or facilitate transactions related to the purchase or sale of Iranian digital currency or any derivative will also be sanctioned. The same applies if they maintain significant amounts of such coins.

The legal document details that “All transactions related to, provision of financing for, and other dealings in Iranian digital currency by a United States person or within the United States are prohibited.” The bill describes the sanctions President Trump may impose on violators that are based abroad. The measures include prohibiting the opening of a bank account and blocking any property transactions in the United States. Foreigners may also be denied visa or other entry document for the U.S.

Assessing Iran’s Progress Towards Sovereign Crypto

The Republican representatives have also tasked the Secretary of the Treasury with producing a report on the progress made by the government of the Islamic Republic in creating a sovereign cryptocurrency. The document should be submitted to Congress within four months after the enactment of the new law. It is expected to contain a description of the technical details of the cryptocurrency that’s being developed by Tehran and provide a list of the involved organizations. The lawmakers also want an assessment of the state and non-state actors that are assisting the Iranians, including the governments of China, Russia, Venezuela, and Turkey.

Bill to Curb Iranian National Crypto Filed in US Congress

The introduction of the Blocking Iran Illicit Finance Act comes after mounting reports that the country is advancing in its plans to issue a national cryptocurrency backed by its fiat, the rial. In November, local media announced that the organizations working on the project have already finalized the development of the coin and are only waiting for approval from the Central Bank of Iran.

Tehran stepped up its plan for a sovereign crypto after the Trump administration decided to pull out of the Iranian nuclear deal and reintroduced U.S. sanctions earlier this year. They were followed by a move to isolate Iran from the international banking network Swift and other measures that restricted its access to U.S. currency. Last month, trying to avoid breaching U.S. sanctions, a number of leading cryptocurrency exchanges stopped offering services to Iranian residents.

Do you think the new sanctions will slow down Iran’s progress towards a national cryptocurrency? Tell us in the comments section below.


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South Korean Business School Launches Crypto MBA Program

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A major business school in South Korea is now offering a master’s degree in cryptocurrency. Crypto MBA is a one-and-a-half-year program that covers topics such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, smart contracts, crypto funds, Dapp planning, game theory, and how to write persuasive whitepapers. Meanwhile, the government is working on follow-up crypto regulations.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Crypto MBA

South Korean Business School Launches Crypto MBA ProgramSeoul School of Integrated Sciences and Technologies, often known as Assist, announced on Friday that it is now offering a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program dedicated to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The new course is “a master’s degree program in blockchain, cryptoeconomics and token economy courses from technological, cryptoeconomic and business strategic perspectives,” the school described.

Claiming that it has “launched the world’s first crypto MBA course for a business graduate school,” Assist wrote:

The mission of Assist business school’s Crypto MBA program is to remedy the lack of academic research and systematic education currently available in the industry, despite a high level of social interest in the blockchain and cryptocurrency.

South Korean Business School Launches Crypto MBA ProgramThe professional graduate school has been offering master’s degrees and doctorate degrees in business administration since 2004. Its website claims that the school “has been evaluated as the no. 1 graduate school for business administration,” noting that large corporations such as LG Electronics, KT, Doosan Infracore, and Korea Electric Power Corporation continuously use its courses.

Crypto Curriculum and Regulation

South Korean Business School Launches Crypto MBA ProgramAccording to Friday’s announcement, “The curriculum includes Bitcoin, Ethereum, smart contract, cryptology, EOS, deep learning and system dynamics mechanisms. The cryptoeconomics curriculum consists of digital currency studies, microeconomics, macroeconomics, behavioral economics and theory on currency finance, game theory and mechanism design.” In addition, students will learn about “management mechanisms, strategic statistics, digital financial accounting, digital marketing strategies, crypto funds, Dapp planning and writing strategy for the persuasive whitepaper.”

South Korean Business School Launches Crypto MBA ProgramThe South Korean government is currently working on additional crypto regulatory measures following the implementation of the real-name system in January. Initial coin offerings (ICOs) have been banned domestically since September last year. However, a number of lawmakers have introduced several bills to regulate them.

Recently, a fintech startup filed a complaint with the country’s constitutional court alleging that the government’s ICO ban is unconstitutional.

Crypto Classes on the Rise

While Assist offers an actual MBA degree in crypto, a growing number of business schools worldwide have added crypto classes including Stanford Graduate School of Business, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University Mcdonough School of Business. Cnbc previously reported that these top schools “are expanding classes in digital currency and blockchain to keep up with demand from students and their future employers.”

South Korean Business School Launches Crypto MBA ProgramStanford’s business school, ranked number one globally by the Financial Times this year, added a course called “Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technologies.” The school’s website describes, “The course covers all aspects of cryptocurrencies, including distributed consensus, blockchains, smart contracts and applications. We will focus in detail on Bitcoin and Ethereum as case studies.”

Wharton, ranked number one by Forbes, added a class in the fall called “Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, and Distributed Ledger Technology,” while Georgetown offers an elective that teaches topics such as the history and evolution of fintech, blockchain technology, and their applications.

What do you think of the Crypto MBA program? Let us know in the comments section below.


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