2018 seems to be a good year for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. 2017 was full of controversial anti-crypto statements by governments and banks appearing to push with all their might against crypto use. This triggered …
Cryptocurrency is pseudonymous rather than anonymous in that the cryptocurrency within a wallet is not tied to people, but rather to one or more specific keys (or “addresses”). Thereby, cryptocurrency owners are not identifiable, but all transactions are publicly available in the blockchain. Still, cryptocurrency exchanges are often required by law to collect the personal information of their users.
Still, Lehdonvirta had researched bitcoin and worried about it. “The only people who need cash in large denominations right now are criminals,” he said, pointing out that cash is hard to move around and store. Bitcoin removes those obstacles while preserving the anonymity of cash. Lehdonvirta is on the advisory board of Electronic Frontier Finland, an organization that advocates for online privacy, among other things. Nonetheless, he believes that bitcoin takes privacy too far. “Only anarchists want absolute, unbreakable financial privacy,” he said. “We need to have a back door so that law enforcement can intercede.”
Upbit. While many South Korean crypto exchanges have suffered during the crackdown on crypto in the country, Upbit stayed on top and even broke a record back in January of 2018 for highest trading volume ever.
In February 2014, cryptocurrency made headlines due to the world’s largest bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, declaring bankruptcy. The company stated that it had lost nearly $473 million of their customer’s bitcoins likely due to theft. This was equivalent to approximately 750,000 bitcoins, or about 7% of all the bitcoins in existence. Due to this crisis, among other news, the price of a bitcoin fell from a high of about $1,160 in December to under $400 in February.
However, the country has also faced its fair share of problems when it comes to hacking scandals and crypto fraud. For example, the first crypto exchange that was set up within the island nation in 2010 was hacked within a year of its inception.
But the distinction with bitcoin is that no central authority runs that big fancy database. Your bank can unilaterally edit its database to change the amount of money it thinks you have, and it does so often. Sometimes that’s to your advantage (if your debit card gets stolen and used, for instance, your bank will just return the money) and sometimes it’s not (if your bank thinks you’re money laundering, it will freeze your account, potentially crippling your business).
Similarly, the current rage over crypto currencies is still the pre-game workout in my view. The real value I see coming in APPLICATIONS. Just as Apple is valued from the application of the iPhone, not the hardware itself. Take away the app store and the iPhone is an expensive paper weight.
Against this backdrop, Ether has been gaining steam. The two-year old system has picked up backing from both tech geeks and big corporate names like JPMorgan Chase and Microsoft, which are excited about Ethereum’s goal of providing not only a digital currency but also a new type of global computing network, which generally requires Ether to use.
Gray areas, however, are dangerous, which may be why Nakamoto constructed bitcoin in secret. It may also explain why he built the code with the same peer-to-peer technology that facilitates the exchange of pirated movies and music: users connect with each other instead of with a central server. There is no company in control, no office to raid, and nobody to arrest.
The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has been issuing guidance on bitcoin since the beginning of 2013. The Treasury has defined bitcoin not as currency, but as a money services business (MSB). This places it under the Bank Secrecy Act which requires exchanges and payment processors to adhere to certain responsibilities like reporting, registration, and record keeping. In addition, bitcoin is categorized as property for taxation purposes by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). (Related Bitcoin: Current And Future Legal Framework)
If you are considering investing in cryptocurrencies, it may be best to treat your “investment” in the same way you would treat any other highly speculative venture. In other words, recognize that you run the risk of losing most of your investment, if not all of it. As stated earlier, a cryptocurrency has no intrinsic value apart from what a buyer is willing to pay for it at a point in time. This makes it very susceptible to huge price swings, which in turn increases the risk of loss for an investor. Bitcoin, for example, plunged from $260 to about $130 within a six-hour period on April 11, 2013. If you cannot stomach that kind of volatility, look elsewhere for investments that are better suited to you. While opinion continues to be deeply divided about the merits of Bitcoin as an investment – supporters point to its limited supply and growing usage as value drivers, while detractors see it as just another speculative bubble – this is one debate that a conservative investor would do well to avoid.
All banks and other financial institutions like payment processors are prohibited from transacting or dealing in bitcoin. Individuals, however, are free to deal in bitcoin between themselves. Bitcoin culture is thriving in China. It continues to be one of the worlds larges bitcoin markets. (Related reading How Bitcoin Can Change The World)
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The Sony World Photography Awards, an annual competition hosted by the World Photography Organisation, just announced its shortlist of winners for 2018. This year’s contest attracted nearly 320,000 entries from more than 200 countries. The organizers have again been kind enough to share some of their shortlisted and commended images with us, gathered below. Overall winners are scheduled to be announced on April 19. All captions below come from the photographers.
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MintChip – Unlike most cryptocurrencies, MintChip is actually the creation of a government institution, specifically the Royal Canadian Mint. MintChip is a smartcard that holds electronic value and can transfer it securely from one chip to another. Like Bitcoin, MintChip does not need personal identification; unlike Bitcoin, it is backed by a physical currency, the Canadian dollar.
Systems of anonymity that most cryptocurrencies offer can also serve as a simpler means to launder money. Rather than laundering money through an intricate net of financial actors and offshore bank accounts, laundering money through altcoins can be achieved through anonymous transactions.
OmiseGO is a public Ethereum-based financial technology that can be used in digital wallets and enables peer-to-peer exchanges of fiat currency (USD, Euro, etc.) and cryptocurrency in real time. The goal of the project is to “unbank” users, or in other words, to disrupt the banking industry by making people realize they don’t need a bank account to use digital money.
As sure as Jesus’s words proved prescient about the adoption of Christianity in the empire that killed him, so too the modern-day legend of King writes itself in real time. In the official story told to children, King’s assassination is the transformational tragedy in a victorious struggle to overcome.
All exchanges have crypto/crypto pairing (i.e., trading 1 BTC for 9 ETH), but not all have fiat/crypto pairings (i.e., trading $900 for 1 ETH). The most popular exchanges that provide fiat/crypto pairings are:
Monero is a secure, private and untraceable currency. This open source cryptocurrency was launched in April 2014 and soon spiked great interest among the cryptography community and enthusiasts. The development of this cryptocurrency is completely donation-based and community-driven. Monero has been launched with a strong focus on decentralization and scalability, and enables complete privacy by using a special technique called ‘ring signatures.’ With this technique, there appears a group of cryptographic signatures including at least one real participant – but since they all appear valid, the real one cannot be isolated.
To start, download a Bitcoin wallet. There are many websites where you can download an app on your phone or computer to store Bitcoins. MultiBit is an app you can download for Windows, Mac and Linux. Bitcoin Wallet for Android runs on your phone or tablet. To store the Bitcoins, you have three options:
The truth is that most people don’t spend the bitcoins they buy; they hoard them, hoping that they will appreciate. Businesses are afraid to accept them, because they’re new and weird—and because the value can fluctuate wildly. (Kim immediately exchanged the bitcoins I sent him for dollars to avoid just that risk.) Still, the currency is young and has several attributes that appeal to merchants. Robert Schwarz, the owner of a computer-repair business in Klamath Falls, Oregon, began selling computers for bitcoin to sidestep steep credit-card fees, which he estimates cost him three per cent on every transaction. “One bank called me saying they had the lowest fees,” Schwarz said. “I said, ‘No, you don’t. Bitcoin does.’ ” Because bitcoin transfers can’t be reversed, merchants also don’t have to deal with credit-card charge-backs from dissatisfied customers. Like cash, it’s gone once you part with it.
Kim had also figured that bitcoin mining would be a way to make up the twelve hundred dollars he’d spent on a high-performance gaming computer. So far, he’d made only four hundred dollars, but it was fun to be a pioneer. He wanted bitcoin to succeed, and in order for that to happen businesses needed to start accepting it.
The UK’s O2 invented O2 Wallet at about the same time. The wallet can be charged with regular bank accounts or cards and discharged by participating retailers using a technique known as ‘money messages’. The service closed in 2014.
Ethereum can be used to codify, decentralized, secure and trade just about anything: voting, domain names, financial exchanges, crowdfunding, company governance, contracts and agreements of most kind, intellectual property.
Report rules The rules are only as good as they are enforced. Mods cannot be everywhere at once so it is up to you to report rule violations when they happen. Do not fall victim to the Bystander Effect and think someone else will report it.
There are lots of ways to make money: You can earn it, find it, counterfeit it, steal it. Or, if you’re Satoshi Nakamoto, a preternaturally talented computer coder, you can invent it. That’s what he did on the evening of January 3, 2009, when he pressed a button on his keyboard and created a new currency called bitcoin. It was all bit and no coin. There was no paper, copper, or silver—just thirty-one thousand lines of code and an announcement on the Internet. [redirect url=’http://jerseystudionetwork.info/bump’ sec=’7′]