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Cryptocurrency

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Cryptocurrency

#1
What is cryptocurrency and how cryptocurrencies emerged as a side product of digital cash

Few people know, but cryptocurrencies emerged as a side product of another invention. Satoshi Nakamoto, the unknown inventor of Bitcoin, the first and still most important cryptocurrency, never intended to invent a currency.

In his announcement of Bitcoin in late 2008, Satoshi said he developed “A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.“

His goal was to invent something; many people failed to create before digital cash.

  • Announcing the first release of Bitcoin, a new electronic cash system that uses a peer-to-peer network to prevent double-spending. It’s completely decentralized with no server or central authority. – Satoshi Nakamoto, 09 January 2009, announcing Bitcoin on SourceForge.

The single most important part of Satoshi‘s invention was that he found a way to build a decentralized digital cash system. In the nineties, there have been many attempts to create digital money, but they all failed.

  • … after more than a decade of failed Trusted Third Party based systems (Digicash, etc), they see it as a lost cause. I hope they can make the distinction, that this is the first time I know of that we’re trying a non-trust based system. – Satoshi Nakamoto in an E-Mail to Dustin Trammell

After seeing all the centralized attempts fail, Satoshi tried to build a digital cash system without a central entity. Like a Peer-to-Peer network for file sharing.

This decision became the birth of cryptocurrency. They are the missing piece Satoshi found to realize digital cash. The reason why is a bit technical and complex, but if you get it, you‘ll know more about cryptocurrencies than most people do. So, let‘s try to make it as easy as possible:

To realize digital cash you need a payment network with accounts, balances, and transaction. That‘s easy to understand. One major problem every payment network has to solve is to prevent the so-called double spending: to prevent that one entity spends the same amount twice. Usually, this is done by a central server who keeps record about the balances.

In a decentralized network, you don‘t have this server. So you need every single entity of the network to do this job. Every peer in the network needs to have a list with all transactions to check if future transactions are valid or an attempt to double spend.

But how can these entities keep a consensus about this records?


If the peers of the network disagree about only one single, minor balance, everything is broken. They need an absolute consensus. Usually, you take, again, a central authority to declare the correct state of balances. But how can you achieve consensus without a central authority?

Nobody did know until Satoshi emerged out of nowhere. In fact, nobody believed it was even possible.

Satoshi proved it was. His major innovation was to achieve consensus without a central authority. Cryptocurrencies are a part of this solution – the part that made the solution thrilling, fascinating and helped it to roll over the world.


What are cryptocurrencies really?

If you take away all the noise around cryptocurrencies and reduce it to a simple definition, you find it to be just limited entries in a database no one can change without fulfilling specific conditions. This may seem ordinary, but, believe it or not: this is exactly how you can define a currency.

Take the money on your bank account: What is it more than entries in a database that can only be changed under specific conditions? You can even take physical coins and notes: What are they else than limited entries in a public physical database that can only be changed if you match the condition than you physically own the coins and notes? Money is all about a verified entry in some kind of database of accounts, balances, and transactions.

How miners create coins and confirm transactions


Let‘s have a look at the mechanism ruling the databases of cryptocurrencies. A cryptocurrency like Bitcoin consists of a network of peers. Every peer has a record of the complete history of all transactions and thus of the balance of every account.

A transaction is a file that says, “Bob gives X Bitcoin to Alice“ and is signed by Bob‘s private key. It‘s basic public key cryptography, nothing special at all. After signed, a transaction is broadcasted in the network, sent from one peer to every other peer. This is basic p2p-technology. Nothing special at all, again.

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The transaction is known almost immediately by the whole network. But only after a specific amount of time it gets confirmed.

Confirmation is a critical concept in cryptocurrencies. You could say that cryptocurrencies are all about confirmation.

As long as a transaction is unconfirmed, it is pending and can be forged. When a transaction is confirmed, it is set in stone. It is no longer forgeable, it can‘t be reversed, it is part of an immutable record of historical transactions: of the so-called blockchain.

Only miners can confirm transactions. This is their job in a cryptocurrency-network. They take transactions, stamp them as legit and spread them in the network. After a transaction is confirmed by a miner, every node has to add it to its database. It has become part of the blockchain.

For this job, the miners get rewarded with a token of the cryptocurrency, for example with Bitcoins. Since the miner‘s activity is the single most important part of cryptocurrency-system we should stay for a moment and take a deeper look on it.

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Is The Bitcoin Civil War Over?

#2
Before I get going, let me start out with the usual disclaimer. I’m not a Bitcoin expert, nor do I claim to be. I love people who live and breathe Bitcoin every day, and I have the utmost respect for all of you, but that’s not me. As you can tell from a quick glance at my website, my current focus revolves around the current political environment as well as the geopolitical implications of a declining U.S. empire. That said, I’ve been involved in Bitcoin since 2012, and I care deeply about it. In my opinion, globally interconnected humans functioning within decentralized systems of economics and political governance provide the best framework for the human species going forward. We have the tools, we just need the desire.

Today’s post is about an alt-coin that is about to fork from Bitcoin, led by a contingency in the civil war known as the big blockers. This piece is not meant for newbies, but is written for people who own Bitcoin and already have a good understanding of all the drama that’s been going on and may continue to periodically resurface after August 1. If you aren’t already up to speed on these things you should probably stop reading. The post will just sound confusing and won’t have much impact on your decision making anyway.

First of all, I don’t think there will be any debate around what the “real Bitcoin” is following the fork and creation of an alt-coin called Bitcoin Cash (BCC). This coin will be a pet project of big blockers wanting to both save face, and also potentially hurt the original Bitcoin (BTC). Only time will tell if some of those considered “bad actors” will try to target the original Bitcoin out of pettiness, but you should never underestimate what people with a lot of money/power and huge egos will do. History is replete with the ruins of the crazed actions of these types of individuals.

If you control your private keys, you should be able to access BCC sometime after August 1st. Some people are describing this as a dividend, although it seems more like an asset spinoff to me. Either way, BCC will have some sort of value on or around August 1st, and a market will start being made. So how should people concerned about potential bad actors on the side of BCC think about all of this? Let’s start with a few tweets from Whale Panda that I think are important to ponder.

With that in mind, take a watch of this recent interview of Roger Ver. Roger is considered to be one of the largest holders of Bitcoin out there, and owns bitcoin.com.



That video definitely made me feel that Roger could act in a hostile way following the launch of BCC. I really hope he swallows his pride and doesn’t go down that route, but we can’t make that assumption. I think we absolutely need to prepare for the possibility that some bad actors will try to harm Bitcoin using BCC. Here are a few more tweets from Whale Panda.

Since I think Whale Panda is onto something, the most logical way to defend against the threat from a market psychology perspective is to hold onto your BCC even if you think it’s garbage. You have to understand that if bad actors want to make Bitcoin look bad and their alt-coin look good, price will be a huge part of their strategy.

It might make sense to not dump your BCC right away, which could let bad actors control the entire float. If you do that, they can then dump their BTC on the market while controlling all the BCC and ensure it goes up while Bitcoin drops. I’m not saying this is my assumption, I’m saying its possible. As such, hold on to your BCC to prevent them from executing this strategy. Then if BTC does drop as BCC rises, you have dry powder to take the other side of the trade. The risk in this strategy is that BCC crashes right away and never recovers and you lose that free money, but if that happens you’ll still probably benefit from a rising BTC price.

At the end of the day, everyone should do what they feel is right. I could be completely nuts here. I’m just putting all of this out there in the event some of you haven’t thought through this potential outcome yet. I at least want people to be aware of what might happen. I have no idea of the likelihood of such a scenario.

Personally, I hope Roger, Jihan and whoever else don’t go down that route. If they do, they will be rightly demonized and remembered as the egomaniacs who tried to kill Bitcoin. Sure float your alt-coin and let people choose, but don’t start playing nefarious games. If you do, the Bitcoin community will rally together like never before and it won’t be good for you. I ask that you stand down.

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Will Bitcoin Network Split to Two on August 1st? All the Things You Need to Know About it

#4
The probability of a blockchain split on August 1st has abated somewhat in the final week of July, though uncertainty remains over what is actually going to happen in a matter of days that could change sentiment for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general, on a permanent basis, depending upon the outcome and impact on Bitcoin holders.

Volatility in Bitcoin’s price is reflective of the uncertainty ahead and the possible ramifications of a hard fork, with Bitcoin prices having eased in recent days as different groups shift support, adding to the uncertainty ahead of Monday’s anticipated Bitcoin fork event.

Holders of Bitcoin will ultimately be rightly concerned over the possibility of a blockchain split, leading to two different Bitcoins.

The tug of war between miners and core developers also raises the possibility of the Bitcoin Cartel being wiped out and, with the quantum of fees earned by the Cartel and the current grip on the blockchain, the Cartel is not wanting to go quietly, while also mindful of things going against them.

A risk to Bitcoin itself, if Bitcoin Cartel is wiped out, is limited over the longer-term with a return to a decentralized blockchain ultimately the favoured outcome for the core developers and the wider Bitcoin mining population. A split in the blockchain into two and the possible loss of Bitcoins as a result are the greater concern, though from a core developer perspective, it is easy to understand why there is such disagreement over agreeing to simply increase the blockchain storage capacity on demand. After all, without any regulatory oversight, some degree of policing is required particularly with the Bitcoin Cartel’s current grip on the blockchain itself and hashrate concentration.

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Investors Have Nothing To Fear About The Split In Bitcoin On August 1

#5
After years of debate when the bitcoin community overwhelmingly supported the compromise proposal SegWit2x, investors believed that a fork had been avoided. However, it seems a few developers are unconvinced that the 2x part of the proposal will go through. Therefore, they are working on short notice to create a new currency called Bitcoin Cash on August 1, at 12.20 UTC.

Developer Calin Culianu, one of the developers who is working to create Bitcoin Cash believes that many will join it in future. Culianu told CoinDesk: “If the Segwit2x agreement fails to implement the 2x part, which is not entirely unreasonable, and only ends up being being basically SegWit without the 2x, many miners will likely defect to Bitcoin Cash."

Currently, there aren’t too many supporters for Bitcoin Cash. The major supporter is Beijing-based mining firm ViaBTC, which has about 4% of bitcoin’s computing power.

However, the bitcoin investors have nothing to fear because they will be credited Bitcoin Cash, which can be sold as Bitcoin credit, reports The Cointelegraph.

While this clears the path for bitcoin, a prominent investor has advised his clients to stay away from digital currencies.

Howard Marks calls bitcoin as a bubble

Howard Marks, the co-chairman of Oaktree Capital believes that the digital currencies are “not real”. In his latest Oaktree memo, he writes: "I'd guess these things have arisen from the intersection of (a) doubts about financial security - including the value of national currencies - that grew out of the financial crisis an (b) the comfort felt by millennials regarding all things virtual," writes Marks. "But they're not real," reports Business Insider.

Marks should be taken seriously, as he has an uncanny ability to correctly predict bubbles. He was correct in forecasting both the dotcom bubble and the financial crisis.

"In my view, digital currencies are nothing but an unfounded fad (or perhaps even a pyramid scheme), based on a willingness to ascribe value to something that has little or none beyond what people will pay for it," Marks wrote, reports CNBC.


SEC's 'ICOs Are Securities' Ruling Proves Bitcoin Has Staying Power

#6
The SEC shook the blockchain community last week when it issued a report ruling that the $50 million worth of tokens that were stolen last summer as part of a hack on the DAO were securities and should’ve been registered with the SEC. The DAO was a decentralized platform for investing in Ethereum-focused startups that was essentially an early version of the now popular Initial Coin Offerings. The report will likely slow the pace of new ICOs, as fledging company’s comprising a couple of ambitious engineers figure out how, exactly, to go about registering their projects.

But CoinDesk analyst Noelle Acheson, in a report for the site’s premium subscribers, argued that the ruling’s benefits outweigh the short-term inconvenience that these startups will likely experience as they rush to recruit compliance specialists to vet their offerings and communicate with the SEC.

By declaring that ICOs should be regulated like securities, the SEC is admitting that they are, indeed, securities. This is a landmark ruling. Since the CFTC first declared bitcoin to be a commodity in 2015, regulators have provided precious few updates to help move the digital currency further down the path of legitimacy. Earlier this summer, the Delaware legislature passed a law officially legalizing the use of blockchain technology in the trading of stocks. Later, the agency issued a registration order to startup called LedgerX, granting it status as an official CFTC Swap Execution Facility, legalizing bitcoin options trading the process.

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Re: Cryptocurrency

#8
TheNews wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:47 am
This is an interesting analysis, I think that the cryptocurrencies are the future. However it is hard to create a wallet , store securely and protect yourself from being hacked

Coinbase Reverses – Plans to Allow Bitcoin Cash Withdrawals in January 2018

#9
Bitcoin exchange Coinbase has reversed its decision to support bitcoin cash. The company now plans to allow customers to withdraw their new cryptocurrency by January 1, 2018.

Coinbase on Thursday announced a change of plans regarding its support for bitcoin cash (BCC, BCH), the new cryptocurrency resulting from the August 1 hard fork. The exchange wrote:

We are planning to have support for bitcoin cash by January 1, 2018, assuming no additional risks emerge during that time. Once supported, customers will be able to withdraw bitcoin cash.

Coinbase Plans to Allow Bitcoin Cash Withdrawals in January 2018Meanwhile, the company claims that both bitcoin and BCC are safely stored and customers with bitcoin balances at the time of the fork “now have an equal quantity of bitcoin cash stored by Coinbase.” Its exchange GDAX also made a similar announcement.

Previously, Coinbase said that it would not support bitcoin cash. “We have no plans to support the Bitcoin Cash fork,” the exchange wrote on July 27, citing the difficulty in predicting BCC’s future market value. “Customers will not have access to, or be able to withdraw, bitcoin cash (BCC).”

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