Tag: bitcoin jesus

The Great Coinbase “Disaster” Of 2017: Bitcoin Cash Murders The Blockchain

By Spencer Kellogg | USA

What the hell just happened? Alleged insider trading at Coinbase, Roger Ver blasted for having practical visions of the future of cryptocurrency and Charlie Lee attacked as a parasite for cashing in (rightfully) his stack of Litecoin. What a mess the past few days have been leaving some in the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency community feeling shell-shocked from a new presence of egoism and narcissism in the once generally positive community. Furthermore, hard questions are arising about Bitcoin’s dominance as ‘king of crypto’ leaving many consumers upset in its wake. Money is a bastard and the past 48 hours have been a shining example of how greed and playground groupthink have diluted the overarching philosophical goals of the space and split a massive userbase into argumentative factions while leading even the most sophisticated lemmings straight off the cliff.

Bitcoin has a problem. For all of the talk about it being the world’s new reserve currency, it doesn’t move very well. It requires an expensive fee and the time delay for receiving the coin has been virtually eradicated by other competing digital currencies in recent years. The strongest thing Bitcoin has going for it at the moment is its first mover advantage in the space and its dominating presence on every major exchange in the world. Bitcoin Cash is a ‘fork’ of Bitcoin meaning that Bitcoin Cash is of the same origin as Bitcoin but possesses functional and technological differences. Just like a forked path presents two new roads so too does a forked currency and the route that users choose to take determines the viability of the product. Bitcoin Cash promotes faster payments, lower fees and secure development from a centralized leadership. It also has Roger Ver, aka ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ (or Judas depending on your opinion), one of the great controversial figures in all of cryptocurrency. Ver sent the currency and overall markets into a feeding frenzy as he appeared on CNBC yesterday to discuss Bitcoin Cash as the currency entered into the connected crypto exchanges GDAX and Coinbase.

With Bitcoin Cash coming online at Coinbase (the major exchange in the USA) markets and consumers around the world flooded in to purchase the asset before its listing. Allegations of insider trading were rife leading to Coinbase halting the trading of the currency as they investigated their employee’s purchases leading up to the event. In the greater community, opinions were split with some users pointing at the “disaster” and using this event to call for greater regulation and even lawsuits for what they perceived to be cheating while others grinned and accepted the practice for what it is; a fully free, unregulated market that does not play by your grandfather’s Wall Street rules. All Bitcoin wallet addresses that held BTC during the August fork were given the exact same amount in Bitcoin Cash and in the month’s leading up to the New Year, there had been confusion regarding whether or not Coinbase would add Bitcoin Cash as a trading option with many believing that Coinbase would only provide withdrawal of the currency from its website. The decision regarding whether or not Coinbase would allow active trading of the commodity is important because it has a major effect on the wider adoption of the currency. As it stands now, the continued shenanigans from Coinbase is leading to a loss of faith from its consumers who suspect manipulation and lies on the part of the leadership. Until a better option is available many US-based crypto customers will have no choice but to use the major on-ramp platform for enter/exit trading.

In the world of Litecoin, founder Charlie Lee laid out his reasons for selling off his portfolio of Litecoin in a Reddit post that can be read here: Charlie Lee Sells His Litecoin. He pointed to his presence as a social and cultural figure in the cryptocurrency market overall and his interest in divesting from the coin that he has such an immense influence upon. This led to fingerpointing insinuating that Charlie Lee was using Litecoin simply to get rich or even that this had been done to take advantage of the Bitcoin Cash listing on Coinbase. Lee also made clear that the currency has seen a remarkable run up from four dollars in the springtime and that many investors should be careful in this new high-risk and unstable territory. In the past year, I have witnessed Charlie Lee act as an agent of good over and over again and I was surprised by the level of hostility aimed at Lee in the following days. The aggression towards one of the true white knights of the space speaks to the level of mistrust and resentment that some consumers are feeling in this grey area of ‘bubble’ uncertainty.

The Wild West of crypto is an enthralling business but the ailments of big money and uninformed speculators are beginning to rear their ugly head. I always thought the major hurdle of crypto’s mainstream adoption would be a belligerent Congress but after what I’ve witnessed this week I am beginning to believe it will be the low IQ newcomers who demand greater centralization and regulation to protect their interests. I suppose the trending backlash can be seen as a bullish sign because it signals that a mass userbase has collected with desires and opinions and a real stake in the game. The bickering, however, is difficult to listen to and reminds me most of the Sunday’s I spent as a child watching grown men smash into each other on the football field. We are still years away from true adoption of these services and much can be changed in the proceeding time. Do your own research, form your own opinions, strap in and get ready for the moon, just be careful which rocket you choose.

Image credits go to @Crypto_God


Senate Bill Threatens Future of Cryptocurrency

By Andrew Zirkle|WASHINGTON

Hidden within the “Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act of 2017”, also known as S.1241, are far-reaching regulatory provisions expected to heavily affect users, traders, and holders of all types of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin.

The bill was pushed into a Judiciary Committee hearing on the 28th of November, without much notice to the public. The bulk of the 2-hour hearing focused on other elements of the bill, with the only mention of cryptocurrency happening very briefly during a discussion on money laundering. The hearing also featured a testimony from Kathryn Haun, who is on the Coinbase board of directors. She did not mention any information regarding cryptocurrency or its exchanges.

The bill, which contains 20 sections, was written under the guise of preventing illegal money operations. However, its relatively small changes to the legal status of cryptocurrency are expected to have far-reaching ramifications. Section 13 of the bill indicates that “digital currency” is to be added to the list of items that the US Treasury Department will consider as “financial institutions.” Although this change in legal definition may seem small, the impacts it would have for cryptocurrency users would be significant.

The owners of cryptocurrency would be required to report their holdings in cryptocurrency to the IRS as assets, and also may be required to pay a long-term capital gains tax of up to 25%, or regular federal income tax of up to 39.6%, on the revenue earned from selling cryptocurrency for more than its previous value. Holders of cryptocurrency who do not report their holdings as assets to the IRS would be subject to tax evasion penalties or jail time. The bill fails to address many of the complexities of digital currencies, including the tax protocol for exchanging US Dollars for cryptocurrency multiple times before selling back to dollars, as well as any tax burdens that may be held by cryptocurrency exchanges.

The measure also subjects holders of cryptocurrency to more government scrutiny, meaning individuals who are believed to be misrepresenting their crypto holdings or transactions could have their financial information seized by the IRS or subpoenaed in court. Section 13 of the bill also requires the “detailing a strategy to interdict and detect…digital currencies…at border crossings and other ports of entry for the United States.”  This means that even someone with basic electronic equipment could be questioned or searched by border and customs officials, as well as the TSA.

Although the bill does contain a lot of important updates to the criminal code regarding money laundering, many in the cryptocurrency community are calling for a re-examination of the bill itself and section 13, as it is widely believed that it does not properly account for the nature of cryptocurrencies in its attempts to regulate.

Bitcoin is Bigger Than Your Bank Account

By Spencer Kellogg | USA

Wow! We did it! No one can ever take this moment from us! 10,000 dollars for 1 BITCOIN! If not a revolution in decentralized currency and power then it is surely the greatest troll ever orchestrated by the powerless. At this rate, if I was a betting man (and I’ve shown myself to be a terrible one), I’d guess that John Mcafee’s member will not be dinner anytime soon. While many traders’ eyes are lost deep in their swelling bank accounts, we must sit back and marvel at the creation, spirit, and determination of the human being. Here in the strung out, psychedelic world of the shadow web, something is so genuinely afoot that no one can look away; Bitcoin. A cultural, economic and political revolution that is singular in its nature and completely borderless. Bottled in the sphere of a new monetary system it is a streaking asteroid aimed directly at the corporate power elite and career-minded politicians who have utilized our centralized banking system to their benefit.

Once a limitless playground for freaks and geeks alike, the internet has drudgingly been reduced to a whimper of censorship, central economic planning, and total philosophical control. While the American & Chinese governments are busy pushing forward plans to further regulate and monetize the world wide web, the cryptocurrency Bitcoin (along with a host of other platforms and tokens) have surged to unseen heights of cultural adoption and economic speculation. Politically, Bitcoin is a completely permissionless anti-state actor against the triumvirate that has long stood against the advancement of our modern democracies: banks, governments, and academia. Each of these three centralized power structures doubted and attacked Bitcoin labeling its users as nothing more than drug peddlers and intellectual neophytes. They continually called it a speculative bubble and denounced its support and implementation as mere fantasy. They were wrong.

Bitcoin is a wholly organic movement built on the simple idea that the power of money and governance should rest in the hands of its people. It is libertarian, it is utilitarian, it is collectivist, it is Marxist, it is democratic. It is a new political idealism rooted firmly inside the spirit of the technological age. This power, boosted by the freedom of information and buoyed by the spirit of individualism, is a direct shot against attempts to limit the internets’ openness, centralize economic power into the hands of the few and degrade the liberty and decency of the individual.

The blockchain can be a greedy sort. Nakamoto must’ve known it would be. I can’t imagine he/she/they intended it as such but truly free markets reveal themselves in the eyes and pockets of its traders. This is a global financial opportunity unseen in decades if not centuries. A bull run so wild that market traders with 40 years of experience would wipe the fog off their charred glasses in stunned silence as a parabolic wall of buys smashed thru the top of their Coinbase client.

Lost in this excitement is the dread of mainstream impact. I am the worrying type. I see how China, with its eyes dead set on the future, has toyed with the Bitcoin market in the past year while also preparing and investing in its future. Meanwhile, our politicians bicker over identity politics and sexual harassment as a tide of money and ideas are surging without reluctance all around them. I imagine what this will look like in 2 years when our Congress finally gets around to sinking its claws deep and I worry. Furthermore, when corporations and governments get around to simply moving their FIAT and banking structures onto the blockchain, what will be the countenance of a growingly statist public?

There is always the chance we will wake up one dull morning to find Bitcoin was indeed, a scam. That it was built on the backs of empty nodes in CIA labs simply to monitor the anti-government leanings of activists and commoners alike. Or worse, as we approach singularity, we could soon find that computers themselves have built a superior blockchain and outpaced the ‘slow minds’ of our human skin rendering Bitcoin worthless. I worry less about these things. Irregardless if they come true, it does not distort the shining truth that lies at the center of this movement: free people.

The next time you open your Blockfolio account to spectacular gains remember: Bitcoin is Bigger Than Your Bank Account.

Featured image by Black Falcon of blackfalcon.org

“Bitcoin Jesus” is Making a Country

By Mason Mohon | USA?

Roger Ver is a self-described Bitcoin Angel Investor and fan-described Bitcoin Jesus. He is partnering up with another Bitcoin entrepreneur, Olivier Janssens, to create the world’s first sovereign voluntaryist country. Olivier being the “founding father” and CEO, while Roger is the co-founder.

They have titled the project Free Society, and are looking to join forces with a willing government and purchase the territory from them. According to Jansenns, they have amassed over 100,000,000 dollars to create the country.

According to Trustnodes, Janssens released much information about the goals for the country. It would be heavily based on libertarian and anarcho-capitalist principles. There would be no monopoly on military, courts, or police like there is by the state in most countries across the world.

…the country would operate on a fully voluntary basis. That means “enforcement will happen through private arbitration, competing court systems and private law enforcement,” the project says.

At the same time, intellectual property would be a no-go, for many libertarians believe it is in violation of private property rights, and it often gives rise to patent trolls. Victimless crimes would not be crimes at all, such as drug use and prostitution. According to Olivier:

We have backing of over 100 million USD in private capital and are committed to the mission of realizing the world’s first Free Society.

On the project website, which can be found here, they have stated that the governments they are currently negotiating with cannot be revealed for confidentiality reasons, but they did provide some standards on what kind of territory they’re looking for. Among these standards was proximity to both water and economic powerhouses such as Europe, Asia, and the United States. They are looking to go on a national rescue mission of sorts in return for their own voluntaryist system. Janssens made the following quote to Cision PR Newswire.

There are many nations that have a significant national debt or are in crisis. Our aim is to help them resolve that and create an economic powerhouse next to their doorstep as a bonus. It’s a win-win for everyone.

The fateful debate between anarcho-capitalism and minarchism is not a new one, especially in the Austrian school of economics. This country will determine whether or not an anarcho-capitalist/voluntaryist society is possible or not.