Category: Bitcoin Survey/Research

BEARS ARE WRONG: Why miners are banking on a huge Bitcoin price rise

https://www.pivot.one/share/post/5d22cda6595ce75467016948?uid=5bd49f297d5fe7538e6111b6&invite_code=JTOJYV

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Bitcoin (BTC) Poised to Dump on Crypto Suckers, Says Veteran Stockbroker – Plus Ripple and XRP, Ethereum, Tron, EOS, Litecoin, Augur

 

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From gold bulls dissing Bitcoin to the new Captain America pledging his allegiance to Litecoin, here’s a look at some of the stories breaking in the world of crypto.

Bitcoin

Veteran stockbroker and CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, Peter Schiff, says he expects Bitcoin’s 132% rally in 2019 to reverse. In a new debate with Barry Silbert, the founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group, Schiff called Bitcoin an elaborate pump-and-dump scheme for suckers.

“The air is already coming out of this bubble, right? The peak of market was at $20,000. And so that was a blow-off speculative mania when they launched the Bitcoin futures and everything rose. So now, we’re in a bear market. And in a bear market, you always have rallies. That’s what bear markets do. They try to sucker in the bulls. You have these false rallies. We’re having one now.

But initially, a lot of people got suckered into this pump-and-dump scheme because they heard all the stories about the young kids who took their bar mitzvah money and now they bought a Lambo. And everybody thinks they’re going to get rich because they think these kids were geniuses when all they did is get lucky because they bought Bitcoin and then the price went up.

So there’s a lot of stories about people who got rich because they got in. Well, pretty soon it’s mostly going to be stories about people who lost their life savings because they put real money instead of play money into Bitcoin. And when you have the horror stories outnumber those positive stories, the brand is going to be tarnished. I don’t think you’re going to have a bunch of young kids rushing to buy Bitcoin because they’re going to know how much money their friends lost because they bought it.”

In response, Silbert points to financial giants like Fidelity that are now joining the industry to sell Bitcoin to institutional investors. Silbert says he believes Bitcoin – and the growth of the cryptocurrency industry at large – is very real, and will push the price of BTC higher in the long run.  

“I think investors are hearing the gold argument and they’re hearing about the scenario where it performs well when things are going not so well in the world. And I would argue, given that Bitcoin has all the same characteristics as gold – scarce, finite, portable, highly divisible – I think it has a lot more utility. Arguably Bitcoin would perform well in that environment that Peter’s describing.

But Bitcoin, and more importantly, the community and the industry that is being built, the thousands of companies that have been launched over the past five year, the tens of thousands of jobs that have been created – the real innovation that’s happening – I assure you, is going to propel the Bitcoin price higher. Because it will generate real innovation in a world of economic growth, where gold will only perform well if the shit hits the fan…

What I think gold bugs don’t appreciate, is there is a generational shift in investor mindset that’s happening. Over the next 25 years, $68 trillion of wealth is going to be handed down from Boomers, Gen X, Gen Ys and Millennials. And I can assure you that the younger generation of investors, many of you here apparently agree with this, don’t view gold the same way that our parents and grandparents did.

We did not grow up under the gold standard. We did not grow up during a time of war, so as that $68 trillion gets handed down, it is not going to stay in gold. Now, is whatever is in gold right now all going to go to Bitcoin? No, of course not. But gold is an $8 trillion market cap asset class. Bitcoin’s $100 billion. So a lot has to go right or frankly, in Peter’s view, a lot has to go wrong for an $8 trillion asset class to jump in price. And $100 billion for Bitcoin, it really does not take a lot for Bitcoin to outperform gold over the next 10 years.”

Ethereum, EOS, Tron

Decentralized apps (DApps) on the EOS network continue to outpace those on Ethereum and Tron. According to DappReview, $25.2 million worth of EOS flowed through DApps on the network in the last 24 hours, with 125,600 active users.

Meanwhile, 48,600 users spent $14.6 million worth of TRX on Tron-based DApps, while 18,700 users spent $9 million ETH on Ethereum-based DApps.

Ripple and XRP 

Ripple continues to hire new employees around the globe. The company is now looking for an operations associate for Xpring, Ripple’s XRP development and fundraising arm. The position is in San Francisco. At time of writing, the start-up has a total of 62 open positions, including eight with Xpring.

Litecoin

In an interview with Vanity Fair, actor Anthony Mackie, who will assume the role of Captain America in future Marvel movies, says he checks his Litecoin app every day.

“I don’t trust Bitcoin. Litecoin forever.”

Source: Pivot – Blockchain Community

The Large Bitcoin Collider Is Generating Trillions of Keys and Breaking Into Wallets – VICE

Since we first published this article, major security flaws in the Large Bitcoin Collider client have come to light. Check out our follow-up reporting on these issues here.

For nearly a year, a group of cryptography enthusiasts has been pooling their resources on a quixotic quest to brute-force crack one of bitcoin’s cryptographic algorithms for creating wallet addresses. This is thought to be impossible today, but if they succeed, at least one element of bitcoin’s cryptography will be instantly obsolete.

It’s probably due to the scope of the challenge that the project is called the Large Bitcoin Collider, after the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator. But instead of new physics, the Large Bitcoin Collider is hunting cryptographic collisions—essentially proving that a supposedly unique and random string of numbers can be duplicated. More on collisions and their ramifications for bitcoin later, but along the way the LBC is using its computing power to try and bust open bitcoin wallets owned by other people, and potentially taking the coins inside.

Read More: The Great Physical Bitcoin Robbery

The basics are this: bitcoin addresses containing funds can be accessed by private keys, which are generated at the same time as the address. Technically, a number of private keys could work with any given address, but you’d need a huge amount of computing power to brute force your way through enough possibilities to find any of them. The LBC attempts to accomplish this by recruiting the computing power of anyone who’s willing to download and run their software.

Finding a private key that works with an existing wallet is a fast-and-loose version of “cracking,” and gives the attacker access to all the funds inside. But when someone in the LBC pool finds a working private key, do they get to keep the coins?

“In principle yes, although there is a process defined where—if someone appears with an alternate key—the pool members consider him the owner of the address,” “Rico,” the pseudonymous lead of LBC, told me in an email. He would only tell me that he’s a computer programmer “past his 40s,” who lives in Europe.

As for the legality of all this, LBC advises participants with a rather laissez-faire attitude.

“Depending on your jurisdiction, this may be considered theft and is therefore illegal,” the site’s FAQ states. “However, there are many jusrisdictions [sic] where you could perfectly legally claim 5-10% of the value found. So you should consider if you want 100% and become a criminal or if you get 10% and still be a law abiding citizen.”

The LBC has been working for just under a year. So far, Rico claims, the project has generated over 3,000 trillion private keys and checked them against existing bitcoin addresses to see if they work, and has found three that do and contain bitcoin. They’ve found over 30 private keys in total, some of which are for so-called “puzzle” addresses that are suspected to have been generated as easy bait for crackers.

“This project has been called many things: Impossible, illegal, pointless, cool, etc.”

Cracking wallets may seem malicious on the surface—and if an LBC participant knowingly steals funds, it might just be—but it also has research value. Bitcoin security researcher Ryan Castellucci has done work cracking wallets as a proof-of-concept in order to model attacker behaviour and defend against it.

“The thing that disappoints me about this is that they’re only checking addresses that have a balance instead of all addresses that have ever been used,” he said in an interview over the phone. “For research, it’s much more interesting to check all addresses that have ever been used, because that will show you if there’ve been weak addresses created in the past and if they’ve been cleaned out by attackers.”

But cracking wallets is just one part of the LBC’s mission. The other is to find a genuine cryptographic collision, which would mean it’s possible to generate inputs that, when put through the bitcoin address hashing algorithm, generate an identical pair. If it were ever to happen, bitcoin would have to use a new cryptographic algorithm for addresses. This would be similar to Google creating a collision with the once-popular SHA-1 cryptographic algorithm, which ended its usefulness for good.

Read More: I Broke Bitcoin

“Finding a P2PKH-collision [one cryptographic method of creating bitcoin addresses] would probably mean the end of P2PKH but not bitcoin,” Rico explained, regarding the ramifications of finding a collision. “Bitcoin would evolve with new address types. Most certainly it wouldn’t ‘die’ because of this.”

Castellucci also urged caution when it comes to getting all riled up about the LBC’s search for a cryptographic collision in bitcoin.

“To effectively find [a collision], you would have to find some way to generate [keys] much, much faster than is currently known to be possible,” he said. “Unless they find some sort of breakthrough in cracking techniques, the brute force strategy they’re using poses no threat to anybody’s bitcoin.”

“Someone could play the lottery three weeks in a row and win every time,” he explained. “That theoretically could happen, but it’s safe to assume it won’t.” Castellucci isn’t alone in this belief. Others, on the /r/bitcoin subreddit for example, have been much less kind and called the LBC “pointless.” But that hasn’t deterred Rico.

“Since it’s inception [around] 8 months ago, this project has been called many things: Impossible, illegal, pointless, cool, etc.,” Rico wrote.

“I think there is more waiting to be uncovered by the LBC—including a collision,” he continued. “So with that in mind we really do not care much about what ‘someone on Reddit’ said.”

Motherboard is nominated for three Webby Awards for Best Science YouTube Channel , Best Drama , Best Tech/Science Podcast . Please vote for us!

Source: The Large Bitcoin Collider Is Generating Trillions of Keys and Breaking Into Wallets – VICE

Bitcoin Holds Over $6,000, Beats Stocks And Gold In 2019, Will It Ever Get Back To $20,000?

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Bitcoin has outperformed stocks and gold, so far, in 2019.

The digital currency has gained close to 68% YTD, the NASDAQ QQQ Invesco ETF shares have gained 18.09%, the Russel 2000 iShares ETF has gained 15.04%, while SPDR Gold shares have lost 0.08%.

Stocks, Gold, and Bitcoin YTD

Stocks, Gold, and Bitcoin YTD

Koyfin

Meanwhile, the rest of the cryptocurrency was mixed, with 30 out of the top 100 advancing, and 70 falling over the last seven days.

Table 1

Number of Cryptocurrencies That Advanced/Declined In The Top 100 Ranks

Cryptocurrencies Advance/Decline Number
Advance 30
Decline 70

Source: Coinmarketcap.com 5/10/19 at 10 a.m

“The worst of the bitcoin bear market is behind us,” says Ian King, senior research analyst at Banyan Hill Publishing, who specializes in cryptocurrencies.

He sees a number of factors driving the Bitcoin rally this time around. One of them is resilience. “In 2017-2018, Bitcoin had a boom and bust, but it’s still here,” adds King.“The November 2018 capitulation was a mirror image of the panic buying of December 2017.”

Market capitulations usually follow bad news, but are signals of strong turnarounds. “All markets bottom when they stop selling off on bad news,” says King.  “Two weeks ago, the NYAG claimed Bitfinex was missing $850mm in customer funds.  The market sold off and then rallied.”

That’s the 4th boom and bust cycle since Bitcoin’s creation 10 years ago, observes King.  “I’m more confident of this recovery than I was of the last, as there are more institutions and retail investors looking at bitcoin as a digital store of value,” adds King.

Meanwhile, Fidelity, Ameritrade, and ETrade are planning to launch institutional trading platforms within the next few weeks, raising market participation.

That’s a bullish sign for Bitcoin, according to King.

But will Bitcoin ever reach $20,000 again? Not in 2019, according to Farrukh Shaikh, Co-Founder and CFO

-Gath3r, LTD. “In the coming few months, it is not very likely at all to go near the all-time high of $20,000. However, 2020 is when the halving occurs for BTC, where mining rewards get cut in half ie reducing future supply,” says Shaikh. “This would be the 3rd halving for BTC since inception, and previous ones have been catalysts for huge price increases for BTC.”

And that could help  Bitcoin reach $20,000 by 2021, according to Shaikh. “Speaking from a technical analysis perspective. there are several scenarios where it can reach and surpass the $20,000 price point within the next couple of years,” adds Shaikh.“On a fundamental basis, real world use, adoption and acceptance of BTC is increasing with each passing month, which are also positives for its future price expectations.”

While, it’s hard to predict where the digital currency will be in a couple of years from now, one thing is clear: volatility will continue in cryptocurrency markets.

[Ed. note: Investing in cryptocoins or tokens is highly speculative and the market is largely unregulated. Anyone considering it should be prepared to lose their entire investment. Disclosure: I don’t own any Bitcoin.]

My recent book The Ten Golden Rules Of Leadership is published  by AMACOM, and can be found here. 

I’m Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics at LIU Post in New York. I also teach at Columbia University.

Source: Bitcoin Holds Over $6,000, Beats Stocks And Gold In 2019, Will It Ever Get Back To $20,000?

Financial Advisory Firm Says Past Market Trends Point to Bitcoin at $20,000 by 2021

Financial advisory firm Canaccord Genuity has predicted that bitcoin (BTC) could hit $20,000 by 2021 based on retrospective projections in an analysis published on May 9.

This prediction is based on a close similarity between the four-year price cycles of bitcoin during the 2011–2015 and 2015–2019 ranges, as shown in the following graph:

Bitcoin price cycles. Source: Canaccord Genuity

Canaccord Genuity points to the bitcoin mining rewards schedule as a possible cause for these four-year price cycles, since the reward drop — which decreases by 50% for every 210,000 blocks mined — has so-far occurred about once every four years. However, the report cautions:

“As always, we caveat this observation with the obvious — this is simply pattern recognition and not reliable fundamental analysis.”

Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Graham commented on cryptocurrency prices at the beginning of 2018, saying that the upswing in regulatory enforcement would likely have a major impact on the crypto market via dislocation (therefore making it hard for crypto assets to be accurately priced).

Earlier this week, Galaxy Digital Founder and CEO Michael Novogratz predicted that the price of bitcoin would exceed $20,000 by the end of 2020. Novogratz did not provide a specific rationale for his conviction, but did note that bitcoin is in a bull market and is outperforming the price growth of other cryptocurrencies.

At press time, bitcoin is trading at $6,404.55 and is trending up by 4.89% on the day, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Source: Financial Advisory Firm Says Past Market Trends Point to Bitcoin at $20,000 by 2021

Tim Draper Believes Bitcoin Will Grab 5% of the Earth’s Market Share

While Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are focused on Mars, billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper has his feet firmly planted on the ground. Draper might appear to have his head stuck in the clouds with a lofty $250,000 bitcoin price prediction. But from what he tells Fox Business, the early bitcoin investor isn’t stargazing:

“I’m a believer that in four years, something like that, bitcoin will be about a 5% market share of the earth.”

Draper’s Bitcoin War Chest is a Cool $189 Million

He pointed to bitcoin’s best features such as decentralization, transparency, and simply being a better currency than fiat. Draper was an early bitcoin investor, having purchased 30,000 BTC when the price was hovering at $632 per coin. He points out that the investment is worth 10x that amount today, and he’s got no doubt that it’s going much higher.

Draper envisions a future in which bitcoin further disrupts the venture capital business model.

“I eventually want to have a fund where I take in bitcoin and I fund everybody in bitcoin and they pay their employees and suppliers in bitcoin. And then I pay my investors in bitcoin. Because I would then require no acounting, no legal, no bookeeeping, no custody. It would all be done.”

Considering that transactions would be recorded on the blockchain, all relevant participants would be able to see everything. Tim is a big fan of bitcoin but he keeps an open mind about other cryptocurrencies, too. Though he does expect that the number of coins will be whittled down to only the best projects.

Tim Draper has a $250,000 price target on bitcoin. | Source: CoinMarketCap

Tim Draper on Facebook

Everyone knows Facebook is pursuing a $1 billion fund for its new stablecoin, and Draper has been linked to discussions with the company about the initiative. Incidentally, the gloves came off on one of Facebook’s founding members earlier this week, with Chris Hughes calling for the breakup of Mark Zuckerberg’s company. Draper isn’t buying into it.

“If the shareholders will benefit somehow by a breakup, then sure go ahead and do it. But the idea that he has all this centralized power…I think he’s just building a business and it’s a great business. And there are plenty of competitors to him out there. And I’m very pleased that he’s done so well.”

If his tone is any indication, perhaps we will be hearing about a VC investment into Zuckerberg’s new blockchain project.

Meanwhile, the bitcoin price is currently hovering at $6,379. It’s a far cry from Tim Draper’s $250,000 target but if he’s right and it captures 5% of the earth’s market share, the moon will seem a lot closer than it does today.

Source: Tim Draper Believes Bitcoin Will Grab 5% of the Earth’s Market Share

Germany Is The European Leader Of Bitcoin & Ethereum Nodes

 

In what is emerging to be an interesting trend on the bitcoin network, Germany is fast growing as a hub for bitcoin nodes, as it is now responsible for 20% of all public nodes, inching closer to the United States, which accounts for 25% of bitcoin nodes.

Rounding off the top 5 for bitcoin nodes is France, Netherlands, and Canada. China may be experiencing a drop in mining after China’s strict approach to the cryptocurrency industry in recent times, and it is possible that miners may configured nodes to be publicly unreachable.

Similarly, it is also growing in terms of the number of Ethereum nodes, coming second again to United States, with 13% as opposed to the latter’s 28%. Data on the number of Ethereum nodes is conflicting, depending on the source. Here, China, France and Singapore complete the top 5.

Whatever the exact figure, it is clear that Germany is emerging as a hub for crypto activity. The nation’s authorities themselves are looking into the matter of crypto regulation.

Abhimanyu Krishnan
About Abhimanyu Krishnan

Abhimanyu is an engineer on paper but a writer by living. To him, the most celebratory aspect of blockchain technology is its democratic nature. While he’s hodling, he can be found reading a good book or making the local dogs howl with the sound of his guitar playing.

Source: Germany Is The European Leader Of Bitcoin & Ethereum Nodes

7 Reasons Bitcoin Price Will Smash Record Highs in 2020: Tom Lee

Bitcoin permabull and Fundstrat Global co-founder, Tom Lee says the worst is over for bitcoin.

In an interview with CNBC, Lee said the bitcoin price will likely see a new all-time high in 2020, eclipsing the previous $20,000 mark. Lee is famous for inflated bitcoin price predictions, but he backed up the latest forecast with seven key indicators.

1. The bitcoin halving is coming

Every four years, the bitcoin block reward is cut in half to maintain the strict 21 million supply. It gives bitcoin an artificial scarcity and inherent value.

bitcoin halving

The next bitcoin halving takes place in 390 days. Historically, the bitcoin price starts climbing a year before.

The next bitcoin “halving” is scheduled to take place on May 23rd 2020. Historically, the bitcoin price has begun to climb a year before the halving takes place. Tom Lee predicts the shrinking supply and upcoming halving will add fuel to the bitcoin rally.

2. Trading volumes back near record highs

As CCN previously reported, bitcoin trading volumes are back near record highs. Lee points to a key moment in January 2019 when year-on-year trading volumes turned positive

3. Bitcoin smashes past its 200 day moving average

Earlier in the month, bitcoin closed above its 200 day moving average in a technically strong bullish sign. The last time it happened was October 2015 and bitcoin went on to kickstart a two-year bull-run.

4. Fundstrat’s Bitcoin Misery Index turns positive

The bitcoin misery index (BMI) measures investor sentiment using a composite of bitcoin volatility, price, and trading activity. In April it hit its highest point since mid-2016.

Lee sees this as a sign that a bull market is forming since a high reading only occurs during bull markets. However, he also acknowledged that bitcoin famously took a 25 percent fall last time the BMI hit this point.

 

5. 60% – 70% increase in bitcoin OTC trading

According to a Fundstrat survey, institutional investors are pouring into bitcoin through over-the-counter (OTC) markets. OTC markets exist outside the main reported exchanges and reportedly account for half of all bitcoin trading volume.

Lee claims OTC trading activity is up 60% – 70% which is a sure sign that “big money” is coming to crypto. As he explains, OTC markets are:

“Really important in terms of how institutional investors trade crypto.”

6. Consensus that the “bottom is in”

Lee points to a handful of “original” bitcoin bulls who believe we have seen the lowest prices in this bitcoin rout. He repeatedly claims that bitcoin whales, who pulled money out of the market in early 2018 are now beginning to put their money back into bitcoin.

7. Bitcoin’s golden cross

Lastly, Lee points to the “golden cross” technical indicator. The golden cross is another hugely positive indicator that traditionally confirms a bullish breakout.

Bitcoin price will shatter its all-time-high of $20,000 in 2020, according to Tom Lee. | Source: Shutterstock

7 Reasons Bitcoin Price Will Smash Record Highs in 2020: Perma-Bull Tom Lee

By CCN.com: Bitcoin permabull and Fundstrat Global co-founder, Tom Lee says the worst is over for bitcoin.

In an interview with CNBC, Lee said the bitcoin price will likely see a new all-time high in 2020, eclipsing the previous $20,000 mark. Lee is famous for inflated bitcoin price predictions, but he backed up the latest forecast with seven key indicators.

1. The bitcoin halving is coming

Every four years, the bitcoin block reward is cut in half to maintain the strict 21 million supply. It gives bitcoin an artificial scarcity and inherent value.

bitcoin halving

The next bitcoin halving takes place in 390 days. Historically, the bitcoin price starts climbing a year before.

The next bitcoin “halving” is scheduled to take place on May 23rd 2020. Historically, the bitcoin price has begun to climb a year before the halving takes place. Tom Lee predicts the shrinking supply and upcoming halving will add fuel to the bitcoin rally.

2. Trading volumes back near record highs

As CCN previously reported, bitcoin trading volumes are back near record highs. Lee points to a key moment in January 2019 when year-on-year trading volumes turned positive.

Lee cites increased bitcoin adoption in Venezuela and Turkey for the increasing volume:

“Just taking those two countries, they’re close to 30% of the increase in on-chain activity, so it’s meaningful. “People are saying, ‘Look, I don’t trust using these local currencies. I don’t trust the banks. I’m going to start using bitcoin.’ And that’s what’s causing on-chain volume to really take off.”

3. Bitcoin smashes past its 200 day moving average

Earlier in the month, bitcoin closed above its 200 day moving average in a technically strong bullish sign. The last time it happened was October 2015 and bitcoin went on to kickstart a two-year bull-run.

4. Fundstrat’s Bitcoin Misery Index turns positive

The bitcoin misery index (BMI) measures investor sentiment using a composite of bitcoin volatility, price, and trading activity. In April it hit its highest point since mid-2016.

Lee sees this as a sign that a bull market is forming since a high reading only occurs during bull markets. However, he also acknowledged that bitcoin famously took a 25 percent fall last time the BMI hit this point.

5. 60% – 70% increase in bitcoin OTC trading

According to a Fundstrat survey, institutional investors are pouring into bitcoin through over-the-counter (OTC) markets. OTC markets exist outside the main reported exchanges and reportedly account for half of all bitcoin trading volume.

Lee claims OTC trading activity is up 60% – 70% which is a sure sign that “big money” is coming to crypto. As he explains, OTC markets are:

“Really important in terms of how institutional investors trade crypto.”

6. Consensus that the “bottom is in”

Lee points to a handful of “original” bitcoin bulls who believe we have seen the lowest prices in this bitcoin rout. He repeatedly claims that bitcoin whales, who pulled money out of the market in early 2018 are now beginning to put their money back into bitcoin.

7. Bitcoin’s golden cross

Lastly, Lee points to the “golden cross” technical indicator. The golden cross is another hugely positive indicator that traditionally confirms a bullish breakout.

Tom Lee polled his Twitter followers, 43 percent of whom believed the golden cross was a good sign.

Bitcoin to $25,000?

Tom Lee has long-held a positive view of bitcoin’s price but his forecasts aren’t always accurate. He predicted bitcoin would end 2018 at $25,000, a call that fell significantly short. Let’s see if this latest bullish prediction is more accurate.

Source: 7 Reasons Bitcoin Price Will Smash Record Highs in 2020: Tom Lee

This Awful Bitcoin Stat Guarantees It’s Not Crypto’s Future: Mathematician

With all the hype about blockchains and their many uses, we shouldn’t forget the original purpose for the Bitcoin blockchain and Nakamoto’s great leap forward.

Blockchains and cryptocurrencies were created to be decentralized currencies, replacing or complementing fiat currencies. For the most avid crypto fans, crypto is the future of currency and will eventually handle full-scale economies. We dream of the day that we laugh and tell our kids and grandkids that we had physical wallets, paper currencies, and things called “credit cards” (“Grandpa, seriously, you are so old!”).

Preparing the Crypto Economy for Mass Adoption

So what has to happen in order for us to run economies on the blockchain?

There are several hurdles we still need to clear, like getting the value of these currencies to be stable, handling privacy in a sensible way, and getting confirmation speeds fast enough for point-of-sale transactions.

By far the most glaring hurdle, however, is throughput. We need to be able to handle many, many more transactions per second than any current blockchain is capable of. At 13 transactions per second (a high estimate), Bitcoin can handle just over a million transactions per day. For niche, small economies, this might do the trick. But it certainly won’t do it for, say, the US economy.

Let’s put this into perspective. In 2017, the US gross domestic product (GDP) was almost $20 trillion. GDP isn’t a great measure of how much money changes hands during the year, but for our purposes, it’s close enough. If about $20 trillion changed hands in the US in 2017, then about $54 billion changed hands every day (20 trillion divided by 365). Ignoring how slowly Bitcoin processes transactions, if it were to handle $54 billion in transactions in one day, transactions would have to be on average about $54,000 (54 billion divided by 1 million).

What? Your everyday transactions aren’t $54,000 on average? Of course not. Between 2012 and 2017, US consumers spent roughly $80 per transaction online.

bitcoin is bad for payments

Bitcoin doesn’t look like a candidate to replace credit cards in the online payments realm. | Source: Statista

In 2016, transactions on Amex credit cards averaged about $141, and those on Visa averaged about $80. While it is true that corporations tend to transact in higher dollar amounts, it’s still likely that the crypto community is still a few orders of magnitude away from being able to handle all the transactions in an economy on a single blockchain.

If, based on the statistics I just gave, we assume that transactions are about $100 on average, then $54 billion would change hands every day in roughly 540 million transactions (54 billion divided by 100). That boils down to about 6,000 transactions per second on average. If we take into account the fact that most people transact during the day, a quick recalculation yields about 10,000 transactions in an average daytime second (instead of dividing by 24 hours of the day, divide by 16 to account for about 8 hours of sleep).

This estimate is probably about right. There are roughly 324 million people in the United States, and about 5 million businesses. If we assume that people and businesses, on average, transact 1.5 times per day, then we have about 500 million transactions per day (329 million entities multiplied by 1.5). This is close to our estimate of 540 million daily transactions from before, which gives about 10,000 transactions per daytime second in the United States.

Bitcoin Would Need to Increase Transaction Capacity By Four Orders of Magnitude to Replace Visa

Mastercard, Visa, Bitcoin

With Bitcoin’s staggeringly-limited transaction capacity, it’s unrealistic to believe it can rival Visa or Mastercard – much less both. | Source: Shutterstock

Getting back to the original question, how many transactions per second does a blockchain have to be able to handle in order to support the United States economy? Our rough calculation of 10,000 transactions per second is almost certainly not enough, but it does give a base from which we can work. To give perspective, Visa processes about 1,700 transactions per second on average but at peak times it can handle up to about 24,000 transactions per second. Their max limit is just over an order of magnitude higher than the average, in order to handle high-volume days like Black Friday or the post-Christmas wave of returns.

Taking Visa’s data as an example, since 10,000 transactions per second is our rough estimate for the average, we’d probably need to be able to handle around 100,000 transactions per second to really kill it (one order of magnitude higher than the average, similar to Visa). That’s a lot. More precisely, that’s about 10,000 times faster than Bitcoin—a whopping difference of four orders of magnitude.

To me, this says that our methods of finding consensus on a blockchain are simply not fast or powerful enough to actually use crypto as a viable currency. We need innovations in infrastructure, hardware, and consensus algorithms in order to even hope to reach this threshold.

Bitcoin Is Not the Future of Crypto

bitcoin

Derek Sorensen believes Bitcoin is definitely not the future of crypto. | Source: Shutterstock

That is to say that, barring some major changes and improvements, Bitcoin is almost certainly not the future of crypto.

Technologies like the Lightning Network attempt to solve the scalability problem, but do so awkwardly and ineffectively. Opening channels to transact off-chain ties up money in extremely inconvenient ways. In practice it incentivizes users to open a single channel with a centralized liquidity provider on the blockchain, rather than opening many channels. This effectively creates unregulated, centralized banks, and in my view goes against the core principles of blockchain technology. Even worse, because transactions are done off-chain and channel data can’t be deterministically rebuilt, if a Lightning node crashes, both parties can easily lose funds. It may genuinely be one of the worst ideas in cryptocurrency.

Notwithstanding, the blockchains of the future may not be so far off. New research in math shows promising results in the mathematical foundations of consensus that could produce blockchains with 50,000 transactions per second or more without compromising safety or decentralization. Every day, a new paper comes out or a crypto startup launches a new product.

There are plenty of bright minds working on securing the crypto dream. I guess in twenty years if you’re paying for your groceries with crypto you’ll know that we succeeded.

About the Author: Derek Sorensen, Pyrofex Research Mathematician, has an MSc in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Oxford and is set to start his PhD this fall at the University of Cambridge, where he will study logic and topology. His work at Pyrofex is in formal verification, which includes research on the theory of consensus and setting up mathematical frameworks to prove theorems about code.

Source: This Awful Bitcoin Stat Guarantees It’s Not Crypto’s Future: Mathematician

Bitcoin Is The New Gold

I always write about this basic idea when it comes to any investing: which way is the market going, up or down?

If you know, you are in great shape; if you don’t, you should not be playing at all.

This is the question on bitcoin.

All last year I was saying, “It’s going down, hopefully to about $2,500.” It hit the low $3,000s.

Now bitcoin is going up and I will be saying “It’s going up.” I think it will hit $6,000 soon and go on to $10,000.

At $10,000 I will look to recalibrate.

For now the crypto winter is over.

Here is the chart:

The Bitcoin chart: the crypto winter is over

This is a simple chart with some guidelines and there is a clear pathway upwards.

There is apparently a lot of China interest in crypto right now, with tether selling at a premium. This makes sense if the market considers a yuan dollar depreciation on the cards. Tether has been shown to be resilient, even if it is still a controversial coin. It remains a good place to stash capital from short-term moves, be that from bitcoin volatility or ‘fiat’ privations.

Money flowing into stablecoins is going to lift bitcoin because fundamentally  money flowing into crypto is what sustains and raises prices.

Bitcoin and altcoins have to have positive money flow because they are “mined” and have their monetary bases expanded with every block. For bitcoin $9 million of new money must enter every day to match new supply. It’s not that straight forward because if miners hodl on to some or all of their bitcoin, less money needs to enter on a daily basis to prop up the price. In the end, however, supply and demand creates the price and for new supply to be matched at current levels, more than $3.3 billion dollars has to flow into bitcoin to make it go up.

That might seem a lot but it is not when you see the scale of modern markets. Gold production is $140 billion, so that’s the amount of fiat that most come into the system to keep its price around $1,300 an ounce.

Both assets have about the same emission as a percentage; the difference being the market cap of gold is about $5 trillion and bitcoin is $0.09 trillion.

Gold is the global asset to hedge against risk and investors are incredibly interested in it. It is a mainstream asset dwarfing equities and other assets in the mind of the man in the street as an “investment.”

Google searches for gold and Bitcoin in the US

Google searches for gold and bitcoin in the U.S.

Credit: Google

When you drill down into mindshare, when you look at interest in the financial news,  you can see what looks like bitcoin eating into the interest in gold, at least in the U.S.

If you look at the global picture this trend can’t be seen as clearly and when you appreciate global interest in gold is driven by countries with low tech penetration it suggests that as time passes, bitcoin and crypto will increasingly share the flight capital/risk asset crown with gold.

Google searches for gold and Bitcoin worldwide

Google searches for gold and bitcoin worldwide

Credit: Google

Even if bitcoin takes 20% of that market, bitcoin will be through its previous $20,000 high. That is without bitcoin continuing to be used for transactions or any other emergent use case or situation.

Bitcoin winter is over, the price is going up, the only question is how high. For now $6,000 is an easy target and $10,000 a coin this year is not such a hard target. I’m still accumulating.

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Clem Chambers is the CEO of private investors Web site ADVFN.com and author of Be Rich, The Game in Wall Street and Trading Cryptocurrencies: A Beginner’s Guide.

In November 2018, Chambers won Journalist of the Year in the Business Market Commentary category in the State Street U.K. Institutional Press Awards.

 

Clem Chambers Clem Chambers Contributor

I am the CEO of stocks and investment website ADVFN . As well as running Europe and South America’s leading financial market website I am a prolific financial writer….

Intelligent Investing is a contributor page dedicated to the insights and ideas of Forbes Investor Team. Forbes Investor Team is comprised of thought leaders in the area…

Source: Bitcoin Is The New Gold