Bitcoin Is Steady As It Braces For A Big Week

Led by bitcoin, most major cryptocurrencies have spent the past seven days in relative tranquility. Bitcoin and ether have been trading -0.69% and -4.46% on the week respectively, according to crypto data aggregator COIN360. The biggest movers are Binance’s BNB, which has added 6.95% over the same period, and Dogecoin, which is down by 8.28%.

As of 8.06 a.m. ET, bitcoin is still facing resistance at $33,576 though on-chain metrics are becoming more bullish. For instance, “bitcoin exchange balances have started to show signs of sustained outflows,” tweeted blockchain data and intelligence provider Glassnode. Approximately 40,000 BTC, or $1.37 billion, have been withdrawn over the last three weeks, reversing weeks of inflows that coincided with the 50% market crash. The withdrawals suggest that traders are moving their funds to outside wallets and aren’t looking to sell in the near term.

That said, there have been some standouts among altcoins. EOS, the native cryptocurrency of the EOS.IO blockchain platform, rallied nearly 11% in the last few days following the announcement that crypto startup Bullish is preparing for a public listing via a $9 billion SPAC deal. During the past year, Bullish received an initial capital injection of $100 million and digital assets, including 20 million EOS, from Block.one, the company behind EOS. Additionally, Block.one’s CEO Brendan Blumer will become the chairman of Bullish upon the transaction’s close.

Another big altcoin winner of the week is Terra (LUNA), a native token of the namesake protocol for issuing fiat-pegged stablecoins,  – up by 30.86%. The token seems to have found its footing after the volatility it saw in May. On July 7, Terraform Labs, the project’s creator, committed approximately $70 million to boost the reserves of its savings protocol Anchor. LUNA’s market capitalization has leaped from $300 million to $3.4 billion since January.

But all eyes will be on one of the largest releases of locked shares (16,240) in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), bound to take place on July 17. In total, 40,000 shares will become unlocked in the coming weeks.

The trust, set up as a private placement where qualified investors can buy shares directly from Grayscale, requires investors to hold their shares for six months before selling them on the secondary market. GBTC saw massive interest in late 2020 and early 2021 among institutions looking for a simple way to get exposure to bitcoin.

Opinions on the impact of the event on the market differ. JPMorgan strategists think the selling will add pressure on the cryptocurrency. “Selling of GBTC shares exiting the six-month lockup period during June and July has emerged as an additional headwind for bitcoin,” wrote the bank’s analysts in a note issued earlier in June. “Despite some improvement, our signals remain overall bearish.”

Analysts at cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, however, seem to disagree: “market structure suggests that the unlock will not weigh materially on BTC spot markets anytime soon, if at all, like some have claimed.” Whether or not the unlock creates a catalyst for price action, it remains one of the most anticipated events of the week.

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I report on cryptocurrencies and emerging use cases of blockchain. Born and raised in Russia, I graduated from NYU Abu Dhabi with a degree in economics and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where I focused on data and business reporting.

Source: Bitcoin Is Steady As It Braces For A Big Week

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Critics:

Bitcoin was holding steady after surging to $40,000 following another weekend of price swings following tweets from Tesla boss Elon Musk, who fended off criticism over his market influence and said Tesla sold bitcoin but may resume transactions using it.

In other news, some 81% of fund managers believe Bitcoin is in a bubble, even after May’s 35% price crash, according to the latest Bank of America Global Fund Manager survey and reported by Coindesk.

genesis

The results for the period June 4-10 are up six percentage points from last month’s data, indicating sentiment on Wall Street has turned more bearish. 

The survey showed 72% of the fund managers surveyed think the recent uptick in inflation is transitory. Bitcoin is often seen as a hedge against inflation, and many crypto analysts attribute the cryptocurrency’s gains over the past year to concern about increasing inflation.

Last week, El Salvador became the world’s first country to recognize bitcoin as legal tender.

References

Visa And BlockFi Launch 2% Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card

In this photo illustration a Visa logo is seen on a mobile...

Cryptocurrency services company BlockFi launched its first-ever crypto rewards credit card, in conjunction with Visa, to approved clients in the United States on Tuesday. BlockFi’s plans for a credit card were initially disclosed in December 2020 when the exchange released a waiting list for US-based clients, which is now over 400,000 people. BlockFi CEO Zac Prince expects everyone on the waitlist to receive their card around the end of July.

The new offering provides clients with a simple way to acquire bitcoin without having to pay fees or navigate the sometimes complicated onboarding processes at exchanges. BlockFi stands to benefit from utilizing the card as a customer acquisition tool as well as from the fees it will receive from money spent on the card.

“The crypto industry has come a long way since the first Bitcoin payment transaction 11 years ago,” Flori Marquez, Co-Founder and SVP of Operations at BlockFi said. “Today, nearly everyone knows about the important role crypto plays in reshaping the financial space, and our new credit card is set to be another game-changer. This card will make it easier than ever for people to earn Bitcoin back while making day-to-day purchases.”

Holders of BlockFi’s Rewards Visa Card will be able to earn 1.5% back in bitcoin on every purchase, with the payout increasing to 2% on every dollar spent over $50,000 annually. As an incentive to new users, they will receive a 3.5% bitcoin rewards rate for the first 90 days or until they receive $100 worth of bitcoin. The card also offers other benefits such as rebates on trading fees and comes with no annual fee or foreign transaction fees.

These rewards are competitive when compared to other traditional cards. For example, Bank of America’s Customized Cash Rewards credit card offers 3% cash back in one spending category of the customer’s choosing, 2% back automatically on grocery purchases and 1% back on all other purchases.

However, depending on an individual’s spending habits they could be outshone by Gemini, the crypto exchange headed up by the Winklevoss twins, when it launches its crypto rewards credit card this summer in partnership with Mastercard. While BlockFi only offers rewards in bitcoin for now, Gemini will give clients 3% back on dining purchases in any cryptocurrency offered on the exchange on purchases without annual fees or exchange fees. However, the rewards drop to 2% on groceries and 1% for all other purchases.

The launch of the BlockFi crypto rewards credit card also marks a new offering in Visa’s expanding crypto business. The electronic payments company has partnered with several crypto firms to offer Visa debit cards and supported over $1 billion worth of volume through crypto-linked cards in the first half of 2020, but the partnership with BlockFi will bring its first crypto rewards credit card. In 2021, Visa appeared on Forbes’ Blockchain 50 list after applying for over 150 blockchain-related patents and announcing an integration with US-dollar pegged stablecoin USDC.

Card users will receive a 1.5% cashback on an accrual basis for every transaction made through the card, which will then be converted to bitcoin and placed into a BlockFi account in a regular monthly cycle.

“Crypto rewards programs are a compelling way to engage consumers in the crypto economy,” Terry Angelos, SVP and Global Head of Fintech at Visa said. “We’re excited to see programs like the BlockFi Rewards Visa Card, which offer rewards that are relevant to the growing community of digital currency adopters.”

The move by BlockFi comes after PayPal Holdings Inc in October said it would allow customers to hold bitcoin and other virtual coins in its online wallet and shop using cryptocurrencies, a move which could help bitcoin and rival cryptocurrencies gain wider adoption as viable payment methods.

Bitcoin has surged about 160% this year, fueled by demand for riskier assets amid unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus, interest in assets perceived as resistant to inflation and expectations that cryptocurrencies will win mainstream acceptance.

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Source: Visa And BlockFi Launch 2% Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card

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Critics:

BlockFi is a New York City-based start-up cryptocurrency financial institution. It lends U.S. dollars against bitcoin and other cryptocurrency collateral, as well as accepting deposits of cryptocurrencies which pay interest to the depositor. BlockFi Co-Founder and CEO Zac Prince has a background both in consumer lending and start-ups.

In February 2018, BlockFi received a $1.55 million funding in a seed round from ConsenSys Ventures, SoFi and Kenetic Capital, among others. In July it secured another $50 million in funding from Michael Novogratz‘s Galaxy Digital Ventures

References

Electricity Needed To Mine Bitcoin Is More Than Used By Entire Countries

It’s not just the value of bitcoin that has soared in the last year – so has the huge amount of energy it consumes.

The cryptocurrency’s value has dipped recently after passing a high of $50,000 but the energy used to create it has continued to soar during its epic rise, climbing to the equivalent to the annual carbon footprint of Argentina, according to Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, a tool from researchers at Cambridge University that measures the currency’s energy use.

Recent interest from major Wall Street institutions like JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs probably culminated in the currency’s rise in value and an endorsement by Tesla’s Elon Musk helped drive its recent high as investors bet the cryptocurrency will become more widely embraced in the near future.

While the recent fall has dented Musk’s fortune, bitcoin also poses a threat to the company’s mission toward a “zero-emission future” and poses serious questions for governments and corporations looking to curb their own carbon footprints.

Bitcoin mining – the process in which a bitcoin is awarded to a computer that solves a complex series of algorithms – is a deeply energy-intensive process.

“Mining” bitcoin involves solving complex math problems in order to create new bitcoins. Miners are rewarded in bitcoin.

Earlier in bitcoin’s relatively short history – the currency was created in 2009 – one could mine bitcoin on an average computer. But the way bitcoin mining has been set up by its creator (or creators – no one really knows for sure who created it) is that there is a finite number of bitcoins that can be mined: 21m. The more bitcoin that is mined, the harder the algorithms that must be solved to get a bitcoin become.

Now that over 18.5m bitcoin have been mined, the average computer can no longer mine bitcoins. Instead, mining now requires special computer equipment that can handle the intense processing power needed to get bitcoin today. And, of course, these special computers need a lot of electricity to run.

The amount of electricity used to mine bitcoin “has historically been more than [electricity used by] entire countries, like Ireland”, said Benjamin Jones, a professor of economics at the University of New Mexico who has researched bitcoin’s environmental impact. “We’re talking about multiple terawatts, dozens of terawatts a year of electricity being used just for bitcoin … That’s a lot of electricity.”

Proponents of bitcoin say that mining is increasingly being done with electricity from renewable sources as that type of energy becomes cheaper, and the energy used is far lower than that of other, more wasteful, uses of power. The energy wasted by plugged-in but inactive home devices in the US alone could power bitcoin mining for 1.8 years, according to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index.

But environmentalists say that mining is still a cause for concern particularly because miners will go wherever electricity is cheapest and that may mean places that use coal. According to Cambridge, China has the most bitcoin mining of any country by far. While the country has been slowly moving toward renewable energy, about two-thirds of its electricity comes from coal.

Since there is no government body or organization that officially tracks where bitcoin is being mined and what type of electricity miners are using, there is no way of knowing whether miners are using electricity that is fueled by renewable energy or fossil fuels.

Mining rigs can move from place to place depending on where energy is cheapest, which makes mining particularly hard to track.

“The places where you mine [bitcoin] can be moved around and, in some cases, you don’t even know where they are,” said Camilo Mora, a professor of geography and environment at the University of Hawaii.

Cambridge’s Centre for Alternative Finances estimates that bitcoin’s annualised electricity consumption hovers just above 115 terawatt-hours (TWh) while Digiconomist’s closely tracked index puts it closer to 80 TWh.

A single transaction of bitcoin has the same carbon footprint as 680,000 Visa transactions or 51,210 hours of watching YouTube, according to the site.

A paper from 2018 from the Oak Ridge Institute in Ohio found that one dollar’s worth of bitcoin took 17 megajoules of energy, more than double the amount of energy it took to mine one dollar’s worth of copper, gold and platinum. Another study from the UK published last year said that computer power required to mine Bitcoin quadrupled in 2019 compared with the year before, and that mining has had an influence in prices in some power and utility markets.

Bitcoin’s advocates have made it clear that they believe any environmental costs that come with mining bitcoin are worth the broader impacts it could have on society.

“Bitcoin would not be able to fulfill its role as a secure, global value transfer and storage system without being costly to maintain,” reads a defense against bitcoin criticism from Ria Bhutoria, director of research at Fidelity Digital Assets.

“Computers and smartphones have much larger carbon footprints than typewriters and telegraphs. Sometimes a technology is so revolutionary and important for humanity that society accepts the tradeoffs,” wrote investor Tyler Winklevoss on Twitter.

Some have pointed out that there does not have to be a tradeoff between cryptocurrency and the environment. The creators of ethereum, considered the second most popular type of cryptocurrency after bitcoin, have promised to change the currency’s algorithm to make its mining more environmentally friendly.

Vitalik Buterin, the computer scientist who invited ethereum, told IEEE Spectrum that mining cryptocurrency can be “a huge waste of resources, even if you don’t believe that pollution and carbon dioxide are an issue”, Buterin said. “There are real consumers – real people – whose need for electricity is being displaced by this stuff.”

Currently, ethereum’s mining works similarly to bitcoin where the most powerful computers have an edge in getting the most bitcoin as computers compete to complete a transaction first. Ethereum’s developers are working on changing that system so that miners enter a pool and are randomly selected to complete the transaction and receive an ether in return. This method, called “proof-of-stake”, guarantees that less electricity will be used to mine the currency.

But with bitcoin still reigning as the top cryptocurrency and, with endorsements from established companies and investment banks, the currency’s environmental impact is only likely to grow.

When it comes to electricity, “the computer doesn’t care. The computer is just getting the electricity to run, but where its electricity comes from makes a huge difference [for the environment],” said Mora.

By:

Source: Electricity needed to mine bitcoin is more than used by ‘entire countries’ | Bitcoin | The Guardian

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Bee Network Is An Anonymously Managed Clone of Pi Network

https://i2.wp.com/onlinemarketingscoops.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/EtS_DYxUcAUXV1X.png?resize=811%2C610&ssl=1

How did it grow so fast?

As a new network offering a free coin that will be magnetizable one day, it could be attracting users that didn’t join other such networks (e.g. Pi network) early on. It seems that some people are really into maximizing their virtual currency holding.

Similar to Pi Network, Bee has a referral marketing model and provides higher digital coins to initial users creating MLM like incentives for users. Based on our qualitative assessment of online comments, people seem to be driven by the desire to make money with very limited effort and are not concerned about their privacy since they already freely provide their data to other companies such as Facebook.

Bee Network has registered over 7 million users worldwide on 2 Mar 2021, the 13th week since our global launch. We have seen that the ranking of countries with most users are constantly changing! This is a good sign which Bee Network has gained momentum and gone viral across different communities in different period.

It does not matter where you are from as we are all the pioneers in making Bee Network great together. Let’s keep it grows and spread the word to the rest of the world!

Institutions buy more Bitcoins per month and there isn’t enough for everyone. As bitcoin is circulating freely right now, blockchain data show, the number has been getting smaller with each passing month over the last year. The pattern suggests that the ever decreasing supply of bitcoin available to buy and sell might lead to a price surge as more investors jump into the cryptocurrency market.

Rafael Schultze – Kraft, Chief Technology Officer of Glassnode, blockchain data company, reported that a total of 26,000 new bitcoins have been minded since 2021, and Grayscale has bought 40,000 bitcoins this year, worth up to 1.5 billion US dollars. At the same time, it means that the speed at which Grayscale buys bitcoins is 154% of the supply of newly mined bitcoin this year.

Fewer bitcoins are becoming available to investors, so as a result, the bitcoin price drives up. A longer period that seen historically, potentially providing more support to bitcoin’s price strength in the long term despite short-term corrections like last week’s 21% retreat.

The followings are the benefits mostly used in BEE:

  • Majority knows crypto, minority grasped its growth.
  • Majority burns energy, minority mines the fruit.
  • Majority invests, minority cashes out.
  • Majority gambles, minority manipulates.
  • Decentralized Ecosystem
  • Gaming experience of Bee Network is built upon an ecosystem of decentralization.
  • Fair Game For Everyone
  • Anyone with mobile phone and internet access can join the game upon referral. No supercomputers needed.
  • Exciting Game Experience
  • You will be rewarded by active participation in the game of Bee Network.
  • You are only required to verify one of your Facebook accounts, or phone number, or Apple ID at stage 1. Bee Network will require further verification from you when the project has entered next phases.

Once you have chosen to use a phone number as your signup method, you can only login your Bee account by SMS verification to that phone number. Therefore, if your SIM card is not a fixed mobile phone for some reasons, we suggest you use Facebook or Apple ID as your sign-in method.

If the application still can’t proceed, we recommend you uninstall the application and delete the relevant data on your phone, and download the latest version on App Store or Google Play and launch again. This shall not affect your Bee balance given you have not signed out before a 24-hour session ends.

Dont forget to put this referral code in registration: arminham

Source: Bee Network is an anonymously managed clone of Pi Network

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Bitcoin Poised For ‘Massive Transformation’ Into The Mainstream, Citi Says

Bitcoin

Bitcoin could be at the start of a “massive transformation” into the mainstream and on the path to become “the currency of choice for international trade,” according to leading investment bank Citi, which noted the cryptocurrency’s meteoric rise in value in recent years and a growing interest from institutional investors as potentially setting the stage for widespread success.

In a report published Monday, Citi analysts said the world’s most popular cryptocurrency was at a “tipping point” between widespread adoption or a “speculative implosion.”

Bitcoin’s growing use as a payment tool, the increasing availability of digital wallets, and institutional interest from the likes of Tesla and Mastercard have all helped buoy confidence in the cryptocurrency and could see it become the leading medium for international trade in the future, Citi said.

The analysts described Bitcoin as the “North Star” of the blockchain ecosystem, with its underlying technology launching an entirely new domain of the digital economy around it.

However, there are a number of risks and obstacles that could see the Bitcoin bubble burst, the analysts warned, and widespread changes to the market would be required for Bitcoin to be adopted more widely.

Dampened institutional investment in the post-Covid-19 world would remove a key pillar of support for Bitcoin, Citi said, and anticipated regulation and oversight—which runs counter to the anti-establishment ideology underpinning the cryptocurrency—could also “cause many of the most innovative developers and entrepreneurs to exit the ecosystem,” the analysts wrote.

Key Background

Bitcoin is one of the most volatile asset classes around. It has a bumpy and storied history since it was outlined in a paper in 2009, moving from practically worthless to an all time high of over $58,000 a coin in February 2021 (the price has since dropped to around $47,000) with several significant troughs and peaks in between. At its highest, Bitcoin’s market capitalization exceeded $1 trillion. As with the bulk of its history, Bitcoin is still driven by retail investors, who billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates warned not to get drawn in by the “mania” and enthusiasm of Elon Musk who has money to spare should things go wrong.

Crucial Quote

“I think bitcoin is really on the verge of getting broad acceptance by sort of the conventional finance people,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Clubhouse earlier this year.

Tangent

In October, PayPal finally welcomed cryptocurrencies to its platform, believed by many to be a precursor to it moving into the mainstream. PayPal will support four different cryptocurrencies—bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and bitcoin cash—and will expand the service to Venmo in 2021.

Further Reading

Bitcoin. At the Tipping Point (Citi)

Bitcoin rises 6% as risk assets rally; Citi says at a “tipping point” (Reuters)

Bitcoin’s Long-Term Value Doubted Due to ESG, Tighter Rules (Bloomberg)

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I am a London-based reporter for Forbes covering breaking news. Previously, I have worked as a reporter for a specialist legal publication covering big data and as a freelance journalist and policy analyst covering science, tech and health. I have a master’s degree in Biological Natural Sciences and a master’s degree in the History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge. Follow me on Twitter @theroberthart or email me at rhart@forbes.com

Source: Bitcoin Poised For ‘Massive Transformation’ Into The Mainstream, Citi Says

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One Of Bitcoin’s Biggest Backers Just Spent $1 Billion Buying More

In this photo illustration a Bitcoin logo is seen displayed...

While bitcoin remains about 15% below its record high from Sunday, a couple of the cryptocurrency’s biggest corporate backers have doubled-down on their bitcoin investments during the recent correction despite concerns over the token’s unshakeable volatility.

Business analytics company MicroStrategy said Wednesday morning that it spent slightly more than $1 billion buying about 19,452 bitcoin tokens during the recent correction, averaging about $52,756 per bitcoin.

As of Wednesday, the firm, which used debt to finance its recent bitcoin acquisition, holds roughly 90,531 tokens that it purchased at a combined price of nearly $2.2 billion–less than half the $4.5 billion they’re worth at current prices.

In a statement, MicroStrategy ژEO Michael Saylor said acquiring and holding bitcoin remains one of the company’s two biggest strategic priorities (in addition to growing its analytics software business) and that the investment “reaffirms [the firm’s] belief that bitcoin, as the world’s most widely adopted cryptocurrency, can serve as a dependable store of value.”

The move comes less than a day after payments fintech Square, cofounded and led by billionaire Jack Dorsey, revealed it’s also doubled-down on its bitcoin investment–investing another $170 million in the cryptocurrency this month after a $50 million investment in October.

At current prices, Square’s October investment is worth approximately $230 million–more than four times the purchase price; combined with the recent purchase, bitcoin represents about 10% of the cash Square had on hand at the end of last year.

MicroStrategy shares have plummeted 42% since a nearly 20-year high on February 9–the day after Tesla disclosed a $1.5 billion bitcoin investment; much of the plunge has been fueled by crashing bitcoin prices, which have similarly tanked Tesla shares.

Crucial Quote

“Bitcoin is a bank in cyberspace for people that don’t have the ability to run their own hedge fund,” Saylor said on CNBC Tuesday. “It’s not a stock; it’s an asset class, and so if I put $1 billion into a bank, and then came back and put another $10 billion in a bank, the bank is not overvalued, it’s just 10 times bigger.”

Surprising Fact

Bitcoin has plummeted about 16% from its record high of more than $58,000 on Sunday, but it’s still up more than 400% in the past year.

Key Background

In addition to corporations bulking up their balance sheets with volatile bitcoin, institutional investors continue to bolster adoption in the space. This month alone, the first two bitcoin exchange-traded funds launched in Canada, BNY Mellon announced that its wealth management arm will process cryptocurrencies alongside stocks and bonds, and news broke that Morgan Stanley’s $150 billion investing arm is considering adding bitcoin to its portfolio.

Chief Critic

Bitcoin prices reversed a recent rally on Sunday after Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that its prices seemed “a little high,” fueling concerns among experts that the token’s volatility makes it an unreliable store of value. “The fall that has taken place since [Musk’s tweet] shows just how wild an instrument bitcoin is, how overbought it has become and how influential the Tesla CEO now is in the space,” Oanda Senior Market Analyst Craig Erlam said Tuesday. “I’m not sure any of that is a good thing.”

genesis-3-1

Further Reading

Not Just Tesla: Big Institutions Keep Piling Into Bitcoin As Price Rockets Past $50,000 (Forbes)

Tesla Has Plunged 25% And Lost $200 Billion In Market Value Since Its Bitcoin Investment (Forbes)

Bitcoin Market Value Shoots Past $1 Trillion Amid Tesla-Fueled Surge (Forbes)

Bitcoin Soars To New High After Tesla Says It Invested $1.5 Billion (Forbes)

Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.

I’m a reporter at Forbes focusing on markets and finance. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I double-majored in business journalism and economics while working for UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School as a marketing and communications assistant. Before Forbes, I spent a summer reporting on the L.A. private sector for Los Angeles Business Journal and wrote about publicly traded North Carolina companies for NC Business News Wire. Reach out at jponciano@forbes.com.

Source: One Of Bitcoin’s Biggest Backers Just Spent $1 Billion Buying More

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Exchange demands users return Bitcoin bought for $6K during tech glitch One of Southeast Asia’s biggest crypto exchanges is blaming a technical glitch for the price of Bitcoin dropping down to 300,000 PHP, roughly $6,100, on Feb […] that a lot of users will feel upset they were able to buy what they thought an order was there for Bitcoin at very low prices. But unfortunately, the underlying Bitcoins were never in the possession of the exchange, so there’s never really anything there to be bough […]
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Exchange demands users return Bitcoin bought for $6K during tech glitch
cointelegraph.com – Today
One of Southeast Asia’s biggest crypto exchanges is blaming a technical glitch for the price of Bitcoin dropping down to 300,000 PHP, roughly $6,100, on Feb […] that a lot of users will feel upset they were able to buy what they thought an order was there for Bitcoin at very low prices. But unfortunately, the underlying Bitcoins were never in the possession of the exchange, so there’s never really anything there to be bough […] 16 closure occurred during a pivotal moment in Bitcoin’s history as its price soared above $50k for the first time […]
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Cryptocurrency Market Tops $1 Trillion For First Time – Fasapay Information Center
fasapay.info – Today
[…] Bitcoin has driven the market’s revival, rising in price from below $5,000 last March to above $37,000 today. Follow the latest bitcoin news as it reaches a new record high price The world’s biggest cryptocurrency saw its market cap briefly rise above $700 billion, according to CoinMarketCap […] There appears to be broad consensus among many market analysts and cryptocurrency experts that bitcoin’s current price rally may be far from over. It is the third great bull run in bitcoin’s history, with previous market surges in 2013 and 2017 lasting between 18 and 36 months […]
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Indian startup founder’s preference for Chinese investors gone down from 29% to 3% in 2021
news.nextbigwhat.com – Today
Tencent, Alibaba had so far been a favourite from China, plans to exit their investments in India. Via YOU MAY ALSO LIKE Tesla’s biggest decline was fueled by Musk’s comment on the prices of Bitcoin and Ether ‘do seem high’. View Post Also plans to be net-zero on carbon emissions by 2039. View Post
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Introduction to Bitcoin
amber.app – Today
[…] In the past 12mths alone, the price of a Bitcoin has ranged between a high of $43,000 and a low of $4,500 per BTC […] This means that it takes less money buying and selling to significantly sway the price in either direction. The biggest real risk to the continued success of Bitcoin is just a question of: will people want this? Money needs users […]
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One Of Bitcoin’s Biggest Backers Just Spent $1 Billion Buying More
[…] 5 billion they’re worth at current prices. In a statement, MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor said acquiring and holding bitcoin remains one of the company’s two biggest strategic priorities (in addition to growing its analytics software business) and that th […] 5 billion bitcoin investment; much of the plunge has been fueled by crashing bitcoin prices, which have similarly tanked Tesla shares. CRUCIAL QUOTE  “Bitcoin is a bank in cyberspace for people that don’t have the ability to run their own hedge fund,” Saylor […]
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Exchange demands users return Bitcoin bought for $6K during tech glitch By Cointelegraph
Exchange demands users return Bitcoin bought for $6K during tech glitch One of Southeast Asia’s biggest crypto exchanges is blaming a technical glitch for the price of Bitcoin dropping down to 300,000 PHP, roughly $6,100, on Feb […]
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What Janet Yellen Gets Wrong About Bitcoin
[…] There’s little evidence that Bitcoin is a main channel for illicit activity. Janet Yellen has again blasted Bitcoin, but critics say several of her assumptions about the cryptocurrency are inaccurate […] But, Carter pointed out, the transactions aren’t the energy-intensive part of Bitcoin mining. Issuing new Bitcoins as part of the mining process and, to a lesser extent, maintaining consensus are what use energy […] Well, given that the currency experienced its biggest-ever price drop today, shedding about 20% of its value in about an hour, well, we’ll give her that one […]
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Ethereum Miners Are Likely to Accept EIP-1559 Activation
cryptonews.com – Today
[…] One of the biggest problems with first-price auctions currently used by Bitcoin and Ethereum is fee estimation […] Consider a stablecoin project or Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) – they represent claims on an asset in the real world, yet duplicating the claim would no […] Dominance to Drop – Pantera Capital CIO – What’s in Store for Ethereum in 2021? – Brace For More Bitcoin Flash Crashes In This Bull Market – Hut 8 Founder – BitMEX Explains the Attack to Doubtin […]
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Russian Orthodox Church will not accept Bitcoin in offering plate –
cryptowatchdaily.com – Today
[…] YOU MAY ALSO LIKE BITCOIN BLOCKCHAIN BUSINESS MARKETS POLICY & REGULATION TECH BITCOIN OPINION BITCOIN BLOCKCHAIN BITCOIN BLOCKCHAIN BLOCKCHAIN TECH BITCOIN INVESTMENT BY J […] SMITH One of Southeast Asia’s biggest crypto exchanges is blaming a technical glitch for the price of Bitcoin dropping down to 300,000 PHP, roughly $6,100, on Feb […]
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There may now be as many as 100,000 bitcoin millionaires – CBS News
[…] That’s up from just 25,000 bitcoin millionaires three months ago. A year ago, there were about 15,000 millionaire bitcoin accounts. The biggest reason has to do with the highly volatile price of bitcoin, which has soared recently, in part because Tesla, Elon Musk’s car company, last month said it ha […] 5 billion in bitcoin. The move suggests that other companies might also decide to move more of their idle cash into bitcoin. The price of a bitcoin topped $50,000 earlier this month, and hit a high of just over $58,000 on Sunday […]
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Elon Musk loses $20 billion in single day after bitcoin warning | Stuff.co.nz
http://www.stuff.co.nz – February 23
[…] Tesla’s biggest decline since September was fuelled in part by Musk’s comments over the weekend that the prices of bitcoin and smaller rival Ether “do seem high” […] Zhong Shanshan, Asia’s wealthiest person, was the second-biggest decliner on the Bloomberg index, dropping by $5 […]
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Whale Who Sold BTC Before 2021 Crash Cashed Out $156M Before Latest 20% Plunge – Cryptovibes.com – Daily Cryptocurrency and FX News ⋆
[…] Santiment data published on February 23 indicated that bitcoin dropped to $47,400 after BTC’s second-biggest transaction of 2021 happened. Bitcoin Sell-Offs Return The transaction involved 2,700 BTC that was worth $156 […] This sale piled pressure on the market which resulted in the formation of the biggest one-hour candle in bitcoin’s history […]
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Ethereum Miners Are Likely to Accept EIP-1559 Activation – Analysts
trading.rodeo – February 23
[…] One of the biggest problems with first-price auctions currently used by Bitcoin and Ethereum is fee estimation […] Consider a stablecoin project or Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) – they represent claims on an asset in the real world, yet duplicating the claim would no […] BTC Dominance to Drop – Pantera Capital CIO- What’s in Store for Ethereum in 2021?- Brace For More Bitcoin Flash Crashes In This Bull Market – Hut 8 Founder- BitMEX Explains the Attack to Doubtin […]
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Elon Musk loses $19 billion in a day after Bitcoin warning
http://www.smh.com.au – February 23
[…] Tesla’s biggest decline since September was fuelled in part by Musk’s comments over the weekend that the prices of Bitcoin and smaller rival Ether “do seem high […] Zhong Shanshan, Asia’s wealthiest person, was the second-biggest decliner on the Bloomberg index, dropping by $US5 […]
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Many feared dead as Boko Haram attacks Maiduguri
thecable.ng – February 23
[…] Bitcoin drops 17% after Elon Musk’s comment on valuation Bitcoin, world’s biggest cryptocurrency, plummeted as much as 17 per cent on Tuesday, with prices tumbling below $50,000 as investors grew nervous at sky-high valuations.Advertisement Bitcoin has been on a […]
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Tesla shares drop 13% after Bitcoin plummets to below $50k | Daily
[…]   Musk, whose tweets on bitcoin have added fuel to the cryptocurrency’s rally, said at the weekend that the price of bitcoin and ethereum – the second-largest cryptocurrency – seemed high  BITCOIN DAILY: Bitcoin, which Tesla boss Elon Musk has been heavily touting, faced its biggest daily drop in a month, falling 17 percent to as low as $45,000 on Tuesday […]
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Analyst: Tesla’s Share Price Is Now Directly Tied to Bitcoin Value
http://www.breitbart.com – February 23
[…] Tesla shares dropped in premarket trading on Tuesday, down over 7 percent a day after the stock’s biggest loss in months. Tesla shares closed down 8.55 percent on Monday. This marked Tesla’s biggest drop since September 23, 2020, when it closed down 10.34 percent. Bitcoin’s price took a hit on Tuesday following a warning from U […] Bitcoin prices dropped by 16 percent in the last 24 hours, dropping below $50,000 to trade as low as $45,389 thi […]
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Troops recapture Borno town — after army chief’s 48-hour ultimatum 
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[…] Bitcoin drops 17% after Elon Musk’s comment on valuation Bitcoin, world’s biggest cryptocurrency, plummeted as much as 17 per cent on Tuesday, with prices tumbling below $50,000 as investors grew nervous at sky-high valuations.Advertisement Bitcoin has been on a […]
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Tesla’s share price is now directly tied to the value of bitcoin, analyst says
Tesla’s share price is now directly linked to the price of bitcoin after Elon Musk’s company invested $1 […] It was Tesla’s biggest drop since Sept. 23, 2020, when it closed down 10.34%. Bitcoin’s price descended further on Tuesday after U […] his Twitter bio to BTC last month, causing it to surge 20%, and over the weekend he said the price of bitcoin and Ethereum seemed “high,” resulting in a sharp fall […]
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[…] This is all because Elon’s net worth is inextricably tied with Tesla’s stock price, and Tesla’s stock price has been down in recent days […] Tesla’s biggest decline since September was fueled in part by Musk’s comments over the weekend that the prices of Bitcoin and smaller rival Ether “do seem high […]
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Whale Who Bought BTC Earlier than 2021 Crash Cashed Out $156M Earlier than Newest 20% Plunge – Cryptovibes.com – Every day Cryptocurrency and FX Information
money-stacks.com – February 23
[…] Santiment knowledge revealed on February 23 indicated that bitcoin dropped to $47,400 after BTC’s second-biggest transaction of 2021 occurred. Bitcoin Promote-Offs Return The transaction concerned 2,700 BTC that was price $156 […] wrote on Twitter: “As we famous yesterday, there was an 11x alternate influx spike that initiated #Bitcoin’s price correction from its $58 […]
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Bank of Korea chief says crypto has no intrinsic value, expects volatility
marsmasters.com – February 23
[…] The official stated that he expects more price swings on the market, saying, “It is very difficult to predict the price, but its price will be extremely volatile […] 22, bitcoin saw a steep correction with its price plunging from above $58,000 to below $48,000 […] In an interview on Monday, United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen criticized Bitcoin and stated that the world’s biggest cryptocurrency is an “extremely inefficient way of conducting transactions […]
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[…] (TSLA) — Tesla shares fell more than 5% in premarket trading on Tuesday, after suffering their biggest single-day loss in months on Monday. Wedbush analyst Dan Ives warns Tesla’s share price is now directly linked to the price of bitcoin after the electric vehicle maker’s investment in the cryptocurrency […]  The miss came despite a rebound in oil and gas prices. Shares fell 2.2% premarket. Shopify (SHOP) – Shopify priced a 1 […]
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[…] Tesla (TSLA) — Tesla shares fell more than 5% in premarket trading on Tuesday, after suffering its biggest single-day loss in months on Monday. Wedbush analyst Dan Ives warns Tesla’s share price is now directly linked to the price of bitcoin after the electric vehicle maker’s investment in the cryptocurrency […]  The miss came despite a rebound in oil and gas prices. Shares fell 2.2% premarket. Shopify (SHOP) – Shopify priced a 1 […]
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The FUD for every top 10 coin and why you should be aware of it : CryptoCurrency
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[…] Tether – Although its a stablecoin, Tether has possibly the biggest FUD even when compared to bitcoin because of its lack of auditing and what many believe to be “fake” money propping up the price of bitcoin. If tether is ever found out to be artificially pumping Bitcoin with fake reserves, it would make the value of Bitcoin artificial and cause a large crash […]
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http://www.dailyforex.com – February 23
In its biggest daily drop in a month, Bitcoin fell below the $50,000 level after Elon Musk commented that prices were too high […] The cryptocurrency had been rallying since Musk put #Bitcoin in his Twitter bio and since some major companies, including Tesla and MasterCard, decided to adopt […] reference to the necessity of cryptocurrency regulation, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that Bitcoin was extremely inefficient. “I don’t think that Bitcoin…is widely used as a transaction mechanism,” Yellen said during an interview at CNBC […]
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Operator of World’s Biggest Bitcoin Mine Planning $500 Million IPO: Report
latestcrypto.news – February 23
Home Decrypt News Operator of World’s Biggest Bitcoin Mine Planning $500 Million IPO: Report Decrypt News Operator of World’s Biggest Bitcoin Mine Planning $500 Million IPO: Report By Andrew Asmakov February 23, 2021 In brief Northern Dat […] 6 Billion in Bitcoin Long Positions Shaurya Malwa – February 23, 2021 In brief Bitcoin traders lost over $1.6 billion yesterday betting on higher prices. The liquidations were some of the biggest ever. Bitcoin has continued its decline today […]
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Elon Musk loses $15B in a day after Bitcoin warning
[…] Tesla’s biggest decline since September was fueled in part by Mr. Musk’s comments over the weekend that the prices of Bitcoin and smaller rival Ethereum “do seem high […] Zhong Shanshan, Asia’s wealthiest person, was the second-biggest decliner on the Bloomberg index, dropping by $5 […]
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[…] Bitcoin suffered its biggest daily drop in a month to fall as low as $45,000 before recovering to just over $48,500 […] Analysts pointed to Elon Musk, who commented the price was too high, for the sharp fall in bitcoin over the past day. Musk’s electric vehicle firm Tesla recently invested $1.5bn in bitcoin but as a result of his tweets is set to open lower later today […]
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Elon Musk’s wealth tumbles by $15 billion after Tesla shares dropped 9% in one day | Currency News | Financial and Business News | Markets Insider
[…] The slide appeared partly fueled by Musk’s tweets that bitcoin and Ethereum’s prices seemed high. Tesla also announced it would halt new orders for the lowest-priced version of its Model Y SUV […] The drop appeared to be fueled partly by Musk tweeting over the weekend that bitcoin and Ethereum p

Nakamoto’s Neighbor: My Hunt For Bitcoin’s Creator Led To A Paralyzed Crypto Genius

Hal Finney’s light brown eyes are pointed down. I’ve just asked him if he was involved in the creation of Bitcoin. The 57-year-old man’s almost imperceptible eye movement is his only way of telling me that he was not, and that I’ve spent the last week caught in the same futile windmill-tilting that has ensnared so many other reporters trying to solve the puzzle of Bitcoin’s mysterious creator known only as Satoshi Nakamoto.

Finney is seated in an elaborate wheelchair, flanked by medical equipment and his wife and son, both of whom are wearing blue t-shirts that read “Hal’s Pals: Fight ALS.” ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is the name of the terminal disease that has locked Finney into a body whose muscles no longer obey his mind’s commands. His eyes are among the few parts of his anatomy that his will still controls. He uses them to manipulate voice synthesis software running on a computer attached to his wheelchair with an eye-tracking camera. Until recently, this setup allowed him to speak fluidly in a computerized voice.

But as the disease has progressed, even Finney’s eye movements are deteriorating. He’s often reduced to yes-and-no conversations like the one we’re having now. His engineer’s mind, which has written some of the most important code in the history of cryptography, is unaffected by the disease and remains as lucid as ever. But its last lifelines to the outside world are growing thin.

I ask Finney if he has any connection to Dorian Nakamoto, the man Newsweek has a week earlier named as the creator of Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that has come to represent an entirely new digital form of money, and whose total value has risen as high as $16 billion at some points over the last year.

His eyes glance downward again, and this time Finney grins. His son Jason explains that involuntary movements are less affected by ALS than voluntary ones; Finney can’t easily smile on command for a photograph, but he can smile when he’s amused, and he’s clearly amused by my questions.

Finally, in a plea that must sound a little desperate, I ask Finney to show me what “yes” looks like, just to be sure I haven’t somehow misinterpreted his denials. He raises his eyes and eyebrows unmistakably, still grinning.

Amazing, I think, how quickly a raised eyebrow can shut down the most elaborate theories.

A week earlier, I was following clues that seemed to point to either Finney’s involvement in the creation of Bitcoin or one of the most improbable coincidences I’d ever encountered. Today, I believe those connections were in fact random, that Finney is telling the truth when he denies helping to invent Bitcoin, and that I am only the most recent of a long string of journalists to succumb to the mirage of a Satoshi Nakamoto-shaped pattern in a collection of meaningless facts.

But in following the clues that led me to Finney, I found something equally significant: a dying man who had been something like a far-more-brilliant Forrest Gump of cryptographic history: a witness to and participant in practically every important moment in the recent history of secret-keeping technologies. From the development of the first widely used strong encryption software known as PGP, to early anonymity systems, to the first Bitcoin transaction, Finney was there.

The rabbit-hole journey that led to my meeting with Finney began on March 6th, the day that Newsweek released its bombshell cover story on the man who it claimed had invented Bitcoin: Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto, a 64-year old ex-engineer and programmer living in the small exurb of Los Angeles known as Temple City. Nakamoto had even seemed to give Newsweek a tacit confirmation of its theory when he told the magazine’s reporter that he was “no longer involved in that,” a quote confirmed in essence by local police who witnessed the interaction.

Just hours after Newsweek‘s story hit the Web, I received an email from an old cryptography community acquaintance of Finney’s who has asked to remain anonymous. The email was titled “What are the odds?” It pointed out that Hal Finney had lived for almost a decade in Temple City, the same 36,000 person town where Newsweek found Dorian Nakamoto. Finney’s address was only a few blocks away from the Nakamoto’s family home.

This was an uncanny link: Finney is known to be the second-ever user of Bitcoin after Satoshi Nakamoto himself. He had been one of the first supporters of the idea when Nakamoto floated it on a cryptography mail list, and even received the first Bitcoin test transaction from Nakamoto in early 2009, as Finney himself wrote in a post to the Bitcointalk forum.

In other words, the possibly-first and confirmed-second ever users of Bitcoin lived just blocks apart.

“What are the odds in a country as large as ours, or as large as California is, or even as large as the general LA area is, that [Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto] and Hal Finney both live(d) in Temple City at the same time, about 1.6 miles from each other?” my contact wrote. “Did they know each other socially, through some club? Did one help the other?”

Already, the theory was percolating through the Texas Bitcoin Conference I was attending that day in Austin, where one Bitcoin podcaster independently rehearsed a more extreme version of the same theory for me over drinks: Had Finney invented Bitcoin himself and simply used his neighbor’s name as a pseudonym? On Reddit, a user traced Finney’s IP address and found that he was in the Los Angeles area. “Dorian [Nakamoto] probably could’ve been a drop,” wrote a user called Ikinoki, using the hacker jargon “drop,” a patsy whose personal information is used to hide online exploits.

I didn’t suspect Finney of anything nearly so malicious. Instead, I began to believe he might have been Bitcoin’s ghostwriter.

At the request of my Forbes colleague Matt Herper, the writing analysis consultancy Juola & Associates had already compared Dorian Nakamoto’s various online comments and postings with Satoshi Nakamoto’s writings on Bitcoin before his total disappearance from the Web in 2011. (Read the details of their analysis in Herper’s post here.) Unsurprisingly, they found a total mismatch: Dorian Nakamoto’s half-broken English hardly matched the elegant technical style of Bitcoin’s creator.

Hal Finney’s writing, on the other hand, was as fluid and precise as the whitepaper that first introduced Bitcoin in late 2008. Maybe, I thought, Finney had served as something like Nakamoto’s amanuensis, crediting Nakamoto for the idea, but using his own superior writing skills to explain Bitcoin to the public. I collected a 20,000 character sample of Finney’s writing from various forums and mailing lists and sent it to Juola & Associates for analysis.

In the mean time, I emailed Finney a few times. When I didn’t hear back–he’s been mostly absent from the Internet as his paralysis deepens–I called his wife, Fran, who now works as Finney’s full-time caregiver. She explained her husband’s medical situation, and patiently relayed my questions to him. Using his eyebrows and eye movements, as she described to me over the phone, he confirmed that he had corresponded with Bitcoin’s creator, but denied any connection to the invention of Bitcoin or the Dorian Nakamoto Newsweek had named, just as he would when I visited a week later. “For all Hal knew, Satoshi Nakamoto could have been next door, or he could have been in Japan,” Fran said.

She also politely invited me to visit her and her husband in Santa Barbara, where the couple now lives. In person, she said, it would be easier to convince me that Finney wasn’t involved in Bitcoin’s invention despite the one-in-a-million geographical connection. She also requested that I include in any story I wrote her plea to the media and the Bitcoin community not to flock to their home and stalk Finney for interviews the way reporters had immediately done at Dorian Nakamoto’s house following Newsweek‘s story.

“He’s very fragile,” she told me. “We have him on ventilator support twenty-four hours a day. He has difficulty communicating. It would be nice if people would not harass him.”

Just hours after that phone conversation, I received the results from the writing analysis from Juola & Associates. The firm, its chief scientist John Noecker explained in a phone call, had previously tried analyzing candidates for Satoshi Nakamoto named by older investigations performed by the New Yorker, Fast Company, and various Bitcoin enthusiasts. None of the results had been promising enough to publish, according to Noecker.

Hal Finney, by contrast, was the best Nakamoto candidate whose writing the firm had ever analyzed and the first who Noecker believed might have actually written the Bitcoin whitepaper.

“So, it seems to me,” he wrote in an email, “that you may have found the real Satoshi Nakamoto.”

***

Satoshi Nakamoto (left) in a 1967 yearbook photo, and Hal Finney in a 1974 yearbook photo.

Hal Finney grew up in the idyllic Los Angeles suburb of Arcadia, in a two-story cottage-style house just an eight-minute drive away from the Nakamoto family home in Temple City. Dorian Nakamoto, then known by his birth name of Satoshi Nakamoto, was seven years older than Finney, and the two never attended the same school. But Nakamoto’s brother Tokuo Nakamoto tells me that Satoshi commuted from the Temple City address to college at California Polytechnic Institute well into the early 1970s, when Finney was attending Arcadia High School just a few miles away.

None of Finney’s friends at Arcadia High whom I spoke to had any memory of an older friend or acquaintance of Finney’s named Satoshi Nakamoto.

They do remember Finney as an unusually intelligent and thoughtful student, who at times carried around an impressively large copy of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and seemed to have adopted its lessons about libertarian free thinking. Friends recall him quietly sitting in the back of a physics class, only to approach the teacher afterwards to correct an error or suggest a better way of articulating a problem. At math team competitions, Finney would ring in with an answer to most questions before they’d been fully asked. In 1974, his senior year, he was voted “most brains” by his peers.

“He had this uncanny feel for numbers,” says Richard Lewis, a friend of Finney’s who is now a Stanford physiology professor. “To him, they seemed like living things that had behavior, that you could learn from.”

Finney enrolled in the California Institute of Technology, and soon switched his focus from mathematics to computers, staying up through the night and often missing class to obsess over his coded creations. When he graduated, he married his college girlfriend Fran and took a job writing video games for Mattel. In 1982, the Finneys moved to a house in Temple City, again less than two miles from the Nakamoto family home. (Dorian Nakamoto wouldn’t return to the Los Angeles area from New Jersey until 1987, according to Newsweek, and then lived in other neighborhoods like Buena Park and Costa Mesa. But Dorian Nakamoto’s mother and then a Nakamoto a family trust maintained ownership of the Temple City house through Finney’s nine years living in the neighborhood.)

It wasn’t until 1991 that Finney discovered the movement of anti-authoritarian encryption gurus who would define much of the rest of his career: the Cypherpunks. Centered around the Cypherpunk email list, the group advocated encryption tools as a means to shift power from the government and to individuals. Like many cypherpunks, Finney was inspired by the work of David Chaum, another Los Angelino cryptographer who had proposed theoretical systems that would use encryption tools to enable anonymous communications and even untraceable financial transactions. Chaum had developed the first-ever virtual currency known as DigiCash, with some of the anonymous and decentralized properties of Bitcoin, though it never gained widespread adoption.

“It seemed so obvious to me,” Finney would write on the Cypherpunks Mailing List in 1992. “Here we are faced with the problems of loss of privacy, creeping computerization, massive databases, more centralization – and Chaum offers a completely different direction to go in, one which puts power into the hands of individuals rather than governments and corporations. The computer can be used as a tool to liberate and protect people, rather than to control them.”

Finney put his programming prowess to work building the tools to enact that cryptoanarchist vision. “Our motto was ‘Cypherpunks write code,'” says Tim May, a co-founder of the group, referring to a line in the Cypherpunk’s Manifesto written by his co-founder Eric Hughes. “Hal was one of those who actually wrote code.”

When word hit the mailing list that privacy activist Phil Zimmermann planned to release PGP or Pretty Good Privacy, the first freely available encryption program strong enough that not even government intelligence agencies could break it, Finney contacted Zimmermann and became one of his earliest collaborators. He worked almost a full-time job’s worth of hours developing PGP 2.0, widely considered to be the first truly secure version of the program, and pioneered its “web of trust” model of key-signing, a method to establish trusted identities through the peer-to-peer vouching of a community of users. “The trust model was a very complex part, and this was of crucial importance to PGP’s success,” says Zimmermann. “Hal made an enormous contribution.”

(When Zimmermann first wrote back to my query about Finney, he also noted Finney’s extraordinary humility and strength of character: “Hal is a rare genius who never had to trade his emotional intelligence to get his intellectual gifts,” Zimmermann wrote. “He is a fine human being, an inspiration for his attitude toward life. I wish I could be like him.”)

In fact, decades before anyone suspected Finney of ghostwriting Bitcoin, Finney ghostwrote much of PGP. Because of the legal controversy around the encryption tool’s distribution on the Internet–Zimmermann was nearly indicted for arms export control violations–Finney’s role was downplayed in Zimmermann’s public discussion of the program. Though Finney told me that he worked closely with Zimmermann to code “the bulk of the changes” from PGP 1.0 to PGP 2.0, he’s rarely been fully credited for that work.

As PGP’s usage spread, Finney was also the first to integrate the encryption software into “remailers”–free services that acted as proxy servers for email, bouncing messages among third parties so that they couldn’t be traced to their source. “Two people could communicate using email, with both of their identities being protected from the other,” Finney explained on the Cypherpunks Mailing List. Those tools would eventually evolve into strong anonymity services like MixMaster and Tor, used by millions around the world today.

Meanwhile, Finney never gave up on Chaum’s ideas of digital, pseudonymous currency. “With digital cash and smart cards, you should be able to engage in…transactions with no organization or institution able to violate your privacy or steal your money,” he wrote on the mail list in 1993. “You can protect yourself, rather than having to trust others. This puts more power into the hands of the consumer.” A few years later, Finney would even develop a “proof-of-work” system that closely resembled the one Bitcoin would later use, requiring that participants of the system solve complex computer problems to create a barrier to entry and keep out those who would corrupt the system.

So when the idea for Bitcoin first appeared on a cryptography mailing in 2008, posted by Satoshi Nakamoto, Finney says he was immediately enthusiastic, and responded with curious questions. Nakamoto’s announcement otherwise got a mostly skeptical reception. “Cryptographers have seen too many grand schemes by clueless noobs,” Finney wrote on the BitcoinTalk forum in 2013. “I was more idealistic; I have always loved crypto, the mystery and the paradox of it.”

Finney downloaded the early Bitcoin code and began running it on an IBM Windows desktop tower machine. He’s widely believed to be the first person other than Nakamoto himself to do so. He kept it running for weeks–just how long, he declined to tell me. With no competition, he was able to mine as much as a hundred coins a day using only his old PC’s off-the-shelf CPU. But sometime after mining a thousand coins, Finney turned the machine off–he and his son were worried the computer was overheating. The stash of bitcoins sat on Finney’s hard drive and were later burned to a DVD, left to gather dust on a desk. “I thought it was just an altruistic thing he was doing for a friend,” says Fran Finney. “And we thought the PGP thing had been enough altruism already.”

During his Bitcoin experimentation, Finney corresponded with Nakamoto, sending him a series of bug reports and suggestions for fixes. He would later write that while he had no idea of Nakamoto’s real identity or location, he imagined Bitcoin’s creator to be “a young man of Japanese ancestry who was very smart and sincere.”

In early 2009, Nakamoto also sent Finney the first ever test transfer of bitcoins. Finney said at the time he’d repay the ten coins back to Nakamoto. He never did, Fran Finney recalls with a laugh. He had other things on his mind by then, she says: Finney inexplicably began to fatigue quickly, slur his words, experience strange tingling, and lose coordination in his right hand. His doctor diagnosed him with ALS in August of 2009.

As Finney’s muscle control declined over the next years, he continued to write code for Bitcoin. At one point he wrote up an improvement to its elliptic-curve cryptography that would speed up its transactions by as much as 20%. Even after he lost the ability to type with both hands, and then to type at all, he continued to use eye-tracking software to write code, including a program called bcflick aimed at better securing Bitcoin wallets. “I am most proud of my work on PGP,” Finney wrote to me in an email, “ Although I would not be surprised if my small contributions to Bitcoin, particularly my optimization of the elliptic curve math, may be the lasting contribution of my work.”

As for the bitcoins Finney mined in those early days, he writes that he was relieved to rediscover them in 2010, still intact, as the currency suddenly began to gain value. He transferred them to the disc, and then later stored it in a safety deposit box at the family’s bank. But as Finney’s medical bills mounted, Finney sold the majority of the coins at an exchange rate of around $100, just a fraction of the more than $500 they’d be valued at today.

“[Our son] Jason is always saying ‘what if, what if,’” Fran says of the decision to sell the coins. “It’s fine with me if it means we have enough money to keep Hal alive, at home and comfortable.”

Fran declines to say just how much the family’s remaining Bitcoin savings are worth, but adds that the family has never had as much cryptocurrency wealth as is often rumored. Last year, she says, an extortion attempt threatened to release private information about the family online if Finney didn’t transfer a large number of bitcoins–more than he even had remaining after his medical expenses.

Finney himself doesn’t seem to dwell on what could have been, as much as his good fortune in becoming Bitcoin’s earliest-ever adopter. “I’m pretty lucky overall. Even with the ALS, my life is very satisfying. But my life expectancy is limited,” he wrote last year. “I’m comfortable with my legacy.”

***

After my initial phone call with Fran Finney, Hal Finney wrote me an email that I later learned had taken him the better part of a day to produce with his limited eye movement. In the note, he not only denied inventing Bitcoin, but also expressed doubts at Newsweek‘s focus on his old neighbor Dorian Nakamoto.

I must be brief. The reason I was skeptical about Dorian Nakamoto is that he didn’t match the picture in my mind that I had of Satoshi. I pictured him younger, as he was giving the impression of youthful vigor. Then there is the language Bitcoin was written in, C++. Satoshi was a master of the intricacies, and I’ve only seen this in young programmers. It seems hard to master C++ if you didn’t learn it while you’re young. As I have learned more about him, there are details that don’t add up, such as his care for an aging mother, which might cause financial strain.

As for your suspicion that I either am or at least helped Satoshi, I’m flattered but I deny categorically these allegations. I don’t know what more I can say. You have records of how I reacted to the announcement of Bitcoin, and I struggled to understand it. I suppose you could retort that I was able to fake it, but I don’t know what I can say to that. I’ve done some changes to the Bitcoin code, and my style is completely different from Satoshi’s. I program in C, which is compatible with C++, but I don’t understand the tricks that Satoshi used.

As far as your theory that I knew Dorian, that is unlikely because I lived in Temple City more than a decade ago, when Bitcoin hadn’t even been dreamed up. Again, I categorically deny any familiarity with Dorian Nakamoto.

In a written statement of his own a week later, Dorian Nakamoto would also deny any involvement with Bitcoin, arguing that he had never worked in cryptography and was so financially impoverished that he couldn’t even afford an Internet connection—two claims that called into question Newsweek‘s assertion that he had invented Bitcoin, and with it, any connection this Nakamoto might have had to Finney. Through his brother Tokuo, Dorian Nakamoto also told me he had never before heard Hal Finney’s name.

But the most compelling evidence that Finney didn’t invent Bitcoin or ghostwrite the 2008 Bitcoin whitepaper came during my visit to the Finneys’ Santa Barbara home.

I arrived on a Saturday afternoon, 20 minutes late due to traffic between Los Angeles and the Santa Barbara suburb. Fran Finney welcomed me into her home and brought me into the living room, where Finney himself sat in his wheelchair with his son Jason. His ventilator whirred rhythmically and the air smelled faintly of something sweet, like hot milk.

I apologized for being late. Finney’s first words to me, and the longest sentence I heard him speak in his robotic voice, were “Andy, it’s hard to time the drive from LA.” He had spent around ten minutes writing the sentence with his eye movements, just to comfort me about my tardiness. “We’re used to that kind of thing from him,” Fran told me. “He’s a good guy.”

I sat down with Finney and explained again the strange connections that had brought me to his home. Then I rehearsed the questions I’d asked through his wife over the phone. With his eyes, he gave the same friendly denials.

walletscreenshot

Then Jason Finney brought me over to a computer to show me what he’d prepared: It was Finney’s Gmail account, opened to a January 2009 conversation between Finney and someone named Satoshi Nakamoto—clearly, the Satoshi Nakamoto. They had exchanged about fifteen emails, in which Finney described bugs he’d found in the early Bitcoin code and Nakamoto responded with fixes and notes of thanks.

The Nakamoto on the other end of the conversation wrote in fluent, colloquial English, not at all like Dorian Nakamoto. (I would later forward the emails to the same linguistics analysis firm who had earlier analyzed Nakamoto’s writings, Juola & Associates, and they confirmed that the new emails matched the style of the Bitcoin whitepaper more closely than Finney’s writing, and far more closely than Dorian Nakamoto’s.)

Jason Finney also let me see the transaction record for his father’s Bitcoin wallet from 2009, which clearly showed that Finney had received Nakamoto’s ten-bitcoin test transaction on January 11th, 2009. The wallet evidence, along with the Gmail timestamps, would have been very difficult to forge. And the notion that Finney alone might have set up the two accounts and created a fake conversation with himself to throw off snoops like me, long before Bitcoin had any measurable value, seemed preposterous.

“My father is an honest guy,” Jason said. “He would have loved to have been part of creating Bitcoin, and he wouldn’t have hidden it. But he wasn’t involved.”

At this point, I was convinced I had reached a dead end. All the signs that Finney might have had a secret hand in the creation of Bitcoin had turned out to be nothing more than an illusion of a signal in random noise.

But even as I dropped my theory, I had learned enough to know that Finney was no random red herring. As an open source project, Bitcoin has been built and rebuilt by a community of programmers who have rewritten 70% of its code, like a ship whose crew replaces its hull while at sea. As the very first debugger and contributor to Bitcoin’s code long before a bitcoin was ever worth a thousandth of a penny, there’s no question that Finney did in fact help to create it. And this might be the last chance I or any other journalist might have to meet him in person.

I sat next to Finney again and asked him if, in this sense of open-source contribution, he did consider himself one of the creators of Bitcoin.

He raised his eyes and eyebrows.

Then I asked him if he was proud of that work. Finney raised his eyes again, and he smiled.

With reporting contributed by Matt Herper, Susan Radlauer and Kashmir Hill.

Follow me on Twitter , email me, anonymously send me sensitive documents or tips , and check out the new paperback edition of my book, This Machine Kills Secrets: Julian Assange, the Cypherpunks, and Their Fight to Empower Whistleblowers.

I’m a technology, privacy, and information security reporter and most recently the author of the book This Machine Kills Secrets, a chronicle of the history and future of information leaks, from the Pentagon Papers to WikiLeaks and beyond. I’ve covered the hacker beat for Forbes since 2007, with frequent detours into digital miscellania like switches, servers, supercomputers, search, e-books, online censorship, robots, and China. My favorite stories are the ones where non-fiction resembles science fiction. My favorite sources usually have the word “research” in their titles. Since I joined Forbes, this job has taken me from an autonomous car race in the California desert all the way to Beijing, where I wrote the first English-language cover story on the Chinese search billionaire Robin Li for Forbes Asia. Black hats, white hats, cyborgs, cyberspies, idiot savants and even CEOs are welcome to email me at agreenberg (at) forbes.com. My PGP public key can be found here.

Source: Nakamoto’s Neighbor: My Hunt For Bitcoin’s Creator Led To A Paralyzed Crypto Genius

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk is talking more about the automaker’s bitcoin purchase. In response to a comment from Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, he called Tesla‘s $1.5 billion bitcoin purchase “adventurous enough for an S&P500 company.”

Tesla CEO defends bitcoin purchase

Zhao told Bloomberg in an interview that he was surprised that Musk was “so gung-ho on Dogecoin.” Binance is the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by volume, and it recently launched Dogecoin futures. However, Zhao also pointed out that Tesla purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin rather than Dogecoin.

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The Tesla CEO also said that he isn’t an investor and doesn’t even own any publicly traded stock aside from Tesla. He added that “when fiat currency has negative real interest, only a fool wouldn’t look elsewhere.”

“Bitcoin is almost as bs as fiat money,” Musk tweeted. “The key word is ‘almost.'”

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Source: Tesla CEO Elon Musk Says Bitcoin Purchase is “Less Dumb” Than Holding Cash

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In this clip Gali asks Elon Musk about Bitcoin and what he thinks of the cryptocurrency. Big thank you to Third Row Tesla Podcast for allowing us to use the clip. You can subscribe to them here: https://www.youtube.com/thirdrowtesla Original date of video: 01/31/20 Clip taken from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxmO_… Become a HyperChanger & support us on Patreon to receive the exclusive weekly HyperChange Newsletter!! https://www.patreon.com/hyperchange HyperChange YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/hyperchangetv HyperChange Twitter: https://twitter.com/HyperChangeTV HyperChange Instagram: http://instagram.com/Hyperchange HyperChange Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HyperChange/ Music by Marko: https://soundcloud.com/markothedon & Fritz Carlton: https://soundcloud.com/fritzcarlton Tags: #ElonMusk #Bitcoin #Cryptocurrency
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Glowing dark background with bitcoin symbol.

Rick Rieder, BlackRock’s chief investment officer of global fixed income, told CNBC Wednesday that the investment giant has “started to dabble” in bitcoin—it’s the latest instance of a major financial player dipping its toes into digital assets.

Reider did not elaborate on BlackRock’s cryptocurrency strategy, but last month the investment giant filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission showing that it wants to include cash-settled Bitcoin futures as eligible investments for two of its funds.

BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager—it managed some $8.7 trillion at the end of the fourth quarter.

Rieder told CNBC that he believes bitcoin’s recent rally is gaining momentum in part because of stronger regulations and better technology.

“My sense is the technology has evolved and the regulation has evolved to the point where a number of people find it should be part of the portfolio, so that’s what’s driving the price up,” he said.

Big Number

$51,000. That’s the new record price bitcoin hit early on Wednesday morning. The most popular cryptocurrency started the year with prices around $30,000.

Key Background

A spate of major corporations and financial institutions including MicroStrategy, BNY Mellon, and MasterCard,and PayPal have announced cryptocurrency initiatives this month, and there are reports that a $150 billion investment division at Morgan Stanley is considering investing in bitcoin. A portion of bitcoin’s recent gains are likely attributable to a surprise announcement from Tesla that the electric car maker had invested $1.5 billion into the cryptocurrency and has plans to start accepting it as payment.

Further Reading

BlackRock’s Rick Rieder says the world’s largest asset manager has ‘started to dabble’ in bitcoin (CNBC)

Not Just Tesla: Big Institutions Keep Piling Into Bitcoin As Price Rockets Past $50,000 (Forbes)

Bitcoin Soars To New High After Tesla Says It Invested $1.5 Billion (Forbes)

BlackRock Files To Add Bitcoin Futures To Funds (Forbes)

By: Sarah HansenSarah Hansen

 

 

Source: $8.7 Trillion Asset Manager BlackRock Is Exploring Bitcoin As Institutions Flood Crypto

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Bitcoin surges to hit NEW all-time high on Christmas day as BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, looking to cryptocurrency in 2021! Altcoin Daily, the best cryptocurrency news media online! Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AltcoinDailyio Follow me [Austin] on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/theaustinar… TimeStamps: 00:00 Intro 00:17 Bitcoin and BlackRock 05:39 NEW SEC Chairman Appointed! 07:14 XRP Delistings 09:38 1inch vs Uniswap vs Sushi 11:31 Final Thoughts
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Meet Lily The 3-Year-Old Girl Who Explains How Bitcoin Works With Sweets

Meet Lily, the 3-Year-Old Girl Who Explains How Bitcoin Works With Sweets

Lily, just 3 years old, has her own program in which she explains simple things to her followers on Facebook and Twitter (for now). In her fifth chapter, she explains how Bitcoin works with the help of sweet Skittles , her stuffed animals and of course, her parents.

She started Lily’s Show in August 2020, but on February 2 she posted a video of just over two minutes explaining the basics of Bitcoin , something that many adults still have doubts about.

The information is based on Michael Caras’ children’s book, ” Bitcoin Money: A Tale of Bitville Discovering Good Money.”

The little girl begins by saying that Bitcoin is “decentralized digital money!” In other words, it does not need a bank to exist, in addition to the fact that there are only 21 million of them in the world and it was created by Satoshi Nakamoto, whom he identifies as “a mystery”.

To explain how a transaction works, he uses wallets with sweets and pieces of wood, which represent bitcoin wallets and the blockchain . The various purses belong to her, her Teddy bear, a unicorn and Dolly, her stuffed animals.

In this way, each that a sweet ( Skittles ) passes from one bag to another, it represents a transaction that generates a piece of wood and when several of them are stacked it symbolizes the blockchain , which no one can see because it is anonymous.

Lily wonders “why is it so expensive?” . So he explains that it is because of the security he has; Money cannot be stolen, bank accounts cannot be hacked, only you have access with a 12-digit code, but if you lose it you are in “trouble” and you can lose all your money .

To finish little Lily takes off her glasses and tells her mother that she doesn’t need them to look smart, “silly mommy .” Besides mentioning that he loves bitcoins… and skittles .

Source: Meet Lily, the 3-Year-Old Girl Who Explains How Bitcoin Works With Sweets

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